3 digital publishing tools to give your storytelling a boost

by IJNet
Oct 30, 2018 in Digital Journalism

Today’s readers need more than sterling prose — they need stunning presentation. Luckily, there are a number of platforms which allow journalists and editors to use multimedia and original reporting, and construct compelling designs with minimal effort.

In journalism today, good writing alone rarely cuts it. In a world flooded with articles, listicles, op-eds, breaking news, thinkpieces, long forms, essays and research papers, what production has to be visually compelling as well as editorially sound.

Many journalists lack the coding skills (and many others, the time) to build a interactive narrative, especially as design becomes more complex. Recognizing this, services have cropped up which give creators total editorial control while facilitating great design. While very few of the professional tools offer free service options, most are worth it if you have the raw materials to stitch together a striking story.


Responsive design, the ability to embed social media or share on your own website and the option to let readers subscribe all make Exposure a powerful tool. Given its emphasis on photography, it may not be ideal for longform.

A very reasonable US$5 for a basic plan, US$9 for a pro plan and US$59 for a business plan gives you some serious bang for your buck.


One of the best known multimedia publishing platforms, Atavist was made for longform and designed to keep a reader’s attention through hefty pieces.

Atavist publications run up to 20,000 words, an ambitious length in today’s landscape, but to surprising efficacy. Some stories have been commissioned for film.

There are a range of options for Atavist — from free to US$250 a month, depending on your resources and needs.


At plans starting at US$400, Shorthand is not for those with empty pockets. However, with a built-in option for designing sharing on social media, the ability to export to a zip file for custom hosting and a genuinely beautiful layout, those with the resources can save time and energy by letting Shorthand take the reins.

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Main image CC-licensed by Flickr via Grant Hutchinson.