The Wider Image has been designed "to bring Reuters photography and information to life through an entirely new interactive experience," says Reuters. The app, which has been developed from scratch by a small team of Reuters employees that includes Jassim Ahmad and Alexia Singh among others, presents in-depth photographic reports shot by Reuters' photographers.
"Every story starts with a single image," Ahmad, Reuters' global head of multimedia innovation, told BJP ahead of today's launch. "This is what we are as a news agency. This is where we come from. What we're trying to say is that images have information, emotion, immediacy, all of these qualities, but it's also quite important to have context around these images. The Wider Image is a way for us to assemble all of that context - be it visual or journalistic."
The app is structured around stories, 100 of which are available from today, shot by the agency's photographers and complemented with interactive elements such as slideshows, sequences and sounds. Users can explore stories by date, location, photographer and themes, with Reuters offering the option to follow a particular photographer or country, for example, and receive updates every time a new story has been added to the app.
While Reuters has more than 600 photographers on its payroll, the app is launching with material provided by 52 of them on day one, with more added each month. "We interviewed all of these photographers to try to introduce them to the app users," says Ahmad. "This is something people ask for a lot. The public is interested in the voice of the photographer."
Ahmad also believes the app will help photographers develop new formats of multimedia presentations. "Outside of Reuters it's an iPad app, but inside, it's about learning what we need to produce [...] Multimedia doesn't have to be just still images with an audio track."
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