Case StudiesHuffPost Australia

How The HuffPost Australia used Shorthand to bring Antarctica to life

After a 10-day visit to Antarctica, HuffPost Australia's journalists returned with a rich supply of visuals and an in-depth story to tell.

But what they were looking for was a powerful way to deliver this to their readers online.

“Climate change is a challenging issue to cover, and we are committed to covering it as well we possibly can,” editor Chris Paine explained.

“The research undertaken in Antarctica is essentially a case study for modern science, and the warnings it brings to bear. When we stepped back and assessed the stories our reporters had, including stunning video footage, we knew we had an exciting project on our hands.”

Their existing publishing setup offered a few different templates for feature storytelling, that presented visuals with more emphasis on-screen. But the team wanted to take things even further and “find a way to present the story that matched the ambition of the story itself”.

Having seen other stories created in Shorthand, Chris was intrigued about how similar techniques could be applied to this project.

“We felt compelled to explore new ways to present feature projects. Shorthand was the answer.”

Chris Paine

“The ability to match visual storytelling with compelling written narratives in such an engaging way was extremely appealing,” he said.

“We felt compelled to explore new ways to present feature projects. Shorthand was the answer.”

The team also had a tight deadline to keep to, but having experimented with different ideas and joined a Shorthand-led training session, Chris was able to turn around the project in just 1.5 days in total.

A selection of sections from The HuffPost Australia's stories

“The interface is so user-friendly and flexible that you can really play around with a lot of ideas, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any first-timer users”

Chris Paine

“The interface is so user-friendly and flexible that you can really play around with a lot of ideas,” Chris said.

“I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any first-timer users. The training is thorough and the platform itself so intuitive that it doesn’t take long at all to wrap your head around the tools and dive in.

“We were so excited to see the story brought to life as we built it in Shorthand. The difference it made was two-fold: 1) It made the process of building a project like this very smooth and manageable; 2) It really did the storytelling justice.”

And once published, the project had big impact both with the HuffPost Australia’s online audience, and internally.

“The story performed very, very well,” Chris said. “Beyond our own readership, the story was so compelling that our joint venture partner, Fairfax, and international HuffPost partners ran the project on their platforms.

“Universally, the reaction was ‘wow’.”

“Shorthand is a first-class, polished platform that’s supported by very professional staff”

Chris Paine

With such great photography and video to share, one of the biggest satisfactions for the team was being able to deliver those visuals with impact, and do the story justice that they had to tell.

“Shorthand is a first-class, polished platform that’s supported by very professional staff,” Chris added.

“The entire process was fantastic. Bringing the project to life and exacting its full potential was terrifically rewarding, and Shorthand as a platform and a staff were ideal partners in achieving our goals.”