Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Open Story of the Japan earthquake

Moments after a massive earthquake struck Japan on March 11, Chris Postnikoff posted a photo on iReport of a crack in the earth in Chiba, Japan. In his iReport he described the photo as evidence "it was no mere tremor."


Of course now it's very clear to everyone it was no mere tremor -- the quake left thousands dead and more missing, triggered tsunamis and damaged nuclear reactors -- but at the very moment of the shaking, none of that was apparent. iReporter Postnikoff and hundreds of others snapped photos and videos of their singular, dramatic experience and posted them to CNN iReport.


In the minutes and hours following, photos and videos from all over Japan streamed in to iReport and all over the web, and the world began to get a clearer picture of what had happened from the many angles and perspectives of the event.


A story like this one is the kind of event that's impossible to view through just one lens -- it affects millions of people, and has as many angles as people involved. That's why at CNN iReport we've recently launched a new kind of approach for telling these kinds of massive stories: the Open Story. It combines iReports with reports from CNNers, and places them all on a map and along a timeline. And, of course, it invites contributions and comments.


We tried it out for the first time at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, as a way to cover that giant, sprawling event from a zillion angles. And now we're taking it out on a much more serious topic: the Japan earthquake and its continuing effects. Below you'll find some notes on how to navigate and use it.


But first, you should know it's a pilot, a beta, a first step toward something really grand. The idea of the Open Story is a new one, and something we're committed to building and improving over time. What we're working toward here is a true collaboration among a news organization and the many people who experience an event first-hand. Hope you'll let us know what you think -- and how we could improve -- in the comments.


The parts of an Open Story


Shared byline
The person who posts the first element of an Open Story shared a byline with all the other contributors.


'Add now' button
An invitation to add your own perspective to the story. You may add a photo, video, audio or text contribution.


The timeline displays avatars of each of the contributors, and runs chronologically from left to right (newest posts are on the right). Hover over the avatar to see the timestamp and name of each contributor.


The gallery in the center of the piece displays the photos and videos posted to an Open Story. For now, it shows the most recent iReport first. You can use the left and right arrows on the sides of the gallery to navigate backwards and forwards through the content.


The map displays each of the stories according to the place the iReporter located them. Click the "Expand Map" button to see a larger view and navigate through the iReport pins for each perspective in the story.


What's happening now
Just below the gallery, you'll see a ticker of the most recent activity on the Open Story, including a link to the most recently uploaded iReport as well as a link to see all of the iReports associated with this topic.


This part comes from a CNN producer, and adds written context to all the photos and videos above.


Latest additions
iReports are vetted -- which means they're fact-checked and verified -- before they're included in the Open Story gallery and timeline. The latest additions box shows all of the most recently posted iReports on this topic.


Just like on any story on CNN.com - we're eager to hear what you think.

March 22, 2011
Click to view SlickNick's profile

Well done Lila.Thankyou..

March 23, 2011
Click to view burraj51's profile

Regarding the contaminated water in Tokyo, a point not made on TV is that radiation is not only a problem in drinking the water, but when one showers, water vapor allows the radioactive iodine to be inhaled, thus recommending drinking from water bottles will not solve this aspect of the problem.

March 27, 2011
Click to view ruaconcuoi's profile

i think the government should have some preventative solution  such as: when they find the ares which has been radioactive ,they should evacuate and let them drink medicine

March 28, 2011
Click to view Musicman519's profile

Please interview an expert on radiation exposure. The Global community needs to know the actual excessive amounts of radiation being released from the Fukashima plant. They are currently being measured in hourly limits as opposed to yearly acceptable limits.

The current mis-information tactics should be considered unacceptable. What is the final solution for containment, and why is there no international pressure to resolve this accident? The "News Media" needs to step up their game and focus on this crisis with some old fashion investigative journalism.


April 4, 2011
Click to view buss9k's profile

nuke leak put a long section of pipe thats wide enought to let the flow go freely threw but put shut off value on pipe first put bare end of pipe as close as you can .then put some kind of solid mat on top middle of bare end of pipe with shut off open to keep cement out of flow . then pour cement may mix dry mix just before it hits damaged area or let set up alittle(get thicker let dry a bit then pour that wet stuffin their ,let set up (get hard )close shut off wow ps could been done by now you can do this











April 7, 2011
Click to view MediaDesign's profile

Job well done!

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