NPR's Andy Carvin talks about using Storify for the Tunisia upheaval, Giffords shooting

Carvin used Storify to document the uprising in Tunisia, building a running story that lasted over days and weeks to keep track of the fast-changing events on the ground.


  1. The news in Tunisia had been quietly building for weeks. NPR's social media strategist Andy Carvin had been watching the situation in the country, where he had traveled before and had an interest in how bloggers worked under the restrcitive government.
  2. Carvin searched for a timeline online that detailed the sequene of events in Tunisia. The local site had been keeping a tab of all the videos, photos and other materials produced on the ground.
  3. But Carvin's aim was to capture the larger twists and turns of the story for a more general audience. So he turned to Storify as the way to pull together the narrative.
  4. Carvin already had experience with Storify from using it during the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona.
  5. "Given this was a real-time event literally unfolding moment by moment, I figured Storify was the way to capture the frenetic nature of a breaking news story," Carvin said of the Giffords story in an interview.
  6. For that story, he used Storify to capture the breaking news of the moment, but later went back and reorganized the narrative into themes with separate text elements as headers.
  7. For Tunisia, Carvin decided to take a chronological approach. He began the story with some background from Wikipedia and added some material from Wikileaks files, and then plunged in to putting the story together from every possible source.
  8. "I worked on it almost non-stop … whenever I had free time I'd go back and work on it," Carvin said.
  9. Online Reports Detail Chaos, Deaths In Tunisia; Add Yours
  10. Carvin repeatedly asked his Twitter followers for help in translating video and pointing out items of interest to the story.
  11. The result was a story that pieced together the events as told on social media, from people who were there and media sources. 
  12. "The story is powerful because it does have that narrative arc from one lone protester to the president fleeing," Carvin said.