Budget-in-motion: The Times on Vine

"Budget day" is a day of snapshots. Snaps on the television news ticker, the rolling live blogs and of course, in your Twitter feed. In the midst of it all, we wanted to move George Osborne’s budget headlines away from static text on a page, so we decided to make them move.

Our recently formed visual journalism team (@curtismattp and @fraserlyness) decided to take on the task via Vine. The two-month old mobile video service, introduced by Twitter, provided the best way for us to animate inside the Twitter stream without having to tweet an external link. 

Vine’s simplicity and charm was another alluring factor. The six-second stock frame template challenged us to work outside our traditional platforms and see how we could be creative on Twitter’s terms.

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Our aim:
To make the main headlines from the speech accessible to readers on Twitter in an engaging way.

Prep-work: One day
Forward planning was crucial but it wasn’t time consuming. The day before the Budget we sat down with some of the money and business reporters and discussed the expected announcements.

We created a design framework around those Budget predictions and prepared for a test run. We built a bespoke tripod out of plastic cups, stacks of A4 paper and a letter tray. We ran through a few tests and adjusted lighting. The rest we left for improvisation on the day.

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Budget Day: 15 minute turn around
As the news lines broke from the speech we adjusted what we had prepared. The hard hitting topics that stayed with us from beginning to end were: Growth, borrowing, personal allowance, pension, alcohol duty, housing and corporation tax.

Due to the complexity of the announcement or its lack of news value, we had to cut some we had prepared, ie. captain gains, small business, fuel duty, tobacco duty.

Each topic had their own story sequence printed out on sheets of paper. Every subtle progression of movement had its own sheet and each sheet was shot and stitched together to display in video form.

So in six seconds, viewers were given a snapshot of some of the main announcements in the Budget with hand made Vine graphics by Times designers. We had a lot of fun putting the headlines in motion and experimenting with Vine for news infographics. 

-Megan Lucero, data journalist  -@Megan_Lucero

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What did you think? How would you have done it differently? We would love to hear your feedback. Send me a tweet @Megan_Lucero or drop me a line at megan.lucero@newsint.co.uk. To get in touch with the designers behind the project contact @curtismattp and @fraserlyness.

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