Interactive: Your Hospital May Be Hazardous To Your Health


May 17, 2013

So much of what we call “digital television,” YouTube, Netflix or Hulu, is just small television, distributed over the internet.

At FRONTLINE, though, we’ve long been interested in understanding what happens when the internet breaks into the box, and transforms the video itself into something interactive and social. What happens when TV is produced not just to live on the internet but to embrace the possible new experiences and storytelling techniques the internet makes possible?

To explore that idea, we’ve launched a series of experiments in the last year. One of them, “David Coleman Headley’s Web of Betrayal,” allowed producers Tom Jennings and Sabrina Shankman to tell an amazing story, the bizarre path and tangled web of relationships that helped Headley move from small-time drug smuggler to international terrorist — and the American mastermind behind the 2008 three-day siege on Mumbai that killed 166 people.

The interactive, which featured Jennings drawing a visualization of those relationships on a piece of glass in front of him that transformed into “clickable nodes” that allowed users to explore deeper if particular parts of the story intrigued them.

Today, in collaboration with ProPublica, we’re launching the next experiment from Jennings and Shankman exploring that form. At a week-long hackathon sponsored by the TriBeCa Film Institute and Mozilla and supported by the Ford Foundation, the two worked with Pro Publica reporters Marshall Allen and Olga Pierce, FRONTLINE’s own Sam Bailey, and the fantastic team at Ocupop to build “Your Hospital May Be Hazardous To Your Health,” an interactive video that highlights a number of inaccurate — and dangerous — assumptions often made about our health care systems.

It’s a fantastic piece of work, especially considering the short amount of time they had to pull together the story and construct the interactive experience.

Check it out and let us know what you think.


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