Flash journalism in many forms provides numerous opportunities for web viewers to absorb in-depth, emotional, and analytical information. Flash journalism’s paramount advantage over other forms of journalism is its interactivity, which is seen in different ways through various examples of flash. Photo-slideshows are successful primarily because they are able to readily access a viewer’s emotions. A photo-slideshow presents the story to the view in a highly contextualized manner, putting the viewer in the environment of the subjects through audio interviews or nat sound juxtaposed against still photographs that successfully capture the event or moments in time. This slideshows are highly creative, and depending on the form, can also afford the viewer a lot of control over the show (audio, no audio, captions, no captions, pace of the photos on the screen, etc.)
Infographics are a completely separate category of flash journalism. While they do not tap into viewers’ emotions, they do provide a highly layered platform on which to display information and statistics in a manner that visually satisfies the viewer and allows them to absorb the information in a more efficient and full manner. What does this mean? In other words, the infographic takes numbers that would at best appear dry to the reader in a print story and at worst not make any sense to them and transforms these numbers into visual representations of what is going on in the story. Infographics also afford the viewer a high level of control, as the viewer can choose what he or she sees, roll over functions, etc. Many infographics also offer a sense of place to the viewer, orientating them in the scene in a way the photo-audio slideshow cannot. They can also be accessed at any time by the viewer on the Web site.
Lastly, packages are perhaps the most interactive of all forms of flash journalism. They allow the viewer to navigate through the different elements of the story in their preferred order, at their own pace. Additionally, they often provide space for comments and feedback, allowing the viewer to respond to the news story. This can fundamentally expand the journalist’s role, from one of telling people news to one of dialoguing with viewers about the importance and impact of the story.