Frontline’s interactive documentary, Bush’s War, is riveting, and for more than it’s video content alone.
The 26-segment piece, also released in a traditional linear format on PBS, has set a record with more than 1.5 million online views of all or part of the program, the New York Times reports. It’s clear why.
The documentary itself is fascinating for its unapologetic, but forthright and objective, examination of the run-up to, and execution of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It dares to ponder the ways in which the Bush doctrine has forever changed global politics. The explosive online popularity of this particular piece can be attributed first to "timing" and, also, to a very well-conceived interactive interface. This is internet-TV at its very finest.
A new, full-screen video player complements an interactive, annotated timeline on terrorism over roughly three decades, including 175 embedded video clips and links to full transcripts of more than 400 “Frontline” interviews. For additional information from Frontline’s exhaustive archive, users can simply click a temporary pop-up to learn more.
You should watch it, not just because it carefully examines a powerful moment in world history, but because it shows a clarity of thought-flow that could set a standard for video viewing online.
How can your media be best consumed in an interactive environment?