Webby Awards 2017 — innovative storytelling on global issues

Nominees for the Webby Awards have been announced, and there are a lot of innovative stories to explore. Here are the projects that grabbed my attention.


Websites: Activism

This category has two nominees that explore women’s issues in very different ways.

The data visualization agency Two-N is the creator behind this year’s Global Gender Gap. This interactive data map tracks the disparities between men and women in a number of different countries since 2006. I chose to see how the United States compared to the rest of the world in terms of  health, education, economy and politics. The results were striking:

The group UN Women created the second project that peaked my interest in this category. It’s called the Women’s Footprint in History.  Here you can scroll through graphically rich biographies from 400 BC to the present day. They include stories about female doctors, educators, philosophers, and activists who fought for women’s rights:  

The histories of these women’s work are supplemented by infographics that describe the current conditions related to their fields. In the case of Kate Sheppard, the project explains that women are underrepresented in the world’s legislatures:

Websites: Charitable Organizations/Non-Profits

The interactive site Ebola: A behavior driven crisis stands out for taking on the stigma of those stricken with the disease. USAID’s Health Communication Capacity Collaborative aims to positively influence social norms and provide education, through a process called social behavior and change communication. 

The project also explains its approach to fighting misinformation about the virus through infographics, timelines, and recorded interviews with survivors. The results of an SMS survey are also made available,  which gives good feedback about how local people in affected countries understand and deal with the disease.

Websites: Weird

Finally, I looked at an interactive drawing by Andrew North called ‘The Big Draw: Selling the Soviet Past’. The site scrolls around a 360° panorama of an open-air hardware market in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. The characters in this elaborate illustration come to life through embedded video. Here you can find out what life is like 25 years after the fall of the USSR, and why life has not been exactly too kind for some in the country’s post-communist era.

There is a lot more to explore. If I’ve miss a nomination that you liked, please let me know by leaving a comment below. You can spend hours looking at all the different projects, and vote for the ones you’d like to see win. Have fun going down these online rabbit holes!

By Tara Todras-Whitehill

Tara worked as a staff photographer for the Associated Press for four years in the Middle East, covering the uprisings, revolutions and numerous elections in the Arab world. Her photography has been featured in the New York Times, National Geographic and Washington Post, among many others. She also works on personal projects focused on women's issues. Her passion is trying to portray strong women changing their lives and the world around them.

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