The video centers around the internal structure of the Fangcang hospital that was central to public concern at the time. It combines elements of graphics, data, and blueprints into an animated report of the internal structure and operation within the Dongxihu (Wuhan living room) makeshift hospital. The video offers the public an intuitive and comprehensive understanding of the internal operation of the Fangcang hospital, fulfilling the lack of in-depth reporting on the subject.
Graphics within this highly professional report have since been adopted by Academician Wang Chen in an academic paper and published in the internationally renowned medical journal “The Lancet”.
First, the in-depth concent mostly come from on-site interviews, obtaining detailed and exclusive data while reporting inside the Fangcang hospital.
And then, the overall data about Fangcang hospitals around Wuhan are scraped from government website.
And the video was made with shooting footage and animation production using After Effects.
What was the hardest part of this project?
The hardest part was to obtain detailed information on how one Fangcang hospital operated on daily bases. We didn’t want the video to be too general, because Fangcang hospital was an essential strategy of Wuhan to repress the spread of coronavirus. And we found the best way to interprete this subject was to go inside a Fangcang hospital, so we had to communicate really closely with a reporter inside a Fangcang hospital who had no background in data reporting. We had to convince the reporter why we need so extensive data that seemed unnecessary for other formats of reporting.
The final product turned out to be good, because even academicians found our reporting valuable enough to be put in one of his academic papers.
What can others learn from this project?
We feel data journalism should fully consider the approach of traditional on-site reporting. Although computational and statistical approaches are also important to be able to find out facts that are otherwise unavailable in other formats of reporting, but traditional on-site reporting are sometimes neglected when we talk about data journalism.