As we noted last week, the National of Abu Dhabi in the UAE published its Thursday edition with no narrative. Instead, the paper was full of pictures and infographics.
National editor-in-chief Mohammed Al Otaiba wrote the day before…
…a newspaper is not all words. We are visual creatures and pictures taken by talented photographers have the power to capture in a single image the absolute essence of a story, be it a heart-rending tragedy or a joyous triumph of the human spirit.
Tomorrow, The National turns six. Tomorrow the pen stops. Tomorrow we will show the news and let you, our readers, share with us what we see.
Thursday’s front page featured a montage of various images.
Laura Koot, managing editor and art director of the National was kind enough to send us a nice care package of PDFs. Click on any of the pages below for a much larger look.
Again, Thursday’s front page featured a montage of various images.
Note the little QR code in the middle of the page. Readers who wanted a little narrative with their stories Thursday could scan that code with their mobile device to read a story.
Directions on how to do this ran atop page three.
Notice the stories in the A section: Pictures and cutlines, with headlines beneath. No stories.
Page seven was a graphic look at a staple in the area, the date palm tree.
The center spread of the A section was this gorgeous look at fishing by staffer Antonie Robertson.
Page 11 was another graphic — this one is a look at separatist movements going on around the world.
Page 12 was another big photo essay — this one on a city in Gaza that houses 6,000 refugee Palestinians.
The photos are by famous war photographer Heidi Levine.
The sports section kicked off with an enormous wraparound photo of a cricket stadium by staffer Pawan Singh.
As was the case in South Africa during my visits there, cricket is big in the UAE. This double-page graphic on sports pages four and five looked at some of the biggest cricket stars in the world.
Here’s a closer look at the South African bowler at the far bottom right.
Pages six and seven hold a collection of photos from the previous night’s big win over Mumbai.
The pictures, like the cover wrap shot, are by Pawan Singh.
Pages eight and nine were about the Chinese Grand Prix Formula 1 race in Shanghai. The track diagram is cleverly presented as a traditional Chinese dragon.
Those are little caricatures of each of the 22 drivers around the sides, along with information such as world titles, wins in China, podium finishes and so on.
A little segment at the upper right also very cleverly shows what time the race will be on TV there in the UAE.
This is some brilliant work. Staffer Matthew Kurian is credited on the piece.
The business section starts out with an enormous portrait of a national bank president.
Pages four and five take a graphic look at the growing financial center of al Maryah Island.
Biz page eight contains a look back at world markets over the past ten years. That green line that does so well and the nosedives is the Dubai Financial Market.
Also very nicely done. Like several of the other big pieces, however, I see detailed source attribution but no credit line.
After all that visual news, it’s time for a little fun. Th front of the arts and life section illustrates some of the world-famous celebrities who can be found in Abu Dhabi these days. Kind of a Where’s Waldo? approach.
Among the folks hidden in that crowd scene:
- Elvis Costello
- Jeff Dunham and what appears to be a green-painted version of his puppet Peanut
- Macklemore and Ryan Lewis
- Ozzy Ozbourne
- Bollywood actor Deepika Padukone
- Justin Timerlake
That, too, is by Matthew Kurian.
And on page three, this flow-chart graphic helps you decide: Should you or should you not go to see the Lionel Richie concert Thursday night?
Again, there’s some pretty amusing stuff here.
Even the QC codes throughout the section have little pictures embedded in them.
Evelyn Lau, a features web editor for the National, tells us:
A bigger version of some of the graphs or charts can be seen in the Interactive section of the site.