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New tablet magazine Symbolia pioneers "comics journalism"

A new tablet-exclusive publication launched on Monday, Dec. 3, right on the heels of the news that the first tablet-only newspaper, The Daily, would end circulation on Dec. 15. Founded by Erin Polgreen and Joyce Rice, Symbolia, “the tablet magazine of illustrated journalism,” combines investigative reporting and non-fiction storytelling with interactive graphics, sounds and comic-book styling.  

Poynter quoted Polgreen’s definition of illustrative journalism as moving beyond “pretty pictures:”

“We’re talking about integrating long-form, investigative pieces with comics, infographics and other interactive elements to create a very visual news experience unlike anything that’s really been tried before. We are basically turning the news into art.”

Check out Polgreen’s full video introduction to Symbolia from the International Women’s Media Foundation, which provided the start-up with $20,000:

Polgreen told the Columbia Journalism Review that their embrace of the comic-book style is designed to reach younger audiences who might be “intimidated by 5,000 words of text.” Polgreen says in the video above that their target audience is journalists, comic book fans and technologists. According to an interview with Publishers Weekly, Symbolia will also feature lots of international reporting

The inaugural issue, “How We Survive,” is free with future issues costing $2.99 each or a year’s subscription for $11.99. Currently, Symbolia is available for iPad and PDF download but the magazine said it would be available soon on Kindle Fire and other e-readers. 

Writers, artists and developers interested in pitching ideas can reach Symbolia here

Check out a video of the new magazine in action here:



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