On 29th January 2012, The Guardian screened their 3 Little Pigs advert for Open Journalism.
The advert imagines how we might cover the story of the Three Little Pigs in print and online. Follow the story from the paper’s front page headline, through a social media discussion and finally to an unexpected conclusion.
In the beginning of the advert, we learn the the big bad wolf had been murdered by the pigs by being boiled alive in an act of self defense. Twitter and the rest of the internet goes into over drive proclaiming that the pigs had the right to protect their own homes from the wolf.
A little later, someone who knew the wolf tells people that the wolf had asthma and that there was no way he could had blown the house down.
Then CCTV footage appears on YouTube showing the wolf using his inhaler on the bus.
The pigs then admit to committing insurance fraud, by blaming the wolf for the damage. They committed the fraud due to being unable to keep up with their mortgage repayments; something that the public understand.
Then the blame is cast fully on the banking system. Public outrage intensifies as mortgage defaults begin to soar.
Then come the riots, sparking public debate.
It’s a fantastic advert for Open Journalism, in that it not only mirrors how social media and journalism can have huge ramifications on cases, but also shows us that things aren’t always what they first seem, as this advert makes us realise.