Top magazines and other commercial content providers have discovered how to take a traditional publication and make it into something much more interactive and interesting to read on a tablet. Carnegie Corporation of New York, one of the country’s first philanthropic foundations, is also among the first nonprofits to try out this tactic, and it’s a perfect fit.
For its initial project the Corporation chose Carnegie Results—a quarterly report focusing on one of its funded organizations. This particular issue was ideal. The subject was the National Security Archive, an independent nonprofit that has been working for more open government for over 25 years. The Archive investigates, indexes, and publishes former secrets and, most significantly, has created an extraordinary archive of declassified U.S. documents and photographs available to everyone. The materials housed there must be seen to be believed… and that’s where the new app comes in.
Daniel Um, the Corporation’s designer, took the Results, a printed publication with a few four-color photos, and blew it up – adding surveillance photos from the Cuban missile crisis, once-secret documents on subjects from Fidel Castro to Saddam Hussein, a 1950s Air Force training film about a Soviet nuclear strike, and a report exposing the truth about Nevada’s Area 51. The MAZ app let readers tap a button to watch videos about the Cold War and the Iran-Contra Affair, or visit the website to view once censored photographs of fallen military heroes. It also let them share this powerful content with friends via social networking.
“There’s no reason why philanthropies shouldn’t try new things,” Um says. “The result is impressive, yet efficient because you don’t have to make a project twice. You can take a straight print publication and dress it up, but the two products come from the same root and remain true to each other.” You can see what he means by downloading the publication:
Carnegie Corporation of New York was created by Andrew Carnegie “to promote the advancement and diffusion of knowledge and understanding.” You can follow its work @CarnegieCorp.