Old media v new media
I used to work in print. Now I work online. And there is a difference. Print is better for some things, online for others, but they are not the same. People consume them differently. Acknowledge there’s a difference and play to the strengths of the medium you’re working in for the best results.
I would say this is very typical problem publishers are facing. Traditionally, for print, information visualised within a story could be done by a designer, slotted into the page, job done. Multi-media visualisations still need editorial to provide a good story, and a designer to help visualise it, but there are the additional skills needed of interaction and production. Multi-media is often compared to film-making for that reason: you need a raft of people – director, producer, camera man, editor, sound, lighting, etc to pull off a good result in film.
The internet is a little more forgiving, it’s more accepted to have a go, put something out there, learn from it and do it a bit better next time. But get a well balanced editorial/design/developer team in place – ideally with people who overlap across those boundaries – you’ll get the slick, versatile, good, consistent multi-media products that currently there aren’t enough of.
Designers: keep learning new skills, you can’t afford to stand still. Publishers: while you might see a larger team as an expense today it’s definitely a worthwhile investment for the future.