Interactive Documentary and Journalism

Interactive Documentary and Journalism

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Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism, a MacArthur Foundation Report by the MIT Open Documentary Lab 2016, has opened my eyes to more new teaching ideas.

Report:

Since I began, and from the projects I have witnesses, I have looked at the interactive documentary as storytelling/art/advertising rather than journalism and investigative reporting.  This report gives insights to the technologies, production processes and collaborations that give rise to journalistic transformation for the connected world.  It also discusses ways to effectively use platforms and interactivity while expanding reach to different demographics and levels of user participation (Uricchio 2016).

Among the report’s findings, about interactive documentary; interactive documentary has young audiences, offering intuitive interfaces and opportunities for personalized exploration. This is important not only for strengthening journalism’s business model, according to Uricchio (MIT Open Documentary Lab), but also for reinvigorating civic participation. (DeJarnette 2016)

MIT Open Documentary Lab released an exhaustive report titled “Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism,” which presents case studies and research findings about the early applications of interactive documentary in newsrooms.

Case Studies:

The report shares case studies split into three areas:

  • Macro(Large Media Organizations): The Guardian, Frontline
  • Meso(Community/Collaboration): Collaborations in Interactive Documentary
  • Micro(Individual Project): A Short History of the Highrise, Do Not Track, Fort McMoney

Each case study guides the reader through how interactive documentary is being used for journalistic, participative and collaborative storytelling.  Abundant examples make this a must read for those teaching and learning about digital journalism and storytelling today.

Moving Forward:

Interactive documentary has had a bit of trouble “catching on” within the journalism world.  But according to Uricchio the barriers to entry are getting lower.  With eyes on The New York Times and The Guardian for their award winning work in this area, it is obvious that these projects require advanced design and coding.  But now, new emerging tools of interactivity are allowing smaller organizations to look into the use of interactive documentary formats for their journalistic works.

Our next generation of news consumers are those who are interested in technological interactions.  Interactive documentaries can be about increasing participation and engagement within journalism. (DeJarnette 2016)

Interactive documentaries help to shape conversations.  Journalism is moving from just reporting on and keeping society informed of what is going on in their world to mediators of the conversation.  The public becomes part of the journalistic process. Journalists and the community become partners in the effort of creating and disseminating news.

This is just another exciting level of use for web-based interactive storytelling.  Communications students, faculty and practitioners can all benefit from this study and the work that is going on in this field.

Give it a try:

Please visit our SHARE site to find, use and add tool of interactive storytelling for all to learn from:

MCATshare.com

 

References:

DeJarnette, B.(2016) How to Scale Up Interactive Documentary in the Digital Newsrooms. Retrieved from: http://mediashift.org/2016/02/how-to-scale-up-interactive-documentary-in-digital-newsrooms/

Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism, a MacArthur Foundation Report by MIT. (2016) Retrieved from: Mapping the Intersection of Two Cultures: Interactive Documentary and Digital Journalism, a MacArthur

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