Sunday, November 25, 2007

media, transmedia storytelling and Journalistic innovation in a digital world

Here's a curious example of circular flows and personal mash up at play.

This article was first written for back in January 07 and was picked up by Communities Dominate Brands which has been generating renewed hits of late.

With an article annd video piece being prepped looking at this space, I have dumped the orginal piece here to re-audit.

What's changed since?

Well you decide?

The latest chapter of the 'what to do with broadband' soap opera is upon us but already it would appear the script is wearing thin.

Television Networks and publishers eager to enter and go beyond Web 2.0 are using it as a repository for repeats. At best meeting the need from 'cash rich, time poor' audience. At worst just plugging a nuisance gap: 'what do we do with this all this capacity?'

David: Some have responded e.g. Spooks sets of a whole phalanx of ideas - from clips to becoming an slueth. The networks have gone all web 2.0 space. See what your competitors are doing and copy.

There are echoes of satellite TV's grand arrival where an opportunity to broaden the news agenda and perhaps even diversify simply turned to the broadcast economics law of recycling for the sake of advertising returns.

Broadband's ever-expanding capacity offers scintillating prospects for innovation - it would be a great shame to waste it.

When it comes to made-for-broadband and mobile news and current affairs the UK has some catching up with the US.
D: Jay Rosen at a recent meeting of top flight journalist at the University of Central Lancashire says we're still behind.

Stateside the Washington Post is blazing a trail by hosting work by the award-winning Travis Fox.
D: One of our Masters students researching video online rang him up. He rang back. He's very nice she proclaims. Being a star shoudn't make you a tsar - as Travis proves

Other US leaders in the area include Mercury News' | Susanna Frohman, the New York Times , and

In the UK, there are some notables include and 18 Doughty Street - but we're only just off the blocks. It will be interesting to see what the soon-to-launch has to offer in this area.

It might be that it's non-news programming that is really showing us the future. As far back as 1999, the hit police drama Homicide ran a parallel online series - called Second Shift - on to add an extra dimension to its TV offerings.

Marketing Week reports there's a real economy for developing original broadband content that could be worth millions, nay billions by 2010.

It's not just a great idea for addicts of Homicide. It's mother network NBC then, like CBS now with hit show Jericho, was thinking of broadband in terms of 'platforming' - a personalised broadcast outlet with added value for the viewer beyond that of the original show.

Giving show life beyond the limitations of the broadcast shedule is something we're experimenting with here in the UK. By taking The Trouble with Black Men - a show originally run on BBC 3 television – I've tried to look at some of the 'adding value' possibilities of following up and replying to TV shows using the web.

When first aired, the show attracted harsh criticism. Broadband has offered us the opportunity to reply to the original show and continue the debate.

Broadbandcasting and
At is that reply. A film featuring MP Diane Abbot, former heavyweight boxer Lennox Lewis, Doreen Lawrence, Kwame Akwei and the film's original author. It's called The trouble with the Trouble with Black men - it reworks it and lets it go as a pod.

But broadband’s possibilities are more than just an offering of mash-up programming. It should become a first destination for UK video journalists.

British regional newspaper video journalists are having a go. Alice Klein, of Exeter's Express & Echo, got shortlisted on "Oh My Newsnight" after just two weeks' video journalism tuition. The Liverpool Echo's John Dempsey sold footage of crime stories, shot by staff, to the BBC and Granada.

D: Alice Klein has since joined the Daily Telegraph as one of the 10 super multimedia journalists picked from 800 applicants using all manner of tests e.g. psychometric etc

But these are isolated examples. For every idea that makes it, scores will go untouched.

This new-ish industry needs more champions, bodies willing to stir this burgeoning market, stimulate innovation, pool unseen talent and diverse opinions and present this new frontier as an opportunity rather than a threat to the status quo.

It's not that we lack innovation. It's just we don't know what to do with spare room yet.

No comments: