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New media narratives

Page history last edited by Martin Jenkins 14 years, 7 months ago

New Media Narratives


Digital storytelling is an emerging, contested, term.  It is generally recognised to have grown out of the approach developed by the Center for Digital Storytelling but does have now much wider interpretations and applications, beyond the workshop-driven personal narrative approach.  Miller (2008: xi) uses 'the use of interactive digital technology to tell immersive and participatory stories' as a broader definition, whilst Qiongli (2009: 230) also sees it as including narrative computer games, interactive stories and hypertext stories. 


These broader interpretations are also illustrated through the models of podcasting framework (see below) developed by the IMPALA project (Salmon & Edirisingha, 2008; Nie, 2007).  This framework places digital storytelling within a family of podcasting applications, illustrating how its definition is flexible and open to interpretation.  Digital storytelling can easily be seen as a form of podcasting; for example, what is the difference between a video-podcast and digital story, as both can be produced in MP4 format for playing through MP3/MP4 players?  However, such a comparison is focused on the 'product' when it is the 'process' of creating the story which is most important in the creation of a digital story.  Much of the focus in the podcast literature is on the generation of podcasts for learner consumption (Salmon & Edirisingha, 2008) while at the heart of the digital story is the principle of user generation.


It was Jason Ohler (Ohler, 2008: 16) who used the term 'new media narrative'.  Bringing together 'new media' and 'narrative' rather than 'digital' and 'storytelling' Ohler emphasises both the wide range of potential forms that this approach can be used for and that the final products can take.  The use of new media narrative he also suggests captures the 'decentralized spirit' of media production and consumption being available to everyone.  This trend toward non-professional creativity is increasing with Web2.0 technologies and leading to what Burgess (2006) calls a new ethic of amateurism.  The potential impact of Web2.0 technologies is briefly explored in Web2.0 Storytelling.



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