Movies, memories and magic making

October 26, 2008 at 2:05 pm (new age journalism) ()

Human beings naturally have stories to tell and that is what makes news so interesting.  There is a two-way system to this; people who have a story to tell and the people who want to tell it. This is how traditional journalism has always worked. But now journalism is not such an exclusive field and people can tell their own stories. The kind of technology that can be used allows a person’s story to be heard, not just by those who are present by anyone who has access to the internet.


People can now make their own media and are actively being encouraged to do this. A good idea? Well, I suppose that depends on the subject. It has to be subject that they have at least some knowledge about, or else the content could be dangerous and misleading to anyone who reads it.


Obviously everyone is entitled to tell their stories. And personal stories are always a safe bet. The technology that allows people to take old photos and clippings and use them to create a media story is a modern way to put together a collection of memories in one place and give the story teller a voice. As far as I’m concerned, this is harmless and can be an interesting insight into people’s lives from all across the world.


I don’t think that this is a pointless exercise, but the problem is that a lot of it is limited in its interest to other people. But to be interested in someone’s personal story depends a lot on the story, the individual and whether you have some kind of connection to it. It may give someone a voice but is anyone listening? To me, it does not seem like much more than people making home movies with their old photos, which may interest others more than myself.


In the case of multimedia story telling I suppose you could argue that it doesn’t matter, it’s more for the people who are producing it to be given the chance to create something that they are proud of and just to have the opportunity to put it out there for people to see if they wish, whether they do so or not. If it gives someone satisfaction and pride in their work then who am I to criticise?


If we apply the concept to the media as a whole however, I can see how it comes into more use for wider application. To gather old photos and clipping from an event that has spanned over many years, it can be a very useful tool. It gives newsrooms the chance to play with pieces of history and put them together in ways that fit in with the modern world. Take for example photos from the two World Wars or old elections where the photograph and basic film were the only mediums available. The news rooms can now take these and create them into a modern film to explain how and why things happened and to relate them to contemporary events that may have relevance.


The tools can bring the history to life, and if you choose the right subject it can be both a valuable learning and very enjoyable tool to use.


1 Comment

  1. egrommet said,

    This is one of the issues, how do we utitilise these tools and ideas as part of what we do?

    Your point about applying digital narratives to archives is a good one – but then how about actually finding someone who was involved in the issue to add the personal insight in the audio track. WE could explain it – but our Spitfire pilot or air raid warden would be far more insightful because they were there.

    Does it have to be a mainstream offer, could we have a sibling site dedicated to people wanting to tell stories and then highlight the best on our main portal.

    Can we take an audio interview with someone at the scene of an incident and set our images over the top.

    I agree they offer potential to add to what is done in a newsroom, the trick is to think about the different ways we could deal with it.

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