Transmedia journalism or when 1+1+1+1 = 1

Irene Da Rocha (Researcher) , Salvador Alsius (Instructor)

Topics: Production , Project

In this tipsheet we can find recommendations on how to include transmedia/crossmedia/multiplatform production routines into regular subjects in journalism teaching curricula.

The tipsheet refers to Recommendation no. 1 in the IJIE State of the Art analysis (Ten Tips Guide): “Develop training for cross­media platforms and collaborative work.
This can be done thanks to common editorial projects whether in internal laboratory newsroom settings or in collaboration with external media companies.”

First of all we should consider what is transmedia in journalism? Jenkins (2006) describes transmedia storytelling as, “an immersive participatory and inclusive narrative in which the different elements can be found scattered through different distribution channels,” which means coordination is key (Jenkins,2006). For a transmedia narrative to be considered as such, we estimate that some or all of the resources involved will have to assume the construction of a part of the story or narrative of a wider world and do it in the context of a cooperative relationship with other media (Scolari et al., 2010). The transmedia narrative progresses through the platforms thanks to the involvement of the audience, which becomes an accomplice of the authors.

Reassuring the background of these transformations, the European Journalism Training Association (EJTA) highlighted the following competences related to transmedia:

(I) Public Participation - Making use of user-generated content or knowledge, whether or not through social media or internet communities

(III) Product content - Navigation - Offering a relevant and reliable content, whether or not through in-depth research, and putting it in a meaningful context

(IV) Product form - Storytelling - Using narratives in an attractive and user-friendly way to knit together fragmented observations to construct meanings

(V) Platform - Cross-media - Dividing content over different media in the most effective way while stimulating interaction

Short description:

Taller Integrat de Periodisme (Integrated Journalism Workshop) is the most popular subject of the third year of the new degree. This subject gives the students 24 credits, it is worked on throughout the whole academic year and they do an in-person class assignment three mornings a week, aside from the work the do on their own at any day, at any time.

The physical classroom, where this activity takes place, is the Integrated Newsroom, where up to 80 students, all the third year Journalism students, can produce material on different platforms.

Each group/media is led by a specialised professor. There is also a team of “young professors 2.0”, who make sure there is a transverse coordination between the different production platforms. During the week there is constant contact between the representatives of the four groups, but there is one especially important event: an editorial board-like meeting where the professors come together with two students from each group to pool the tasks that they have been doing. This meeting contributes enormously to the achievement of appropriate coordination, a generous circulation of suggestions and, ultimately, to be able to talk knowledgeably about editorial integration.

Open Questions

When the conditions are not optimal, the best solution is to start by combining at least one traditional media and online, and then progressively keep adding the others. What is important is to prepare the mind-set of future graduates that they might work in any media.


LDShake platform for coordination

LdShake is a social-network oriented platform, originally raised to support teacher’s communities interested in sharing and co-editing learning designs: from resources or activities descriptions to teaching units.

LdShake provides the required authoring tools for the creation, co-edition and sharing of documents that serve as a starting point to work on a common theme from different perspectives. Besides text and image, these documents enable users to embed videos and audios, which also allows a cross-platform and multimedia connection (video, radio and both online and print press).

Download | Transmedia Journalism.pdf (103kb)

Transmedia Journalism