I’m intrigued by the concept of Transmedia Storytelling being outlined over on the EyeCube blog.

In particular I can’t help thinking that the model being successfully used in films, TV and video games could be adapted to aid newspapers in securing their long-term future?

The idea is that the creative process in fiction these days is enhanced by harnessing the input of fans. Such a concept could be used to good effect by newspapers.

The traditional product – the newspaper – still stands alone and proud. But with more titles experimenting with Web 2.0 and what opportunities it could open up, there might well be scope for newspapers to use the creative power and input of its readership to enhance the traditional product and create a potentially lucrative new niche for itself across more formats than the usual printed sheets.

It is so much more than the “come on” on the bottom of the story about car clamping – “Have you been clamped. If so then call our hotline on…etc” – or any other issue of the day. These have been used with varying degrees of success for a number of years, the time has arrived to move on.

My experience suggests that if your readership isn’t very big, such puff pieces rarely work.

So this concept could be a way of interacting with existing and potentially new readers more effectively and more constructively.

There would still be a role for trained journalists. There could always be a role for trained journalists, but the days of simply dictating to readers are either already over or on a very rapid countdown.

It is a slow process, however, and even persuading some journalists to respond directly to comments made about their pieces can be painfully protracted.

Journalists don’t always know best, neither do newspaper readers. But what happens if they come together more openly than ever before?

The Transmedia Storytelling concept obviously fits perfectly with fiction.

But there is a possibility for it to evolve to embrace the type of considered and well-presented information that newspapers, arguably, still provide in a far more accomplished and enjoyable way than any other media format.


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