News is a part of our daily lives. I remember a time, not so distant past when newspaper used to be the most essential serving on our breakfast table. Also at 9 PM, the only thing that would play on our televisions sets was news. This was a time when words like digital magazines, online news, gamification, transmedia storytelling were a luxury of the highly intellectuals. The way news is told these days has drastically changed. News telling and consumption has come a long way in a very short period of time, from print paper & television broadcast to digital platforms.
When we look at transmedia storytelling there are essentially four important components to it, namely, the story, the technology platform, the audience and the experience. Before I get into extrapolating the news telling and consumption concept based on above four key components lets look at the various steps in which I normally consume news these days.
- I get a breaking news notification through several mobile applications loaded on my phone. That is one of my first touch points.
- I immediately open twitter to go to the trending section and get a gist of what the news is all about.
- I open my television to go to various online news channels and get the live news coverage. Most of the news channels will already be promoting a hashtag of their own and asking its audience to present their views on social media using their hashtags.
- Then I message a few of my close family and friends informing them of this news occurrence.
- By this time my WhatsApp is flooded with news clippings and memes, which is again consumed and reshared.
- Then I go to twitter again and see what people are actually talking about this news. I also make sure to see what the important public personalities or celebrities are tweeting about it, and if they are not tweeting about it then how they are being condemned for not having a point of view.
- I also tend to go and see what spur has the event created on Instagram. Do my virtual friends already know about it?
- If the event is major, then there will also be a phone call or two to discuss the same.
- Then I go back on twitter or Instagram or other platforms that I use to present my own views trying to be politically correct.
P.S: We discontinued our Tata Sky connection and print newspaper long time back and all our news consumption is online. This is not just a mere personal occurrence, but a paradigm shift worldwide.
So essentially the various medias or touch points in my cycle of news consumption will be News mobile application – Television – Twitter – Whatsapp- Instagram – Phone call. It is no longer a one way communication where a certain event is reported. Instead, it has become an entire exercise where people participation has become a new normal.
Story: The news which is now not just a ‘fact based’ story. It has many speculations and opinions giving rise to the sub plots or small stories (read rumours) on the side giving additive comprehension to the main story.
Technology platform: Technology platforms in this case are news websites, mobile applications, social media, chat messengers.
Audience: The trans media concept here captures the user attention wherever the audience is present. If they are not watching the television, then social media, if not social media then one messenger or the other. The news consumption has diversified into user interacting and engaging with the story on multiple platforms, jumping from one to another.
Experience: The whole experience of a a fact based news is converted into a more engaging story telling and consuming experience where the user will try and find more about. Also, the control lies with the audience on how much they which to consume the particular news.
Right now, transmedia storytelling is a label given to a way of communicating a story or an idea across multiple media platforms because it is still a relatively new concept but soon this will be ‘the’ way of telling any story and would just be called storytelling.