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How Interactive Media Tools Can Try to Address Issues of Traditional Television Media (Coursework Sample)


You will need to demonstrate familiarity with the issues surrounding your chosen media item and an ability to use a variety of primary and secondary sources.
• It makes sense to relate your proposal to your own chosen pathway (journalism, television, PR & advertising or radio). It should seek to identify implications for practice.
• Your proposal needs to fuse awareness of key theoretical issues and debates relating to your chosen medium and how they come to play in media practice. 
The proposal should comprise three distinct but interrelated parts: idea, theory, practice.


By Students name
Tutor: …………………...
University of…………….
Department of…………..
19th April 2016
News provides an outlook on major world events and digital news services play a significant role although the digital news platform fails to live up to its potential. The consumer wishes to have a say on when and how they wish to consume news products. This has given rise to interactive media platforms such as My-news-my-way, Google news, Socialife, Twitter etc. that try to address this issue. These platforms offer a different approach to traditional news services. They are able to combine news generated from professional editors and news outlets plus user-generated content.
The media are a fundamental power house that help to sustain a worthwhile universal sphere in modern societies. But this does not occur naturally due to influences from both the political class and the commercial establishment. This pressures interfere with what the media communicates daily to their engagers or viewers. One of the biggest victims to such pressures is the news. A large number of people have criticized the fourth estate for their lack of clarity and biased news that do not paint a fair view of world events. The news outlets have been cited for providing sensational headlines that are simplified without an in-depth look at the roots of the stories. The stories lack context and most news reports will focus on consequences and intentionally avoid to provide the background. The biggest receivers of such critique is directed towards television since they are arguably a critical medium in this setting.
Television possesses the unfortunate power as a channel of ethical aversion. They portray images that do not address the intentions behind certain actions but instead only present consequences e.g. at war time television will plaster corpses of people all over the media but will rarely point out who the war benefits (Lee, 2011; Ignatieff, 1985). As a consequence, TV news carry the responsibility for the established cynicism about humanity being at perils with itself and deemed to be beyond salvation.
To confront this position many have placed their expectation on interactive media (Downes and MacMillan 2000; Kiousis 2002). By interacting the society can employ material in a helpful way and can be able to participate in the news production cycle at par with the journalists (Gunter, 2007). Nevertheless, Scott (2005) did a study that portrayed online journalism with negative results. Online journalism can suffer from superficial topics which are repeatedly repackaged and are released instantaneously with no regards to ethics or context of the news articles.
The actions on the web have a significant impact on news coverage by the media. Bloggers have gone toe to toe with professional journalists with news articles that communicate different perspectives. Discussions on Facebook groups, WhatsApp and YouTube forums have built on knowledge debates that were previously the purview of the television journalists.
Interactivity should be viewed as a way that would greatly affect how news is produced and consumed. Most online news providers have this feature but in reality not many of them are fully utilizing this it (Chung, 2007; Deuze, 2003; Oblak, 2005). This is one of the things that My-news-my-way tried to address. This project was aimed at improving interaction and the engagement of news that is consumed by a viewer to. It questioned the traditional way of viewer interaction with news medium and was able to give the consumer power over what they wished to consume. These developments have also been experienced in other interactive platforms that try to empower the consumer to choose topics that interest them and additionally give them the power over when to consume and from what platform.
This proposal will try to address the issues that interactive media can help to solve that are recurrent in news narratives portrayed by traditional media outlets. It will outline the potential and limitations of how e.g. my-news-my-way (a Swedish interactive media experiment) has helped to generalize emerging patterns in news communication for interactive media. Finally, it will evaluate how interactive media has tried to solve the issues that are accustomed to traditional TV news’ narratives.
Theory and Practice
The My-News-My-way Project
This project has been undertaken under the supervision of New Millennium New Media which is funded by the EU. This project aimed at constructing a software production tool together with a conveyance mechanism that would move the consumer away from the traditional linear media (Lindstedt et al., 2016).. This would enable the customization of stories that are presented to the viewer. It would also enable shape shifting in programing structures and aid in the instantaneous modification of programming since the addition or removal of material would be real-time (Ursu et al., 2008). This project also aimed at altering the way news is produced and consumed. When developing a new news service, special consideration should be taken on the distinct characteristics of each news genre. For instance, the western world has grown accustomed to a certain structure of news programming and such structures need to be carefully considered when developing a new news medium.
Additionally, many individuals consume news on a daily basis. Some do it out of routine while others are pulled by the prospect of being able to learn something new. Therefore, this project needed to focus on such issues and still be able to make news articles meaningful and considerate to the context of the news report. This contextualization should not impede on the ritualistic nature of the news segment. The tool would empower the viewers to interact with the news stories and still offer an in-depth look into the background of the stories.
This project aims at improving the way people engage with news through a TV experience rather than a PC approach. It was based on three approaches namely, directness, consistency and simplicity. Many people at present day view the news through their computers or smartphones. The my-news-my-way approach tried to focus on the daily routines of individuals by aiming to improve on the living room experience especially in Sweden where the pilot of the project was conducted. This approach would improve the communal consumption of news and also improve on knowledge discussions of a news item. It would also improve the experience of watching news by making it feel like watching a program instead of viewing isolated and unrelated news items (Lindstedt et al., 2016).
A critical challenge to this project was the designing of an interactive function that would be easy to use. Many engagements with skilled and novel interactive users were conducted so that the views on how the user interface would function would be incorporated into the final design. This project incorporated both a television and internet usage e.g. Netflix and the developers settled on using a remote control user interface instead of a keyboard. This helped to market the product as similar to a normal TV set and thus easy to use. This goes together with the fact that a large number of individuals still enjoy watching images in a large screen format. Additionally, a considerable percentage of people still gather in front of TV sets in the micro-environment of a living room and this contributes to debates among the individuals gathered together (Yang and Grabe, 2011).
With the news genre losing touch with the younger viewers it is prudent to enable the audience to interact with the news stories (Patterson, 2007). The audience would be able to decide how they experience the news. My-news-my-way tried to see if this can be achieved without discouraging the older viewers who prefer professional journalism instead of user-based news articles.
Evaluation of the Project
The outcome of this project was considered positive by many professional journalists who praised the production tools that were integrated into the project. These tools would help improve the reach of news to the younger viewers. An experiment was conducted to ascertain the effectiveness of this new tool on the audience with each participant being interviewed after their interaction with the product. The concept of personalized news was appreciated by many and the remote control was an added advantage. Most registered an increase in personal experience as they consumed the news items. A large majority of the participants were optimistic that the offering of different perspectives of news items that one had access to would improve their likelihood of watching the news. Nevertheless, this project had a few shortcomings since only a small statistical group was used and thus results could not be fully conclusive. The study was also constructed by majorly young audience.
This study gave rise to certain questions that must be addressed for the future of news segments. The question of the importance of the news anchor was asked together with what the demerits of improved interactivity would bring. The my-news-my-way project showed that it lacked the traditional view of news and this could impact on the older audience (Tscheligi, Obrist and Lugmayr, 2008). The lack of a news anchor reduces the relationship a viewer has with a certain news segment. News anchors provide personalized news time since they would provide a warm welcome before introducing a news clip. Therefore, the experience of the viewer and the news item would lack human touch or empathy....
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