Narrative in Multimedia Journalism: an Analysis of Russian and Foreign Media Projects

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Denis G. Kachanov

Commentator, Editor at the Match TV channel, Moscow, Russia


Section: New Media

The article presents the results of an analysis of narrative techniques in multimedia journalistic projects. The study concerns the way various multimedia elements serve narrative issues in journalism. It focuses on the results of the narrative analysis and content analysis of 30 multimedia journalistic projects published on the websites of various media outlets during the period from 2014 to 2019. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods makes it possible to collect two types of data and compare them for a deep understanding of the subject under consideration. The study attempts to identify some general mechanisms of the narrative technique in multimedia journalistic projects. In the article, the author analyzes the presence of such elements as texts, photos, videos, animations, illustrations, audios, infographics, maps, timelines, quotes, design and navigation in multimedia projects and the way they function within the narrative. Seven narrative categories are used to examine the projects: narrator, subject (theme), plot, time, space, characters and conflict. The use of narrative techniques in the digital is related to the combination of different sign systems, the multimedia allows for detailed and visual storytelling. Audio-visual elements affect various perception channels and can transmit some aspects more correctly than verbal means. Authors in digital storytelling can transmit information in more detail and more visibly, it focuses on effective communication. Audio-visual elements help in creating images of the story, revealing the idea of the material and involve user in storytelling Narrative analysis has shown that photos and videos are the most important tools for describing characters and settings; maps and timelines contribute to the author’s zero focalization, also they visualize the space and time of the story; a cumulative plot is typical for the web-documentary format, and a chronicle plot for long read. Content analysis has shown that text is the main element and on average occupies half of the space in multimedia projects. At the same time, English-language materials have more visual elements than Russian-language ones, and they are more diverse in terms of design and navigation.

Keywords: multimedia project, multimedia journalism, narrative, narration, multimedia, narrative analysis, content analysis
DOI: 10.30547/vestnik.journ.1.2020.79101


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