Phonar Task: Bending The Present (BTF )

The link to my response:

This second Bending The Frame (BTF) task was to frame the present as opposed to framing the past; I have already seen that next weeks task is to frame the future so I need to think of a response that directly addresses the situation in news right now. I wanted to encompass all the ideas of Ritchin and Mayes of the evolution of photojournalism and also the ideas from David Campbell on power and responsibility. In the last Bending The Frame Task I attempted to encompass the ideas addressed by the previous Phonar task particularly telling a story using sound so it seemed appropriate to base this week’s task on the current lecture content.

In previous university modules we have been introduced to the concept that a range of different resources can be used to research, even Facebook and Twitter can be valid for research as long as you can filter what you are reading. I wanted to build on this idea and to try and create a story that is based on research using online channels and it suddenly came to me that the perfect tool for this is Storify which I have been using to collate the notes for Phonar classes. Storify allows the user to bring in elements from a wealth of different wesbites such as Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Flickr and you can even embed a url you have found. With this in mind I wanted to construct a story on Storify that would draw in resources from all different websites to provide a more comprehensive view.

In terms of the story to choose the content didn’t really matter to however I am quite interested in Virgin’s attempt to commercialise space travel therefore I chose to cover the crash of their recent flight test. I created a story on Storify and then set out finding resources to put into the space of the story. First of all I used the embedding tool to start the story with content from BBC News and Sky News, I felt it was really important to begin the story with content from the more traditional gatekeepers of information as these resources are the ones that digital migrants would be most likely to go to first. After that I searched for resources on YouTube as Storify doesn’t just show a link but actually embeds the video file so the reader could choose to watch video content instead of reading. In reading around the subject of photojournalism it was drawn to my attention that TV/video is actually a resource that is threatening the conventional forms of media and as a result YouTube has flourished. Many YouTube videos get millions of views and most of these viewers are between 18 and 24, I felt it was important to include content that would mostly be seen by the youth.

Following this idea I included resources from Twitter and Facebook, which have become particularly prevalent in today’s social culture. Fred Ritchin touched on the concept of collective viewing where people would invest in one main narrative and feel prompted to discuss it with each other; to some extent this is seen on social media platforms such as Twitter. Twitter is a vast network of people interconnected with each other and if you like a thought from a person you can choose to either favourite it or retweet it, as the thought gets passed on from person to person the original tweet records how popular the idea is; this essentially reflects collective viewing of a particular tweet. It could be said that collective viewing and experiencing has not been lost however it has lost the physicality that Fred Ritchin was referring to. However in contrast this word-of-mouth communication can be considered as extremely localised, where Ritchin was concerned only people on that particular Subway carriage would be interacting about the story whereas on the internet using social platforms, collective viewing can be extended to the whole world. David Campbell reiterated the idea of collecting extensive amounts of context, surely interaction on a global scale hearing a range of international perspectives could be considered as a strong gathering of context.

I also used the Getty Images section on Storify as I felt it was important to include a ‘professional’ standard of image in my collection and Getty is a widely recognised photo agency. It was just as important to include images as well as texts, it is interesting to me which images start to occur more often in the articles are they are then produced and reproduced by many different outlets. In this case all of the imagery available to me was free however my choices might have changed if I was then confronted with a charge for the material I really wanted, with the focus on minimal expenditure in the economic market today some images get discounted because they are not free and editors have admitted to choosing free content even if it isn’t as effective.

There was a sense of narrative in my construction however I didn’t dedicated enough time for this first draft of the story to put a great focus on the narrative. I aim to revisit this experiment and investigate the story from start to finish to provide myself with the context behind this particular event as David Campbell recommends; as a first ‘draft’ this arrangement was proficient to ask the questions however for it to be an effective news story it needs more work on the narrative.


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