Managing between design and journalism

Contribution for the 19th DMI: Academic Design Management Conference “Design Managment in the Era of Disruption”, London, 2.-4. September 2014

Christof Breidenich/Marlis Prinzing: In an era of disruption, multimedia storytelling is key to the challenge facing media, design and journalism, namely, reinvention. Multimedia storytelling is the combination of the strengths of the textual, visual and acoustic approaches. Based on the tensions between the different channels of perception, networked and interactive media offer a broad stage for journalistic storytelling, which is still often neglected. Competencies in design and journalism are merging, creating new user-oriented combinations reflecting the quality of the content and the experience. Consequently, publishers and media institutions must take up the processes and strategies of design management. In our research, we asked about the most useful approaches to multimedia storytelling, and how multimedia projects can be improved through transdisciplinarity. We explored journalistic multimedia stories on several topics (sports, politics, environment, culture, etc.) published in 2013, mainly on German language platforms, and developed a multi-method design: guideline-based interviews with scientific experts and practitioners with experience working on multimedia storytelling projects, and an online questionnaire administered to media users, in order to compare the needs, intentions and challenges. The widespread behaviour among newsrooms is to learn through trial and error, even if they conduct pioneering work.