The Transmedia Script for Nonfictional Narratives

The Transmedia Script for Nonfictional Narratives

Anahí Lovato (National University of Rosario, Argentina)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 18
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3781-6.ch014

Abstract

This chapter proposes a journey through an experience of transmedia journalism developed by the multimedia communication team at the National University of Rosario, Argentina, focusing on the transformation of the current media ecosystem, the characteristics assumed by transmedia storytelling in a nonfictional field, and the development of the transmedia script for the project Women for Sale, a transmedia documentary that addresses the trafficking of people for the purposes of sexual exploitation. The creation of a complex narrative universe and the definitions of stories, platforms, user experiences, and the execution of a transmedia project are analyzed in light of what has been learned in this experience of journalistic production.
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Transmedia Storytelling: A Brief Genealogy

Although a very popular term in contemporary communication studies, the term transmedia was not born in this century, and did not even come from the field of communication. In fact, the term transmedia can be traced back to the 1970s, when journalist Bernard Levin (1970) used it to title one of the chapters of his book The Pendulum Years: Britain and the Sixties. However, Matthew Freeman has identified narrative strategies developed even earlier, in the early 20th century, that today could be considered as belonging to the field of transmedia storytelling. Freeman took Frank Baum’s Land of Oz storyworld and its multiple texts and promotional tie-ins as a case study. This storyworld developed between 1900 and 1907 included the publication of a series of novels, plays, comics and mock newspapers (Freeman, 2014). In 1975, Stuart Saunders Smith, an American composer and instrumentalist, used the term transmedia to refer to a consensus-building methodology (Humphries, 1991). The transmedia works of Saunders Smith functioned as a set of notations arranged for the artists to become co-composers of the work. The open and collaborative spirit of transmedia was present in its original genetics (Lovato, 2016). In 1991, transmedia was applied to the study of social communication by Marsha Kinder (1991) to explain complex intertextuality phenomena in the media industry of children’s entertainment (Gosciola, 2012). These early conceptualizations paved the way for the development of transmedia storytelling, an area afterward profited by producers and experts, such as Brenda Laurel (2000), Henry Jenkins (2003), Jack Boumans (2004), Jeff Gomez (2012) and Carlos Scolari (2013), among others.

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