Multimedia ≠ Real Interactivity

Murdoch’s new product The Daily offers really cool multimedia projects but no web links, no contacts to the writers, no comments pages. Hey, it’s anti-Open Source and proud of it. So, we have a nationally targeted magazinish product that gives us all the multimedia we want without any interactivity.

Mashable calls The Daily a second-rate magazine, and notes that despite the hype, this product is not a good portal for breaking news. Here’s the ethical point: top-down-only media borders on arrogance. The Daily’s approach seems to say: “I, the journalist, know what you need to see and if I give you splashy enough toys then you will forget just how condescending I am being. Here, go play with this slide show.”

Sure, interactive reader comments include posts from folks who make inane claims, but that feedback also includes corrections and perspective …. and accuracy. Maybe crowdsourcing means writers filter through a flood of viewpoints, but that flood includes the real people impacted by events … and diversity. Those are just two interactive tools steeped in traditional journalism values. The Daily does offer 360 degree photos, infographics, creative maps and Twitter and Facebook posts. However, The Daily only lets users link to additional information within its own realm when clicking hot spots, and not to the web. Non-interactivity keeps the reader inside The Daily’s world as part of its financial model. No channel surfacing here. Despite Murdoch’s pledge to reinvent journalism, The Daily seems to be offering a 3D version of Newsweek. Maybe 3D will penatrate the news market just as it has films, but the advance of multimedia should not come at the expensive of interactivity. Why do we have an either/or proposition?

For all the new media bells and whistles, The Daily’s old media tendencies reduce the likelihood of its survival; the product only uploads once a day just like the old newspaper once landed on the front porch each morning. Nonetheless, The Daily model threatens Open Source news.

The actual media revolution will come when the innovative multimedia meets up with real interactivity and turns a profit. Interactivity by its nature must involve multimedia, but The Daily only proves that the inverse isn’t true. Multimedia offers great tools for news and storytelling. Interactivity is a value.

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One Response to Multimedia ≠ Real Interactivity

  1. Pingback: Micro-local meets HuffPost meets the World | Ethics and Social Media

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