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Transmedia storytelling and the young audience: Public service in the blogopshere era
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Center for Social Analysis (CESAM).
Halmstad University, School of Education, Humanities and Social Science, Center for Social Analysis (CESAM).
2012 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Convergence culture and the transmedial distribution of programming and other media services have created both opportunities and challenges for new kinds of audio-visual stories and formats. The licence-fee financed public service company Swedish television (SVT) has introduced a number of online services since the mid 1990s, when it started to use the web. At present a lot of effort and resources is invested in developing new web services and ensuring that its site is competitive. One challenge in order to survive in the new merchandised kid’s culture is to create a series that is appealing, not only in comparison to other commercial TV productions, but in comparison to other kinds of Internet services as well, such as YouTube, Facebook and gaming in general. The challenges facing public service companies today is in this paper placed alongside the current debates about the changing conditions for the media industry due to digital media. It deals with the increasing tensions between professionalism and amateur culture, where the latter is recognised by, for example, sharing collective intelligence, user-generated content and a publish then filter mentality (Jenkins, 2006; Shirky, 2008). Thus, the logic of convergence culture can be seen as the opposite of the logic of broadcasting in Western European nation states (Moe, 2008). The paper at hand examines how Swedish television, with its long tradition in public service broadcasting, chooses to position itself between these two colliding fields when entering the blogosphere in their aim to read the young audience, in this case through the production of the drama blog Vilma.se. The blog  exemplifies how a public service i) becomes a social medium, ii) uses previously existing social media, such as Facebook and YouTube, and iii) tries to increase its involvement through participation and personal communicative style. But, perhaps, even more importantly, this shift to convergence culture is linked to institutional reflexivity (Giddens 1991), where a media company with aspirations of having a share of the future market is forced to examine and reflect upon its own self-image, previous knowledge, traditions, habits, daily practices and organisational set-up. The paper critically reflect upon how a conversationalisation discourse (Fairclough 1989) is made use of through transmedia storytelling in the attempt to involve the young audience in new ways; evoking additional forms of expressions and meaning-making processes. But also certain beliefs and expectations from the young audience, who meet the drama blog with their own genre horizons, interpretative framework (cf. Potter & Wetherell 1987), which may not always go hand in hand with the producers’ intentions of the blog. The paper examines in particular the two interpretational stances among the young “Are you real?” and “Vilma actually is a real person” and its consequences on the perception of the site in terms of trust and authenticity.

The paper is based on interviews with producers at SVT and a discourse analysis of the drama blog.  In order to find out how the young people position themselves in relation to the specific blog at hand an expert panel of 30 12-year-old children was formed. This panel was interviewed a number of times during 2010 and 2011.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012.
Keyword [en]
public service, your audience, transmedia storytelling, blogosphere, involvement
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-21116OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-21116DiVA: diva2:588281
Conference
ECREA 2012, 4th European Communication Conference, 24–27 October, Istanbul, Turkey
Available from: 2013-01-15 Created: 2013-01-15 Last updated: 2017-04-27Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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