Katja Schupp – Back to the future – interactive and immersive formats as an opportunity for non-fiction storytelling

Just ten years ago, interactive storytelling formats were the acclaimed panacea to access the highly contested market of younger recipients in the field of journalism and non-fiction. But despite award-winning productions sweeping success with users failed – to an extent that editors like Alexander Knetig of “arte creative” e.g. said in 2016: “I think (…) that concerning the future of the genre interactivity and non-linearity will no longer be the big buzzwords. … We have to be careful not to just go back to the classic video.“ Now immersive formats such as 360 degrees and VR productions are hyped within the non-fiction community. As ten years ago in the context of interactivity, design criteria for these productions currently are developed along the line of what producers perceive as the best possible immersion. But again, first user data reveal a gap between immersive production enthusiasm and reluctant, even skeptical recipients. In our session, we would like to discuss findings explaining the failure of success concerning interactive formats and try to transfer them to current questions in the context of the reception of immersive formats. Since we understand our research as a contribution closely linked to practical production, we suggest a project to collect data on the reception of immersive formats in the context of a design-thinking process. The aim is to find design criteria oriented to the needs of the recipients.

Katja Schupp
Katja Schupp is a professor at the Seminar of Journalism, Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz. Her main areas of teaching and research are audiovisual journalism, transformation and development of audiovisual formats, storytelling, mobile journalism, journalism and the public.