This article offers a first exploratory critique of digital tools' socio-technical affordances in terms of support for narrative creation by media researchers. More specifically, we reflect on narrative creation processes of research, writing and story composition by Media Studies and Humanities scholars, as well as media professionals, working with crossmedia and audio-visual sources, and the pivotal ways in which digital tools inform these processes of search and storytelling. Our study proposes to add to the existing body of user-centred Digital Humanities research by presenting the insights of a cross-disciplinary user study. This involves, broadly speaking, researchers studying audio-visual materials in a co-creative design process, set to fine-tune and further develop a digital tool (technically based on linked open data) that supports audio-visual research through exploratory search. This article focuses on how 89 researchers – in both academic and professional research settings – use digital search technologies in their daily work practices to discover and explore (crossmedia, digital) audio-visual archival sources, especially when studying mediated and historical events. We focus on three user types, (1) Media Studies researchers; (2) Humanities researchers that use digitized audio-visual materials as a source for research, and (3) media professionals who need to retrieve materials for audio-visual text productions, including journalists, television/image researchers, documentalists, documentary filmmakers, digital storytellers, and media innovation experts. Our study primarily provides insights into the search, retrieval and narrative creation practices of these user groups. A user study such as this which combines different qualitative methods (focus groups with co-creative design sessions, research diaries, questionnaires), first, affords fine-grained insights. Second, it demonstrates the relevance of closely considering practices and mechanisms conditioning narrative creation, including self-reflexive approaches. Third and finally, it informs conclusions about the role of digital tools in meaning-creation processes when working with audio-visual sources, and where interaction is pivotal.

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Sound & Vision
VIEW Journal

Hagedoorn, Berber, & Sauer, Sabrina. (2018). The Researcher as Storyteller: Using Digital Tools for Search and Storytelling with Audio-Visual Materials. VIEW Journal, (. 14), 150–170. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2018.jethc159