This contribution is aimed at discussing different current policies of convergence as well as questioning whether these exploit the opportunities of digital media to their full potential, especially with regard to transmedia storytelling, interactivity, participation and networking.Taking the portfolio of the ‘European Culture Channel’ ARTE as an example, I draw a sketch of existing and emerging industrial strategies as well as of new formats and user practices. In the second part of the article, I examine one specific genre within this context I look at the collaborative, networked transmedia documentary Prison Valley to consider transformations at both the macro and the micro level. Last but not least, I question whether ARTE fulfils its promise to be the first “100% bi-medial channel” (according to ARTE’s mission statement), or whether it promotes an ‘extended side-by-sideness’ of devices and practices, which would constitute the first steps towards the synergetic potential of media convergence.

Convergence, second screen, transmedia storytelling, web documentary, interactivity, participation
Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal
Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0)
VIEW Journal of European Television History and Culture; Vol 3, No 6 (2014); 78-94

Wiehl, Anna. (2014). ARTE: French-German Experiments in Crossing the Borders. 'One Media – Three Screens' Convergence and Interactivity at its Full Potential?. VIEW Journal, 3(6), 78–94. doi:10.18146/2213-0969.2014.jethc072