Documentary has been so closely associated with the mediums of film and television that the emergence of new forms of documentary, made for computerized mediums such as the Internet, mobile phones and tablets appear fundamentally transformative. The potential for audiences to interact with documentary in various ways is at the heart of what makes these new modes of documentary distinctive; audiences are potentially able to engage in a range of practices from navigating virtual environments, to choosing video content from a database, taking part in ‘chat’ sessions and creating content. Engaging theoretically with these emerging audience practices raises questions about authorship and the social impact of documentary. In this paper, interactivity and participation are considered from a social perspective. It is suggested that there is a need to distinguish between user actions that impact on the documentary text and the ability of users to engage with others through documentary. The concept of documentary voice is interrogated to reveal two distinct dimensions: voice-as-authorship and voice-as-social participation. Drawing on documentary and digital media scholarship, this paper explores the social functions of documentary interactivity and participation with reference to a range of web-documentary examples.
Nash, K. (2014) “What is interactivity for? The social dimension of web-documentary participation”. In: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies Vol 18 Issue 3, Pp. 383—395, DOI 10.1080/10304312.2014.893995
Categories: Journal Article