Making academic prototypes to explore locative journalism
Along with colleagues Lars Nyre has conducted a number of field trials of prototypes for locative journalism, based on GPS-position and Bluetooth beacons, exploring news writing and reading as well as radio production and listening. Nyre will summarize the insights from these projects and present his underlying “media design method.
About Lars Nyre
Lars Nyre is a professor of media studies at the Department of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen, Norway. Nyre’s main interests are phenomenology, technology theory and media design. Early in his career he wrote a macro-history of radio and musical recording. PhD about production and reception of sound media. This approach is summarized in Sound Media (2008). In the last years Nyre has collaborated with colleagues about building and testing complete media prototypes, and has published widely from these experiments. This research approach is described in the article “Media Design Method” (2014).
Nyre has been involved in four location-oriented prototypes for journalism. LocaNews (2009) explores location-sensitive local journalism, and the prototype was tested in the town of Voss in Western Norway. News copy was written for smartphones, with three different versions of the same story depending on proximity. See findings in “Locative journalism: Designing a location-dependent news medium for smartphones” (2012).
Amplifon (2014) was a proof-of-concept prototype exploring location sensitive radio news for public transport. Tests were made in Bergen along the Light Rail suburban train, and results are published in this open access article: “Designing the Amplifon. A locative sound medium to supplement DAB radio”. Auditor (2015) explores the felt immersiveness of micro-positioned storytelling in sound. The team made a multi-layered fictional sound narrative where the story space changes according to the movements by the listener, who wore noise-cancelling headphones. We monitored 42 users and are analysing their experiences. The experiment is presented in Norwegian in the web article «Lyd i bevegelse» (2015). Finally, NewsCloud (2016) is a prototype that explores the use value of presenting news as locative word clouds on smartphones. We are testing our prototype version with the newspaper Bergens Tidende, and have interviewed five editorial staff in the newspaper. We have evaluated an earlier version of the technology in «Word cloud visualisation of locative information» (2015). You can read more about NewsCloud in Norwegian here: “Newscloud –Ein app for avisredaksjonar?”.