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date: 20 April 2019

Digital Resources: DocuMedia Projects in Argentina

Summary and Keywords

In the current media ecology, audiences are constantly tempted by many types of content scattered across connected platforms. Since cultural goods consumption is a practice that now takes place in a constant flow across different platforms, news and documentary narratives must take advantage of the malleability of digital language to engage citizens. Narratives change according to the dominant intellectual technology of the time. In this way, oral narratives are different from printed media and the transmedia storytelling that digital communication promotes.

DocuMedia: Social Media Journalism is a series of interactive documentaries developed in Argentina at Rosario National University to bring users new narratives of local interest around journalistic research topics. DocuMedia is the result of crossing documentary, investigative journalism, and data journalism techniques with a focus on users’ participation and the expansion of narrative plots. DocuMedia projects are an example of location-based storytelling, that is, a narrative that stems from hyperlocal space and place and operates as a device of constant social reconstruction. In these experiences, memory is understood as the meanings that citizens share and, above all, develop as a social practice, through which identity is expressed and shaped.

The fifth DocuMedia project, Women for Sale: Human Trafficking with Sexual Exploitation in Argentina, was launched in 2015 and took on the challenge of making the leap from multimedia journalism to transmedia journalism. The transmedia framework for Women for Sale included a webdoc, or interactive multimedia documentary, a serial graphic novel of five episodes (print and digital version), posters on the street with augmented reality interaction, short videos projected on indoor and outdoor LED screens, television spots, a collaborative map, a television documentary, mobisodes, the e-book What Happens Next? Contributions and Challenges for the Reconstruction of Rights of Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Victims, and a social media strategy designed to share information about trafficking in Argentina and to call community to action.

Keywords: transmedia storytelling, transmedia journalism, social documentary, interactive documentary, documedia, location-based storytelling, UGC, audience engagement, media ecology, digital media

The Prevalence of Nonfiction Transmedia Narratives in Latin America

Journalism and documentary are both methods of reporting facts. Nonfiction content can also be expressed in scholarly essays and other educational formats. Arnau Gifreu-Castells suggests that intersections among these formats and genres allow for more attractive dissemination of content to users who traditionally prefer fiction (movies, television series, novels, etc.).1 The imaginary and fictional worlds are appealing because authors are adept at utilizing narrative elements to seduce the spectator. Turning the news into games (Newsgames), bringing to light huge secret investigations (documentaries based on journalism), building up alluring visual reports, and generating immersion with 360-degree videos are some of the strategies that can be effective in making stories more attractive and influential, broadening the reach of interactive and transmedia .

The creation of interactive documentaries coincided with the expansion of digital media and information technologies and the birth of digital journalism. At the beginning, productions were multimedia or hypermedia and these terms were frequently used as synonyms. Although “multimedia” strictly refers to any system that handles multiple media, it may be considered as a subset of hypermedia. ”Hypermedia” alludes to building information pieces made up of nodes of various media (such as text, audio, video, etc.) that are connected by associative links.

The interactive documentary is an emerging genre in which some researchers, mainly from United States and Europe, are contributing with new theories. However, there is no canon as such, because the first in-depth studies were done only at the start of the 21st century. In the 1980s, big laboratories often related to universities that held important budgets could experiment with the unknown field of interactive documentaries.

Throughout history, humans have created tools for thinking and have designed new practice, that is to say, new ways of doing things. These tools are constitutive dimensions of every society. Accordingly, digital technologies may be thought of as languages, that is, perceptive organizers that favor new ways of acting. In essence, digital technologies are a new language people use to tell stories.

Stories are a way of using the language and, consequently, a way of organizing people’s experiences. Narratives are the stories people tell each other. People probably act according to these narratives. There are mythological stories and others that seem like opinions and comments coming from everyday knowledge and popular wisdom, such as folk tales and proverbs. All cultures have these popular poetics.2

The world humans live in implies that it is mostly built according to storytelling rules and mechanisms, that is, the world and the actions of its inhabitants are meaningful because humans continue telling stories, using the narrative way of building reality.

Whenever new intelligence technologies arise, storytelling changes. Narratives change according to the dominant intellectual technology of the time. Oral narratives are different from printed media and the transmedia stories that digital communication fosters.

As Henry Jenkins has pointed out, transmedia was not a paradigm or a movement, but rather a provocation—a recognition of the increasingly networked relationship between various media sectors and platforms and in particular, a model of media audiences that valued tracking down and discussing scattered bits of information. These insights led to various experiments in what transmedia experiences might be like.3

The exploration of transmedia narratives produced in Latin American countries shows a tendency toward documentaries over fiction. This phenomenon the opposite of what occurs with mass media in Latin America, where fictional genres have stood out among other cultural productions. Consequently, the new media ecology operates as a global impact system in which content is out of the strict control of the government or the industry and may report the real economic, cultural, and political situation of the region. Countries such as Argentina, Brazil, and Colombia share an interest in social environment, childhood, ethnic groups, and other cultural and scientific topics when producing transmedia narratives. These productions are different from European ones, which usually deal with fiction transmedia storytelling.

Carlos Scolari explains that, unlike journalism, where the web and digital technologies were mainly considered a threat, documentary makers adopted the possibilities offered by interactive and collaborative environments early on. In the domain of documentaries, we can find some of the most complex and suggestive examples of transmedia narratives, either commercial works with informative goals or works looking for social transformation.4

DocuMedia: Social Media Journalism is a series of interactive documentaries developed by #DCMteam Producciones Transmedia, a production team belonging to the Rosario National University. Its aim is to bring citizens new narratives of local interest built around journalistic research topics. DocuMedia is the result of blending documentalism, investigative journalism, and data journalism techniques with a focus on end users’ participation and the expansion of narrative plots. These plots cover a huge range of topics that may be of interest to historians of Argentina and other Latin American nations.

Hyperlocal Social Transmedia Documentaries

Since 2008, the Multimedia Communication Department has published five productions in the DocuMedia series. The first four were multimedia projects.

  • Vibrato: Escuela Orquesta del Barrio Ludueña (Vibrato: Orchestra School of the Ludueña Neighborhood; 2008): This project narrates the experience of the Orchestra School, a pedagogical and cultural project that has managed to transform the existence of many children and adolescents living in vulnerable conditions.

  • Peligro: Obras en Construcción (Danger: Works under Construction; 2009): This project reviews the problems generated by the construction boom in Rosario, the serious situation of the residents affected by these works, and the precarious safety conditions of the workers in the sector.

  • Migraciones: Humedales del Río Paraná (Migrations: Wetlands of Paraná River; 2011): This documentary delves into the socioenvironmental situation of the wetlands in front of Rosario city, or what the locals call “the island.” A two-year journalistic investigation utilizes immersive journalism by introducing the viewer into the wetland environment and takes advantage of the absence of government interventions. Different routes are proposed through a variety of multimedia resources (videos, sound registers, image galleries, text and audio chronicles, digital infographics) to reveal the condition of fishermen, people living in the wetlands, fauna expelled from the wetlands due to agricultural exploitation and livestock that destroys biodiversity..

  • Calles Perdidas: El Avance del Narcotráfico en Rosario (Lost Streets: The Advance of Drug Trafficking in Rosario; 2013): This project investigates the drug trafficking business in the neighborhoods of Rosario. Neighbors to the south, west, and north of the city were caught in the crossfire of drug gangs, which led to millionaire collections and a spiral of violence that involved bands of young armed men fighting for territory, power, and tiny portions of the profits. The project investigates drug production and circulation, the social actors involved, the police and political responsibility, and the impact of narcotrafficking in Rosario.

The fifth project of the DocuMedia series, Women for Sale: Human Trafficking with Sexual Exploitation in Argentina, was launched in 2015. Unlike previous projects, Women for Sale took on the challenge of making the leap from multimedia to transmedia journalism.

Henry Jenkins has defined transmedia narratives as stories that are developed through multiple media platforms in which each new element in the narrative structure makes a specific and valuable contribution to the whole story.5 Such expansion of stories through transmedia formats may perfectly combine elements of the narrative world that take place on- and offline, using new media but also incorporating traditional media and resignifying their function within the narrative plot.6

In this context, each piece involved in a transmedia project entails a singular form of mediation. These projects expose different forms of reception and models of appropriation, transforming the original work into derivative works. That is why, to a large extent, the key to the development of a transmedia project is to analyze and understand what each medium can do best and detect its potential, its strength, and possible ways of connecting with other platforms to expand the narrative experience.7

A transmedia production seeks to create a storyworld accessible through a matrix that combines digital and traditional media. In these stories, each piece is added to the main narrative. There is a multitude of entry points to the storyworld of a transmedia franchise. The relationship with the public is always reinforced by the creation of a consistent canon that maintains the integrity of a complex world.8

Such theoretical principles around transmedia storytelling were applied in the development of #DCMteam productions.

The Structure of Transmedia Social Documentaries

The transmedia framework for Women for Sale included the following elements.

  • Webdoc: This interactive multimedia documentary was organized into five chapters: “Recruitment,” “Trafficking Routes,” “Operation,” “Rescue,” and “Get Involved.” Users learned the stories of four trafficking victims—Vanessa, Zulma, Elizabeth, and Natalia—and heard testimonies from experts, activists, officials, and members of organizations fighting to end crime. The webdoc also reported facts linked to human trafficking for sexual exploitation.

  • Serial graphic novel of five episodes (print and digital version): Women for Sale: Journalism in Vignettes was a graphic novel in five volumes. It tells the story of Sofia, a teenager who manages to escape from a trafficking network that tricked her into leaving Paraguay and going to Buenos Aires where she would be sexually exploited. The text included information on the verdict in a case judged in Rosario in 2012. The novel was published as a series in the weekly journal El Eslabón.

  • Posters on the street with augmented reality interaction: Assuming territoriality as a possible form of narrative, a street campaign was incorporated that included seventy-five posters distributed throughout Rosario. The posters aimed to get citizens involved in the fight against trafficking. In addition, the posters hid a message in augmented reality that passersby could discover by downloading the application on their mobile devices. The campaign began on February 15th and was available for a month.

  • LED on the street: As part of the framework for the transmedia documentary, different messages were produced for different contexts. In this sense, for the territorial campaign, short videos were developed, designed to be projected on indoor and outdoor LED screens. One of the chosen screens was located at the corner of Pellegrini Avenue and Paraguay Street, a junction of two busy streets full of cars, pedestrians, and urbantransport lines from Rosario. In addition, a video was created using motion graphics techniques to be projected on the indoor LED screens located in the Alto Rosario shopping corridors. Making the most out of the consumption context typical of a shopping mall, the message of these videos aimed to emphasize that trafficking networks and their “clients” consider women as merchandise. The campaign on LED screens began on February 15th and was available for a month.

  • TV spots: Television micros were designed with the aim of raising awareness of the problem of human trafficking and sexual exploitation and ways to contribute to crime prevention and denounce situations related to trafficking. These pieces of communication are of short duration issued by Channel 3, an on-air channel of Rosario (Argentina) that, thanks to its antennas, reaches the population south of Santa Fe, north of Buenos Aires state, and part of Córdoba and Entre Ríos.

  • Collaborative map: The transmedia proposal included the production of an open collaborative map that was constantly updated, where all users could freely add data in relation to the crime of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Argentina. Specifically, the map provided information on missing women, rescued women, and places where brothels functioned.

  • TV documentary: A twenty-six-minute documentary was broadcast on Channel 3 in Rosario. Through the stories of victims, experts, and public officials, the documentary delved into the complex web of human trafficking for sexual exploitation in Argentina, which involves conspiracy, gender-based violence, and the role of “customers.”

  • Mobisodes: The DocuMedia project about sex trafficking also included short videos of up to three minutes in length that were meant to be watched on mobile devices and to be consumed anytime, anywhere. The series of mobisodes consists of five videos that addressed issues such as forms of deception and recruitment of victims; Marita Verón’s trial and the fight undertaken by her mother, Susana Trimarco; the debate between abolitionist and regulatory positions on prostitution; the problem of the social reinsertion of rescued women; and the place of sex education in the fight against trafficking.

  • Social media: A social media strategy was designed to establish links among various narrative media, with the intent to call community to action, share information about trafficking in Argentina, and distribute content specifically designed for Twitter (@mujeresenventa) and Facebook.

  • E-book: The last piece of the transmedia storytelling involved an e-book, What Happens Next? Contributions and Challenges for the Reconstruction of Rights of Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation Victims. Based on a collective work, this publication brought together voices from different actors who provided assistance to victims of human trafficking. Specialized officers from national agencies, professionals and members of nongovernment organizations, and political and judicial actors all contributed text and ideas. The multiplicity of voices and their heterogeneity made valuable contributions to this book based on concrete trajectories in the reconstruction of rights violated by human trafficking mafias. The book also focused on the challenges that Argentinean society must overcome to build new horizons of life and hope for rescued victims.9

The following projects are examples of other Latin American interactive/transmedia documentaries that use similar resources and platforms.

Proyecto Walsh (Walsh’s Project; 2011): This project follows an experimental journalistic design that traces in real time a parallel route to the investigative journalism process that stemmed from the book Operación masacre (1957). This piece includes a book, a website, social media, and a video. Author: Alvaro Liuzzi (La Plata National University).

Malvinas 30 (Falklands 30; 2012): This is a real-time simulation of mass media narratives during the Malvinas War, also known as the Falklands War of 1982. This transmedia production includes social media, a website, letters, and photos supplied by users. Author: Alvaro Liuzzi

Cuentos de viejos (Elders’ Stories; 2012): This is a television collaborative documentary and an interactive online platform with animated stories from Colombia, Argentina, Spain, and Mexico that deal with education, history, politics, and other social topics. Authors: Marcelo Dematei, Carlos Smith, Laura Piaggio, and Anna Ferrer.

#Voto83 (2013): This is a special production by the newspaper La Nación that allows users to experience in real time the 1983 campaign in Argentina, when democracy was arriving after military dictatorship as well as experiment 1983 electoral environment. This transmedia production includes the newspaper multimedia and archive content, social media, and, most important, Twitter posts. Authors: Alvaro Liuzzi, Juan Diego López, Rodrigo Santos, and Florencia Fernández Blanco.

4 Ríos (4 Rivers; 2014): This is a transmedia project that narrates stories about the armed conflict in Colombia through various platforms and allows users to take part in it. This transmedia production includes an animated short film, an online interactive graphic novel with documentary contents, a printed graphic novel including augmented reality, and other mobile content.

Location-Based Storytelling

Women for Sale was not the team’s first transmedia experience. In 2013 they launched Behind the Footsteps of the Beast Man, a documentary project that included a TV documentary, online minisodes, social media stories and microblogging, online games, journalistic chronicles for newspapers and digital media, augmented reality, urban territorial interventions, and participatory and playful actions designed to allow users to expand the story using the city as a large hypertext screen.

In fact, Behind the Footsteps of the Beast Man was developed:

as a retroactive transmedia project. It was a narrative universe constructed from an earlier homonymous work: a documentary for TV released in 2011. By contrast, Women for Sale (2015) is a pro-active transmedia project: It was designed from a transmedia perspective from the beginning. Methodologically speaking, from the point of view of the script, this condition modifies the forms of construction of the narrative world. The project is presented as a blank canvas on which to draw the narrative lines, determine the set of experiences that will be offered to users, select the platforms that will tell the story and organize the tasks and deadlines necessary for the story’s execution and launch.10

Behind the Footsteps of The Beast Man and Women for Sale put into play narrative strategies that should be included in the concept of spatial narratives (location-based storytelling, i.e., narratives based on places). These narratives can be defined as experiences in which a story develops from the real links with the physical space. As Clara Boj and Diego Díaz wrote, “The story is constructed and developed in relation to physical places through which we have to travel to access the different parts of the story.”11 Certainly this means leaving the established screens and the “white cube” of the galleries to develop a narrative about the urban environment where different media converge.

A narrative that stems from space and place operates as a device of constant social reconstruction, where memory is understood as the meanings that are shared and developed as a social practice, and through which identity is expressed and shaped.12 It is through action on the environment that people and social groups transform the space and leave their mark. These are traces that are symbolically charged and this is how actions assign individual and social meaning to spaces through interaction processes.

This concept is linked to the dual model of appropriation, which is based on two ideas: action-transformation and symbolic identification.13 The former is linked to territoriality and personal space while the latter is related to affective, cognitive, and interactive processes through which individuals and groups are recognized in the environment.

Actions of citizen intervention thicken transmedia stories and allow serendipity of search and discovery on an urban narrative board.14 The street projections are a clear example of this. Their power lies in the simplicity and impact of the form. When using the street as a narrative canvas, the possibilities are endless.

In regard to the transmedia documentary, territorial navigation is a new narrative category developed by Denis Renó. It includes projects with content spread around the city and carried on different devices. The projects achieve citizen’s participation in both virtual and territorial environments.15

Location-based stories get citizens involved in a more intense way. They are holders of rights such as acting and making free will decisions and creating cultural assets. Citizens take part in the communicational process, promoting interactions related to public space. They transform the city into a transverse narrative platform capable of reconstructing public discourse from multiple perspectives.16 The city thus becomes an interactive board that offers multiple looks beyond its epidermal memory, turning social, political, and cultural memory, which is inaccessible to the vast majority, into something intelligible and participatory.17 The traces of this perspective could be located as an identity mark on this type of communicational project.

The expanded narratives of location-based stories incorporate actions in the urban space that use, exhibit, resume, update, and recontextualize content produced for virtual environments where the participants interact. In addition to digital interaction there is territorial interaction, which gets participants involved in new environments.

Any transmedia narrative proposal that seeks to meet with participative audiences should consider the centrality of the fourth screen in the distribution and consumption of content. Likewise, it is essential to reflect on brief narrative formats that can be adapted to the micro-pauses or leisure bubbles that flood our daily activities.18 Addressing the features of the device and the citizen’s consumption habits are essential requirements for the production of adapted narratives.

The collaboration of production team members is an important element of these projects as they build microhistories that interweave the stories into a kind of narrative kaleidoscope that makes up the diegetic universe of the narrative. Projects such as #40veintucuatros (#40twentyfourth; 2016) and (Des)iguales ((Un)Equal; 2016) were great examples of collaborative story-building.

#40veintucuatros is a collaborative documentary that includes every piece of material registered by the participants of a demonstration in Rosario that recalled forty years of the coup d’ètat of March 1976, during which thousands of people disappeared. After forty years of the military dictatorship, Argentinian society decided to judge the responsible ones and recover detention centers to turn them into memorial museums. The project attempted to reassert the slogan “nunca más” (never again).

(Des)iguales ((Un)Equal) is a transmedia documentary project that accounts for social, political, and economic inequalities that occur in Latin America. It raises awareness of the differences that each country holds and that function as a point of unity between the diverse societies. In this case, territoriality involves public urban spaces as well as new narrative platforms where audiences might participate and join in an immersive experience.

Transmedia Documentaries: A Response to New Audience Demands

In the present context of technological and social changes, once-captive audiences have scattered into a dispersed mediascape. Internet use in Argentina rose 15 percent between 2013 and 2017 according to the National Survey of Cultural Consumption elaborated by the Argentinian National Ministry of Culture.19 It is now expected that the Internet’s penetration will soon be similar to that of TV (98%). According to the survey, 80 percent of Argentinians use the Internet and 63.5 percent are connected at home. Almost 50 percent of people who do not use the Internet are over sixty-five years old because they have not learned how to use it yet. Internet use is also related to cell phone usage. In 2013 just 9 percent of citizens had a mobile Internet connection whereas in 2017 more than 70 percent of all people are connected every day via smartphone.

The exponential growth of digital cultural contents, thanks to Internet expansion and the portability given by widespread mobile use, is giving rise to a type of quick consumption of brief content. In short, the current stage is characterized for being mobile, multiscreen, and visual. Citizens have adopted with ease the new mobile media for content consumption. Transmedia narratives emerge as structures that can help creators to build content for all platforms and to reach new audiences.

Taking this context into account, transmedia narratives meet the demands of a change in the relationship that citizens, particularly adolescents and young adults, establish with different types of content. As Kevin Moloney described in his thesis Porting Transmedia Storytelling to Journalism, the communication model that shapes all media has irrevocably changed.20 Currently, journalists and media organizations work in a many-to-many, networked information economy. Mass media are no longer the sole source of news for a public that is dispersed through a wide and varied mediascape. Just a few years ago, a news organization could depend on a captive audience, but now it must attract a willing, if not quite eager, one. Content creators no longer wait for the public to come to them. They seek out the public where it has gone, connect with it on its own terms, and give it a reason to pay attention.

This phenomenon is related to the incidental consumption of news. In recent research findings about cultural consumption, Pablo Boczkowski and Eugenia Mitchelstein explained that young people from eighteen to thirty years old read the news as a secondary practice while they are monitoring social media.21 They do not look for news, instead they stumble upon news at the same time they are consuming their friends’ funny gossip and photos of travels, animals, or meals.

During the 20th century, media consumption practices took place in a relatively fixed space and time, such as at home, but also places like coffee shops or on public transport. They used to be organized around daily domestic and public activities. Incidental news means a change in the way citizens face current affairs, that is, the access to information is no longer an independent activity but a way of sociality in new media. Citizens seek information many times a day in short bursts of time and news consumption occurs spontaneously rather than as a routine practice.

Transmedia journalism/documentary is still in early stages of exploration and development in terms of creations that can result from the possible hybridizations of formats and genres. At present, there are no clearly defined limits for this type of narrative. When interactive and transmedia documentary appeared, it borrowed attributes from other media and genres due to its lack of identity and constitution as an independent genre.

The consolidation of transmedia journalism/documentary has a long way to go because this early phase in Lain America still needs to be institutionalized. Standardization would result from the coming together of all the agents and professionals involved in new narratives, such as journalists, filmmakers, big data experts, and programmers. The institutionalization will take place only if culture and market are generated around the new way of communicating news and relevant social topics that engage citizens.

Technological hybridization has introduced many changes in the field of documentaries: democratization related to the ways of producing them (i.e., DIY [do it yourself]); the active role of audiences; new collaborative architecture funding; the transformation of narrative models that can be interactive, transmedia, and co-creative; and the emergence of new ways of consuming them with the appearance of original distribution formulas and the exploration of ludic resources.

In addition, as compared to other storytelling resources, transmedia narratives are able to create the conditions for social action because they offer a place between the real world and alternative ones. This is accomplished via gamification and is especially true for young people who need motivation to consume news developed with other languages characteristic of digital media.

When reflecting on the future of transmedia journalism, an important factor that needs consideration is that this type of news/documentary production is developed outside the mainstream cultural industry in Latin America. Rosario National University has decided to take on the challenge of innovation and narrative experimentation in the field of nonfiction, with the aim of bringing to the citizens a series of transmedia stories of social relevance in which the protagonists themselves can take control to transform their environment. Citizens who live and go through the stories are the key actors who will extend the experience beyond its imaginary limits.

Discussion of Related Research Tools

In response to the problem of keeping scattered audiences between the ages of sixteen and twenty-four in front of any kind of screen for over half an hour, the entertainment industry began exploiting an innovative way of storytelling based on the development of digital platforms that allowed the convergence of all media. The idea was to experience entertainment in different formats, media, and times: to watch anything you want at any time you want.

In 2003, Henry Jenkins coined the term transmedia storytelling in the middle of a meeting with entertainment professionals.22 As Scolari has pointed out, little time passed before this concept was adopted by many Hollywood producers who began to speak of a narrative strategy that, apart from expanding fictional worlds across different media and platforms, also appreciated fans’ participation in that expansion.23 Through their access to online networks and digital interactivity, new media users were more empowered than ever to participate and collaborate in content creation and circulation.

In the present media ecology, Jenkins has distinguished content distribution from content circulation.24 Mass media are based on content distribution decided by the entertainment industry. Meanwhile, content circulation is a hybrid system in which users also decide which contents to spread or create and spread. In this way, all kinds of content, both amateur and commercial, become more visible.

User-generated content (UGC) has emerged as an important topic in the transmedia storytelling research field. UGC includes all content available in social media and online platforms that is created and disseminated by one or various amateur users.25 As a result, there seems to be completely new work or content adapted from previous versions. These works are often extremely creative.

Remix is one a main content creation grammar in networks. Memes are an example of remix that young people create or appropriate and spread via social media. Other examples are booktubers, YouTubers, fans who download subtitles of TV series and share them with other fans, young people writing 140-word tales on Twitter, and so on.26

One of the main elements in this vast transmedia field is the creation of experiences in both digital and analog environments. In this way, barriers between the physical and digital world are eliminated, which leads to shared identities where the emotional dimension favors subjective and social change actions.27

Transmedia storytelling has moved from fiction to nonfiction, giving rise to transmedia journalism and transmedia documentary, among other fields. In Argentina, after producing two multimedia documentaries—Documental blogs y periodismo (2007) and Documental redacciones online (2009)—Alvaro Liuzzi got into transmedia projects that recreated Argentinian historical facts. The result was two transmedia documentaries: Proyecto Walsh (2010) and Malvinas 30 (2012).28

Carlos Scolari, who graduated from Rosario National University and is now working at Pompeu Fabra University, has long studied digital technology interfaces linked to different cultural processes. In 2012, Scolari and Mario Carlón, an Argentinian researcher in the field of Semiotics, published Colabor_arte. Medios y artes en la era de la producción colaborativa.29 This book brings together researchers from Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Spain who deal with collaborative productions in the field of artistic and media creation. The book includes an article written by Rodrigo Alonso, an Argentinian researcher specialized in contemporary art and new media, that specifically addresses documentaries: “New Tendencies in Interactive Documentaries: Navigation as a Narrative Paradigm.”

In 2013, Scolari published Narrativas transmedia: Cuando todos los medios cuentan, which was mainly intended for professional communicators such as journalists, documentary makers, and screenwriters.30 This book examines the main transmedia narrative products in the field of fiction and nonfiction and then draws on a review of users and fan community productions to finish with new branding and crowdsourcing strategies.

To a certain point, the concept of transmedia narratives has been overused to deal with projects that do not include the main characteristics of transmedia storytelling. Nevertheless, there are many possibilities for continuing the development of transmedia narratives in the field of social documentaries where citizen engagement is crucial to bringing a hyperlocal point of view.

Currently, many questions remain unanswered. For example, how to improve the multiple abilities required to deal with different languages and how to build interdisciplinary professional teams in which journalists, software engineers, computer experts, graphic designers, audiovisual communicators, and others can work together to ensure viable and high-quality work.

Alejandro Rost’s Blog: Periodismo Transmedia de la Patagonia.

Alvaro Liuzzi’s Blog: Documentales Interactivos y Narrativas Transmedia.

Carlos Scolari’s Blog: Hipermediaciones.

Cultural Information System in Argentina.

Estudio de Comunicación en Medios Sociales, Facultad de Ciencia Política y RR.II. UNR.

Henry Jenkins’s Blog: Confessions of an Aca-Fan.

Media Ecology Association.

Medios y Enteros: Digital Magazine from School of Communication, Rosario National University.

Revista Anfibia.


Victoria Nannini, professor and researcher in the field of digital media studies at Rosario National University collaborated in the translation of this article.

Further Reading

Campalans, Carolina. Narrativas Transmedia. Entre Teorías y Prácticas. Barcelona: Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2014.Find this resource:

Díaz, Fernando Acuña, and Alejandro Caloguerea Miranda. Guía para la producción y distribución de contenidos transmedia para múltiples plataformas. Santiago de Chile: Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, 2012.Find this resource:

Igarza, Roberto. Nuevos medios: Estrategias de convergencia. Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2008.Find this resource:

Irigaray, Fernando, and Anahí Lovato. Producciones transmedia de no ficción: Análisis, experiencias y tecnologías. Rosario, Argentina: UNR Editora, 2015.Find this resource:

Liuzzi, Alvaro. “El documental interactivo en la era transmedia: de géneros híbridos y nuevos códigos narrativos.” In Revista Obra Digital 8 Narrativas de No Ficción Audiovisual, Interactiva y Transmedia. Barcelona: Universidad de Vic-Universitat Central de Catalunya, 2014.Find this resource:

Renó, Denis Porto, and Jesús Miguel Flores Vivar. Periodismo transmedia: Reflexiones y técnicas para el ciberperiodista desde los laboratorios de medios interactivos. Madrid: Editorial Fragua, 2012.Find this resource:

Rothery, Jason. Review of Transmedia Frictions: The Digital, the Arts, and the Humanities. Edited by M. Kinder and T. McPherson. Communication Review 18, no. 3 (2015): 234–237.Find this resource:

Ryan, Marie-Laure, and Jan-Noël Thon, eds. Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2014.Find this resource:

Scolari, Carlos. Narrativas transmedia: Cuando todos los medios cuentan. Buenos Aires: Grupo Planeta, 2013.Find this resource:


(1.) Arnau Gifreu-Castells, “Periodismo y documental: Encuentros en la era transmedia,” in Comunicación Post-convergente (Rosario, Argentina: UNR Editora, 2017), 122–146.

(2.) Alejandro Piscitelli, Ciberculturas. En la era de las máquinas inteligentes (Buenos Aires: Paidós Contextos, 1995).

(3.) Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia What?Immerse News, November 15, 2016.

(5.) Henry Jenkins, Convergence Culture: La cultura de la convergencia de los medios de comunicación (Barcelona: Paidós, 2008).

(6.) Anahí Lovato, “Guión y diseño de contenidos para la post-convergencia,” in Sonríe, te están puntuando: Narrativa digital interactiva en la era de black mirror (Barcelona: Gedisa, 2017), 165–182.

(7.) Fernando Irigaray and Anahí Lovato, “El periodismo transmedia y la ciudadanía comunicativa,” La Capital, April 7, 2018.

(8.) Anahí Lovato, “The Transmedia Script for Nonfictional Narratives,” in Exploring Transmedia Journalism in the Digital Age (Hershey: IGI Global, 2018), 247.

(9.) Lovato, “The Transmedia Script for Nonfictional Narratives,” 245.

(10.) Lovato, “The Transmedia Script for Nonfictional Narratives,” 241.

(11.) Clara Boj and Diego Díaz, “Ciudad, narrativa y medios locativos: Aproximación a una teoría de los géneros en la narrativa espacial a partir del análisis de cuatro propuestas,” Arte y Políticas de Identidad 9 (2013): 129–147.

(12.) Fernando Irigaray, “Documental Transmedia: Narrativas espaciales y relatos expandidos; Transmediaciones,” in Creatividad, Innovación y Estrategias en Nuevas Narrativas (Buenos Aires: Crujía, 2016), 39–53.

(13.) Tomeu Vidal Moranta and Enric Pol Urrútia, “La apropiación del espacio: una propuesta teórica para comprender la vinculación entre las personas y los lugares,” Anuario de Psicología 36, no. 3 (2005): 281–297.

(15.) Denis Renó, “Formatos y técnicas para la producción de documentales transmedia,” in Hacia una comunicación transmedia (Rosario, Argentina: UNR Editora, 2014), 134–146.

(16.) Fernando Irigaray, “El documental en las narrativas transmedia y la territorialidad expandida,” in Sonríe, te están puntuando. narrativa digital interactiva en la era de black mirror (Barcelona: Gedisa, 2017), 129–144.

(17.) Fernando Irigaray, “La ciudad como plataforma narrativa: El documental transmedia tras los pasos de el hombre bestia,” in Hacia una Comunicación Transmedia (Rosario: UNR Editora, 2014).

(18.) Roberto Igarza, Burbujas de ocio: Nuevas formas de consumo cultural (Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2009).

(20.) Kevin T. Moloney, Porting Transmedia Storytelling to Journalism (Master’s thesis, University of Denver, 2011).

(21.) Pablo Boczkowski and Eugenia Mitchelstein, “El medio ya no es medio ni mensaje.”

(24.) Henry Jenkins, “Transmedia Storytelling and Entertainment: An Annotated Syllabus,” Continuum 24, no. 6 (2010): 943–958.

(25.) Carolina Fernández Castrillo, “Prácticas transmedia en la era del prosumidor: Hacia una definición del contenido generado por el usuario (CGU),” CIC Cuadernos de Información y Comunicación 19 (2014): 53–67.

(26.) Silvana Comba and Edgardo Toledo, “The Renovation of Relational Contents in Social Media,” in Diálogos, Revista Académica de la Federación Latinoamericana de Facultades de Comunicación Social Nr 90 (Bogotá: FELAFACS, 2015).

(27.) Elena García Herrera and María Merino Arribas, “El componente emocional del discurso transmedia y su estudio en ‘Salvados’,” in Actas del I Congreso Internacional de Comunicación y Sociedad Digital (Logroño, Spain: Universidad Internacional de La Rioja, 2013), 21.

(28.) Alvaro Liuzzi, “El documental interactivo en la era transmedia: de géneros híbridos y nuevos códigos narrativos,” in Obra digital: revista de comunicación (Barcelona: Universidad de Vic-Universidad Central de Cataluña y Universidad del Azuay, 2015), 105–135.

(29.) Mario Carlón and Carlos Alberto Scolari, eds., Colabor_arte: Medios y artes en la era de la producción colaborativa (Buenos Aires: La Crujía, 2012).