The NewsArcade Project
Media companies are facing a fundamental challenge: the questioning of their legitimacy. The rise of disinformation, the growing success of anti-democratic parties, the alternative discourse on science feeding the Covid deniers and the anti vax movement everywhere across Europe, have led a part of the population to turn their back on news outlets.
Whether they are pure broadcasters or companies providing news content in different formats, media outlets are all challenged like never before. What they need is to reaffirm their usefulness within democratic societies, by strengthening the bond with their audience and even creating new connections with parts of the population that have become distant. Top-down approaches are not the solution. Media companies can no longer just present themselves as authorities on what is right or wrong, what is decent or absurd. Their audiences demand to be taken into consideration. Furthermore, media companies need to prove themselves useful and this can only happen if they can explain to the public why.
Therefore, NewsArcade aims to tackle these challenges by bringing together journalism and news consumption closely by means of gamifications. By creating the necessary tools and a new format for gamified news, that can tell a comprehensive 360 degrees news story the project will aim to improve citizen’s skills in news literacy, build critical thinking skills and thus strengthen the position of media outlets that will also be able to leverage the improved engagement in news media and journalism. The project leverages creativity and gamification in order to create a powerful educational tool that can tackle disinformation by allowing the public to acquire the necessary skills for spotting fake news and improve their critical thinking and better understanding how stories can be manipulated willingly or unwillingly.
More specifically, the project will:
- tells 360 degrees of a news story
- has different game modes which lets the player try and experience different roles and agendas in regards to angling and creation of a given story enables the news publisher to update and add content easily
- fits with the consumption habit of news users (length, interphase etc.)
- is easy to use for the journalists creating interactive stories
- is technically easy to embed on different possible sites and share on Social Media
- supports language versioning for different markets/websites
- are easy to experience/explore for the user through a web and mobile interface
- can scale technically with stories embedded on many sites and with large user numbers
- can track usage properly across sites and stories while respecting GDPR regulations
- can integrate with paywalls or other login based content gating
- Educational scenario: carry out experiments using NewsArcade for training of young journalists in their role as information gate-keepers
- Media literacy and museum scenario: explore how the NewsArcade interactive format can support curatorial activities and the goals of improving the media literacy of the population
- Drawing on business model innovation state-of-the-art and interactions with publishers across Europe as well as the outcomes of the scale up (see O3), we aim to refine the business model described at the proposal stage
- Pave the way for a successful exploitation of the NewsArcade innovation by ensuring that publishing partners adopt the NewsArcade format and tool, and seeking out early adopters, i.e. external publishers signing up to use the NewsArcade tool.
Target Groups & Stakeholders
1. The NewsArcade Authoring Tool, a web-based Content Management System which allows journalists and editors in re-purposing existing content into interactive flows, that can be experienced in the gamified news stories (e.g. articles, notes, video and audio streams, images etc.). The tool will be released iteratively, at the end of the project aiming to have TRL8, ready to be introduced to the market.
2. The NewsArcade Gamified news story format: an innovative interactive format for multimedia news. It represents the main interface for the user/reader and is the main application using the NewsArcade Format. The interactive story can be embedded on the websites of content providers. It allows the end-user to play as the journalist, choosing between the different content, and angling the story, to fit a motive and an agenda. The experience creates an understanding about which information to trust, that there often is more than one truth and that true objectivity might be an illusion. It covers the need for improving critical thinking as technology makes it easier to produce and publish information worldwide.
3. Results from the development process will be posted continuously in transparent and easily accessible blog formats allowing potential stakeholders, media professionals, students and – eventually – end users to brainstorm and collaborate on newscrafting as an engaging method in journalism.
4. Upon the final launch of NewsArcade a White Paper with findings and modelled practices of how to NewsArcade is published.
5. Postgraduate online course for journalists and editors to get started with news crafting as a new editorial methodology.
6. A business plan for introducing the NewsArcade innovation to the market, including IPR agreements between partners.