Journalism Design: The NewsCube, Interactive Technologies and Practice

Doherty, Skye (2017). Journalism Design: The NewsCube, Interactive Technologies and Practice PhD Thesis, School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering, The University of Queensland. doi:10.14264/uql.2017.402

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Author Doherty, Skye
Thesis Title Journalism Design: The NewsCube, Interactive Technologies and Practice
School, Centre or Institute School of Information Technol and Elec Engineering
Institution The University of Queensland
DOI 10.14264/uql.2017.402
Publication date 2017-03-16
Thesis type PhD Thesis
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Supervisor Stephen Viller
John Harrison
Total pages 208
Language eng
Subjects 120304 Digital and Interaction Design
190301 Journalism Studies
Formatted abstract
Journalism is in a period of transition. Disrupted by social and mobile technologies,
practitioners need new ways to create stories and engage audiences if they hope to
remain relevant and viable. Yet journalists’ relationship with technology is fraught. Weighed
down by legacy production processes and entrenched ideas about what journalism is,
newsrooms have failed to fully exploit the potential of new platforms. But as technology
becomes more interwoven in our lives, and interactions move out of the computer and into
the everyday world, those practices will need to change. The question is how.

This thesis is concerned with the practice of journalism, the practice of design, and what
one can learn from the other. In order to argue its central proposition — that design
methods are central to the future of journalism practice — the thesis documents and
evaluates a design-led approach to addressing a journalistic issue. It does this via the
NewsCube: a digital artefact that uses space and shape to tell news stories. The
NewsCube is a unique storytelling format.

Through a transparent process of concept development, design, prototyping and
evaluation, the project detailed in the following pages reveals new possibilities for
journalism practice: that stories could be tactile, fun and designed for distributed control.
Physicality and playfulness are not values readily associated with journalism, but the work
here suggests that such qualities could inform new forms of engagement.

The contribution of this thesis is, in the first instance, to journalism: that it is through design
that journalism can innovate. That the practice-led, future-focused methods of design
research can be used to generate new ideas for journalism that exploit technology and
embody core journalistic values. But there is a contribution to design also. The design
process revealed a distinctly journalistic way of thinking, which, when combined with
design methods, led to a new concept of news interaction.

The application of design research methods to a journalistic dilemma is arguably original in
journalism research and this thesis proposes Journalism Design as an emerging area of
research and practice that not only addresses the technological possibilities for journalism,
but the journalistic possibilities for technology.
Keyword Journalism
Interaction design
Practice-led research
Research Through Design

Document type: Thesis
Collections: UQ Theses (RHD) - Official
UQ Theses (RHD) - Open Access
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Created: Thu, 02 Mar 2017, 13:33:10 EST by Skye Doherty on behalf of Learning and Research Services (UQ Library)