DOI: 10.5176/2301-3710_JMComm17.44

Authors: Dr Asha Chand

Abstract: This paper captures a new frontier of digital storytelling by senior citizens in the Blacktown Memories project. Third year journalism students from Western Sydney University have been working on this project. As digital natives these young adults incessantly update their profiles on social media with the places they have been and seen, eaten at, what they are wearing and what their next stop will be. The students are empowering the seniors by recording and retelling their past experiences and memories as video stories. The students listen, soak in the narratives, understand and present the hi/stories with engaged and collaborative research; value adding to the evidence with a variety of sources, while creating a renewed interest in the future of digital journalism. The stories, captured as narratives during interviews, are backed by full transcriptions and photos. The project facilitates a live, interactive platform; allowing comment and sharing other narratives on Blacktown, from across the globe. This paper considers journalism’s story telling where construction usually stretches evidence to conform to contours of a skeleton theme; therefore “We must leave out the details that don’t fit, and invent some that make things work better.” [1] It contributes to understanding the changing media landscape, which gives voice to the voiceless. The study focuses on journalism at the dawn of a new era in the construction and maintenance of Australians’ collective memory, shared hi/stories, dreams and aspirations for the future of journalism. It considers how the new landscape of commemorative and interactive journalism facilitates storytelling to reach large global audiences simultaneously and evaluates new media; a growth area demanding the expertise of trained journalists while providing creative alternatives for journalism graduates. Blacktown City Council’s ‘memories’ website is presented as the powerbase of this new media space.



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