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The Multimodality of Digital Longform Journalism

Published: 19 April 2016

Abstract: Digital longform journalism has recently attracted increased attention among both academics and professionals. This study contributes to the growing body of research by dissecting the multimodal structure of digital longform journalism, that is, how the emerging genre combines written language, photography, short videos, maps and other graphical elements, and joins them together into a seamless narrative using subtle transitions. The data consist of 12 longform articles published in 2012–2013, which have been annotated for their visual and verbal content, their underlying principle of organization and the transitions that hold between them. The annotation is stored into a digital corpus, which is then analyzed to examine the multimodal structures that enable the longform genre to establish a narrative, and to explicate how the longform attempts to captivate its audience by creating a distraction-free environment.
Keywords: digital longform journalism / multimedia journalism / multimodality / new media

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