How exploratory search can support media researchers to interpret ‘disruptive’ media events as lucid narratives
'Disruptive' media events, such as terrorist attacks or environmental disasters, are difficult to interpret due to an inability to grasp the story and information being 'scattered' across multiple media platforms. This leads to problems for media scholars, who analyse how narratives construct different political, economic or cultural meanings around such events. Offering media scholars the ability to explore and create lucid narratives about media events therefore greatly supports their interpretative work.
This project studies how exploratory search can help to understand how 'disruptive' events are constructed as narratives across media, and instilled with specific cultural-political meanings. This project approaches this question by using CLARIAH components (the Linked Open Data exploratory search browser DIVE+, particularly it's navigation and bookmarking pane), to examine how scholars use and create narratives to understand media events.
Using a mixed-method approach, various qualitative methods (focus groups, questionnaires, user-generated research diaries, and co-creative design sessions in which users visualized their ideas on posters) were combined in an iterative design approach, which afforded self-reflective, fine-grained insights and lead to recommendations to incrementally adapt the exploratory search tool DIVE+.
The project's academic insights conclude how exploratory search supports media scholars in narrative creation. We gained a deeper understanding of the role of exploratory search in media research practices and what, in line with this, Linked Open Data (LOD) offers humanities and media scholars who search for new – serendipitous – research ideas and research questions. Software-specific insights produced recommendations at the entity, interface and user level, provided starting points for doing media research with audiovisual and historical materials about events, and finally, produced recommendations for auto-generating narratives based on exploratory search practices - including improvements for audiovisual annotation (or video annotation) as part of the navigation pane for DIVE+ users: allowing users to annotate entities in the path, and for paths and annotations to be exported into the CLARIAH user work space.
As a result, we evaluated how DIVE+ facilitates exploration, serendipity, and narrative creation, especially the pivotal ways in which digital tools' socio-technical affordances inform the processes of search and storytelling.