University Of Tasmania

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Modes of interactivity: analysing the webdoc

journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 12:51 authored by Nash, K
The webdocumentary positions itself as documentary re-mediated for the internet age. Not only does the name webdocumentary consciously reference film and television documentary but it is possible to trace continuities in representational strategies, purpose and production practices that situate the webdoc within the documentary tradition. In spite of this family resemblance, however, the webdoc challenges current thinking about documentary representation. Interactivity in particular has consequences for theorizing in relation to modes of representation and user engagement. This article considers interactivity as a representational strategy, suggesting three dimensions for assessing its contribution to documentary. Following on from this it is suggested that, like film and television documentary, webdocs exhibit patterns of textual organization. It is suggested that there are at least three interactive structures found in webdocs: the narrative, the categorical and the collaborative. Each can be further divided - indicating the diverse uses of interactive features. A challenge of researching interactive texts is that the whole text is never completely available for analysis. Each viewing has the potential to be different from the last. Although necessarily provisional, this article seeks to demonstrate what might be achieved through close reading of the interactive documentary text.


Publication title

Media, Culture and Society








School of Humanities


Sage Publications Ltd

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

Copyright The Author(s) 2012

Repository Status

  • Restricted

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in creative arts and writing studies

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