New Zealand Broadcasting School
© New Zealand Broadcasting School 2024

News in the Digital Age

Syndicate 5
Breaking news digital website 625x353

A group project including a web series, radio documentary, radio feature series and social media video.

News in the Digital Age

News in the Digital Age is a hot topic and it is a part of a discussion many in, and around the media will have. What is the future? What has changed? Are there any negatives to this new age of news content?  The news is something on our phones, in our ears and at our fingertips. We chose to see this topic from several perspectives and look at the positives and negatives of the constant stream of updates. We also chose to look at the growing rush of fake news and how things can be twisted so easily through digital influence. Finally, we looked at some enjoyment news organisations are bringing to people, despite an initial look. 

Radio Features

We wanted to use our features to criticise some of the news mediums that are active in the digital age. A solid amount of our research indicated that the news has a more sinister side, and we wanted to weave this into some of our work. We attempted to caricature the 6 O’clock news, Facebook and Buzzfeed in a way that made valid points about their shortcomings but also maintains a sense of humour. We made an effort to use lots of sound effects to take advantage of the radio medium. Parts like the police conference in the BuzzFeed feature and the videos from the Facebook feature contain multiple layered sound effects in order to create an environment in the listener's mind.We used music to help establish a personality too. We used traditional news music for the 6 O’clock feature, typical cheesy music for the Buzzfeed feature and no music for the Facebook feature, to recreate what these outlets actually sound like. This made the features sound authentic.


Our first episode in our news perspective series
Our second episode in our news perspective series
Our third episode in our news perspective series

Web series

A young man goes missing on his graduation night in the port hills. A police investigation was conducted into his disappearance but he was never found. Our team journalists got hold of this case and decide to look into this mystery 8 years later through interviews, news stories and evidence. We follow one our of group members as she attempts to investigate the story as a journalist. We interviewed one of the missing teens' parents, alongside a police officer involved and his closest friends 8 years on. Will he ever be found, or will this case continue to be unsolved? 

Michael Clarke: An Untold Story Episode one

A web series that follows the story of a missing boy

Michael Clarke: An Untold Story Episode two

A web series that follows the story of a missing boy

Michael Clarke: An Untold Story Episode three

A web series that follows the story of a missing boy

Social Media video

Playground games have evolved to represent fake news widespread by media outlets internationally. Our social media feature highlights this. It begins with children playing Chinese whispers, a popular game. It then develops, with the children progressively telling older children to teens, and finally, adults. The video ends with an adult whispering in the ear of a news reporter and the camera pulling out to reveal a live cross taking place. The message that starts the video will slowly be warped as the whispers carry on and will end up with the headline of a fake news story. The idea is to show the audience how easy it is to escalate something into fake news, even if it is exaggerated in this scenario. 

How does fake news spread? Is it so different from the games we used to play?

Radio Documentary

Our radio documentary focusses on the growth of true crime podcasts amongst kiwi news organisations. The massive success of the Black Hands podcast (explaining the David Bain case) has lead to a growing hunger for the true crime genre. We wanted to look at why this genre has got so popular and what real people think of it. We interviewed leading investigative journalists including; Paloma Migone (The Lost, RNZ), Blair Ensor (Heavy Metal, RNZ and Stuff) and Amy Maas (Gone Fishing, Stuff). We also spoke to a criminology expert to ask him why he thinks crime is such a hot topic, and why it is listened to more than other genres when it comes to podcasts. The digital age has seemingly brought uncertainty to the news media industry. However, the rise of podcasts and that of the true crime genre could be the key to the survival of modern news. It creates a new audience, invites in listeners and is a format for the busy. We look to see if it is in fact, too good to be true. 

A radio documentary focussing on true crime podcasts by news organisations