08 November 2012
An innovative digital project led by researchers from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has been awarded the top prize in a national competition.
Researchers from UCLan’s School of Journalism and Digital Communication and colleagues from the universities of Dundee and Surrey are working with technology company Novalia to produce the world’s first internet-enabled newspaper and transform the way we consume media.
The Interactive Newsprint project won one of three £10,000 prizes in the Research Councils UK Digital Economy Theme ‘Telling Tales of Engagement’ Competition 2012. Designed to record and promote the impact of digital economy research, the competition is open to all researchers working in UK Higher Education institutions.
Paul Egglestone from the School of Journalism and Digital Communication who is leading the Interactive Newsprint project said: “We’re delighted to receive this prize, especially because we naturally do the sort of research that has real world impact and we love telling people about how we’ve been inspired by the communities working with us at every stage of the process.
“The Interactive Newsprint project has really captured people’s imagination. We’ve been talking to some of the world’s biggest media companies about it. Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and our website has connected us with people from Brazil, America, India and across Europe and the UK who are interested in what we’re doing.
“We have a great story to tell because we know there are so many ways this research connects to the real world and there are loads of applications for what we’re doing.”
“We’re delighted to receive this prize, especially because we naturally do the sort of research that has real world impact and we love telling people about how we’ve been inspired by the communities working with us at every stage of the process."
The team has spent the last year exploring new ways of digital storytelling and building a new platform for community news by connecting paper to the internet which is capable of touch interactions. Touch interactions are recorded and stored electronically creating data on how readers are navigating their way through the stories and adverts on the paper.
Over the next few months, Interactive Newsprint will be researching how online publishers use data and what value could be transferred to a print environment thanks to the ability to include printed material in the ‘internet of things.’
A key aim of the project is to find effective ways to connect communities to the content they are most interested in. The team have set up two workshops in Preston allowing a range of people, groups and local businesses to test the interactive prototypes including a sample hyperlocal newspaper, a music poster and a classified ads page.
The competition prize money will allow the research team to share their stories of the impact that Interactive Newsprint has had with a wider audience.
They have already been selected to show their internet-enabled newspaper at work at the internationally renowned South by South West Festival in Texas in 2013 and been invited to India’s prestigious UnBox Festival and the National Institute of Design.