Digital Innovations for Mass Communications: Engaging the User, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Digital Innovations for Mass Communications

Engaging the User, 1st Edition

By Paul Martin Lester


276 pages

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In every field of mass communications—advertising, entertainment studies, journalism, public relations, radio-television-film, tourism, and visual reporting—professionals understand the importance of storytelling. Regardless of whether the finished product is a commercial, an in-depth investigative piece, a public service campaign, an independent documentary, a travelogue, or a collection of photographs, effective storytelling requires a combination of creativity, empathy, and expertise. Through the innovative technologies and techniques described in this textbook, students will learn how to turn passive readers and viewers into engaged and regular users.

The sixteen chapters each include a brief introduction, assignments, simple-to-follow step-by-step exercises, and sources for additional information in which users will learn to produce apps, informational graphics, quick response codes, quizzes, simulations, smartphone and table icons, social media campaigns, three-dimensional pictures, and video. Students will work with the following programs: Blogger, Dreamweaver, Excel, Facebook, GeoCommons, Google Maps, Illustrator, Imgur, iMovie, Infogram, iShowU, JavaScript, JustGive, Kaywa, Kickstarter, LinkedIn, Onvert, Photoshop, Pixel Resort, QuickTime, Reddit, Second Life, SurveyMonkey, TheAppBuilder, Twitter, Vizualize, Wikipedia, Word, WordPress, and YouTube.

When digital innovations are added to traditional print and screen presentations, a media user is not only allowed to interact with the information but can also physically engage with the story displayed. Giving students the tools they need to transform their storytelling in this manner is the ultimate goal of this textbook.


"Paul Lester provides a conceptual roadmap to the myriad digital innovations transforming the media landscape. From user-generated content to transmedia storytelling, the book delves deeply and provocatively into the new technologies and applications sweeping through the domain of mass communications. The reader emerges engaged in a new media world." —John V. Pavlik, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, Northwestern University in Qatar

"Lester's approach is breezy and practical. Every chapter includes suggestions for hands-on exploration to help students use and create engaging online features. Add to that the right dose of history and ethical guidance, and you've got the perfect resource for anyone who wants their students to practice mindful craft." —Mary Angela Bock, University of Texas at Austin

Table of Contents

Preface: Digital Innovations for Mass Communications I. Essential Knowledge 1. A Historical Perspective 2. Digital Media Consumer Types 3. Ethical and Legal Considerations 4. Visual Aesthetics II. User-Generated Content 5. Social Networks 6. Virtual Communities 7. Virtual Reality III. Database-Generated Content 8. Suggestive Innovations 9. Personalization 10. Mapping IV. Software Driven Content 11. Games 12. Simulations 13. QR Codes 14. 3D Displays 15. Apps V. Immersive Experiences 16. Transmedia Storytelling Conclusion: Tell Stories that Engage Appendix: Short Story, "Virtual Photography: When Images Become Real"

About the Author

Paul Martin Lester is Professor of Communications at California State University, Fullerton. He is the author of Visual Communication: Images with Messages, Visual Journalism: A Guide for New Media Professionals, The Ethics of Photojournalism, and, with xtine burrough, Visual Communication on the Web.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Media Studies