Bridging the distance — Sharing our COVID-19 Pandemic Experiences
Feature topic and Story angle
I plan to do the topic to explore the new era of the museum where the necessary for museums to cooperate with the digital media. The future of the museum is an important cultural topic worldwide, and there are increasingly museums from all the world combine heritages with digital technology. Nowadays, the museum is not only an offline cultural activity, but digital technology moves the museum online and the museum has more ways to interact with the public.
In the background of COVID-19, the Australian lockdown policy led the museums to figure out how to keep engaging with the public. The National Museum of Australia (NMA) started to ask Australians to share their pandemic experiences on the Facebook group. It shows a new way to museum to utilise social media to record history. And for the audiences, they are not only the visitors but also be the creators of the collection. Thus, I mainly aim to write about this online activity and show the social media provides a new way to the interaction between audiences and the museum. Besides, NMA also organised other activities via social media platforms, such as “Defining Moments in Australian History“, they are a good object to discuss how social media influence on the museum to the public.
NMA: the Facebook post about the project
NMA: Defining Moments in Australian History
Publication and Target user group
The target audiences of my feature will be Australians, especially who are interested in Arts and culture. Besides, it also will be an interesting topic for people who like visiting museums.
The desired publication is ABC news. It is one of the biggest news websites in Australia who covered Arts and Culture part. And from the annual report of ABC in 2017, there was over 76 per cent of Australians considered ABC encouraged audiences about arts (ABCnews, 2017).
Sources of information
I plan to interview two groups of people. Firstly, I aim to contact with staff from the National Museum of Australia. And, I plan to interview an Australian who shared his experience on Facebook. The interview will focus on their experiences on using social media to engage with the public/museum.
Facebook Group Information:
- The introduction of this Facebook group shows that it is a public group and visible for anyone. It avoids privacy issues.
- This Facebook group has 2,082 members until 21st April, and still increasing. It has 2,068 posts.
News about Bridging the Distance:
- New social media project to record pandemic experiences (The National Museum of Australia)
- The National Museum of Australia has set up a Facebook page for people to tell their stories of living through this global pandemic (The Canberra Times)
- National Museum of Australia launches COVID-19 experiences initiative (Miragenews)
Pieces about the museum and digital technology:
- Keep the Conversation Going: How Museums Use Social Media to Engage the Public (The Museum Scholar)
Multimedia, hypertext, and interactivity
For the feature, I will start with a background on Bridging the distance. And then, following some posts from Facebook and my interviews, to show how the social media keep the museum engaging with the public. For the multimedia, the Facebook group page will be embedded in the article and the images of the interviewed staff. For the hypertext, if I quote from some preview news, I will link to the reports. For the interactivity, I will leave the link to the Facebook group and the email address about the curator from the national museum, readers who have interested in sharing their pandemic experience, they can find their way to engage.