Bringing it to the classroom

An empirical study of using a hands-on model for creating digital storytelling


  • Steffen Moestrup Danish School of Media and Journalism
  • Karsten Vestergaard



digital storytelling, digital journalism, action research, digital story model, narrative journalism


The article introduces the Digital Story Model. The model is made with the ambition to improve and enrich digital stories done by journalism students, professional journalists and other kinds of digital storytellers . In the study we adopt an action-based research approach and test the model in an international classroom setting with 85 journalism students representing 35 countries. The findings of students' experiences with applying the model point to a number of strengths and shortcomings. Strengths include the model as a structuring and planning tool, as a way to benefit creativity, as a shared language in an international group and as an assistance in considering the potential story modalities. Shortcomings include the model preventing creativity and creating standardized stories, the model being mostly beneficial for inexperienced reporters and being too linear. The study concludes that there is a significant usefulness of the model when it comes to enriching digital storytelling but also a need to revise the model further and to alter the way it is presented in the classroom.

Author Biography

Steffen Moestrup, Danish School of Media and Journalism

Steffen Moestrup

Docent, Ph.d. / senior associate professor, PhD

Current research: 

Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole / Danish School of Media & Journalism

Helsingforsgade 6a, 8200 Aarhus N

MOB + 45 51906213

DMJX logo


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Additional Files



How to Cite

Moestrup, S., & Vestergaard, K. (2023). Bringing it to the classroom: An empirical study of using a hands-on model for creating digital storytelling. Journalistica, 17(1), 91–113.



Special Issue: Nordic Narratives: Embracing narrative journalism in the Nordic countries