Degree Name

Master of Science

Department or Program

Mass Communication and Media Arts


Thompson, Jan


The story of the Mississippi River is rich and complex. As a visual storyteller, the goal of my final project is to provide a creative, yet informative, web-based documentary that provides an interactive component wherein users control the narrative. To achieve this, I used qualitative research in the form of interviews as well as qualitative research, including data collection and historical research to better understand the ways in which the river itself has changed, how it has informed us as individuals and as a society. This paper supplements the web-based interactive documentary:

“Our “Father of Waters”: A Story of the Mississippi River, Then and Now.”

This paper also outlines my approach and rationale for choosing this non-linear and non-traditional approach to digital documentary practices. Included is my methodology and concluding thoughts to this approach, why it contributes to the documentary form and why a story as compelling as the Mississippi River lends itself to this type of documentary mode. Included is a link to the project here: