This entry provides an introduction to the term documentary, a word derived from its Latin roots, docere, to teach, and later documentum, lesson or proof. In the 21st century, as nonfiction filmmaking and photography move into the digital realm and documentary is produced for and experienced on a range of platforms and screens, the more encompassing term documentary media can be used to refer to nonfiction audiovisual, sound, and image materials. The diversity of modes of production, circulation, and exhibition now available through the development of new technologies and the so-called new media has led many postsecondary institutions to incorporate the second signifier media in the names of their programs designed to teach about documentary.

The innovation of new modes for nonfiction storytelling, exposition, advocacy, and ...

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