Media Convergence - a Perspective

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&resnumMeasurement of Media in the Age of Convergence
Term Paper – Advanced Audience & Media Research
Mansi Saxena (200829A)

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EXPLORING METHODOLOGIES, IDENTIFYING CHALLENGES, AND EVALUATING ALTERNATIVES

INTRODUCTION:
Convergence in Media can be defined as the “realm of possibilities when co-operation occurs between print and broadcast for delivery of multimedia content through use of computers and the internet.” (Gordon, 2003). The definition of convergence has undergone various changes and adaptations in context of media over the past decade. Per say, the term is elusive and vague. Some other definitions of Convergence in Media are: According to Missouri Group, Convergence is defined as the practice of sharing and cross promoting content from a variety of media, some interactive, through news room collaborations and partnerships. On the other hand, in 2001, Seib suggested that Convergence involves marrying the slick format of television to the almost infinite information providing capacity of the internet. The schools of thoughts, opinion leaders, and industry experts have been dealing with this buzz word for a while now, and the reactions to this have been across extremes. While some see the future in convergence, others view it as a mess. However, one common concern amongst all media professionals across the world is to understand the effects of convergence in media. This paper tries to understand the various need-gaps and challenges which exist in the measurement of a convergent media; it also looks at some identified methodologies and finally explores some other schools of thoughts on the very definition of Convergence.

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LITERATURE REVIEW:

INTEGRATING NEW MEDIA AND OLD MEDIA: SEVEN OBSERVATIONS OF CONVERGENCE AS A STRATEGY FOR BEST PRACTICES IN MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS - BY GRACIE LAWSON-BORDERS, SOUTHERN METHODIST UNIVERSITY, DALLAS, U.S.A

This paper tries to establish that the primary goal of convergence in media is to integrate content across media platforms, so that the declining shares of users as a single entity can be pulled together as a joint entity. The paper explores the concept of convergence through both academic and process oriented approach. The paper defines convergence through a convergence definition model, which is as follows:

According to this paper, the debate revolves around, whether the media industry is in the content business or in the business of providing complimentary channels to deliver that content. Therefore, the author claims the convergence is essentially intersection of content delivery through different platforms; however, the central driving factor in all this is how the juxtaposition of content (text, audio, video, etc.) is placed across mediums. The authors then talk about “diffusion of innovation”, where they identify the ability of an organization to delve into newer technologies (in this case, the internet broadly), while still maintaining the strengths of the existing mediums is the real key to success.

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Further, the authors discuss Convergence as a process, i.e. it is not a static but a continuum in which organizations need to select an appropriate medium or a mix of some mediums to achieve their goals for effective media coverage, essentially a process through which content is managed across platforms. This leads to the seven observations of convergence, which should be used by media organizations to form best practices used as strategies to operationalize convergence. These seven observations are: 1. Communication: Described as the discussion of editors and managers to strategize content across business units. The authors take example of Tampa Tribune and Chicago Tribune. In both the places, the heads usually meet over budgetary discussions, how content should be placed across mediums. What should be shared, what should be integrated? Where the maximum convergence is seen, etc. It also covers ‘content sharing’ policies across mediums...
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