* Media convergence is the merging of mass communication outlets – print, television, radio, the Internet along with portable and interactive technologies through various digital media platforms. * Media convergence allows mass media professionals to tell stories andpresent information and entertainment using a variety of media. * Converged communication provides multiple tools for storytelling, allowing consumers to select level of interactivity while self-directing content delivery.
Convergence has occurred at two primary levels:
1. Technologies—creative content has been converted into industry-standard digital forms for delivery through broadband or wireless networks for display on various computer or computer-like devices, from cellular telephones to personal digital assistants (PDAs) to digital video recorders (DVRs) hooked up to televisions. 2. Industries—companies across the business spectrum from media to telecommunications to technology have merged or formed strategic alliances in order to develop new business models that can profit from the growing consumer expectation for “on-demand” content. Some industry analysts see media convergence as marking the twilight of the “old media” of print and broadcasting and the rise of “new media” associated with digital publishing. Among the major changes associated with digital publishing is the growth of a “flatter” publishing structure that allows one-to-one and many-to-many distributions of content. This development contrasts sharply with the one-to-many distribution that was characteristic of 20th-century mass communications. Digital publishing also has empowered many ordinary individuals to become involved directly or through collaborative efforts in creating new content because of the dramatically reduced barriers to producing and distributing digital content over the Internet. While these developments have challenged the business models of old media as they developed in the 20th century, the ability of these companies to adapt to the changing landscape should not be dismissed. Old media, or big media, is very experienced in producing content, attracting and aggregating audiences, and anticipating changes in consumer demands and expectations. Big media companies are also highly capitalized and often enter the new media environment through mergers, acquisitions, and strategic partnerships, as seen with NBC Universal, an American media conglomerate, which formed a partnership with the Microsoft Corporation to develop the MSNBC cable and Internet news service in 1996. Similarly, in 2005 international media entrepreneur Rupert Murdoch acquiredMySpace, an Internet social networking Web site, in order to leverage his News Corporation into an established online community. Viewed from http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/1425043/media-convergence
Newspapers and magazines
Virtually all major newspapers and magazines now operate a Web site. It has been an ongoing challenge for these publishing industries to assess the exact impact that an online component has on their business models and their broader operational structures as distributors of news, information, and entertainment. In modern societies worldwide, consumers have come to expect access to the latest news fromtelevision broadcasts, such as those presented by the Cable News Network (CNN) and the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), instead of having to wait until the next day to read about it in the newspapers. In addition, various Web sites sprang up in the 1990s to specialize in classified advertisements—for everything from jobs to used items to lonely hearts—in direct competition with newspapers. In order to compete with the growth of television news networks and the Internet, newspapers began to move online in the 1990s. This created something of a feedback loop as consumers came to depend on the newspaper Web sites for current news, and the papers were thus induced to...
References: Guy Berger, (2006): Paper for workshop convened by Forum Media and Development Academy, Eichholz Castle, Germany: 15-16. September, 2006 on Characteristics of African media markets “Money matters. How Independent Media Manage to Survive”.
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