“No single medium is going to win the
battle for our ears and eyeballs. And
when will we get all of our media funnelled
to us through one box? Never.”
Convergence Culture is described as the merging of traditional and new media.
Henry Jenkins describes 5 processes that make up ‘Convergence Culture’.
• Technological Convergence
• Economic Convergence
• Social or Organic Convergence
• Cultural Convergence
• Global Convergence
JENKINS AND MEDIA CONVERGENCE
The term ‘Media Convergence’ refers to a range of media merged into one. Jenkins argues that media will be
everywhere and that it does not exist in one form. “There will never be one black box controlling all
media”. He also believes that media will continue to grow in multiple ways through computing and
communication. “A medium’s content may shift, its audience may change and its social status may rise
or fall, but once a medium establishes itself it continues to be part of the media ecosystem.”. Here,
Jenkins is referring to old/traditional media. Rather than old media simply dying it only ‘evolves’ in a new
form. For example: cassettes to MP3 file, although very different in appearance, the idea behind both is
very similar, if not the same. Jenkins feels that media is affecting us as consumers and that its also on
the ‘verge of transforming our culture as profoundly as the Renaissance did’. Jenkins believes that user
interaction and participation are very much ‘the work—and play—spectators in the new media system’.
Overall, Jenkins describes convergence culture as a collision between old and new media. This collision
has an effect not only on the consumer but the media producer as well.
Jenkins describes ‘Cultural Convergence’ as an ‘explosion of new forms of creativity at
the intersections of various media technologies, industries and consumers’. The
way in which we find ourselves affected by different mediums is leading us towards
a ‘digital renaissance’. Jenkins believes that media culture is allowing us to be a
part of the media we experience and that interactivity is becoming an integral part
of the industry. Media culture gives “average people the tools archive, annotate,
appropriate and recirculate content”. According to Jenkins, convergence also
allows for a different kind of story telling. Narratives can be communicated through
a variety of different mediums, this is known as ‘transmedia’ story telling.
Depending on the subject matter, story tellers will use a type of media best suited
for that narrative. Cultural convergence means the uses of culture to create media
on a profit scale. This means a lot these days as You tube is creating new talent
and content. Writers would take ideas that are popular in the public and that are
popular. They will also use different cultures to put across messages in their films
in certain directions. Hence why social networking and social broadcasting is prime
in cultural convergence at present.
Henry Jenkins refers to Technological Convergence as the process of taking
“words, images and sounds and transforming them into digital information”
from this I believe he is saying that as ‘old media’ is being transformed into
‘new media’ the potential of all of the mediums transforming and moulding
into one particular type of medium. “ We are expanding the potential
relationships between mediums and enabling them to flow across platforms.”
Technological Convergence would be one of the main processes out of the
five that makes the cultural convergence possible as if all mediums finally all
became one then everyone would have the same resources and mediums
from the same place, giving a larger participatory factor to the different
mediums. This is the digitalisation of media content – even traditional content
such as radio, books and film that are digitalised or converged. Example of
this can be seen in the possibility of Cinemas using Digital imagery rather
than film, and also how the new Ipad shows how people can now read books
on a screen the size of a book.
Henry Jenkins describes Global Convergence as ‘the cultural hybridity that
results from the international circulation of media content. “ I believe what he
is saying is that although globally we all use the same types of mediums they
in turn change over the globe and when a new type of the medium is used it
is then followed on across the globe a bit like a dominoes effect. “The global
circulation of Asian popular cinema profoundly shapes Hollywood
In terms of big business this means creating and using media to its full extent at
its time of fashion. This can be seen with Harry Potter and The Twilight films.
Henry Jenkins describes this as ‘cultural production around synergies’ and
thus he explains meaning ‘exploitation’.
SOCIAL OR ORGANIC CONVERGENCE
This means the change in how we use information or search for it. We may be
using new technologies now compared to 50 years ago to search for
information but we are still searching for information for our own general
knowledge or entertainment.