Almost every media theorist talks about convergence, however still some experts think that it is illdefined. Of course, transformation of virtually all media from analog to digital technology could be seen as a starting point for media convergence. But that does not mean that everything is done by getting use these new devices such as smart phones, tablets, etc. Further experience in media industry shows us how some media companies failed in their convergence process. We should think about a mindset. The way journalists approach to content production is changing. As Marshall McLuhan (1964) says we look at the present through a rear-view mirror, and we do today's job with yesterday's tools-with yesterday's concepts. That is the issue I am going to share with you through my speech. Moreover, there are multiple ways to converge within mass media. It is a new way to think about news, producing and delivering it by using appropriate new media tools such as social networks, multimedia software programs, etc. to reach diverse audience. Convergence has been defined in several ways. My definition for convergence is supported by Henry Jenkins convergence culture notion. His book titled “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide” articulates convergence process from cultural point of view. His basic argument is that convergence is emancipating. Henry Jenkins believes that convergence refers to a process, not an endpoint.
If we are multiskilled journalists, if we are multimedia storyteller and doing trimedia, if we are very comfortable with new devices and new media tools it does not mean that we are a master of none. It demands a specific responsibilities as well. -The online journalist has to make decisions as to which media format or formats best convey a certain story. It will undermine the ‘we write, you read’ dogma of traditional journalism.
During traditional journalism integration to new media developing newsroom roles is very crucial: newsflow editor, storybuilder, news resourcer, multiskilled journalist should be included to editorial new media management strategy. Actually, my argument here is there is no right way to be converged: moreover,we should not forget that it is very much depend on cultural issues as well. Convergence captures wide areas from technology to individuals. With other words it is a remediation. It is a way of thinking about the relationship between media forms, not transition from ‘old media’ to ‘new media’. Overall it is doing journalism and telling stories in the most appropriate medium. The issue is about dissatisfaction on convergence mostly based on lack of training or education. It is time for the training and education gap to be bridged.
Some media experts argue that the simplest form of convergence is taking the content from traditional outlet and repeating it on the web site. Of course, it is less time consuming and least costly. Is that convergence? Not for sure, online is not just a second home for your print edition. Convergence is all about multimedia based storytelling. It demands specific content to each platform. Otherwise if news organizations have a web site that does mean that they are engaging with convergence journalism. I do not believe that economic convergence undermines journalistic values. People want information they can rely on, not Twitter rumors and one-sided accounts of what is happening. Moreover, we have some tools to verify those social media contents. For example, Storyful is the first news agency of the social media age. They help our clients discover, verify and distribute the most valuable content on social media platforms. People do not want to read today about what they already saw yesterday, therefore, newspapers should add perspective. The founder of MIT’s Media Lab, Nicholas Negroponte, argued in the late 1970s that three industries that were separate at the same time-computers, broadcast/film, and printing/publishing-would overlap and merge by the start of the 21st century. Now what do we see? The Guardian’s customized print innovation-in late 2006, it launched Guardian 24 (G24). A free “print and read” service for news content, updated every 15 minutes. Users can select from any of five news stream: general news, international, economics, sports and media stories. Today The Guardian might be one of the successful examples of converged media. It has Comment Is Free blog where regular columnist from the Guardian and Observer newspapers come together, The Guardian’s web-first policy allows online readers to major news before it appears in the paper. Another example might be the Associated Press which uses content about 6000 bloggers, who are writing for free. On the other hand, there are plenty of new platforms like Zite, Flipboard, Paper.li where one can create his or her own newspaper in a minute, and share it in social networks. We are now talking about new trends like open source media where draft versions of news stories can be pre-published online and rewritten with the input of site users.
Convergence media paradigm: definition starts
New Media and Communication
Baku Slavic University
In this presentation…
-What is convergence?
-Cons and Pros to converge within mass media?
-What is the way to converge in mass media?
-I argue that convergence is not just a transformation.
-It starts with a new mindset
-There is no exact right way to converge, but there is wrong way
Definitions of convergence in media
Convergence is “coopetition”, “cross-promotion” (Grant and
Convergence is emancipating, it is a cultural process and has no
endpoint (Jenkins, 2006)
Convergence is interlinking of computing and IT, communications
networks, and media content (Flew, 2009)
Convergence is a relationship between media forms, not transition
from ‘old media’ to ‘new media’. (Bolter and Grusin, 2000)
Convergence is doing journalism and telling stories in the most
appropriate medium. (Quinn, 2006 )
Cons and pros convergence within
• Convergence is not a way of improving their product, but
to make money. This undermines journalistic values
• Master of none!
• Convergence is emancipating process (Jenkins, 2006)
• Undermines “we write, you read” dogma (Deuze, 2003)
Visualization of convergence
Figure: Terry Flew “New Media: An Introduction”
How to converge in mass media?
• Change mindset: the Guardian’s Web First policy
• Developing newsroom roles
• Long life trainings
• Merge across media
• Narrative convergence
Convergence is inevitable process and it is
mainly about multimedia storytelling
Photo is from book cover of Janet Kolodzy’s “Practicing Convergence Journalism: An
Introduction to Cross-Media Storytelling”
• August E. Grant, Jeffrey S. Wilkinson, 2009. “Understanding
Media Convergence: The state of the field.” Oxford University
• Terry Flew, 2008. “New Media: an introduction.” Oxford
• Henry Jenkins, 2006. “Convergence Culture: Where Old and New
Media Collide.” New York University Press.
• Stephen Quinn, 2006. “Conversation on Convergence.” Peter Lang
• Jay David Bolter, Richard Grusin, 2000. “Remediation:
Understanding New media.” The MIT Press.
• Mark Deuze, 2006. “Ethnic media, community media and
participatory culture.” http://jou.sagepub.com Published: July 10,