Four Dimensions of Journalistic
A preliminary approach to current
media trends at Spain
University of Iowa
Explorative sample of 58 Spanish media
companies (+200 media outlets)
Criteria: exploring convergence, any
size (local to national)
Parameters coded by researchers based
on corporate info and interviews with news editors
Journalistic convergence dimensions in
Integrated production Multiskilled professionals Multiplatform delivery Active audience
Three main strategies:
Collaboration of independent newsrooms
Coordination of separate newsrooms
Integration in one multimedia newsroom
None Collaboration Coordination Integration
Aspects we analyzed:
Media, issue and technical multiskilling
Different degrees of intensity
Training for multiskilled professionals?
Media Issue Technical Total cases
Independent content in each medium
Scarce content exchanges
Coordinated multiplatform production
Independent content for
7 - 7
Scarce content exchanges
6 7 13
Automatic repurposing of
content from one medium
23 10 33
Repurposing of content
made by journalists
10 4 14
Coordinated production of
content for multiple media
6 3 9
Explored opportunities for audience
involvement in news commentary or
production (not just forums or polls)
Webs concentrate active audience
Journalistic convergence is diverse, our
conceptual proposal is comprehensive
Spanish media facing convergence are
modest in their exploration
Local media tend to develop integration and
National media tend to develop multiplatform
and active audience
Convergence has a different meaning in each media company developing it
Try to create a comprehensive analytical grid that helps dealing with these different meanings
The common ground is the blurring of established differences: between media, skills and roles.
Analytical framework based on the research literature.
The dimensions cover the different stages of news production and distribution, and let us analyze the trends as an open process that can take different directions.
Avoiding deterministic approaches (full convergence is the best?), any project can develop each dimension differently or just some of them.
This is an analytical breakdown, in real world each dimension has tight relationships to others.
Research group of 25 scholars from Spanish universities.
This is preliminary research, to map the overall situation in Spain prior to select specific cases and analyze the dynamics of their convergence projects in detail.
Multiplatorm is the most prevalent dimension. Active audience the least.
Take into account that this refers to any initiative in any dimension, be it simple or complex. We will see that most of the initiatives are quite conservative, not challenging established professional routines and values.
Most of the media explore more than 1 dimension at the same time. Few all the same time.
This dimension is specially popular among local and regional media, suggesting that it is a need rather than a will. Small staff, more productivity.
National media have distinct newsrooms that not collaborate. This may change, as there are announcements of newsroom mergers (print-web, broadcast-web)
Media: produce the same story for different media; Issue: cover different topics, not specialized; Technical: perform most of the technical work of the whole production process.
Media multiskilling and issue multiskilling are usually separate. Technical, instead is usually a complement of media multiskilling, specially in broadcasting newsrooms (radio+tv) and newspaper-web relationships. Few having all the forms.
Again, almost all of the initiatives are in regional media.
Many media have different strategies for different content. Automatic repurposing is the most common form. Few cases involve journalists.
Usually two media are involved. Web is the most common, as print and broadcasting materials are uploaded automatically online.
Bigger national media are the ones with more complex multiplatform delivery options (RSS, podcasts, mobile alerts…)
Only 2 newspapers and one tv network published audience news.
Comment options are the most usual. User-generated content is less common. National newspapers lead in the exploration of this options.
Few challenges to established routines, as we said before. Integrated production is mainly collaboration, multiplatform distribution is mainly automatic, and audience participation is seldom related to involvement in news production. Only media multiskilling can be a challenge to a relevant number of media.
Local: convergence is a need to survive
National: they have the money for this technology rich processes
Other reasons shall be investigated through deeper case studies, etnography, interviews.