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Transforming Digital Media Industry Cultures: Accessing news in Asian mobile internets


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As part of a broader Australian Research Council-funded project into the mobile Internet we assume the enduring importance of media diversity, in particular news diversity, as a policy priority in a convergent media era. The purpose of the news diversity research component of the Moving Media project is to investigate the implications of mobile news content provision, including for the development of media diversity policies. The research examines how news production practices operate in a context of proliferating media devices, escalating social media usage, media convergence and mobility. As people increasingly access news by way of mobile Internet-connected devices, it is suggested that mobile Internet media cannot be based upon naïve assumptions of service or content plurality, despite the expansion of online publishing outlets and delivery systems. Mobile computing and software raise complex industrial and socio-cultural questions regarding access to Smartphone news apps. By investigating the openness (and restrictedness/exclusivity) of mobile Internet platforms/news apps, the research aims to develop our understanding about how these mobile media ecologies are being used by media producers and consumer/citizens. These Asian case studies explore the dynamic relations between old and new media industries including as part of these transformations: the governance/content management of digital news apps and how this relates to other masthead content; their availability and how they’re accessed; the usage patterns of particular news brand apps; and, their affordability together with platform access and handset (cultural) histories, including branded/proprietary content arrangements associated with specific portals and telecommunications networks.

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Transforming Digital Media Industry Cultures: Accessing news in Asian mobile internets

  1. 1. Transforming Digital Media Industry Cultures: Accessing News in Asian Mobile Internets Australian Research Council funded research 2012-2014 Tim Dwyer, Department of Media and Communications
  2. 2. Moving Media: Mobile Internet and New Policy Modes Project ›3-year ‘Discovery’ project funded by Australian Research Council ›Myself, Gerard Goggin and Fiona Martin ›Three parts to project: – 1) mobile Internet ecologies; – 2) mapping of media policy processes, actors, and issues in mobile Internet; – 3) citizenship and mobile Internet.
  3. 3. Mobile Internet Ecologies › our broad approach is to study the interactions between the networks and technologies, on the one hand, and uses and cultures, on the other › contribution to our understanding of the complex infrastructures of mobile Internet, and their affordances › look at the role that users, cultural practices, social contexts, and ‘imaginaries’ — the influential ideas that people have about technologies — play in the rise and shaping of mobile Internet, across three main contexts of convergence
  4. 4. Three Axes of Convergence
  5. 5. Mobile Web Access
  6. 6. Mobile Internets_Subscriptions › ITU data estimates that Mobile-cellular subscriptions are over 6.8 billion in 2013 (almost on par with total world population) › Globally there were over 2 billion active mobile broadband subscriptions › Mobile broadband the single most dynamic ICT service, especially in BRICS nations › But vast disparities in mobile BB between developing (8%) and developed nations (51%)
  7. 7. Online News Diversity Project [1] ›Content-sharing has accelerated with digitalization and the Internet (Dwyer and Martin, 2010) ›The goal of many large traditional media organizations has been to reengineer themselves as online, and multiplatform ›Print news organizations in particular have seen an intensification of content-sharing between print, web and mobile platforms 7
  8. 8. Online News Diversity Project [2] ›Digital news stories are now duplicated and redistributed across various arms of these news organizations, repurposed for different platforms or reused in subsequent stories ›Search engines and aggregation tools reveal that news publications commonly republish the same news agency and media release copy 8
  9. 9. Interview Question Categories ›Market/Competition Context of their News Apps ›Audience Usage ›Platform Access-Operating Systems ›Industry-Business Models ›Entertainment and Information ›Political/Economic Agents
  10. 10. HK-SK-PRC: A variety of news app access cultures ›HK: ‘SoMoLo’…video news…Next Media Interactive ›SK: Portal power…portal’s news is very popular…traffic via Naver and Daum (and their news search engines) ›PRC: portals, news engines + free news culture dominates…
  11. 11. New Media and the Redistribution of Communication Power ›Karppinen: ‘tendencies of communicative power on the one hand and the centralisation of power…simultaneously affect the media regardless of their technological basis’ ›In the Chinese context: the centralisation of power is as important as the concentration of ownership is in the west ›‘The media create new differences, they differentiate between subcultures and bring forward new voices…’
  12. 12. mobile media island
  13. 13. Other MM Project Resources Blog: Twitter: @MobileInternetz