Designing media conceptsMerja Helle, Head of Research,Media Concepts Research Group, Aalto ARTS4.4.2012 INUSE seminar
Media Concepts Research Group•  Professor. Maija Töyry, VTT•  Head of Research, Merja Helle, FT•  Since 2006•  Aalto ARTS,...
Research projects•  Tekes Next Media         - eReading, digital publishing and reading         - hyperlocal media and UGC...
Mitä lehden mediakonsepti on?•    Media product as an activity concept     (goals, values, economics, readership     relat...
What is happening in the media field?
Creative industries•  ”The idea of creative industries seeks to describe the   conceptual and practical convergence of the...
Theoretical background(s)•  Cultural historical activity theory – activity systems         From Change Laboratory 1996- to...
Media concept = audience+purpose+content+form+organizationTo create lasting readership relations
Concept determines content
”Contested field of  negotiations”•  In media research and teaching   production, texts, visual design   and use/reception...
From craft to co-configuration
New techno-economic paradigm
From innovation to deployment                !"#$%&&%$!"(                                                            <=>&?...
Three levels of a media concept
Component 1 of mediaconcept:Publishers values and goals,journalistic culture,audience needs,societal context, technologyhi...
Component 2 - architecture•  Visual style, story types•  Tools to create and maintain the architecture of magazines: page ...
Component 3: daily work process•    Daily work processes•    Management of the daily work•    Journalistic textual and vis...
The concept of women’s magazines isalways based on contradiction (Töyry 2005)•  Women’s lives are   contradictory, so is t...
Model / Implied reader is an imagined reader ofthe media product•  A stereotype, fictional character•  A tool for the cons...
Implied reader•  The concept of an implied reader comes from literary   studies and narratology (Iser 1971; Rimmon-Kenan  ...
”Rita” the implied reader of the newwebsite•  Female•  32 years•  Expert position•  Living with her boyfriend•  Likes trav...
In our work implied reader conceptis used:1. To focus on the object of journalism – how to choose   story topics, their fr...
Napoli 2003 Audience economics•  Predicted audience   An educated forecast of the target audience•  Measured audience    A...
Effects of Technological Change on AudienceInformation Systems/Napoli 2010•  Increased fragmentation    –  Undermines trad...
New Audience Information Systems/Napoli 2010•  Awareness/Interest   –  Nielsen Buzzmetrics, E-Poll, TNS, etc.•  Engagement...
Changing audiences:From exposure to engagement/Napoli 2010
Observable Activities via Interactivity/Napoli 2010                     Exposure                      Search Content      ...
Audience is a slippery concept•  Livingstone 1996•  implied audience = implicit audience•  “Audience is neutral of the eco...
Value for whom?                         (Robert Picard 2010)   Golden age of journalism 1960s and                         ...
“We all do our own thing”Merja Helle,Maija Töyry,Annika RuoranenAalto, Taik, Department of Media13.2.2010              3.4...
“We know what is best for thereaders”Merja HelleMaija TöyryAnnika RuoranenAalto University School of Art and DesignNordic ...
How journalists talk aboutaudiences• 5 discourses from 3cases• Mediaconcept Laboratory• Implied reader• Object of activity...
(News)Journalists and audience•  Audience needs are not important•  Journalists decide what is important for audiences   =...
Journalists write for each other•  Kärreman and Alvesson 2001:   Journalist: “I would not read my paper if I did not have ...
The world is changingNews values for consumer groupsNiblock, Machin 2007 Independent Radio News•  “Journalists were target...
Ideology of (news) journalism (Deuze2005)1. Public service: journalists provide a public service (as    watchdogs or ‘news...
Data from three ethnographic,developmental research projects(Mediaconcept Laboratories:1. National Finnish newspaper 1995-...
•  “We cannot ask the readers what to write. It is at the   heart of our expertise to know what to do”•  “Everyone has the...
Different discourses of audience byjournalists1.  Absence of audience - discourse.    a. audience not mentioned    b. dumb...
Audience discourses3. Important information for the masses, chosen and   delivered by journalists - discourse.   a. passiv...
Absence of audience•  "A good paper? Isnt it the about the basic principles of   the (Daily News). Trustworthy, many-sided...
Advertising discourse•  “It is a male, and there are lots of products and   possibilities for advertising to male readers”...
Absence of audience•  "A good paper? Isnt it the about the basic principles of   the (Daily News). Trustworthy, many-sided...
Activating audiences•  "Well, it shows when a discussion springs up, or people   come around or call. Or, of course, at it...
Me and my colleagues•  “This is what they want, I know what my son wants to   read”.                    MeCCSA 2010
Rita vs. John•  “If Rita gets interested in a story it does not mean that   John won’t read it. He might be more inclined ...
Five approaches to the link between micro and macro(Livingstone 1996)Main focus of approach         Associated assumptions...
Two views on audience research
Re-purpose content from archives
Seventeen shopping   B        C
Enjoy your classic shoe     B         C
Where to buyB        C
Reserve and confirm   B         C
Uudet ja nopeat mediakonseptit
Workprocess: planning editing feedback
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404
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Merja Helle - Designing media concepts - 120404

  1. 1. Designing media conceptsMerja Helle, Head of Research,Media Concepts Research Group, Aalto ARTS4.4.2012 INUSE seminar
  2. 2. Media Concepts Research Group•  Professor. Maija Töyry, VTT•  Head of Research, Merja Helle, FT•  Since 2006•  Aalto ARTS, Media Department, Graphic Design•  6 full-time researchers•  Digitalization and changing media as focus•  Developmental projects or trainign in over 60 media titles•  Adult education: Managing Media Concepts 2008-9, new course starting, Editing, Designing media concepts, Visuality, Magazine writing etc•  Designing media concepts with visuality/Otavamedia Seura, TM, Suosikki, VM
  3. 3. Research projects•  Tekes Next Media - eReading, digital publishing and reading - hyperlocal media and UGC - Personal Media Day - Cross-media in magazines - Visual power, brandin visuality in different platforms§  Intentional contextuality, portrait photography in magazines§  Database of magazine research§  Application to FA about localization of global magazines§  Upcoming: Imagining the readers/users in editorial offices
  4. 4. Mitä lehden mediakonsepti on?•  Media product as an activity concept (goals, values, economics, readership relations, publishing platforms, page plan, work processes etc.)•  Media product as a service concept (audience data, value for readers/ users, users as community, concept enlargements, new publishing platforms, new services)•  Media product as a material artefact (content, visuality, materia/l sensory aspects)•  Production processes and management
  5. 5. What is happening in the media field?
  6. 6. Creative industries•  ”The idea of creative industries seeks to describe the conceptual and practical convergence of the creative arts (individual talent) with cultural industries (mass scale), in the context of new media technologies (ICT’s within a new knowledge economy, for the use of newly interactive citizen-consumers” (Hartley 2005, 5)
  7. 7. Theoretical background(s)•  Cultural historical activity theory – activity systems From Change Laboratory 1996- to Media Concept Laboratory 2006-•  Technological innovation – media digitalization•  Journalism research – content and work processes•  Literary theory – model/implied reader•  Media business – service and value•  Audience research – meaning, relevance, fragmentation and autonomy•  Methods – qualitative, iterative combinations•  Design research – participatory design, co-design… Starting in Personal Media Day, long-term development plans Design as solving problems??
  8. 8. Media concept = audience+purpose+content+form+organizationTo create lasting readership relations
  9. 9. Concept determines content
  10. 10. ”Contested field of negotiations”•  In media research and teaching production, texts, visual design and use/reception are usually studied separately•  Media concept brings together the interests of the society, publisher, journalistic culture, audience, and technology•  Developmental tool: Media Concept laboratory
  11. 11. From craft to co-configuration
  12. 12. New techno-economic paradigm
  13. 13. From innovation to deployment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
  14. 14. Three levels of a media concept
  15. 15. Component 1 of mediaconcept:Publishers values and goals,journalistic culture,audience needs,societal context, technologyhistory of magazine and the genreModel reader”Why we publish this magazine?”
  16. 16. Component 2 - architecture•  Visual style, story types•  Tools to create and maintain the architecture of magazines: page plan, style book, story type descriptions, editing guidelines, feedback system•  Architecture of the organization
  17. 17. Component 3: daily work process•  Daily work processes•  Management of the daily work•  Journalistic textual and visual tools, and competencies•  Knowledge of the audience•  Planning and editing work process
  18. 18. The concept of women’s magazines isalways based on contradiction (Töyry 2005)•  Women’s lives are contradictory, so is their mediapresentation.•  A magazine offers a solution to a relevant contradiction in women’s lives.•  If the solution satisfies the reader she enters into a readership contract
  19. 19. Model / Implied reader is an imagined reader ofthe media product•  A stereotype, fictional character•  A tool for the construction of shared object of work•  Former ”Pihtiputaan mummo”•  The writers needs an vision of her/his reader in order to speak to her/him•  Implied reader as a concept is based in research in narratology/literary science•  Can be analyzed from the texts•  From visual design – needs more research
  20. 20. Implied reader•  The concept of an implied reader comes from literary studies and narratology (Iser 1971; Rimmon-Kenan 1999; Abbot 2002).•  The implied reader should not be confused with the real life reader. It does not depict a reader in flesh but is a fictive reader for a story or narrative is targeted at.•  It is analyzable from the texts•  How to combine production, texts, reception/use of media 3.4.2012
  21. 21. ”Rita” the implied reader of the newwebsite•  Female•  32 years•  Expert position•  Living with her boyfriend•  Likes traveling, pilates, worried about climate change, wants an audi•  Vs.•  John 52, manager, drives a Saab, lives in the suburbs, 3 children 23
  22. 22. In our work implied reader conceptis used:1. To focus on the object of journalism – how to choose story topics, their frames and ways of addressing readers2. To clarify different audience related concepts - e.g. target group, imagined reader, real reader, public etc.3. To reflect on journalistic ideals and identity
  23. 23. Napoli 2003 Audience economics•  Predicted audience An educated forecast of the target audience•  Measured audience Audience as represented by audience measurement firms Central product of the audience market place - a sample•  Actual audience Invisible ideal of audience market place - largely unknowable
  24. 24. Effects of Technological Change on AudienceInformation Systems/Napoli 2010•  Increased fragmentation –  Undermines traditional exposure metrics•  Increased interactivity –  Facilitates measurement of more dimensions of the audience
  25. 25. New Audience Information Systems/Napoli 2010•  Awareness/Interest –  Nielsen Buzzmetrics, E-Poll, TNS, etc.•  Engagement/Recall –  Nielsen IAG, Simmons, TiVo Stop||Watch, Networked Insights•  Emotional Response –  Marketing Evaluations•  Behavioral Response –  TRA Inc.
  26. 26. Changing audiences:From exposure to engagement/Napoli 2010
  27. 27. Observable Activities via Interactivity/Napoli 2010 Exposure Search Content Audience Provider Participation Production Response
  28. 28. Audience is a slippery concept•  Livingstone 1996•  implied audience = implicit audience•  “Audience is neutral of the economist assumptions of market, the political assumptions of public or mass or nation and the idealism of community“
  29. 29. Value for whom? (Robert Picard 2010) Golden age of journalism 1960s and After recession 1970s Media competition 2000-
  30. 30. “We all do our own thing”Merja Helle,Maija Töyry,Annika RuoranenAalto, Taik, Department of Media13.2.2010 3.4.2012
  31. 31. “We know what is best for thereaders”Merja HelleMaija TöyryAnnika RuoranenAalto University School of Art and DesignNordic Iscar 24.5.2010 Helsinki
  32. 32. How journalists talk aboutaudiences• 5 discourses from 3cases• Mediaconcept Laboratory• Implied reader• Object of activityMeCCSA 2010
  33. 33. (News)Journalists and audience•  Audience needs are not important•  Journalists decide what is important for audiences = information•  Journalists use derogatory language about audiences
  34. 34. Journalists write for each other•  Kärreman and Alvesson 2001: Journalist: “I would not read my paper if I did not have to” Audience is seen as interested only in light news, like sport and gossip, ”a single mother at the supermarket”•  Gans 1979: Vague idea of audience, journalists write for each other
  35. 35. The world is changingNews values for consumer groupsNiblock, Machin 2007 Independent Radio News•  “Journalists were targeting lifestyle groups through careful selection and use of language”•  “This research demonstrates that journalists’ attention to market forces does not necessarily result in dumbing down”•  New audience categories are based around research into lifestyles•  Selection, simplification and re-modeling•  Journalist imagined his target audience member – “Craig from Birmingham” who has a sister etc
  36. 36. Ideology of (news) journalism (Deuze2005)1. Public service: journalists provide a public service (as watchdogs or ‘newshounds’, active collectors and disseminators of information);2. Objectivity: journalists are impartial, neutral, objective, fair and (thus) credible;3. Autonomy: journalists must be autonomous, free and independent in their work;4. Immediacy: journalists have a sense of immediacy, actuality and speed5. Ethics: journalists have a sense of ethics, validity and legitimacy.
  37. 37. Data from three ethnographic,developmental research projects(Mediaconcept Laboratories:1. National Finnish newspaper 1995-19972. Finnish sports magazine 2006-20073. Finnish national newspaper and its new website 2006-2007•  The data was gathered with interviews and ethnographic observation, in developmental interventions using the Change Laboratory method in the first case and the Mediaconcept Laboratory in the last two cases. MeCCSA 2010
  38. 38. •  “We cannot ask the readers what to write. It is at the heart of our expertise to know what to do”•  “Everyone has their own idea. Everyone has her or his personal opinion about the readers. We use our own imagination”•  “This is what they want, I know what my son wants to read”•  “It is a male, and there are lots of products and possibilities for advertising to male readers”MeCCSA 2010
  39. 39. Different discourses of audience byjournalists1.  Absence of audience - discourse. a. audience not mentioned b. dumb audience, thus irrelevant2. Marketing and measuring audiences - discourse. a. by marketing people b. journalists interested in web clicks MeCCSA 2010
  40. 40. Audience discourses3. Important information for the masses, chosen and delivered by journalists - discourse. a. passive recipients b. activating citizens4. Me, colleagues and friends as the audience - discourse.5. Addressing audience interests, needs and mindsets - discourse. MeCCSA 2010
  41. 41. Absence of audience•  "A good paper? Isnt it the about the basic principles of the (Daily News). Trustworthy, many-sided, absolutely many-sided -the most readable paper in Finland, that is what we try to do ... Careful, pedantic work. One must not make any mistakes.”•  “I don’t know if should do that (talk with marketing). We have not talked before with the sales people or chief of marketing. I don’t think their opinions matter a f..s worth when we are discussing journalism” (magazine editor-in- chief”. MeCCSA 2010
  42. 42. Advertising discourse•  “It is a male, and there are lots of products and possibilities for advertising to male readers”•  “We have been told several times (by marketing department) that the top level executives and middle level managers are our most important target group. And after them people who invest in stocks, we have lots of readers among them. And of course it is an extremely difficult question and we have been thinking about it for ten years – what should our audience be”. MeCCSA 2010
  43. 43. Absence of audience•  "A good paper? Isnt it the about the basic principles of the (Daily News). Trustworthy, many-sided, absolutely many-sided -the most readable paper in Finland, that is what we try to do ... Careful, pedantic work. One must not make any mistakes.”•  “I don’t know if should do that (talk with marketing). We have not talked before with the sales people or chief of marketing. I don’t think their opinions matter a f..s worth when we are discussing journalism” (magazine editor-in- chief”. MeCCSA 2010
  44. 44. Activating audiences•  "Well, it shows when a discussion springs up, or people come around or call. Or, of course, at its best, it results in more than discussion, in something being done about it, a law is changed." MeCCSA 2010
  45. 45. Me and my colleagues•  “This is what they want, I know what my son wants to read”. MeCCSA 2010
  46. 46. Rita vs. John•  “If Rita gets interested in a story it does not mean that John won’t read it. He might be more inclined to read it, because the language would be clearer and the headline less boring”. MeCCSA 2010
  47. 47. Five approaches to the link between micro and macro(Livingstone 1996)Main focus of approach Associated assumptions Conception of the audience1. Instrumental Emphasis on analysis of Audience as marketindividualism: macro as investement, costs, and (audience as consumer)aggregate of (idealized) opportunitiesmicro2. Interpretative Social constructionist positin Active/creative audienceindividualism: micro as within the micro as source ofindividual interpretative social ordersubjectivity3. Less agentic version of Micro as autonomous but less Audience as publicsocial constructionism creative than interpretative (the citizen viewer) individualism4. Emphasis on socialization Takes a collective position on Audience as potentiallyas the internalized macro order and an instrumental- resistant subjective position on action5. Objective structuralism Takes a collective position on Audience as duped mass order and an instrumental- objective position on action
  48. 48. Two views on audience research
  49. 49. Re-purpose content from archives
  50. 50. Seventeen shopping B C
  51. 51. Enjoy your classic shoe B C
  52. 52. Where to buyB C
  53. 53. Reserve and confirm B C
  54. 54. Uudet ja nopeat mediakonseptit
  55. 55. Workprocess: planning editing feedback

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