Tutorial 6 Convergence

April 24, 2009

Nightengale and Dwyer’s ‘New Media Worlds? Challenges for convergence’ central argument claims fundamental differences between the internet and traditional media are generating problems for the process of convergence. The text presents the ideology that how these hurdles are handled by the traditional media, who are faced with competing against the internet which is able to provide rich information with an extremely wide reach, will determine what the media of the next generation will become.

 In order to further explore these theories the key concepts deconstruction and disintermediation and internetisation and mediatisation and are employed.

The term deconstruction used to describe the process when an entire business must be pulled apart and reconstructed.  Disintermediation is defined as when a competitor causes an existing business to re segment thereby changing the market landscape. The second meaning highlights competitors who place themself in direct competition with an existing business which is presented with no market re segmenting options and may have to close down. Through Nightengale and Dwyer these concepts are placed in the context of broadcast TV. Faced with the competition of the internet and a loss of audience and consequently advertisers broadcast media are unable to just re segment, they are forced to entirely change. These financial obstacles are the first hurdle in the process of convergence.

Internetisation explores the gradual process currently being undertaken by traditional media attempting to resemble the internet. Clear examples of this progression are the new formatting techniques of several news channels such as CNN and BBC modified to resemble the opening page of a website. They incorporate side bars and moving headlines to create this aesthetic. In further attempts to merge closer to the internet Channel V offers interactive TV on particular days allowing viewers to choose what they watch. Despite traditional media’s attempts to regain their lost audience this has emerged as a major obstacle of convergence. Content; unlike the internet traditional media is unable to have content with both rich information and far reach instead having to choose one or the other. Mediatisation is the opposite concept.  The text exemplifies this process through the use of an example Google is offering to pay the creators of the most popular YouTube clips. Despite, this being a good idea it is likely to favour larger corporation style media causing discord between the traditional style of institutional media and the internet style of user created media.

The process of convergence has reached a crucial point as media rapidly moves forward. Traditional media forms have made obvious attempts to merge into the internet world for example initiating websites corresponding to popular TV shows. Although these sights allow further contact with the show, they are limited in their content and the amount of profit they are able to generate. Broadcast media and newspapers have become less profitable. They are unable to gain enough revenue through internet sites to remain the large institutions that they are. This illustrates the burden and obstacles of convergence directly aligning with the core argument of the text. As the internet and individual sites begin to take over questions begin to arise. What will happen; will internet sites make enough money to conduct research, are those people held to the same standard and accountability as journalists. These are further obstacles found in the process of convergence.

 

From Nightengale and Dwyer (Eds) ‘New Media Worlds’ Oxford, 2007, p 19 – 36

Tutorial 4 (The Doubling of Place)

April 3, 2009

‘The doubling of Place Electronic media, time – space arrangements and social relationships’ Moores argues that media including modern technologies such as the internet pluralise space. Consumers of media are not just in their physical location but, a virtual location which they occupy with other users.

In order to explore the creation of space Moores examines its relationship with time; both the dailiness of media and public events. Dailiness is examined through the work of Scannell who explains that it is the routine and cyclical scheduling of media programs in relation to certain times of the day i.e. breakfast which allow media to become a natural aspect of our daily routines. It is the programs that we watch each day that allow us not only to be in our living room but experiencing the world of the characters in a soap opera or the devastation of a natural disaster on the news. Major public events broadcast particularly highlight media’s ability to ‘double space’. As seen in the example shown by Moores (Princess Diana’s funeral) people stop their routine or ‘time’ altogether, this interruption of routine enhances the importance of the event. The broadcast enables people to experience the entire event, be there, as well as in their living room. The atmosphere surrounding the event also creates a sense of community; viewers feel as though the whole world is watching.  

Moores focuses on the concept of social relationships through technology throughout the text. He explores the internet, particularly chat rooms, as seen through his second case study where a virtual setting on the internet is created for people to talk to others who they may never have physically met. Moores notes that all these people are in separate physical places whilst simultaneously being together in a virtual space on the internet. The telephone is also examined as a technology which facilitates social relationships where the person on the phone is not only in their physical location but in a bubble with the person on the other end.

The doubling of place through technology is a key feature of modern society. Internet games such as World of Warcraft are a clear exemplification of Moores’ argument. The game is able to create a virtual world launching its users into another place other than their physical location, where they are able to form social connections with other users. The game incorporates itself into the routine of its users who often try to play for a specific amount of time at a certain time each day. The amount of users and the formation of larger social networks reveal the prevalence of the game and the significance of Moores’ argument that media, including electronic media have the ability to pluralise space.

Moores, Shaun ‘The Doubling of Place Electronic media, time – space arrangements and social relationships’ From Couldry and McCarthy ‘Media Space: Place, Scale and Culture in a Media Age’ Rutledge, 2004, 21 – 37

Tutorial Post One

March 20, 2009

I unfortunately fall into the category of people who no longer buy the newspaper despite wanting to become a journalist. Recently I discovered that several newspapers offer free subscription to aspects of their online publications and have begun subscribing to various newspapers such as London’s Guardian and the New York Times. Every day the news is constantly surrounding me. I listen to the radio in the mornings and during the evenings consequently hearing the regular news broadcasts. If at home, I also watch the six o’ clock Channel Seven news.

The main language tool that I use is the dictionary, in particular online dictionaries but, very rarely a printed dictionary. One of the only other language tools that I use are online versions of the thesaurus.

Deadlines, I am not too bad with deadlines. Although, I do have a tendency to leave work to the last minute. Over the last two years I have become far more organized finding them much less stressful to meet.

Tutorial Two (Domesticating domestication)

March 19, 2009

‘Domesticating domestication. Reflections on the life of a concept’ argues that media and technology are intrinsically embedded within our modern culture. But to what degree we domesticate (which Silverstone defines  as ‘Domestication is practice. It involves human agency. It requires effort and culture, and leaves nothing as it is.'(Silverstone 2006 231)) these new technologies into our lives are controlled by us. He explains that despite this, the process of domestication remains the same occurring in four main phases:

  1. Appropriation (purchasing a product and introducing it into the household) 
  2. Objectification (the display of the product)
  3. Incorporation (the product becoming integrated into the daily routines of its users)
  4. Conversion (the product partaking in social life)

The concepts of the household and the ‘moral economy’ reveal the four phases of domestication as the process which all consumers unconsciously follow in order to control the media and technology in their lives.  Acknowledging that once the technology becomes integrated into their lives it will consequently changes them. 

Silverstone describes the household not as a physical place but, an intangible aspect of our identity. Noting the nuclear family is now less common he insists that the household and the idea of a home is prevalent in today’s society. Arguing that the household is where the ‘moral economy’ is formulated.

The ‘moral economy’ is a term used to describe the values and behaviours which are upheld by each household in particular regards to technology. It is this set of values which determine what products will be bought, how they are objectified, to what degree they are integrated into our lives and how they are incorporated into our social lives.

Silverstone’s article is clearly illustrated in the daily life of most families including my own where there are rules and limitations in regards to what types of technologies can be used at particular times and the amount of time that may be spent using them. In turn the use of these technologies has become an integral part of our daily lives forming a part of our identity. Technology is now constantly used for social purposes and the creation of our public identity as well as means for gaining information regarding both our local and global communities. Technology is no longer just domesticated into a physical location (our homes) and our daily routines but has been incorporated into our identity and understanding of who we are.

Silverstone, Roger ‘Domesticating domestication. Reflections on the life of a concept’ From Berker, T et al eds  ‘Domestication of Media and Technology’ Open Uni Press, 2006, 229 – 248

Tutorial Week one (Media Studies 2.0)

March 13, 2009

In the article “Media Studies 2.0” Gauntlett explores the changing relationship between media and audiences. Arguing that the rapid devolpments in technology particularly the internet have shifted from the traditional ideals of an audience which receives information unqestioningly to an audience which is able to have a more immediate and significant relationship with the media; criticing the stories and even creating them themselves.

Gauntlett’s core argument is supported through multiple key concepts in the article:

  • Technology  – The development of the internet with sites that allow people to create their own publications (movies, photos and blogs) immediately portraying their personal opinions and understandings. This technology has shifted the audience from the position of the voiceless public who are spoken to and represented by large media outlets to individuals who all have the ability to actively participate in the creation of news.
  • Academia – Gauntlett argues that the reality of this shift in the relationship between the media and its audience is evident in the changing ways media studies is being taught which he labels “Media Studies 2.0” . A greater emphasis is being placed on technology in most courses.  The once imperative expert readings and correct methods of interpreting media are now accompanied with encouraging students to explore the general public’s understanding of the media through the internet. Students are also encouraged to be creative and develop their own ideas and opinions of the media.

The change in the relationship between audiences and the media can be clearly felt in most households including my own where the use of the internet is daily. We use more and more web sharing sites and are able to comment and express our own personal opinions; proving the reality of Gauntlett’s argument. Despite the obvious positive aspects of the audience becoming active members of the media. i.e. The publication of several different points of view from people of varying backgrounds allowing for a broader understanding of current news stories there are negative consequences. There is no need for any of the people who create these sites to conduct any research enabling them to publish any article free of responsibility for the legitimacy of thier work. It is with this in mind that we hope the future will find a balance where aspects of traditional thinking converge with ideas from the rapidly developing modern media.

References:

Gauntlett, D. “Media Studies 2.0” http://www.theory.org.uk/mediastudies2.htm

Hello world!

March 13, 2009

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!