Article

Media Convergence

Richard A. Gershon

in Communication

ISBN: 9780199756841
Published online June 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0026
Media Convergence

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For communication scholars, convergence is a fairly elastic term that has come to mean different things depending on time, application, and context. There are a number of driving forces that focus public attention on the issue, including the digitalization of media and information technology, worldwide deregulation trends, changes in technology (most notably the Internet), merger and acquisition activities, and the search for new market. While the term convergence may be elastic, it shoulders an important responsibility in helping to explain the ramifications of technologies and business enterprises that are linked together. Media convergence is the merging (or joining together) of previously distinct media to create entirely new forms of communication expression. Convergence is at the heart of today’s digital media revolution and includes such technologies and software applications as the Internet and electronic commerce, smartphone technology, digital-film animation, DVD (digital video disc) music and high-definition television (HDTV), and videogame systems to name only a few. Over time, convergence has become a fairly elastic term that has come to mean different things depending on time, application, and context. For communication scholars, there are a number of driving forces that focus public attention on the issue, including the digitalization of media and information technology, media merger and acquisition activities, changes in technology (most notably the Internet), the repurposing of old media into new media formats, and the growing importance of social networking and virtual communities. Numerous books, chapters, and articles have been written on the topic of media convergence. They vary in size and quality from the scholarly to the popular press. As Mike Wirth points out, “One of the challenges of studying media convergence is that the concept is so broad that it has multiple meanings.” (See Wirth 2006, p. 445, cited under Technology and Economic Performance). More so, because the term is implied in a number of related terms and ideas, including: digital media, cross-media ownership, transnational media, and broadband communication. Central to any discussion on media convergence is the term digital media itself, because it provides the context and example through which media convergence occurs. In general, media convergence falls into four general categories that will be covered in this bibliography: Introductory Works, Business Enterprise Convergence, Technology and Economic Performance, and Culture and Social Commentary.

Article.  6064 words. 

Subjects: Communication Studies

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