Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Instead of Convergence ...

A spanking new copy of Newspaper Research Journal arrived in today's mail and it includes a study about the c-word and how, instead of convergence, we're seeing something very different. The title and abstract give you a hint:
Web-centric Convergence Replaces Media Partnerships

This study of convergence journalism at TV news operations and newspapers in the top 200 markets found that cross-platform partnerships found in 2003 and 2005 had largely faded by 2011 to be replaced by a new model of web-centric convergence journalism or "Webvergence."
TV has been slower than newspapers to adopt a web-based presence of any significance, but of late TV is doing a better job of training folks with multimedia skills (which makes sense). Social media is also driving a lot of this, especially for TV, at least according to the longitudinal national data analyzed here.

Okay, why do I find this interesting? Because we're in the early stages of talking about a reshuffling of Grady College that, perhaps, will mean combining Journalism and what used to be called Broadcast News (it has some long name now with lots of poorly written modifiers, digital something-or-other). The point is, one way to "converge" the two programs is on a common platform. To me, that's web/mobile. We're very early in the process and I'm just one guy on a committee, so don't assume anything I suggest will matter, but in skimming this study it suggests the old c-word is dead. I agree. Indeed, I never felt it was alive in the first place.


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