Media convergence Unit



  1. The advent of the Internet and converging media

Traditionally,newspapers have been strictly a print news media. However, with thearrival of the World Wide Web and the internet, this has changed.Today, there is a growing number of people accessing newspapersdigitally through a variety of internet enabled devices such asmobile phones, computers, tablets and even some television sets. Thisshows that media is rapidly converging and the future of printnewspapers in this time and age of green advocacy seems uncertain.

Technologicalchange has brought about this media convergence. The impact onnewspapers, though many have largely viewed the impact as negative,there are some positives to it. The ease and convenience of accessingnewspapers digitally through the internet implies that have a futureby migrating online or adapting to technology in other ways. Somesuch as Richard Smith believe that the future of newspapers is bleak(Campbell, 2014). Those in the newspaper industry are positive andwith one news editor claiming that “we do have a future…and it ismore in our control than the popular wisdom would have us believe”(Smith2012, p. 12).The control they claim largely pertains to timing.

Convergenceof newspapers and the internet enables newspapers to compete betteragainst other traditional media. Little (2014) explains by sayingthat through the internet on social media and media house ownedwebsites, newspapers are now capable of presently news to consumerson a timely basis. Previous, radio and television were betterequipped at transmitting news as soon as they occur while newspapermedia houses had to wait until the following day when consumes couldaccess the news. As such, newspapers were perceived to be reporting“history” as opposed to news. With the internet, newspapers haveeven adapted better to the changes with the ability to presentbreaking news through social media and websites in a timelier mannerthan even radio and newspapers websites.

Theinternet and digital technology enables newspaper media to cut costs.These outlets continue to sell digital papers by enabling onlinesubscription services to consumers. This approach not only increasesconvenience to consumers but also eliminates the printing costs andlogistical issues for the media houses.

  1. News media and American culture

Increasedaccess and consumption of media content has increased influence onAmerican culture. With children and adults learning throughimitation, the influence is even larger. As such, media outlets needto be aware of this influence and do their business in a sociallyresponsible manner. They should for instance air relevant andconstructive content and avoid gossip (Blitz 2014). For usergenerated content, social responsibility expectations are rather low.For sites with mass access such as Facebook and Twitter, it is hardto regulate content shared because these sites allow some degree ofanonymity through which individuals create fake identities online topost any manner of content. On the other hand, blogs have betterregulation control on content given that many are linked to certainprofessions and target a specific niche audience.

Themedia influences politics in diverse ways. Politicians haveconventionally used media in their campaigns to air their paid-foradverts. Other than that, public relations and general news politicscoverage introduces politicians and usually main candidates to thepublic. Media houses have shown political leaning such as the NewYork Times being pro-liberal and The Wall street Journal beingpro-conservative (TVT ropes 2014). Nonetheless, an unbiased approachis largely acceptable such as by television and radio which holddebates for presidential candidates to offer them a chance to presenttheir ideas to the public. The media, through editorial coverage andediting of news content can shape or create an image of a politicianthat serves their interest (Terilli 2008). In the US, media somemedia houses have openly supported certain political parties andcandidates. This way, they influence politics as they help inpropping up or bringing down candidates.

Mediaconvergence has changed journalism and media content consumption.Newspapers are printing less and distributing more digitally viainternet. Traditional media has embraced the internet and socialmedia and launched websites and social media profiles to interactbetter with consumers. The internet thus brings the media andconsumers closer. In terms of journalism, the internet hasdemystified journalism as users also get to create content.Independent journalists and professionals also have access to a moreconvenient platform such as blogs through which they can distributetheir content (Fanselow,2009).On the other hand, the internet has given room to substandardjournalism and plagiarism as online content is poorly protected.


Blitz,M. (2014). Themedia we deserve.Proquest.

Fanselow,J. (2009). Community blogging: The New Wave of Citizen Journalism.Wiley

Periodicals.DOI: 10.1002/ncr.230

Smith,T. (2012) Mediaconvergence of newspapers.

Terilli,S. (2008). Commentary 3: government playing at journalism, notgovernment paying

journalists,is the real problem. Journalof mass media ethics.23(2)164-169.

TVTropes (2014). Americannewspapers.Retrieved online on 20thSept. 2014 from

Video.Newspapers and the Internet: Convergence