Mass Media Convergence Through the Eyes of Russian Journalists
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Mass Media Convergence Through the Eyes of Russian Journalists
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Баранова, Е. А. Mass Media Convergence Through the Eyes of Russian Journalists / Е. А. Баранова. - Текст : электронный // Znanium.com. - 2017. - №1-12. - URL: https://znanium.com/catalog/product/506080 (дата обращения: 21.10.2021). – Режим доступа: по подписке.
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Mass Media Convergence Through the Eyes of Russian Journalists World of Media 2011. Yearbook of Russian Media and Journalism Studies Под общей редакцией: E. Vartanova. M.: Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, 2011, pp. 96-113 Yekaterina A. Baranova Post Graduate Student at the Chair of Media Theory and Economics, the Faculty of Journalism, Lomonosov Moscow State University, email@example.com Abstract In the summer of 2009, a survey was held among 20 respondents, mostly editors of online versions of business, general interest, social and political and specialized newspapers. The journalists were from 17 Russian publishing houses and RIA Novosti news agency. The results of the survey presented in this article show the way mass media convergence is developing in Russia. Key words: process of mass media convergence, mass media integration, multimedia, web department. Methodology In conducting the survey, the method of a semi-formalized interview was applied. “A semi-formalized interview appeals to a respondent’s natural flow of thought encouraging him to speak without restraints on the subject suggested”¹. The questions were formulated in a general way in order to spark off nontrivial responses without limiting respondents to a particular area of searching for an answer. Analyzing the data obtained through the interviews we used the coding method bringing the unprocessed data into conceptual categories and framing themes like “Understanding terms” or “Web department” later used in the analysis. Using the method of axial coding, we “focused on the data themselves and attributed code values to the themes”². For example, studying the video content evolution on Russian newspapers’ websites we divided the subject of research into the following parts: the emergence of video content on the websites of Russian newspapers; video content production; the forms in which video is presented; inclusion of advertising into videos. We also focused our attention on what all the examples under consideration had in common. We concluded that almost all the editions at hand implement, to this or that extent, the main idea of convergence: collective and cross-departmental team-based newswork and content distribution across multiple channels. Understanding terms Today the concepts of “mass media convergence” and the related concepts of “multimedia” and “mass media integration” are much talked about among journalists. Theorists are still unable to work out a consistent definition of the term “convergence” equating it with the
concept of “integration”. For this reason, we asked the respondents to explain what these concepts meant to them in their practical activities. When the question “How do you understand the process of mass media convergence?” was asked, seven respondents failed to answer it, either because they had never heard about it or because the concept was hard to define. Those who did answer provided material for isolating four major approaches to understanding the term: • Convergence is a technological process, inter-penetration of technologies, production of the media product by all possible means. As O. Silantyeva, head of the media projects of Alta Press publishing house, put it, convergence “is a technological term: the same event can be presented in technologically different ways”³. • Convergence is a combination of various types and formats of presenting information through different media. A. Aliyev, director of the internet project of the newspaper Izvestia, believes that convergence is a “conglomerate of various forms of presenting information on a website”⁴. • Convergence is content distribution through as many information channels as possible. According to P. Chernikov, editor-in-chief of kommesant.ru, it is “bringing together and uniting different channels of information distribution”⁵. • Convergence is a combination of two products: the print and online editions of a newspaper. P. Sukhov, editor-in-chief of GZT.RU, said that he “had come across the concept of convergence only once, and it was a case of a convergent, integrated newsroom producing content for both the website and the newspaper”⁶. Apart from these four, some other interpretations of the term were suggested by the respondents. Y. Garkunov, managing editor of the online edition of the newspaper Trud, thinks that “convergence implies a concerted effort by a newsroom to complete all kinds of projects, collective and cross-departmental team-based work to generate a product”⁷. According to A. Glebov, editor of the internet-project www.sovsport.ru, convergence is a “joint action of different mass media belonging within one holding aimed at creating content and distributing it on various media platforms. Convergence can take place only in a media company that includes various mass media, such as the news agency RIA Novosti. Our holding [the publishing house Komsomolskaya Pravda - author’s note] also includes various mass media: the newspapers Komsomolskaya Pravda and Sovetskiy sport with their online editions as well as the radio station KP, and these do cooperate”⁸. Most respondents do not make a distinction between “mass media convergence” and “mass media integration”. P. Sukhov, for example, believes that these are identical concepts suggesting the combination of two products: the print edition of a newspaper and its electronic edition: “Either there are two newsrooms producing content for the two editions... or there is one newsroom having to provide for both media platforms. This is a fact, and which term researchers use to describe it - integration, convergence or diversification of activities - does not really matter”⁹. O. Lutskovich, managing editor at the real estate news editorial office of RIA Novosti, points out that “convergence and integration are almost similar concepts in journalism. They imply integration and interpenetration of various mass media, which ensures a combination of in-depth analysis provided by newspaper journalism, the emotional impact of videos and online interactivity¹⁰. Alternatively, A. Kozenko, senior reporter for “Society” column of the newspaper Kommersant, thinks that integration occurs when one edition acquires another. The acquisition of the magazine Ogonyok by Kommersant publishing house is an example of horizontal integration”¹¹.
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