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Convergence is reshaping the landscape of journalism in a variety of ways. This comparative study was targeted on integrated newsrooms, which combine at least two platforms: print and online, in some cases also television and radio. Research was conducted in six media companies which are undergoing some degree of newsroom convergence in Austria, Spain and Germany. Descriptors for different levels of cross-media production and the process of convergence were established—avoiding technological determinism and the typical mindset in the industry that regards full integration as the necessary final step of any convergence project. As a result of the transnational comparison of six case studies, a convergence matrix for analysis and comparison of integrated newsrooms was outlined. The matrix is related to four essential areas of development in a media convergence process: project scope, newsroom management, journalistic practices, work organization. Based on this matrix, three models of newsroom convergence were drawn: full integration, cross-media and co-ordination of isolated platforms.
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Journalism Practice
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José García Avilés; Klaus Meier; Andy Kaltenbrunner; Miguel Carvajal; Daniela Kraus
First Published on: 25 March 2009
To cite this Article Avilés, José García, Meier, Klaus, Kaltenbrunner, Andy, Carvajal, Miguel and Kraus, Daniela(2009)'NEWSROOM
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Models of media convergence
Jose´ A. Garcı
´a Avile´s, Klaus Meier, Andy Kaltenbrunner,
Miguel Carvajal, and Daniela Kraus
Convergence is reshaping the landscape of journalism in a variety of ways. This comparative
study was targeted on integrated newsrooms, which combine at least two platforms: print and
online, in some cases also television and radio. Research was conducted in six media companies
which are undergoing some degree of newsroom convergence in Austria, Spain and Germany.
Descriptors for different levels of cross-media production and the process of convergence were
established*avoiding technological determinism and the typical mindset in the industry that
regards full integration as the necessary final step of any convergence project. As a result of the
transnational comparison of six case studies, a convergence matrix for analysis and comparison
of integrated newsrooms was outlined. The matrix is related to four essential areas of
development in a media convergence process: project scope, newsroom management, journalistic
practices, work organization. Based on this matrix, three models of newsroom convergence were
drawn: full integration, cross-media and co-ordination of isolated platforms.
KEYWORDS European media; journalism; media convergence; multimedia; newsroom
Over the last few years, many media companies in Europe and other parts of the
world have implemented convergence processes that raise fundamental questions about
the future of journalism (Lawson-Borders, 2006; Saltzis and Dickinson, 2008; Singer, 2004).
Media convergence is inseparably related to industry convergence; the communications,
computer and media sectors found a common path, facilitated by the deregulation of
communications law, media digitalization and the global reach of the Internet (Bauer,
2005). As the businesses of content providers and distributors moved closer together, the
media companies positioned themselves strategically within the new scenario, forging
alliances with partners from other sectors (Chan-Olmsted and Chang, 2003). In this way,
the process of fusions, mergers and acquisitions of traditional- and new-media companies
accelerated the transition to the new converged era, one in which cross-ownership and
business economics shape market structure.
Convergence refers to ‘‘some combination of technologies, products, staffs and
geography amongst the previously distinct provinces of print, television and online
Journalism Practice, 2009, iFirst Article, 119
ISSN 1751-2786 print/1751-2794 online
2009 Taylor & Francis DOI: 10.1080/17512780902798638
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media’’ (Singer, 2004, p. 3). The phenomenon can be analysed from at least four
perspectives: technological, managerial, communicative and professional, all of which are
intertwined in a continuously changing media environment (Garcı´a Avile
´s, 2006).
Convergence is reshaping the landscape of journalism in a variety of ways for, as Pavlik
puts it: ‘‘newsroom structures, journalistic practices and news content are all evolving’’
(2004, p. 28). The process has been described ‘‘in terms of (increasing) cooperation and
collaboration between formerly distinct media newsrooms and other parts of the modern
media company’’ (Deuze, 2004, p. 140).
According to Quinn (2005), managers adopt convergence with two, not necessarily
opposing, main goals in mind: improving the quality of journalism and tightening
production costs. From management’s point of view, the most frequent strategies are
collaboration and partnership among the different media. Thus, managers have used
convergence in order to achieve more efficient multiplatform news production and
improve performance. Convergence is usually a corporate management decision when it
involves several business units, such as organisational structure, production, distribution,
marketing and human resources (Killebrew, 2005).
Professional convergence is the main focus of our study. From the journalistic
perspective, convergence and newsroom integration generate fundamental changes in
news production and organization. Digital systems allow journalists to share data (audio,
video and text) in order to elaborate content for the various platforms with increasing
versatility. At integrated newsrooms, multi-skilled journalists produce news for at least two
platforms: print, radio, television, mobile devices and the Internet. This varied work for
several platforms may lead to more creative journalistic story-telling but also to a growing
pressure on editors and reporters (Meier, 2009).
Dailey et al. (2005) conceptualize the nature of newsroom convergence according to
the assumption of evolving degrees of interaction and co-operation among cross-media
partners and whether the media are owned by common or separate companies. These
authors establish a standard of measurement*‘‘the Convergence Continuum Model’’*and
offer operational definitions of the various levels in that model. Within this framework, news
convergence is defined as a series of behaviour-based activities illustrating the interaction
and co-operation stages of staff at newspapers, television stations and online organizations.
The dynamic continuum’s components provide media professionals with a better under-
standing of an evolutionary trend in their industry as they develop cross-media alliances.
Each of those levels comprises a series of tasks and processes. At the basic level, each
medium gathers, packages and delivers the news on its own and uses cross-promotion on
other platforms; at the top level, a single newsroom generates content for several platforms.
Much of the literature argues that convergence is reshaping the fundamental
relationships between journalists, their sources and their audiences (Boczkowski and Ferris,
2005; Lawson-Borders, 2006). A broadened research basis is therefore needed in order to
align existing data with a supporting context in different countries. Our comparative study
has been strongly influenced by the idea of finding descriptors for different levels of cross-
media production and the process of convergence. Results were tabulated and a
convergence matrix was outlined as the basis of a model for the classification of converging
newsrooms. The continuum model suggests a step-by-step development of increasing
levels in order to reach a higher degree of convergence. Our matrix intends to analyse the
state of newsroom integration without automatically favouring one level over another.
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In a world of globalising media markets, knowledge about convergence develop-
ment and insights into how to foster quality journalism in this context can best be gained
with an international perspective. Comparative work is difficult (Esser and Pfetsch, 2004),
which is perhaps why comparative media research is relatively thin on the ground. It
requires deep knowledge of the phenomena being examined as well as methods that
allow meaningful equivalences which, at the same time, do not neglect the wealth of
different meanings that exist in diverse cultural contexts. Our research focuses on
professional attitudes and practices in six media organizations undergoing some kind of
newsroom convergence in Austria, Germany and Spain. The case study method was
chosen as the most appropriate for analysing convergence, since it is acknowledged as
a valid tool for analysing a complex issue and permitting research of a phenomenon in its
own context (Stake, 1995). Such a qualitative method relies on sources such as direct
observation, interviews, written records and other documents to validate its conclusions.
Case studies have frequently been used as a methodological tool to examine the
implications of newsroom convergence (Dupagne and Garrison, 2006; Garcı´a Avile
´s and
Carvajal, 2008; Huang et al., 2006).
Two case studies were conducted in each country in order to determine the type of
convergence strategies that were being implemented. The decisive factor when selecting
the three countries and the six cases was that of gathering a variety of convergence
preconditions (e.g. the countrys media policy, the degree of media concentration, the size
of the markets and regional traditions of media culture). In order not to over-extend the
study and to allow a focused point of view, we concentrated on media organizations with
a daily print newspaper as the traditional core product. The results are based on
newsroom observation and interviews with 28 news managers and journalists in those
media analysed.
The initial hypothesis was that several models of newsroom convergence
might be established according to various descriptors which influence the production of
news. Media convergence cases were analysed and compared by using the following four
core research questions:
.Are there different types of newsroom convergence in each country or even in each
.How do newsrooms organize the editorial workflow between the various platforms?
.What is the influence of convergent newsroom structures on the job satisfaction of
.What are the levels of multiskilling at each media company?
National Media Context and Comparative Analysis
Convergence development is dependent not only on the economic and strategic
interests of publishers and broadcasters but also on the influence of national parameters.
To be able to conduct this international study, each countrys market was analysed.
A thorough and extensive commentary of this comparison, however, goes beyond the
limits of this article.
According to 2005 country data (Oficina de Control de la Difusio
´n (OJD) and World
Association of Newspapers (WAN)), the readership index in Austria was 266 sold copies per
1000 inhabitants, followed by Germany (261) and Spain (98). Although German newspaper
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publishers became involved in the Internet in the mid-1990s (Neuberger and Tonnema-
cher, 2003), in most cases they did so hesitantly and with scant resources (Meyer, 2005).
However, the trend towards cross-media newsrooms has also been gaining momentum in
Germany since 2006 (Meier, 2007, 2009). In Austria, newspapersonline editions were
developed in 1995 and 1996 (e.g. Der Standard,Kurier,Vorarlberger Medienhaus). Another
relevant difference in national standards is that the convergence process in Central Europe
is clearly more Web-driven than in Spain, due to higher Internet penetration and faster
broadband development in Germany and Austria.
The importance of the radio and television markets in Spain, by contrast, is based on
the early opening of these markets with only a few limitations to cross-ownership. This
gives more relevance to cross-media strategies both at the national and regional levels, as
well as some degree of media company concentration which is not legally permitted in
Germany and Austria. The penetration of free daily newspapers is also relevant since, while
there is no free newspaper market in Germany to date, Spanish free newspapers are
already very successful as a new competitor and in Austria two papers of this kind have
been launched at local level.
Case Studies
In Austria*due to the restrictions in media company cross-ownership and the late
opening of the private radio and TV markets*newspapersconvergence strategies are
mainly focused on the production of multimedia content in new, planned newsroom
environments (Kaltenbrunner et al., 2007; Steinmaurer, 2002). Two case studies were
selected: (1) the very new newsroom of O
¨sterreich/, the daily newspaper and
multimedia production founded in Vienna in September 2006 and (2) Der Standard, whose
online edition ( is one of the most successful Austrian platforms with
a national market share of 14.9 per cent in 2007.
Newsroom convergence at O
¨sterreich.In September 2006, the daily newspaper
¨sterreich was launched by Wolfgang Fellner, who had previously been successful in the
magazine market as founder of the ‘‘News’’ magazine group. Marketing for the new paper
included the announcement of a ‘‘dialogue between print and online’’. Its multimedia
production occupies a 2400 square metre newsroom with state of the art technology,
where 150 professionals produce both the print and online editions. According to the data
of the independent ‘‘O
¨sterreichische Auflagenkontrolle’’ (O
¨AK), O
¨sterreich reached
a circulation of 310,000 in 2007, of which 167,000 were sold copies. Nearly 50 per cent
were free copies, given away mainly in subway stations. O
¨sterreich was designed as
a convergent product from the start. Nevertheless, its online edition is a separate legal unit
with a slightly different ownership structure. The newsroom displays a circular architecture
where sections are situated around the inner circle, the so-called ‘‘Tower of Power’’ with
the editors-in-chiefs desks. The concept was designed to integrate online and print
journalists in each section but did not work. About 15 online journalists are now located in
their own section. ‘‘We want co-operation and co-ordination but prefer to have experts in
each platform’’, the general manager said. Each of them faces a large screen on which the
production of the print pages can be observed. In this way, the online team knows exactly
what is being discussed in print although both platforms are organized separately.
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The morning conference is attended by editors from both the print and online
teams. The online team announces its main topics for the day at this conference, as does
every other section. It is there that decisions on thematic co-ordination and cross-media
marketing are made.
Although ‘‘online first’’ has been announced as a policy, the Web has not been given
priority in publishing scoops. If print has an exclusive story, a teaser will be published
online shortly before the story is announced via news agencies, but not the full-length
story. There are two different Content Management Systems for print and online.
The concept of architectural integration aims to foster internal communication,
although everybody is responsible for news production on his or her own platform. The
level of multiskilling is not very high in the O
¨sterreich newsroom. Some video specialists
work in the online section. The newspaper co-operated with a local broadcaster to produce
hourly television news broadcast on the Web but it turned out to be too expensive.
Newsroom convergence at Der Standard. Der Standard launched its Web edition in 1995 as the first German-language online newspaper. The Web edition
reaches a higher number of users (1.2 million monthly unique users) than the quality
newspaper (341,000 daily readers). The company became an autonomous
legal unit in 2000; it is now 100 per cent owned by its founder and publisher Oscar Bronner.
Since 2004, has been one of the very few European online operations of print
origin which has reported revenues.
The relation between and Der Standard is an example of success
without any integration. Its online journalists are convinced that their success partly comes
from their newsroom independence. ‘‘Our own newsroom reputation grew a lot during
the first years and now we have reached the same level as the print newsroom’’, the
derstandard.ats chief-editor said. Traditionally, there has not been any convergence at all
between Der Standard and Both newsrooms are located in separate
buildings in Viennas historic city centre and the construction of a modern, integrated
newsroom was not possible.
Derstandard.ats newsroom, with 50 journalists, is the largest online newsroom in
Austria. The online edition publishes all of the newspapers stories, but only after they
have appeared in print. The online company pays for this content. ‘‘Online first’’ was
discussed but not considered a good strategy by print management. Nevertheless, some
steps have already been undertaken to build a stronger connection. Since autumn 2007,
the online co-ordinator has attended the morning print conference and co-ordination
meetings are held on a regular basis.
Bi-medial work is carried out by a few journalists, such as the editor of the
communication section, who is involved in cross-media reporting. However, it is not part
of a management strategy but the result of the initiative of individual journalists.
The case studies in Spain were: (1) La Verdad Multimedia, which belongs to Vocento,
the first Spanish media group that adopted a regional multimedia strategy as its core
business in 2001. The company owns 12 regional multimedia companies that comprise
a newspaper, its online edition, a local radio station, a local television channel and an
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advertising agency and (2) the national newspaper El Mundo, owned by Unidad Editorial
Group, that is currently implementing a process of newsroom convergence.
Newsroom convergence at El Mundo. El Mundo is a newspaper which launched in
1989 and which had a circulation of 337,000 in 2007 (OJDs audit bureau); its Web edition is Spains online market leader, with over 11.6 million unique users per month.
The company is owned by the Italian group RCS Rizzoli. In February 2007, Rizzoli bought
the successful Recoletos Multimedia Group which publishes the leading sports daily
Marca, the leading business daily Expansio
´nand several specialized magazines. The new
multimedia group, known as Unidad Editorial, moved to a new building in the north of
Madrid in December 2007, an 18,000 square metre facility which houses one of Europes
largest newsrooms, along with 350 El Mundo, 100 Expansio
´nand 250 Marca journalists.
According to management, about 300 jobs from the administrative and commercial
departments were shed as a result of the merger.
El Mundos newsroom initiated a move towards integration in July 2007. The move
from a multi-storey building to the biggest open plan, single-level office space in Madrid
was a ‘‘crucial change’’, according to the El Mundos assistant editor. He said that although
staff began the move with reluctance, after the first few weeks they began to appreciate a
variety of things they could do with greater ease in an integrated newsroom.
In July 2007, print and online journalists from four sections (Communication, Science,
Info-graphics and Sports) moved in together in order to produce content across media
boundaries. After several months of integration, news managers argue that it has been a
valuable experience and that they plan to gradually expand the initiative to other sections.
The editor of the Communication section emphasized how much overlap there is between
each of these integrated teams, where reporters and production staff sit side-by-side and
produce stories both for print and online. ‘‘Curiosity and looking over each others
shoulders are the order of the day’’, she said.
Besides the physical movement of print desks alongside online desks, El Mundos
newsroom integration is blurring the lines between print and multimedia operations, since
newspaper journalists are expected to work on online projects and new-media reporters
to work in print (although the move is mainly from print to online). A growing expectation
that journalists will collect information in multiple formats has been generated, with some
controversy. Most journalists, particularly print ones, are not exactly eager to learn how to
become multimedia storytellers. Although staff began the move to the new facility with
reluctance, after the first few weeks they began to appreciate a variety of things they could
do with greater ease in an integrated newsroom. The news selection process has also
changed. Supervising editors now rank stories, factoring importance and newsworthiness,
but also ‘‘Web 2.0’’ considerations such as the popularity of a story or its coverage on other
news sites.
El Mundos assistant editor stressed the need for newspapers to integrate with
caution: ‘‘If the goal is to create a stronger, more flexible organization, it only makes sense
to move with some care and deliberation in bringing such disparate operations together’’.
In fact, the integrated newsroom has not drastically changed the principles of the editorial
process. Instead, integration has changed the way staffers think about the process and they
are now learning to think in terms of the content rather than the medium (more precisely,
in terms of contents suitability for a medium).
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Newsroom convergence in La Verdad Multimedia. La Verdad Multimedia is a regional
group which publishes the newspaper La Verdad, the market leader in the South-Eastern
Murcia region with a circulation of 39,000 according to the OJD audit bureau (2007).
La Verdad started its online edition in 1998 and reaches a monthly average of
1.5 million unique users (OJD). The same company owns both local television (Punto TV)
and radio (Punto Radio) stations, also as a part of the Vocento Media Group. The La Verdad
Multimedia structure is designed to generate synergies between all of its outlets, especially
in cross-promotion and content sharing. The group facilities are located in two separate
buildings. A print newsroom for 95 journalists occupies the main building and is
connected to a second building where 12 journalists in the audiovisual newsroom
provide news to both the radio and television stations (Punto TV and Punto Radio).
Convergence is primarily developed at the newspaper website, which publishes
news and features from the print edition and a selection of audiovisual news stories. The
newspaper editor points out that ‘‘management does not demand work for more than
one platform but journalists know some contributions to other media are expected’’.
However, when a deadline is approaching and time is limited, they have ‘‘to focus on their
primary medium’’.
When managers launched both radio and television stations in 2004 they created
the role of ‘‘multimedia co-ordinator’’ in order to foster content sharing and common
strategies among the different newsrooms. This co-ordination never crosses the point of
having journalists of one medium working for another one; the newsrooms remain
completely independent but La Verdads news flow allows for each media outlet to share
information gathered by its cross-media partner and to publish it after repackaging by
journalists. Partners might also share news budgets or attend each others planning
sessions. News directors from print, online and audiovisual meet regularly to exchange
ideas, provide each other with feedback, share material from the stories they have
covered, plan longer investigative pieces together and share the cost for special projects.
As La Verdads editor-in-chief pointed out: ‘‘convergence is mainly developed at editor
level; editors and section editors are the most committed to multimedia collaboration’’.
In a preliminary study in Germany, the convergence situation in general and five
cross-media newsrooms were analysed (Meier, 2009; Schantin et al., 2007). For purposes of
international comparison, two cases*one national and another regional*have been
selected: the Die Welt/Morgenpost-group and Hessische-Niedersa¨chsische Allgemeine (HNA).
Newsroom convergence at the Die Welt/Morgenpost-group.In November 2006, the
Welt/Morgenpost-group in Berlin opened a joint newsroom for three daily papers (Die Welt,
Welt Kompakt and Berliner Morgenpost), a Sunday paper (Welt am Sonntag) and the
associated online versions. The challenge lies not only in combining print and Web
operations, but also in integrating the various print titles, which must still retain their own
profile. Some 400 journalists*including 38 online professionals*work for the Welt/
Morgenpost-group.This is the biggest convergence project at a German newspaper
publishing house. The sold circulation figures of the print titles*going against the industry
trend*increased slightly in 2007 and the number of online users rose disproportionately.
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The Welt/Morgenpost group belongs to Axel Springer AG*the largest newspaper publish-
ing house in Germany, with a 22.5 per cent newspaper market share.
The first step in the convergence process at the Welt/Morgenpost-group was the
merging of the two newspaper newsrooms, Die Welt (national) and Berliner Morgenpost
(regional), into a joint editorial team in 2002. Then, a new daily newspaper was launched in
May 2004: Die Welt kompakt, a tabloid produced by the Welt/Morgenpost editorial team*
in part with the same news material, but with a different concept for a younger target
audience. The second step followed in November 2006, with the merging of this
newsroom with the Sunday title Welt am Sonntag, whereas both online offerings,
and, assumed an ‘‘online first’’ policy.
Convergence led to savings and job cuts among the editorial staff (approximately 100
jobs in 2002 and 57 in 2006) although it was accompanied by an online expansion. Die Welt
had never been profitable since its establishment in 1946 but was cross-financed for image
reasons. After the merger, the implementation of newsroom convergence and the job cuts,
the Welt/Morgenpost-group recorded a profit for the first time in 2007.
The Axel Springer building in Berlin has a 408-square-metre newsroom with 56
workplaces. Sitting at the ‘‘newsroom control unit’’ to co-ordinate coverage in the different
platforms are the editors-in-chief, the managers of all of the platforms, the section heads
and some politics, business and local-news editors*as well as about 20 online journalists.
About 70 per cent of all journalists work across all of the platforms and 30 per cent are only
involved with a single medium. The online department may use articles from all journalists
as soon as they are finished. According to the online department director, ‘‘we can publish
everything online*even exclusives. There is no longer any discussion about having to print
exclusive stories first in the newspaper’’. The managing editor argues that they are trying to
‘‘gradually change the editorial organization and processes so that articles are written earlier
on, when it is possible for online to make use of them, and not only when it is necessary for
the newspaper. First and foremost, this means a different work organization as well as
a heavier workload.’’ Until now, there have been different employment contracts for print
and online journalists. Online editorssalaries are lower than their print counterparts and the
different types of contracts cause unrest among many staffers. More than 100 journalists
have received training, especially on mindset and approaches to work on the Internet. The
new Axel Springer Academy, established in January 2007, provides cross-media training.
Print journalists are not forced to produce content for the Web although some of them have
been experimenting with new formats, such as podcasting or blogging. The managing
editor stresses that ‘‘working in a multimedia manner will only be successful if incentives,
encouragement and backing are offered, opportunities highlighted, invitations issued,
training organized and offers made’’.
Newsroom convergence at Hessische/Niedersa¨chsische Allgemeine. Hessische/
Niedersa¨chsische Allgemeine (HNA) in Kassel produces print and Web content in a joint
office where the online team, the politics and business departments and the producing
editors of the print edition work together. The video commitment of the editorial staff and
innovative Web 2.0 formats such as a regional Wiki are some of HNAs highlights. The
television programme Alszus is recorded daily in the local print editorial-office and is
broadcast on the regional public channel. Currently, there are 140 print journalists and
four online editors working for HNA.
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Cross-media co-operation between print and online has been an ongoing process
since 2002. Four online editors are responsible for Web operations and print editors supply
them with material. For several years the objective has been that every local editorial office
should publish breaking news items on the Internet every day. Managers say that about 50
per cent of newspaper items*including all big stories*are published online.
The online department experimented with video on the Internet early in 2007.
Reporters have started to shoot videos on location but they do not edit them: a small
group of video editors is attached to the main office for this task.
Print and online journalists enjoy the same employment contracts and similar salaries.
According to the chief editor, job satisfaction has increased, despite a heavier workload.
Convergence Descriptors: Towards a Matrix Model
In order to compare the six case studies, a matrix of 32 convergence descriptors was
developed. These descriptors were outlined following interviews and newsroom observa-
tions, in order to answer the most important research questions initially formulated. The
descriptors are related to four essential areas of development in a media convergence
1. Project scope.
2. Newsroom management.
3. Journalistic practices.
4. Work organization.
Project scope has to do with developing a common understanding as to what is
included in a specific project, which allows calculating its cost and time frame as well as
where project responsibilities begin and end. This area deals with the extent of the
convergence strategy; it might involve the whole company or it might just be centred on
collaboration among newsrooms. In our study, four out of six organisations are
developing both company and newsroom convergence (Table 1). Der Standard is not
implementing any kind of convergence whereas La Verdad Multimedia is, so far,
developing company convergence.
Convergence can also be regarded either as a goal or as a tool, to be implemented
within a different time frame. Managers at the Welt/Morgenpost-group, HNA and El Mundo
regarded convergence as a company goal. At Der Standard there was no convergence
strategy whereas at O
¨sterreich and La Verdad Multimedia, convergence is considered a tool.
At HNA,La Verdad Multimedia and El Mundo, it is a long-term process, which will last for a
number of years whereas at O
¨sterreich it is a short-term process. Managers at Welt/
Morgenpost specified that implementation of the cross-media newsroom was short-term
but that convergence was a long-term process. We also enquired as to whether the
approach to implementing the project was bottom-up or top-down. Convergence at
¨sterreich only started in 2006. La Verdad Multimedia and El Mundo may be described as top-
down projects. On the other hand, convergence implementation at HNA and the co-
operation initiatives at Der Standard are being developed from the bottom up. Other
questions in this area enquired about the level of internal communication: had the
convergence strategy been openly discussed with journalists and had there been
a newsroom ‘‘change management’’ programme which would allow for new information-
processing strategies? Only in the German cases had there been open discussions with
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journalists during the implementation of the convergence process and some organized
change management attempted.
Newsroom management has a direct bearing on the mediums journalism practices
and the quality of its output. The perceived atmosphere in a newsroom is related to the
level of participation of reporters and whether managers attempt to give journalists
information on the coming changes.
The first descriptor in this area relates to the priority of content over platform and to
what extent the difference between newspaper journalists and Web journalists has
diminished (Table 2). Managers at O
¨sterreich,Der Standard and La Verdad Multimedia agree
that platform is still considered primary and content secondary, which means focusing on
the success of different media within the group more than on the best ways of distributing
the information*regardless of economic strategies. Content is primary, however, for
management at both Welt/Morgenpost and El Mundo management whereas for manage-
ment at HNA, both content and platform ‘‘are equally important’’. The existence of an
‘‘online first’’ policy was explicitly stated by both German media organizations, the Welt/
Morgenpost-group and HNA. News executives in the other media organisations say
exclusives are held first for print, although this issue is often discussed by managers at
La Verdad Multimedia.
News flow refers to the process leading from assignment and production to
content packaging and distribution. News flow might be based around a central desk as
at Welt/Morgenpost, around several multimedia editors as at El Mundo or on any other
Project scope
Full integration Cross-media Co-ordination of
isolated platforms
Is it only company
convergence, just
newsroom or both?
Both company and
newsroom convergence
convergence is an
option. Newsroom
convergence is an
convergence is
an option.
convergence does
not take place
Is convergence a
company goal or a tool?
A company goal and an
overall strategy
A tool Neither
Is convergence
considered a short-term
or a long-term process?
As a long-term process As a long-term
process in all the
sectors involved
convergence can
be a perspective*
Is implementation
bottom-up or
Top-down, as convergence
is seen as an overall
There is top-down
implementation of
processes as well
as bottom-up
If there is any,
development is
more probable
Has convergence strategy
been discussed with
journalists? Is there
newsroom ‘‘change
Discussion of convergence
strategies with all employees
is part of the strategy;
change management is
To a certain
extent; but not
all employees
Discussion only on
top level; no
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system. Der Standards news flow is structured as two separate newsrooms with almost
no interaction. Editorial meetings are attended by both online and print staff in all of the
cases studied.
Journalistic convergence can also be analysed from the standpoint of the redefini-
tion of professional practices. Firstly, researchers enquired as to whether a traditional
division between news gathering, production and distribution existed (Table 3). All of
Newsroom management
Full integration Cross-media Co-ordination of
isolated platforms
Is content primary and
platform secondary, the
other way around or both
are equally important?
Strategic distribution of
content is primary
Platform is
primary; but
distribution of
content is equally
Platform is
Is there an ‘‘online first’’
policy, are exclusives
held for print first or is
there no clear policy?
Decisions on online first are
made according to strategic
managers decide
strategies case by
No online first
policy; platform
editors decide
Is news flow based
around a central desk,
several editors or
another model?
News flow is organized
around a central desk
Two different desks
for print and online
that work together.
There is some sort
of permanent
Several editors
with responsibility
for their platform
Newsroom management:
is there a single news
editor, multimedia
editors or another
Central news editor, who is
responsible for all platforms
News editors for
each platform and
multimedia editors
for co-ordination
News editors for
each platform
Are there editorial
meetings attended by
online, print and other
editors or do they hold
separate meetings?
All editors and
section heads are
responsible for all platforms
in daily news production
conferences can be
attended by
journalists from all
platforms and must
be organized and
attended by
Separate meetings
Is journalists
collaboration with
other platforms
Yes, as inherent to the system Partly*mainly
when multimedia
co-ordinators build
To a small extent.
Too much
crossover is
regarded as
problematic by
platform managers
Content management
systems: is there one
for all platforms or
different CMS for each?
One CMS One CMS is
different CMS are
usual as only
co-ordinators are
obliged to use all
Different CMS as
there is no need
for permanent
exchange of news
and data
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Journalistic practices
Full integration Cross-media Co-ordination of
isolated platforms
Is there a division
between news
production and
Division may be one
strategy to gather
materials and
produce for all platforms
Basically no, or
not more than there has
always been
No. Division
remains as it
has always been
Is technological
equipment for all
journalists a
precondition in news
Yes, e.g. video-equipment
in every section
To a certain extent, e.g.
video cameras in some
Is technological
equipment for all a
precondition in news
Yes. All journalists may
use all systems
No. But platform
co-ordinators do have
all systems available.
Some journalists will
use them
Is technological
equipment for all a
precondition in news
Yes. Available for all*but
in everyday practice with
specialists using it, e.g. for
editing video-productions
No No
Is multiskilling a
precondition in news
Yes, all journalists are
encouraged to be
To a certain extent.
Multiskilled news
gathering is
encouraged as an
option, never an
Basically not. As
journalists from
different platforms
are gathering
irrespective of other
platforms activities
Is multiskilling a
precondition in news
Yes, at least as a strategic
No. Specialization in
production is
necessary to
guarantee (technical)
Is multiskilling a
precondition in news
Yes To a certain extent. For
some of the leading
(co-ordinating) staff it is
Is working for
several media
platforms a
precondition in news
Yes. To be able to decide
which and how materials
of own investigation will
be used afterwards
To a certain extent.
Necessary for
No. It exists only as
an exception
Is working for
several media
platforms a
precondition in news
To a certain extent.
There is always some
specialization in
No No
Is working for
several media
platforms a
precondition in news
Yes To a certain extent.
Obligatory for
co-ordinators who
decide about news
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the media organizations had eliminated such divisions, with some minor exceptions at
Welt/Morgenpost and El Mundo. Then, working practices were outlined according to
different categories of preconditions during the different stages of the news-production
process. Technological equipment was a precondition in news gathering in all media
organizations except at Der Standard. Specifically, some print journalists are working with
video cameras. However, it is never a precondition in news production or distribution.
Multiskilled journalists produce news for two or more media using the technological
tools needed in every step of the process. In the case of Welt/Morgenpost,HNA and El
Mundo, journalists are encouraged to be multiskilled at the news-gathering level. However,
multiskilling is not a precondition either in news production or in distribution. The
percentage of multiskilled journalists at O
¨sterreich,La Verdad Multimedia and El Mundo is
around 10 per cent; at Der Standard the percentage decreases to 5 per cent, at HNA it rises
to 20 per cent and at Welt/Morgenpost it reaches 70 per cent.
Although journalists might share a great deal of journalistic values and practices,
they do so under considerably disparate organizational structures (Meier, 2007, pp. 56),
which are reflected in the layout of their newsrooms, so that work organization can be
used as a paradigm for newsroom culture (Josephi, 1998, p. 169). In this area, the physical
setting was first examined (Table 4). All of the media organizations had established their
newsrooms in the same building, with the exception of Der Standard and La Verdad
Multimedia, whose newsrooms are located in separate buildings.
Journalistsreaction to the implementation of newsroom convergence was
also evaluated. According to Welt/Morgenposts managing editor, there were ‘‘winners’’
and ‘‘losers’’ but the Internet was regarded as more of a journalistic opportunity
for the individual journalist. At HNA, print and online journalists have the same
work contracts and are paid at the same rate. Most print journalists at El Mundo are
reluctant to embrace integration; most online journalists, however, are more inclined
to do so.
With the exception of Der Standard, journalists do not get paid when working
for another medium. Managers motivate journalists by appealing to personal success and
to the professional reward of seeing their own work published in several media. Journalists
seldom receive specific training for multiskilling. Only the two German media companies
offered some courses for their staff. This means that most journalists have to learn new
Full integration Cross-media Co-ordination of
isolated platforms
What percentage of
journalists work for
more than one
70100 2070 020
Online video: is it
mostly produced
in-house, mostly
produced or both?
In-house Both Both
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skills while they perform their news production tasks. Convergence has not involved a
reduction of staff, with the exception of the Welt/Morgenpost print newsroom. On the
other hand, El Mundos online staff increased by 25 professionals in two years. Finally, there
is no sign of an emerging ‘‘convergence culture’’, for each medium retains its own culture;
Work organization
Full integration Cross-media Co-ordination of
isolated platforms
Are newsrooms
located in one
building or in
separate buildings?
Same building as
Same building or at least
newsrooms within very
short walking distance
Not of importance
Are there separate
newsrooms or just
One newsroom Separate newsrooms
with interconnections
(e.g. News desk)
Separate newsrooms
how do journalists
react to the
implementation of
Ideal: they are well
prepared for the change
process which helps
with job satisfaction and
in seeing rather new
possibilities than risks
and threats of
extra work
Many journalists are
hesitant about the idea of
implementation of one
single newsroom,
suspecting loss of
working quality and
individual hierarchical
Most journalists are
opposed to the
introduction of a
single newsroom
Does the number of
journalists change as
a result of
Full convergence is seen
as a possibility to
reduce staff, whereas in
practice there is a
change of qualifications
but not of number of
Same number. There may
be an increase of the
necessary number of
high-profile journalists
with multimedia
Same number. Since
platform work is
isolated, journalists go
ahead with
production as
Does the company
provide training in
Yes, continuously and
for all employees
Yes, for some
Not especially.
participation in
training programmes
is supported
Are multiskilled
or in any other way?
No. But chances of
career advancement are
No No
Are new roles being
created as a result of
Yes, some. In
management as well as
new communication
contact points and team
leaders for editorial staff
Yes, co-ordination
capacities for
cross-media activities
Is there a single
journalistic culture
or separate ones?
One culture. The move
towards integration of
all sections and
platforms also
brings on a
common culture
of converged
Separate cultures.
But the need for
co-operation and
brings on some slow
exchange of
positions and
Separate cultures.
Journalistic cultures
are kept strictly apart
in order to keep up
expertise in each field
without mixing up
methods and
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there is, however, a gradual move towards a common culture in newsrooms such as El
Mundos, as print and online sections integrate.
Three Different Models of Newsroom Convergence
By analysing these areas, we aim to neutralize technological determinism and the
usual industry mindset that states that full integration is the necessary final step of any
convergence project. Few companies develop the four areas of convergence with similar
intensity at the same time and most of them tend to pursue modest strategies that do not
seem to greatly challenge established professional practices. Whereas in some cases
newsroom redesign involves high technological standards and brings together journalists
from all platforms in one common space, the editorial staffs approach towards
convergence might still be reluctant, and company training programmes in multiskilling
have hardly been implemented. Defining models like these will help structure in-depth
analysis in each specific case and make it comparable with other cases.
Newsroom integration is therefore being developed in varying degrees of complex-
ity. To sum up the results of the analysis, three different models of convergence may be
outlined: full integration, cross-media and co-ordination of isolated platforms.
Full Integration
Architecture and infrastructure for multi-channel production are combined in one
newsroom and controlled via a central news system with workflow management. Besides
this characterization via external features, convergence is also a strategic goal. Production
and distribution on different platforms is subordinated to news content production.
‘‘Online first’’ (Die Welts slogan) has become a symbol for a paradigmatic shift from
newspaper production towards multimedia production, even if it is not, as yet, as fully
implemented as the research revealed. Full integration also means that training for all
journalists is provided in order to ready them for multimedia production. Convergence of
all platforms under the same ownership becomes the primary management goal.
None of the six case studies could be totally assigned to this model, although
El Mundo and Die Welt/Berliner Morgenpost came closest to it. El Mundos integration of
print and Internet production and permanent co-operation within departments have been
established step-by-step. In several sections, the full integration of Web and print with
journalists daily multimedia thinking and production is already considered normal. At
Die Welt/Morgenpost, this process is also under way as even more elaborate content is
produced for four newspapers (the three different editions of Welt and Morgenpost). For
these companies in Madrid and Berlin, full convergence as a managerial aim has not
yet been accomplished but preconditions have been established.
In this model, journalists work in separate newsrooms or sections for different
platforms but are interconnected through multimedia co-ordinators and work routines.
Cross-media collaboration refers to a process whereby more than one media platform is
simultaneously engaged in communicating content. This does not necessarily happen in a
completely integrated way. Usually, the production involves different kinds of co-operation.
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This may range from information sharing between journalists and desks on different
platforms, through reporters producing content for more than one platform, to various
forms of content reproduction for different platforms. In the more advanced models of
integration and co-operation, the platforms serve different purposes to news coverage as a
whole, implying a move towards the definition of a multiplatform concept.
Such a multiplatform concept would have an impact on editorial work and news
flow between the platforms which is shown, for example, in the policy of ‘‘online first’’*
not usually meant as a ranking in importance but as a time priority. In the cross-media
model, management drives co-operation and communication in content production
among the various media as well as cross-promotion. Journalists remain platform experts
and multiskilling is the exception to the rule and is not actively fostered by management.
Convergence is not considered a strategic need but a tool. O
¨sterreich,HNA and La Verdad
Multimedia come closest to this model. At the latter, content is promoted cross-media:
a multimedia manager and a news editor co-ordinate daily news production whereas
journalists themselves only occasionally cross borders (e.g. as specialized print editors also
analyse the main stories in television or radio news).
¨sterreichs model is an example of a cross-media concept, establishing a new
newsroom architecture right from the outset but still having journalists working as
platform specialists for print or online. Behind O
¨sterreichs strongly promoted multimedia
concept, from its beginnings in 2006 until the present, there is an important technological
and management concept which partly reflects the idea of ‘‘full convergence’’, but so far
journalistic multiskilling is more the exception than the rule.
Co-ordination of Isolated Platforms
Co-operation is neither implemented systematically in news gathering nor in news
production or news distribution. Journalism sections remain separate; newsroom design
does not strive towards integration. Borders and differences between online, print, radio and
television sections in the same media company do not seem surmountable and
convergence is not even seen as an appropriate means of quality improvement. Co-
operation in news production takes place*if at all*as a bottom-up process and more or
less by chance, depending on individual journalists. Managers are not yet ready for*or
interested in*organized cross-media strategies or convergent production, aggregation
or distribution of news. Sometimes there is a co-ordination of single topics*e.g. with cross-
promotions*and some journalists attend the editorial conferences of the ‘‘other’’ platform.
Der Standard in Vienna represents this model. Surprisingly, the autonomous model in
this case appears to have been one of the success factors, as has become the
most visited website among Austrias online newspapers. It stands out as one of the very few
examples of an originally print-based Internet company now making profits with its online
edition. The system of isolated platforms might thus be regarded as a management
weakness in creating cross-media co-operation as well as a strategy to give more time, space
and continuity to the single platform, allowing it to concentrate on its success.
The isolation model does not appear to be forward-looking. The explosion of online
and mobile news opportunities represents a new adventure for journalism. The ‘‘isolated
platform’’ news philosophy is economically unsustainable in the long run since the
mastering of processes along the value chain is much more difficult. Newsroom
architecture, technology, management and journalism cultures that have been growing
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apart for years are now coming closer. As in the case of ‘‘Der Standard’’ with several years
of ‘‘splendid platform isolation’’, one can foresee that times are changing and that
audience needs must be addressed.
Conclusions and Prospects
None of these models exist, of course, in their ‘‘pure form’’, and no media company
analysed is absolutely dedicated to full integration, cross-media collaboration or isolated
newsrooms. Most convergence experiences can be attributed to one or other model as an
idea, strategy or even philosophy, as our case studies have shown.
Nevertheless, we want to avoid oversimplifying the analysis: journalistic convergence
should not be regarded as just an ‘‘effect’’ of corporate or technological trends. Technical
innovation is usually based on professional and economic decisions and journalists adapt
new tools to their own expectations, skills and routines. Therefore, journalistic convergence
must be discussed not as a technology-driven process, but rather as a process that uses
technological innovation to achieve specific goals in particular settings, and that is why each
convergence project can reach a different outcome.
Since the discussion about convergence has now been going on for at least a
decade, full integration has often been considered a valuable goal. However, many media
managers in Austria, Germany and Spain agree that multimedia operations are buzzwords
used at ease, whereas convergence is a multi-faceted and complex phenomenon. Looking
deeper at journalistic production, we discovered that reality is still different from wishful
thinking. Many countries face limits on cross-ownership, and this means limits on the
extent of convergence. Yet there is still a great deal of partnering and collaboration with
a variety of convergence strategies.
As a result of our research, we propose to rethink professional attitudes towards
convergence. Newsroom layout is not the first thing to be considered, nor is convergence
primarily about synergies. In all the models explored, news production for different channels
is changing the conditions of newsroom organization and journalistic work. Even in the
model of isolated platforms, the need for co-ordination and co-operation is growing. To fulfil
these needs, media professionals have to learn to take into account the changing demands
of audiences, the consequences for their news companies and the effects on their work.
The matrix we have developed may be helpful to restructure strategic considera-
tions and to develop convergence concepts. Further research in other media companies,
with different scopes and newsroom elements, will also help particularize and evaluate
these models of newsroom convergence.
Subsidies from the Austrian Communications Authority (KommAustria) made it possible
to conduct this research.
1. Newsroom observation in each medium was conducted by two researchers from two
different countries during a two-day period between November 2007 and February 2008.
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During each of those visits, open-ended interviews with at least two news managers and
two journalists were held in each newsroom.
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Jose A. Garcı
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Miguel Herna
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(Alicante), Spain. E-mail:
Klaus Meier, Hochschule Darmstadt, Campus Dieburg, Max-Planck-Str. 2, D-64807 Dieburg,
Germany. E-mail:
Andy Kaltenbrunner, Medienhaus Wien, Alser Straße 22, 1090 Wien, Austria. E-mail:
Miguel Carvajal, Universidad Miguel Herna
´ndez, Ed. Torreblanca, Avda de la Universidad,
s/n 03202 Elche (Alicante), Spain. E-mail:
Daniela Kraus, Medienhaus Wien, Alser Straße 22, 1090 Wien, Austria. E-mail:
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... From the perspective of newsroom print-digital integration, the models of Mingpao, HKET, and HK01 all fall into the category of "co-ordination of isolated platforms" (García Avilés et al. 2009), in that their online and offline news production remain coordinated but separated. Therefore, online journalists of Mingpao's instant news team, TOPick, and HK01 all work in a solely digital news production environment. ...
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Studies about media self-censorship typically focus on its mechanism in traditional newsroom settings. But how media self-censorship may evolve in online journalism has remained largely unexplored. Using Hong Kong as a case, I examine the digital evolution of media self-censorship in a unique non-democratic context. Drawing on interviews with online journalists, my findings reveal that digital transformation has provided new valences for media self-censorship. With the financial hardship of legacy media in the digital age, Hong Kong online journalists are more directly exposed to external threats such as advertisement boycotts orchestrated by the state, and hence increasingly reluctant to offend external powerholders out of the fear of political and financial retaliation. Moreover, as online journalists adopt business-driven norms that favor the generation of clicks, political or policy news are further marginalized. These stories are often deemed boring, non-engaging to online audiences, and are not “sensationalizable” due to political risks, especially when compared to soft news types like crimes and lifestyles stories. Adapting to these changes, news managers are increasingly used to avoiding professional editorial debates that results are unpredictable but using “objective” web metrics as persuasive devices to discourage the production of sensitive news. Lastly, the dissemination of sensitive news is curbed in the social media gatekeeping process. These findings suggest that an authoritarian state can effectively influence online news production by controlling the capital that drives digital transformation, thereby limiting the liberating potential of the media in the digital age.
Innovation ist ein Trendwort der deutschen Sprache, dient als Qualitätskriterium und Zukunftsversprechen. Das Buch greift dieses Thema auf, ermittelt zunächst die Dimensionen von Innovation(skommunikation). Anschließend folgt eine dreistufige Analyse: Durch das Zusammenspiel einer automatisierten Inhaltsanalyse von über 127.000 Artikel in deutschen Leitmedien und die qualitative Analyse von Dokumenten aus verschiedenen DAX-Unternehmen ergeben sich zahlreiche Erkenntnisse, wie in Deutschland über Innovation gesprochen und geschrieben wird. Eine davon: Der Innovationsbegriff wird offensiv, aber oberflächlich genutzt und ist gleichzeitig die zentrale Währung der Wirtschaft geworden.
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To capture audiences’ attention on social media, news outlets may disseminate journalistic content in line with platform instead of mass media logics, indicating a platformization of news. Taking a cross-platform, multi-modal approach, we analyze how German outlets select and adapt existing stories for Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and Twitter. We combine a computational and a manual content analysis of articles and social media posts (N = 4,412), including related images/videos (N = 6,850). Overall, evidence for outlets following platform logics on social media is limited: News outlets select and adapt news on a technical level, for instance by distributing more content on news-centered platforms like Twitter or by fostering on-platform engagement by excluding external links on Instagram. However, they do not systematically select or adapt news on a more communicative level, for instance by preferring specific topics for social media or by using more engaging language on platforms.
Eine konstruktive Beschreibung des Spannungsverhältnisses beider Berufsfelder Technologische ökonomische und praktische Aspekte werden anhand von zahlreichen Praxisbeispielen veranschaulicht Die Autor*innen erläutern konkrete Beispiele für Konvergenz und Konkurrenz aus verschiedenen Perspektiven
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Aimed at providing a comprehensive understanding of comparative political communication, this volume analyzes the media systems of Europe and America. It considers whether election campaigns around the world have become "Americanized," how international news journalists understand their jobs and produce different forms of television news programs, and how governmental media relations and news management efforts evolve in different political systems. The book analyzes transnational similarities and dissimilarities in the context of their potential effects on society and democracy.
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In March 2000, Media General attracted considerable industry attention in the United States when it opened the Tampa News Center and placed the operations of The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV, and the Tampa Bay Online service under the same roof. To understand the meaning of this media convergence experiment, the changes in the newsroom culture, and the type of job skills necessary in a convergent newsroom, we analyzed relevant trade press accounts and conducted in-depth interviews with 12 staff members of the News Center. Respondents viewed media convergence and its impact in the newsroom primarily as a tool to produce either combined or additional newsgathering resources. The interviewed journalists felt that they now concentrate more on multimedia storytelling and have increased their level of knowledge of the other two platforms. In terms of training, respondents stressed the importance of strong fundamentals, such as writing, reporting, and communication skills, but also emphasized the importance of cross-media adaptability for individuals preparing for careers in convergent newsrooms.
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This article examines some top concerns in the media industry brought up by media convergence including the need to update news staff, production quality, compensation for multi-platform productions and the legitimacy of media convergence. An online national survey was conducted both among merged and non-merged daily newspapers and commercial TV stations to find out to what extent such concerns were shared by editors/news directors and news professionals and what their answers were.
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This article deals with the work of journalists in newsrooms that produce content for multiple media: print, radio, television, the internet and others. It builds on the relevant literature about the implementation of newsroom convergence in Europe and the USA. Specifically, the study analyses change in journalistic practice and newsroom workflow in the newsrooms of two Spanish multimedia groups: (a) La Verdad Multimedia, a regional media group owned by Vocento, which publishes the newspaper La Verdad, the online site La, the local radio station Punto Radio and the television station Punto TV; and (b) Novotécnica, a regional independent company which publishes the newspaper La Voz de Almería and also owns both Radio Almería (Cadena Ser) and Localia television. Researchers interviewed reporters and news directors and observed newsroom practices. The results suggest the emergence of two different models of newsroom convergence: the integrated model and the cross-media model, each with a different production system, newsroom organization, degree of journalists' multi-skilling and business strategy.
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Convergence, media cross‐ownership and multimedia newsrooms are becoming increasingly part of the vocabulary of contemporary journalism—in practice, education, as well as research. The literature exploring multimedia is expanding rapidly but it is clear that it means many different things to different people. Research into what multimedia in news work means for journalism and journalists is proliferating. In this paper the social and cultural context of multimedia in journalism, its meaning for contemporary newsrooms and media organizations, and its current (emerging) practices in Europe and the United States are analyzed. The goal: to answer the question in what ways “multimedia” impacts upon the practice and self‐perception of journalists, and how this process in turn shapes and influences the emergence of a professional identity of multimedia journalism. This paper offers an analysis of the professional and academic literature in Europe and the United States, using the concept of media logic as a theoretical framework
This volume offers a timely examination of technology's impact on media companies and the results of convergence among media industries, considering the effects on journalistic, business, and economic practices. Media Organizations and Convergence: Case Studies of Media Convergence Pioneers considers the many definitions of convergence and explores the changes in communication technologies. Author Gracie L. Lawson-Borders provides a brief history of media segments and their evolutions as they adapt to emerging technologies, media conglomeration, and the competitive and global changes that have occurred in the industry. She also examines the theoretical implications of technology and convergence in the operations and practices of media organizations. The case studies included here profile three media convergence pioneers--Tribune Company in Chicago, Media General in Richmond, and Belo Corporation in Dallas--that have incorporated convergence into their journalistic practices. Lawson-Borders considers the social, cultural, and political implications of convergence, and presents issues and concerns for the future of convergence in the media industry. As a snapshot of media convergence at the current stage in its evolution, this book offers important insights into the business of media at a time of dramatic change. It will be a valuable resource for scholars and students in media management, mass media, and related areas of the media industry. © 2006 by Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.
This article addresses the intersection of two underexplored themes in studies of cultural production in traditional and digital media: the role of technology in news work and the processes that shape media convergence. The authors analyze organizational innovation in digital media production at GMS, a European firm that operates print and broadcast outlets in several specialized news markets. Between 1994 and 2003, GMS went from a phase of digital media experimentation under-taken by teams located within each existing newsroom, to the creation of a separate unit handling the online content of all print and broadcast newsrooms, to the ongoing integration of news production into a single newsroom per specialized market that generates different products for the various outlets in each market. This analysis illuminates how adopting online technologies has involved shifts in the locus of content creation in a path of increasing convergence in production processes but continued divergence of media products.
This article offers a conceptual framework for filling a void in the research on convergence and for extending research into gatekeeping and diffusion of innovation. It offers the convergence continuum as a dynamic model that defines news convergence as a series of behavior-based activities illustrating the interaction and cooperation stages of staff members at newspapers, television stations, and Web organizations with news partnerships. The continuum's components provide media professionals with a better understanding of an evolutionary trend in their industry as they develop cross-media alliances. This article makes no attempt to quantify convergence efforts or any of the theories and concepts that inform the efforts; instead, it is an attempt to develop the conceptual and empirical tools needed to conduct such studies.
This book presents a disciplined, qualitative exploration of case study methods by drawing from naturalistic, holistic, ethnographic, phenomenological and biographic research methods. Robert E. Stake uses and annotates an actual case study to answer such questions as: How is the case selected? How do you select the case which will maximize what can be learned? How can what is learned from one case be applied to another? How can what is learned from a case be interpreted? In addition, the book covers: the differences between quantitative and qualitative approaches; data-gathering including document review; coding, sorting and pattern analysis; the roles of the researcher; triangulation; and reporting.