Convergence

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Convergence is particularly relevant to media studies because it shows where media is heading and concerns every one of us considering to possibly work within the industry, so I found the readings to be extremely useful.

The first article “New Media Worlds? Challenges for Convergence” showed how the use of traditional media is dwindling and has been taken over by new forms of media, which consists of the Internet. The internet is becoming the dominant form of news source and advertising because it offers access to many spaces in one setting and you can access as many sources as you like for free, so why wouldn’t the old media forms fade and be replaced? It does seem that the future of journalism is dying because majority of people are turning to online sources. It is cheaper for newspapers to put their contents online and due to this journalists aren’t needed and the bottom line is they aren’t being hired as much as they once used to. Compounding this issue is the fact that we can become creators of our own digital domain and choose what we want to watch and when we want to watch it, which consequently reduces the reach of the traditional media forms.

The article explains how the Internet offers greater reach and greater richness simultaneously which no other form of media offers. Richness refers to the “quality of the information” and reach refers to the “numbers of people accessing the information”. The article explains that with the Internet’s capability to produce high quality work and reach a mass audience it far outweighs old media forms and suggests our digital worlds are the way of the future.

I remember watching a “media watch” episode that supports the notion that the traditional media forms are “converging” and being taken over by the Internet. I pasted the link below if anyone wants to have a look at it.
http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s2235826.htm

The second article “Buying into American Idol” discusses how the popular reality TV show ‘American Idol’ was the first to converge media forms. The show combined or “converged” television, phone and advertising in one space. It is particulary evident that Australia has caught on to the reality TV phenomenon with shows like Big Brother, Australian Idol and more recently master chef our major TV stations are flooded with reality TV. My own personal problem with this is that in Australia I can count on one hand how many TV stations we have ‘free to air’ and so for each of the stations to consistently air new reality TV series it does get overwhelming and the market has become undoubtedly saturated. In direct contrast to Australia is the US who have approximately five times the amount of free to air TV stations as we do, so there is far more variety of content. The comparison of channels between Australia and the US relates to the “impress me” concept outlined in the article, which argues that a television show has approximately three seconds to ‘impress’ before you decide to change the channel. So I guess what I am getting at is that in Australia we are far more limited in the way of TV stations and so our threshold to “impress me” has to increase (unless you have pay TV) because we don’t really have anywhere else to go. So while this notion of “impress me” may ring true for some people I think it does depend in part on location.

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