Convergence: Coexistence not Minimization, weird right?

Many people mistake convergence as being old technologies and media being replaced by an all-encompassing device of convenience that will fit your pocket. However, Jenkins opposes this idea and instead states that convergence is altering “the relationship between existing technologies” (p. 15) as new ones are introduced. It is the restructuring of old technologies and media to accommodate the new so that they are able to co-exist, or as Jenkins mentions that old media’s “functions and status are shifted” (p. 14) and not replaced.

Convergence is not a process that will occur, but is already a process that is currently taking place. Take the example of the civil war in Syria that has been going on for 2 years. Traditionally we would get our news sources from the TV, radio or newspapers. However, we now have access to news through the internet. Videos of the ‘chemical’ bombings in Syria are uploaded on YouTube for everyone to see. In this example news reporting has moved from the TV and other traditional platforms to online platforms. Just a warning that this video does contain disturbing footage. Please view with discretion.

Convergence in media is also evident in advertising. Traditional advertising usually uses the medium of TV, radio and newspapers. However, there is now a change to advertising online. Companies who want to target the younger population will use online advertising because most young people today spend much more time on the computer than in front of the TV. An example is Kevin Rudd’s advertising campaign in support of the National Broadband Network (NBN). He used online media sources and platforms to create and broadcast the advertisement. He also used Facebook to gauge the responses of the general public.

I would like to also point out that the policy that he is promoting in this advertisement is the NBN.  Rudd realizes how important the NBN is for young people and targets the medium that especially matters to them. However, I would be wrong if I concluded that due to convergence Rudd would advertise all his policies on the internet because the digital age is where convergence is leading us. Jenkins clearly states that convergence is “the cooperation between multiple media industries” (p. 2) and not the elimination of one due to the rise of another. It is clearly evident that Rudd still uses the traditional mediums such as TV and newspaper ads to promote other policies to the Australian public. We see here how the TV and newspapers have needed to shift their position in the media with the introduction of a new player in the media industry in the form of online advertising. Convergence has not standardized the media onto one platform, but instead has provided a diversified range of media outlets which co-exist in the media industry.

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7 thoughts on “Convergence: Coexistence not Minimization, weird right?

  1. I liked the link between media convergence and the election campaign, it feels very pertinent as I’m currently sitting here watching coverage on the TV, news websites, and social media to gauge reactions. While the politicians have at least attempted to utilise media convergence for their advertising, it’s interesting that the advertising blackout doesn’t reflect this. Advertising blackout period only is applicable to TV and radio, but for me personally most the political advertising that I was exposed to was online, so I didn’t even notice the blackout. I just wonder when or if the law will catch up

  2. I agree with the point you make about us increasingly getting our news through the Internet rather than traditional means. I watch the news in the morning and afternoon but throughout the day I am looking to citizens journalists on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube to get my information. This article talks about citizen journalists in the Syrian war, it is interesting how they discuss having no money, one contact and are still able to live stream the news from the war zone.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/us-news-blog/2012/mar/05/american-citizen-journalists-syria

  3. This argument is well founded. I agree wholeheartedly that the convergence of media has not created one standarised platform, but rather has allowed for a multitude of avenues for information and media dissemination. New and traditional media forms need to embrace and interact with one-another so that their messages can reach the largest audiences and make the audience feel valued for their contributions to the discourse. In relation to your example of Syria and the use of new media in conflict, this website combines links to both traditional media reports of the crisis’, a live trending map and twitter/youtube videos: http://beta.syriadeeply.org. I believe it shows a natural collaboration and convergence of various media platforms.

  4. I like how you explained the main argument of the reading through the use of a very topical issue. Linking to election campaigns to convergence was very clever and drew me in. I’m glad that you acknowledge that ‘old’ mediums still exist, because even though we have to ability to watch tv shows on our smartphones, I bet we would all still rather sit in front of the idiot box on a Sunday night. Convergence does not mean the death of media forms when something better comes along and I’m glad you clarified that. Great post!

  5. I agree with your post and what you wrote in the heading (‘coexistence not minimisation’).
    Convergence should definitely not be confused as taking old tech and replacing it with on device that encompasses everything. I also made a connection between convergence and the election, however mine was based on the coverage rather than policy promoting. Regardless of that it is easy to see that convergence is occurring right here and now. If you have a look in Henry Jenkin’s article ‘Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide’ you will find the chapter ‘Photoshop for Democracy: The New Relationship between Politics and Popular Culture’ which I think is very relevant to the discussion on convergence and the just gone election.

  6. I really enjoyed your blog post this week, I have actually read a few of yours. What I like more than anything is the conversations it starts with all of these comments.
    The thing that annoys me most is the idea of websites being created with the sole intention of being put onto a mobile device – we are seeing less and less content simply so it can fit on a handheld screen. I honestly believe some media should stay attached to certain devices.

  7. I found this post to be incredibly helpful. Media convergence is a topic that I am not too confident in. I have found it to be quite confusing up until this point. I really appreciate that you outlined what it is so clearly and backed this up with some really solid examples. I don’t have anything critical to say about this post because I have genuinely found it very insightful and clearly written 🙂

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