Technology determinism and media convergence - Research Paper Example

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Technological determinism refers to a notion used to imply how society’s technology is able to cause the development of its cultural values and social structure. Media convergence is the economic strategy used by communication companies in an attempt to seek financial benefit…
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Technology determinism and media convergence Technological determinism refers to a notion used to imply how society’s technology is able to cause the development of its cultural values and social structure (Jerome, 2005). Media convergence is the economic strategy used by communication companies in an attempt to seek financial benefit Jorda 2008). They achieve this through making various media properties own their work collectively. These two terms have commonly been used and applied in many fields especially in journalism, mass media and communication.
In media convergence, the strategy involves three elements; corporate concentration, digitization and government deregulation. This strategy allows companies to cut labour cost by transmitting the same media content over the other media outlets. The purpose of this would be attracting increased advertisement simply by providing better package for advertisers. For the company, material and administrative costs are reduced since they transmit similar things in many media station the company owns. It also helps in increasing brand recognition and brand royalty. Furthermore, it also raises the barriers for new customers seeking a chance to enter the media markets hence limiting advancing competition from other companies (Jorda 2008).
An example of media convergence could be could be the merger between Warner Brothers and Time Inc in 1989 in order to create the world’s largest media house. The merger also had businesses in the entertainment sector, magazine publishing, film production, music recording and distribution. In 2001, AOL bought Time Warner in an attempt to expand the merger to accommodate the internet (Jorda 2008).
Another example of media convergence is BCE Inc, a telephone company that expanded into the television industry, purchased the national CTV network, expanded to publishing newspapers, acquired The Globe and Mail: plus a new media together with a family of websites.
Media convergence concept has constantly been on critique for a very long time, due to its undesirable potential. In having one media owner possessing multiple media platforms, problems usually spark. Examples of problems they might incur include loyalty to advertisers compared to the public interest, varying opinions, market-based competition reduction and the loss of "multiple voices", all these resulting viewpoints that are limited. Sine media owners usually act as the check on corporations and government. In addition, since media owners have got great influence on politics within a given country, means leaving companies that have undergone media convergence can also be detrimental if on the opposing side. A good example could be the media that fueled post election violence in Kenya (Jorda, 2008).
In terms of technological determinism, as technology in a given place is stabilized, the design it got tends to dictate the user’s behaviour. In technology determinism, the concept tends to ignore the cultural and social circumstances in which a given technology was developed. Technology is usually vital in ensuring that on one gets new customers, a media company to is more technological advanced usually has more viewer. A good example could be the switch from analogue means of transmitting to digitalize (Jerome, 2005).All in all, a combination of these two concepts is usually vital in the mass communication sector and other businesses.
Jérôme Bezzina, B. S. (2005). Technological convergence and regulation: challenges facing
developing countries. NewYork: IDATE.
Jorda, T. (2008). Hacking: digital media and technological determinism. Campbridge: Polity
Press. Read More
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