When we think of the idea of convergence, we generally think of it as the merging of two or more things. But what does that mean for Journalism? Holmes, Hadwin & Mottershead (2013,p210) describe it as “the coming together of different media platforms- for example tv and online.”
As a Gen-y’er it’s starting to get difficult to remember what life was like before all the technological advancements, and a world ruled by social media and the world wide web. I have fond childhood memories of the weekend paper delivery- my family and I would sit around the table with breakfast, each of us reading a different section of The Herald Sun.
Nowadays I would rather Google current affairs on my iPhone/iPad or tune into the radio on my drive to work. The daily newspaper that is delivered to my parents house often sits unopened for days and my Mum now proudly tells me of her online subscription to The Age and The Herald Sun. It’s almost as if reading a physical Newspaper is too much commitment- our lives are so full and busy, the thought of setting time aside to read the paper is a little too much. And why would we when we have this third arm attached to us, where we can reach the news 24/7?
News outlets have been forced to adapt or simply bust. Our changing requirements as readers in combination with the saturation of technology is now defining what we are given by the news organisations. Kolodzy (2012, p.1) explains that the youth of today are favouring social media platforms such as Facebook, Google, YouTube, Twitter and Instant messaging as a way to receive news. And, as one of those “youths” I would have to agree. My main sources of news come from articles I click on that have been shared on Facebook or Twitter or perhaps when I’ve Googled something that was currently topical. I would not consider logging onto the online version of The Herald Sun to cipher through the articles of the day.
‘If Audiences have to multitask via Twitter and Facebook and YouTube, then today’s journalists have to multitask there as well’ (Kolodzy 2012, p.5). Journalists are now expected to go above and beyond a simple researching and writing task but now have to be competent and confident across many digital media platforms too.
So what does this mean for print? Well currently nearly 90% of many print Newspapers profits are coming from advertising revenue . In terms of online- Paywalls, increasing the price of single print copies and subscriptions has been found to stabilise and even increase revenue in some successful cases (Rogers 2015). So they aren’t dead just yet, they are simply forced to make their money in more creative ways.
Holmes, T., Hadwin, S., Mottershead, G., 2013, ‘Chapter 8, Convergence’, The 21st Century Journalism Handbook, p210
Devoe, N 2015, ’17 Things Your Parents Had To Do Before The Internet’, seventeen, weblog post, 13 February, retrieved 3 August, <http://www.seventeen.com/life/friends-family/a24295/crazy-things-parents-did-before-the-internet/>
Kolodzy, J 2012, ‘What’s old is new, what’s new is old’, ‘Practicing Convergence Journalism’, Routledge, p.1&5
Rogers, T 2015, ‘Are Newspapers Dying or Adapting in the Age of Digital News Consumption?’, About News, weblog post, 16 November, retrieved 3 August 2016, < http://journalism.about.com/od/trends/a/papersdying.htm >