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Convergence's fundamental question
journal contributionposted on 2005-02-01, 00:00 authored by Stephen Quinn
This paper asks the fundamental question of whether editorial managers and journalists are embracing convergence for business reasons or to do better journalism. Media organizations around the world are adopting various forms of convergence, and along the way embracing a range of business models. Several factors are influencing and driving the adoption of convergence—also known as multiple-platform publishing. Principal among them are the media's desire to reach as wide an audience as possible, consumers who want access to news in a variety of forms and times (news 24-7), and editorial managers' drive to cut costs. The availability of relatively cheap digital technology facilitates the convergence process. Many journalists believe that because that technology makes it relatively easy to convert and distribute any form of content into another, it is possible to produce new forms of storytelling and consequently do better journalism. This paper begins by defining convergence (as much as it is possible to do so) and describing the competing models. It then considers the environments that lead to easy introduction of convergence, followed by the factors that hinder it. Examples of converged media around the world are provided, and suggestions offered on how to introduce convergence. The paper concludes that successful convergence satisfies the twin aims of good journalism and good business practices.