Media convergence is the most significant development
in the news industry in the last century. The ability to interchange text, audio, and visual communication over the Internet
has fundamentally transformed the way news organizations operate. Convergence has enabled media companies to gather, disseminate,
and share information over a variety of platforms. Throughout the history of journalism, it has been common for journalists
to study one medium, such as traditional print or broadcast, and to anticipate a career working only in their chosen field.
However, the 21st century journalist has fluidity to write and deliver news content in a variety of formats.
the 1990s, media mergers and technological innovations gave birth to convergence journalism. There has been much discussion
over the precise meaning of convergence and a fully converged newsroom. “Convergence generally means that all component platforms
available for delivery to a web based operating system contribute to the overall information product. It also implies that
information sharing and enhancement takes places along the way” (Killebrew, 2002). Articulating a standard definition of convergence
is not the intent of this research. For purposes of this study, convergence journalism is defined as print, broadcast and
online news staffs forging partnerships in which journalists often work and distribute content across several news platforms.
in 2002 and concluding in early 2003, Professors Carrie Criado and Camille Kraeplin from Southern Methodist University
conducted one of the first comprehensive national studies to determine the extent to which convergence journalism is taking
hold in United States media industries and university schools of journalism.
Key Findings of Research:
media organizations and journalism educators appear to see convergence as important to the future of the profession.
vast majority of both newspapers and TV stations surveyed have forged convergence partnerships, defined as the sharing of
content and/or staff with another media platform – around nine in 10 newspapers and eight in 10 TV stations.
university journalism programs have also moved toward convergence. Just under nine in 10 of the college administrators surveyed
said they had incorporated, or begun to incorporate, cross-platform training into their coursework.
Date: April 4, 2003/Updated for presentation at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual
Conference in Kansas City, Missouri on July 30, 2003.
Copyright 2003. No republication except with express permission