Media convergence is the merging of many media sources into a digital platform; Henry Jenkins defines it as “the flow of content across multiple media platforms, the cooperation between multiple media industries, and the migratory behaviour of media audiences. (2006)
So basically since the introduction of the Apple iPhone and various other smartphones there has been a significant rise in media convergence. When you think about it, if you’re a smartphone user you are engaging with media convergence every day! Seriously what can’t you do with your phone? There is basically every form of media on your smartphone! You can watch TV and live updates, you can read a digital version of what would be in print and connect to almost every social media channel known to man.
Media convergence has completely changed the way in which we view and interact with the media. We have gone from observers of the media to actual live participants! We all interact with content now in some way or form and the advancements in technologies has allowed everyone to be producers of content. Which leads to the notion of us being everyday journalists or ‘citizen journalists’. We now have the power to record, comment and post about anything in the world and give our own individual take or opinion. Which is only getting greater due to the popularity of social media and the various new platforms that will only continue to grow due to the advancements in technologies and innovative new devices.
So is media convergence beneficial for society?
I believe like anything else, that it has its advantages and disadvantages. On one hand it has opened up an endless range of opportunities for people to be active participants within the media. But it also has the negative downside as the some of the major analogue forms of the media (television, print, radio) are now facing a decline in popularity especially in young people. Although Jenkins states that it should not be viewed as a displacement of the old media, but rather as interaction between different media forms and platforms” (2006) It’s a known fact that the older generation are still not huge fans of the various new technologies available and prefer to stick to what they know instead investing time and money into something they don’t know how to use and can’t be bothered to learn.
So with the advancements in technology and the rise of social media platforms, the possibilities for future media convergence are almost endless! Who even knows what could happen next?
2011, What is Media Convergence?, Media Convergence, Coming together, weblog post, viewed 2 April 2016, https://mconvergence.wordpress.com/about/#respond.