Longitudinal research results, converged advocacy ideas top second day of convergence conference

Results shared at the convergence conference from a longitudinal study by a team of Southern Methodist University.

COLUMBIA, S.C.– Two things that have endured at the convergence conference over the last 10 years are the newcomers who find this gathering and show up to present each year and surveys presented annually on the extent of converged or multimedia partnerships.

On the second day of this 10th convergence gathering, we saw both of these phenomena as results of the third installment of a longitudinal study on cross-platform partnerships were presented this morning.

Jake Batsell

SMU Researchers Camille Kraeplin and Carrie Anna Criado started researching convergence in newspapers and television newsrooms in 2000.   Today, Kraeplin continues to do that work and has a new team member– Jake Batsell, who joined the SMU faculty after a stint at The Dallas Morning News.

According to data gathered earlier this year, platform-specific partnerships have become less relevant and are falling out of favor.

“Newsrooms are accepting the public as their convergence partner,” Batsell said.

Batsell presented the latest results at the conference this morning after doing the third survey earlier this year.  The first phase of the research was based on data collected in 2002-2003 and the second in 2004-2005.

It is notable that fewer newspapers responded to the 2011 survey and that several television stations, particularly those that are part of the Fox Broadcast Group, have implemented a “no surveys” policy.

Cory Armstrong

Not only was Batsell new to the crew presenting at this conference, the moderator for the session, Cory Armstrong is also a first-time attendee.

Armstrong is the associate editor of Mass Communication & Society, one of the leading academic journals in the mass communication field.

The results from the Kraeplin & Batsell research followed an earlier presentation based of a Model for Converged Journalism, which Virginia Tech’s Jenn MacKay based on Josh Meyrowitz’s Information System Theory.

“I think this is a testament to the enduring impact of this conference,” Batsell said.   “We’re really re-thinking convergence as a result of this conference.  I think that’s exciting.”




Author: George Daniels

George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. After spending eight years in the local television newsroom working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia, Daniels moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He’s conducted research on diversity issues in the media workplace and change in the television newsroom as well as media convergence. Before going to work in television news, Daniels worked briefly as a freelance writer for The Richmond Free Press in his hometown of Richmond, Va.

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