Media convergence

Holliman, Richard (2010). Media convergence. In: Priest, Susanna ed. Encyclopaedia of Science and Technology Communication. Newbury Park, CA, USA: Sage.



This paper maps some of the landscape for media convergence with a particular focus on what it means for communicating the sciences. In a technological sense, media convergence is all about integration and inter-operability; the coming together of computing networks, information and communication technologies, and digital forms of information that are inherently adaptable, delivered via 'intelligent' platforms, applications and devices. The processes that facilitate media convergence are shaped by, whilst also shaping, social practices and cultural values; the ways that we produce and consume digital media to communicate science, politics, sport, and so on. Where once people had opportunities to collate and filter scientific information via various 'traditional' communication channels, now digital technologies are also playing an important role.

From an end user perspective–those consuming and contributing–media convergence involves digital technologies that encode and decode multiple streams of (in this case) science content. This can involve (linked and aggregated) text, (galleries of) still images, moving pictures, digital simulations, sounds, music, or any combination thereof, to one or more devices and platforms of the end user's choosing, such as a mobile phone or personal digital assistant (PDA). And these media can be customized and consumed 'automatically' via feeds that match the users profile on the device(s) of their choice; change your profile and you re-arrange the content to be downloaded, and/or re-order the aggregated content that you have received.

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