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Converged media


Curators: Sarvjeet Singh, Project Manager & Research Fellow, Centre for Communication Governance at National Law University, Delhi and Kartik Chawla, Student, B.A., LL.B. (Hons.), NALSAR University of Law

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Official Committees and Reports

TRAI, Consultation Paper on Issues Relating to Convergence and Competition in Broadcasting and Telecommunications, January 2006

Council of Europe, Converging Media – Convergent Regulators?, Directorate General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs – Council of Europe, October 2007

This is a collection of papers presented in the Conference organised by the Council of Europe and the OSCE Mission to Skopje, which address the following topics: Media Convergence and the implications for Media Regulation; European Standards Concerning the Independence and Functioning of Broadcasting Regulatory Bodies; When and How? The Process and Timing of Convergence of Regulators; Structure and Functioning of Converged Regulators – Best Practices; and Recommendations by the Conference.

Australia Law Reform Commission, National Classification Scheme Review – Media Convergence and the Transformed Media Environment, September 2011

A report of Australian Law Reform Commission on the circumstances in Australia, and the necessity of reforming of the then existing media classification and the developing a new National Classification Scheme, which identifies, inter alia, increased access to high-speed broadband internet, digitisation, globalisation, accelerated innovation, rise of user-created content, the changing nature of the media consumer, and the blurring of lines between private and public media as trends associated with Media Convergence. It also comments on ‘broken concepts’ in existing broadcasting and telecommunications legislation, and their relevance to media classification.

Select Committee on Communications, Inquiry into Media Convergence and its Public Policy Impact – Oral and Written Evidence, House of Lords, September 2012

Select Committee on Communications, Media Convergence, House of Lords, March 2013

Also included under this are the responses of Ofcom and the Government.

Media Convergence Review Panel, Media Convergence Review – Final Report, Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore, November 2012

This Report is the Final Report of the Media Convergence Review Panel appointed by the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore to study the issues that impact consumers, industry and society in the converged media environment, and includes the recommendations made by the Panel for addressing them. Its recommendations are focused on updating the framework for regulating industry development, empowering consumers and safeguarding societal interests; enhancing vibrancy of local content; policy and regulations in response to copyright and digital piracy; and updating licensing frameworks for the new environment.

Angele A. Gilroy, Telecommunications and Media Convergence: Selected Issues for Consideration, Congressional Research Service, August 2013

This Congressional report provides an overview of certain issues which are central to the Media Convergence debate, and includes broadband deployment, broadband regulation and access, broadcast media ownership rules, funding for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, emergency communications, legal issues regarding facilities siting, Federal Communications Commission oversight and reform, Internet Governance and the Domain Name System, reauthorisation of the statutory copyrights and communications provisions in the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act, spectrum policy and wireless broadband deployment, and Universal Service Fund reform. The report will be update occasionally – this is the August 2013 version of it.

Varied Perspectives on and Definitions of Convergence

Frodham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal, Seventh Annual Symposium: First Amendment and the Media, February 1999

These are the papers and addresses presented at the Frodham Intellectual Property, Media and Entertainment Law Journal, Seventh Annual Symposium, which focused on the First Amendment and the Media, with Convergence being a crucial centre of the debate. The first panel in the Symposium was on the First Amendment implications of Convergence, while the second panel addresses the Economic and Regulatory issues of Convergence, with the Keynote Address by Lawrence Lessig on Commons and Code, which also addresses the issues raised by Convergence.

Henry Jenkins, Convergence? I Diverge, Technology Review, June 2001

This short article attempts to refute a few prevailing ideas about Convergence such as the image of all media being funnelled through one box and clear some of the confusion surrounding the term, and specifies five separate processes that are usually mixed together: Technological Convergence, Economic Convergence, Social or Organic Convergence, Cultural Convergence, and Global Convergence.

Henry Jenkins, The Cultural Logic of Media Convergence, International Journal of Cultural Studies, 2004 [Paid Database]

This article attempted to put out a theory of Media Convergence that would have allowed for researchers to identify major sites of tension and transition which shaped the media environment for the past decade. It specifically discusses how Convergence is more than a mere technological shift, and is an alteration of the relationship between existing technologies, industries, markets, and audiences.

Ester Appelgren, Convergence and Divergence in Media: Different Perspectives, Media Technology and Graphic Arts, The Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, 2004

This paper discusses the various definitions of Convergence, in the context of there being a lack of a uniformly accepted one, both in the historical and contemporary media perspectives, evaluating the evolution of the meaning of the concept, and makes suggestions regarding the perspectives that should be taken on it.

Henry Jenkins & Mark Deuze, Convergence Culture, Sage Publications, 2008

This editorial comments on the exact nature of Convergence, the changing nature of social interaction and media content that has resulted from it, and the questions and issues it raises with regards to media on the whole, and then introduces the special issue of Convergence it serves as an introduction to.

Katarzyna Kopecka-Piech, Media Convergence Concepts, Media Studies Journal, Institute of Journalism, University of Warsaw, 2011

This paper conducts a literature analysis of the Convergence, its exact constituents in the realm of Media Convergence, including the history of the concept and results of the then recent media convergence research. It discusses the various types of Convergence that exist, and then proceeds to comment on Convergence and Divergence and the relationship between the two.

Nitin Narang, Digital Media Convergence: Are the Stakeholders Listening?, Infosys Lab Briefings (10, 1), 2012

Michael Latzer, Media Convergence, Working Paper of the Media Change and Innovation Division, IPMZ University of Zurich, Swtizerland, April 2013

This paper analyses the phenomenon of Convergence in general and its effect on Telecommunications and Media, and also discusses the co-evolutionary perspective on the same.

The Causes and Effects of Convergence

Scott Morris, The Crescendo of Convergence: Regulating Telecommunications, Albany Law Journal of Science and Technology, 1996

This article is a comment on the actual nature of Convergence itself, on how more than a ‘convergence’ towards a single point, it is rather a complex crescendo of many different points, and goes on to comment on the changing nature of communications which has come about due to advances in technology. It then addresses the issues of regulation in such a market place, making recommendations and giving examples about the same.

M.K. Asthana and D.M.R. Panda, Technology Convergence – The Human Perspective, Delhi Business Review (3, 1), January-June 2002

This article comments on the development of technology and innovation in the past decades, specifically the Internet, and the effect they have had on the sociology and economy of the modern world, and the creation of this new age.

Neil Shister, Media Convergence, Diversity, and Democracy – A Report of the Aspen Institute Forum on Communications and Society, 2003

This Report summarises and reports the issues discussed in the Forum on Communications and Society convened by the Aspen Institute in 2002, specifically: the role of the media in a modern democracy; the need for media to establish a trust with its readers/viewers; concern over the shrinking electorate in American elections and the possible role media plays in that trend; the debate over whether consolidation in old and new media raises “democratic” as opposed to antitrust concerns; opportunities for new media to enable the citizenry to communicate; concern that new media will become bottlenecked rather than the open architecture it currently has; the apparent choices the government has; and, what technological architecture, industrial structure, and government (non-) involvement will best meet the needs of the citizens for electorate-enhancing information.

John V. Pavlik, Understanding Convergence and Digital Broadcasting Technologies for the Twenty-First Century, NHK Broadcasting Studies, 2005

This paper considers the question of the inevitability and the actual role of Convergence in broadcasting media, focusing on five areas, those being: tools for acquisition or production of content and programming; storage technologies; editing or other computer-based post-production technologies; distribution technologies; display or other presentation-related technologies. It thus considers the practical effects of the Convergence of technologies, noting the consequences it has had, such as: transforming structures; changing the way media professionals work; the creation of ‘virtual newsroom’; and the transformation of the audience relationship. It also makes a Convergence-focused case study of, and concludes with a cautionary note on the pitfalls of Convergence.

Benjamin J. Bates, Driving Under Influence: The Role of Policy in Media Convergence, paper presented at the IAMCR conference, July 2007

This article discusses the role of various policies in bringing about or delaying the advent of Media Convergence by analysing the effects they have had in the US over a fifty year period, how they have interacted with technological, economic, and market forces, the direct and indirect roles played by them, their relative effectiveness, and their implications. It specifically discusses the U.S. Constitution and Early Media-Related policy, tracing the history of development of innovations in communications and their relationship with the government, the Communications Act of 1934, and, rather contrarily, the role of Computer and Digital Communications Policy in promoting development, the Telecommunications Act 1996 and the changes it introduces, and the role of Copyright in this debate.

Comparative Literature

Yu-Li Liu, The Impact of Convergence on the Telecommunications Law and Broadcasting Related Laws: A Comparison Between Japan and Taiwan, Keio Communications Review, 2011

This paper compares the steps taken by the Japanese and Taiwanese governments to combine their existing telecommunications and broadcasting laws to better allow for governance over the converging media through the methods of literature review, document analysis and in-depth reviews. It also specifically discusses layer models and horizontal methods of regulation in the context of Convergence and Telecommunication and Broadcasting Laws.

Country-specific Analyses

Jon W. Anderson and Dale F. Eickelman, Media Convergence and its Consequences, Middle East Insight, March-April 1999

This article is a comment on Media Convergence in the context of the Arab Middle East, with specific reference to the effect of Convergence on public discourse, the role the Internet plays in it, and the consequences of it. It also comments on the circumstances surrounding the technological boom in the region.

Dillian Theckedath & Terrence J. Thomas, Media Ownership and Convergence in Canada, Library of Parliament, April 2012

This paper presented the picture of the ownership of Canada’s media industry at the time of its publication, and also shows how the focus of various parliamentary studies of the media industry has changed along with the changing ownership structure of companies within the industry.

Richard Wu Wai Sang & Grace Leung Lai Kuen, Media Policy and Regulation in the Age of Convergence – The Hong Kong Experience, the Hong Kong Law Journal (30, 3), 2000

This article traces the evolution and development of the convergence phenomenon, summarises and contextualises the various theories put forward by communications scholars, and examines the issues and concerns it raises for media regulation in general and for regulators specifically. It also analyses the specific case of Hong Kong insofar as the Telecommunications (Amendment) and Broadcasting Ordinances are concerned, concluding that Hong Kong should shift from a ‘gradualist’ to a ‘radical’ approach in its policy and regulation.

Convergence and Competition

Christina Hardy, Michell McAuslan, and Julia Madden, Competition Policy and Communications Convergence, UNSW Law Journal, 1994

This paper takes a Competition Law and Policy perspective to Convergence in the context of Australia. It summarises and contextualises existing communications industry regulation in Australia, analyses the challenges of Multimedia alliances with comparative analysis wherever necessary, comments on the Report of Independent Committee of Inquiry into National Competition Policy, reviews the meaning of Public Interest and Public Benefit, and proposes a regulatory framework for the Australian communications industry.

Lucy Firth, P.H. Longstaff, & Cate Dowd, Broadband and Convergence, EC Electronic Communications and Competition Law, 2002

This article focuses on the exact role played by Broadband in Convergence, with specific reference to its image as the ‘Big Pipe’, in the context of government policy regarding its promotion. It discusses the exact effect that the promotion of broadband will have, and the winners and losers, if any, in Convergence.

Antoinette Cook Bush, John Beahn, & Mick Tuesley, Convergence and Competition – At Last, Federal Communications Law Journal, Federal Communications Law Journal, 2004-2005

This short paper comments on how Convergence seems to becoming more of a practical reality, and the challenges the same raises for the Telecommunications Act, 1996, in the context of the US. It goes on to comment on how a new legal regime is necessary, and makes recommendations about the same.

Convergence, Policy and Regulation

Anders Henten, Morten Falch, & Reza Tadayoni, Some Implications for Regulations of ICT and Media Convergence,, January 2002

This paper takes a policy-centred perspective to Convergence, analysing both, the implications of market and technological trends on policy and, conversely, the effect of policy and regulatory frameworks on technology and market developments, aiming to establish a useful framework for discussions on Convergence issues. At the same time, it pays specific attention to the technological and market-related aspect of it. It directly addresses the Technological, Market-level, Regulatory and Barrier-related aspects of Convergence, while also discussing the possible differences between economically developed and developing countries.

Euisun Yoo, Media Convergence and its Policy Implications, Korean Journal of International and Competition Law, 2005

This paper suggests policy measures to address the following issues raised by Media Convergence, which the author considers the most important: the jurisdiction of regulators, competitive structures in convergence markets, and public utility services. The method used by the paper involves an analysis of the cases and experiences of various nations, and the SCP paradigm.

Convergence and Journalism

Juliet Larkin, Convergence Journalism: Towards a New Media Landscape, Robert Bell Travelling Scholarship Report, 2008

This paper takes a journalistic perspective to Convergence, analysing existing and upcoming trends which have come into existence as a consequence of Convergence, and makes recommendations on the type of focus a course on Journalism must have to keep up to date with the changing nature of Journalism. The recommendations of this paper have been based mostly on interviews and consultations with Journalism training staff and Journalists, and on analyses of existing courses in New Zealand and the US, and are aimed at Journalism Schools in New Zealand.

Konstantinos Saltzis & Roger Dickinson, Inside the Changing Newsroom: Journalists’ Responses to Media Convergence, Aslib Proceedings, 2008

This paper is the final report of a survey conducted in the newsrooms of the BBC, Sky News, The Guardian, and the Financial Times. The main aim was to investigate the impact of the phenomenon of Convergence on the working practices of Journalists, and this article describes the changes that are taking place and the ways the journalists are reacting to them.

Yuyan Ernest Zhang, Examining Media Convergence: Does it Converge Good Journalism, Economic Synergies, and Competitive Advantages?, Dissertation presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School at University of Missouri-Columbia, May 2008

This paper focuses on the ‘simple theory’, and on the effect of Convergence on the quality of journalism.

Tim Harrower, Media Convergence, Inside Reporting – A Practical Guide to the Craft of Journalism, 2010

This short entry in a journalism guidebook presents a small definition of Convergence itself and the different types of it, and is meant for the practical perspective of a journalist, noting its relevance and usage.

Empirical Studies, Case Studies, and Other Research

Gracie Lawson-Borders, Integrating New Media and Old Media: Seven Observations of Convergence as a Strategy for Best Practices in Media Organisations, The International Journal on Media Management (5, 2), 2003

This paper is a result of an empirical study of three corporate media organisations that was conducted in 2002. It examines state of Convergence at the time of its publication, the various definitions and practices surrounding it, and identifies Seven Observations of Convergence which it recommends should be used as a strategy for best practices in organisations to integrate new and old media, using Diffusion of Innovations and the Five Stages of Innovation Processes coupled with Management research to reach its conclusions.

Douglas W. Vick, Regulatory Convergence, Legal Studies (26, 1), March 2006 [Paid Database]

An analysis of the Communications Act, 2003, of the UK, in the specific context of how the UK Government has acted upon and interpreted ‘convergence’ via the same, drawing on a forensic analysis of the opposition between Market Liberal and Social Liberal influences affecting UK communications policy, and at the same time commenting on the Ofcom’s role.

J. Sonia Huang & Don Heider, Media Convergence: A Case Study of a Cable News Station, International Journal on Media Management, 2007

This article takes a more practical approach to Convergence, and analyses the functioning of a cable news station that would integrate the television and the internet, and analyses the newsroom of News 8 for the same. It discusses on the basis of this how Convergence as a reality is still rather far away, and recommends a few steps that can be taken to speed it up.

Bruce Garrison & Michel Dupagne, A Case Study of Media Convergence at Media General’s Tampa News Centre, November 2003

This paper analyses the Tampa News Centre, wherein Media General had combined the operations of The Tampa Tribune, WFLA-TV and Tampa Bay Online under one roof. Thus, this paper is a case study of the practical effects seen in this experiment on Convergence. This also includes the results of interviews with relevant persons involved with the Tampa News Centre.

Convergence in India

The Communications Convergence Bill, 2001
Ashish Pathak, India: The Communications Convergence Bill: India’s tryst with Dynasty, Kocchar & Co., July 2002

This article is a comment on the draft Communications Convergence Bill which was released in 2000. It starts off by defining Convergence, putting it in the Indian context, and then moves on the proposals of the expert committee the recommendations of which led to the draft bill, and then the provisions of the bill itself – specifically, its objectives, the licensing provisions and the technologies/services it regulates. It also specifically comments on the Communications Commission of India that would be set up under it, and its functions and powers. It also discusses the License obtaining procedure, and the responsibilities that go along with the same. The Draft Bill itself has since been discarded since it talked, inter alia, about content regulation.

Majumdar & Co., India’s Communication Convergence Bill, 2001 – A critique

A critical analysis of the Communication Convergence Bill, 2001, commenting on, inter alia, its licensing and provision of services provisions, the proposed Communications Commission of India, Communications Appellate Tribunal, the Spectrum Management Committee, and the Frequency Spectrum Management and Interception relevant sections of it.

Pavan Duggal, Telecommunications Convergence Law in India – A Critique, Murdoch University Electronic Journal of Law (9, 1), March 2002

A short note on, and a critique of, the Communication Convergence Bill, 2001, and the Communications Commission of India which was to be set up under it.

Pritam Kumar Ghosh, The Communications Convergence Bill – A Critical Study of Communications Convergence in India,

A critical analysis of the Communications Convergence Bill, 2001, and the consequences it would have had for the Communications Sector.

Rodney D. Ryder, Indian Communications Convergence Bill – A Critical Analysis, International Business Lawyer, April 2002

A short note on the Indian Communications Convergence Bill, analysing the essential framework behind it.

T H Chowdhary, Convergence Bill: An Advance, but Flawed, November 2001 [Paid Database]

A critical analysis of the Convergence Bill, 2001, which comments on the steps that it has taken forward as compared to the setting up the TRAI and the TDSAT, but still has quite a few serious flaws.

Shauvik Ghosh, DoT Begins work on Convergence Policy for Communications Sector, Live Mint, Aug 2013

This news report discusses the possibility of the DoT drafting a new Convergence Bill, twelve years after the first one in 2001, which had failed.

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