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Media convergence policy issues

Mansell, Robin (2016) Media convergence policy issues. In: Nussbaum, Jon F., (ed.) Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Communication. Oxford research encyclopedias. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 1-25. ISBN 9780190228613

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Identification Number: 10.1093/acrefore/9780190228613.013.62


This entry mainly focuses on the way digitalization (representing analogue signals by binary digits) and convergence are examined by scholars who identify with the field of media and communication studies and who may be trained in social science disciplines such as economics, political science, or sociology, or in interdisciplinary fields such as science, technology or innovation studies or the social study of technology. The entry first positions debates about digital media convergence in the context of their role in contemporary information societies. A definition of convergence is provided, followed by an overview of the convergent (or (de)convergent) landscape. This section introduces the technologies that underpin digital media and comprise a system or ecology, summarises developments over the past thirty years illustrating that the technological innovation pathway is not inevitable, and discusses how debates about digital media convergence became entangled with a policy emphasis on the potential of the information society. The next section discusses digital media policy and regulatory in the face of technological convergence and (de)convergence focusing particularly on market developments and concerns about the digital divide. It considers institutional responses and emerging forms of self, co, and formal regulation and three areas which have seen particular change and have claimed the attention of policy makers and companies – innovation in digital media business models, the need to foster an appropriate skills base, and policy regarding privacy, surveillance and commercial security. The essay ends with a conclusion that summarises key developments and emphasizes the need to understand the changing configuration of power relationships. This is followed by a short historiography positioning the digital media convergence debate within the academic literature.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 Oxford University Press
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2016 14:26
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2023 14:23

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