Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Ben Novotny: Examples of Media Convergence and Multimedia Journalism

An example of Convergence would be Comcast, which has owned NBC Universal since January 2011. Besides owning Universal Pictures, Universal Music Group, and the NBC TV network, Comcast’s acquisition of NBC Universal also includes it’s three theme parks in Hollywood, Orlando, and Japan; over 200 affiliated TV stations in the U.S. and 8 affiliated TV stations overseas; several cable channels that includes the 24-hour news network MSNBC, USA, the Syfy Channel, the E! Entertainment Network, G4, a cable network dedicated to mystery and crime called Cloo, a horror cable channel called Chiller, Bravo, a partial stake in the Weather Channel, Telemundo Television Studios, NBC Sports Group, which owns two sports cable channels in the U.S., a home shopping network called ShopNBC, the Consumer News and Business Channel, also known as CNBC, which is a business news cable channel, and Universal HD, which broadcasts almost every program that has aired at least once on any of the other NBC owned networks; in addition to owning Universal Pictures, NBC Universal is also the parent company of art house film labels Focus Features and the Britain-based Working Title Films as well as the animation studio Illumination Entertainment, which produced Despicable Me and did animation for other movies for different companies; and it has about a third stake in Hulu, an internet TV subscription site. As a conglomerate, NBC Universal can show its films across several media platforms. First Universal Studios can produce a film, then after its run in theatres it can be broadcast on NBC and all the various cable channels, and even be broadcast for a subscription fee on Hulu. In addition, the soundtrack of the film would be produced and released by Universal Music Group, and depending on the genre of the film it could create a new attraction at the company’s three theme parks.

            An example of multimedia journalism would be the Huffington Post’s coverage of former President Bill Clinton’s speech at the Democratic National Convention. When you click on the top article called “Bill Kills”, you are taken to the main article written by Ryan Grim, The Huffington Post’s Senior Congressional Correspondent, and Jon Ward, who was once The Daily’s Washington Correspondent. In addition to advertisements, the left hand side also includes an interactive map of the United States showing which states President Obama and Mitt Romney are leading in and which states are currently considered tossups. You can click on a state such as Florida and it shows you which candidate is ahead in the polls in that state. Above the article it gives you the option to share it on Facebook, tweet it to your twitter followers, or even to e-mail it to someone. And at the very bottom of the article, there is a slideshow showing 222 images from the Democratic Convention so far. Below that is an option to make comments on the article
The textbook Convergent Journalism by Stephen Quinn and Vincent F. Filak states that many media companies are unable to put together photos, audio, and video together well because it requires a lot people to do it and is thus too expensive for them (Convergent Journalism, page 27). The Huffington Post is able to put together these materials well because unlike most other news site's they are an online-only news site, so they don't have to worry about selling x nubmer of newspapers or having x number of people watch their news broadcasts.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, Universal's media holdings are vast. As you note, this creates tons of broadcasting opportunities for Comcast. (But, I argue, hurts the consumer who now must subscribe to Comcast in order to view this content.) And your HP example of Cliinton's speech nicely illustrates multimedia journalism.