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The 21st Century Media (R)evolution

Emergent Communication Practices, Second Edition

Jim Macnamara

The emergence of what are called ‘new media’ and ‘social media’ is one of the most discussed topics in contemporary societies. Because media and public communication are mostly analyzed within particular theoretical frameworks and within specific disciplinary fields, polarized views have been created with cyberoptimists and celebrants on one side and cyberpessimists and skeptics on the other. Thus we lack an understanding of the interdependencies and convergence between disciplines and practices.
The second edition of this book expertly synthesizes competing theories and disciplinary viewpoints and examines the latest data, including international research from fast-growing markets such as China, to provide a comprehensive, holistic view of the twenty-first century media (r)evolution. Dr. Macnamara argues that the key changes are located in practices rather than technologies and that public communication practices are emergent in highly significant ways.
Engaging and accessible, this book is essential reading for scholars and professionals in media and communication and an invaluable text for courses in media studies, journalism, advertising, public relations and organisational and political communication.
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Chapter 9. Future Media Business Models

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FUTURE MEDIA BUSINESS MODELS

The loss of audiences and the resulting decline of advertising revenue being faced by many major media organizations that were graphically outlined in Chapters 7 and 8, growing resistance to advertising aided by technologies that block or bypass paid promotional messages online, and the huge growth of free content on the internet have sparked an increasingly desperate search for new media business models. While media content and programming across the board are being negatively impacted by changes taking place, news and current affairs are particularly in jeopardy because of their high cost of production and their need for independence, which limits commercialization opportunities. In a report on the future of journalism produced for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell and Clay Shirky (2012) stated bluntly that it was pointless to discuss the future of the news industry “because there is no such thing as the news industry anymore” (p. 1) [emphasis added]. And, in reviewing the report, media writer Mathew Ingram emphatically concluded: “there is no way to put Humpty Dumpty together again” (2012, para. 9).

Despite downward trends and gloomy predictions, advertising will continue to be a prominent feature of the mediascape for some time to come, and possibly indefinitely, particularly in capitalist societies—albeit it needs to transition ← 333 | 334 → to emergent forms of media and communication which require new approaches, as discussed in Chapter 8. But,...

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