04.04.2018

Median ja viestinnän tutkimuksen päivien pääpuhujat

Going Digital - The transformation challenge for the media industry, and for media and communications researchers

Lucy KüngLucy Kueng.jpg

Professor, Reuters Institute, Oxford University

Legacy media firms are now at the end of the digital beginning. Two decades after the emergence of the internet the structure of a new media eco-system is becoming clear, as are the challenges this poses for organisations with substantial activities in legacy products. In response, enormous effort has been put into transforming those media products. In order to secure a viable future and compete in the digital space, media companies are mastering the content transformation. However, it is not only content that needs to be transformed.  A parallel transformation needs to take place in the media organisations themselves. 

 The organisational challenge is far subtler. Running their organisations excellently has never been a priority for the media in the way it has been in some other sectors. However, for the fruits of their content transformation to reach their audiences, and for viable businesses to be built around that, then an equivalent transformation needs to happen inside their organisations. This is an equivalent priority, but not viewed as such. Organizations are being transformed, but in a piecemeal rather than systematic way. In contrast, their disruptive peers place enormous emphasis on how they run themselves as organisations. 

The keynote builds on research into how media organisations are transforming in the face of digitalisation, the key aspects of their transformation process, and best practices common to organisations performing strongly. Specifically the keynote will explore the challenges of long-term strategy in an era dominated by new tech giants, the roots of agility, how and where journalism, technology and business activities are merging and what this means for journalism, the culture change imperative, and the role of leaders in orchestrating these elements. These transformations pose profound challenges too for the scholars seeking to understand and analyse them and interpret their broader significance. How can change of this scale, scope and complexity, and within such a brief period of time be captured by researchers? Which theoretical lenses are most appropriate in an environment when established industry boundaries and product/market classifications are eroding and new typologies emerging?  The keynote will close by reflecting on the challenges the profound shifts happening in the media pose for media and communications researchers, and discuss routes to overcoming these.

 
Mediating Hope in the Age of Post-Truth and Fake News

Anne Kaun

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Associate Professor, Södertörn University

The deliberate spreading of misleading information for economic or political purposes has earlier been discussed as mass manipulation, propaganda as well as satire. Recently, the debate has been reinvigorated with phenomena such as post-truth and fake news in the current media environment of mass self-communication. The ongoing discourse could be interpreted as contributing to a vivid media criticism that is crucial for contemporary democracies. Contrary to that argument, however, media – both traditional mass media such as the press and television as well as social media – are increasingly connected with negative effects for democracy. While media have earlier been connected with the hope to generate shared frames of references, social experiences and publics, they are now predominantly seen as contributing to filter bubbles, information cascades and hate speech.

This talk will firstly outline the contours of the current state of media criticism in Western democracies and secondly ask how vivid media criticism can help political activists envision and construct hopeful approaches related to the media in order to instigate social change. The talk will conclude with some reflections on the role of media scholars in furthering an engagement with media that both takes a critical stance, but also acknowledges the crucial role of mediating hope for political engagement and social change.