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Producer-centric versus participation-centric: On the shaping of mobile media

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News media are forming omnipresence strategies to become accessible anytime, anywhere and through any device. Mobile news services and mobile applications play an increasingly influential role in contemporary newspapers. This is an in-depth study of a newspaper organization contemplating the challenges coupled with mobile media. It shows how heterogeneous sensemaking processes emerge among media workers from editorial, business and IT departments. Most importantly, it shows two polarized constellations within the newspaper organization when it comes to the shaping of its mobile application. Several arguments were used in their respective rhetoric, and at the loci of their attention was the negotiation of a producer- versus a participation-centric design. An alliance of media workers from the editorial and IT departments won ground for their producer-centric proposal, enacting an iPhone application primarily based on auto-directed flows of traditional news reporting. They produced a self-fulfilling prophecy, creating cues for other newspapers in a newspaper industry characterized by isomorphism.

Keywords: convergence; cross-media; iPhone; media production; mobile media; newspapers; sensemaking

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of Gothenburg and IT University of Copenhagen

Publication date: May 15, 2012

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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