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BY-NC-ND 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Oldenbourg 2021

Media Convergence

Expanding Perspectives Beyond the Digital

From the book Digital Roots

  • John O’Sullivan and Leopoldina Fortunati

Expanding Perspectives Beyond the Digital



In this chapter we analyze the now pervasive appropriation of the concept of media convergence to encapsulate processes of digitalization in media. We interrogate this almost universally adopted notion, tracing its ramifications as delineated in cultural, technological, market, and policy terms, while also drawing attention to complementary and generally much less recognized processes of divergence. More fundamentally, we draw attention to the long-standing independence of media convergence from digital technology, illustrating processes of combination and adaptation in pre-digital media. Historical cases of newspaper supplementation and add-ons, the changing form of the serialized novel, and the relationship between the telephone and broadcast media are invoked to demonstrate the extent, variety, and dynamism of change, bringing into focus processes of remediation that have long pertained in analogue media. We conclude that a view of media change is needed that better recognizes historical convergences and that, consequently, is less inhibited by the often dualist and positivist underpinnings of much recent thinking that sets the analogue and the digital in opposition.

© 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Munich/Boston
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