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Is the medium the message?: The impact of digital media on the newspaper concept
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Numerical Analysis and Computer Science, NADA.
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The impact of digital (new) media has caused both challenges and threats to newspapers’ continuing existence as a profitable and influential mass medium. While this is not the first time in history that new media appear to be challenging the future of the newspaper medium, from one perspective digital media offer not only direct competition, or alternative ways to produce and deliver news, but also possibilities for convergence, for making new media part of the traditional newspaper, inducing whole new possibilities for publishing. From another perspective, the newspaper medium is an old concept; a powerful mass medium with very profound consumption patterns, strongly associated with its traditional output medium: ink-on-paper.

The purpose of the present work has been to examine the impacts digital media have on the old, well-established newspaper medium, and what consequences these impacts have for the future of newspaper as a mass medium, that is, is the medium the message? In order to achieve this aim, the present work has been carried out from three different angles: digital media, publishing and reading behaviour and presentation factors. The areas have been examined using several methods: instrumental experiment, eye-tracking experiment, secondary analysis, and case study design.

Newspapers’ ’to be or not to be’ depends, in a theoretical sense, on what media constitute. The medium is the message in the sense that, in the definition of a mass medium, the strength of the newspaper message is that it is recognized as the newspaper concept. It is not, in that the message per se is dependent on the medium it is reproduced on, as a newspaper can be considered a newspaper even if presented on a digital medium, yet the specific way the content is presented will always depend on the technology and characteristics of the chosen output medium. Thus, while defusing the output medium’s significance for the concept, the strength of the newspaper, and its industry, lies in what hitherto constitutes the message: accurate, credible, serendipitous, and diverse content, but which is continuously adapted to the technology of the output medium, thus benefiting from it and further strengthening the developed, digitalized newspaper concept, or what will become of it. The newspaper industry has great potential to differentiate itself in a world where news is becoming increasingly commoditized, though it must further emphasize its power, which lies in the long-defined ‘old’ newspaper concept. Moreover, the industry must be aware of the fact that this refashioning and adaptation is a slow process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH , 2007. , vii, 92 p.
Series
Trita-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2007:17
Keyword [en]
Newspaper publishing, newspaper industry, strategy, convergence, new media, digital media, electronic media, display technology, media technology, presentation-style, user interface, newspaper layout, reading behaviour, perception, newspaper consumption, consumer needs
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-4530ISBN: 978-91-7178-807-8 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-4530DiVA: diva2:12703
Public defence
2007-11-30, D3, D, Lindstedtsvägen 5, Stockholm, 10:00
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
QC 20100804Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-04Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. LCD hardware characteristics of relevance for colour-critical work: Part I. Fundamental aspects of monitor quality
Open this publication in new window or tab >>LCD hardware characteristics of relevance for colour-critical work: Part I. Fundamental aspects of monitor quality
2006 (English)In: Journal of Graphic Technology, ISSN 1544-9599, E-ISSN 1544-9602, TAGA Journal - Journal of Graphic Technology, ISSN 1748-0345, Vol. 3, no 1, 1-16 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7614 (URN)
Note
QC 20100804Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
2. LCD hardware characteristics of relevance for colour-critical work: Part II. Aspects of importance for calibration and characterization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>LCD hardware characteristics of relevance for colour-critical work: Part II. Aspects of importance for calibration and characterization
2007 (English)In: TAGA Journal - Journal of Graphic Technology, ISSN 1748-0345, Vol. 3, no 3, 105-118 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7615 (URN)
Note
QC 20100804Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-04Bibliographically approved
3. E-paper news publishing: strategies for product and production
Open this publication in new window or tab >>E-paper news publishing: strategies for product and production
2007 (English)In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 28, no 2, 20- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7616 (URN)
Note
QC 20100804Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
4. Presentation factors affecting the reading behaviour in readers of newspaper media
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Presentation factors affecting the reading behaviour in readers of newspaper media
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7617 (URN)
Note
QS 20120327Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2012-03-27Bibliographically approved
5. Reading behaviours in readers of newspaper media
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Reading behaviours in readers of newspaper media
(English)Article in journal (Refereed) Submitted
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7618 (URN)
Note
QS 20120327Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2012-03-27Bibliographically approved
6. An eye-tracking study of the influence of media technology on behaviour patterns in newspaper reading
Open this publication in new window or tab >>An eye-tracking study of the influence of media technology on behaviour patterns in newspaper reading
(English)Manuscript (Other academic)
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-7619 (URN)
Note
QC 20100804Available from: 2007-11-12 Created: 2007-11-12 Last updated: 2010-08-04Bibliographically approved

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