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Towards a sustainable media system: Explorative studies of emerging media consumption trends and media processes for content production
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Media Technology and Interaction Design, MID. (Centre for Sustainable Communications)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3017-3813
2015 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Understanding the process of transformational change currently taking place in the media industry is an urgent challenge for people working in the industry as well as for media consumers and other stakeholders. There is a great need to deepen our general knowledge when it comes to what the future media landscape will look like. Which of the major consumption trends that exist today will continue and possibly lead to disruptive change? Which of today’s existing trends could give us a hint of tomorrow’s media landscape? Furthermore, we need to explore the environmental impact of the future media landscape. What parameters are important when it comes to environmental aspects of media consumption, as well as in the production and distribution of media content? These are examples of the questions explored in this thesis.

I have used a number of methods, such as qualitative interviews, workshops, scenarios, case studies, process studies and life cycle assessment, in order to explore the research questions. The characteristics of the media consumption trends are presented in four scenarios. I have assumed that the strength of influence from the government in combination with the strength of commercial powers will strongly affect the future of media. The development of media is framed by the economy, the political system, and by culture. The future of media is closely connected with its relationship to the power structures in society.

I have also defined eleven parameters, as central when discussing the environmental aspects of media consumption. These parameters are related to electronic devices, travel, transportation, energy use and waste. In the future, we may see the realisation of some of all four scenarios described in this thesis. The environmental aspects of these different future directions depend on each person’s life situation and a number of choices that each consumer makes concerning environmental issues, in combination with the overall societal structure.

In relation to the global challenge of climate change/global warming, I conclude that traditional media, public service media in particular, together with social media channels play an important role in the process of increasing knowledge and awareness among consumers, politicians and other stakeholders in society. However, in current media development, media companies are rapidly becoming more commercialized and more focused on entertainment instead of on producing serious journalism concerned with social, political and cultural matters.

To conclude, I believe that it is possible to create a sustainable media system, but it will require some conscious effort of people working in the media industry, of consumers, and ultimately at the level of regulatory authorities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: KTH Royal Institute of Technology, 2015. , 92 p.
Series
TRITA-CSC-A, ISSN 1653-5723 ; 2015:04
Keyword [en]
Future of media, media consumption, media production, environmental aspects, media and sustainability
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Media Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-164395ISBN: 978-91-7595-491-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-164395DiVA: diva2:805749
Public defence
2015-05-08, F3, Lindstedtsvägen 26, KTH, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

QC 20150416

Available from: 2015-04-16 Created: 2015-04-16 Last updated: 2015-04-16Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Explorative scenarios of emerging media trends
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Explorative scenarios of emerging media trends
2014 (English)In: Journal of Print and Media Technology Research, ISSN 2223-8905, Vol. 3, no 3, 195-206 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Dealing with the on-going structural changes in the media landscape is one of the most urgent challenges in today's society, both for people working in the media industry and for consumers trying to adapt to a large and increasing number of new media technologies and services. In this article, we present and discuss a number of current media trends, outline possible future scenarios and evaluate and discuss these scenarios in terms of future media consumption, mainly focusing on the Nordic media market. The research questions are: What are the main media consumption trends today, and what could be the most important characteristics of media consumption in different future scenarios? We have used a combination of a future studies approach, semi-structured expert interviews and design fiction methodology. We have organized two reference group workshops and then interviewed 11 media experts, both from the media industry and the academic world, and combined the results of these interviews and workshops with the significant media trends generated through design fiction methodology in the project course "The Future of Media" at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

One of the conclusions drawn is that the mobile phone (smartphone) and other mobile devices such as tablets, etc., are playing an increasingly important role in current media consumption trends. We can see this through an increased number of mobile devices, an increased use of multiple devices (often used simultaneously) and in the fact that users tend to be "always connected and always synchronized". Another conclusion drawn is that there is an increased focus on personalized and individualized news with more co-creation and sharing of media content. The amount of non-text formats for news, e.g., video, is increasing, as well as the need for a high-speed, high-quality infrastructure/network. The news consumers are increasingly time-pressed, and commute more, which creates new and different demands on the media content, such as being easily accessible at all times and places. Finally, more data is collected by media companies about the consumption habits of media users and more surveillance is performed on citizens by governments and corporations. When interviewed about the scenarios and trends in this study, the experts considered the most desirable future society to have a balanced mix of governmental control and commercial powers. As an example, public service media was considered an important counterbalance to commercially oriented media companies. According to the experts that were interviewed, aspects of all four proposed scenarios could however become true in the future, depending on choices made both on an individual level and on a societal level.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Zagreb: International Association of Research Organizations for the Information, Media and Graphic Arts Industrie (IARIGAI), 2014
Keyword
Media consumption, media trends, scenarios, future, design fiction
National Category
Media and Communications
Research subject
Media Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160031 (URN)
Note

QC 20150223

Available from: 2015-02-13 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2017-12-04Bibliographically approved
2. Environmental aspects of media scenarios for the future ICT society: A qualitative study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Environmental aspects of media scenarios for the future ICT society: A qualitative study
2014 (English)In: ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S 2014) / [ed] Höjer, M., Lago, P., Wangel, J., Bokförlaget Atlantis, 2014, 218-225 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

During the past 50 years, the media channels, the media consumption patterns and the entire influence of media in society have changed dramatically. Looking into the future, the pace of change is not likely to decrease. In order to prepare for the future, it is important to increase our understanding of the present, in particular with regards to the environmental aspects of media consumption. In this study, I present four future scenarios related to media consumption trends and discuss these scenarios in relation to environmental aspects in the ICT society.

I have tried to answer the following questions: What could be the characteristics of media consumption in different future scenarios? What parameters are central in future scenarios around media consumption, seen from an environmental perspective? How will changes in these parameters affect the environmental aspects of media consumption? I have limited the question to a Nordic context.

A combination of different media theories, future studies methodology and interview techniques have been used. Interviews and workshops were conducted with media and environmental experts and with consumers. The result of the interviews with consumers shows that very few consumers connect media consumption with environmental concerns. The majority of the interviewed persons considered printed media as more environmentally damaging compared to electronic media, which was considered "clean".

The environmental experts participating in this study considered the most central parameters in future scenarios of media consumption, seen from an environmental perspective, to be connected to electronic devices, travel, transportation, energy use and waste. The environmental aspects of these parameters depend not only on the amount of devices, travel, transportation, energy and waste, but also on the way the devices are produced and used, how the travel and transportation are done, what kind of energy is used, and how the waste is treated.

The amount of environmental information available in society is yet another important parameter in order to create a more environmentally sustainable future, and this is where the media could play an important role.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bokförlaget Atlantis, 2014
Keyword
Media, scenarios, environmental parameters, consumers, ICT society
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Media Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-160030 (URN)000346245500026 ()978-94-62520-22-6 (ISBN)
Conference
2nd International Conference on ICT for Sustainability (ICT4S 2014),Stockholm August 24-27, 2014
Note

QC 20150223

Available from: 2015-02-13 Created: 2015-02-13 Last updated: 2015-12-03Bibliographically approved
3. Local newspaper publishing: editorial structure and environmental effects - a case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local newspaper publishing: editorial structure and environmental effects - a case study
2011 (English)In: Advances in Printing and Media Technology, ISSN 0892-2284, E-ISSN 1942-597X, Vol. 38, 403-410 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Media companies operate in a dynamic environment where change is a constant. Pursuing change in a media company implies an opportunity to optimize processes on different levels. In order to meet these opportunities, as well as being proactive when it comes to environmental performance, we need to understand the current structure of media companies. Better understanding can lead to finding ways to optimize the workflow and to implement other improvements.

This study investigates the structure of the editorial processes and other processes regarding content production of a local newspaper in Sweden, Norrtelje Tidning. The objective is to analyze the workflow in order to discover how the different steps in the production process might affect potential environmental impact. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken to identify the process steps involved in the content production. Environmental data was then collected for each process step, and a screening environmental assessment with a life-cycle perspective was performed.

The major reasons for potential environmental impact related to content production at Norrtelje Tidning are travel and the use of electronic devices. These two areas are relevant to focus on when striving to reduce environmental impact on a general level.

Keyword
local newspaper, work process, environmental impact, media industry, life cycle assessment (LCA)
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105850 (URN)
Note

QC 20121128

Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved
4. Magazine Publishing: Editorial Process Structure and Environmental Impacts - Case study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Magazine Publishing: Editorial Process Structure and Environmental Impacts - Case study
2012 (English)In: Taga proceedings: 64th annual technical conference, Sewickley , 2012, 184-203 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This study investigates the structure of the editorial processes at a Swedish monthly magazine for interior decorating and design, Sköna hem, and assesses the carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions) of the editorial content production during one year. The objective is to define the processes using a computer based process modeling tool and to analyze the workflow in order to discover how the different steps in the production process relate to different environmentally related parameters. An additional objective is to present the carbon footprint of the overall editorial work and to identify the major reasons for greenhouse gas emissions, as well as any major data gaps and uncertainties. Semi-structured interviews were undertaken in order to identify the process steps involved in the content production. Environmentally related parameters, such as travel distance, mode of transports, and computer hours, were then collected for each process step. Life cycle assessment methodology was used to assess the potential greenhouse gas emissions of the editorial work at Sköna hem. A number of process steps were identified in the content production. Three overall phases were identified, into which the process steps can be grouped. Firstly, the planning phase consists of meetings with different key persons in order to plan the content of the next issues of the magazine. Secondly, the executive phase was identified. Here, all the articles and pictures are produced. Thirdly, the assembly phase includes text editing and page design. Finally, ready-made pages are sent to printing or to the digital publishing channels such as tablets and the web. According to the assessment made, the editorial content production at Sköna hem has a carbon footprint of 23 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents per year. The major reasons are the manufacturing of computers and screens used at the office, business trips by plane, and transports by delivery firms mainly used for transporting furniture and other objects to and from photo sessions. The use of computers and screens is mostly associated with the assembly phase, business trips by plane with the planning phase and transports by delivery firms with the executive phase.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sewickley, 2012
Keyword
Content production, Editorial process, Environmental impact, Media, Workflow
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105851 (URN)2-s2.0-84877652027 (Scopus ID)978-193518504-8 (ISBN)
Conference
64th Annual Technical Conference of the Technical Association of the Graphic Arts, TAGA: Disseminating Graphic Arts Research Internationally since 1948; Jacksonville, FL; United States; 18 March 2012 through 21 March 2012
Note

QC 20121128

Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-28 Last updated: 2015-04-16Bibliographically approved
5. Local Television Content Production: Process Structures and Climate Impacts – a Case Study
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Local Television Content Production: Process Structures and Climate Impacts – a Case Study
2012 (English)In: Journal of Print and Media Technology Research, ISSN 2223-8905, Vol. 1, no 4, 215-232 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The business environment in which media companies exist today is rapidly changing. If they have not done so already, media companies need to position themselves to this ongoing change and find their place in the new media landscape. However, this could also mean a good opportunity to optimize work processes on different levels. In order to meet these opportunities, as well as being proactive when it comes to environmental performance, we first need to understand the current structure of media companies, for example when it comes to work processes.

The aim of this study is to identify and analyze the process structure and the potential climate impact of the content production of the local television station TV4 Gävle/Dalarna in Sweden. The study objectives are:

  • to identify the major editorial and marketing processes and to visualize the two workflows in order to discover how the processes could be optimized and how this in turn may affect the environmental impact.
  • to assess the carbon footprint of the content production of the local television station and to identify the major reasons for this climate change impact.

Two main methods were used – semi-structured interviews and carbon footprint assessment.

The editorial part of the workflow is centered on broadcasting news at certain times. A total of nine process steps were identified in the editorial workflow. The largest amount of person hours can be found in the process steps of content production and content editing. Work is done in order to meet the deadlines which come every time there is a broadcast. This fact puts special demands on the personnel, such as an ability to manage stress and short deadlines, and an ability to handle the technical equipment in one-person teams. There is a total of seven process steps on the marketing side, two of which are located outside of the local television station.

A large part of the carbon footprint from the TV4 Gävle/Dalarna content production is caused by business trips by car. The editorial department makes most of the business trips, but the marketing department is also responsible for some of the trips. The total carbon footprint from the television production is estimated to 52 tons of CO2 eq/year, including the employees’ trips to andfrom the workplace. The trips to and from work is the second largest contributor to the carbon footprint. When considering the impact per viewer, the result is 0.35 kg of CO2 eq/viewer and year.

Judging from today’s situation, the efficiency on the editorial side is very good. However, it might still be fruitful to consider the travelling practices in order to improve the overall environmental performance.

Keyword
Carbon footprint, environmental impact, LCA, media, television, workflow structure
National Category
Other Environmental Engineering
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-105855 (URN)
Note

QC 20121128

Available from: 2012-11-28 Created: 2012-11-28 Last updated: 2017-12-07Bibliographically approved

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