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Producer-centric vs. Participation-centric: On the Shaping of Mobile Media

Journal article
Authors Oscar Westlund
Published in Northern Lights
Volume 10
Issue 21
Pages 107-121
ISSN 1601-829X
Publication year 2012
Published at Department of Journalism, Media and Communication (JMG)
Pages 107-121
Language en
Keywords media production mobile media sensemaking newspapers convergence iPhone
Subject categories Media and Communications, Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified, Telecommunications

Abstract

News media are forming omnipresence strategies to become accessible anytime, anywhere and through any device. Mobile news access 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.

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