The Convergence Newsletter
-- From Newsplex at the University of South Carolina
Vol. 1 No. 5 (20 November 2003)



The purpose of this newsletter is to provide an editorially neutral forum for discussion of the theoretical and professional meaning of media convergence.

We welcome articles on any topic directly related to media convergence. We also welcome information about conferences, publications and related links.

Please contact us for submission guidelines and a deadline schedule.

Tyler Jones, Editor



A Conceptual Inventory of the Three Generations of Television

Americans Use Media Far More Than They Realize

The Three C's: Conference, Convergence, and (Sub) Conscious

Newsplex News



AEJMC Regional Meeting: Southeast Colloquium

Broadcast Education Association

The Michigan Academy Of Science, Arts, & Letters

Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek: Interactive Media



New Distance Learning Site

Moving Images on E-Paper

Northwestern Launches Web Site for Media Industry News

Related Links

Copyright and Redistribution

Subscribe/Unsubscribe Information




Douglas Ferguson

The television world has changed, again, and is on the brink of evolving into a different medium on an unfamiliar landscape. Navigating this change requires some kind of conceptual map that shows the boundaries of the three generations of television: broadcast, multichannel, and interactive.

Walker and Ferguson (1998) describe three generations of television (pp. 37-38). The first generation (TV1G) is the original network/affiliate model which grew naturally from its roots in radio. The second generation (TV2G) marked the arrival of a multichannel world with its requisite remote control devices (RCDs) and videocassette recorders (VCRs), offering sufficient choice to change viewing behavior. The third generation (TV3G) is interactive, or "smart" TV, that promises to turn the old broadcast/cable model on its head. Although its eventual form is yet undetermined, a fundamental shift has clearly taken place nevertheless. New media analysts (e.g., Gary Arlen) are insistent that television viewing will be forever changed by the arrival in 1999 of such TV3G devices as personal video recorders (PVRs).

Conceptual Inventory

If meta-research (Rogers, 1985) is useful in understanding multiple studies, then a "meta-model" should help us understand multiple concepts of how the television industry works at a structural, technological, and economic level, leading to a new model of viewing behavior. Previous attempts to explain viewing behavior, for example, have focused on particular generations of television.

Rogers (1985) distinguished two types of meta-research: meta-analysis and propositional inventories. Although meta-analysis entails the statistical analysis of previous quantitative research, propositional inventories "utilize more qualitative approaches to the synthesis of research findings, yielding a set of verbal conclusions in the form of a propositional inventory" (Dutton et al., 1988, p. 222).

Program Factors

Content itself has moved from mainstream "one size fits all" programming to customized shows, depending on the level of interaction and technology. More important, program schedules will likely evolve into menus (Ferguson, 2002, p. 326). With regard to theoretical models, then, the time-based availability of audiences (Webster, 1983) yielded to the channel-based number of choices in a viewer's repertoire (Heeter, 1985; Ferguson and Perse, 1993) in TV2G. But in TV3G each viewer can seek individual programs instead of channels or time periods.

With regard to changes across the generations of television, two examples of specialized program content bear mention: sports and children's shows. In the case of sports in TV1G, the networks packaged national and regional slates of major sports by purchasing the rights. This system changed in TV2G when more channels became available and multichannel distributors were able to charge a premium for extra games. Some sports events, previously supported entirely by advertising, were paid by subscription fees from viewers. With sports-on-demand (interactive) services, sports fans can choose sporting events a la carte. Whether sports will continue to be subsidized by spot advertising is unclear, but product-placement opportunities at sporting venues will surely remain the same. If anything, the ability of content providers to target different advertising signage to specific groups (using virtual insertion technology) will be enhanced by interactive (TV3G) systems that are sufficiently smart to learn users' habits and preferences.

Structural Factors

What structural factors underlie the evolution of the three generations of television? The primary difference is the level of interaction between the program content and the viewing audience. Except for the occasional live call-in program, broadcast and most cable television is a one-way form of communication with no interaction. The failure of cable-based interactive channels (e.g., Qube) notwithstanding, television networks have begun to use the Internet to create an enhanced form of television that is largely one-way but has elements of two-way communication.

The three networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) dominated PBS and a few independent signals in TV1G. More recently, cable/satellite networks challenged the expanded network oligopoly (now including Fox, UPN, WB, Paxnet) in TV2G. Internet-based program sources have barely surfaced in the past two years and may prove to be the vanguard of TV3G. The inability to identify definitively the dominant channels in TV3G, however, is the nature of the beast; channels are less likely to dominate in a system whose unit of analysis is becoming the individual program rather than the service on which the show is located.

The level of specialization, too, changes with each generation. No niche channels were feasible in TV1G. Perhaps an independent channel could specialize in movies or sports, PBS could cater to children or high-brow audiences, or a market affiliate could be the leader in local news, but first-generation television was still essentially a mass medium with limited choices and enormous cultural impact. Cable, and later satellite, distribution changed all that. MTV and CNN catered to specialized audiences and the effects of mainstream programs diminished as choices grew (Perse, Ferguson, and McLeod, 1993). As the 1990s came to a close, subniche channels (e.g., The Golf Channel and HGTV) opened television (and its advertisers) to small numbers of loyal viewers. Subniche and microniche channels are a defining characteristic of TV3G.

As a result of smaller and smaller audiences, television moved from mass (largely homogenous) audiences to fractionalized audiences. Advertisers who sought to reach a large undifferentiated mass audience for such common products as bathroom tissue found TV2G less efficient because the viewing groups were splintered across more channels. On the other hand, advertisers who wanted to reach golfers or gardeners found a panacea.


Of all the factors, technological features are the most defining elements of the generations of television. Old-style television had dials and knobs, and the signal found life in NTSC analog format on a 4 by 3 aspect ratio screen. A receiving antenna (rabbit ears, bow tie, aerial) was necessary and occasionally needed to be rotated, which made cable or satellite reception desirable. The picture was black-and-white for many years, the sound was monaural, tubes had to warm up, and manual tuners needed to be fine-adjusted. The advent of color pictures, stereo sound, instant-on circuitry, and all-electronic tuners were welcome changes. The picture and VCR storage were still analog in TV2G, but buttons replaced the knobs and dials, usually connected from a distance by the infrared light of RCDs. Coaxial wiring substituted for receiving antennae and the NTSC signal was (and still is) remodulated onto different channels at the whim of the multichannel provider.

The all-digital television system for TV3G looms large, though it has yet to fully arrive. No longer the television set in the corner of the room, home theaters with surround sound and digital cable or satellite reception offer a 9 by 5 aspect ratio (movie-style) screen that is slated to receive ATSC high-definition signals by the end of the decade or sooner. Depending on the level of sophistication, these home entertainment systems offer either computer connections (e.g., firewire) or set-top box (STB) tuners and routers, a far cry from the built-in tuners found in television receivers that had featured separate knobs for VHF and UHF channels.

Theoretical Factors

From a theoretical standpoint, the three generations of television are conceptually distinct. First-generation television (where it still exists) operates in real time and favors the "lean-back" passive viewer. Audience availability supersedes program availability in TV1G, and the ritualistic viewer (Rubin, 1984) is a willing participant in an elaborate scheduling game, where compatible shows are arranged to flow across compatible dayparts.

The increase in program options offered by multichannel television (cable and satellite) ushered in a new kind of viewing experience, where channel surfing offered its own rewards. Increased shelf space and digital compression expanded the television universe to hundreds of channels, which led viewers to specialize in a subset of options known as channel repertoire (Heeter, 1985, 1988; Ferguson and Perse, 1993). As described earlier, viewers picked up their remote controls, but programmers responded with seamless strategies.

The third generation of television brought forth "discontinuous change" (Ferguson, 2002). When viewing is asynchronous video-on-demand (VOD), the concept of audience flow no longer makes sense. As instrumental (and ritualistic) viewers become more "lean-forward" active, their viewing motivations take precedence over structural considerations and programming strategies. In a menu-driven world, the focus is on the audience. Thus, TV1G was source-centered, TV2G, is medium-centered, and TV3G will be audience-centered. The shift in control changes everything, and may overthrow the advertising-supported model of television.

Economic and Regulatory Considerations

Television is expensive. Economic models have evolved to account for how expense, revenue, and value are compensated. The first, second, and third generations are known by their corresponding number of revenue streams. TV1G is advertising-supported, with other income in the broadcast model being negligible. TV2G added the subscription model, which was sufficiently strong to overshadow advertising revenues for many years. TV3G added the ability to sell merchandise, owing to the interactive (transactional) nature of the internet and two-way television.

Competition for leisure time has played an important role in the evolution of television generations, too. During TV1G, primetime television had too few compelling activities in the home as competitors, certainly none from the consumer electronics industry. Especially for someone living alone with ritualistic motivations, television was the primary leisure activity in prime time. VCRs and video games opened a small window for other home entertainment during TV2G, but nothing like the lure of the internet in the last half of the 1990s.

Advertising itself seems less compelling than ever before because it is so much more easily avoided in TV3G, thanks to PVRs. In TV1G viewers had to leave the room to miss a commercial. But PVRs make timeshifting too easy, and PVR designers have included commercial-skipping features for even time-delayed programs. The enterprising PVR user can set the device to record a primetime block such that the viewing can be delayed twenty or thirty minutes (slightly behind real-time) and commercials can be skipped in the process of "catching up with real time."

Although government regulation could (and should) be another study, it seems safe to believe internet channels will be unregulated. Such a free and unfettered marketplace for news, entertainment, and advertising is a substantial change from the days of FCC broadcast regulation based on localism. The electronic mass media have been deregulated, and television is no exception.

A New Model for TV3G

The audience demand process involves four related stages. The pre-choice stage contains the pre-conditions: viewer uses and gratifications, leisure time, and connectivity. The choice stage involves preferences and menus which interact with the device stage (where the interactivity is monitored). The final stage is program choice, or some other audience behavior (e.g., channel surfing, web surfing, video games).

Viewer gratifications (i.e., needs/tastes/preferences in the most recent Webster models) have always been a factor, but now appear to be more important than before because the power has shifted from the content provider to the audience member (Cowles, 1989). Preferences are considered to be a separate stage in this model because of the influence of technology. Using artificial intelligence within the device, present-day PVRs (and similar interactive television innovations) potentially function as "viewing robots" that learn preferences and make suggestions which could influence the preferences themselves.

Closing Remarks

Taking inventory of old and new realities, as well as old and new boundaries, is useful in creating new models. In the same manner, understanding the new models leads to data collection and testing. This paper offers an exploratory map and invites other cartographers to refine it and test it.

New structures and new systems also call for new measures. The long tradition of using Nielsen ratings as an easily-obtained criterion is ending. The early models that did use industry data were not flawed, but they will become far less relevant in the near future. Qualitative methods should be explored and greater attention to the individual should be adopted.

Conceptual Grid for the Three Generations of Television




Program Factors


content is king

distribution is king

convergence is king




time-based schedules

channel-based schedules

program-based menus


channel matching


free content paid by advertising/donations

pay per channel




content providers

independents for other choices

cable for cornucopic choice

homegrown choices

spinoffs within shows

cross-promotion between shows

cross-platform tie-ins

studio supplier

independent supplier

studio supplier

Structural Factors



enhanced one-way


reach limited by terrestrial signals

reach limited by channel capacity

reach limited by bandwidth

3 networks and PBS

new broadcast networks and netlets


no niche

niche (MTV)

subniche (Golf Channel)

mass homogeneity


walled gardens

one screen



printed guides

scrolling guide


no logos, no score boxes, low clutter

channel bugs

computers; cluttered screens



analog propagation; dials and knobs

analog storage; buttons


NTSC 4:3

midband/channel positioning

ATSC 9:5

antennae (rabbit ears, bow ties, aerial)

wired coaxial

wired fiber and satellite

B&W; warm up; fine tuning; monaural

color; instant-on; elec. tuning; stereo

home theater; surround sound

standalone tuner

set-top tuner and routers



analog scrambling

digital encryption




central playback (live)




modular (e.g., set-top box)

reprogrammable (I.e., integration)

Theoretical Models



compressed multiplexing


lean-back passive

channel surfing

lean-forward active

flow strategies


no flow


rentals; sell-throughs


audience availability (Webster)

channel repertoire (Heeter) (Cooper)

interactive (Ferguson)




source-centered control

medium-centered control

audience-centered control

network-centered production

channel-centered production

studio-centered production

channel loyalty

genre loyalty

program loyalty




Economics and Regulation


one stream (advertising)

two streams (subscriptions)

three streams (merchandise)

license to print money

branding for value

multiple windows

no primetime media competition

video games

web surfing

minor commercial avoidance

zipping, zapping, flipping to avoid

automatic commercial skipping

mass marketing

segmented marketing

targeted ads

FCC regulation (localism)

deregulation (common carrier)

unregulated internet

Ferguson is the Department Chair and Professor in the College of Charleston Communications Department. His full paper can be viewed at:



Randy Covington

Americans spend more time than they realize with the media, especially television, and often use multiple media simultaneously, according to a new study released Thursday at a conference on media convergence at the University of South Carolina.

The study concludes residents of Middletown, USA (Muncie, Indiana) spend 10.5 hours a day using media. About a quarter of that time, they are using at least two media simultaneously.

Television, at 4.5 hours a day, is the most used medium. It is followed by computers (2.4 hours), radio (1.9 hours), reading (1 hour), music (55 minutes), phone (53 minutes), video games (12 minutes) and regular mail (7 minutes).

"Traditional techniques of media measurement may not tell us enough," said Michael Holmes, professor of communication studies at Ball State University and one of the authors of the study.

An academic team at Ball State compared reported media use from telephone surveys and personal diaries to actual, observed use. Researchers followed 101 subjects for an entire day from the time they got up to the time they went to bed.

The researchers found that the group shadowed spent substantially more time with the media than indicated by more traditional research methods. The greatest discrepancy was in television viewership. The closest correlation between reported vs. observed behavior was in time spent reading. The study suggests self reporting may be unreliable and that to be effective, research should measure more than one medium at a time.

The study offers new insights into the reported drop in TV viewership among 18 to 34 year old males. The men in this group observed by the researchers watched less TV than other demographic groups, while spending more time listening to music, watching videos and playing video games, according to Bob Papper, professor of telecommunications at Ball State and one of the authors of the study.

The Ball State presentation kicked off a two-day conference, Media Use in a Changing Information Environment, which drew more than 60 academics from across the country to Columbia.

Covington is the Director of Advancement and an Instructor at the University of South Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communications



Tyler Jones

As I walked out of the Clarion Hotel on a cloud-blanketed Saturday afternoon, I reflected on the past 48 hours spent in the belly of a "Convergence Media" beast. It had been a long weekend spent at the Expanding Convergence: Media Use in a Changing Environment held on November 6-8, 2003 by the University of South Carolina. At first, I thought that I was going to feel more like Noah, but in actuality, I felt like my old friend Allen Ginsberg in the first line of his seminal work entitled Howl.

"I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by / madness"

It was true that I had sat through several daunting works and groundbreaking studies performed by an interesting assortment of professors, students, and media professionals, but why on earth did I feel so mentally drained? Was it an overdose of PowerPoint presentations or too much hotel coffee? Was it because I was exposed as nothing but a mere novice in the tall shadows of academia?

I had to find the answer, and the only way to do it would be to reflect on the conference as a whole and not just as a fleeting memory in my rearview mirror as I sped home to a day of mass media consumption.

After an informal welcome by Charles Bierbauer, the conference kicked off with a revealing look at how much media we, as Americans, are actually consuming on average. Michael Holmes and Bob Papper from Ball State, reported preliminary results of their media use research that involved 16-hour daily shadowing of subjects to observe their media use. The numbers added upÑtheir subjects spent over ten hours a day with the mass media. Their presentation of details on simultaneous media use immediately sparked my curiosity. In fact, I became enthralled with the fact that the audience was actually more converged than the media outlets presented to them.

But before I could answer myself, the conference sped on into another panel that addressed convergent media in a changing information environment. It was an all-Florida panel that investigated how the media sends, receives, and transmits topics through convergence with regards to the non-convergent news media. One of the more interesting presentations was by Timothy Bajkiewicz from the University of South Florida focused on a content analysis of Converged and Non-Converged Newspaper Website pages after the Columbia disaster. Bajkiewicz's study showed that sometimes the convergent paper may offer more diverse information, yet sometimes a non-convergent paper provides more in depth analysis of the event. The stage was set for Friday's morning panel that would illuminate the conference as to how convergence, when practiced in the intense setting of the newsroom, still faces obstacles.

Friday morning arrived with a panel discussing the Opportunities and Challenges of Media Convergence before relinquishing the stage to a panel discussing Lessons from the Field. What stood out in my mind, as a former desk slave in the newsroom, was the presentation by Marie Flanagan from the University of South Florida. In her presentation, she not only addressed the topic of the assignment editor and the obstacle of having a unified voice from one desk to three possible reporters (print, broadcast, and online), but she also related how the architecture and culture of the newsroom have dramatically changed with the technology.

After several helpings of lunch and a speech from Kerry Northrup, Director of Newsplex, I settled in for three panels that would devour the rest of my Friday afternoon. What stood out was the work presented by Bruce Henderson from the University of Colorado. His "contextual eyes" program was fascinating and provides all of us, from novice to seasoned professional, a new way to conduct Web-based content analysis. Not only is this program available to the general public, but it is a fast and friendly way to retrieve textual information.

The afternoon presentation that stood out most was given by Alf Pratte from BYU-Hawaii. With the zeal of H.L. Mencken and the oratory skill of Jonathan Edwards, Pratte emphasized how convergence was contributing "to the mutation and neutering of the fundamental nature, social roles, philosophy, ethics and credibility of historical print journalism." It was, in essence, the most memorable presentation of the entire conference for me personally. With most of the presentations being positive and advertisements for a philosophy of convergence, it was nice to have a dissenting voice in the crowd.

With that, it was on to the dinner and drinks portion of the program. The presentations made earlier in the day echoed off the hors d'oeuvres, with conversations dominated by the reaction to Pratte's pontification.

On Saturday morning, the conference shifted from the theoretical and scientific to the actual application of convergence in the classroom. "Finally," I thought, "we can leave the hypothetical and explore the empirical."

And here I found the answer to my mental fatigue. The truth is that convergence is not an abstract concept begging for definition. Rather, the presenters all seemed to be saying that, in their programs, convergence is a daily reality, and the obstacle was not a belief in the philosophy, but in the application of the practice. Panelists from programs that have been teaching in a converged media environment for years shared similar frustrations and triumphs with small programs that have been given a mandate to "converge"Ñin some cases, with no resources supporting that mandate. No one practiced convergence exactly the same way, but each one brought an energy to their approach that pulled me in one direction, to be followed by another, and another. Janet Kolodzy of Emerson College summed up the feelings of many in the room by comparing convergence with teenage sex: Nobody knows quite what it is, but everybody thinks everyone else is doing it, and no one is getting it quite right, yet.

As I flipped off my television Saturday night, after only nine hours of watching football, I thought to myself that my mental state was a beneficial one, simply because new avenues of thought had been blasted open and there I was consciously reeling from a Clemson upset of Florida State and subconsciously thinking of how to ameliorate print and broadcast journalists.

Jones is a graduate student at the University of South Carolina and Editor of the Convergence Newsletter



Julie Nichols

The good news is that the joint is jumpin'!  The bad news is that overlapping events and long hours have made me a less frequent contributor to The Convergence Newsletter than I'd like.  In brief, here are the most recent happenings in the Newsplex. 

The Guardian Media Group, a member of the Newsplex Directorate, has sent a second group of trainees to the Newsplex for Roles Training.  The group that visited last March were all from the Manchester Evening News (U.K.), while the group currently in residence are a mixed group from MEN, Manchester Online and a couple of regional newspapers.  Joining us this week are Jonathan Whitaker, Chief Sub Editor, Amanda Killelea, Deputy News Editor, Blaise Tapp, Reporter and Mark Waugh, Photographer from the Manchester Evening News; Elizabeth Gething and Mathew Davies from Manchester Online; Andrew Murrill, Editor and Jason Collie, Chief Reporter for the Reading Evening Post; Kevin Duffy, Editor of the Oldham Advertiser, and Richard Catlow and Stewart Rigby, editorial directors for weeklies for the Group. 

Also training in the Newsplex in the last couple of weeks were a group of Danish and Swedish journalists on a convergence tour of the United States.  The group enjoyed (or perhaps, survived) a two-day condensed version of Newsplex Roles training as the kick-off experience of their tour.  The tour was sponsored by CFJE, The Danish Institute of Journalism.  Attendees included Jens Otto Kj¾r Hansen, Director, and Bj¿rn Ottersen, Editorial Consultant/Program Director of the Danish Insitute of Journalism; Hans J¿rgen Dybro, Editorial Consultant for the Union of Danish Journalists; Anders Kappel, Editor, Susanne Hegelund, Business Editor, and Mette Starch, Journalist/Coordinator of Denmark Radio/TV; Erik Holmsgaard, Journalist for Weekendavisen Sermitsiaq; J¿rgen Schultz-Nielsen, Internet Editor, Hans J¿rgen Thulesen, Managing Editor and Niels Christian Bastholm, Assistant  Managing Editor for Newsplex Directorate member Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten; Bent S¿rensen, Managing Editor and Michael Arreboe, Internet Editor for Dagbladet B¿rsen; Lone Ries Karkov, Communications Director and Tom Nissen, Managing Editor of Fagbladet B¿rn & Unge; Troels Vinding, Internet Editor and Marie Jung, Managing Editor of Fyens Stiftstidende; Palle Smed, Editor and Jesper Berg, Internet Editor of Fagbladet SID; and Agneta kerlund, Managing Editor and Annika Hamngren, Editor of Swedish Television/Webservices. 

Two groups of faculty attending the Expanding Convergence conference toured the Newsplex two weeks ago, and what a lively bunch they were!  Discussion during the tour was some of the most stimulating we've ever had.  Attendees included Tim Bajkiewicz and Marie Curkan-Flanigan, University of South Florida; Genelle Belmas and Raul Reis, Cal State University, Long Beach; Larry Bradshaw and Kenneth Pybus, Abilene Christian University; George Daniels, University of Alabama; Mark Deuze, University of Amsterdam; Bruce Garrison, University of Miami; Janet Kolodzy, Emerson College; Shichang Ma, University of South Carolina; Anca Micu, University of Missouri; Alf Pratt, Brigham Young University; Stephen Quinn, Ball State University; Rebecca Reynolds, Syracuse University; and David Thompson, Loras College.   

Academic dignitaries from the University of Missouri toured the Newsplex about the same time as well.  The group was visiting convergent news organizations in the Southeast in preparation for new building renovations.  Visiting the Newsplex were Dean Mills, Dean of the School of Journalism; Kent Collins, Assistant Professor and Chair of the Broadcast Department; Judy Bolch, Professor and Houston Harte Chair in Journalism; Mike McKean, Associate Professor and Chair of the Journalism Technology Committee; and their architect, Mike Shawnessy. 

We've had a number of other visitors tour the Newsplex this fall, including Rainer Hasters, the Executive Director of RIAS Berlin, a foundation fostering German-American journalistic exchanges; Jerry Brady, owner of the Idaho Falls Post Register; Morten R¿d, Executive Editor of Interactive Media for F¾drelandsvennen, a multimedia house from Kristiansand, Norway; HŒvard Svensvik and Arild Inge Olsson of Stavanger Aftenblad of Stavanger, Finland; a number of groups from libraries in South Carolina and others too numerous to mention here.

Finally, the delightful Fabiana Zanni, an editor for the Abril Publishing Company of San Paulo, Brazil, is in residence for two weeks as the first Newsplex Fellow.  Fabiana has been working in Internet journalism for Abril for the last seven years.  As a Fellow, she is observing the training and working with students on their projects. 

Julie Nichols is Projects Director for Newsplex at the University of South Carolina



AEJMC Regional Meeting: Southeast Colloquium

Media Convergence

March 4-6, 2004

University of South Florida

Tampa, Florida

Media Convergence will be the theme of the 2004 Southeast Colloquium, hosted by the University of South Florida School of Mass Communications on March 4 to March 6.

Gil Thelen, Executive Editor and Senior Vice President of The Tampa Tribune will give the keynote speech. In addition, Media General will host an open reception, giving attendees an opportunity to tour the NewsCenter, the first and largest convergence news operation in the world.

Dr. Marie Flanagan, chair of the host committee, has also arranged discounted hotel rates and compiled a web site for the colloquium:

The call for papers deadline is November 28.

Broadcast Education Association

49th Annual Convention & Exhibition

2nd Annual Festival of Media Arts

Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.

16-18 April 2004

The BEA2004 Convention theme is Bold Vision, Fresh Thinking: Untangling

Media's Gordian Knot. The theme lends itself well to examining new

approaches to the vexing issues of media's intricate societal entanglements. Each panel should strive to seriously think about, challenge, and/or discuss the issues that arise from emerging technologies, changing regulatory policies and increasing media consolidation-and to do so in daring and innovative ways. The theme is intended as a focus for the convention, but does not imply that convention sessions must conform.

For additional information, visit:

The Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, & Letters

Grand Valley State University

Pew Campus

Grand Rapids, Michigan, U.S.A.

5-6 March 2004

The Academy is pleased next year to meet at Grand Valley State University, an institutional member of the organization since the Academy's incorporation in 1969. GVSU last hosted the Academy in 1999.

Dennis L. Wignall, Ph.D., Saginaw Valley State University, chairs the

Communication section.

Call for papers is November 6, 2003.

For additional information, visit:

Editor & Publisher and Mediaweek's 2004 Interactive Media Conference

Scheduled for May 10-12, 2004 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta on Peachtree Street. Also included will be the 2004 EPPY Awards which will be presented on May 12, 2004 at a luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta.


New Multimedia Reporting Distance-Learning Site

The Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, has launched a multimedia reporting distance-learning Web site. The site was put together as part of a project funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The project included four multimedia reporting workshops for mid-career journalists sponsored by the Western Knight Center for Specialized Journalism, which were held at UC Berkeley and the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication. Fifty-four journalists from organizations -- including CNN, NPR, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Lawrence Journal-World, the Tampa Tribune, the San Jose Mercury News and the Roanoke Times --attended the workshops.

The distance-learning site was designed to be used by two groups:
*journalists who participated in the workshops as a tool to train others in their news organizations or refresh the skills they picked up in the workshop.
*journalists who are unable to attend the workshops, but who want to begin to learn how to do multimedia reporting.

The distance-learning site is at The accompanying story example is at

Jane Ellen Stevens
Multimedia journalist
Instructor, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism


Scientists at Philips Research in Eindhoven, Netherlands, are developing a new generation of "electronic paper" that would allow high-definition, moving images to be displayed on a wafer-thin foldable screen. The images could be overwritten each day, using a process called electrowetting, "The reflectivity and contrast of our system approach those of paper. In addition, we demonstrate a color concept which is intrinsically four times brighter than reflective liquid-crystal displays and twice as bright as other emerging technologies." (NewsScan/Reuters/Forbes 24 Sep 2003)

Northwestern Launches Web Site for Media Industry News

The Media Management Center at Northwestern University is launching with a grant from Knight. The site provides media management news from more than 1,000 media-related companies. News flows onto the site from more than 700 news sources.


For information about our Academic Affiliates, visit:

Newsplex at the University of South Carolina Web Site:



The Convergence Newsletter is Copyright © 2003 by the University of South Carolina, College of Mass Communications and Information Studies. All rights reserved.

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