Transmedia and the Hybrid Media System: A Meaningful Participation


While the media industry as we know it (also news and news reporting, its main product and activity) continues to undergo a broad range of dramatic structural changes and finds itself obliged to face, collaborate and compete with many other agents within a new hybrid media system, the framework under which news reporting and the media industry is being restructured at the expense of characteristics that have defined the discipline of journalism for the last four centuries. Conventional media outlets, long considered the fourth power in democratic societies, now constitute only a part (not necessarily central) of a broader media system characterized chiefly by its hybridity and are fighting a seemingly rearguard battle to preserve their historical role as creators of public opinion and gatekeepers of the news.

The emergence of the WWW, digitalization, media convergence and the implementation of cross, multi and transmedia strategies have also greatly altered the way in which news is gathered, produced, disseminated and consumed. Therefore, our proposal, based on an ongoing project, aims to identify the key issues. We present our main hypothesis and objectives:

H2: The emergence of the WWW and the application of the digital language characteristics, and of strategies such as media convergence, cross, multi and/or transmedia strategies, have caused a deep transformation of the way in which news are gathered, produced, disseminated and consumed in a new hybrid media system.

OB2: Explain how the concept and nature of news (from the point of view of digital language, legal definition, and so on) is mutating.

OB2.1. To explain which are digital language characteristics and their evolution in the lifetime of the WWW.

OB2.2. To analyze the patterns of communication and interaction on digital networks, specifically Twitter, about long-standing topics, such as the media crisis or income inequality. Furthermore, this goal seeks to answer the question whether this hybrid media system has been effective in addressing these issues using social media communications.

To achieve these goals, we are deploying the following methodologies: Content analysis, social network analysis, consensus methods, nominal group technique, expert panels, discourse analysis and In-depth interviews.

As first and preliminary results, we have identified these relevant areas:

All main core values, ideals and logic of transmedia ought to be considered as potentials to be further developed and that may be deployed at different levels depending on the concrete objectives, purposes, reasons why of the story. The following ones are the key issues to summarize the transmedia complexity:

  • Authenticity – Credibility – Transparency
  • Creativity – Innovation - Originality
  • Quality - Trust
  • Community/Society – Feel part of - Solution
  • Collaboration – From Hyper/local to Global
  • Experience, Storyworld – 360º / Augmented-Virtual-Mixed Reality / IoT /AI-Big Data
  • Interface Design – Information Architecture – Human Computer Interaction
  • Media integration as a puzzle
  • Media Literacy

This proposal belongs to R+D+i “News, Networks and Users in the Hybrid Media System (Newsnet), subproject: “Transformation of News and Media Industry in the Post-Industrial Era” of  ‘Challenges of Society’. RTI2018-095775-B-C43. 2019-2022. Spanish Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities.