Opportunities and limitations of newsroom convergence : a comparative study on European public service broadcasting organisations
Faculty of Social Sciences. Communication Sciences
Journalism studies. - Basingstoke
, p. 277-300
University of Antwerp
Like many news media organisations, European public service broadcasters are adapting their corporate strategies to the specific demands of the evolving communicative environment. Digitisation and convergence have usually been presented as an opportunity to reinvent public service broadcasting into public service media, by producing and delivering (news) content across traditional radio, television and new online platforms. While investment in digital facilities has set the basis for a more integrated operation amongst the different news media outlets, finding a workable template to implement professional cross-media practices has been more complex than expected. With the aim of exploring key challenges of convergence affecting public service broadcasting newsrooms, this article presents a multiple-case study that investigates the current convergence processes of five European mid-sized public broadcasting corporationsthe United Kingdoms BBC Scotland, Spains CCMA and EITB, Norways NRK and Flemish-Belgian VRT. Combining an array of qualitative methods, the study focuses on specific convergence parameters, including newsrooms physical structure and management, cross-media production routines and workflows, degree of multi-skilling in journalists, professional identities, and attitudes towards convergence. Findings show that public broadcasters tend to follow a similar pattern in basic aspects, like grouping radio, television and online newsrooms together in the same physical space, even if this model has different outcomes in terms of cooperation across media and journalists involvement.