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Trends in New Media Research: A Critical Review of Recent Scholarship

Pavlik, J. V. 2013. Trends in New Media Research: A Critical Review of Recent Scholarship. Sociology Compass 7, 1–12 (available on-line:, accessed 1 February 2013).
Trends in new media research are examined. These trends revolve around four dimensions, including citizen engagement, organizational innovation and adaptation, mobility and content computerization. The following article critically examines this shifting terrain in new media research and its implications for future scholarship.

• Claims to be an overview of some recent research in "new media", but it focuses almost entirely on journalism. As such it has some useful data with regards to readership, advertising spend, decline of newspapers and so on.
• Argues that there may be "a paradigm shift, in the domain of new media" - but this is not carefully argued. This paper mostly presents material from other papers without theoretical or careful critical discussion
• Citizen engagement:
- highlights the Arab Spring and the mobilising potential of new media
- Osama bin Laden and the way in which news breaks very fast on line; "in the networked, mobile, digital 21st century, scoops are almost non-existent, at least for long or for more than a few ?eeting seconds"
- "citizen journalists" (p2) are important, and journalism is changing to adapt to this, e.g. by becoming "curators" (p3)
• Organizational innovation and adaptation
- "alternative ownership structures for established and start-up news organisations." being proposed
- Some evidence that this may be viable e.g. South Korea's OhmyNews
• Content computerization
- This is a better section of the paper, highlighting the role of computers and databases in changing journalism, and tracing this trend back to "computer-assisted journalism" as developed from 1952
- "Locative media is a term that refers to media forms that utilize geographically tagged or encoded content"(p4) - being used more, e.g. by - "not so much storytelling as fact reporting" (p5)
- Diakopoulos - highlighting data-mining as the future of journalism; Berners-Lee (2010) - "Data-driven journalism is the future"
• Mobile augmented reality and journalism
- Also an interesting section, though somewhat narrowly focused on journalism and ignoring other aspects of augemented reality
- Noting how "'Most of the innovation is happening outside news organisations' (Bocskowski 2004; Bradshaw 2010)" (p7)
- NYT's paywall introduced in 2011 has become a standard
- p8: various statistics on state of news industry in USA
- Growth of "Hyperlocal web sites [which] serve principally local residents, and tend to be produced by local reporters or residents" (p9)
• Overall, useful for some up to date data on the USA news industry and new media. Poorly edited with typos and grammatical mistakes.

Please note - these are rough notes only, based on a first reading. They may be useful to someone interested in an alternative perspective on this paper.
However, these notes do not necessarily represent a final opinion, and are subject to revision in the future.


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