Ownership concentration is not the only relevant measure of media convergence, although it is the only form that has been researched in the New Zealand context, Merja Myllylahti, of Auckland University of Technology, writes. Myllylahti analysed a host of studies, corporate documents and press reports in order to map out how different forms of convergence appear in the New Zealand media landscape.
Following Rick Gordon‘s categorization, Myllylahti looked for five different types of convergence: ownership, tactical, structural, storytelling and information gathering. According to the author, all five types are present in New Zealand media. Especially tactical and structural convergence are progressing “rapidly”.
A visible manifestation of “tactical convergence” are the many alliances New Zealand media companies are forging in lieu of full-blown mergers. For example, one of the country’s largest news publishers, NZME, is exchanging content with the largest independent publisher, Allied Press.
Structural convergence, on the other hand, happens within media companies: for example by merging formerly separate editorial departments and creating new managerial positions. Older positions may disappear in the process, or the overall number of employees diminish.
The article “The Rise of Tactical Partnerships” was published by the journal MEDIANZ. It is freely available on the publisher’s website (open access).
Picture: Untitled by bstad, licence CC0 1.0.