Convergence and Cross Media Ownership

By now you’ve probably realised that convergence means two different things in regards media theory. The convergence of devices is basically devices including phones becoming mini entertainment centres or tv’s picking up on internet and online services streaming video etc….

Convergence in the form of media outlets is an entirely different thing and requires you to have some understanding of cross media ownership and the regulations involved. In particular it involves whether owners of one particular media like print, can also own television stations and radio. The rules were changed in 1987 under the Hawke Government. Paul Keating famously said you could either be ‘a prince of print or a queen of screen but you could not be both.’

The debate about who owns what, and how much, has been going on for years. Read this article about Kerry Packer’s attempt to influence the Paul Keating decision:

This is why the latest convergence inquiry is so important to media owners. I’m sure they will do what they can to ensure the media maintains self-regulation. They would also not want to be subjected to a third regulatory body as is recommended in the report.

It is important to understand cross media ownership and convergence if you are going to answer this question in your exam. Please read through the suggested material in order to further understand this rather complicated area of media ownership and regulation.

A guide to the convergence review