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University of Alcala Interview www.uah.

es -Para los no iniciados, qu es la cultura de la convergencia y cmo ha influido Internet en favorecer el desarrollo de la cultura de la convergencia? For the uninitiated, what is the convergence culture and how has the Internet helped to promote the development of this convergence culture?

When I wrote the book, convergence was primarily understood in technological terms the consolidation of media functions through the same device, as in the ways that the mobile phone or tablet has now become the Swiss Army Knife, which facilitates a range of interactions which might once have been dispersed across many different media platforms a camera, a telephone, a web browser, and so forth. My book argues, though, that whether or not media functions are moving across platforms, media content is clearly moving across them. We live in a world where every story, sound, image, and social relationship is going to be conducted across every available media platform, whether shaped top-down by decisions in corporate boardrooms or bottom-up by decisions in teenagers bedrooms. This is the heart of what we mean by convergence culture, whether we understand it in terms of fans writing stories or creating videos based on their favorite media franchises or in terms of transmedia entertainment, which spreads content across many different sites and anticipates consumer networks will pull them together as resources for their own discussions. Our forthcoming book, Spreadable Media: Creating Meaning and Value in a Networked Culture, (which I coauthored with Sam Ford and Joshua Green) moves beyond a focus on reception and production to talk about the role of grassroots communities upon the process of media circulation and the way this is transforming the media landscape. Read side by side, Convergence Culture and Spreadable Media offer a fuller picture of the ways that our relations to media (old and new) have been impacted by the introduction of networked computing.

-En su libro publicado en 2006 sobre la cultura de la convergencia de los medios de comunicacin, fue muy futurista cuando habl de la televisin a travs de Internet. Hoy es toda una realidad, ya que millones de personas ven sus programas por la red. Ahora se est produciendo el proceso contrario: Internet en la televisin. Esta convergencia tendr xito como las anteriores? In your book published in 2006 about convergence culture in the media, you were very futuristic when you spoke of the possibility of television being transmitted through the internet. Today this has become reality, since millions of people watch their programs using the internet. Now we can see that the opposite scenario is occurring: Internet on the television. Will this convergence have the same success as those previously? By the time I finished writing the book, iTunes was just starting to release selected television programs via the web and YouTube was taking shape as a platform which facilitated the

sharing of video and there were many start ups which promised to facilitate video-sharing on line. But, you are right that the bulk of the developments in this space have taken shape since the publication of the book. I have never identified my contributions primarily in terms of my ability to make predictions. Where we are talking about new media technologies and practices, this is a fools mission something like jousting with windmills. The digital distribution of television served clear social functions: it allows people to catch up on episodes they missed on their own schedule; it allows people to watch television as they travel; it allows people to access larger archives of materials no longer in wider circulation; and in the case of YouTube, it provides a distribution channel for grassroots produced media. As we think about the internet on television, there is no question that people will want to use networked computing in relation to television viewing, but the open question is whether the dominant model will be accessing the computer through the television set or using two screens, the laptop and the television, side by side. We are seeing different companies making bets on both of these scenarios. Right now, in America at least, many people are consuming both simultaneously sometimes dividing their attention through multitasking and sometimes using the computer to look up information or interact with others about what they watch on television. But, right now, the television screen is a shared viewing experience, in many cases, where-as the computer is a personal media experience, and it is not clear people will want to merge the two. Right now, watching television remains a lean back activity, where-as accessing materials on the web is a lean forward activity. While there are rich experiments with the second screen scenario, I have seen far fewer that take advantages of the full capacities of accessing the net via the television. Oddly enough, perhaps the strongest impulse might be to use the television to access television and video content that flows through the web, so we can watch it on a big screen. -Hablamos de un proceso de democratizacin de la comunicacin sin precedentes, pero en contraposicin a eso hay planteado un proceso de concentracin meditica preocupante (Google, amazon, apple...), la 'niebla', el fog computing es una amenaza real... hacia dnde nos encaminamos, seor Jenkins? We talk about a democratization of communication without precedent, but contrary to this there exists a worrying mediatic concentration ( Google, Amazon, Apple) the fog , fog computing a real threat. In what direction are we actually heading, Mr. Jenkins? I do not see democratization as a direct consequence of technological change; it is a consequence of the choices we make in terms of the use of technologies, and at the moment, we are still in a time of struggle and transition over the long term impact of digital media. The potential certainly exists for networked communications to enable a much broader level of participation in shaping cultural production and circulation, allowing much greater communicative capacity in the hands of everyday people. And there is evidence that some groups of people have moved from playing with those capacities to using them in ways which transform political debates within their countries. We see this more political use of new media everywhere from the Arab Spring movements to Occupy Wall Street to the Tea Party to Kony 2012, to cite just a few recent examples. But, you are absolutely right that there are very real risks in the current move to concntrate ownership in the digital industries, much as media ownership has concentrated in the traditional media sector. The emergence of

curated platforms such as the iPad has the consequence of making some media functions and applications far more accesible than others, posing every bit as much a threat to the diversity and generativity of the web as would a loss of net neutrality. Whether cloud computing poses the same risk remains to be seen, though it is clear that we are more vulnerable in a world where we do not own the media that matters to use but merely Access it from corporate hands. After all, Amazon has never gone into my home and removed books from my shelves, but they have recalled books purchased for the Kindle. I think we do, however, need to make distinctions in our understanding of the impact of media ownership depending on whether concentrated media seeks to shape media content (as in the concentration of broadcast networks) or media access (as in telephone companies), as we try to predict the potential impact of this concentration on our lives. Both pose some challenges to the democratization of media participation, but the challenges oprate at different levels and there seems to be a lot of confusin between the two.

-Dado el actual panorama de cierre de empresas informativas en Espaa Es la convergencia meditica una causa o una oportunidad? Cul es su punto de vista? Given the actual panorama with the closure of Spanish news companies , is mediatic convergence a cause or an opportunity? What is your point of view? -Incluso grandes magnates del periodismo en Espaa hablan de la desaparicin de esta profesin y, con ella, del modo de concebir la generacin y emisin de la informacin como la hemos entendido, usted qu atisba para el futuro?

I do not know enough about the Spanish situation to comment with any specificity, but lets take the broader view. Clay Shirkey, in the United States, has suggested that we shift the conversation from what needs to be done to save newspapers, to what needs to be done to meet the information needs of communities. The first is preoccupied with specific mechanisms which have historically performed the functions described by the second. I have advocated thinking about the concept of a civic ecology that is, an array of operations which helps support the civic life of the society, some of which are performed by profesional journalists, some of which are performed by a range of grassroots organizations and individuals. This gets us out of a space where the growth of so-called citizen journalism (a term I hate) is being read primarily as a threat to the survival of profesional news organizations and into one where the two might compliment each other, allowing us a greater array of information than ever before. Certainly the loss of robust news organization is a net loss for society, but the expansin of the citizens capacity to shape the flow of information also results in more diverse perspectives, allows citizens to assert their own agendas about what stories should be covered, allows citizens to challenge and crate greater accountability over what counts as news, and so forth, all of which have potentially beneficial impacts on the future of democracy. So, is it a cop out to say that new media is both a threat and an opportunity for democracy.

Even the greatest journalistic magnets in Spain talk of the disappearance of this profession, and with it the way of understanding the generation and the transmission of information as we know it, can you see what the future holds?

No I can not see what the future holds. Nor can anyone else. What we can do, though, is identify what is at stake in our current struggles. I do think that the idea of journalism disappearing as a profession is an over-reaction. Journalism is a core function of any free society and I remain optimistic that people will find a way to insure its long term survival, even if we do not at this moment know what shape it is going to take. The specific organization of news gathering and circulation, though, has evolved over time in response to shifting historical circumstances, and we are at another transitional moment where the business models and institutional support for news is undergoing dramatic shifts, even as we are seeing an equally dramatic emergence of ways that nonprofessionals are contributing to shaping the production and flow of information which they rely upon as communities. The anxiety which this is producing is considerable, especially given the degree to which mis-information (often partisan in nature) is flowing through the culture without challenge or correction as the credibility and stability of traditional gatekeeping organizations have faltered. We are learning to live with the expanded communication capacities of our society and as we do so, there are signs that the public wants the kinds of structural support which traditional news organizations provide more than ever. So, for example, when Americas started seeing tweets from protestors in Iran or Egypt, they turned to CNN and other news organizations for more analysis and fact checking. When they saw that the professionals were lagging behind grassroots channels, they cried out that CNN fails, not because they wanted less journalism, but because they expected more, because they wanted a greater voice in shaping what kinds of news mattered and where the press was allocating its attention and resources. So, we may see some painful consolidation of news, which has, as we suggested above, some consequences for the quality of information we receive and certainly has consequences in terms of the job security of individual reporters and editors, but in the long run, what will emerge is apt to be a richer system where information gathering and circulation functions are shared between journalism and people from a broader range of different occupations.