Dynamics of New Industrial Knowledge Flows
Edited by Philip Cooke, Carla De Laurentis, Stewart MacNeill and Chris Collinge
Chapter 6: Distributed Knowledge and Creativity in the European New Media Sector
Adreene Staines and Chris Collinge INTRODUCTION 6.1 New media is an important sector in the context of the knowledge economy, not least because of its intimate relationship with knowledge production, dissemination and consumption (Klein, 1998; Pratt 2000; de Aquino et al., 2002). One of the main delineating features of the current economy is the emergence of knowledge as an important driver of economic development alongside traditional factors of production such as land, capital and labour. The new media sector is at the centre of this process of structural transformation and economic dynamism; indeed new media exemplifies the convergence of digital platforms (from digital TV and radio, through mobile phones, to Wi-Fi and the Internet), causing not only an increase in the volume of communication but also the interweaving of media, with content of all sorts passing more and more easily from one format or platform to another (Pratt, 2000; Backlund and Sandberg, 2002). An important question, which is now being debated, is the degree to which it is possible to think about new media in sectoral terms at all, and the role of the platform concept in this context. Some authors suggest that it may be difficult to identify new media as a distinct industrial sector, especially as it overlaps greatly with other sectors including old media. They feel that new media is simply the name for the convergence of old media around a common technological platform. On the other hand, some have interpreted ‘new media’ as a convenient fiction...
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