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Media production studies is currently an internationally growing approach in media and communication research, where we see the beginning of a third wave (Cottle 2000; Puijk 2016). This third wave is connected with the development of digital technology and the Internet as a communication structure, which have given rise to new media types and institutions across traditional platforms, geographical and cultural boundaries. E.g. today, the press publishes journalistic content on a number of platforms, and a media system in which the various media industries are only linked to one platform, has disappeared. These common conditions across the media industries also mean that there are fundamentally new challenges for the creative processes in a number of media organizations and in the production of specific genres, and for the overall organizational framework for content production. The same applies to the financing of content production and distribution, as well as for political regulation of the media industries nationally and internationally.

At the same time, digital technology and interactive media have meant a far more porous border between the media producers and the users / the audience and between traditional media organization and civil society at large. These new opportunities for interaction raise a number of issues about how media products are created and circulated and how the relationship between the media providers and the users is framed and capitalized, which in turn changes production conditions and competition for the public's attention. The media users have gained an increasing control of what is read, listened too or watched, and when and where. E.g. in television this happens through new media providers like Netflix and streaming technology used by established TV institutions in different markets. The traditional ways of financing and distributing audiovisual content are thus under pressure and in change. This has major consequences for the traditional practices of the entire television industry and its political regulation. Furthermore, the media production activities of civil society and organizations influence the boundaries of the legacy media industries. E.g. in the production of music or sports.

The outlined global changes in media content production across the media industries are also rooted in local, cultural and political contexts that strongly influence their frameworks and impacts. E.g. the production of Danish television drama is an example of the new transnational possibilities for the distribution of small nations' cultural production and how new cultural can arise in the wake of these. It is in these tensions between the global, or transnational, and the local or national that content production is increasingly taking place. The European and especially the Nordic tradition of elaborated media subsidies and highly regulated media systems with key political ambitions regarding the cultural and social role of the media in a society thus takes place on new terms and with new challenges in the horizon.


Aim of the Centre for Media Industries and Production Studies (CMIP)

CMIP has four ambitions in the light of these fundamental changes in the overall media and communication environment and in the conditions for media content production, which all call for an increased research effort:

  • First, the ambition is for CMIP to join and develop existing research forces at AU. The School of Communication and Culture, AU, has a solid and broad-based research profile in this area that is engaged in media industry and production oriented research dealing with concrete analyzes of production conditions and their change in the digital era. This profile is characterized by 1: crossing the division between journalism studies and media studies 2: a research effort within a variety of media and genres, and 3: connects to related approaches such as researching media industries and regulations, to audience/media user studies, and the broader field of creative industries.
  • A second ambition is for CMIP to be a forum for theoretical and methodological development and discussion that address the above described changes in the media landscape and in the relationship between the professional media industries and user generated content in other sectors in society and among individuals. The aim is to contribute to a deeper understanding of these changes and how they affect content production in different media industries and the cultural and political roles the media play in society.
  • A third ambition is for CMIP to become a forum for a national and international network of researchers, and attract new talent. This will further build on the established research profile within the field, and contribute to the third wave of media production studies.
  • A fourth ambition is for CMIP to be a stable and long-term forum for the exchange of knowledge between media research and the media industries (e.g. film, television, radio, music, the press, app producers, game producers, etc.). As mentioned, all media industries are affected by the conditions the digital era brings, but in different ways and therefore with different consequences and challenges to follow. Generally, there is a great deal of uncertainty to be found about the future. The same uncertainty can basically be found in the researchers' theoretical understandings of media production and how it develops in the digital era. Hopefully, this mutual uncertainty provides a fertile ground for dialogue and cooperation. At the same time, CMIP can help strengthen media production studies as an academic approach in the master's and Ph.D. programs in journalism and media studies at AU, and in cooperation with international partners.