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Authors: Möller, Johanna
Rimscha, Bjørn von
Title: (De)centralization of the global informational ecosystem
Online publication date: 22-Sep-2017
Language: english
Abstract: Centralization and decentralization are key concepts in debates that focus on the (anti)democratic character of digital societies. Centralization is understood as the control over communication and data flows, and decentralization as giving it (back) to users. Communication and media research focuses on centralization put forward by dominant digital media platforms, such as Facebook and Google, and governments. Decentralization is investigated regarding its potential in civil society, i.e., hacktivism, (encryption) technologies, and grass-root technology movements. As content-based media companies increasingly engage with technology, they move into the focus of critical media studies, especially digital society and technology research. Moreover, as formerly nationally oriented companies now compete with global media platforms, they share several interests with civil society decentralization agents. Based on 26 qualitative interviews with leading media managers, we investigate (de)centralization strategies applied by content-oriented media companies. Theoretically, this perspective on media companies as agents of (de)centralization expands (de)centralization research beyond traditional democratic stakeholders by considering economic actors within the “global informational ecosystem” (Birkinbine et al., 2017). We provide a three-dimensional framework to empirically investigate (de)centralization. From critical media studies, we borrow the (de)centralization of data and infrastructures, from media business research, the (de)centralization of content distribution.
DDC: 300 Sozialwissenschaften
300 Social sciences
Institution: Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Department: FB 02 Sozialwiss., Medien u. Sport
Place: Mainz
URN: urn:nbn:de:hebis:77-publ-572937
Version: Published version
Publication type: Zeitschriftenaufsatz
License: CC BY
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Journal: Media and communication
Pages or article number: 37
Publisher: Cogitatio Press
Publisher place: Lisbon, Portugal
Issue date: 2017
ISSN: 2183-2439
Publisher URL:
Publisher DOI: 10.17645/mac.v5i3.1067
Appears in collections:JGU-Publikationen

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