The impact of the Internet on the mass media in Europe
Type Research Project
- Commission of the European Communities
Duration Jan. 25, 2001 - June 30, 2006
- Economics 3/Process Oriented Economics AE (Former organization)
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- Grisold, Andrea (Details) Project Head
The aim of this proposal is to establish a wide European network of researchers investigating
the impact of the Internet on mass media industries. The coming together of telecommunications,
computing and the media, usually termed 'convergence', is one of the central issues of
contemporary society. The range of questions involved in this process is enormous, covering
as it does technical issues, business models, social changes, working practices, legal
regulation, and a host of other things.
The vast majority of the mass media in Europe today are run as businesses. Even those whose primary source of revenue is from some sort of subsidy, for example the BBC, are obliged both to demonstrate that they operate, as far as possible, according to established business principles, and to take any opportunity that presents itself to develop their commercial activities. We are interested in what effects the development of the Internet has for these business operations.<P></P>The primary focus of this proposed network is upon the micro-economic impact of the Internet on the media. It is our intention to look at the kinds of business models that are utilised by the existing media, to examine those being developed by the new media based in the Internet, and to see how far these affect each other. It is in the nature of commercial media that, unless they can find business models that allow an adequate return on capital, they will be unable to fulfil any of the other functions of social integration, democratic empowerment, public education, popular entertainment, or whatever, with which they are associated. While the starting point of our study is therefore quite specific, we intend to track the implications of the developments we study through in their impact on the range of functions discharged by the media.