In 2003 one of the first fusions of different media platforms took place in Denmark when the regional paper Nordjyske Stifstidende merged with a local TV station and two radio stations. At the same time, a new site on the internet was opened under the URL http://www.nordjyske.dk/ . A fusion of different media in a shared media house, in this case named Nordjyske Medier, involves changes on several levels. The economy will change, and so will the whole organisation, its ideology, architecture, the techniques of the media and of course the editorial and journalistic principles. The focus of my investigation is on edition and journalism - especially expressed in the choice of genres and language that are used when stories are communicated to the users of the daily output from a new media house. As the basis of a pilot investigation I have chosen a story from March 2006, which elicited a relatively high activity in terms of number of daily hits on the internet over a period of fourteen days. The story is about a young local high school girl stabbed and killed by a former boyfriend, who few hours after the murder committed suicide. The story exploded as a sensation but soon after it developed into a tragedy and then to a story about dealing with grief. My research task is to describe and discuss how the genres and the language of the told story are managed and perhaps changed, when this story is activated on several different platforms: Is journalism as such able to match the development, which has taken place on all other levels in the modern media house? If not, which challenges does daily journalism have in the new situation, and how will it be possible to cope with them in the future? Preliminary results of my investigations support the hypothesis that tradition in terms of genres and language is stronger than innovation. The affordance (Gibson, 1979) is weaker than it ought to be, not because of a technological lack of potentials in the cross media environment, rather because of a lack of communication competence matching the new technological possibilities of the media house.
Journalism & Meaning-making: Reading the Newspaper, 2010, p. 103-120