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Image, information and changing work practices: the case of the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative

Mariátegui, José-Carlos (2013) Image, information and changing work practices: the case of the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative. PhD thesis, London School of Economics and Political Science.

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The media industry is undergoing a comprehensive change due to media convergence and the diffusion of the internet. However, there is a lack of research in the field of Information Systems on how these technological phenomena impact work practices in broadcasting and media organizations. Using the BBC’s Digital Media Initiative (DMI) as a case study, I provide a detailed description and analysis of the implementation of DMI in news and long-form productions. The empirical evidence was gathered from BBC Northern Ireland (BBC NI), where a large-scale digital video production infrastructure based on DMI was implemented. My point of departure is the study and impact of digitalization in work practices associated to the production of video as an image-based artefact, which complements previous studies that focus on information tokens such as electronic text. I seek to assess how work practices at BBC NI were affected by the use of digital video throughout the DMI workflow. In this context, my case study analyzes: 1) DMI’s technical infrastructure and its impact on work practices for the purpose of searching and organizing video content, and how this affected news and long-form productions distinctively; and 2) the domain of video craft editing brought about by the digitization of the video production process. My contribution demonstrates the importance of a semiotic approach to the study of the digitalized image-based artefact, particularly when analyzing the construction of a video narrative. Video narratives are based on work practices that originate not only from particular occupational cultures, but also from the technological characteristics of digital video information. I address the importance of the semiotic character of digital video, in both syntactic and semantic dimensions, and acknowledge its role as a constitutive element for understanding the impact of digitalization and work in the information age.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: © 2013 José-Carlos Mariátegui
Library of Congress subject classification: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Sets: Departments > Management
Supervisor: Kallinikos, Jannis

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