“The Hybrid Media System”—My Paper for the ECPR Next Week

Update: You can now download my paper here.

Here’s the abstract. And here’s the panel I’m on, ably assembled by Bruce Bimber and Lance Bennett.

I’ll also be a discussant on a further panel in the Internet and Politics section.

This paper combines theory and empirical analysis to explore recent systemic change in the nature of political communication. Drawing on evidence from Britain and the United States on the changing relationships among politicians, media, and publics, I argue for the concept of the hybrid media system. This system is built upon interactions among old and new media and their associated technologies, genres, norms, behaviors, and organizations. Actors in the hybrid media system are articulated by complex and evolving power relations based upon adaptation and interdependence. We now require a holistic approach to the role of information and communication in politics—one that does not exclusively focus on new or old media, but instead empirically maps where the distinctions between new and old matter, and where they do not. The focus of my attention in this article is news. First, I outline an ontology of hybridity. Next, I discuss assemblages of hybridized news making. Then I examine the phenomenon of WikiLeaks as an example of power and interdependence in the construction of news.

Download the paper here.