Award Date

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Gary W. Larson

Second Committee Member

Paul J. Traudt

Third Committee Member

Daniel A. Stout

Fourth Committee Member

Anjala Krishen

Number of Pages

102

Abstract

New challengers in mass media are poised to annihilate the competition. The trials and tribulations that magazine publishers have conquered over the years is a testament to the industry's undaunted resilience and perseverance against such competition. Presently, the paper-based medium has enjoyed massive success by catering to readers' individual interests in special interest publications called niche magazines. However, the future of print magazines is unclear as recent technological innovations in digital publishing become the latest contender against print media. Analyzing the possible effects of the new digital medium upon the incumbent print magazine may help publishers prepare to face their electronic-based challenger. This paper aims to use Niche Theory to examine the latest stage of competition between print and digital magazines. Niche Theory originates from the ecological study of competing animal populations and has been applied to the rivalry in mass media for the common resource of consumers. As an incumbent medium matures, it will need to adapt, converge or become obsolete when faced with a new medium. Through the combined methods of quantitative surveys and qualitative focus groups, trends in media consumption of both print and digital platforms can be observed through consumer behavior. It is expected that consumers will maintain a preference for traditional print magazines with a slow shift toward the digital alternative, indicating the need for the incumbent print medium to eventually adapt or converge to the new digital medium.

Keywords

Electronic publishing; Mass media; Mass media and technology; Periodicals--Publishing

Disciplines

Communication Technology and New Media | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication

Language

English


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