Challenges to Mass Media Posed by Convergence in the Indonesian Context
Indrati I*, Fiati R, La Mani and Muhammad Aras
Department of Communication, Binus Graduate Program, Universitas Bina Nusantara, Jakarta, Indonesia
- *Corresponding Author:
- Indrati I
Master in Communication
Program, Universitas Bina Nusantara
Jakarta, Jl. Kebon Jeruk Raya No. 27
Barat, 11530, Indonesia.
Received Date: June 04, 2018; Accepted Date: June 09, 2018; Published Date: June 20, 2018
Citation: Indrati I, Fiati R, Mani L, Aras M. Challenges to Mass Media Posed by Convergence in the Indonesian Context. Global Media Journal 2018, 16:31.
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Convergence, which may be induced by media businesspeople, is a model of a business process in the attempt to answer today’s challenges faced by the media industry. This research was aimed to figure out the work mechanism in a newsroom, the improvement of convergence journalists’ competences, and the efforts to deal with obstacles to be encountered during the application of the media convergence system. This research employed a qualitative approach in the form of action research to find out any challenges to mass media industry posed by media convergence in the Indonesian context. Data were collected in two manners, namely in-depth interview and direct observation. The research method used was case study method. To reinforce the data validity, triangulation technique was used on data sources. The researchers investigated the challenges encountered by the media industry in the era of convergence. The research subjects who acted as key informants were news journalists and producers as well as convergence team that was established and trained for the convergence system at Metro TV. From the research, the work mechanism in the newsroom applying the convergence system and having training programs to improve and prepare journalists to become convergence or one-stop shopping journalists were identified. In the implementation, some setbacks were found in the journalists’ preparation to apply the converged newsroom system Super desk.
Mass media industry; Media convergence; Indonesian media
Information technology and gadget advances have left impacts
on virtually all industries, including the print, electronic, and
television media industries. These advances require that the
media industry should adapt itself in order to maintain its
relevance to changes in users’ habits, and ultimately to maintain
their business continuity. Media Group as a leading media
company in Indonesia acknowledges this fact and is prepared to
transform into new media. This term refers to media that have
a control over convergence-multimedia, multiplatform, and
multichannel in nature-to reach the audience.
Humans’ need for information in the contemporary world leads
to the emergence of a new life out of shared thoughts and need
arising from humans’ behaviours in real-life communications.
To fulfil their information need, humans will need sophisticated
technologies, which allow for information exchange, enable
online learning, and facilitate work completion.
Technological advances and media morphosis lead to media
convergence, in which all media functions are combined in one
device. Convergence, according to Jenkins in Pryambodo, is a
word describing technological, industrial, cultural, and social
changes brought together from previously discrete industries
(computing, print, film, audio, and the like), which increasingly
make use of same or related technologies and skilled workers. In
other words, media convergence can be used as an indicator of
a change in communication elements-media, culture, audience,
technology, and industry. The convergence undergone by the
media industry is expected to enable the industry to transform
and combine multiple platforms within ownership using the
When the world turns cosmopolitan, technological globalization
is inevitable. One of the requirements for globalization is that
information should be accessible in an instant by all communities.
Accordingly, the existing media industry must be able to meet the
requirement. An effort that should be made by a media industry is making some adjustment to the on-going technological
advancement. For this reason, in this era of convergence, the
use of information technologies continues to be widespread.
Convergence must be implemented by the media industry to
keep up with the on-going technological development. This is in
line with Santana’s statement that media convergence refers to
the development of a form of new media taking place ever since
its invention. A new media tend to be an extension or evolution
of preceding models. Santana also stated that the essence
of a change does not lie in the substance but in the modes of
production and device. The technologies applied in the media
industry use computerized devices and telecommunication
remains developing. Angela stated that communication
technologies have entered and been an integral part of man’s
The community’s rapid use of social media today has urged
entrepreneurs to transform their businesses into digital media
platforms to accelerate and facilitate publications. These social
networking media answer clients’ demand in the intensifying
business competition. Information rate and change with
technological sophistication is greatly needed by business players
to adapt and make changes following the development to meet
the community’s wish.
Conventional media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, and tabloids)
in Indonesia first transformed into new media such as Facebook,
Twitter, Instagram, Path, Line, websites, and blogs with the
involvement of citizen journalism. These new media make it easy
for the public to stay abreast through their gadgets or mobile
phones, with which all home and overseas news can be accessed.
Denis McQuail in his book Mass Communication Theory called new
media telematic media, which are distinct electronic technological
devices for differing uses. These new electronic media included
technological system, transmission system (through wire and
satellite), miniaturization system, and information storage and
New media promise easiness and speed to gain information in a
practical and efficient way. There is a notion that conventional
media will die out, but research company Nilsen Indonesia
believed that conventional media such as radio, television,
and print media will survive despite digital era’s non-stop
development. However, the platforms will transform into wireless
(social media) platforms.
According to Lisa Gitelman and Geoffrey B. Pingree, new media
are all media previously called “new media” as well as emergency
media that are regarded as media with potentials and risks. On
the other hand, Lievrouw and S. Livingstone defined new media
as a way in which information and communications technologies
are combined with social context and brought together with
three elements, namely communications devices and artefacts;
activity, practice, and usage; and social organizations established
around the devices and practice.
In the midst of invasion of rapidly developing communication
media in conjunction with supporting technologies, fascinating
communication nuances emerge one by one. The integration of broadcast, print, and online media in one digital presentation
channel is what we call media convergence.
In the face of technological innovations, a new media study is
born as one of the branches of communications theories. This
is consistent with the statement of the inventor of the term
“Media”, Marshall McLuhan, in his book Electronic Revolution
“Electronic Effects of New Media” that substantial changes
in media are the result of electronic revolution in 1950 in the
United States. According to McLuhan, this revolution results
in wall-less classrooms as telecommunications and television
media bring about a sustainable information structure for
electronic community. This media convergence phenomenon
forced conventional media to expand and slip into the internet
network to maintain or expand their business. As conventional
media develop into digital media, convergence journalism is
formed involving a collaboration of print, television, and portal
media journalists to generate the best possible news with various
presentation systems. Dailey, Demo, and Spillman introduced
convergence continuum model that has five stages in its process,
• Cross-promotion: a collaboration of two media to provide a
space for introducing media content to each other
• Cloning: when media content are multiplied to be posted
on different media. This means that a medium shows news
content from another news medium as they are without any
• Competition: A stage in which the media entities to which
convergence is applied cooperate and compete with each
other at the same time
• Content Sharing: A stage in which two different media share
content in the repackaged form, including budgeting sharing The media convergence in this stage is predominantly
performed by some media under one ownership
• Full Convergence: A stage, in which different media fully
collaborate, be it in the content collection, production, or
distribution, and which aims to maximize unique characteristics
of each medium in delivering content. In the full convergence
stage, different media collaborate to generate content and
topics by leveraging the strength of each media platform. Full
convergence is rarely found in various media groups.
Media convergence provides the audience with wider range of
media options and content. Not only is it related to production
and consumption, media convergence also serves as an indicator
of change of various communication elements, namely media,
culture, audience, technology, and industry.
Media convergence becomes a widely-discussed phenomenon
among many. There are questions about the content, credibility,
and information processing of the up-to-date information. The
occurrence of this convergence phenomenon translates into
new problems. In media convergence, community members are
expected to serve as actors who take part in the development of
this industry. In other words, in this media convergence, they also
act as producers.
This media convergence phenomenon has no limits, providing
freedom for the community to access what they desire, anytime
and anywhere. The community may become information
providers (news makers) or citizen journalists enlivening the
media convergence domain. The open public space in media
convergence gives birth to improved and creative citizen
This technological development marked with digitization of all
forms of analogue media urges media industry managers to make
technological innovations to enable the business to survive. Varying
new media emerge as alternative means to gain information.
Burnett and Marshall described that media convergence refers to
the incorporation of media, telecommunications industry, and all
forms of communications media into a digital form. They stated
that media convergence is closely related to digitization process.
Recent information technologies have managed to combine
massive conventional telecommunications technologies and
interactive computer technologies. The emerging internet has
made it easy to obtain information, faster than other media
such as television, radio, and print media. McLuhan  said that
those who panic over the threats of new media and electronic
revolution are unaware of the advantage of print media invented
by Johannes Guttenberg. McLuhan reaffirmed that reading skill
is a substantially potential blessing, which he called as his power
to act without reaction or involvement, enabling him to analyse
an issue without emotional involvement. Both books mention
that the shift of technologies from mechanical to electronic will
lead to shift of technological function as an extension of human
body in a space toward extension of neural system. With regard
to communications development, humans create their own
Jenkins  defined media convergence as a content flow on some
media platforms, collaboration between an industry and media,
and media migration activity. This phenomenon occurs as a result
of digital technology and new media emergence.
By the 1990s, Indonesia became a country with fairly considerable
market share for publishing, information, technology, and
telecommunications products and services. It was an era in
which digital technology convergence was introduced. Digital
technology convergence which is the root of information
technology development enjoying increasing popularity among
businesspeople in the conduct of their companies’ operations
aims to merge modern work techniques and integrated systems.
Systems integration or convergence has left a significant effect on
the evolution of media’s information technology, which involves
different communication players (communicant, communicator,
In this digital era, there has been a question among media
businesspeople whether all mass media channels—print,
broadcast, and online—will merge into one digital presentation:
media convergence system in a news central room that is capable
of collaborating and integrating the abilities of many journalists
with the use of newsroom digitization.
This digital media convergence will cause journalism professionals to mingle and join forces and cause media or technologies
with differing characteristics in television, online, and print
journalism to integrate as a unity. With this integrated system,
journalists working in one newsroom will be able to present
real-time information in an instant in accordance with the real
conditions. The key of convergence is digitization as all forms
of information or data are converted from analogue to digital
format. Hence, information is transmitted in bit and in a digital
format. Convergence moves towards the creation of applicative
products that can run audio-visual and computing functions
In the digital era, computer can function as a television set, while
mobile phone can receive audio, text, data, or three dimensional
pictures (3G). Media convergence movement specifically
grows out of Internet and information digitization. This media
convergence combines 3Cs, namely computing (inputting data to
computer), communication, and content. This was described by
News packaging with photographs, videos, and graphics also
constitutes a convergence strategy in this dimension. Multimedia
news packaging will enrich the information presented and
provide the public with options to choose in accordance with
their preferences. Convergence creates a new opportunity for
journalists to package news complete with photographs, videos,
audio, and graphics .
New communication mechanisms marked with the use of multiple
media combining text, audio, picture, and graphic that can be
accessed all at once in a set of media have encouraged changes in
different communication industry activities. Media convergence
does not only denote a shift in technology but also a shift in the
industrial, cultural, and social paradigm driving consumers to find
This media convergence change has a great impact on the lives
of many, especially in the communications and business sectors.
Therefore, forecast or prediction is necessary to anticipate
implications of these change and development, be it from the
industry, community, or government. The competition in the
media industry between different media has been fiercer, which
requires them to make use of any opportunity through print,
electronic, or online means. It is a must for the management to
observe, innovate, and develop the media to keep up with the
technological advances and demand of the market audience.
In the world of media, convergence is unavoidable. Technological
and communications advances can no longer offset the
emergence of new trends in the mass media industry. As a result,
many big media companies in Indonesia combine their media
platforms through the media convergence system. Starting from
the same logical thoughts, historically, media companies establish
ownership chain of newspapers as well as radio and television
radio station networks having a profitable synergy.
In terms of technology, creative content is converted into
industry-standard digital form to be delivered via a broadband
and wireless connection and displayed on computers, mobile
phones and digital video recorder (DVR) connected to television.
However, in terms of industry, the companies that have surpassed
the business spectrum join forces and establish strategically
alliances to develop new business models that can benefit from
growing consumer expectations of on-demand media content.
Even in the lens of education, media convergence has brought
considerable changes to instructional system at schools or in the
academic world. Students now can make use of digital media as
learning and teaching facilities by accessing them in the form of
In terms of economy, convergence boosts company and business
efficiency. People’s reliance on the internet in the trading
systems has also grown stronger. By transforming in the internet
network, a company can push down expenses by 60–80% (Grant,
2009). For this reason, by adapting this transformation pattern,
the companies in Indonesia are expected to be able to survive
the global competition; otherwise they will be left behind by their
competitors who are more cutting-edge in business methods
and better in efficiency. The forecasting method called scenario
analysis is conducted using optimistic scenario, pessimistic
scenario, and most-likely scenario. This method enables policy
makers to, either financially or socially, manages the risks
occurring in the future.
In terms of social aspect, media convergence may alter the society
interaction and relationship pattern socially. In the modern era,
the audience fancy digital access. Hence, gadgets seem to be
inseparable from the society’s lives and seem to have become a
new primary need.
The organizational structuring of media in this era of convergence
uses the sociotechnical perspective approach that underlies the
structure of the synthesis or combination of two fundamental
components, namely technical capacity and human resources
capacity. This approach is a paradigm of machine update that is
statrsi and autocratic in nature. This paradigm changes our mindsets
about an effective and efficient organizational structure
arrangement in the digitization era. In terms of management, this
convergence system can streamline the organizational structure
bulging at the middle and upper lines. This may increase the
efficiency of the company’s expenses for the facilities provided
by the company at the top management level.
The birth of the convergence era and new media application will
bring about a powerful change in the society’s communications
patterns and behaviours in the context of individual, sociocultural,
economic and business, and political lives. To enter a new stage
of convergence and new media application for the purpose of
allowing a considerable space for the public to obtain information,
the national communications policies and regulations should be
The main aim of this research was to figure out the effect of media
convergence applied by the media industry in order to present
information through technological innovations; this referred to
the efficiency and effectiveness of media through convergence.
Additionally, the converged media industry’s management must
take account of journalists’ skills in order for them to be able
to multitask in the information search, news processing, and information presentation to the audience in an instanteous and
easy-to-understand manner as necessary.
There has been a tendency of increase in the number of digital
device users. The X, Y, and Z generations of various professional
backgrounds, who live in major cities or rural areas, are fond of
social media and online media. This is to the point that television
viewers now watch videos via their smartphones and computers/
laptops. The technological conversion of conventional media
into new media has been performed by the media industry
in developed and rapidly developing countries. Nevertheless,
they maintain print media for the purpose of improving human
With the background explained above, the following research
questions were formulated:
(1) How to establish a work mechanism in a converged
(2) What to do to prepare and improve the competences of
modern journalists (convergence journalists)?
(3) What are the efforts to make to overcome the obstacles faced
when multimedia journalists apply a media convergence
system that integrates three platforms to produce news?
Digital revolution has changed how mass media deliver information
to the audience and encouraged technological revolution that
gives birth to numerous other changes, marked with diversified
devices for reading, listening, and watching news via mobile
phones and tablets with the use of internet connection. This has
caused the print media industry in the nation to face insecurities
given that the community start to jump to online media.
Nonetheless, online media are also faced with countless
setbacks due to current unstoppable social media use. The
rapid development of digital media in Indonesia has developed
the potential of this nation to be a lair of digitization creativity.
Undoubtedly, the information spread via the internet has
become journalists’ principal commodity. The need of not only
the audience but also mass media and journalists to spread news
in as little time as possible can serve as the main factor of internet
use in the world of journalism. Globalization and modernization
affect journalists’ performance. This poses unique challenges to
mass media activists in publishing information and news they
have generated .
In the era of new media technology, virtuality is used as a marker
of developed societal culture simulated technologically and
considered as an alternative reality. In the digital media process,
all incoming data are converted into figures. However, media
data are communicated and represented in the form of quality
such as representation of light, audio, written text, graphics,
charts, photographs, recording, animated picture, and others,
which is translated and received by the display screen via a
On the other hand, technological advances have put today’s mass
media industries under the influence of political and economic systems. Changes in the political and economic situations have
an impact on the dynamics of media industries in Indonesia. The
ownership of media favouring certain political colour “colour
media” causes loss of information diversity tainted with political
group interest. This has brought down the objectivity of the
information or news delivered to the public as it is under the
control of particular interest groups. As the result, the public
are disadvantaged by the partisan television shows likely to be
regarded as non-educative as they are subjective in the news
The rampant growth of community media illustrates how media
have failed to handle the community’s various social needs. The
media used as political vehicles today are also used as powerful
business tools. In reality, media industries in Indonesia are owned
by conglomerates doubling as politicians. Thus, politics and
business are tangibly married up in media. In actuality, media
industry owners are profit-oriented in conducting their business.
In regard to media ownership, the government have enacted
regulations on media which are currently under amendment
and that reflect the political life in Indonesia. There have been
new specific rules that control media concentration. Law of
Broadcasting No. 32/2002 Article 18 specified that crossownership
of radio, television, and print media institutions must
be limited, but it is not clear how the limitation is applied whether
by force or by limiting ownership.
In Indonesia, media have been developing since the Reform Era in
1998. Its significant development was marked with the affirmation
of freedom of the press in the constitution (the 1945 Constitution
of Indonesia) and Law of the Press and the strengthening
economic liberalization. Freedom and liberalization of media
allow flexibility in media ownership of financiers, which can be
used as a highly profitable business strategy.
Business is a process of transaction of either products or services
with consumers in order to gain profits. Business performance
is influenced by environmental and change factor as well as
business model. Environment is deemed as a company’s first
access to profits gain. A company is considered successful if it is
able to identify its consumers’ need.
The problem frequently encountered by businesspeople is
their inability to face market competition as they only focus on
the environmental and change factor. Some companies time
and again copy other companies’ business models without any
adaptation. However, every business has its own typical or
unique characteristics, thus it requires specific business model.
A company will be able to compete if it takes the process of
business model design into account. A business model constitutes
a thought of how an organization creates, provides, and captures
values, including economic and social values as well as other
forms of values. The terms business model is also used for a wider
scope in both formal and informal contexts to explain the core
aspects of a business. To put it simply, it is how a company gain
money, and that is the point that should be considered.
According to Peter , a reliable business model must be able
to answer crucial answers such as “Who are this company’s
costumers?”, “How important are costumers for the company?”,
“How the management gain profits for the company?” or “What
underlies the management’s decision of when and how added
value is given to customers?”.
Conducting business is not merely selling products to the market
and waiting for the consumers’ response to the products.
Conducting business should be accompanied by process of
planning various supporting factors.
Business competition, including the competition in the media
industry in Indonesia, is real. Therefore, media business must
change its models to find sources of income other than media
owners. The problem of the shutting down of print media is
not only due to print media’s failure to compete against digital
media. The shutting down may happen even faster due to the
lack of change in business models. Old media business models
still show that customers and advertisers are those who have
dependence on printed media. Hence, this relationship must be
changed into community interaction. Customers, advertisers,
print media companies, and other relevant parties can benefit
each other better by establishing relationships beyond the
customer-publisher and advertiser-publisher relationships.
New business models that cover the pattern of relationship of
broadcasting businesspeople, structural design of broadcasting
business, and organizational mechanism should be reviewed
thoroughly. The business models of digital television industry
will increase radically in different forms. In other words, digital
television broadcasting system will be utterly different from
analogue broadcasting model. These new business models will
involve many new players. Meanwhile, digital broadcasting will
have impacts on the political, economic, social, and even cultural
Similar to the business models of the media industry, broadcasting
regulations also experience some amendments with the increase
of broadcasting business capacity. The Government has decided
to adopt digital broadcasting technology in place of analogue
television technology as it has become global demand.
The transformation of analogue broadcasting system into
digital broadcasting system is not simple as written by Reza and
Skuby , who stated that “The shift to digital broadcasting is
not simple, however, as it introduces a range of interrelated
political, economic and technical challenges.” This business
model change also leads to change in the existing broadcasting
regulations. Furthermore, Tadayoni and Skuby said that
technological innovations such as digitization, audio and video
coding technology, broadband infrastructure and computing,
and wire and satellite networks will enable service provision
across sectorial borders. This makes political challenges, new
regulations, reconstructing thoughts, and replanning the existing
regulation frameworks for communications a need.
As information technologies’ sophistication increases, some
media industries that were formerly only print-based start to
expand their business to digital versions. This format change is triggered by the multimedia trend made by communication
technologies and the presence of the Internet. To answer the
media industry challenges, media businesspeople from the
conglomerate group start to use media convergence business
Media convergence departs from print newspaper model in
collaboration with online version. This collaboration between
print newspaper and online media is then integrated with radio
and television in the convergence line-up. Convergence model is
built in a multiplatform, multichannel, and multimedia fashion,
which allows print media, radio, television, online media, and
mobile application to converge together.
Eventually, media convergence becomes a strategically option
that must be taken by media companies in Indonesia if they are
to expand their markets in the future. There are two important
reasons for this:
(1) Inevitability of telecommunication technologies and devices
that are present before our eyes; and
(2) ever-changing audience culture.
Increasingly noticeable convergence business model squirm
today is a result of integration of new and traditional industries.
The first ever industrial convergence in the media industry
that successfully collaborates the technological, broadcasting,
and publishing sectors in one industrial sector is mainly digital
Along with the media industry development, the media
convergence driven by rapidly evolving technologies increases
regulation flexibility and profit target. This convergence in
the media industry continues to flourish with the support of
profit maximization, regulation flexibility, and technological
innovations. This technological innovation forms mass
communication industry and creates a wider economic scope,
which in turn, enables a business model that benefits the media
industry and even stimulates integrated development of media
business as an industry.
Media Business Industry Process
Business process is a collection of interrelated works for solving
a given problem. A business process can be broken down into a
number of sub processes, each of which have its own attributes
and contribute to the goal achievement of the super process.
Business process analysis involves mapping of process and sub
process that help increase activities.
Business process modelling becomes part of work division in
a company useful for facilitating the description of business
goal achievement steps. Paul Harmon in his book “Business
Process Change” defined business process as a set of activities
conducted by a business, including input imitation, information
transformation, and output.
Current mass media industry development has reached the
stage of communications and information technological
digitization. Digital technology is changing our future, the lives of us all. Automation, Big Data, IoT (Internet of Thing), artificial
intelligence, and new business model ‘sharing economy’.
Unlike previous eras, the era of innovation (innovation disruption)
currently on-going in Indonesia is marked with numerous
innovations, technologies, platforms, and new business models.
The Government, businesspeople, and community are expected
to respond to it positively to survive and evolve. The increasingly
complex market and business competitions present companies
with fresh challenges.
The most compelling challenge faced by the media industries is
how media deal with changes towards digital communication
and information technologies. According to a professor of the
Faculty of Economics and Business of Universitas Indonesia ,
adapting to every on-going development is an effective way
to deal with any dynamics of innovations and technologies.
According to him, two principle elements that must be able
to give instantaneous response to this development are the
government and businesspeople. Rhenald also suggested that
businesspeople should improve their management techniques
and make innovations by synchronizing human resources
they have. In addition to business process and value, the most
crucial challenges are managing the existing human resources to
enable them to support the company’s growth and journalistic
methods in upholding information principles as the advantage
of mass media industry process. Able to frame information as
a product consumed by the public and to hold down levels of
misinterpretation or misinformation of news reporting.
Media convergence is a manifestation of mass media
development that involves numerous technological factors and
applies unification of work mechanisms of online media, e-paper,
e-books, radio streaming, social media, and other media.
According to Fidler , media convergence is supported by
economic, political, and social forces that play a significant role
in the creation of new technologies. In this case, discoveries and
innovations are not widely adopted due to the technological limit
per se. Opportunities as well as economic, social, and political
reasons encourage the development of new technologies.
Print media may shift towards convergence by adopting the
convergence type brought forward by Grant. Journalistic
convergence requires a change in media’s way of thinking about
news and coverage to allow for presentation of information
to the audience. In practice, today’s convergence is limited to
how news are delivered via different platforms such as print,
broadcast, and online media.
According to Grant, journalistic convergence recognizes three
(1) Newsroom convergence. In this convergence, journalists of
different platforms unite themselves in one newsroom. They
work on tasks consistent with the media platforms they are
(2) Newsgathering convergence. In implementing this model, a
journalist is expected to increase his or her multitasking skill
through special training. He or she is also expected to be able to perform works normally done in other platforms in one
(3) Content convergence. News is presented in multiple media
consisting of a combination of texts, pictures, audio, videos,
blogs, podcasts or slide shows.
The conversion of conventional journalism into modern
journalism is called mediamorphosis. According to Severin and
Tankard , mediamorphosis is a change of communications
media form caused by complex interactions of principle
necessities, competitive and political pressures, and social and
technological innovations. Although convergence is still in its
early stage of development to date, we can have a glimpse of the
future through innovative websites.
In terms of journalism, convergence enables media to expand
their reach by providing new cyber newsrooms or online media.
This media organization distributes content from TV, radio, and
print media to online media. The organization provides reading
room, commentaries, blogs, hyperlinks, vlogs and many more for
interaction to improve its capacity.
Joseph and LaRose  used the term “communications media”
for describing media convergence. The essence of convergence
is digitization, in which any types and forms of information or
data are converted from analogue into digital formats, thus the
data are transmitted in bit (binary digit). Convergence seems
to have enabled the creation of products with audio-visual and
computing functions in line with the community’s need. As the
media develop, there is less tolerance to any delay in information
transmission. Thus, speedy technologies are important for the
provision of services and facilitating circulation of information in
the form of voice, text, video, picture, and sound.
Media Industry Convergence
Current development of information technologies has reached
an extent to which the nature of conventional technologies that
are massive and the nature of computer technologies that are
interactive can be combined. This is called convergence. Today’s
media convergence enables mass media professionals to deliver
news as well as present information and entertainment on
multiple media platforms. Hence, media workers should be more
creative in providing the audience with content.
This condition is a great opportunity for creative and media
industry players. Media, telecommunications, and technology
companies work together and establish a strategically alliance
to develop new business models that allow them derive profits
from on-demand media content consumers. The very same
opportunity, according to Gun Gun Siswandi, may also be
grasped by developers of creative content converted into digital
format that meets the standards of broadcasting industries using
computer and mobile devices.
If we take a closer look, major media recently tend to collaborate
and cooperate with fellow major media. This collaborative
relationship is formed to benefit each other and to survive
in the midst of modern media digitization flow. Not only does convergence establish collaboration, it also is involved
in coordination within media organizations. Convergence is
applied to facilitate shared reporting to audience and improve
news capability and quality. The ever-evolving media industry
convergence process is supported by profit maximization,
regulation flexibility, and technological innovations, with profit
maximization being its main foundation.
In other words, convergence is a business model breakthrough that
benefits the media industry through technological innovations
that expedite the establishment of the mass communications
industry, which creates a wider economic scope. Technological
innovations in the media industry convergence has increased
consumers’ demand on technological products and changed the
patterns of the community’s older media products consumption
and media production changes. This is what encourages recent
need for media products and provides greater opportunities for
media industry convergence.
Media convergence increased a media organization’s
effectiveness and efficiency as it requires fewer staff members
and cuts down company expenses. In terms of content production
and distribution, convergence may involve different media
industries supporting the content ideas. In terms of ownership,
convergence allows for double ownerships of multiplatform
media by each source media industry. However, sole ownership
is also possible provided that the media industry has three kinds
of multiplatform media.
This research used a qualitative approach in the form of words,
sentences, and pictures. Creswell in his book “Qualitative
Inquiry and Research Design” stated that qualitative inquiry
is a scientific inquiry process mainly intended to comprehend
human problems in the social context in order to make a holistic
and complex picture, which presents and reports detailed
view of information sources, and is made in natural settings
without any intervention from the researcher. The research
conducted was a case study. In his book “Case Study Research:
Design and Methods”, Creswell said that case study is used as
a comprehensive explanation relating to different aspects of
an individual, a group, an organization, a program, or a social
situation that is studied, sought, and reviewed in depth. A case
study pertains detailed research of an individual or a social unit
within a given span of time. A case study, according to Yin, is an
empirical inquiry that investigates a phenomenon in the real life
context if the line between the phenomenon and the context is
not clear and where multiple sources of evidences are used.
Research types differ based on the objectives and objects. This
research was descriptive action research aimed to figure out
the challenges faced by the mass media industry through media
convergence in the Indonesian context. The research object
investigated was the challenges faced by the media industry in
the era of convergence. The research subjects serving as key
informants consisted of editors-in-chief or vice editors-in-chief,
news gathering managers, and news production managers from
multiplatform media in Media Group. To find out the results, interviews and open questionnaires distribution were carried
out. The data analysis techniques employed in this research
1] Data reduction, including the processes of selection,
centralization, attention, simplification, abstraction, and
transformation of rough data obtained from field notes
to provide clearer picture of observation, interview, and
2] Data display, which refers to the organization of information
to enable conclusion drawing, action taking, and verification
based on the data processed in the data reduction and data
Data collection was conducted in two ways, namely in-depth
interview and direct observation. To assure data validity, data
source triangulation was used as a data validity examination
technique. The data source triangulation was used in this research
according to Creswell by comparing the results of interviews with
each source or informant to check the truth of the information
In its development, the media industry is faced with manifold
challenges due to the fleet technological shift. Thus, the media
industry is compelled to be able to accommodate the said
development; otherwise they will certainly be left behind. In
response to this phenomenon, media businesspeople make a
change to their business model by applying convergence business
model. In the broadcasting industries, the convergence applied
by these media businesspeople has allowed the provision of
broadcasting content in the digital format or mobile applications
such as e-paper and online streaming. In other words,
convergence also provides the consumers with an opportunity to
create and distribute content.
Metro TV has a big organizational structure, which reduced the
efficiency of its management. The readiness of Metro TV, MI,
and MetroTVnews.com to head towards media convergence is
evident in some ways, including the fact that the technological
infrastructure provided is sufficient and human resources
are available. However, to date, the transformation towards
convergence has not maximum and completely comprehensive.
In the near future in 2018, work systems in the newsroom are
applied thoroughly using multiple platforms that provide a
synergy to spur information delivery to the community.
Information technology is developing apace and has a significant
effect on the media industry. The digital era is a new era for the
media industry, in which they should improve themselves and
follow new media trends, and subsequently adapt their business
models into convergence model. For this very reason, Media
Group with its three multiplatform media (Media Indonesia,
Medkom, and Metro TV) had long applied convergence system.
Given the complexity of convergence, mass multimedia
convergence, which is a simplified output-oriented editorial
system, can be used by the three multiplatform media synergized
in the super desk newsroom. With the integration of newsroom and convergence business, the performance can be increased.
This is aimed to answer the challenges posed in the intensifying
mass media industry competition, in which all businesses have
been conducted electrically, which urges media to convert its
platform into digital form.
Given the business competition, a converged business model
must be backed up with management. Otherwise failure in
running this system may occur. Therefore, the owner should
be firm as convergence will improve the efficiency of the
organization’s organizational structure. Although this system
needs new investment in technology, this should be done
consistent with the pattern of the audience who use mobile
devices in the digital era. Creativity in news presentation and
program as well as interesting shows are imperative in order
to attract the digital generation to watch news report. Given
that the millennial heavily rely on smartphones to do their daily
activities, it is advice able that media businesspeople present
news programs on YouTube or social media, which will increase
viewership and number of followers.
Media Group that owns a media business applies convergence
not only for maintaining its business presence but also for gaining
profits in the midst of sluggish media business that is stagnant
and even receding at the moment. Media businesspeople have
applied the convergence system in their respective business
unit to maintain their business and gain profits. Convergence
as a business model can suppress operational costs while the
company’s revenue tends to remain stagnant and even decline.
Not only does it improve the expense efficiency, convergence
can also create slimmer management functional structure. Thus,
operational cost can be diverted to technological improvement
and benefit payment as a form of appreciation for journalists
who have multitasked.
Multitasking that is performed to meet the need for information
on multiple platforms in the era of media convergence is absolute
and unavoidable for media workers. For media companies,
however, multitasking invites profits as it enables journalists
to supply information for various platforms more optimally.
Convergence allows journalists to work on a number of
platforms, and given the cost efficiency, it becomes important. In
the perspective of the journalists, this is considered as important
as it increases their income through the incentives they receive
as an extra benefit for their multiple skills.
To meet the need for information on different platforms, there
is no choice for the media industry along with their journalists
other than making some changes in the working methods. These
changes may include improving the accuracy and depth of the
writing, improving the picture tacking skills (photographs and
videos), improving picture transfer speed, and improving the
news producing ability. These changes make up professional
demand for modern, digital journalists. In this era of convergence,
media may work on different platforms. The news written by
journalists now are not only posted on one media but also posted
on some media of different platforms. Multitasking is a challenge
for backpack journalists that require journalists’ ability to not
only straight but also analyse analytic data from solid and reliable
sources and produce news.
On the other side, in terms of storage data of paramount
events, now practically all television broadcast media use their
technologies to store their file in big data archive. The big
data owned by Media Group (Media Indonesia, Metro TV, and
website Metrotvnews-medkom) are very useful for company
documentation and can be utilized. The big data integrated from
three multiplatforms are very useful for documentation and can
be utilized by the company as the data in the form of visual data,
text, and photographs can improve the news and add weight to
the news reporting. Big data is a critical asset for Media Group
because after convergence, all documents will be integrated. This
will make it easier to use, and even to monetize, the data. Big
data can be an asset to do fast and comprehensive convergence.
Analytic data and gadget technologies supported with the best
network connection are instrumental for collating data, starting
from the field data, more easily and enabling readers to obtain
information completely and quickly. Morally, media are also
responsible for the power of intellectuality development of an
Ever since applying media convergence, Media Group has
been optimistic in the media industry competition for profits.
Convergence business model can be implemented with the
commitment from all lines of the company. The results of the
research according to the data obtained from the informants, to
respond to new media development,
(1) The work mechanism in the newsroom should use
(2) Training should be provided to improve the competence of
journalists and prepare them to be modern journalists,
(3) Journalists’ difficulties should be overcome with the
implementation of the convergence system in the newsroom.
Work Mechanism in the Converged
Media convergence can be applied with the company’s
commitment, adaptation of integrated systems in the newsroom,
preparation of human resources for multitasking, and preparation
of sufficient infrastructure. Preparation should also be carried
out for the technological system, human resources, management
system, work pattern, and key performance indicators to measure
the journalists’ development in terms of skills, knowledge, and
behaviours. This will definitely require support from different
parties involved, including:
(1) IT and support department,
(2) Research and data department of Metro TV,
(4) Editing department,
(5) Program/content department,
(6) News portals, and
(7) Training centre (human resource capital).
The work mechanism in the converged newsroom at Media Group
that has three platforms consists of some main priorities. Metro
TV has provided a super desk newsroom to integrate its internal
work processes. The integration of three platforms is intended
to increase cost efficiency and to prepare human resources to
multitask to answer challenges for the mass media industry in
the digital era through business convergence model.
The work mechanism of the converged newsroom at Media
Group that has three multiplatform media consists of three
main priorities. Metro TV has prepared a super desk newsroom
to integrate media internal processes. The integration of three
multiplatform media is intended to improve cost efficiency
and prepare human resources to multitask to answer the
challenges for the mass media industry in the digital era through
convergence business model. The work methods of convergence
journalists through a continuous process are supported by robust
super desk, which will handle those left out by the journalists.
With regard to the convergence system having been applied as
an effort to develop its business management, Media Group has
implemented a work mechanism with the integration concept
Newsroom 3.0, which is presented in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Newsroom 3.0: Media Integrated Newsroom.
In the convergence pattern Newsroom 3.0, a journalist will
deliver his or her work in the audio, visual, and narrative form to a
producer/editor. Afterwards, the producer/editor will distribute
the news materials to some platforms according to the formats
and platform need (TV, online, and print).
For the implementation using super desk newsroom model,
Media Group has provided the following:
• Integrated editing room;
• Content for various channels by integrating complete
news flow for both print and digital versions since the
planning stage to the production stage;
• No particular person in charge of channels in the
• Responsibility for newsgathering for print and digital
media that is borne by the head of section;
• In the convergence system in newsroom, there is no term
such as ‘we’ or ‘they’ between different channels and
no conflict between individuals or groups related to the
media where the news is to be published;
• The news owner decides on which aspect of a story is to
be given and delivered by selecting a particular format;
• The room consists of a ‘news hub’ and in the middle, there
are some spokes connected to the centre;
• There are integration of journalist roles, responsibility
assignment, and integration of work flow and shared
• The central theme in the editing room that applies
convergence is the application of the available shared
• All journalists in an newsroom who work for a newspaper,
television, or online media can share resources consisting
of human resources, equipment and ideas (information);
• The use of resources from different platforms can be
assisted with a database that staff members in need can
access for the purpose of publication;
• The information and data collected by journalists are
stored in a database called Budget Bank; and
• Physical arrangement of the newsroom (Figure 2).
Figure 2: Newsroom Convergence at Metro TV.
Currently, Media Group has three multiplatform media and has
applied the convergence system since 2012, albeit only achieved
70% of the overall target. The target has yet to be achieved due
to the reason that the journalists need education and there is
a need to change the mind-set of the journalists coming from
According to the description above, Media Group’s converged
newsroom is designed between Metro TV, online, and
Media Indonesia newsrooms. This has facilitated integrated
coordinating system called super desk newsroom convergence
with open, walls-down design. It describes in details the things
required to form a newsroom called information engine. This has been available and run in the convergence system at Metro TV.
This is explained as follows:
On/off full integration
News is prioritized over platform. The news is delivered right after
it is obtained, and which platform is the fastest is immediately
Content immediately reach the audience right when the audience
need them via their desired platforms.
Every table is completed with two-screen computer. The first
screen is used for input, the other is for output.
The editor in chief is present when an action is taken instead of
hiding in the office room. Thus, he or she is available to meet with
and is responsible.
A dedicated team works on a newspaper accepted by the
community by monitoring, acting as a mediator, and collating
comments, pictures, videos, tips, and opinions from the audience
on every page and part of the newspaper and its digital version.
There is division of sections reflecting differing roles played by
the community, namely consumer, producer, and medium.
First-rate and most efficient planning and assignment are
essential for maintaining full rate of newsroom work throughout
the year. Super desk relies on the assignment desk to track the
locations of reporters, photographers, and correspondents and
to set their schedules.
Info graphics and photographs are located on the side of super
desk, which creates visual journalism that provides directions
instead of merely information.
Political gallery conference room
Newsroom is an open place both internally and externally and
must have a public gallery where staff and community members
meet. In this room, meeting, presentation, news conference, and
exhibition are held on a daily basis.
Terminal broadband, mobile computer, and internet are
available everywhere, making it easy and more efficient to work
in the field. Weekly columnists, contributors, editors, and staff
members who do not occupy a permanent place in the editing
room still have an access to hot desk that is free and completed
with simple connection to connect their laptops to the editing
In addition, there are four main roles that must be played in the
converged newsroom, namely:
• News flow Editor, this position occupies the centre of
the newsroom and is in charge of assisting convergence
management by delivering news to various platforms.
This news flow editor sees the editing room in a different
perspective and decides how to make news flow that can
be delivered via all kinds of platforms.
• Story builder, this role is identical to that of newspaper
editor in collaboration with that of broadcasting media
producer, thus it becomes converged manager. A story
builder must be meticulous just like language editors and
must understand the storyline and be skilful at viewing
news from different perspective. This role manages only
some multimedia news that can be useful for the editors
of other divisions.
• News Resource, a news resource performs his duties like
a librarian but thinks like a journalist. This role requires
expertise in journalistic writing, news editing and
judgement, information management and storage, news
search, and technological use. A news resource specializes
in writing in-depth background information and organizes
it in the photograph, video, and textual form and makes
useful news content for the public.
• Multitasking Journalist, a multitasking journalist is also
called backpack journalist or one-man-band journalist as
he or she is expected to have an expertise in interviewing,
taking pictures, and filming videos for news in various
formats: printed, broadcast, and online. Such journalist
must be able to distribute the news via various media
and be familiarized with every element to enable the
consumers to understand the news.
The convergence system in a newsroom is applied in the following
• In a converged newsroom, there is a new trend in news
making. Newsgathering is no longer carried out only by
finding an informant to interview with or covering an
event in the field and then pouring it into text.
• The technological development allows for news gathering
in a wider scope by using electronic communications
• With new technologies, journalists can use the Internet
as a source of information and news. Additionally, the
introduced high power laptops, mobile phones, and
digital cameras help journalists with news writing,
complete with pictures, in an instant. These convergence
journalists are also known as backpack journalists who
also carry with them video cameras and audio recorders
in their backpacks. This trend eliminates the necessity to
come to the newsrooms and popularizes the position of
• New news flow may eliminate the editing process as
reporters now can directly upload news to various media, including conventional newspapers, television, and
websites. News is now more reporter-driven rather than
editor-driven. In spite of the changes in the news gathering
process, the final decision about the platform on which
a news should be posted will depend on the gatekeeper.
Editors hold meetings to determine which issues should
be raised and which news should be published on print,
broadcast, and online media on a daily basis.
• The media convergence system and work mechanism in
the newsroom designed for journalists are intended to
increase the rate of, enrich, and facilitate information
delivery to the audience. Hence, convergence journalism
work methods should be fully synchronized with the
Preparation and Improvement of
Convergence Journalist Competences
Convergence has given birth to the term ‘backpack journalist’,
which refers to a journalist who has robust data and sophisticated
devices for obtaining and presenting news to the existing media
platforms. Convergence journalists are expected to be able to
multitask to provide information for various media in one place.
Training is provided to prepare and improve the competences of
modern journalists (convergence journalists) by upgrading their
skills, providing assistance, and preparing them to be backpack
journalists. This will enable journalists to work consistent with
the convergence system according to the technologies they
possess. Convergence training at Media Group has been held on
a gradual basis since 2016, involving journalists of Metro TV, MI,
and Metrotvnews. In this training:
• Conventional journalists are enlightened about new
media journalism, and the meaning and understanding
of the importance of convergence as a form of salvation
from digital technological strike continuously eroding the
traditional media are promoted.
• Intellectual preparation is done to allow journalists to
adapt swiftly to changes.
• Journalists are trained to film videos and take pictures
using smartphones, to stream pictures, and to upload
• Metro TV journalists are trained to write in-depth news
properly to allow equal capacity on different platforms,
and they are assigned with daily news and information
target, which enriches their news content.
• Physical and health check-up, journalistic ethics training,
digital training, implementation, control, evaluation, and
mind-set change are carried out.
In the convergence journalist training program, which creates
multitasking journalists popularly known as one-stop-shopping
journalists, convergence journalists must be equipped with data
collection tools (analytic data, latest gadget technologies, and
good network connection). The ability to read analytic data and
to transmit data in the textual, picture, or video form becomes
Reward will certainly be given to convergence journalists who
have contributed news to existing various platforms. However,
the works of journalists will be collected in work productivity
data consistent with KPI (key performance indicator) analysis
periodically. On the other hand, the responsibility of a journalist
will increase in complexity. Company’s operational cost will
lower down, but this will lead to increased journalist revenue as
he or she has worked on three platforms at once. Undoubtedly,
convergence journalists will bear heavier workload. However,
this increased workload will bring them greater amount of
revenues and prosperity.
Capacity equality will be supported with compensation to be
arranged latterly. Journalists should be deployed at strategic
locations that have national-scale impacts. In relation to the
training program pertaining the convergence system, Media
Indonesia is more prepared and has adequate capacity to
manage news and conduct in-depth analysis. This may serve
as a reference for the editing department of other platforms.
Meanwhile, the editing team of Metro TV and its online media
should receive news management and news making training to
enable them to produce primary news rather than secondary
news made by extracting and retelling information from other
parties. Metro TV journalists have the advantage of rate of news
and picture transmission. Journalists from Media Indonesia have
the capacity to film videos and stream news reporting using
smartphone or handy-cam, supported with laptop and modem.
Standardization of knowledge and skills of editing team in
managing super desk starting from adapting to draw on research
results or data from Media Research Centre (MRC) owned by
Metro TV is necessary. This will curtail the number of complaints
from third parties about the news reported on multiple platforms.
With robust data backup in place, Media Group journalists simply
need in-depth interview, and the news can be written more
Canalization of Journalist Problems in
the Implementation of Convergence
System in the Newsroom
Media Group’s implementation or accommodation of
convergence only reached 70%. The obstacles faced in the
convergence system application are presented by the fact
that journalists depart from one platform and must work on
other platforms. In other words, the main obstacle faced is the
reluctance of journalists from different platforms to adapt to the
convergence system and current technologies. This is due to the
fact that some journalists have been comfortable working on
one platform and feel uneasy about greater workload with the
requirement to use sophisticated technologies.
The setback encountered by the company is the requirement to
gradually upgrade the digital technologies to facilitate integration,
news gathering receipt, news production, news broadcasting,
until advertisement distribution via the media.
The collaboration of different media platforms and discussion between different source media face communication difficulty as
each of them is comfortable with the style of the source media
although each of the media has its own advantages.
Whether journalists’ salary should be increased or whether it
should be added with other benefits in the form of incentives and
how the salary should be calculated becomes a concern. This is
intended to motivate journalists to multitask to meet the existing
media news slots.
Regular evaluation and work productivity recording should
be arranged properly in accordance with the key performance
indicator applied by the company in order to find out whether
the work standards have been met or exceeded, and the results
will be recorded, based on which reward, either incentives or
salary rise, is given. All journalists should be clearly informed with
the procedures of incentive or reward grant in order to realize
the convergence system in the media industry completely.
The media convergence applied by Media Group to manage its
media business is an answer for the challenges posed by the
new era of digital journalism. New technologies in the world
of media give birth to modern journalists. Media industries are
forced to make changes in the work mechanism by integrating it
in a big newsroom to facilitate news production and distribution.
With the integration of the work flow coordination system in
the editing department through the existing super desk room,
news gathering, presentation, and packaging will be easier to
coordinate structurally. Thus, the news presented will have an
advantage in terms of content and will be presented faster.
The convergence business model is aimed to improve the cost
efficiency of a company while increasing its profits to maintain
its business in the midst of increasingly depressed television and
newspapers media. Metro TV, Media Indonesia, Metro tv news,
and Media Komunikasi integrate systems in a centralized big
newsroom to expedite information reporting and presentation
to the audience.
Newsroom work mechanism with media convergence at Media
Group has been applied in its super desk newsroom. The big
newsroom is used for integrating the media internal work
processes. With the convergence system applied in the three
integrated platforms, cost efficiency is increased and human
resources will be enabled to multitask. The super desk at the
newsroom from the upstream to the downstream will be able to
handle the journalists’ disadvantages.
With regard to the convergence system implemented in the
effort to develop its business management, Media Group has
implemented work mechanism with the integrated concept of
Newsroom 3.0. By implementing the convergence pattern of
Newsroom 3.0, a journalist will submit his or her work in the audio,
visual, and narrative formats to a producer/editor. Afterwards,
the producer/editor will distribute the news materials to some
platforms in accordance with the platform formats and needs
(television, online, and print forms). By applying this convergence
system, the work mechanism in the newsroom will hasten, enrich, and ease the delivery of the information to the audience.
Therefore, the work methods of convergence journalists must be
completely synchronized with the management system.
To streamline the convergence system implementation, Media
Group has provided convergence trainings gradually involving
the journalists of Media Indonesia, Metro TV, and Metrotvnews.
The trainings to be held are summarized in the convergence
journalist education syllabus, starting from the approach to
encourage journalists to adapt to sophisticated technologies that
may support the news search and transfer, more comprehensive
news writing, taking photographs using smartphones, handycam
or other cameras, and the ability to stream pictures to be stored
at the newsroom super desk. Convergence journalists must be
equipped with devices for collecting data in the field (good analytic
data, recent gadget technologies, and network connection).
The ability to read analytic data and transfer news in the text,
photograph, or video forms becomes essential. It is expected
that the convergence journalist training will keep on producing
multitasking journalist or one-stop-shopping journalist.
To welcome the era of convergence, it is necessary to have
different units supported by the management and owner
who have the capacity to take firm decisions to conduct their
business in the face of competitions of media with sophisticated
technologies. Although Media Group has prepared infrastructure
in running the convergence system through super desk
newsroom, there remain some setbacks that should be overcome.
Firstly, all journalists from different source media platforms
should be encouraged to accept heavier workload by giving
them multitasking education. In addition, the perspective of the
journalists from different media platforms should be aligned
for the coordination and collaboration in order to encourage
journalists to contribute toward information reporting via all
converged platforms. The problem of information technology
provision has also discouraged journalists to work more or to
multitask as they have been staying in the comfort zone of their
source media. This is related to the habits and cultures of the
media. Hence, changing journalists’ mind-set is crucial.
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