Convergent journalism is referred to as the ‘sound, image, text, and interactivity’ also known as ‘multimedia journalism’. This contemporary journalistic practice is ever increasing in accessibility for the public sphere and ‘gives media practitioners a new way to tell stories, using the strengths of each medium to produce a more compelling package’.
A successful example of a contemporary convergent media source is ‘Vox’, an American news and opinion website owned by Vox Media. The website was founded by Ezra Klein and Melissa Bell in 2014, and aimed to make journalism more understandable for a wider audience by improving the “technology of news“, as an effort to adhere with the rapid technological growth within our contemporary context.
Vox received significant media attention a result of it’s unique form of ‘explanatory journalism’ and ‘card stacks’. The website was said to act as a way for a wider audience to understand and engage in journalism as it takes on the form as a “Wikipedia for ongoing news stories“.
This easily digestible content is reflective of new trends in journalistic production, as it appeals to a wider audience due to its engaging format that is compatible with a fast paced contemporary context.
Vox was said to gain popularity as a result of it’s often humorous but informative content and “Upworthy” style headlines used to ‘enhance shareability’ , and as of June 2015 the site had accumulated 54.1 million visits.
The website also gained a significant following on it’s corresponding YouTube channel, as of October 2017 it had just over 3 million subscribers and over 651 million views. The videos are produced in coherence with a corresponding article on the Vox website and act as a highly effective means of furthering the information presented through it’s engaging, succinct and informative content.
The channel contains a number of playlists ranging from current events to interesting historical facts, some of these include: ‘culture’, ‘politics and policy‘, ‘health’, ‘economics‘ and ‘science’ and many more. (see below)
This new means of multi-media formatting is representative of new trends in journalistic production as it provides a new engaging way of viewing news and information content, while maintaining academic rigor and accurate fact checking in it’s sources.
Vox also maintains an engaging social media presence on multiple networking platforms such as Facebook, and Twitter. This reflects theories of how social media is being used to further engagement in journalism in our cultural context as “it has become influential as a communication and news-breaking tool”.
Vox also reflects convergent journalism trends through employing the medium of audio production in the form of ‘podcasts’ . These podcasts cover everything from ‘policy to pop culture’ and can be accessed on their website. Vox reflects current trends in journalism, including the contemporary need for easily accessible forms of information and news.
Vox stated in relevance to it’s podcasts that:
“ It’s mission is to explain the news, but there’s no reason that has to be done through writing alone. On our podcasts, we do what you love about our site — tackle big, complex, important topics — only on a different platform”.
This represents current trends and theories in journalism, as it reflects how convergent journalism has become a necessity in best presenting the news and therefore a necessary skill in contemporary media production.