Engaging with media in the fragmented media environment : using multiple methods to discover elements of media engagement

by Riitta (née Tammi

Institution: Aalto University
Year: 2016
Posted: 02/05/2017
Record ID: 2065026
Full text PDF: https://aaltodoc.aalto.fi/handle/123456789/19539


This research explores fragmentation of media use and the reasons behind and ways of engaging with media. As media landscape has fragmented and the amount of media content has multiplied, it is increasingly important to examine those experiences and practices that are associated with the most important media titles and how media use intertwines with the practices of everyday. Previous studies of fragmentation of media use and selections of media often limit the amount of media, or focus on only one genre, such as news. The novelty of my research is starting from the perspective of the readers and users. The iterative methodological process provides tools also for media publishers for studying the media use of their audiences. The data was gathered using four qualitative methods: online media diaries, media landscape interviews, ethnographic visits and reading aloud interviews. The analyses focus on the media use of five participant groups (n=55): 16–18 year-old high school students, 18–25 year-old young adults, 35–45 year-old readers of Tekniikan Maailma (special interest magazine of technology and vehicles), 45–55 year-old readers of Kotiliesi (women's general interest magazine), and 45–55 year-old readers of Suomen Kuvalehti (news magazine). The number of participants varied between the methodical phases. Fragmentation of media use is examined in personal media landscapes, which map all media and titles individuals use. Especially in the personal media landscapes of the 45–55 year-old participants fragmentation emerges as a great number of media titles, whereas the 18–25 year-old participants' media preferences are more individualised. Engagement with media is closely connected with everyday, for instance, social and solitary practices at home, or routines and rituals associated with the most important titles. On the other hand, magazines offer their readers engaging experiences when the title answers to the function that is provided with it, when the content has a connection with the reader's life, and when the reader shares the values of the magazine. Moreover, people constantly compare media titles to similar ones and construct engagement through these comparisons. I suggest that fragmentation of media use and media engagement are closely entwined and it is justified to approach them from the perspective of the users' experiences and practices. First, even though people come across dozens of media titles on a weekly basis, the engaging ones are allocated time and used concentratedly. Second, as life phases and interests change, also personal media landscapes reshape frequently, even if media routines are strong. Finally, changing media practices enable encounters with new titles and content, whereupon supplementing the personal media landscape – or replacing disengaging titles – is easy.; Tutkin mediakäytön fragmentoitumista ja syitä miksi ja miten medioihin sitoudutaan. Mediamaiseman pirstaloituessa ja sisältöjen lisääntyessä nousee tarve selvittää entistä tarkemmin niitä kokemuksia ja käytäntöjä, joita…