Building from the previous week on Digital Media for International Marketing where we have discussed the development of the symbiotic relationship between sport and media and especially why digital media matters [see here the brief summary], this week will focus on how new digital media disrupted the traditional sport media ecology that was crystallised during the last 100 years.
To understand how new digital media disrupted this traditional sport media ecology first we need to comprehend how sport features as a content on traditional media such as print (newspaper and magazines), radio, and television. As examples of their time, those traditional media tend to be spaces of male preserve, meaning that what is produced and consumed is planned with a predominantly male audience in mind [see my analysis on gender, sport and media here and here].
In a similar vein, digital media is a product of its time and has to some extent made some strides in correcting those inequalities. The proliferation of digital media platforms, and the ability to individualise platforms’ experiences based on data and algorithms means that spaces do not need to be only of male preserve – it will all depend on your own usage. Using food and eating as an analogy we can think digital media platforms and algorithms like this: what you feed your body is what gets out of it. More crap in means more crap out; but if you feed your algorithm with good content, then there is a likelihood that more good content you be thrown at you. So, the disruptive nature of digital media to some degree can be credited to end users who not only produce and share their own content [like in convergence culture – see Henry Jenkins blog here], but also consume content in a way that disrupts the linearity of traditional media.
Somehow, the affordance of digital media as a technology and its disruptive nature comes down to how this technology is incorporated in our daily individual lives, and how it can or is used by businesses [we need to understand also that organisations are made of people; and they are what people are]. And the same is true for digital media platforms as they will become what users want them to become because of the way they incorporate that platform in their lives.
As users our digital media platform selection means finding and making that space our own place [see my discussion about social media, sport, space and place in this journal article here].