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New media effects: Do formats organize networks?


  • Richard Rogers

    Corresponding author
    1. New Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 1012 XT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
    • New Media Studies, University of Amsterdam, 1012 XT Amsterdam, the Netherlands
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  • This paper was submitted as part of the Special Issue: Understanding Complex Systems (Complexity, Vol. 10/No. 3 and No. 4)


New media networks differ from old media networks in the sense that for the press, TV, and radio, the formats are more established. To old media one sends a press release, a prepared sound bite, or an edited video can. One organizes a scripted event and invites journalists in the hopes that the story eventually told adheres to the prepared text and overall narrative. But what does one send to a network? Does one send information in the “old media” formats? What does a network do with a press release? Are certain formats routinely filed away or deleted, while others tend to circulate in networks, creating “new media network effects?” The work treats formats broadly and also makes distinctions between various kinds of new media networks–social networks, issue networks, and stranger networks. In a discussion of the formats circulated and network behaviors effected by the Association of Progressive Communications—a highly professionalized civil society network actor in the field of information and communications policy—the purpose of the article is to open up avenues of thought into how different formats operate in various types of networks, and in particular, whether formats may organize new media networks and, perhaps, social movements. © 2005 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Complexity 10: 22–34, 2005