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Joshua A Braun

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780300197501

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300197501.001.0001

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Breaking Apart the Monolith

Breaking Apart the Monolith

Considering Contemporary Media Organizations

(p.105) 6 Breaking Apart the Monolith
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Joshua A. Braun

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on conceptual tools used for considering large contemporary media organizations like MSNBC. It examines a nonmonolithic framework for elucidating how MSNBC's digital distribution is influenced by organizational factors and shows how keeping pace with rapidly transforming production and distribution environments has altered the way that legacy media institutions are organized. It also discusses the emergence of heterarchy as a novel form of organizational structure that allows media conglomerates to cope with perpetual uncertainty. Finally, it analyzes the provincialism of Internet technologies in newsrooms by drawing on a number of theoretical frameworks from the sociology of technology. The chapter argues that large media organizations are not single actors with singular objectives, but complex and dynamic assemblages of individuals, groups, and technologies whose interrelations all influence the flow of content.

Keywords:   media organizations, MSNBC, digital distribution, heterarchy, provincialism, Internet, sociology of technology, content, media conglomerates

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