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AN ALTERNATIVE APPROACH TO MEDIA DISPLACEMENT STUDY: SELECTIVE DISPLACEMENT BASED ON THE NEWS CONTENT
Unformatted Document Text:  Media Displacement 8 medium. When we say, “A medium displaced B medium”, the actual meaning must be some (not all) functions accomplished by a medium were displaced by B medium. When a new medium influences existing media, in some content areas, a new medium may displace existing media but in some other content areas, it may have complementary functions for existing media or has no influence at all. Here, we argue that content is an appropriate unit of observation. A better unit of observation in media displacement studies should be at a lower level than the medium per se. Although content is not equivalent to function, it conceptually closer to function than simply the medium. In light of this, to better understand the effects of the emergence of the Internet on existing media we should conduct observation at the content level, rather than the medium level. That is, we must compare the content to be displaced with the content not to be displaced instead of comparing total time consumption of the older media and the Internet. As Tewksbury (2002) noted, Internet users are relatively selective, and that selectivity will result in a clear pattern of site specialization. Research Questions This paper aims to propose a new framework for understanding the functional media displacement phenomenon. We examine displacement caused by the emergence of the Internet at the content level. Since the content of the Internet is too broad and far-reaching to be captured, we examine influence of Internet use on older media use focusing on one specific category of media content- news. News is one of the common content areas across media and one third of Internet users regularly read an online newspaper (Tewksbury, 2002). According to the functional displacement theory, displacement occurs only when there is functional

Authors: Jeong, Irkwon. and Li, Zhan.
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Media Displacement
8
medium. When we say, “A medium displaced B medium”, the actual meaning must be some
(not all) functions accomplished by a medium were displaced by B medium. When a new
medium influences existing media, in some content areas, a new medium may displace existing
media but in some other content areas, it may have complementary functions for existing media
or has no influence at all.
Here, we argue that content is an appropriate unit of observation. A better unit of
observation in media displacement studies should be at a lower level than the medium per se.
Although content is not equivalent to function, it conceptually closer to function than simply the
medium. In light of this, to better understand the effects of the emergence of the Internet on
existing media we should conduct observation at the content level, rather than the medium level.
That is, we must compare the content to be displaced with the content not to be displaced instead
of comparing total time consumption of the older media and the Internet. As Tewksbury (2002)
noted, Internet users are relatively selective, and that selectivity will result in a clear pattern of
site specialization.
Research Questions
This paper aims to propose a new framework for understanding the functional media
displacement phenomenon. We examine displacement caused by the emergence of the Internet
at the content level. Since the content of the Internet is too broad and far-reaching to be
captured, we examine influence of Internet use on older media use focusing on one specific
category of media content- news. News is one of the common content areas across media and
one third of Internet users regularly read an online newspaper (Tewksbury, 2002). According to
the functional displacement theory, displacement occurs only when there is functional


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