On the Concept of Medium: An Empirical Study
The media are a fundamental object of communication studies, but do we agree on the definition of this term? Since the 1990s, technological convergence has modified the mediascape and complicated the distinction between technical device and communication channel. Today, people can read the newspaper on a smartphone and watch television on a computer screen—a situation that makes it compelling to reflect on what a medium actually is. To discover whether agreement on this matter exists in academia, we consulted members of the editorial boards of some of the leading journals in the communication field. Based on the results of a two-step survey, the article reflects on the theoretical status of media studies and some features of the field.