The digital age has brought a new interactive practice of media consumption. The media matrix is changing in such a way that not only the boundaries between the media are deleted, but also those between producers, distributors and consumers. The industry adapts to the new technological opportunities and needs of the audience. On the one hand, television text becomes global, formatted and trans-media, while on the other we witness horizontal and vertical merging and concentrations of global commercial producers that accelerate their ability to invest in high-budget content and strengthen their ability to expand to the activities that those companies previously weren’t interested in.
The proliferation of television channels and the transformation of television from mass media into the niche media are in progress. The process of proliferation not only enhances the struggle for the user, but also inevitably jeopardizes one of the basic prerequisites of the prominent influence of public service on the national community – the mass reach of a particular television channel in the national context. Therefore, in public television, there is a growing need for national visibility and popularity, and there is a substantial convergence of public and commercial media that collapse the binary opposition between ‘citizens’ and ‘consumers’ as different targeting groups in the production of content. Public media services cease to be the only distribution range of national and social values. The media and state partnerships generated by the discursive building of the national imagination began to direct their messages to the new address. Rather than formulate a national, ethnic, religious or regional identity as a cultural or political project, as one might expect, these efforts gain a commercial goal. The media are becoming the main drivers of commercializing national identities as well as transnational marketing of those identities through branding nation and similar activities. National identity has become a market good, and one who promotes and sells it can be an independent media organization as much as the state. At the same time, the degree and speed of socioeconomic and cultural changes result in the weakening of traditional institutions and the simultaneous proliferation of new social groups and identities with new interests and specific media needs, which creates an increasing complexity of demand for audio-visual content. The audience is becoming less national, more global and fragmented based on thematic and genre preferences, and viewers also gain control over what, when and where to watch the desired television content.
The tectonic twists and turns of what television is now experiencing reaffirms the reflections on multilevel scientific approaches to the study of television, which is in line with its prismatic nature and constant change of the media, culture and overall social matrix within which it operates. The first question is: how does the television tell stories? Second: What are the relationship between the stories we have on television to the societies and cultures in which they arise (including, of course, all the stories in which stories are produced, not just those that produced them)? And thirdly, why television? The third question will be crucial and it opens up a whole new set of questions that will help scientists from many disciplines explain why television continues to be so significant.
The following might be considered:
· How small nations try to build and preserve their own cultural identity in the context of the general internationalisation of television media? Do they succeed?
· Is it possible to build both: local/national and global television and multimedia brands at the same time? Why brand matter more than ever?
· Television and Politics: Enhanced TV formats, Medialization of Politics and (re)shaping a Public Opinion and Political Processes.
· What are the consequences of the horizontal and vertical merging of global media giants?
· What is the future of the public media service in these changed circumstances?
· What new relationships are created between television text, audience, technology, and production practices in the post-broadcast era?
· How did television genres change and adapt in an era where television production is more abundant than ever?
· Which repositioning of television genres brings media convergence and mobile and nonlinear television?
· What new relationships have been established between genres, distribution and scheduling?
· How to approach the analysis of television genres at the age of acceleration of hybridism, intertextuality and loss of boundaries not only between genres but also between the media?
· How do all these changes reflect on television aesthetics, narrative structures, production practices and traditional audience research models?
· What knowledge a modern television practitioner should have?
· Is television still our primary source of “ontological security” and “transition object” as Roger Silverstone discovered at the end of the twentieth century? Do they change our rituals associated with the television?
· What are the consequences of the transition from gatekeeper to curatorial culture?
· What are the consequences of the predominance of audiovisual content on all distribution platforms over textual content? Will we stop reading? Will that dominance change our culture?
· Why we love television?
These issues require an interdisciplinary approach that offers a synergy of anthropology, sociology, psychology, communication studies (especially television studies which are interdisciplinary by default), political science, economics and marketing. The combination of knowledge from all of these disciplines can provide a scientific breakthrough and create a broader insight into the complexity of elements that make up the modern forms of television.