The purpose of this study is meta-research on academic research on social media and convergence in four Central-Eastern European countries: Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia. Sometimes, these countries are referred to as Visegrad Four or V-4.
The selection of these four countries for further comparative analysis is based on their geographical location and political past as well as geopolitical location within the European Union. Thus, this study offers regional perspectives within a rather specific academic research arena.
The issue of convergence is certainly one of the most challenging current research and policy-making issues that is faced by both legacy media and social media. We live in the age where the famous prophecy was made by Jenkins in 2001 that already becomes reality: “We are entering an era where media will be everywhere, and we will use all kinds of media in relation to one another.”
However, we know nothing about research agendas and perspectives of researchers from these four Central-Eastern European countries on this complex issue. Obviously, the research is fragmented as researchers publish their data in local journals and in local languages. Thus, it is rather difficult to get an overview of local research. Moreover, convergence is a multifaceted issue – there are many types of research and practices as well as policy aspects that can be seen as being part of convergence phenomena.
Therefore, to help researchers to find some overview of V-4 research agendas, there are tackled specific research questions in the analytical part of this article. In the following sections, we define both social media and convergence. Then we inform about social media usage in V-4 countries. This data will allow us to understand the relevance of social media in these countries as well as how this relevance is reflected in research on social media and convergence by local researchers.
In the next part, we will discuss methodology which has been quite extensively elaborated. It will be shown that there are many methodological challenges that impacted this study. In the key analytical part, selected parameters of research results are internationally compared. In the nutshell of our findings, some suggestions for future research on social media and convergence are discussed.
A full study is available on the project’s website.
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