Brussels, 21 May 2003
With a growing number of users logging on to web newspapers and news portals, there is an increasing demand for quicker and more innovative solutions for news delivery. A recently completed EU project is helping the European media industry adapt to this evolving multimedia news landscape.
Funded under the information society technologies (IST) programme of the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5), the multimedia content in the digital age project (MUDIA) gathers experts from research institutes and international media organisations in four Member States with a view to identifying emerging trends in digital production and distribution technologies, as well as the tools needed to manage such innovative solutions.
According to the project consortium's final report, providing the media sector with the means to adapt to a digital society was timely and important: 'Most media organisations know they must become more diverse and flexible in the way they process information, but it is by no means clear how this objective can be achieved. The MUDIA project provided the hard information the European multimedia industry must have if it is to develop and adapt to new technologies and evolving content production and consumption issues.'
To provide the so called 'hard information', the MUDIA consortium conducted a number of exploratory studies into the future trends in mobile newscasting; alternative forms of reading news online; the evolving needs of users and providers; and multimedia newsrooms. Since their publication, the reports have been used to brief media practitioners and subsequently stimulate innovative media practices. Similarly, the MUDIA consortium has also provided support to policy makers in the areas of Information society.
Another achievement is the insight the project acquired into the relationship between the world of research and the media. In exploring the relationship, the consortium noticed that there was a scarcity of multimedia researchers capable of responding to the needs and priorities of the media industries. As a remedy to this, academic partners in Ireland and the Netherlands, together with three additional universities from Finland, Germany and Spain, have developed a plan to start a joint one-year masters programme in multimedia research.
Due to the success of the first project, as well as a proven need for continuation of research on media innovation, the MUDIA team has decided to propose an Integrated Project (IP) under the Sixth Framework Programme. 'There has been massive positive response to this initiative, and concrete steps to create the carrying consortium have been made already,' revealed the MUDIA team.
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