Progress in technology has enabled new and innovative ways to produce and apply media content for information and entertainment purposes. Acceptance and dissemination rate of new distribution channels are essentially determined by contents. At the same time, these new distribution channels and the choice of information being accessible individually, continuously and at many places, determine what contents are produced. This is equally true for new media contents and for contents produced for traditional mass media.
Communicators and recipients play a much more direct and emancipated role in production and distribution of media content today. They use media differently than they did a decade ago. It seems that the fields of information and entertainment are presently changing in general. Classical fields such as political communication and news production are affected. In educational and organizational contexts the computer and the Internet profoundly changed communication structures (teaching and instruction online; e-leadership). Regarding entertainment, standardized, and increasingly individually customizable contents promise long term success. They are decodable against the background of multidimensional entertainment concepts.
The new trends have left their marks. The analyses and case studies in this volume reflect these changes. Communication researchers from all over Europe, the U.S.A., and Asia present results, interpretations and perspectives on the European and the international media market.