We are witnessing a dynamic reshaping of the European 'mediascape'. This has been underway for more than a decade since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the growing impact of globalisation, and the birth of new technologies and new media, or the convergence between old and new media. A new and more intense 'mediatisation' of society and everyday life is emerging. This is happening alongside the rapid reconstruction of the cultural and economic landscape of Europe itself. In this transformation the communicative and ideological dimensions, the digitalisation of technology, and changes in culture - 'the imaginary', the discursive universe of politics and communication, are all crucial areas for research. The cultural industries, (film, television, books, magazines, entertainment and music), but also the world of news, actuality, 'infotainment' and the internet, are key areas for the study of what we may begin to understand as a changing European culture in all its complexity and with all its differences and conflicts. The media and the cultural industries are among the fastest growing sectors in the global economy.
Ib Bondebjerg is Professor at the Department of Film and Media Studies, University of Copenhagen, and currently director of The Center for Media and Democracy in the Network Society. Peter Golding is Professor of Sociology and Head of the Department of Social Sciences at Loughborough University in the UK, and is co-director of the University's Communication Research Centre.