The Project

Many authors recognized in the last decade that the media industry is characterized from a geographical point of view by a heavy concentration to a limited number of large cities. The common assumption about media clusters is that locating related actors inside a regional agglomeration brings advantages for these media firms and clustering of media organisations is beneficial for the economic development of the region.

Where clustering of media industry takes place and how the media industry profits are, of course, critical questions and many scholars have been trying to develop suiting frameworks and analyse specialized media clusters. Against this background rises the question of what media sector clustering looks like today in the ‘capital of Europe’, Brussels.

In order to analyse this question, the models frequently used to analyse the media clusters will be supplemented and partially modified by quantitative and qualitative analysis while related cases of media clustering around the world can guide the development. We add to current frameworks the idea that the value created by the media industry is not only dependent on the location of media organisations but will also be dependent of other variables relating to amongst others the structure and dynamics of the media organisations, the skills and mobility of the workforce, the presence of actors working in different parts of the media value chain, and the connectedness and possibilities of collaboration (through (digital) platforms and networks) of media actors at both inter-organisational and inter-individual levels. This will lead to a new mapping methodology of the media industry in Brussels, which can be a future reference framework also beyond this research project. This new framework builds on three different methodologies and theoretical perspectives, which we identified in three levels:

DCF 1.0
Media organisations

On the organisations level, the framework suggests to look at the media cluster from a macro level. The factors to look at are the characteristics as well as the value chains and cluster logic.

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media workers
Media workers

The level of analysis of Brussels’ media workers and their profiles, skills and identity will draw from research of the sociology of media professions.

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 communitiesCommunities of practice

The communities of practice level analysis allows to consider the (more or less) infromal inter-individual relations and interactions through which people as communities of practice develop and share knowledge, competences and innovation.

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