Media processes for content production : Studies of structures and climate impacts

Abstract: The business environment in which media companies exist today is rapidly changing. Many media companies are in the process of positioning themselves to this ongoing change and to finding their place in the new media landscape. A process of change creates an opportunity to optimize work processes on different levels. In order to meet these opportunities, as well as being proactive when it comes to environmental performance, we need to understand the current structures of media companies, for example when it comes to work processes.The aim of this study is to identify and analyze the process structures and the potential climate impact of the content production of three different media companies in Sweden: a local newspaper, a monthly magazine and a local television station. The overall research questions of this thesis are:• What are the major editorial processes at media companies and how can the workflows be visualized, in order for us to discover how the processes can be optimized and how this in turn may affect the environmental impact?• How are the results of the process analysis related to a general assessment of the carbon footprint of the content production, in order for us to identify the major reasons for this potential climate change impact and opportunities for change?The research methods used were semi-structured interviews and carbon footprint assessment. The research results suggest that in general terms, newspapers and magazines spend a considerable amount of working time producing content, and content production is the single most important reason for travelling at the three media companies studied. Travel is also done by management to a high degree in all three case studies, mostly to different kinds of business meetings. Planning is another work activity that takes up a considerable amount of time when looking at the total time spent at work. Computers are to a high degree used when planning, but more advanced computer programmes or tools could be recommended to expand the planning possibilities further, thereby saving time and money for the media company.The results of the life cycle assessments indicate that the major reasons for potential climate change impact are travel – both work-related business travel and trips to and from work – electronic equipment, and electricity use. The research results suggest that in order to reduce potential environmental impact from travel, media management should look into technical solutions for meetings at a distance, car-pooling or increasing the use of public transportation. Furthermore, new technical solutions have a potential to lower the costs of the content production processes and streamline work processes in general. With a conscious effort by management, new technology could also be beneficial for the overall environmental impact of the media company. The media companies could for example consider the environmental performance to a higher degree when buying new electronic devices, such as computers. Finally, the media companies could look over their electricity use and make an attempt to reduce their electricity use, as well as making active choices for environmentally friendly alternatives when choosing electricity supplier.