Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

The Spatial Organization of the News Industry: Questioning Assumptions about Knowledge Externalities for Clustering of Creative Industries

Academic journal article Innovation: Organization & Management

The Spatial Organization of the News Industry: Questioning Assumptions about Knowledge Externalities for Clustering of Creative Industries

Article excerpt

INTRODUCTION

As an explicit commercial activity creative industries have lived a neglected life in social science, and for decades politicians mainly considered creative industries to be a costly activity related to people's spare time. Today creative industries - not as fine arts but as commercial products - dominate the political agenda in the developed world and are considered the 'new' source of wealth and prosperity. Economic geographers have also 'adopted' the creative industries and are increasingly starting to unpack what determines their spatial organization. Hence, recent years have seen a surge of research on this topic. (Storper & Christopherson 1987; Scott 1999, 2000, 2002, 2004; Pratt 2002a,b; Florida 2002; Grabher 2001, 2002a,b,c, 2004; Coe 2000, 2001; Power 2002; Power & Hallencreutz 2005; Power & Scott 2004; Bathelt 2002, 2005; Gibson & Klocker 2004). As is the case within economic geography in general, this literature has highlighted clusters or clustering processes as central drivers in explaining the development, growth and competitiveness of creative industries. This literature mainly emphasizes the importance of knowledge externalities for explaining the spatial organization. The importance ascribed to localized knowledge externalities for understanding the spatial organization of industries (i.e. clustering) is increasingly being exposed to critical theoretical and empirical scrutiny in studies focusing on manufacturing (Malmberg & Power 2005, Malmberg & Maskell 2006). This research, however, has not yet spilled over into studies of creative industries apart from in novel exceptions (see Power & Hallencreutz 2002, Pratt 2004a, Norcliffe & Rendace 2003). This paper is concerned with reducing this omission by making an empirically based assessment of the importance of respectively knowledge internalities and externalities for the spatial organization of the news industry. This paper thus questions some of the central insights in this stream of literature; concerning the knowledge externalities special attention is paid to the specificities normally considered to be of pivotal importance, namely the role of big cities, buzz and projects.

Creative industries consist of those sectors that serve consumer demands for amusement, ornamentation, social display, info-tainment, and so forth (Scott 1999, Caves 2000). The industries include production of theater, newspapers, film, music, toys and games, and similar industries (Caves 2000, Scott 2000 1999, Pratt 2004a). Good reasons exist as to why the commercial aspects of creative industries receive an increasing amount of attention. Most other studies guess that those working in the creative industries constitute between 5-10% of the work force (Pratt 2004a). Additionally, the creative industries are increasing its economic importance (Scott 2000).

This paper argues that there is a need to pay attention to creative industries displaying other organizational features or contrasts, as they are called by Laudan (1977), compared to those that have dominated the research until now. Since '... most scientific activity means solving the puzzles implied by those contrasts (Foss & Pedersen 2004). The news industry's locational patterns provide clear contrasts to the findings dominating most of the studies on the clustering of creative industries and are determined by a need for physical proximity to specific events and political organizations and production is based on a non-project organizational form (Vang & Nielsen 2006). Thus, the aim of this paper is to identify and analyze the locational pattern of the news industry and explain how these contrasts with findings for other creative industries, and use these contrasts to ignite a more general discussion on the importance of respectively knowledge externalities and internalities for understanding the spatial organization of the creative industries. The findings suggest that the organization features and locational patterns identified in previous studies mainly reflect the spatial organization (i. …

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