The main objective of this project is to identify, understand and prospect the changing role of information and communication providers and users in a networked society. To this end, it aims at mapping the most important drivers of change affecting the Flemish e-publishing sector. In order to do this, 5 interrelated research objectives are identified:
* Mapping the development of the professional e-publishing sector in Flanders, identifying actors and analysing their range of (un)successful products, services and killer applications, their strategies adopted and the business models used.
* Identifying the changes affecting the labour force within this e-publishing sector, concentrating on the role, function and work division of the journalist as an individual and as being part of a larger editorial and managerial institution.
* Understanding user behaviour towards and user response on new online products and services, paying attention to the user as producer of content as well.
* Highlighting the most important legal issues affecting the e-publishing sector in the field of copyright and liability (and if occurring, in other legal fields like privacy and data protection).
* Translating, in an interdisciplinary manner, the results of the research in recommendations for policy formulation and regulation in terms of legal, technical, economic, pedagogical and social issues, and in recommendations for the sector in terms of business models.
At the moment very little in-depth research on the e-publishing sector in Flanders has been conducted. By bringing together key partners on ICT, media(use) and journalism research in Flanders, ranging from social scientists over economist to lawyers, supplemented with an international research centre active in the field, this project forms the basis of a knowledge pool on e-publishing in Flanders. The Flemish region is endowed with a rich and vibrant publishing and audiovisual industry securing cultural identity and diversity of opinion. Making the Flemish population interactive by providing different e-services (e-government, e-health, e-learning...) has also been one of the main objectives of the Flemish government. Flanders unique position in terms of broadband networks can provide the e-publishing sector with possibilities to develop towards innovative e-publishing. Sound fundamental research on the evolutions in the e-publishing sector and on the drivers changing the industry is an absolute necessity to inform policy and business to take strategic decisions.