Rethinking Access in a Polymedia Environment: From Platforms to Services

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The concept of access has traditionally been defined as a binary distinction between those who have access to the internet and those who do not. However, this oversimplifying definition does not accurately describe the present technological and social changes. Hence, distancing from this dichotomy, we move from a focus on technology affordances to the concept of polymedia to offer an alternative understanding of the concept.
On the basis of a broad research project propelled in Belgium, one of the main findings suggests that having access ceases to be solely about the platforms to encompass the possibility of accessing the services needed to achieve specific purposes. Therefore, we argue that 1) motivational access is not only about attitudes; 2) individuals’ needs should be at the forefront of digital agendas; 3) we introduce the concept of digital fluidity as a metaskill for autonomous use.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages28
JournalEuropean Journal of Communication
Publication statusSubmitted - 17 Feb 2019


  • Digital exclusion
  • Polymedia
  • Access
  • Digital divide
  • digital inequalities


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