Our purpose with this Special Issue is to present and contribute to a body of research that critically explores the relationship between media innovation and social change. In doing so, we also outline the contours of a research agenda to further develop this emerging field. Our motivation arises from a review of research published in the nine previous editions of this journal, where we explored how research about media innovations engaged with the topic of social change. We find that research in the field of media innovations has tended to focus on business and economic imperatives for media innovation, following the paradigm of research on digitalisation introduced by von Hippel’s theories of ‘democratizing innovation’ (2005), Chesbrough’s ‘open innovation’ (2006), or Tapscott and Williams, ‘Wikinomics’ (2011). As a consequence, digitalisation and the introduction of new technologies is usually unquestioningly presented as a business imperative for media industry stakeholders.
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