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A new symbiosis? Opportunities and challenges to hyperlocal journalism in the digital age

journal contribution
posted on 2016-11-01, 00:00 authored by A Carson, D Muller, Jennifer MartinJennifer Martin, M Simons
This article draws on 'hyperlocal' journalism scholarship to explore the civic functions of Australian local reporting in the digital age. Through place-based case studies based on interviews with media and civic leaders from three disparate communities, we find community groups are engaging with social media, particularly Facebook, to connect locals to services and community news. Community service providers are increasingly adept at using social media and, in many cases, prefer it to legacy media to gather, disseminate and exchange news. Concurrently, legacy media have lost newsroom resources that limit their practice of 'shoe leather' journalism and increase their dependence on official sources without independent verification. Yet, journalists are adapting to newsroom cutbacks by forming symbiotic relationships with non-media news providers, including local police. We find there are promising alternatives for fostering civic discourse and engagement through digital technologies despite less traditional local news and a reduced capacity for verified journalism.

History

Journal

Media international Australia

Volume

161

Issue

1

Pagination

132 - 146

Publisher

Sage

Location

London, Eng.

ISSN

1329-878X

eISSN

2200-467X

Language

eng

Publication classification

C Journal article; C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Copyright notice

2016, The Authors

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