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Local democracy and the media: Can hyperlocals fill the gap?
Mid Sweden University, Faculty of Science, Technology and Media, Department of Media and Communication Science. (DEMICOM)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8591-5108
2019 (English)In: Nordicom Review, ISSN 1403-1108, E-ISSN 2001-5119, Vol. 40, no 2, p. 69-83Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Local news media in Western countries are undergoing major changes, including cutbacks, centralisation and consolidation. In this study, Sweden has been scanned to map the pres- ence of digital hyperlocal media and to investigate which online channels of communication they offer their readers, in order to determine their set-up for democratic functions. The results reveal that very few hyperlocals are positioned in rural areas; instead, the major- ity of them favour metropolitan or urban municipalities. The hyperlocal media presence on social networks is limited to a few platforms, and about half of the hyperlocals offer commentary fields on their news sites. As the democratic structure varies, coupled with the fact that hyperlocals favour high-density population municipalities where traditional media already exist, this study indicates that the democracy dialogue in the local public sphere may be at risk.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 40, no 2, p. 69-83
Keywords [en]
hyperlocal media, democracy, digital journalism, Sweden, social media
National Category
Media and Communications
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:miun:diva-37499DOI: 10.2478/nor-2019-0027ISI: 000493445800005OAI: oai:DiVA.org:miun-37499DiVA, id: diva2:1359317
Available from: 2019-10-09 Created: 2019-10-09 Last updated: 2019-11-14Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
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