By: David Baines; Lecturer in Journalism at the School of Arts and Cultures at Newcastle University.
Abstract: A growing body of research interrogates the implementation of communication infrastructures suchas broadband connectivity in rural areas, but little has been undertaken into the potential for collaborative production of ‘local news’ to generate Habermasian public spheres supportive ofsustainability. European and US media organisations are developing such ‘hyper-local news sites’ toserve small rural and urban communities. This paper is based on a case study of a rural hyper-local project launched by a major regional media company in England’s most sparsely-populated county, Northumberland, to help establish ‘more sustainable communities, where people want to live andwork’. Such sites are usually conceived of as ‘town criers’ but being web-based, they position communities both locally and globally, a process which has been conceptualised as ‘glocalization’. The article is informed by theoretical understandings of communicative spaces and places,monitorial citizenship and ‘liquid life’ and journalism developed by Jurgen Habermas, Michael Schudson, Zygmunt Bauman, Mark Deuze and Manuel Castells.
Key words: community sustainability; glocalization; hyper-local journalism; local media; public sphere; rural media; sustainable communities
Note: PDF version of this paper seems to be inaccessible. Here’s the cached version (might not live forever though…)