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Searching for a foothold: The (re)structuring of a new(s) media landscape
Malmö University, Faculty of Technology and Society (TS), Department of Computer Science and Media Technology (DVMT). Malmö University, Internet of Things and People (IOTAP).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1535-6195
Karlstad universitet, Fakulteten för humaniora och samhällsvetenskap Institutionen för geografi, medier och kommunikation Medie- och kommunikationsvetenskap.
2022 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In many countries the news media landscape has changed significantly in recent decades, particularly the locally based media have decreased in number or become more geographically remote. Hyperlocal media – locally based, community- oriented news with a high level of audience-participation possibilities – has been proposed as a potential replacement for established media that are quickly moving away from recognized norms, but have demonstrated a variety of possibilities as well as challenges in terms of structure, resources, and sustainability. Based on an extensive mapping of the Swedish news media landscape, this study traces the consistency and change of legacy and alternative media over the period 2016-2021. The aim is to make sense of the declining stability, the emergence of “news deserts'', and alternative forms of news media, by focusing on the structuring forces behind hyperlocal operations.

The results show a transforming media landscape, with a reduced presence of legacy media, and a variety of hyperlocal news operations; from economically viable, small-scale organizations to idealistic individual projects, based on public, non-profit models. The restructuring of the landscape does not turn out to be so much about growing news deserts, as a thinning of news scrutiny, where legacy and hyperlocal media go in different directions in terms of business strategies: Where legacy media consolidates, the hyperlocals lean on idealism and localism. While the latter sometimes can be described as poor business skills, they can also be viewed as low-risk strategies, enabling trial and error and organic growth. Yet, highly personal and locally anchored rationales behind many hyperlocal initiatives make them challenging from a sustainability perspective. The conclusion is that the transforming media landscape can be described as a form of mutually related restructuring, where established and alternative media coexist in new ways. 

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2022.
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mau:diva-55472OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mau-55472DiVA, id: diva2:1705408
Conference
ECREA 2022 9th European Communication Conference
Available from: 2022-10-22 Created: 2022-10-22 Last updated: 2024-06-11Bibliographically approved

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Leckner, Sara

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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