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Discourses of enterprise in hyperlocal community news in the UK

Harte, David, Turner, Jerome and Williams, Andrew 2016. Discourses of enterprise in hyperlocal community news in the UK. Journalism Practice 10 (2) , pp. 233-250. 10.1080/17512786.2015.1123109

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Abstract

In recent years a new wave of hyperlocal community news websites has developed in the UK, with many taking advantage of new opportunities provided by free opensource publishing platforms. Given the UK newspaper industry’s trend towards closure and retrenchment of their local and regional press titles, it is perhaps understandable that policy-makers have shifted their gaze to these sites and the role that they “are likely to play in the local media ecosystem” (Ofcom 2012, 111). This paper examines the viability of hyperlocal news services with a particular focus on those that are independently owned and managed. Such operations often have a longevity to them that sits in contrast to a number of failed attempts by major media organisations to operate in the hyperlocal space. Yet many of the business models that underpin these sites seem precarious, often benefitting from a degree of selfexploitation. Drawing on 35 interviews with hyperlocal news publishers from across the UK, this article argues that publishers draw upon a civic discourse in order to make sense of their practice. This framing may limit the potential of the form to develop economic sustainability and risks alienating policy-makers keen to work with an idealised ‘fictive’ hyperlocal entrepreneur.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1990 Broadcasting
Uncontrolled Keywords: hyperlocal; entrepreneurship; journalism; business; citizen journalism; community media
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: November 2015
Last Modified: 13 May 2019 12:45
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/81822

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