Discourses of Enterprise in Hyperlocal Community News in the UK

Harte, David and Turner, Jerome and Williams, Andy (2016) Discourses of Enterprise in Hyperlocal Community News in the UK. Journalism Practice, 10 (2). pp. 233-250. ISSN 1751-2786

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Abstract

In recent years, a new wave of hyperlocal community news websites has developed in the United Kingdom (UK), with many taking advantage of new opportunities provided by free open-source publishing platforms. Given the trend in the UK newspaper industry 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. This article 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 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 benefiting from a degree of self-exploitation. 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 to develop economic sustainability and risks alienating policy-makers keen to work with an idealised “fictive” hyperlocal entrepreneur.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P300 Media studies
P500 Journalism
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Centre for Media and Cultural Research
Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Media
UoA Collections > UoA36: Communication, Cultural and Media Studies, Library and Information Management
Depositing User: Mr David Harte
Date Deposited: 08 Nov 2016 15:35
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2016 15:35
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/794

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