Hyperlocal media

Authored by: Jerome Turner , David Harte

The Routledge Encyclopedia of Citizen Media

Print publication date:  October  2020
Online publication date:  October  2020

Print ISBN: 9781138665569
eBook ISBN: 9781315619811
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315619811-34

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Abstract

The term ‘hyperlocal media’ was used in the context of journalism from 2004 and subsequently defined as ‘online news or content services pertaining to a town, village, single postcode or other small, geographically defined community’ (Radcliffe 2012: 6). With this came a hope that hyperlocal media might ‘fill the gap’ of receding local media, suggesting a certain elitism in use of the term, whereby editor/writers considered themselves part of a specific movement, producing original content and encouraging civic engagement to reinvigorate degenerated local public spheres. Studies of hyperlocal media have demonstrated that such expectations are upheld to an extent. However, as practices increasingly incorporate both broadcast models (blogs) as well as more participatory, networked spaces, hyperlocal media must also be understood in terms of the social and cultural value created for communities of place as chronicler of the everyday. Hyperlocal media is therefore better defined as citizen media rather than citizen journalism, following Baker and Blaagaard’s distinction – for and by the people, not always confined by journalistic standards. This entry therefore explores international studies demonstrating hyperlocal media as platform for mobilizing publics in democratic change, as much as equally significant but more parochial concerns of ‘lost pet’ appeals and local crime stories.

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