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Hyper-local news: A glue to hold rural communities together?


  • David Baines



A growing body of research interrogates the implementation of communication infrastructures such as 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 of sustainability. European and US media organizations are developing such ‘hyper-local news sites’ to serve small rural and urban communities. This article uses 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’. 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 conceptualized 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.

Suggested Citation

  • David Baines, 2012. "Hyper-local news: A glue to hold rural communities together?," Local Economy, London South Bank University, vol. 27(2), pages 152-166, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:loceco:v:27:y:2012:i:2:p:152-166

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