Journal article

Local democracy and the media : Can hyperlocals fill the gap?


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Research Areas

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Publication Details

Author list: Jangdal, Lottie

Publication year: 2019

Start page: 69

End page: 83

Number of pages: 15

ISSN: 1403-1108


View additional information: View in Web of Science


Local news media in Western countries are undergoing major changes, including cutbacks, centralisation and consolidation. In this study, Sweden has been scanned to map the pres- ence of digital hyperlocal media and to investigate which online channels of communication they offer their readers, in order to determine their set-up for democratic functions. The results reveal that very few hyperlocals are positioned in rural areas; instead, the major- ity of them favour metropolitan or urban municipalities. The hyperlocal media presence on social networks is limited to a few platforms, and about half of the hyperlocals offer commentary fields on their news sites. As the democratic structure varies, coupled with the fact that hyperlocals favour high-density population municipalities where traditional media already exist, this study indicates that the democracy dialogue in the local public sphere may be at risk.


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