Community and hyperlocal journalism: A ‘sustainable’ model?

Kristy Hess, Lisa Waller

Research output: A Conference proceeding or a Chapter in BookOther chapter contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


In the journalistic ‘field,’ very local news is like a wild pasture-metaphorically speaking. It grows organically, but can be cultivated in certain conditions and harvested for profit. Its diversity and social importance make it a key part of the wider ecology of news (Phillips, 2015). However, across the globe, traditional media companies with interests in this patch are slashing and burning-cutting costs, centralizing production, or even closing down operations. Small start-up news providers are popping up like field mushrooms in their place, wherever conditions seem fertile. And there are also ‘hyperlocal’ and ‘community’ publications more interested in local news subsistence than in making money. This chapter outlines the broad set of economic approaches that have been applied to support community, hyperlocal, and local news and their benefits given the technical, industrial, and cultural changes taking place in the field. We argue the keys to a sustainable future are embracing their diversity and cultivating their ʼniche’: localness.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Companion to Digital Journalism Studies
EditorsBob Franklin, Scott A. Eldridge
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781317499077
ISBN (Print)9781138887961
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes


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