Hip to be Hyper: The subculture of excessively local news

Kristy Hess, Lisa Waller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Local news is nothing new, but there is an unmistakable hype around its reinvention in the digital age through the hyperlocal phenomena. This article applies the lens of subculture theory to move beyond questions related to who produces hyperlocal news, how to pay for it and its democratic potential, to focus on its social and cultural values and meanings. In doing so, it engages with the normative and political economy approaches that dominate this niche of journalism studies. We argue that a cultural approach can generate much-needed critical perspectives on the significance of what we term “excessively local news” and the future of mainstream journalism in this globalized world. In the process, it challenges media scholars and practitioners who cleave to traditional hierarchies of value about what hyperlocal news is and should be, even at the risk of being unfashionable in the digital age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-210
Number of pages18
JournalDigital Journalism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2016
Externally publishedYes


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