News Closures, Trust, and Community Attachment among Regional News Audiences: A Case Study of Australia

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Abstract

Local media play a critical role in providing information and opportunities for citizens to participate and feel attached to their local community. In recent years, there has been a decline in local news outlets and the provision of local news, which can impact residents’ sense of community. Findings from an online survey of2,038 Australian regional news audiences conducted in 2019 reveal that local news consumption and engagement with local organisations are positively related to feelings of community attachment. On the other hand, closures of local news outlets have had a negative impact on news audiences’ attachment to their community. Trust was found to play an important mediating role between news consumption, engagement with community organisations, and community attachment. These findings highlight the importance of the provision of local news and information, and audiences’ trust in them, in engendering community attachment. The study provides valuable theoretical and practical implications regarding the impact of news outlet closures on community wellbeing in the absence of credible alternatives
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalJournalism Practice
Early online date10 Sept 2023
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sept 2023

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