AbstractDeclining legacy media seriously affects local journalism in Sweden. Since 2004, nearly every second local office for local newspapers has been closed, and local coverage is diminishing. In a parallel development, new types of hyperlocal media are growing, according to a national mapping of local media ecologies. The study presented here is based on two surveys: one of local municipalities and one of independent hyperlocals. The key question is: are hyperlocals filling the gap? In many cases, the motivation behind new hyperlocal media has been discontent with declining media coverage from legacy media. In general, however, the pattern is more complicated; most hyperlocals grow in places where legacy media is also present. The main conclusion is that hyperlocals are only partly filling the gaps from declining legacy media, while parts of Sweden are becoming “news deserts.” Another important result is that hyperlocals are developing both in print and online, often in combination, to create a sustainable business model.
Nordicom Review – de Gruyter
Published: May 1, 2018
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