Making the Local News: Local Journalism in Context

Making the Local News: Local Journalism in Context

Making the Local News: Local Journalism in Context

Making the Local News: Local Journalism in Context

Synopsis

The local media - local newspapers and radio, regional television, cable television and local news on the internet - represents a diverse and rapidly-changing sector of the British media landscape. Bringing together media academics, local journalists and other media professionals, this text presents a thorough, up-to-date and authoritative account of recent developments and future prospects for Britain's local newspapers, local media and local journalism. Drawing on current research and relevant literature, the book covers:*key developments in the local media scene*the distinctive editorial format of local newspapers*news sources and other sources available to local journalists*recent developments in media policy*online journalism*ethics and regulations*the impact of new technology.Situating the study within the context of local, national and multi-national media networks, this unique text provides students with a well-written and wide-ranging assessment of all aspects of the local media in the UK and as such, will be a welcome addition to the current literature.

Excerpt

Bob Franklin and David Murphy

Readers will not need to possess the forensic skills of Sherlock Holmes to spot some divergence of views among the contributors to this collection of writings on the local media. This deviation from the Blairite doctrine of rigid uniformity stems from our desire to include the perspectives of academics, critics, public relations specialists, media regulators, government information officers, broadcasters, journalists and editors among whom, as a matter of fact, experiences and perceptions often overlap but do not always coincide. As the biographical vignettes reveal, many of the authors have had careers which combine several of the viewpoints indicated, reinforcing further the pluralism evident throughout the book.

The chapters by ourselves and Andrew Crisell, for instance, indicate that local media are experiencing a bleak present and a worse future. Mike Glover on the other hand suggests that the local press is strong and growing stronger. Ralph Negrine and Rachel Eyre argue that local media will survive so long as they continue to complement each other by providing a combination of national and local news, with leisure and feature articles, while also offering an outlet for local advertising. Rod Pilling adds to the variety by showing that any tendency to compare a grey present with a rosy past is undermined by a careful scrutiny of a journalistic past which derives its hue less from its character than from the bloodshot eyes of oldtimers stooped in nostalgia for printer's ink, hot metal, trips on the office bicycle to meetings with informants and long lunchtimes in the high street pub.

A number of themes arising from various interrelated characteristics must, however, inform any understanding of the local media in their present stage of development. The first is the development of new technology which has substantially changed the face of the local media. From a time in the life of the currently middle-aged when there was only a print-based medium, we have moved via the addition of local radio in the hands of a monopoly and then a duopoly, to the current situation where the range of 'choice' in local media is burgeoning and where local and regional television stand on the brink of massive expansions reflecting the opportunities created by digital and cable technologies. At the same time, changed print

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