Discourses of Enterprise in Hyperlocal Community News in the UK

Dave Harte, Jerome Turner, Andy Williams
2016 Journalism Practice  
In recent years, a new wave of hyperlocal community news websites has developed in the United Kingdom (UK), with many taking advantage of new opportunities provided by free open-source publishing platforms. Given the trend in the UK newspaper industry towards closure and retrenchment of their local and regional press titles, it is perhaps understandable that policy-makers have shifted their gaze to these sites. This article examines the viability of hyperlocal news services with a particular
more » ... ith a particular focus on those that are independently owned and managed. Such operations often have a longevity that sits in contrast to a number of failed attempts by major media organisations to operate in the hyperlocal space. Yet many of the business models that underpin these sites seem precarious, often benefiting from a degree of self-exploitation. Drawing on 35 interviews with hyperlocal news publishers from across the UK, this article argues that publishers draw upon a civic discourse in order to make sense of their practice. This framing may limit the potential to develop economic sustainability and risks alienating policy-makers keen to work with an idealised "fictive" hyperlocal entrepreneur.
doi:10.1080/17512786.2015.1123109 fatcat:rwoclka5wrdytcgnro7rkf3m5u