Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation
Saving Local News: How 'Value' Can Increase Audience Engagement Public Deposited
This study of audience members and journalists in a local news case study area illustrates a continued and widening “news gap” between the two groups. This particular local news audience searches for and finds more local news and information on targeted social media sites rather than on local news websites. At the same time, there are fewer journalists to do the work, and of ones who remain more say they use social media to find story ideas. Most of the journalists say they face more stress and pressure in their jobs than they ever did before the pandemic. A corresponding local news content analysis highlights the “churnalism” or “press release journalism” happening at an online local news outlet, perhaps illustrating that the remaining local news audience does not value or care about finding verified local news.
This study’s focus group findings and content analysis raises concerns about unverified information found on social media and possibly in the press releases run by one news outlet. Overall, the findings from this local news case study area may have more broad implications for how audiences in the case study area do not seem to value verified information anymore, and how that cse study finding might expanded to show what’s happening to other local news outlets across the country.
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