Volume 3, Issue 1

The urban information environment in which city magazines operate is changing dramatically, with the decline of local newspapers and the growth of user-generated local content. City magazine editors are re-envisioning their purpose as local information providers. This study provides a qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews with senior editors at 15 award-winning city magazines. The editors’ responses speak to the changing role of their publications today; the function of new technologies in informing local communities; and the public service that local journalism organizations offer in a constrained economic situation. 

The ubiquity of national-level outlets creates the illusion of an abundance of news even as the number of local outlets declines. This study is a report of state and national surveys assessing local news by rural and non-rural residents of Washington state. The findings point to a lack of locally relevant content, not a lack of skills or interest among rural Washingtonians. Implications for rural Washington state citizens’ political knowledge and civic participation are discussed

This research introduces a new measure of social capital for users of online news communities by applying social capital concepts used to measure networks in real-world communities.  “Web-network” social capital measures the strength of ties created online for the benefit of engagement that is non-local.  Using the concept of the “networked individual” as a theoretical tool, this research sampled users of news sites that offered online community forums for comment.  The results show that traditional social capital measures rooted in local community increase both local forms of engagement and engagement in causes that are more national than local.

This exploratory study seeks to ascertain whether community engagement behaviors among residents of Kiowa County, Kansas, and their attitudes about the new community information portal affect their intentions to contribute content. Results indicate that while most residents are engaged and have a favorable view of this citizen journalism project, technology-based communication hubs pose unique challenges beyond civic engagement that creators of information hubs should consider.