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Imagining the city: how local journalism depicts social cohesion


Leupold, Anna; Klinger, Ulrike; Jarren, Otfried (2018). Imagining the city: how local journalism depicts social cohesion. Journalism Studies, 19(7):960-982.

Abstract

In recent years, local journalism as well as social cohesion have faced disruptions and discontinuities. While local journalism is challenged by dwindling readership, media concentration, and economic crisis, social cohesion in cities is dealing with social fragmentation, gentrification, and the increasing inflow of migrants. At the same time, the concepts are interrelated, as perceptions of belonging, identity, or community are heavily mediatized: local media provide the informational backbone of what people know about social life in their city. In our study, we operationalize cohesion as a multidimensional concept and discuss the results from a standardized content analysis of about 1300 articles in seven local newspapers from three German cities. We find remarkably similar images of social cohesion across cities. However, while social cohesion is similarly reported across cities, we found wide variation across newspaper types. Depending on whether readers prefer local newspapers, weekly advertisers or tabloids, they are presented with different images of their local society.

Abstract

In recent years, local journalism as well as social cohesion have faced disruptions and discontinuities. While local journalism is challenged by dwindling readership, media concentration, and economic crisis, social cohesion in cities is dealing with social fragmentation, gentrification, and the increasing inflow of migrants. At the same time, the concepts are interrelated, as perceptions of belonging, identity, or community are heavily mediatized: local media provide the informational backbone of what people know about social life in their city. In our study, we operationalize cohesion as a multidimensional concept and discuss the results from a standardized content analysis of about 1300 articles in seven local newspapers from three German cities. We find remarkably similar images of social cohesion across cities. However, while social cohesion is similarly reported across cities, we found wide variation across newspaper types. Depending on whether readers prefer local newspapers, weekly advertisers or tabloids, they are presented with different images of their local society.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Department of Communication and Media Research
Dewey Decimal Classification:700 Arts
Uncontrolled Keywords:Germany, local journalism, social cohesion, standardized content analysis, urban communication
Language:English
Date:2018
Deposited On:02 Nov 2016 08:34
Last Modified:18 Apr 2018 01:00
Publisher:Taylor & Francis
ISSN:1461-670X
OA Status:Closed
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1080/1461670X.2016.1245111

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