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Title: The re-birth of the "beat": A hyperlocal online newsgathering model
Authors: Dick, M
Keywords: Beats;Online journalism;Hyperlocal;Network society;News\-gathering;Theory
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Citation: Journalism Practice, 6(5-6), 754 - 765, 2012
Abstract: Scholars have long lamented the death of the 'beat' in news journalism. Today's journalists generate more copy than they used to, a deluge of PR releases often keeping them in the office, and away from their communities. Consolidation in industry has dislodged some journalists from their local sources. Yet hyperlocal online activity is thriving if journalists have the time and inclination to engage with it. This paper proposes an exploratory, normative schema intended to help local journalists systematically map and monitor their own hyperlocal online communities and contacts, with the aim of re-establishing local news beats online as networks. This model is, in part, technologically-independent. It encompasses proactive and reactive news-gathering and forward planning approaches. A schema is proposed, developed upon suggested news-gathering frameworks from the literature. These experiences were distilled into an iterative, replicable schema for local journalism. This model was then used to map out two real-world 'beats' for local news-gathering. Journalists working within these local beats were invited to trial the models created. It is hoped that this research will empower journalists by improving their information auditing, and could help re-define journalists' relationship with their online audiences.
Description: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Journalism Practice, 6(5-6), 754 - 765, 2012, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at:
ISSN: 1751-2786
Appears in Collections:Media
Dept of Social Sciences Media and Communications Research Papers

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