Journalism and Mass Communication
The meaning of “local” in TV news is not as straightforward as one might imagine. “Local” newscasts in several U.S. markets are outsourced to an independent company located hundreds of miles from the communities served. What are the implications of such a delivery system for coverage of local issues and the Jeffersonian ideal of an informed citizenry? This study employs a content analysis of outsourced and local newscasts, using a data set of more than 1,000 stories from more than 30 hours of newscasts to determine if differences exist on story topics and source types. Does one type of station cover more public affairs stories than the other? Does one type use more official sources, or more perspective from private individuals? Even with the wide array of news sources currently available, local TV news still ranks as the most widely used information source. How well that source delivers information to local audiences is an important question to ask, particularly when the information may be coming from a great distance.
Hood, L. "Taking the ‘Local’ out of Local News: Implications for an Informed Public." Journalism and Mass Communication 3(9), 2013.
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