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Charting the media innovations landscape for regional and rural newspapers

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This article charts a scholarly framework for understanding media innovation in Australia’s non-metropolitan news environments. We adopt a geo-social methodology to explore strategies for the betterment of small country newspapers and the societies they serve in the digital era. In doing so, we do not discount the importance of digitization, but contend that a narrow ‘digital first’ focus is eclipsing other important aspects of local news and generating blind spots around existing and evolving power relationships that might impede or foster innovation. We advocate for a six-dimensional approach to shaping innovation for rural news organizations ‐ one that is relational because it foregrounds the connections between digital, social, cultural, political, economic and environmental concerns. Here, the central question is not how country newsrooms can innovate in the interests of their own viability but rather how they can build resilience and relevance in the interests of the populations and environments that sustain them.

Keywords: business models; local journalism; local news; media innovation; news sustainability; public interest journalism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: 0000000105267079Deakin University 2: 0000000121633550RMIT University

Publication date: June 1, 2020

More about this publication?
  • Australian Journalism Review publishes articles on a broad range of perspectives relating to journalism research, practice and education. Its emphasis is on original theoretical, empirical and applied research, but it also provides opportunities to canvass perspectives on current debates on research, practice and education through commentary pieces on specific topics.

    This double-blind peer-reviewed journal is published twice annually, with the second edition each year focused primarily on a theme and supplemented by a small selection of broader-ranging papers.

    Prospective guest editor submissions on themes for future editions are always welcome. While many of Australian Journalism Review's submitting authors are based within the Australia-Pacific region, the journal welcomes scholarship from around the world and extending into broader media and communication topics of relevance to journalism.

    The journal incorporates a regular section highlighting the work of early career researchers, particularly current or recent higher degree by research students, as well as book reviews focusing on recent additions to the journalism, media and communications publishing landscape.

    AJR is the journal of the Journalism Education and Research Association of Australia.

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