Urban Communication| Researching Local News in a Big City: A Multimethod Approach

Stephen Coleman, Nancy Thumim, Giles Moss


Reflecting on recent research in the United Kingdom, we consider how to investigate the mediation of news in a contemporary city. We put forward the notion of a “media ecology” to capture the relationships between varied news media and practices—from mainstream news media and community media to the everyday circulation of news through local grapevines—and to explore how individuals and groups relate to the city and to one another. We outline the methodological challenges and decisions we faced in mapping such a complex thing as a media ecology and then in seeking to describe how it operates and to explain the difference it makes to the lives of city dwellers. We advocate the use of multiple methods because none could have provided an adequate explanation of the media ecology or the mediation of news in the city on its own.


cities, local news, media ecology, multiple methods

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