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British community journalism's response to the COVID-19 pandemic

Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin ORCID:, Garcia-Blanco, Iñaki and Boelle, Julia 2021. British community journalism's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reappraising Local and Community News in the UK, Taylor and Francis Group, pp. 42-55. (10.4324/9781003173144-4)

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The coronavirus pandemic has posed a range of unprecedented challenges for community journalism outlets, as the sector was hit with existential threat due to the economic impact of the pandemic and the logical challenges of reporting in a health emergency. Based on interviews with 57 community journalists in the UK and an online survey (n = 116), this chapter focuses on how community journalists adapted their professional practices and their roles in the community during the coronavirus lockdown. The closure of non-essential businesses led to a drop in local advertising revenues, while lockdown made the distribution of print newspapers more difficult or impossible. Although many outlets saw an increase in online audience figures, those that publish print editions were faced with logistical challenges that often halted publication or required dramatic shifts in practices. At the same time, many outlets changed the focus of their coverage, sharing positive stories about community initiatives and offering community-based solutions to citizens in need. The pandemic represented a profound rupture across all elements of journalistic practice, from reporting, to printing and distribution. However, community journalism outlets, because of their small size and agility, were able to adapt to the challenges and, in many cases, emerged stronger as a result.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Journalism, Media and Culture
Publisher: Taylor and Francis Group
ISBN: 9781003173144
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2022 10:12

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