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The Quiet North: The Decline of Localism and Broadband's 'Imaginery Future'

  • Year: 2010
  • Author: Wilson, Jason
  • Journal Name: Communication, Politics & Culture
  • Journal Number: Vol. 43, No. 1
  • Country: Australia
  • State/Region: Queensland

Regional public spheres have undergone a long crisis that predates current anxieties about the 'future of journalism'. Using the example of Townsville, North Queensland, it can be suggested that the decline of mainstream news media has not necessarily been accompanied by the uptake of tools for 'citizen journalism', especially public affairs blogs. Drawing on a range of existing research, it shows how across the press, television, radio and online mainstream news organisations have rationalised, and reduced their commitment to producing local content of all kinds, including news. But we can also see that in places like Townsville, there has been little engagement with the possibilities of online citizen journalism. Reflecting on current policy initiatives including the National Broadband Network the article asks whether technological investment will be enough to address these problems without attending to the absence of creative opportunities for regional citizens, or the importance of intermediary institutions.

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