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Philadelphia’s news media system: which audiences are underserved?

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-10-03, 12:22 authored by Timothy Neff, Pawel Popiel, Victor Pickard

This study builds a multi-dimensional framework for assessing local media systems to identify potential gaps in news provision, especially among socioeconomically marginalized communities. We gather data on income, education, and age of audiences and coverage areas for 38 news outlets in Philadelphia and conduct a content analysis to gauge how these outlets meet critical information needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Findings indicate that multiple dimensions of Philadelphia’s news media system—audience size and socioeconomics, staffing levels, forms of ownership, and platform effects—work together to underserve communities with lower levels of income and education and that this structural gap generates a measurable gap in the provision of news content meeting the critical information needs of these communities. Policy interventions such as public funding and subsidies can enhance the capacity for Philadelphia news organizations to meet the critical information needs of marginalized communities.

History

Citation

Journal of Communication, Volume 72, Issue 4, August 2022, Pages 476–487

Author affiliation

School of Media, Communication and Sociology,

Version

  • VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Journal of Communication

Volume

72

Issue

4

Pagination

476–487

Publisher

Oxford University Press (OUP)

issn

0021-9916

eissn

1460-2466

Copyright date

2022

Available date

2023-10-03

Language

en

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