Journalism, media studies and some politics | ALL ARTICLES
15 de September de 2023

Local journalism, collaboration and news deserts

The crisis of journalism in the 21st century, the worsening crisis in local journalism, possible solutions and worsening, such as collaboration and news deserts. I presented a lecture and a paper on August 31st and September 4th with the same theme. Local journalism and the eternal discussion of how to get out of the crisis

UFMT – Crise e desertos de notícias

At the invitation of professor Jociene Pedrini, I gave a lecture on regional journalism and news deserts to students of the journalism course at the Federal University of Mato Grosso (UFMT). The online lecture aimed to discuss why local newspapers are among the biggest victims of the transformations in journalism over the last two decades. Furthermore, understand why news deserts have become a hot topic in academia

palestra UFMT jornalismo local
Lecture for UFMT about local journalism

The lecture generated a good debate. UFMT professors and students questioned the quality of existing local newspapers, a sign that it is not enough to just look where there are no newspapers. After all, Brazil is discussing a law that could expand resources for journalism as a whole. But is there quality in this journalism? Is there supervision?

Finally, it was understood that the regulation of social communication in Brazil is necessary, more than that, urgent. This blog will, in October, publish some specific materials on communication regulation. How it works in other countries and what is essential in Brazil.

Glasgow – Collaboration in Santa Catarina journalism

Glasgow Caledonian Univeristy, in Scotland, hosted the conference of MeCCSA, a British association for research in communication, media and culture, on the 4th, 5th and 6th of September. So, on the first day, in a panel on local journalism, I presented the paper “Collaborative Journalism in local media groups“. This one, made in partnership with researcher Magali Moser.

Do local media groups in Santa Catarina work in internal collaboration between their newsrooms? In what way? These were the initial questions for the groups O Município (Brusque, Blumenau, Joinville) and NSC (Santa, AN, Diário). However, NSC closed the three newspapers and unified everything under the NSC Total brand, completely changing the research parameters.

Result: instead of just looking at internal collaboration, we started research into the two groups' strategies for speaking to their audiences: one with several local newspapers and the other with an integrated platform. After all, is having your own, independent newspaper important for the community or is it enough to have journalists, a newsroom, which can be linked to a state-wide portal, to cover that region?

Collaboration and news deserts

Despite initially dealing with more distant topics within local journalism, the lecture and the paper talk a lot about each other. Firstly, it is necessary to discuss regional journalism itself: we cannot consider that a newspaper written for the city of São Paulo and another for a city of 20 thousand people practice the same type of journalism.

Finally, the strategies of the NSC and O Município em Santa Catarina groups, different from each other, seek to increase news coverage in the regions they cover. These are groups with greater investment capacity and, perhaps, will be able to expand and cover places where news coverage is deficient.

The debates continue. From the lecture to UFMT we have an open link to expand the Brazil Portugal exchange in local journalism research. An article will come out of Scotland that discusses strategies for this type of journalism.


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