Online local news and Pure players : a new relation to the public ?


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Presentation at the International Conference "Online Journalism & Its Publics", Brussels, 5-6 December 2013. Written with Franck Bousquet and Emmanuel Marty.

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Online local news and Pure players : a new relation to the public ?

  1. 1. Online journalism and its publics International and interdisciplinary conference : December 4-6, 2013, Brussels ONLINE LOCAL NEWS AND PURE PLAYERS : A NEW RELATION TO THE PUBLIC ? Franck BOUSQUET, Lerass, Université Toulouse 3 Emmanuel MARTY, I3M, Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis Nikos SMYRNAIOS, Lerass, Université Toulouse 3
  2. 2. Theoretical framework • Internet and territory issues (Demers 2001) • Local news and local journalists, a particular relation to the public based on proximity (Ringoot, Rochard, 2005) • National pure players: an editorial model based on sociological closeness (Granjon & Le Foulgoc, 2010) •  Where do local pure players stand towards those models in their relation to audiences?
  3. 3. Theoretical framework • Local print press and proximity: - Territory as a space defined by political and economical links between individuals (Boure, Lefebvre, 2000) - Local journalist as a citizen of his territory (Ringoot, Rochard, 2005 ; Bousquet, 2014) - Local news as a mediation between local politicians and inhabitants - Local press in monopolistic position
  4. 4. Theoretical framework • Local pure players and the model of closeness - Marginal actors in online news landscape, niche market (Estienne, 2007 ; Bruno & Nielsen, 2012) - Educated and demanding audiences, interested in politics (Comby et al., 2011) - Sociologically homogeneous audiences, active in social networks, similar to digital journalists - Audiences more likely to engage in debates with other internet users and with journalists (Aubert, 2009; Smyrnaios, 2013)
  5. 5. Website sample - Mars Actu (Marseille, South East of France) Created in 2009, staff of 6, 200000 visitors per month Focus on local politics, analysis - Chez Albert (Marseille, South East of France) Created in 2011, staff of 2, 3000-6000 visitors per month Slow information and serial news - Carré d’Info (Toulouse, South West of France) Created in 2011, staff of 3 + freelance, Original reporting and under-treated issues of local media agenda - Libé Toulouse (Toulouse, South West of France) Created in 2007, staff of 1 + 2 freelance, First affiliated to the daily Libération, closed since April 2013
  6. 6. Methodology • Semi-directive interviews with journalists/news editors of the websites on 3 aspects: - Participatory processes: comments management, attention to contributors, use of social platforms, sollicitations of audiences - Representation of the audience: social construction of audience identity, territorial and geographical factors - Positioning in local landscape: physical location, relations to politicians and other local medias
  7. 7. Participatory processes Mars Actu Comments Chez Albert (relatively) less large and interaction active community Carré d’Info Libé Toulouse less interaction (relatively) large and active community Social platforms Strong presence and trafic source Strong presence and trafic source Strong presence and trafic source Lower presence and trafic source Sollicitations of audiences Through platforms and live blogging Through platforms Through platforms Through platforms
  8. 8. Representation of the audience Mars Actu Audience Metropolitan identity Involved in politics Territorial factors relevance Sociological factors City center  strong Chez Albert Carré d’Info Libé Toulouse Journalist oriented Metropolitan Interested in societal issues Metropolitan Involved in politics Less salient City center  strong National stakes of local events  weak Mutual interest between authors and audiences Average similarity with authors Strong Strong similarity with similarity authors with authors
  9. 9. Positioning in local landscape Mars Actu Chez Albert Carré d’Info Libé Toulouse Location City center City center City center City center Relations to politicians Reputed Sollicitation Opposition Known Known Low recognitio n Known Low recognition Relations to other medias Reputed Tensions with local print newspaper Reputed Strong integration to local media landscape Appart from local media landscape Appart from local media landscape
  10. 10. Conclusion Partial renewal of journalists/audiences relations : Real but still limited participative processes in news building. Developping online and offline spaces for interaction Strong urban identity of news websites and audiences (VS rural identity of local print newspapers) geographical proximity with sociological component Strong sociological closeness: high education, young adults, interest towards politics Developping local integration in media and political environment  Renewing and developping relations to audiences neglected by local print newspapers