Dave Harte







'Tell it like it is': The role of community not-for-profit media in regeneration and reputational change

Castle Vale is an edge-of-city, 1960s-built, housing estate in Birmingham that has historically suffered from a poor reputation for crime and social problems. A regeneration initiative in the 1990s sought to address this and community media (consisting of a radio station, newspaper and news website) were funded on a not-for-profit basis to help improve the estate's reputation. Whilst much research has focused on the civic value of this type of 'hyperlocal' media, the outputs of the media in Castle Vale have been contested by citizens. This case study, which draws on interviews and workshops undertaken with media practitioners and citizens, reveals the ways in which assumptions about the democratising functions of such media come up against the tensions over representation that exist between readers and producers. The research here forms part of a UK Research Council funded project into the role of local community media as an aspect of 'Creative Citizenship'

Keywords: community, hyperlocal, media, news, regeneration


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Note on the contributor

Dave Harte is a senior lecturer in media and communication at Birmingham City University. He has been researching hyperlocal media in the UK since 2012 and has published widely on the subject. He is co-author of a book on hyperlocal journalism due for publication with Routledge in late 2017. He runs a news website for the Bournville area of Birmingham where he lives and has worked in higher education since the late 1990s in a range of teaching, policy and business engagement roles.