Boundaries of distance. Local media relevance for citizens: Measuring consumption, digital extensions and information levels

Fábio Ribeiro, Luís Bonixe

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Local media are decisive for communities in the context of a global culture. In Portugal, communicating for a more geographically restricted area deals with permanent hazards, especially in the journalistic scope, from both structural and organizational points of view. Arguably weakened and lacking from institutional support, Portuguese local media, ranging from printed media, radio, and television to online broadcasts, still thrive on uncertainty. Also, from an academic point view, little is known about the audiences’ perceptions towards these local media. In doing so, this article presents the data collected from an online survey of 139 consumers of local media, thus concluding: traditional media (printed and FM) are still the most consumed formats, compared to the online scope; the COVID-19 pandemic was not decisive to increase local media consumption habits; seeking for information is the fundamental reason to follow local media; participants understand that websites and Facebook, mainly, are the most dynamic digital spaces that local media foster, thus giving them a very good evaluation; half of the sample have already interacted with broadcasters, especially to suggest ideas for journalistic approaches; in a global perspective, participants are pleased with the news coverage of local media towards local matters. Future research should implement complementary scientific approaches, based on in-depth perspectives to fully understand motivations to engage with local media and other social representations towards these mass media.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere202115
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalOnline Journal of Communication and Media Technologies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


  • Audiences
  • Consumption
  • Digital
  • Information
  • Local media
  • Relevance


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