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Bottom-up hyperlocal media in Belgium: Facebook-groups as collaborative neighborhood awareness systems

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Abstract
Hyperlocal media are typically considered as organized entities, deliberately set up with a journalistic purpose. However, recently we see the emergence of bottom-up, unstructured, loosely organized and little monitored Facebook-groups that bring together residents and information concerning a specific locality. In these groups, people share information and news related to the neighborhood, announce and promote events, or report neighborhood problems. Notwithstanding the obvious organizational differences between hyperlocal media and local Facebook-groups, this observation raises the question to what extent these bottom-up online environments show characteristics and have consequences that are similar to hyperlocal media operations. Using a mixed method design and informed by Communication Infrastructure Theory and the concepts ambient and affective social news stream, we studied six Facebook-groups situated in Ghent, a densely populated city in the northern part of Belgium. We found that the Facebook-groups are similar to hyperlocal media in terms of circulating local information, engendering local attachment and civic engagement, yet without conforming to journalistic norms nor its members considering themselves as local journalists.
Keywords
Hyperlocal media, Online neighborhood networks, Community awareness

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Citation

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MLA
De Meulenaere, Jonas, et al. “Bottom-up Hyperlocal Media in Belgium: Facebook-Groups as Collaborative Neighborhood Awareness Systems.” The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism, edited by Agnes Gulyas and David Baines, Routledge, 2020, pp. 398–407.
APA
De Meulenaere, J., Courtois, C., & Ponnet, K. (2020). Bottom-up hyperlocal media in Belgium: Facebook-groups as collaborative neighborhood awareness systems. In A. Gulyas & D. Baines (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism (pp. 398–407). Routledge.
Chicago author-date
De Meulenaere, Jonas, Cédric Courtois, and Koen Ponnet. 2020. “Bottom-up Hyperlocal Media in Belgium: Facebook-Groups as Collaborative Neighborhood Awareness Systems.” In The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism, edited by Agnes Gulyas and David Baines, 398–407. Routledge.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
De Meulenaere, Jonas, Cédric Courtois, and Koen Ponnet. 2020. “Bottom-up Hyperlocal Media in Belgium: Facebook-Groups as Collaborative Neighborhood Awareness Systems.” In The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism, ed by. Agnes Gulyas and David Baines, 398–407. Routledge.
Vancouver
1.
De Meulenaere J, Courtois C, Ponnet K. Bottom-up hyperlocal media in Belgium: Facebook-groups as collaborative neighborhood awareness systems. In: Gulyas A, Baines D, editors. The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism. Routledge; 2020. p. 398–407.
IEEE
[1]
J. De Meulenaere, C. Courtois, and K. Ponnet, “Bottom-up hyperlocal media in Belgium: Facebook-groups as collaborative neighborhood awareness systems,” in The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism, A. Gulyas and D. Baines, Eds. Routledge, 2020, pp. 398–407.
@incollection{8625438,
  abstract     = {Hyperlocal media are typically considered as organized entities, deliberately set up with a journalistic purpose. However, recently we see the emergence of bottom-up, unstructured, loosely organized and little monitored Facebook-groups that bring together residents and information concerning a specific locality. In these groups, people share information and news related to the neighborhood, announce and promote events, or report neighborhood problems. Notwithstanding the obvious organizational differences between hyperlocal media and local Facebook-groups, this observation raises the question to what extent these bottom-up online environments show characteristics and have consequences that are similar to hyperlocal media operations. Using a mixed method design and informed by Communication Infrastructure Theory and the concepts ambient and affective social news stream, we studied six Facebook-groups situated in Ghent, a densely populated city in the northern part of Belgium. We found that the Facebook-groups are similar to hyperlocal media in terms of circulating local information, engendering local attachment and civic engagement, yet without conforming to journalistic norms nor its members considering themselves as local journalists.},
  author       = {De Meulenaere, Jonas and Courtois, Cédric and Ponnet, Koen},
  booktitle    = {The Routledge Companion to Local Media and Journalism},
  editor       = {Gulyas, Agnes and Baines, David},
  keywords     = {Hyperlocal media,Online neighborhood networks,Community awareness},
  language     = {und},
  pages        = {398--407},
  publisher    = {Routledge},
  title        = {Bottom-up hyperlocal media in Belgium: Facebook-groups as collaborative neighborhood awareness systems},
  year         = {2020},
}