Covering Regional Blind Spots

Commentary journalism in the regional public sphere

Open access

Abstract

A significant trend within journalism is the growth of the commentary genre. Another trend is the regional withdrawal within news journalism. News media are closing down district offices, which raises concerns over media shadows and blind spots in coverage. This article addresses both of these trends through a case analysis of the Norwegian newspaper Nordlys. Launching its commentary innovation Nordnorsk debatt, Nordlys aims to exceed its geographical area within these columns, facilitating a regional public sphere in the Arctic region. The article discusses the role of opinion-based journalism in the regional public sphere, within the theoretical perspective of media ecology and institutional theory. We argue that covering the regional level in society is a vital part of journalism’s institutional role. In addition, from an ecological perspective, the role of being a regional voice is important in the national public sphere.

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Nordicom Review

Journal from the Nordic Information Centre for Media and Communication Research (Nordicom)

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CiteScore 2018: 0.54

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