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Community newspapers and social capital: the power to empower

McManamey, R 2007 , 'Community newspapers and social capital: the power to empower' , Sustaining Regions, vol. 6, no. 1 , pp. 70-95 .

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What does a longitudinal study of independent newspapers tell us about sustaining and developing communities? This
article outlines findings from a recently completed research study The Relationship between Community Newspapers and Social Capital: the power to empower (2005). As a longitudinal study from 1910 to 2000, it explored community newspaper content in Tasmania and investigated the timing and establishment of their production. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, and a mixed-method case study, the study explores the number and distribution of community newspapers in Tasmania, the issues presented, and the relationship between community newspapers and social capital. Data were gathered through a content analysis of the community newspapers, as well as semi-structured interviews with newspaper editors/coordinators.
A number of articles discussing specific aspects relating to theoretical and methodological approaches used to
generate the findings within this research have already been published. This article takes the form of a more general overview of the research and as a synopsis discusses the findings relating to the importance of community newspapers as cohesive and developmental structures empowering and sustaining communities.
This article identifies four aspects of the research study: firstly, the issues arising in literature that initially fired the research interest followed by the purpose structure, rationale and outline of the research. Thirdly, study findings are presented in relation to areas of:
• community cohesion, and
• sustainability engender by and through the production, processes and content of community newspapers.

The paper concludes by discussing future possibilities for research and the implications for practice and policy from the research.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McManamey, R
Journal or Publication Title: Sustaining Regions
Publisher: Regional Science Association International Australia and New Zealand Section Inc
ISSN: 1446-2974
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