Understanding the relationship people in their early adulthood have to small-town news and paywalls
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionJournalism. 2020, Volume: 21, issue: 4, pages: 507-523 10.1177/1464884919886436
Within the context of a high-choice, digital media environment, this study explores how people in their early adulthood perceive the value of news from the small town where they reside and their attitude towards paying for it. Based on qualitative data from in-depth interviews and a media landscape sorting exercise, the study demonstrates how those willing and unwilling to pay differ in terms of lived and anticipated value experiences with small-town newspapers. The study posits that there is a misalignment, for them personally and for the local community, with regard to their perception of small-town news media’s value. What might not be important for them as individuals is nonetheless experienced as important for the society they live in. The study expands on studies of perceived worthwhileness of news media in a small-town context and introduces the concept of societal worthwhileness to encompass media users’ incorporation of collective interests in their value assessment of news media.