#callfor Social Media’s Role in Political and Societal Mobilization (Media and Communication)

Date(s) - 15/09/2022
Todo el día

Media and Communication


+ info: Media and Communication

Scholarly interests in “news deserts”—places and/or spaces without news—have increased in recent years, often focusing on and driven by the decline of local newspapers in the digital era. The perception is that more communities have little or diminished access to news relevant to them because of the changes related to the production, distribution, economics, and consumption of local news. This is a concern as news deserts are judged to lead to a decline in local democracy and undermine cohesion, civic engagement, and the quality of life for that community. However, definitions, interpretations, and terminology vary in the literature about the phenomenon, and so do the approaches and methodologies adopted to study it. This thematic issue aims to bring together the latest in empirical research on news deserts in different international settings. It will also contribute to our understanding of the concept and examining “news desert” in a broader sense beyond local newspapers considering places and spaces without news more widely, such as in larger news ecosystems and in relation to different media forms.

We invite scholars to explore theoretically, conceptually, and empirically news deserts. Both single-country and comparative research are welcome, as well as both theoretical and empirical manuscripts. The latter may involve quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods approaches. The issue particularly welcomes cross-national comparative analyses and non-Western and Global South perspectives. Lines of inquiry can include, but are not limited to:

  • Definitions and interpretations of news deserts.
  • Key features and patterns of news deserts.
  • Communities living in news deserts.
  • Disadvantaged communities and news deserts.
  • News deserts in historical perspectives.
  • Methodological approaches to studying news deserts.
  • Analyses of interventions to address news deserts.