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Salamosa: Examining a Small-Market Newspaper Covering a Local Crisis

Author(s): Mark L. Finney

Journal: Online Journal of Rural Research & Policy
ISSN 1936-0487

Volume: 5;
Issue: 6;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: Crisis Coverage | Small-Market Newspaper | News Framing | Content Analysis | Command Post Point of View | Salmonella | Newsworthiness

This paper explores crisis coverage in local, small-market newspapers. Comparing relevant theory with the practice of journalism in Alamosa, CO's Valley Courier, this content analysis suggests close relationships between media, government and business in small communities, contributing to coverage that veers away from journalism's best practices. The result is coverage that overlooks potentially important information about the crisis' causes and eschews journalism's watchdog and investigative responsibilities, while offering local elite sources significant degrees of power over the shape of the coverage. As national news coverage contracts, situations like this rise in prominence.
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