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Red State, Purple Town: Polarized Communities and Local Journalism in Rural and Small-Town Kentucky

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Abstract:

As the United States grapples with increasingly partisan media and affective polarization, how do cultural and political fault lines filter into residents’ daily lives, and how are they navigated? This case study of a region within a red state uses a communication infrastructure theory framework to examine how this political context affects residents’ relationships with media and their larger community storytelling networks. Through a series of focus groups, story diaries, and interviews with residents and local journalists, it explores whether shared communication resources remain and the potential for creating spaces for dialogue across political and demographic divides. Findings illustrate how residents negotiate interpersonal relationships, community spaces, and local and national media in a polarized communication context. The study highlights the importance of recognizing place-based identities and media representations to facilitate trust in journalism, and points to possible responses for local news and community engagement.
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Association:
Name: ICA's 68th Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.icahdq.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1359043_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Wenzel, Andrea. "Red State, Purple Town: Polarized Communities and Local Journalism in Rural and Small-Town Kentucky" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ICA's 68th Annual Conference, Hilton Prague, Prague, Czech Republic, May 22, 2018 <Not Available>. 2018-10-15 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1359043_index.html>

APA Citation:

Wenzel, A. , 2018-05-22 "Red State, Purple Town: Polarized Communities and Local Journalism in Rural and Small-Town Kentucky" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the ICA's 68th Annual Conference, Hilton Prague, Prague, Czech Republic Online <APPLICATION/PDF>. 2018-10-15 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1359043_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: As the United States grapples with increasingly partisan media and affective polarization, how do cultural and political fault lines filter into residents’ daily lives, and how are they navigated? This case study of a region within a red state uses a communication infrastructure theory framework to examine how this political context affects residents’ relationships with media and their larger community storytelling networks. Through a series of focus groups, story diaries, and interviews with residents and local journalists, it explores whether shared communication resources remain and the potential for creating spaces for dialogue across political and demographic divides. Findings illustrate how residents negotiate interpersonal relationships, community spaces, and local and national media in a polarized communication context. The study highlights the importance of recognizing place-based identities and media representations to facilitate trust in journalism, and points to possible responses for local news and community engagement.


 
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