Building Capacity: The Role of Rural Traditional Media and the New Rural Economy

Anna Woodrow, Bill Reimer


Using content analysis, this research focused on how three Canadian rural community newspapers over eighteen years, from different regions, communicated content about the shift from the old economy to the new economy during the period of neo-liberal policy adoption and the growth of globalization. We learned that local news coverage in the three rural communities, although present, provided superficial coverage of the changes that were occurring during the years of study. Therefore, the information that could have generated enough information to help address priorities for the community was mostly absent. The data demonstrated that while newspapers can act both as an asset or a liability and can increase capacity and Entrepreneurial Social Infrastructure (ESI), they are being underutilized.

Keywords: capacity, community mobilization, community newspapers, new rural economy, rural change

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.