NEWS | 4 Dec 2017

Call for Papers: Nordicom Review Special Issue

Hyperlocal media in the Nordic region

This special issue of Nordicom Review examines hyperlocal media in the Nordic region in a period of paradigmatic change in society and media that so far has received little scholarly attention. We want to expand existing nascent research on hyperlocal media (Metzgar, Kurpius & Rowley, 2011; Radcliffe, 2012; van Kerkhoven & Bakker  2014) to the Nordic region. Hyperlocal media in this context refers to newer local initiatives on publishing, often being online-based.  The Nordic region has got specific features, such as the combination of commercial media with strong public service media and preparedness to pay for news and journalistic content. Is the combination of hyperlocal media and the Nordic welfare state model different from other contexts and if yes, how?

Examining hyperlocal media is important when discussing the future of journalism, media business and media ecosystem. While the legacy media have struggled financially and cut back on editorial staff, many parts of the world have witnessed the rise of small digital start-ups and citizen or community initiated journalism and information sharing, often hyperlocal in character. On the one hand, local journalism in the Nordic countries is evolving and facing challenges, for instance in places where newsrooms are eliminated or resources for news are decreasing. On the other hand, journalists and activists are actively creating new services that aim at providing news and information as well as platforms for communication to local communities. Research shows that hyperlocal media is a growing phenomenon in the Nordic region but we know little about the functions that it plays, for instance, in sustaining local democracy and civic engagement. This special issue aims to examine these shifts, their causes and impact.

The special issue is approaching the research field both from theoretical as well as inductive reasoning, using a wide variety of methods, both quantitative and qualitative, and theoretical approaches.


Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Functions of hyperlocal media in the Nordic countries
  • The history of Nordic hyperlocal media: from community media to citizen journalism and onwards
  • Case studies of hyperlocal media in the Nordic countries: successes and failures
  • Appearances of hyperlocal journalism and publishing in the Nordic countries – a comparative approach
  • The future of Nordic hyperlocal media        
  • Media ecology and hyperlocal media
  • Contributions to theory: definitions of hyperlocal media
  • Business models for hyperlocal media
  • Hyperlocal media and new technical solutions
  • Emerging forms of hyperlocal media (e.g. social media as hyperlocal media)
  • The contribution of hyperlocal media to local democracy and civic engagement
  • Participatory functions of hyperlocal media: the role of the audience
  • Who produces hyperlocal news, and how do they describe what they do?
  • The space for professional journalism in hyperlocal media
  • What, and who, gets covered in Nordic hyperlocal media?

Guest editors: Jaana Hujanen, Ph. D., Professor and Head of the Journalism Program, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland; Carl-Gustav Lindén (Corresponding editor), Ph. D., University Researcher, Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland.  Katja Lehtisaari, Ph. D, University Researcher, Aleksanteri Institute and Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki.


Key dates
Deadline and instructions for abstracts: January 12, 2018 (400-500 words, indicating central questions, methodology, and theoretical framework). Submissions are to be sent to Carl-Gustav Lindén

Authors notified of decision: February 16, 2018

Deadline for completed articles: June 1, 2018, (max. 7,000 words; followed by peer-review)

Preliminary publication date (after peer-review): Fall/Winter 2018-2019


For questions regarding the special issue, contact:
Carl-Gustav Lindén
Swedish School of Social Science
University of Helsinki
Mobile phone: +358 40 51578682


For questions regarding Nordicom Review, contact: Jonas Ohlsson, +46 786 61 25,