Does Local News Side With Local Organizations? A Case Study of Boosterism and Dependence on Local and National Sources

in International Journal of Sport Communication
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  • 1 Auburn University at Montgomery, USA
  • 2 University of Alabama, USA
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This case study examines how local news tends to represent a crisis of a local organization differently from national news. Based on reviewing literature on local news boosterism, this study suggests a couple of reasons for differences between local and national news coverage: local source organizations’ boosting the city’s economy and symbolic values and variability in dependence on organizational sources by local news. When a local organization faces a crisis, local news media tend to cover issues more supportively than do national news media. Content analyses of local and national news about the crisis for the Baltimore Ravens professional football team related to player Ray Rice’s domestic violence case in 2014 show positive relationships between dependence on organizational sources and more supportive coverage on local news than that of national news. Local and national news both employed the frames of economic consequences and symbolic boosterism, but in different ways. Theoretical and practical implications are presented in the discussion.

Kim is with the Communication and Theatre Dept., Auburn University at Montgomery, Montgomery, AL. Lowrey is with the Dept. of Journalism & Creative Media, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Kim (ekim2@aum.edu) is corresponding author.
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