A study of localism in the digital footprint
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] A climate of consolidation fueled by deregulation is paving the way for television station ownership consolidation. Broadcast corporations are larger now than at any time in American History. Simultaneously, news consumers are gathering more information on multimedia platforms than ever before. This study investigates how these systemic changes are interrelated and, together, influence the amount of quality content published within a station's digital footprint. Lacy's (1986) model of news demand indicates competition mandates investment, which leads to the generation of high quality content. The difficulty of defining the term "quality" is addressed. The notion of competition in the digital realm is explored as geographic and spatial barriers impacting traditional media platforms like television are no longer present. Eleven local television stations with major network affiliations were studied during a seven-day period. A chi-square analysis found a relationship between the size of a television station's parent company and the proportion of local web stories linked to by Facebook posts, the types of news stories featured in Facebook updates, and the authors of news stories featured in the digital footprint.