Proximity cyber media from Spain and Portugal in social media: channels for strengthening bonds with local communities
The evolution of social media is transforming proximity cyber media, especially the impact these models have on local communities. The evolution of the new media ecosystem over the past ten years has involved the proliferation of proximity cyber media, both born-digital and digitised media. Only time will tell whether these proximity cyber media are sustainable and whether they will manage to adapt themselves to the ongoing transformations of network society. The purpose of this article is to identify the new ways in which proximity cyber media establish bonds with their communities, while highlighting the difference between born-digital and digitised media. The analysis focuses on the channels used by proximity cyber media to enable citizen participation in the product, the strategies they implement in social media, their volume of followers, as well as the socio-cultural initiatives they undertake with community associations and institutions. The study will be based on the analysis of four born-digital news media that stand out as new forms of proximity cyber media: The Spanish websites somosmalasaña.com, granadaimedia.com and elporvenirclm.com; and the Portuguese setubalnarede.com. In addition, the study offers an overview of the local news media owned by Adriano Lucas, one of the most important media groups in Portugal and the most influential in terms of coverage of proximity cyberjournalism. This study shows that only very few media initiatives make the most out of the potentialities of the context ofweb 2.0 to increase their digital communities and encourage and manage users’ feedback.