The Reconsideration of the Role of the Press as an Alternative Medium in the Digital Era: Three Cases from the Czech Republic

By Roman Hájek.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: August 22, 2014 $US5.00

Due to the expansion of social networking sites like Facebook, and blogging and micro-blogging platforms, the research of alternative media has recently focused mainly on the contribution of these “new” technologies to establishing alternative communication channels for different groups of people. In contrast, this paper presents three cases of Czech alternative local media which are published in print. They were all set up in 2011 and 2012 in response to officially published municipal monthlies. Based on in-depth interviews with the publishers of these alternative media, this paper examines arguments for preferring printed form to the Internet and discusses how the publishers perceive the opportunities and limits of the chosen technology. The analysis shows that despite higher costs and limited feedback from the citizens, the printed form is favoured because it is believed to have greater reach and impact on the community. The publishers also emphasize that print encourages clear articulation of opinions and prevents from vulgarities and libels. It is also seen as a much better platform for advertising. This leads to the reconsideration of the role of digital technology for alternative media and shows that in specific conditions the “outdated” press can still be very important.

Keywords: Communication, Communication Technologies, Local Media, Alternative Media, Czech Republic

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies in Communication, Volume 8, Issue 2, November 2014, pp.1-9. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: August 22, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 540.669KB)).

Roman Hájek

Postgraduate Student, Faculty of Social Sciences, Charles University, Kladno, Czech Republic

Roman Hájek is a postgraduate student of media studies in the faculty of social sciences at Charles University in Prague. His research is settled in the field of political communication. In his PhD thesis, he focuses on local political communication. He is interested mainly in the role of alternative media and in the relationships between local politicians, journalists, and activist groups.