Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Geo-Journalism: GIS for Local News Mapping in Los Angeles and Orange Counties
by Day, Laylita, M.A., California State University, Long Beach, 2018, 134; 10784694
Abstract (Summary)

Geographic Information Science (GIS) has been working its way into various fields from the public to the private sectors. The world of journalism and news media is no exception and as both fields grow, GIS is becoming an important spatial news reporting tool in journalism as a form of data journalism. Thus this thesis examines the usage of GIS by news reporting agencies for creating maps that accompany news stories and/or are used as the news story. Specifically this research examines how smaller, more local-based news organizations, such as the Long Beach Press Telegram and the Orange County Register (with a comparison to the Los Angeles Times) are or are not using GIS-based mapping within their news stories and how they can better improve or integrate GIS-based maps and interactive mapping on the local level of reporting. This could assist in providing better analyses of local spatial patterns for various news stories and give the local readers a better understanding of their community and the issues related to it.

A mixed-methods approach was applied, which involved qualitative and quantitative methods. This included surveys, interviews and data analysis. The survey respondents were college students (news readers), the interviewees were journalists working with GIS and the data analysis involved examining the news stories of all three newspapers. The findings concluded that the smaller, more local papers are in fact using maps and GIS less than the Los Angeles Times and that most survey respondents (readers) would like to see more and better maps in news stories. The interview answers pointed to how the Los Angeles Times has managed to use and expand that usage of GIS and maps through creative solutions and workarounds to help lessen various barriers, such as budget, lack of skilled journalists, GIS software complexity, and time.

As the world of journalism continues to transform and adapt to digital news reporting, local newspapers’ use of GIS-based tools will also need to increase. This will allow them to better engage and inform readers in the future since GIS will possibly become an extremely useful or even vital tool in spatial news reporting.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Li, Linna
Commitee: Lassiter, Unna, Paskin, Danny
School: California State University, Long Beach
Department: Geography
School Location: United States -- California
Source: MAI 57/06M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Geography, Geographic information science, Journalism
Keywords: GIS, Geography, Journalism, Local, Mapping, News
Publication Number: 10784694
ISBN: 9780438179349
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