Recent developments in media technology have led some within the communications policy field to question traditional approaches to localism and its continued viability as a meaningful policy principle. In response to this potential turning point, this paper explores the underlying rationales for localism and examines the principle’s relevance in an era when media technologies are less restrained by geographic barriers. In terms of its underlying rationales, it is clear that the principle need not be entirely abandoned. The traditional “spatial” conceptualizations and applications of the localism principle still have relevance. If it can be expanded to account for alternative definitions of community, the principle will remain an important principle for communications policymakers and policy analysts.
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