Colleagues may be interested in two related research articles just published online, both based on a current example of alternative media in the UK, one of which asks readers what they think. Abstracts and links are below for your information. Tony. ‘Alternative Journalism as Monitorial Citizenship? A case study of a local news blog’, Digital Journalism, 2015: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/21670811.2015.1063077 Abstract: 'Recent years have seen claims that some examples of online alternative journalism in the form of hyperlocal and local blogs are helping to address society’s “democratic deficit” by subjecting the actions of the powerful to increased public scrutiny, in a process that has been described as “monitorial citizenship”. To explore how this might work in practice, this study examines the origins, motivations and practices of one such site in the United Kingdom: the Leeds Citizen. The aim is to provide the sort of detailed consideration in depth that is almost by definition missing from wider surveys of the field. To this end, the case study is based on a series of interviews with the site’s creator, augmented by analysis of content, all discussed within the context of scholarly literature on how alternative, non-commercial forms of journalism operate in the digital age. The article concludes that this contemporary form of alternative journalism may indeed be described as an example of monitorial citizenship in action, but there is also a need for further research.' Also: ‘Asking the Readers: Audience research into alternative journalism’, Journalism Practice, 2015: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17512786.2015.1054416?src=recsys Abstract: 'Alternative forms of journalism are said to challenge the passive role of audience members as receivers and to foster active citizenship among alternative journalists and audiences. Yet the scholarly literature on alternative journalism contains more assertions about than evidence from the audience. Downing has described the audience for alternative media as “the virtually unknown”, prompting him to urge journalism scholars to undertake more audience research to help increase our understanding of this allegedly active and civic-minded public. This exploratory study of the people who regularly read a contemporary example of alternative journalism—an investigative local blog covering one UK city—is intended to contribute towards filling the gap identified by Downing. Audience views are explored by means of questionnaires and focus groups, providing some evidence that individuals are attracted to alternative journalism by their dissatisfaction with mainstream media; that they see alternative media as helping them make sense of the world; and that, to an extent, engaging with such media is both a prompt to, and a reflection of, readers’ democratic engagement as citizens. Recognising the limitations of this small study, the article concludes by reiterating Downing's call for further research.'