Metropolitan Websites as Urban Communication

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Abstract

The Internet offers cities new opportunities to communicate with their constituents at a time when metropolitan areas struggle with their community identity and cohesion. This study examined how official websites of the core cities in the 50 largest (by population) United States metropolitan areas represented their cities to the public as a whole, as well as how the cities communicated with their residents and visitors via these websites. A research paradigm was proposed to serve as the conceptual framework for empirical exploration, based on Musso, Weare, and Hale’s (2000) dualistic model, by expanding it to include a “mass communication” model. Study findings revealed that the vast majorities of all sample sites contained high frequencies of information links to reflect all major communication functions.

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