|There are media whose main value is simply the close relationship their proximity provides for and with their audiences. Local and community media are often praised for giving voice to the voiceless, namely invisible local community members. Although being largely ignored by communication researchers, these small-scale media are undoubtedly an irreplaceable part of all media systems and fulfil important functions in society (e.g. the construction of community). Compared to other types of media, they have certain distinctive features, which always made them – as existing research shows – remarkably viable and vulnerable. Despite recent studies on local journalism, community media, audience participation in public communication and the relationship between local media and local politics, much research remains to be done with regard to the fundamental questions regarding media and closeness. These include: What are the contemporary local and community media functions in society? How has the contemporary media development transformed local and community media, and more broadly media closeness? How, if at all, has the priorities of audiences regarding local and community media changed? These and similar questions are among the main concerns of the Media and closeness ECREA pre-conference. To stimulate further international academic discussion in this area, we expect to publish the best papers as part of a special issue or edited book.