Foundations of Community Journalism

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Edited by: Bill Reader & John A. Hatcher

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    Foreword

    JockLauterer

    When I asked Jerry Brown to write the introduction to the third edition of Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local back in 2005, the then Montana J-school dean responded by describing how his Alabama hometown newspaper had endeared itself to many outhouse readers for its utilitarian use as an end product, so to speak.

    Hardly the vaunted endorsement of community newspapers that I had imagined. But then the wily Dean Brown had his reasons: in his own vernacular way he was telling us that community journalism, with all its many variants, survives because of its universal, earthy, boots-on-the-ground connection to its reader/viewer/user.

    My own interest in this particular branch of journalism stems from my college days at the University of North Carolina and the tutelage of professor Ken Byerly, whose 1961 textbook gave a formal name to this particular subfield of the profession: Community Journalism. Byerly suggested that the practice was akin to a “friendly neighbor” approach to journalism, which is not always a good thing. I make this clear in my own book:

    At best, our thresholds for accuracy and responsible reporting are greater because we are a part of the community we cover, not outside it. But there is a danger here as well. Does this community connection make us too timid to do the difficult stories? Too familiar to recognize the emerging trend? This is the real front line of community journalism: sorting out the degree, for example, to which we function as community boosters, or community watchdogs.1

    Lately I have begun to think of community journalism under a slightly different concept—that of “roots journalism.” Like roots music, roots journalism reflects the indigenous culture through storytelling. When the great bassist Christian McBride was asked what guided his music, he replied that he tried to keep his repertoire “rooted in the groove.” It is that commitment to “rootedness” that has been community journalism's credo from the start, and which has propelled community newspapers and many other community journalism efforts through “the Great Recession” and beyond.

    Likewise community journalism research.

    I am able to commend to the reader this inaugural volume on community journalism research because Bill Reader, John Hatcher, and I go way back—and I can testify unequivocally that their “street cred” as in-the-trenches community journalists and academics also is rooted in the groove. That's a rare pedigree.

    I first met Bill Reader at Penn State in the fall of 1991 when I was a freshman professor and Bill a senior journalism major and the new editor of a revived J-school lab newspaper (to which I'd be assigned as the faculty adviser). Not only did we put out some fine lab newspapers, but also Bill, while he was still only an undergrad, helped me realize the need for an updated textbook and handbook on community journalism (as Byerly's book was by then several decades old). Hence the first edition of my book, Community Journalism, published in 1995. Upon graduation from Penn State, Bill worked at various Pennsylvania community newspapers before returning to Penn State to earn his master's degree and then eventually moving on to teach at Ohio University, where he has distinguished himself as an inspiring teacher and relentless researcher.

    John Hatcher, now at the University of Minnesota Duluth, burst upon my radar in the mid-1990s when he was performing innovative work in outreach education at SUNY Oswego's Center for Community Journalism. I suspect that CCJ's founders were, like me, inspired by the groundbreaking work done at the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media at Kansas State, which for years had been the sole place community journalism research was gathered and shared. When it came my chance in 2001 to launch the Carolina Community Media Project at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, I took my cue from Kansas State's Huck Boyd Center and Hatcher's work for the CCJ, building on their successes and learning from the speed bumps they had encountered along the journey.

    In spite of such successful state-focused programs, I grew increasingly aware that community journalism research was going unrecognized and unvalidated on the national level. When in 2004 we launched the Community Journalism Interest Group at the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC), not surprisingly, Reader and Hatcher were right there helping to lead the charge. That recognition—that community journalism research is valid and vital—brought a whole community of scholars in out of the academic cold. And I would argue that the research showcased by the Community Journalism Interest Group since then has been as profoundly rigorous, far-reaching, and significant as any. I credit that largely to Reader, the first research chair of the group, and Hatcher, who has contributed considerably to that research mission, including serving as research chair for the group in 2011. Several of the contributors to this book also were instrumental in building the research arm of the Community Journalism Interest Group.

    While I am gratified that my book, Community Journalism: Relentlessly Local, has become “a classic” for how-to classes, as some have referred to it, my best effort—like that of Byerly before me in 1961—has its limitations. When serious students of community journalism finish my book, they invariably ask, “Now what?” And I have had nowhere to send them.

    No longer. In this comprehensive and thorough text, we finally have a foundational road map for serious research in community journalism.

    Here is the “nut graf” from Reader and Hatcher's preface:

    A great deal of effort has been spent trying to define what is and what isn't community journalism, and, while definitions are important, they can also distract from the real power of this book—to help explain how a long tradition of research involving communities and journalism has constructed a rich foundation on which to build future study of community journalism.

    Credit Reader and Hatcher for recruiting a blue ribbon community of scholars, whose chapters and essays in Foundations of CommunityJournalism help take this discipline to the next level. It is my firm conviction that, in your hands, you hold a new classic.

    Jock Lauterer is director of the Carolina Community Media Project and a faculty member at the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    1From page 7 in Lauterer, J. (2003). Community journalism: The personal approach (2nd ed.). Ames: Iowa State University Press.

    Preface

    For this book project, we thought about trying to find a firm, simple definition for community journalism, and in the end decided that doing so essentially misses the point. A great deal of effort has been spent trying to define what is and what isn't community journalism, and, while definitions are important, they can also distract from the real power of this book—to help explain how a long tradition of research involving communities and journalism has constructed a rich foundation on which to build future study of community journalism. Community journalism does have as its key components the work of journalism within the context of “community,” and broadly defined it is journalism at the community level. Beyond that, attempting to define the term is akin to putting the cart before the horse—the concept should be more intricately defined by the research, and not vice versa.

    Still, the concept of community journalism does have a well-established foundation, and outlining that foundation is the primary purpose of this book. From the start, our goal was to pull together into one volume a body of knowledge that would take months, perhaps years, of independent effort by individual graduate students and researchers. We can't count the number of times over the past three years that we've mentioned this book project to colleagues and have been asked, “How soon will it be ready? I have a graduate student who …” The typical lament is that it's difficult to find published research related to community journalism. In compiling this book, we realized that although such research may be difficult to find, it is by no means scarce. The concept has been studied, directly or indirectly, for decades; it just hasn't been categorized as such in the research databases.

    This book is intended for graduate courses and advanced undergraduate courses in the journalism and mass communication discipline. It could be a primary text for courses devoted to the study of community journalism or a supplemental text for broader media-research courses. We hope it will find a spot on the bookshelves of those who teach journalism research courses as well as those who conduct journalism research themselves. The book is organized loosely along the lines of a typical research project: it starts by explicating the term and reviewing available literature, then outlines methodological considerations, and concludes with some suggestions for future research. Along the way, short essays from well-respected scholars provide additional insights and encouragements.

    Beyond helping researchers quickly get up to speed on the concept of community journalism, another goal of this book is to reframe the concept for a new century. Although clearly derived from the 20th-century study of small-town newspapers, community journalism today must of course be viewed in much broader terms, as it cuts across media forms and serves all manner of communities. Whether a community is based on geographic ties, shared ethnicity, professional or ideological interests, or a common cause, most communities have at least some rudimentary journalistic effort (a newsletter, a blog, or a low-power radio broadcast, for example). The small-town newspaper may be the archetype of community journalism, but it is hardly the standard.

    More importantly, those who study community journalism begin with an appreciation that journalism is not solely the purview of major national and international media outlets. In fact, the vast majority of journalism is done at the community level. For every big-city newspaper, for example, consider how many smaller journalistic enterprises operate in the ethnic enclaves, distinct suburbs, and cultural niches of that same city. Community journalism is thus very much like the bottom of an iceberg: it forms the greatest bulk of journalism produced in the world, but it goes largely unnoticed by the masses compared to the ubiquitous big-media names readily recognized in society at large (The New York Times, the BBC, National Geographic,http://Salon.com, etc.). Community media also are often overlooked by journalism scholars who may not initially see the value of in-depth study in this realm. Certainly, many scholars conduct studies on the news media nearby, and college-town newspapers may very well be the largest class of community media studied by graduate students and tenure-track professors. But too often, the local media are studied simply as exemplars of their bigger, more respected kin. The assumption is that community journalism is just journalism at a smaller scale.

    The contributors to this book all suggest, in their own ways, that the distinction between community journalism and journalism itself is much more profound than matters of size, scale, and reach. Community journalism is integral to all aspects of community culture: history, economics, community identity, community values, policy debates and public opinion, and so on. Certainly, size and reach will profoundly affect how the International Herald Tribune operates compared to the weekly Carthaginian of Carthage, Mississippi. But community journalism encompasses more than just process and audience—it is concerned with the social fabric of community. The International Herald Tribune has an audience, but no discernible community; the Carthaginian's audience is its community, including some local residents who don't subscribe to or even read the newspaper.

    This book is a collection of some things borrowed and some things new. It's a marriage between renewed interest in the study of community journalism and a tradition of scholarly inquiry that has for decades looked at the role of news media in community life. From Alexis de Tocqueville's observations about community newspapers in Democracy in America (published in 1835), to a variety of popular memoirs by some notable “country editors” in the early and mid 20th century, to the sophisticated study of community-media relationships from the 1970s through today, there is no question that the concept of community journalism is built on a foundation of important earlier works. Moreover, scholarly interest in community journalism is being recognized as a formal subdiscipline, represented by numerous professional organizations as well as several scholarly organizations (see Appendix for a listing of those groups).

    Above all, however, this book is meant not just to look back at what has already been learned about community journalism, but to prepare the next generation of scholars for a media environment in which community journalism no longer operates in the shadow of “big J” journalism. Established community media keep chugging along, and new community-focused journalism projects are cropping up all the time. Perhaps it's time that the largest portion of the journalism industry becomes the dominant focus of journalism scholarship as well.

    Acknowledgments

    This book project began a long time ago, and it was inspired mostly by those who were actively involved in developing the research mission of the Community Journalism Interest Group (COMJIG) of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. We especially want to thank COMJIG founders Jock Lauterer (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) and Peggy Kuhr (University of Montana), whose leadership has drawn together a strong community of scholars.

    The scholars who contributed chapters to this book also have our deepest gratitude. They graciously accepted feedback, patiently tolerated long delays, dutifully turned around revisions, and remained supportive of the project from the beginning. In order of appearance, they are Jack Rosenberry (St. John Fisher College), Eileen Gilligan (State University of New York at Oswego), Janice Hume (University of Georgia), Wilson Lowrey (University of Alabama), Diana Knott Martinelli (West Virginia University), George Daniels (University of Alabama), and, from Ohio University, Cary Roberts Frith and Hans Meyer.

    We are also deeply grateful to the accomplished scholars who provided the short essays that add insights to this book. These scholars come from across the globe and broaden our view of the community-journalism relationship: Linda Steiner (University of Maryland), Gloria Freeland (Kansas State University), G. Michael Killenberg (University of South Florida), Sigurd Høst (Volda University College, Norway), Crispin C. Maslog (Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, the Philippines), Lewis Friedland (University of Wisconsin-Madison), Stephen Lacy (Michigan State University), Guy Berger (Rhodes University, South Africa), Nicholas W. Jankowski (Virtual Knowledge Studio for the Humanities and Social Sciences, the Netherlands), Carolyn Kitch (Temple University), and Chad Stebbins (Missouri Southern State University).

    Two of those named above, Kuhr and Rosenberry, pulled extra duty as reviewers for various chapters of this book. Other reviewers included Douglas Fisher (University of South Carolina), Clyde H. Bentley (University of Missouri), Ken Smith (University of Wyoming), Tommy Thomason (Texas Christian University), Victor Pickard (New York University), Ralph E. Hanson (University of Nebraska Kearney), Thomas C. Terry (Idaho State University, Pocatello) and Janice Marie Collins (Eastern Illinois University). Their feedback was thoughtful and thorough, and this book is a much better work thanks to their important contribution. John Hatcher would also like to thank all the students of the fall 2010 class Community and Journalism, who were the brave test pilots of an early draft of this book and offered many useful ideas for revision and improvement.

    Bill Reader wants to thank his colleagues at the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism who were especially supportive of this book, most notably distinguished professor emeritus Guido Stempel, III, associate professor Mary Rogus, and professor Eddith Dashiell; also, he is most grateful to his former colleague at Ohio, Daniel Riffe, who is now Richard Cole Eminent Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also thanks his “Kentucky colleagues,” Elizabeth Hansen at Eastern Kentucky University and Al Cross at the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky, for years of lively conversation and excellent mentor-ship. And of course Reader is indebted to his former publisher, Lou Heldman; his former executive editor, John Winn Miller; and his former managing editor, Becky Bennett, who together at the Centre Daily Times showed how community journalism can reach its highest potential (I suppose we should all acknowledge former U.S. Representative Bud Shuster for giving us so much juicy corruption to write about in our “little paper.”).

    John Hatcher wants to thank his colleagues at the University of Minnesota Duluth for their encouragement and support of his research, including former dean of the College of Liberal Arts, Linda Krug; Writing Studies department chair Jill Jenson; and all his colleagues in the Department of Writing Studies. He also thanks his former editor at the Daily Messenger, Robert Matson, who inspired his passion in community journalism, and Mary Glick, founder of the Center for Community Journalism at SUNY Oswego, whose vision launched his career as a teacher and scholar of community journalism. He thanks his wife, Michele Hatcher, who supports and endures him in too many ways to mention.

    We want to thank those who provided us with the intellectual support to tackle such a project. From SAGE, of course, we are grateful to the original acquisitions editor we worked with, Todd Armstrong; to editorial assistant Nathan Davidson, who kept this project on the tracks and pushed it to completion; and to Rachel Keith, for her very good copyediting.

    Finally, we thank the countless community journalists we have met over the years, who have left us humbled by their passion for quality journalism and tireless dedication to their communities.

    BillReader and John A.Hatcher
  • Appendix: Resources for Community Journalism Scholars

    The two overarching goals of this book project have been to collect into distinct chapters the foundational works upon which the concept of community journalism has been built, and we also point to gaps in the literature that might provide new research paths for scholars who want to blaze new trails in the field. We do this at a time when scholarly interest in community journalism is being recognized as a formal subdiscipline. Beyond groups such as the National Newspaper Association in the U.S., the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, the Community Broadcasting Association of Australia, and numerous professional organizations around the world, several academic initiatives have been launched in recent decades to support outreach and research efforts focused on community journalism. Of course, regional or niche professional organizations are often excellent points of contact for community journalism researchers—for example, state/provincial press associations often have many members who are community journalists, as do national journalism organizations around the world, particularly in nations that have strong traditions of community journalism. Also, organizations devoted to ethnicity, such as the Native American Journalists Association, or organizations devoted to particular topic areas, such as the North American Agricultural Journalists or the Louisiana Sports Writers Association, often have members who are very familiar with community journalism as practice.

    But this book is devoted to theoretical research, not practice, and so we wanted to provide some starting points for community journalism researchers to find like-minded scholars and germane programs that can help them locate and connect with, well, the community of community journalism scholars.

    The list below is hardly comprehensive. The editors of this book frequently are delighted and surprised to learn of other organizations that are doing work related to community journalism. The list also is not nearly as global as we would like. With that in mind, we welcome recommendations for adding to this rudimentary catalog. Please send suggestions either to Bill Reader at reader@ohio.edu or to John Hatcher at jhatcher@d.umn.edu.

    The list below includes only Internet URLs for contact information, and the URLs were accurate at the time this Appendix was finalized in early 2011. We hope that they are still accurate as you read this, and we also hope that the organizations themselves are thriving and continuing their important good work.

    Huck Boyd Center for Community Media

    At Kansas State University, the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media was founded in 1990 to focus on issues facing news media serving small-town America. It is one of the first and most important academic centers devoted to the issue of community journalism. It works with the National Newspaper Association to sponsor the annual Newspapers and Community Building Symposium. (Longtime director Gloria Freeland, assistant professor in the A. Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications, is largely responsible for the Huck Boyd Center's importance in our discipline, and the editors of this volume are most appreciative for her essay in Chapter 2.)

    For more information: http://huckboyd.jmc.ksu.edu/

    Carolina Community Media Project

    In 2001, the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina launched the Carolina Community Media Project, which is focused on helping that state's community media through research, teaching, and outreach. Through the center, community journalists across North Carolina receive training and consulting, as well as access to some very talented journalism students; the center also is a regular participant in programming of the North Carolina Press Association. Founding director Jock Lauterer has been at the forefront of the contemporary “community journalism movement” in higher education; the editors are honored and humbled to have been able to coax our old friend to write the foreword to this book.

    For more information: http://www.jomc.unc.edu/special-programs-content-items/carolina-community-media-project

    Texas Center for Community Journalism

    Launched in 2009, the Texas Center for Community Journalism at Texas Christian University represents one of the more recent state-focused academic centers in the subdiscipline. Its mission is primarily to serve the community journalism industry in Texas with training, consulting, and research. Founding director Tommy Thomason left his post as founding director of TCU's Schieffer School of Journalism to launch the center.

    For more information: http://www.tccj.tcu.edu

    COMJ Master's Degree Program, University of Alabama

    A partnership between the University of Alabama and the storied Anniston Star community newspaper, with funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, created a master's degree program centered on using the Star as a “teaching newspaper,” similar to teaching hospitals for medical students. The one-year program involves two semesters of coursework at the university and three months of professional experience at the newspaper. Two of the contributors to this book, George Daniels and Wilson Lowrey, are on the faculty at Alabama and are directly involved in the ComJ program.

    For more information: http://www.comj.ua.edu/

    The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues

    Based at the University of Kentucky, the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues is devoted to the challenges and work of journalists across rural America. The institute has academic partners at nearly two dozen universities across the United States. The founding director of IRJCI, Al Cross, and the website he oversees, are excellent resources for information about rural community journalism, and Al is a good colleague and friend to many of the contributors to this book. The chair of the IRJCI academic partners is Elizabeth Hansen at Eastern Kentucky University, and she also is a good person to talk to about rural community journalism research.

    For more information: http://www.ruraljournalism.org/

    Community Journalism Interest Group

    The Community Journalism Interest Group is a subdivision of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. Founded in 2004, COMJIG brings together scholars and professionals who have an interest in both teaching and research related to community journalism. Both editors and many contributors to this book project, from chapter authors to essayists to reviewers, have been and remain active in COMJIG.

    For more information: http://comjig.blogspot.com

    The Center for Community Journalism and Development

    The Center for Community Journalism and Development, founded in 2001, is focused on improving journalism to help communities in developing nations, with particular emphasis on Southeast Asia. It was formed by journalists and community development workers and provides professional development training and support.

    For more information: http://www.ccjd.org/index.php

    Murl Project at Temple University

    Many universities have community journalism projects, some very well funded and organized, others short-lived bursts of effort thrown together and run mostly with passion and personal commitment. The Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab at Temple University's School of Communications and Theater is an example of both. It is a robust journalism-practice effort based in Temple's Center City campus (near City Hall). The project publishes Philadelphia Neighborhoods (http://philadel-phianeighborhoods.com), a source of news and information focusing on a variety of Philadelphia neighborhoods, particularly those that do not see much coverage in the city's mainstream news media. The MURL has partnerships with a number of local media outlets to provide news and information about those neighborhoods.

    For more information: http://www.temple.edu/sct/journalism/about/murl.html

    Chicagotalks

    Chicagotalks, originally called Creating Community Connections, was launched in 2006 at Columbia College Chicago by journalism faculty members Barbara Iverson and Suzanne McBride. The site provides a rich array of community-focused news from a variety of communities—neighborhoods, ethnic communities, communities of interest, and so on. As they explain it on their website, “Our stories come from all corners of the city; our reporters are young journalists learning to cover their communities and community people with a story to tell.”

    For more information: http://www.chicagotalks.org/

    Knight Community News Network at J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism

    The KCNN (and the J-Lab itself, now based at American University), is a multifaceted effort to research and provide guidance for citizen-focused media projects, almost always with a keen eye on innovative community journalism efforts. Related to the KCNN is J-Lab's New Voices project, which provided several years of grant funding for dozens of new-media initiatives, most of them directly related to community journalism. For researchers, the KCNN's reports, guide sheets, and experts provide excellent starting points for thinking about community journalism in the digital age, as well as links to any number of specific community journalism efforts that may be ripe for more focused research projects.

    For more information: http://www.kcnn.org/

    In Memoriam: Center for Community Journalism

    Based at SUNY Oswego, the Center for Community Journalism for more than a decade provided professional support and training for community journalists, primarily in its home state of New York. The project was the brainchild of then-professor Mary Glick, now at the American Press Institute, who worked closely with members of the New York Press Association, including newspaper publisher, the late Vicki Simons, to launch the program. John Hatcher, one of the editors of this book, was the first education director of the center; the subsequent director, Eileen Gilligan, contributed Chapter 3 to this text. Sadly, the pioneering project appears to have been a victim of the Great Recession: as of this writing, it had ceased operations due to dire financial constraints in public higher education. We list the CCJ here in recognition of its contributions to our collective efforts, as an appreciation for its early work in this field, and with the hope that it may some day be revived and continue its good work.

    About the Authors

    George L. Daniels is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Daniels spent eight years in television newsrooms working as a producer at stations in Richmond, Virginia; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Atlanta, Georgia. Daniels then moved from the newsroom to the classroom. He received his doctorate from the University of Georgia's Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication. At the University of Alabama, he taught courses at “the teaching newspaper,” The Anniston Star, via the Knight Community Journalism Fellows program. His research has appeared in Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism and Mass Communication Educator, Electronic News, and The Journal of Radio Studies.

    Cary Roberts Frith joined the faculty of Ohio University's E. W. Scripps School of Journalism in 2004 after spending two years as a Park Fellow at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Previously, she had worked in the magazine industry, including serving as associate publisher and managing editor of Resources for Educators, a division of Wolters Kluwer. She was also editor of CompuServe Magazine's business section and a reporter for Crain Communications’ Business Insurance. She teaches courses in the magazine sequence and serves as faculty adviser of Southeast Ohio magazine, a student-produced regional magazine serving 20 rural counties in Appalachian Ohio.

    Eileen Gilligan is a professor in the Department of Communication Studies at the State University of New York at Oswego, where her teaching areas include investigative reporting, editing, and communication theory. Her research areas include community journalism, the behavior of journalists, and cognitive processing of media. She is the former director of the Center for Community Journalism at SUNY Oswego. Gilligan is a former statehouse reporter for the Wilmington News Journal in Delaware. She has a Ph.D. in journalism and mass communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She writes a monthly column for a regional magazine and has published in the Newspaper Research Journal, The Journalist, and The Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

    John A. Hatcher is a professor of journalism in the Department of Writing Studies at the University of Minnesota Duluth. His research focuses on community journalism and the sociology of news. His current work examines these concepts through a comparative analysis of community journalism in Norway, South Africa, and the United States. He holds a Ph.D. and master's degree from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Public Communications. He is the former education director at the Center for Community Journalism at SUNY Oswego and worked for years as a community newspaper editor and columnist at the Daily Messenger in upstate New York.

    Janice Hume is a professor of journalism in the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Georgia. She teaches magazine writing, magazine management, and media history, including graduate-level historical research methods. Her research concerns journalism history as it relates to public memory and the social construction of death. She is author of Obituaries in American Culture (University Press of Mississippi, 2000) and coauthor of Journalism in a Culture of Grief (Routledge, 2008), as well as numerous journal articles. She is a former lifestyle editor at The Mobile Register in Alabama and holds a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri.

    Wilson Lowrey is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Alabama, where he coordinates the department's master's program in community journalism. He holds a Ph.D. and master's degree from the University of Georgia. Lowrey's scholarship focuses on the sociology of the news, and he has published research in a number of academic journals, including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Journalism, Journalism Studies, Mass Communication and Society, and Political Communication. He is also coeditor of Changing the News, published by Routledge in 2011. Lowrey worked in newspapers throughout most of the 1990s, including two years with The Athens Banner-Herald and five years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, both in Georgia.

    Diana Knott Martinelli spent nearly 15 years working in public relations, including positions in local broadcasting, regional health care, and government organizations, before earning her Ph.D. in mass communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As the Widmeyer Professor in Public Relations at West Virginia University, she teaches advanced public relations and graduate research courses and spends time at Widmeyer Communications each summer. Her research has been presented and published nationally and internationally, and she has authored a number of book chapters by invitation. She regularly gives media relations seminars to local business and community leaders.

    Hans K. Meyer teaches online journalism as an assistant professor at Ohio University. His research focuses on the effects of user-generated content, such as citizen journalism and comments, on legacy media. He worked for nearly a decade in community newspapers as a reporter and editor before getting his Ph.D. at the University of Missouri.

    Bill Reader is an associate professor in the E. W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University, where he teaches courses in community journalism, news editing, and media ethics. He earned his master's degree in media studies from Pennsylvania State University while simultaneously working as an award-winning opinion page editor of the Centre Daily Times newspaper in State College, Pennsylvania. His research of community journalism has focused on ethics and audience feedback, and his research has been published in Newspaper Research Journal, Journal of Mass Media Ethics, Journalism: Theory, Criticism and Practice, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Journalism and Mass Communication. He is on the editorial board of NRJ and was guest editor of a special issue of the journal, “The Future of Community Newspapers,” published in winter 2011. He is coauthor, with Steven K. Knowlton of Dublin City University in Ireland, of Moral Reasoning for Journalists (Praeger, 2008).

    Jack Rosenberry is an associate professor of communication at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York. Before joining the academy, he spent 25 years as a community journalist, working as a reporter and editor for small-town newspapers and as editor of a zoned community news section for a metro daily. His research is focused on Web-based community journalism, and he has published articles related to that topic in Newspaper Research Journal and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. He is coeditor, with Burton St. John, III, of Public Journalism 2.0: The Promise and Reality of a Citizen Engaged Press (Routledge, 2010).


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