Civic Journalism

The journalistic concept of “civic” (or “public”) journalism is multifaceted. It simultaneously represents (1) an argument about the role and responsibility of journalism in a democratic society, (2) a set of practices that have been tried in actual newsroom settings, and (3) a movement of individuals and institutions concerned about strengthening journalism’s contribution to public life. Following this tripartite distinction, this entry outlines public journalism’s basic argument, describes how public journalism is practiced, and considers the individuals and institutions most responsible for its development as a journalistic reform movement.

Public journalism’s broader journalistic significance lies not only in having inspired hundreds of newsroom experiments in the United States and elsewhere but also in having prompted much debate among scholars and journalists alike about journalism’s fundamental mission. ...

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