Foundations of Community Journalism is the first and only book to focus on how to understand and conduct research in this ever-increasing field. With chapters written by established journalism scholars and teachers, this book provides students and researchers with an understanding of the multiple methods applied to the study of community journalism, such as historical, social-scientific, cultural/critical, and interdisciplinary approaches. It explains what community journalism is as a research concept and offers a range of different methods and theories that can be applied to community journalism research. Although there are numerous “how-to” community journalism manuals for students and newspaper editors, none focuses on how to conduct research into community journalism. The body of knowledge in Foundations of Community Journalism would take readers months, perhaps years, of independent work to gather, making this book a “must-have” volume and reference tool for anybody who is interested in the relationships between journalism and communities.
Chapter 1: Community Journalism: A Concept of Connectedness
The concept of community journalism long has been regarded as a specific practice of gathering, packaging, and distributing news in predominantly small, distinct geographic markets, with an emphasis on local news and information about community life. For many decades in the 20th century, “community journalism” was used as a synonym for “small-town newspapers.” Yet in the first decade of the 21st century, renewed interest in the cultural roles of journalism in community life has broadened the concept to something that reaches well beyond newspapers in small towns and includes various media in many different types of communities—special-interest magazines, online-only newsletters for professional communities, local independent radio, “hyperlocal” websites, and so on. Some of that ...