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.

Drawing from the Critical Cultural Well
Drawing from the critical cultural well

For scholars looking to test the waters of community journalism research, critical cultural studies offers a fairly approachable (yet adequately rigorous) starting point. That is because critical cultural studies (CCS) offer the researcher considerable flexibility to explore the concept of community journalism by taking an open-ended, yet still empirical, approach to investigating the interactions between community culture and journalism. The “cultural studies” aspect of that approach is particularly ripe for new research in community journalism; the acceptance of cultural studies into the journalism-studies discipline is a relatively recent development (Zelizer, 2004), and thus a wide-open frontier for researchers.

Without question, CCS's roots in Marxist theory and its interpretive, rather than scientific, approach challenges many traditions ...

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