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.

Community Journalism Must Tackle Tough Local Issues
Community journalism must tackle tough local issues

Community journalism is credited with representing, reinforcing, and even constructing community. The form speaks to, from, and about community, presumably bringing people together with an understanding of their shared frame of reference, and their responsibility for upholding it. Definitions of small-town/weekly/community (those terms are typically treated as equivalent) news media imply several common features, including relentlessly local content, limited orientation in size and geography, and local, independent ownership. Howard Ziff's (1986) distinction between “provincial” and “cosmopolitan” newspapers still holds: the former are grounded in local values, to be criticized only on behalf of other, deeply held communal beliefs. The latter insist on objectivity and stand above local values.

Nevertheless, both kinds of news ...

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