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.
Making the Mundane Matter
In local newspapers, as Bill Reader explains in the first chapter of this book, it is “the trivial and the routine that provide observable clues of community connections.” Such mundane content attracts little attention from mainstream journalism scholarship, which traditionally has been concerned with major news media and with dramatic news events.
Writing about the work of journalism historians, Catherine Covert (1981) once suggested that we might have a different understanding of the past if we focused not on wars and revolutions but on the ordinary aspects of daily life, if we saw journalism as an agent of continuity rather than change, and if we regarded that continuity as valuable (rather than “static”). The same case surely can be ...