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 4: Community Journalism and Community History
The history of America is written in the stories of its communities, and media have told communities' stories almost from the start. From centuries-old warnings of yellow fever and smallpox epidemics to modern accounts of community reactions to natural disasters, media have recorded the struggles and triumphs of their villages, towns, and neighborhoods. “America began in the quest for community,” noted historian David Nord (2001), who suggested that our associations have been “built, maintained, and wrecked in communication” (p. 2). He wrote, “At the vortex of many collective efforts to build community or to undermine it has been formal, public, printed communication, including journalism” (p. 2). Alexis de Tocqueville (1840/1904) observed in 1832 the healthy appetite ...