Building Community Through Dialogue at NPR Member Stations


This research is composed of 20 in-depth, qualitative interviews with managers at NPR member stations to examine how they are attempting to build community through the use of dialogue. The stations came from various market sizes and from different regions across the United States. The managers reported they are using many types of dialogue, including … Continue reading Building Community Through Dialogue at NPR Member Stations

Weekly Newspapering: How Small-Town News Workers Decide What is News


U.S. print newspapers are more than two decades into the emergent media era, and they continue to struggle with circulation and advertising revenue declines. However, print weekly newspapers across the United States have consistently remained viable to their communities. Drawing on newsroom observations and interviews with journalists, this study opens the door for more contemporary … Continue reading Weekly Newspapering: How Small-Town News Workers Decide What is News

Bringing the Community to Journalism: A Comparative Analysis of Hearken-driven and Traditional News at Four NPR Stations

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Hearken is a news engagement organization providing tools to help publications better provide community journalism by soliciting story ideas from citizens and taking them along on the reporting process. Hearken promises different types of stories that engage the community and boost revenues. This study examined all 2017 Hearken content from four U.S. public radio stations … Continue reading Bringing the Community to Journalism: A Comparative Analysis of Hearken-driven and Traditional News at Four NPR Stations

Freedom of Information in Community Journalism


Studies of freedom of information (FOI) requests by journalists often focus on outcomes. However, the FOI request process is often more complicated than submitting a request and awaiting a decision; it may require numerous and delicate interactions with records officers. These interactions are particularly fraught for community journalists, for whom maintaining friendly relationships with sources … Continue reading Freedom of Information in Community Journalism

Crafting a Community: Staff Members’ Conceptions of Audience at a City Magazine


News organizations often develop content that serves the interests of advertisers and audiences. City magazines, which cater to affluent readers while aiming to reflect their communities, provide an important site of analysis for this trend. This study used participant observation and interviews at a Midwest city magazine to understand how it used the relationship between editorial content and advertising to increase profits and serve readers and advertisers. The findings reveal how staff members discursively constructed their audience, commodified that audience as a product for advertisers, and understood the community they serve and their function within it.

Community Journalism for the 21st Century: Cultural Competence and Student Reporting in Urban Neighborhoods

This study sought to identify factors that influence the cultural competence of student journalists covering urban neighborhoods. The findings indicate that professional norms, including objectivity, contribute to a culturally competent approach to community reporting. An over-reliance on these norms, however, can hinder culturally competent reporting. Empirical support was found for previously identified dimensions of cultural competence: awareness, knowledge, and skills to interact effectively with people from different cultures, as well as that the ability to negotiate an “insider” or “outsider” status. The study provides the possibility of a new norm for community journalism-to promote understanding across cultures.

Community Journalism: Relentlessly Deviant? CATA of Normative Deviance and Localness in American Community Newspaper Websites

Computerized content analysis software, or CATA, offers intriguing insight into the publication of normative deviance on the websites of American community and non-local newspapers. CATA of news factors, ANOVAs, and Pearson’s correlations indicate that community newspaper websites remain “relentlessly local,” but are otherwise as focused on normative deviance as metropolitan and national publications. Put another way: Once localness is established, online community newspaper content is statistically indistinguishable from online metropolitan and national newspaper content.