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.

At the Community Level: Cultural Competence and News Coverage of a City Neighborhood

Cultural competence has been embraced by a number of professions whose members interact with culturally diverse communities. Yet the concept has been criticized as being narrowly conceived and ill-defined and lacking effective measures. This study attempts to refine the definition and measures of cultural competence, applying the concept through a textual analysis of the multimedia news texts of student journalists reporting on inner-city communities.