This qualitative historical case study examines how the Garden City Telegram, a small community daily newspaper, diverged from an episodic, conflict-driven frame for the debate over federal immigration reform in the 1980s and 1990s by promoting immigrants as potential citizens rather than outsiders.
This survey of community newspaper editors and publishers supports gatekeeping theory but refutes its focus on normative, labeling and conscious deviance. It also helps develop literature on the “relentlessly local” focus of community journalism.
A challenge for media in a culturally complex world is building a sense of community between groups with strong cultural cleavages. In South Africa, a fledgling democratic republic is making concerted efforts to foster media that will help to overcome a history of oppression based on difference.