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.
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.
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.