Keeping Your Ears to the Ground




A Journalist's Guide to Citizen Participation in the News:  A Primer on Community Journalism





Tamara L. Gillis, Ed. D.


Robert C. Moore, Ed. D.





Keeping Your Ears to the Ground


A Journalist’s Guide to Citizen Participation in the News:  A Primer on Community Journalism




Tamara L. Gillis, Ed. D.


Robert C. Moore, Ed. D.


Elizabethtown College, PA, USA

The Polytechnic of Namibia



























Published by The Polytechnic of Namibia, Windhoek, Namibia

Department of Media Technology

Private Bag 13388

Windhoek, Namibia



The Department of Media Technology currently offers a National Diploma in Journalism and Communication Technology.  Though a partnership with the Department of Communications at Elizabethtown College and the Netherlands Institute for Southern Africa (NIZA), the program is engaged in both the instruction of civic/community journalism and its application in the public sector.



Copyright © 2003 by Tamara L. Gillis and Robert C. Moore


All rights reserved.  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission.


Printed in the Republic of Namibia

Table of Contents



About the Authors                                                                                                      iii

About This Guide                                                                                                         v

Chapter 1:  Developmental Communication and Civic/Community Journalism            1

Making the Connection Between Developmental Communication and Civic/Community Journalism                                                                                1

Thinking of Journalism in a New Way                                                                   3

What is in a Name?                                                                                                 3

Of Special Note                                                                                                       6

Additional Resources                                                                                              6

Chapter 2:  Public Listening and the Practice of Community Journalism                      9

      Key Concepts of Community Journalism                                                               9

      Public Listening                                                                                                    10

      There are Various Layers of “Public:”  Tapping into These Layers                      11

      Identifying What is Important to the Community                                                  13

      Limitations of the Media                                                                                       15

      Questions to Consider                                                                                           15

      Assignment                                                                                                           15

      Additional Resources                                                                                            16

Chapter 3:  Public judgment and the Practice of Community Journalism                    17

      What are Some of the Characteristics of the Relationships Between Journalists, the Community, and the Media in General?                                               17


      Public Judgment                                                                                                    18

      Questions to Consider                                                                                           20

      Assignment                                                                                                           20

      Additional Resources                                                                                            20

Chapter 4:  How Can Journalists Engaged in Community Journalism Help Citizen Act?                                                                                                             23


      Review of Public judgment                                                                                   23

      Finding Solutions:  Consensus                                                                             24

      Helping Citizens Act                                                                                             25

      Questions to Consider                                                                                           25

      Assignment                                                                                                           26

      Additional Resources                                                                                            26

Chapter 5:  The Five Layers of Civic Life, Broadcasting, and the Practice of Community Journalism                                                                                         27


      Review of the Five Layers of Civic Life                                                               27

      A Community Journalism Model for Broadcasting                                              28

      Commitment                                                                                                          28

      Research                                                                                                                29

      Substance                                                                                                              29

      Questions for Review                                                                                           30

      Assignment                                                                                                           30

      Additional Resources                                                                                            30

      Chapter 6:  Putting All of This into Practice:  The Community Journalism Project     31

            A Few Final Comments                                                                                        31

            The Project                                                                                                            32

      APPENDICES                                                                                                           33

            Civic & Community Journalism Bibliography                                                      35

      Civic Journalism and Community Empowerment Organizations and Resources—Online Links                                                                                     47


            Civic Organizations (From the Battlefield School District)                                   59

            Civic Journalism Online Resources (From the Texas A & M University)            61

      The WWW Virtual Library:  International Affairs Resources (Maintained at Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, USA)                                                  63


            Journalism Organizations and Related Sites (From the University of MD)          65








About the Authors




Dr. Tamara L. Gillis


Ed. D., Higher Education Administration, University of Pittsburgh; M.S., Communications Studies, Shippensburg (PA) University; B.A., English, Shippensburg (PA) University. Dr. Tamara Gillis is associate professor of communications and chair of the department at Elizabethtown College.  In addition, she has held the position of director of student publications, advising student media (The Etownian and the Conestogan yearbook) and teaches journalism, publication design, and public relations courses. Her research interests include civic journalism, student culture, change management, public relations officers in organization structures, public art as communication, and a "great books" approach to teaching public relations. Dr. Gillis' email address is: gillistl at etown dot edu



Dr. Robert C. Moore


Ed. D., Higher Education Curriculum and Instruction and Communications Technology, West Virginia University; M.S., Mass Communications and Educational Media, Clarion (PA) University; B.S., Education - English, Speech and Communications, Edinboro (PA) University. Dr. Robert Moore is professor of communications and former chair of the department at Elizabethtown College.  He teaches communications seminar, media and society, introduction to media production, international communications, and organizational training. His research interests include international communications, civic journalism, freedom of the press, communication administration and curriculum development. Dr. Moore's email address is: moorerc at etown dot edu          




About This Guide


This guide is designed to accompany an advanced journalism course in the study of current journalistic initiatives.  The guide emphasizes the important connection between communities and their media -- print and broadcast and the resultant imperative for journalists to serve the citizenry.


Using an investigative approach, coupled with case study analyses, participants/students will develop an understanding and appreciation for civic/community journalism, its practices, its application and development, and the implications for it in global communications.


The purpose of this guide is to encourage journalists to learn, understand, and apply the basic values and principles of traditional journalism in light of new democracies and community empowerment found within the tenets of civic/community journalism.




The course and study guide will help the journalist recognize and value the practice of journalism as an agent of social change and empowerment.


It will help the journalist become aware of the resources and develop the skills to apply civic/community journalism practices in their daily work as a journalist.


The journalist will adopt a philosophy for developing journalism initiatives in service to the community and its members.


Of Special Note


When discussing the civic journalism model presented here, the authors will use the term community journalism.  It should be understood that in this context, the word community could be interchanged with civic or public.  Many of the readings or resources used to support this guide, in fact, use civic or public journalism rather than the term community journalism.


A further distinction needs to also be made.  Community journalism, as defined here, is not interchangeable with the term community media.  In this regard, community media is referred to as a media that has its focus, and perhaps its geographic location and distribution, limited to a very defined local group of people or target area.  It is also often referred to as a media that is located in a local community.  Community journalism is a way of doing journalism, of serving the people, of involving the people in the issues that are important in their community.




Chapter 1


Developmental Communication and Civic/Community Journalism






Charity, A. (1995).  Doing Public Journalism.  New York:  The Guilford Press.  CHAPTER 1.






NWICO, the New World Information and Communications Order, the movement by UNESCO in the 1970's, can be seen as a foundation, a basis, for the current trend, the current emphasis, among journalists known as civic, public, or community journalism.


The goals of developmental communication fit nicely into the movement of community journalism or civic journalism.


To briefly define developmental communication, it was the belief that the instruments of media (radio, television, newspapers) could be used by the central government of a country to help build a nation. The whole idea behind UNESCO and NWICO is that developing countries could build themselves up using the media. This was both a very important concept and a very misunderstood concept. That is, governments, not only the colonial governments but also the current governments of independent and developing countries, interpreted the UNESCO position to mean that they could take control of the media, and that they would use their government authority to tell the media what to do.  The purpose was then to tell the media what was important to tell the people.


This, in a sense, disenfranchised the people and the media, it took away some of their freedoms because it was essentially the government telling the citizens what was important to them. What must be remembered in terms of nation building, in terms of development communication, is that it occurs as the result of people, not of government.  No matter how much the government tells the media to develop people, if people don't want to develop, they don't.  If people don't develop, nations don't develop. This is where both the theory of development communication and the practice of development communication collided. Instead of media often being used to support a government agenda, they should be used to support the people's agendas, to support what is important to them. This, by the way, is not different from what UNESCO in the early 1970's was saying; it was just different in terms of practice.


Illiteracy, health, poverty, education and even political awareness are all elements of nation building, of people building, and while developing countries' governments acknowledge that these things are important, it was probably their control that caused the lack of media being supportive of initiatives in developmental communication. So, community journalism is sometimes interpreted as a return to the goals of developmental communication. It is an effort to, what has been called, "democratize the media."


When the term democratization of the media is invoked, the idea expressed is not about making the media democratic, not about making it American, not about making it free. Democratizing the media is all about making it responsive to the people. When the media is democratized, it is media whose mission is one that serves the people.


The basis of this approach comes directly from the UNESCO Commission. According to the UNESCO report on the New World Information and Communications Order about democratization of the media, "It is a matter of human rights, the right to communicate is an extension of the advances toward liberty and democracy. Democratizing the media cannot be simply additional facilities. It means broader access to the media by the general public, and the interchange of information between people without the dominance of any one person or one group."


When the media is democratized, it means, in practice, that it serves the people and that the people use the media to get the information that they are interested in so that they can live their daily lives in an improved way. In order for that to happen, the people must participate in determining the focus of the media. There is not necessarily a hierarchy in this process. Journalists are not above the people in this regard.  In fact, journalists are servants to the people and partners with the people. All people are considered equal and central to the purpose of the media.  Urban residents are simply one of the groups of people that are involved in the consultative process with the media. They are not to be elite, not to have undue influence.  But, in order to do its job properly, the media may have to go far outside of urban centers to reach all of the constituencies that they are to serve. Reporters must cover rural and remote areas as well know how the people feel and to share information that is important with them. It is the use of information as a self help, as personal growth, and to achieve greater information and education for everyone that is essential to developmental communication and the common goals of community journalism. These are very laudable goals and are important to self-determination, self-improvement, and to nation building. These are the goals that journalists should strive for in their daily work.


In civic/community journalism, relationships must be forged between the media and the citizens as equal participants in this entire process. That is actually a very old concept and the basis on which journalism was established hundreds of years ago.  That is where journalism began and civic/community journalism is a return to journalism's roots.





There is a new way of thinking about journalism, a new way for each journalist to do his or her job.  When a journalist goes into the field and begins exploring stories, the focus is to be less from the mouthpieces of business, industry and government and more in collaboration with the people. That's easily said but more difficult to do.  Another component of this new way of thinking is in the newsroom--in editorial meetings. As a story lead develops, the journalist must consider how it impacts the people from all levels of the community. Civic/community journalism requires a more people-centered approach to developing stories and to the stories suggested for the media.


If journalists are more people-centered in their writing, more people-centered in their reporting, then the newspaper or broadcast station, regardless of who owns it, will become more valuable to the people. The goal of civic/community journalism is to make the media valuable to the people, because journalists are telling and sharing with them the things that are important to them.





There are three terms that are used, often interchangeably, to represent this new journalism concept: public journalism, civic journalism, and community journalism. All three terms have, as a common basis, the idea of the journalist as a member of the community gathering new stories for the civic good ... for the public good…for the community.


A journalist’s focus is on the community and how as a journalist, reporter, broadcaster, they can best serve the people.  This is best done when the journalist is a member of the community by being one of the citizens, not as an elitist member of the media or society.


These three terms represent the same idea--that collaboration between the citizens of the community and the media should all work together to solve problems or come up with ideas that might be solutions to problems that face the community and have a focus on self-improvement.


The term civic journalism began with American newspapers in the Nineties as they began to revisit the roots of the worthy profession. But today, journalists are involved in cases of civic journalism that include collaboration of the different community media - television, radio and the local newspaper.  They work together to help the community deal with issues, or just bringing these issues to light, so that the people in the community can begin to discuss solutions and opportunities to make their lives and communities better.


In fact, civic journalism is happening around the world. Case studies have documented projects related to civic improvement and public deliberation (some with the participation of the media) in:  Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Columbia, Guatemala, Hungary, Lebanon, Poland, Romania, Russia, South Africa, Swaziland, and Tajikistan.


Civic journalism can be described using a simple three-phase process as written about by many of the authors in this movement in civic/community journalism. Those three phases include: consciousness raising, working through the issue with the community, and then a phase of issue resolution. While the resolution phase may sound like a final stage, it is just the beginning of actually solving problems and getting the community involved in solving their own problems or challenges.


In the consciousness-raising phase, the media finds out what issues are of concern in the community. To do that, the media must go out and become part of the community. The media reconnect themselves and talk to people, not just opinion leaders in the community. The media need to learn from the citizens. They need to learn: what the people think is going on in their community; what would the people like to know more about; and, how do the citizens think they can make a difference and improve their lives. In the first phase, the journalist is on fact-finding mission to learn about the community. In the process, news stories may be written or produced about various aspects of the information uncovered.  However, during this phase, reporters are conducting research on their community for the purpose of a much more long-range investigation.


In the second phase of “working through problems or issues,” the community has now identified, for the journalist, the issues, an agenda or a public agenda, with the emphasis on "public."  The citizens have given their input to the media and enlightened them on what they think is important in their community. From these issues, the media can begin to construct news stories that highlight the peoples' point of view of what's happening, or perhaps hold meetings to find out what the community would like to know more about, how they'd like to see issues addressed, collect ideas, discuss ideas, bring government into the discussions, find out a variety of ideas are and how they fit into the picture. This activity leads to the third phase of civic/community journalism, resolution.


The plans and activities in phase two may lead to news coverage (print or broadcast) like a series of articles in the newspaper, or a series of segments on a broadcast news program, or a community project that addresses the original issue to alleviate the problem.  But, the civic/community journalist’s responsibility does not stop there.


Because civic/community journalism is a process, the final phase, the resolution phase, leads back to the beginning of the process. In the resolution phase, news stories and projects may be completed. This may result in a resolution to the issue originally identified for the civic/community journalism project. But other issues may have come to the surface during the reporter's work with the community. It is at this time that these new issues are taken back to the first phase and worked through the process, again, with the community, in an attempt to solve these new issues.


Problems aren't always solved, and sometimes when they are solved, new problems come to light. So, the cycle continues.  As the media becomes more aware of issues, they try to help people find solutions to the issues, and with the citizens, continue to focus on improvement and resolution of the issues. Because it's the people’s solutions, not the media's solutions, the media simply continues to be that voice in the community, that forum in the community, where the public feel that they are the center, they are the most important part of the community.


As mentioned previously, this is the bridge between developmental communications and civic/community journalism.  This is the return to what journalism was all about when journalists first started writing in newspapers--to keep their communities informed of issues affecting their survival. Early newspapers developed for local citizens to have a voice in public issues, for citizens to know what was going on in their community, and for citizens to know how to participate in their community. Civic journalism, public journalism, and community journalism is a movement with the people leading the media, telling the media what is important to them, and directing how the media can provide that forum for the citizens to engage in problem solving.


In the United States and other countries, civic journalism projects have addressed such issues as elections, crime prevention, youth programs, AIDS, health care, and education.  These topics are of universal importance and many of the international projects have focused on the same topics.  While much of the published support materials in the field use American projects as examples, the tactics employed and the lessons learned will be able to be applied throughout the world.


Civic/community journalism is not a movement among scholars. It is not a movement among lecturers at polytechnics and universities, it is not teaching new journalists or new students how to serve people better. In fact, civic/community journalism is a movement of practicing journalists to do their job better and to make the impact of the media for meaningful.  Arthur Charity, author of Doing Public Journalism, became most noted for his efforts in this area when he was an editor at a newspaper in Ottawa, Canada. Civic journalism has its roots, its growth, in a non-American movement. Today, it is still not solely American. How do the journalists feel about this new way of approaching journalism? Arthur Charity notes in his book a positive change for reporters in the performance of their jobs. They have reconnected with their local communities and improved their writing and focus skills as journalists.


The Pew Foundation for Civic Journalism has documented the shift in newsroom attitudes using this process. An enormous amount of reading material is available from the organization and from their website: Your lecturer has copies of many of the articles and publications.  See the extensive bibliography at the end of this guide (items that are in bold are available for loan from the lecturer.)


Reporters from newspapers and broadcast organizations embrace the concepts of civic, public or community journalism and they talk about them at length in these publications.  They provide insights about how the process has changed the way these reporters think about stories and the way that they collaborate on stories.  Civic/community journalism has brought the reporters closer to the issues and to the people. Journalists feel like they're making a difference in the lives of their public instead of just being an elitist organization. That is one of the most rewarding things for a reporter that comes out of this process.





From this point forward, when discussing this approach to journalism, the authors will use the term community journalism.  It should be understood that in this context, the word community could be interchanged with civic or public.  Many of the readings or resources used to support this guide, in fact, use civic or public journalism rather than the term community journalism.


A further distinction needs to also be made.  Community journalism, as defined here, is not interchangeable with the term community media.  In this regard, community media is referred to as a media that has its focus, and perhaps its geographic location and distribution, limited to a very defined local group of people or target area.  It is also often referred to as a media that is located in a local community.  Community journalism is a way of doing journalism, of serving the people, of involving the people in the issues that are important in their community.





VIDEOTAPE:  "Civic Journalism: A Practical Guide."


This video is a collection of journalists talking about how they have become active in their communities. These journalists discuss what that interaction has brought to their reporting, their writing and their broadcasting. A number of the projects highlighted in the video are partnerships between television, radio, and newspapers in different communities. These cases include the journalists' descriptions of how civic journalism has changed the way they report and also the way that they gather information and interact with their communities.


VIDEOTAPE:   “Civic Journalism:  It’s More Than Just Good Journalism.”


This video is a conversation between Davis “Buzz” Merritt, editor of The Wichita Eagle and media analyst Hodding Carter III.  They talk about what journalism has become and how it can be improved.  Two of the most creative thinkers in journalism today, they reach a working definition of civic journalism that will serve journalism practitioners, students, and citizens at large.






Chapter 2


Public Listening and the Practice of Community Journalism






Charity, A. (1995).  Doing Public Journalism.  New York:  The Guilford Press.  CHAPTER 2


Harwood, Richard C. and McCrehan, Jeff.  Tapping Civic Life:  How to Report First, and Best, What’s Happening in Your Community.  Second Edition.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism/Tides Center.  2000.  FRAMEWORK 1-4, PAGES 10-22.



Schaffer, Jan (Exec. Producer.)  A Journalist’s Tool Box:  Techniques for Building Better Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.  PART 3:  FINDING THIRD PLACES:  OTHER VOICES DIFFERENT STORIES.






There are three key concepts of community journalism:


1.         The goal of community journalism and the goal of the journalist in this process, is consciousness raising. What that means is, to help bring to light information or issues that may be important to the citizens.


2.         To interact with the people of the community and to have the citizens tell the journalist about the things that are important to them.


3.         To have the journalist identify the issues that are important to the community. Community journalism means getting the public and the media involved in the same community issues.


"Working through the issues", phase two of the community journalism process, gets the journalist involved in investigating the issue. The journalist gets the people involved in letting the media know what is important about the issues. The media provides a forum so that the people can share that information and learn and understand those issues that are important to the public in their everyday life.


For the journalist to be involved in the community, the journalist must be in touch with people. The journalist needs to be in touch with the issues and know where to get information. The journalist needs to know how to share information with the people.


The third or final step in this simple community journalism model, which is actually the main goal of community journalism, is resolution of the issues. But while that is a goal of what the media want community journalism to do, seldom does the actual project solve a problem. Seldom do the media actually solve the issue. But what the media have done is set the stage for the people, the community, to discuss and learn so they can resolve the issues themselves.


In this process, journalists are not leaders, and the people are not followers; they are partners in the discussion of what is important to people in the community. It is only the people that are going to solve the issues, not the journalists. What journalists do is get the people involved, get all of the issues and discussion on the table, cover it, and facilitate the interaction to help the people help themselves.





Public listening is the first step in a journalist's research of an issue. Journalists need to know how the community feels and what's important to the people. That's exactly what public listening is. It is the process of finding out from the community members the issues that are important to the community.


If the reporter is truly thinking about the community, being a community journalist, the reporter should ask the community, "what's important to you?" and allow the community to form the questions that the media can help to answer through their reporting.


The feedback or information that the public provides may include a number of sources. Feedback represents the ways reporters and the community can connect in this public conversation or dialog. Public listening is part of a conversation between the media and the community. Some ways of making this connection include getting involved in the community; talking to people individually; talking to groups of opinion leaders -- the clergy, schoolteachers, bankers, chiefs, local citizens --getting a cross-section of opinions. Surveys could also be used to collect community feedback. For example, newspapers could solicit public input through a mail-in ballots, while broadcast audiences could call a special telephone number to express their ideas. Other innovative ways to collect information include town meetings and focus groups.


Another important item about public listening is that the media shouldn't just ask people about what's wrong with their community. The media should also ask the public what's "right", so that the community can also see that there are good things going on so the community and can build on what has made their community good to help solve the problems that they see as making their community less than good.


The media must consider the public, the community, and the agenda? What are their issues? These issues, in the final analysis, may not be the issues the media think are the most important.






Throughout this discussion of the community journalism model, ideas have been shared about how journalists identify the issues that are important to the people. The media don't set the agenda. They go to the people and try to find out what the people's (the community's) agenda is.


The Pew Foundation segments the “public” into five basic groups or places. Those five groups or places in the community are:


1.         The OFFICIAL group:  those people who are part of the political system or recognized leaders of institutions in society;


2.         The QUASI-OFFICIAL group - organizations or people who are involved in the community, but not necessarily representatives of either national or local government.  These people tend to be considered “leaders” by the community but not by the office held.


3.         THIRD PLACES,  or people who congregate in those places, make up the next group.  These places are where people gather informally, like churches, community events, schools, etc.;


4.         INCIDENTAL PLACES are where people are simply able to talk informally with one another. Sometimes this is just simply on the sidewalk, perhaps at the market, or maybe even at a coffee shop; and


5.         PRIVATE PLACES - in the privacy of one's home; in people's own private lives.


As noted above, there are five layers/places or five groups of people in society to whom journalists often go to get their story information. Traditional journalism tends to immediately go to the first group, which is the official group. They want to hear what leaders of institutions and political bodies, whether they be national or local, have to say about an issue.  Then they tend to go to the last group, which is private people. That means, they go to an individual person to ask them what they think about what the first group has said or done. In community journalism, journalists focus on is the middle three groups—those who make up the community.


A journalist, who is going to be more responsive to the community, actually becomes part of the community.  That is, they get to know and understand members of organizations, clergy, chiefs, and business leaders in the community. They sit and talk with these individuals in the community, whether it is at social functions, or at the schools, or in churches.  They, to an extent, interact informally, live with, visit with, and get to know these people and the community, so that they are more in touch with, more in tune with what the people think, not only asking those leaders what THEY think the people think, but they are actually talking to the people about what they think themselves.


The challenge is for journalists to learn about people--what they value and what is important to them--and then to use that information to begin to investigate a story and then to provide a forum for these people to discuss and ask questions about what is important to them—in a public way. If the media do that, they are empowering the people. The media are asking the everyday citizens to set the agenda, rather than using a more hierarchical approach, or simply asking leaders to set the agenda.


Community journalism also means, then, that the journalist becomes a member of the community and can connect what the official and civic leaders have to say with what individual members of the community have to say. Additionally, there are people in every community who are looked to as leaders -- opinion leaders. Sometimes we find that these individuals are very active people who work very well with the everyday citizen and still work very well with institutions and organizations in the community. These kinds of people are 'connectors' or the people who exist in the community who can tie official life to private life.


Journalists need to also find those people who can give the background, the history, to give the wisdom on the issues. All too often, journalists come into an unfamiliar area and they don't have that historical perspective that is so important in framing an issue more clearly. If journalists do these things, then the journalists have three important goals for their involvement:


1.         To find out how people think--what is important to them;


2.         To engage these people from all five levels of the community in conversation, so that they are able to share with us and we are better able to understand what they have to say, and,


3.         To investigate the stories based on these interactions and find out what is important for the journalist to pursue.


These goals mean that journalists determine, from their input, the struggles and those things of importance that the journalists will deal with in their framing of the stories.


Community journalists are always trying the answer the question, "why?" They want a person to elaborate on what they're thinking, what they're feeling, rather than simply giving a short answer. The journalist would like to know what is important to the community. They want to know what are the main concerns of people and what are they thinking. They want to get a greater perspective regarding the people’s thinking on the issues. The journalists want to look at the causes and why the causes exist. How does the community think things should be? How do they think people should help? What has been done? What can be done? All of these things are open-ended questions that, if a journalist works to seek input from a variety of levels with questions that are open-ended like these, the journalist may begin to be able to put together a picture of what they need to address in a project and what forums they need to make available in community journalism.


In summary, at this point, journalists need to try to find a way in the existing media to not only address issues that are important to the people, but also how they are going to address issues that are different in each of the various regions of the country.





The Pew Foundation identifies a five-step process for beginning journalists to use in discovering what is important to a community.


Step 1: Identify a particular community—a geographic area, a neighborhood/suburb, or issue important to a certain group of people or beat.


Step 2: Hold newsroom conversations about contacts in the community. Use the five layers of the community previously discussed to create a specific contact list.


Step 3: What is it that needs to be investigated for the story?  Formulate the kinds of questions that might be asked of civic leaders, quasi-civic leaders, the charity group leaders, as well as civic officials. (This gives the journalist a start for the interviewing process, but it doesn't limit the him or her to just those questions, because in these meetings obviously more information is going to come to the surface in discussion rather than just the questions that are asked.)


Step 4: “Interview catalysts,” means talking to those people that are the “everyday leaders” in the community.   These catalysts are those people to whom citizens look as quasi-officials or opinion leaders.  The diverse opinions gotten will be valuable to the story and will be indicative of a overall sense of the community’s important issues.


Step 5: Interview citizens, not just in those public places, but make this a public process for encountering and talking with the citizenry. This stage also includes possibly developing public forums for discussion.


This five-step process should help the journalist develop a news gathering plan, a way of developing interviews and contacts, that maybe didn't seem apparent when the issues were first thought about.


In review:


1.     Get the idea first.  It is really a function of being out and involved and hearing about and from people before it ever really reaches an official level of concern.


2.     Expand sources. Don't simply go to officials and private citizens, but expand issue sources to include all the various layers of an area or of a neighborhood.


3.     Ask better questions.  That is, have them open-ended. Get people's ideas and feelings, their insights to what is important.


4.     Expand the possibilities for framing stories.  A story is not one-dimensional and is certainly not what the journalist perceives it is.  The frame of a story is decided  as a result of the conversations in the community.


5.     Write  harder hitting stories. Talk about tensions, talk about issues, talk about problems, and let people know. Hard-hitting stories--give facts, give issues, give background, and give experiences.


6.     Have a conversation about the story with other journalists, whether it be in the editorial meeting, when developing the daily diary, or whether it be just among the reporters in the newsroom, what are the other ideas that people think about? What are other angles for us to write stories about?


7.     Bridge civic layers . Attempt to get people from all the different areas of society from official to semi-official, to private citizens to be part of the investigative process.


8.     Put aside preconceived ideas to try to approach every story not in a biased way. Do not write from a vantage point of what the journalist thinks is right, but to provide a story or to write a story or stories that show a variety of points of view, both the minority as well as the majority point of view.


Gathering information from a number of different layers of the community gives the journalist a balance of input. It gives the reporter a balance of ideas because certainly, the things that are important to one person might not be important to another person.


A key reason to get a variety of input from the public is so the reporter can find out what the climate is really like in the community. The same issue might be of interest to many people but for very different reasons.  This breadth of reasons behind the issues provides depth to the project and stories.


Community journalism issues are those issues that are important to the majority of the community. These issues have the greatest impact on the community. As journalists, we don't want to talk about issues that simply are important to a couple, we want to look for a variety of views on an issue that is important to many people.  Yet, there are minority views to each of the stories and they should be covered as well.





The media has certain limitations in the coverage of issues. While television is not broadly received by everybody in the country, it is received by a certain type of audience. The types of issues journalists would deal with in television news stories would be those that are appropriate to that audience. Certainly, you would not focus upon an issue dealing with people that could not receive your information, because the key to community journalism is to report what the people think is important to their lives and to the people. Again, journalists do not solve the problem, journalists help give the people a forum so that the people can work through and solve their own issues.  So, the forum must be appropriate to the specific audience and be able to reach the specific audience.


The media might deal with an issue that’s important in the urban area and also important in the rural area differently.  A newspaper might, in fact, address issues from the rural perspective and television (in a cooperative project) might deal with the urban perspective.


Community journalism is changing the way journalists do their job. Journalists are asked to commit to the long-term investigation for long-term analysis for long-term improvement in the community.





1.      How can community journalism fit into your current reporting practices?





Public Listening Exercise: Develop a public listening project to determine the needs of your community and a topic suitable for development using the civic journalism model.





VIDEOTAPE:  “New Listening Posts:  Blending Investigative with Civic Journalism in Asbury Park.”


Jody Calendar, for the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, discusses a civic journalism project in Asbury Park, New York, USA.  In particular, she reviews how important it was for the newspaper to be in touch with the community and how the journalists found new sources among the members of the community.


VIDEOTAPE:  “Tune in Your Community, Turn on Your Viewers.”


This videotape, produced by the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, shows how five TV news operations try to meet the challenge of leading serious public conversations on important issues.  The tape reviews how stories were chosen, the approaches or framing used in the stories, how journalists try to make themselves “think” like community journalists, and how the media connected with individual citizens.


VIDEOTAPE:  Issues in Community News”


This  videotape, produced by the Center for Community Journalism, reviews the kinds of newsgathering that takes place in newspapers, radio and television.  Issues in Community News”  looks at how journalists are stakeholders in their communities and the issues of balancing that role with more familiar hard news, watch dog, aspect to the profession.


VIDEOTAPE:  “Civic Journalism:  A Work in Progress.”


This Pew Center for Civic Journalism video looks at The Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colorado (USA) and how Steven A. Smith tried to create a “civic culture” in the newsroom.  Through public listening, alternative framing, and tapping new voices, the journalist is challenged to invent a new kind of journalism—one that challenges readers to see things in new ways.









Chapter 3


Public Judgment and the Practice of

Community Journalism






Charity, A. (1995).  Doing Public Journalism.  New York:  The Guilford Press.  CHAPTER 3 & 4.


Harwood, Richard C. and McCrehan, Jeff.  Tapping Civic Life:  How to Report First, and Best, What’s Happening in Your Community.  Second Edition.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism/Tides Center.  2000.  PART 2, PAGES 23-37.



Schaffer, Jan (Exec. Producer.)  A Journalist’s Tool Box:  Techniques for Building Better Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.  PART 1:  INTERVIEWING:  NEW QUESTIONS, BETTER STORIES.






The journalists and the community come together as one without the media attacking the community. The media tend to be sympathetic to the issues raised by the community and this leads to a better working relationship between the media and the community.


The journalists are sympathetic to the community's issues because the media see themselves as part of that community.  This is an important element of this model of journalism.


The journalists try to give the people a chance to be citizens, by connecting the people to each other and letting them talk about their problems and identifying the people who can solve these problems. Journalists try to find solutions to community problems with the input of the community members from all layers of the community.


The media is a forum for the community, not a problem solver. The media empowers the citizens to solve problems on their own as a community, as a group, instead of looking to an entity like the newspaper, or the television, or the government, to solve all their problems.


The journalists bring the public’s problems to the attention of the community. They are not in any way trying to impose solutions on the citizens.


One of the key elements of this community journalism process is that the media highlight the problems, but try not to solve the problems. It is important that the community solves problems for themselves and takes ownership of the problems and the solutions. Through this process the public may develop a new interest in the media, as well.


It is very important to match the type of news media that people use to help them to solve the problems and be part of the solution of problems.


In community journalism, all of the media are in partnership to help the community. Each medium has its strengths and weaknesses in addressing the issues. If all media in a community come together in a cooperative effort for the community, then the media may be able to reach many different aspects of the community.


An example:

In dealing with the community journalism issue of education, there might be a collaboration between newspapers, radio and television on the news coverage of the issues surrounding education. Different issues would be dealt with by each media:  newspapers, radio and television. Each media would take different angles; each would follow up regarding education in different ways each involving the people in the issue that is raised.  Perhaps, one of the media might sponsor an open on-air discussion on the issue. Then, as a result of cooperative coverage, the people of the community who are reading about the issue in a newspaper, when told that they’ll be able to hear more about the issue on radio, will tune into the radio when they might not otherwise have tuned in.  If television, for example, covers a public meeting on the issue that was announced in the newspaper, then people are going to watch that on television. Different angles and different stories, with each one promoting the other, helps in this collaboration. It’s not a competition, it’s each media cultivating the other and the other’s coverage of an issue of importance to the public.





Community journalism is a conversation, a dialogue, a two-way exchange. It is the media talking to the people; very importantly, it is the people talking back to the media. The focus of that dialogue is to explore more than one side of an issue, to explore all the various viewpoints of an issue, and not to draw a judgment that one person is right or one person is wrong. Instead, this exploration presents a variety of sides of the issue so that the people can be informed about the issue as they find their own solutions to problems. This dialogue is not a debate. A basic understanding of a debate is that one party is in favor of an solution to an issue, while one party is against the solution. Community journalism is not a debate; it is a conversation about all the various elements or aspects of an issue and its potential solutions. There are strong points to be discussed on aspects on each side. There are some points that are weaker. By the media focusing on all the different aspects, all the different angles of an issue, the media are promoting people talking on their own. The media are promoting people acting on their own to address a problem issue. It’s not the media acting; it’s not the media solving the problem; IT IS the media providing the forum for people to discuss issues of importance to them. Then the people feel strong enough, informed enough, to pursue their own solutions to problems. This issue could be health, literacy, education, transportation, or simply how to get more information to the rural areas.


Dialogue is the key element. What’s the role of the journalist, then, in promoting this dialogue? How do we focus in on creating a dialogue instead of preaching, telling the people that certain things are right and certain things are wrong? "Deliberative discourse" means dialogue.  It is lengthy discussion of issues resulting from the investigation within the community. The media and citizens are fellow problem solvers, but public judgment, what the people decide, is what is best, not what the media decides. When the people decide, they do so by weighing the strengths of all the various sides of an issue to come to a compromise; the community decides what they would like to do. The media’s job is to help them understand and appreciate how other people think and feel so that the people have more knowledge, more of an ability to come to their own opinion, their own decision, regarding the issue.


Deliberative discourse is often described as the best form of democracy. In ancient Rome, where people came together to be involved in decision-making, it clearly was designed to have people understand and agree to common ground in their decision making in public.


The community media want to help the people to arrive at their own course of action, to address an issue they think is important to them. This part of the community journalism model is described as “working toward a choice” that everybody can agree upon. The media do that by promoting the decisions and actions of the people. Community journalism is a grassroots movement, a way in which the media serve the citizens of a community.


In community journalism, the reporter should be collecting more than "just the facts" about a news story. Journalists should find out what’s important to the community. They want to know what the background is, and to describe those elements of the issue from the various points of view of the community. After that is done, and the media ask the right questions, they are providing an in-depth opportunity for analysis -- far more than news. When looking at what kinds of issues that might be of interest to focus on in community journalism efforts, journalists poll the people.  They survey and talk to the people. The key here is, once it is decided what issue is going to be pursued, once it is decided where and how support will be provided to help the people, that the people drive the agenda.  The people tell the media what’s important and the media give them as much information/opportunity to discuss the issues as possible.


The public judgment, when made on an informed basis, is always right, regardless of whether the media agree with it or not.


Community journalism is also about establishing trust. Journalists can be far more effective if they address simple issues first. Go into the community and address issues to start building a dialogue around those issues. The journalist will have an easier time addressing some of the more difficult issues later.


There has to be some trust built on issues that everyone can agree upon and rally around before more difficult, controversial issues can be tackled. Community journalism helps to build some common ground between the community, the media and the political system if we start out small and don’t try to take on too much at one time.





1)         What value does your news media (whether you’re from radio, television, newsprint) add to your role in your urban communities?


2)         How can we, as the media, make it easier for citizens to have a voice and to act on the issues that we raise in our work in community journalism?





Layers of Civic Life Exercise:  Develop a process by which community journalists may capture opinions of the five layers of civic life described by The Harwood Group. Coordinate this project with an additional public listening activity.





VIDEOTAPE:  “Civic Journalism:  Covering Your Community Through Creative Partnerships.”


This tape is a recording of a session at the Radio and Television News Directors Association (USA) Convention.  It highlights the unique alliances made between different media to cooperate on the same community journalism project.  The focus is on partnerships and how each media built their approach to the issue in combination with, not competition with, the other media.


VIDEOTAPE:  “Self-Publishing Communities:  Partnering with the New Competition.”


Glenn Ritt, former vice president of news and information at The Bergen Record in Hackensack, NJ (USA) shares his ideas for making newspapers the foundation of a region's information highway by building partnerships with community groups on the Web





Chapter 4


How Can Journalists Engaged in Community Journalism Help Citizens Act?






Charity, A. (1995).  Doing Public Journalism.  New York:  The Guilford Press.  CHAPTER 5.



Schaffer, Jan (Exec. Producer.)  A Journalist’s Tool Box:  Techniques for Building Better Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.  PART 3:  FRAMING A STORY:  WHAT’S IT REALLY ABOUT?






Community journalism is journalism through a dialogue; it is meant to be a conversation among people. It is not necessarily a dialogue between the media and the people or conversely, between the people and the media.  In either case, such a scenario tends to make the media still very much of a leader in society; it is unidirectional rather than interactive.  In the dialog, the media is a facilitator that provides a forum for the public. In terms of the dialogue, the media facilitates the presentation of different angles on the story.  The media provides information about the options that are available. A key point to remember is that the media helps present options, but it doesn't present the options in the sense that one is better than another.  The conversation is then actually between people with the media only a participant.






Often times, consensus is seen as everybody coming to agreement on a solution to an issue. That is, in fact, not necessarily the case.  In a community journalism project, not everyone will agree that a particular solution or a particular approach to an issue is the way to solve a problem. Simply put, consensus is an agreement by the community to pursue a particular course of action.  It doesn't necessarily mean that the members of a community give up their opinions or their views or that there are not other equally valuable courses of action.


Creating a public forum for gathering public opinion and debating possible solutions could include scheduling meetings among citizens, or scheduling very important summit meetings with community or government leaders, or feature stories and regularly appearing columns on the same issue over a period of time are broadcast or printed. Certainly, to coordinate press coverage with civic events where people can come together and extend their involvement and their conversation on these views.


"Some deliberate questions" or key questions that journalists interested in creating a forum for collecting different views and opinions on an issue could ask include:


What brought you into this issue? This question promotes understanding in group interviews because opponents can usually empathize with each other's personal stories more easily than with each other's arguments.


What experiences or beliefs might lead decent and caring people to support that point of view? This question asks people to look sympathetically at points of view they've rejected and at the opponents themselves.


Is that where the disagreement lies? When a source explains how two sides in an issue disagree, the reporter might restate what's been said in very concrete terms and ask this question. It often prods the source to reply with a more refined or focused definition of the disagreement, narrowing the issue.


What's your underlying interest? Is that something you personally believe? What's your reason for saying that? These types of questions are intended to get the source to define the motivation behind their aims and beliefs.


Describe the other side's position to me. The request asks the sources to give a description, not a caricature, then is followed by a question of accuracy and fairness. This might force the source to reason for a moment from within their opponent's terms.


What point, that the other side makes, makes the most sense to you? What trade-offs would you be willing to live with? What sacrifices are you unwilling to accept? What alternative is the least persuasive? What makes this issue so difficult?


These types of questions help define where common ground is more or less likely to be found.  (This list of questions was compiled from Arthur Charity's book titled "Doing Public Journalism.")


If people disagree, the media want to know where that disagreement is, or if it is believed that a particular course of action is the proper one, citizens need to know on what basis that course of action is the proper one. Community journalists should have each side describe or discuss the other side's position to understand why perhaps agreement or disagreement might occur.  The goal in pursuing solutions to an issue is consensus.





Being available to various constituencies is very important for a community journalist.  Letting the community know that the media is interested in what they have to say on the issues that are important to them is a very important part of the process in facilitating change in the community.  This is hopefully what community journalism has as its end reward. It is very important to be accessible to community constituencies and to let them know that they are important not only as sources, but also because they are the people who make decisions and make change happen in a community. It is very important to keep those avenues open and to see the media as a facilitator in the community in getting the different voices heard.


The media have to make a change in their philosophy about who their constituency is. It's one thing to talk about a parliamentary constituency or a head man's constituency.  But often times, the media forget that there are people outside of the urban areas. So journalists need to look differently at who it is they serve, so that they are in touch with all of those constituencies.


Some other ways that the media can facilitate community involvement include: continuing coverage of issues of interest to the citizens; helping to plan and cover town meetings to discuss issues; developing citizen forums. (As facilitators, journalists have to try to help the community act, but can not act on their behalf.) These town meetings are planned by the media as a public forum to build and identify the public agenda. The media is simply a participant in the forum.





Consider an issue that is key in your community:


1.         How would you normally cover the issue? That could include discussions of who you would interview, what information would be gathered, and so on. That's a very traditional question. Then, how would you handle it now in a community journalism approach?


2.         How would you get involved in the community? How would you identify community angles to these issues? Look at it from the citizens' point of view rather than the journalists' point of view. When you identify how you would look at these different angles, list what kinds of activities you would engage in, in order to uncover those angles. Of course, the easiest one is the town meeting, but we would like you to talk about other different kinds of activities that you would use to find these angles.


3.         How would each of the different media cover those angles and still complement one another in the community?





News Coverage Exercise:  Develop a plan for including the voices of the community in a time delimited community journalism news campaign for the community news media. Consider/plan partnership activities with other media. Develop promotional concepts to support your news campaign.





VIDEOTAPE:  “Citizen Reader:  Building Civic journalism Pages at the Virginian Pilot.”


Dennis Hartig, Managing Editor of the Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, explains how his paper experimented by devoting an entire page three days a week to covering education, public life and public safety. The goal was to help make readers more effective citizens by imparting knowledge as well as news.





Chapter 5


Looking at the Five Layers of Civic Life, Broadcasting, and the Practice of Community Journalism.






Charity, A. (1995).  Doing Public Journalism.  New York:  The Guilford Press.  CHAPTER 6.



Schaffer, Jan (Exec. Producer.)  A Journalist’s Tool Box:  Techniques for Building Better Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.  PART 4:  TAPPING YOUR COMMUNITY:  WHAT DON’T YOU KNOW?






A sample issue for identifying the Five Layers of Civic Life (and the places that sources might be found) is the health-related issue of AIDS.


For an issue like AIDS, it important to consider sources that will help journalists to identify how the citizenry feels about this issue, as well as information about the issue itself. What are the layers of civic life to be investigated?


Official contacts from the official layer that might be used to begin to research and write a story about AIDS might include the Ministry of Health.


The quasi-official layer may include advocacy groups, the organizations who talk on behalf of people with AIDS, and so on.


The third places layer may include the churches, the unions and the employers, schools.


The incidental layer, especially as it relates to a health issue like AIDS, may include people living with AIDS, individuals talking about people in the community who have acquired the disease, and even individuals who might give some information on how the whole situation occurred and how they feel that the community is dealing with the matter.


The private layer for this issue may include the family of someone who is suffering from this disease.





Community journalism is more than just interviewing citizens. It's definitely not just printing articles that the citizenry is interested in, but actually facilitating the discussion and the debate of civic issues with the citizens of a community, and making them aware of the issues and their discussion of the issues public so that the community benefits.


In that way, this community journalism model improves the way that the business of journalism is done on a regular basis, not just the specific stories that are chosen to be done about an issue, but the way that all the news stories that are written or broadcast are approached.


There are three keys to implementing civic journalism in the practice of broadcast journalism:



•research, and






Commitment on part of both the broadcast and the print media, when a partnership is formed, is to work with one another and not compete against one another. One aspect of the media that cannot be denied is the inherent competitive nature of the mass media -- television, radio and the newspapers -- in covering news. But, the three different media have their own strengths and weaknesses, and when covering the same stories in a community journalism project, the media need to compound the strengths of those individual media in producing cooperative stories that serve the people. In many instances, the media will be covering similar issues, maybe even the same event. But each media need to have something to differentiate the stories, to take advantage of the strength of that particular media, and at the same time to work in partnership. There has to be a commitment on the part of the media to the community model of journalism for covering the particular issue at hand.  The print journalist will approach it differently than the broadcast journalist, but they need to be committed to working on the same issue and at times, working together.


Since community journalism projects are long term projects (projects that will be addressed over a number of days or weeks of news coverage) the media must be committed to seeing the project through to its completion for the public's sake. So the journalist, the public and the news operation must be committed to this work. Partnerships always require commitment of all parties involved.


If a local radio news operation and a local newspaper operation develop a community journalism partnership, then the commitment is not only in time given to the issue, but they are committed to one another to cooperate with one another and cover the issue the best they can while maintaining that natural competition that the media enjoy. Journalists all want to cover the most current issues, to be there to cover the newsmakers, to be there when the hard and critical news breaks.  While hard news is important to the people and their right to know, service to the community to make it a better place to live is a commitment to excellence—to serving the people.  This also comes about when journalists have a respect for one another to share some information and also to allow each media to take advantage of the different strengths that it brings to the partnership.





Research is the second key. Research is key to understanding any news issue. It's also the key to finding the resources that are needed to develop stories.  Those resources include not only information from the official layer of our community or the quasi-official layer, but also from those other layers of society--our citizens as resources are exceptionally important to the stories. The average citizen, who makes up the majority of the community is able to identify what the important issues are, to help determine what forms of public discussion is appropriate, and what solutions need to be investigated to improve the community.





The third key is substance. The stories that are written must have substance. That is, they must have information that is vital and of interest to the community.  If a journalist has appropriately done research then he or she knows precisely what the community is dealing with -- what issues they are at the forefront of their minds -- then the substance should be there. The stories are not just what can be called "fluffy" stories, stories about human interest and things like that. These are news stories that people read to learn something -- something about being a member of that community or more about an issue that they are facing. The readers and viewers should feel they can partake in the debate and actually begin to use the information they're receiving from the media on these particular issues for the long term, and enrich their lives or at least change the way that they think about parts of their lives, and become part of the community debate or discussion of these issues.





1.         What are the key strengths of broadcast over print media for telling a community-based news story?


2.         What are the key limitations of broadcast versus print media for telling a community-based news story?


3.         How could a community journalism project be created to have both print and broadcast components that complement one another?



Feedback and Evaluation Exercise:  Develop a mechanism for gathering public opinion and continuing developments on your topic or issue of concern. How can you determine the value of the news campaign to the community? Should additional news coverage be planned or will the civic journalism project be a special feature or an ongoing element of the media practices?




VIDEOTAPE:    _____.  The Best of Civic Journalism:  The  (Year) Batten Award Winners. James K. Batten Awards and Symposium for Excellence in Civic Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  VIDEOTAPES WITH ACCOMPANYING PRINTED GUIDES (Years:  1999, 2000, 2001.)




Chapter 6


Putting All of this into Practice:  The Community Journalism Project






Schaffer, Jan and Miller, Edward D., eds. Of the People…by the People…for the People…with the People:  A Toolbox for Getting Readers and Viewers Involved.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1997.


Harwood, Richard C. and McCrehan, Jeff.  Tapping Civic Life:  How to Report First, and Best, What’s Happening in Your Community.  Second Edition.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism/Tides Center.  2000.






Journalists in community efforts do not focus on getting a single story. They focus on finding issues that are important, and then empower the people to talk about those issues. The media covers those issues and the discussions about them over a period of time. While journalists typically go out and do a single story and return to the newsroom, community journalists look at an assignment as a long-term project. To empower people and have them discuss issues that are important to them cannot be dealt with in a single story, even in a single program or a single issue of the newspaper; they are ongoing.


The stories that will be written in the final project are to draw from all five layers of the community; and the community as a whole will feel part of the story because of the story's substance. A journalist should know when a story is complete or is missing information. Think like a reader/viewer and ask the questions that they might ask from the story. The story or the series of stories should be full of information.  They should have captured what the people are trying to say is important.  Whether it's a government official or it's a citizen responding to a new change in the way that perhaps a new law or a new regulation that they have to follow that affects their life—the story is about feeling, impact, results.  The issues are to be covered from both (or all) sides, from the official side, the information coming down to the community and from the citizenry and from the people who have to live with it and their opinions coming up to meet the official layer of the community. It is also common that news stories are written because a press release was received or an official statement from a government office was made.  In the end, the important measure of effectiveness is to cover that story in a way that shows how citizens are affected.  A lot of readers or viewers are very aware that news coverage as only one-sided and they don't see how it affects them personally. Stories of substance really do affect readers and listeners personally and that's the focus when writing community journalism pieces.





The final project for the course will include a cooperatively designed group community journalism project.  The plan for the project should require in-depth investigation, a long-term commitment for the media to cover a wide variety of aspects of the issue selected, and be inclusive of several different media in partnership in the community.


This project will include the following components and will be completed in the community and will be presented in its final form suitable for publication/broadcast. The components of the final project include:


a) project plan – overview  (See “With the People”  Stage 1:  Project Planning)


b) public listening   (See “With the People”  Stage 2:  Getting Started)


c) review of layers of civic life  (See “With the People”  Stage 3:  Tools and Techniques)


d) plan for news coverage (coordinating among media) and production  (See “With the People”  Stage 4:  Moving the Needle)


e) evaluation mechanism and future casting




A presentation will be made to the class to exhibit each project.










(Selections in Bold are available from the Lecturer)



Altschull, J. Herbert. "A Crisis of Conscience: Is Community Journalism the Answer?" Journal of Mass Media Ethics 11 (3) 1996: 166-72.


_____.  America’s Struggle Within.  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1995.


Anderson, Rob, Dardenne, Robert and Killenberg, George M. "The American Newspaper as the Public Conversational Commons." Journal of Mass Media Ethics 11 (3) 1996: 159-1165.


Anderson, Rob, Dardenne, Robert, and Killenberg, George M. The Conversation of Journalism: Communications, Community, and News. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1996.


Arnone, Edward J. (ed.).  What Citizens Can Do:  A Public Way to Act.  Dayton, OH:  The Kettering Foundation.  1999.


Asher, Herbert.  Polling and the Public:  What Every Citizen Should Know.  Fifth Edition.  Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly Press.  2001.


Baron, Martin.  How Multicultural Communities are Shaping the Future of Journalism.  Civic Catalyst.  Fall, 2001.


Bagdikian, Ben H.  The Media Monopoly.  Sixth Edition.  Boston:  Beacon Press.  2000.


Barney, Ralph D. "Community Journalism: Good Intentions, Questionable Practice." Journal of Mass Media Ethics 11 (3) 1996: 140-151.


Batten, James K.  "Newspapers and Communities: The Vital Link." William Allen White Speech, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas: William Allen White Foundation, 1990.


Bender, John R. and Berens, Charlyne. "Public Journalism’s Incubator: Identifying Preconditions for Support.  A presentation at “Public Journalism: A Critical Forum," University of South Carolina, Columbia.  1999.


_____.  The Best of Civic Journalism:  The  (Year) Batten Award Winners. James K. Batten Awards and Symposium for Excellence in Civic Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  VIDEOTAPES WITH ACCOMPANYING PRINTED GUIDES (Years:  1999, 2000, 2001.)


Black, Jay.  Mixed News:  The Public/Civic/Communitarian Journalism Debate. Mahwah, NJ:  Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.  1997.


Black, Jay, Steele, Bob and Barney, Ralph. "Doing Ethics in Journalism: A Handbook with Case Studies." Greencastle, IN: Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and The Society of Professional Journalists.  1993.


Bloomquist, David, and Zukin, Cliff. Does Public Journalism Work?: The "Campaign Central" Experience. Washington, D.C.: The Pew Center for Civic Journalism. May 1997.


Broder, David. "A New Assignment for the Press." Press Enterprise Lecture No. 26, Riverside, CA: The Press Enterprise, 1991.


Calendar, Jody.  New Listening Posts:  Blending Investigative with Civic Journalism in Asbury Park.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1998.  VIDEOTAPE.


Carey, James.  Communication As Culture:  Essays on Media and Society.  New York: Unwin Hyman (HarperCollins).  1988.


Carey, James. "The Decline of Democratic Institutions." Columbia Journalism Review, Vol. 6.  March/April, 1998.


Carey, James W. The Press, Public Opinion and Public Discourse. In the book: Public Opinion and the Communication of Consent. Theodore L. Glasser and Charles T. Salmon, eds, New York: Guilford Publications, 1995, pp. 373-402.


Charity, Arthur. Doing Public Journalism. New York: Guilford Publications, 1995.


Christians, Clifford G., Ferre, John P. and Fackler, P. Mark. Good News: Social Ethics and the Press. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.


_____.  Civic Innovations:  Media for a New America.  The Civic Catalyst.  Summer, 2002.


_____.  Civic Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1995.  VIDEOTAPE AND STUDY GUIDE.


_____.  "Civic Journalism." CQ Researcher, Vol. 6, No. 35, pp. 817-840, Sept. 20, 1996.


_____.  Civic Journalism:  A Living Legacy.  Highlights from the 2002 James K. Batten Awards and Symposium for Excellence in Civic Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2002.


_____.  Civic Journalism:  Covering Your Community Through Creative Partnerships.  A Presentation at the RTNDA International Conference.  New Orleans, LA:  RTNDA.  1995.  VIDEOTAPE.


_____.  Civic Journalism Is…  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.


Clark, Roy Peter. A Call to Leadership. Poynter Paper, No. 1, St. Petersburg: Poynter Institute, 1992.


Clark, Roy Peter and Cole C. Campbell, eds.  The Value and Craft of American Journalism.  Gainesville, FL: University Press of Florida, 2002.


_____.  Community Leadership:  Community Change Through Public Action.  Indianapolis, IN:  National Association for Community Leadership.  1999.


Corrigan, Don. The Public Journalism Movement in America: Evangelists in the Newsroom. Praeger, 1999.


_____.  Cracking the Code:  Creating New Lifelines Between Journalists and Academics.  Highlights of a Conference of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism and the Reilly Center for Media and Public Affairs.  Louisiana State University.  Baton Rouge.  September, 2000.


Dahlgren, Peter and Colin Sparks, eds. Communication and Citizenship:

Journalism and the Public Sphere in the New Media Age. New York: Routledge, 1991.


_____.  Delving into Race Reporting.  Civic Catalyst.  Fall, 2001.


Denton, Frank and Thorson, Esther.  Civic Journalism: Does it Work?  Pew Center for Civic Journalism, 1995.


Dillon, Mike.  Present Tense, Past Tense:  The Historical and Philosophical Roots of Civic Journalism.  Department of Communication, Duquesne University.  1999.


Eksterowicz, Anthony J. and Robert N. Roberts, eds.  Public Journalism and Political Knowledge.  Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2000.


Enteman, Robert M. Democracy Without Citizens: Media and the Decay of American Politics.   New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.


Enteman, Robert M. "Framing: Toward Clarification Of A Fractured Paradigm." Journal of Communication 43 (1993): 51-58.


Etzioni, Amitai. The Spirit of Community: Rights, Responsibilities and the Communitarian Agenda. New York: Crown Publishers, 1993.


Fallows, James. Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine American Democracy. New York: Pantheon, 1997.


Fishkin, James S. The Voice of the People: Public Opinion and Democracy.

New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1995.


Ford, Pat.  Delving into the Divide:  A Study of Race Reporting in Forty-Five U. S. Newsrooms.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2001.


Ford, Pat.  Don’t Stop There!  Five Adventures in Civic Journalism.  Schaffer, Jan ed.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1998.


Ford, Pat.  Race Documentary Kindles Norfolk Dialogue.  Civic Catalyst.  Fall, 2001.


Fouhy, Edward M.  (Exec. Producer.)  Civic Journalism:  A Work in Progress.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1998.  VIDEOTAPE.


Fouhy, Edward M.  Community Media Workshop:  Opening Remarks.  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  Chicago.  May, 1997.


Fouhy, Edward M. (Exec. Producer.)  What is Civic Journalism?  It’s More Than Just Good Journalism.  San Francisco, CA:  The Tides Center.  1996.  VIDEOTAPE.


Fouhy, Edward M. "Pew Center is About Listening, Not Handouts." The American Editor, January-February 1997: 13.


Franklin, Tim.  Tapping New Data Territories. A Presentation at Pew/IRE Conference.  Tampa, Fl.  February, 2002.


Fukuyama, Francis. Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity. New York: Free Press, 1996.


Fuller, Jack. News Values: Ideas for an Information Age. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1997.


Gans, Herbert J. "Bystanders as Opinion Makers -- A Bottoms-Up Perspective," in Media & Public Life, Everette E. Dennis and Robert W. Snyder, eds. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1997.


_____.   Getting the Connections Right: Public Journalism and the Troubles in the Press. New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1996.


Gibbs, Cheryl, ed.  Speaking of Public Journalism.  Dayton, OH:  The Kettering Foundation.  1997.


Glasser, Theodore L. "The Idea of Public Journalism," pp. 3-18 in Theodore L. Glasser, ed. The Idea of Public Journalism. New York: Guilford, 1999.


Glasser, Theodore L. "The Politics of Public Journalism." Journalism Studies, 1 (November 2000): 683-686.


Glasser, Theodore L. and Craft, Stephanie. "Public Journalism and the Prospects for Press Accountability," in Jay Black, ed., Mixed News: The Public/Civic/Communitarian Journalism Debate, pp. 120-134. Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum, 1997; excerpted in Journal of Mass Media Ethics, 11, 3 (1996): 152-158.


Glasser, Theodore L. and Craft, Stephanie. "Public Journalism and the Search for Democratic Ideals," pp. 203-218 in Tamar Liebes and James Curran, eds. Media, Ritual and Identity. London: Routledge, 1998.


Glasser, Theodore L. and Ettema, James S.  Custodians of Conscience:  Investigative Journalism and Public Virtue.  New York:  Columbia University Press.  1998.


Glasser, Theodore L. and Lee, Francis L. F. "Repositioning the Newsroom: The American Experience with 'Public Journalism'," in Erik Neveu and Raymond Kuhn, eds. Political Journalism.  London: Routledge.  2002.


Glick, Mary (Exec. Producer.)  Issues in Community News.  Oswego, NY:  The University of New York at Oswego, Center for Community Journalism.  1998.  VIDEOTAPE.


Grimes, Charlotte.  Whither the Civic Journalism Bandwagon?  Harvard University, 1999.


Gyllenhaal, Anders.  What’s Coming?  Will We Be Ready for It?  A Speech Presented at the AEJMC Conference.  Phoenix, NM.  August, 2002.


Haas, Tanni.  Towards a Democratically Viable Conception of Publicness:  The Case of Public Journalism. A Presentation at the “Public Journalism:  A Critical Forum.”  University of South Carolina, Columbia.  October, 1998.


Hardt, Hanno. "The Quest for Public Journalism." Journal of Communication 47 (Summer 1997): 102-109.


Hartig, Dennis.  Citizen Reader:  Building Civic Journalism Pages at the Virginian Pilot.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1998.  VIDEOTAPE


Harwood, Richard C. and McCrehan, Jeff.  Tapping Civic Life:  How to Report First, and Best, What’s Happening in Your Community.  Second Edition.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism/Tides Center.  2000.


Hetrick, Judi.  Students See Value in Civic Mapping.  Civic Catalyst.  Fall, 2001.


Hodges, Louis W. "Ruminations About the Communitarian Debate. Journal of Mass Media Ethics 11 (3)  1996:133-139.


Hoyt, Mike. "Are you now or will you ever be a civic journalist?" Columbia Journalism Review (Sept/Oct 1995): 27-33.


Iggers, Jeremy.  Good News, Bad News:  Journalism Ethics and the Public Interest.  Boulder, CO:  Westview Press.  1999.


Iorio, Sharon Hartin. "Political Discourse, Economic/Fiscal Policy Issues, and Civic Journalism." Wichita, KS: Wichita State University. 1998.


Iorio, Sharon Hartin and Huxman, Susan Schultz. "Media Coverage Of Political Issues and the Framing Of Personal Concerns." Journal of Communication 46 (Fall 1996): 97-115.


Iorio, Sharon Hartin and Armstrong, Richard N. "Public Journalism, Political Discourse, and Civic Involvement: The 1996 Election," A Paper Presented at the Annual Conference of the National Communications Association.  New York.  1998.


Iyengar, Shanto. "Is Anyone Responsible?"  Chicago: University Of Chicago Press. 1991. Chps. 2, 4, 5 and Pp. 27-143.


_____.  Journalism Interactive:  New Attitudes, Tools and Techniques Change Journalism’s Landscape.  A Study Conducted for the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Pew Center for Civic Journalism, and The National Conference of Editorial Writers.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2001.


Kovach, Bill.  Tom Carlson or His Dog.  Social Responsibility:  Business, journalism, Law, Medicine.  _____.


Kurtz, Howard.  Tuning Out Traditional News.  The Washington Post.  May 15, 1995.


Lambeth, Edmund B. Committed Journalism: An Ethic for the Profession.

Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1992.


Lambeth, Edmund B., Philip E. Meyer, and Esther Thorson, eds. Assessing Public Journalism. University of Missouri Press, 1998.


Lasch, Christopher. "Journalism, Publicity And The Lost Art Of Argument," in Media & Public Life, Everette E. Dennis and Robert W. Snyder, eds. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers. 1997.


Lauterer, Jock. Community Journalism, 2nd ed. Ames: Iowa State University Press, 2000.


Leeper, Roy V. "Virtue Ethics and Public Relations: The Communitarian Alternative." Paper presented to the National Communication Association Annual Meeting. New York, NY. Nov. 21-24, 1998.


Levine, Peter.  The Press in a Deliberative Democracy. A Presentation at the “Public Journalism:  A Critical Forum.”  University of South Carolina, Columbia.  October, 1998.


Levine, Peter. "Public Journalism and Deliberation." Report from the Institute for Philosophy & Public Policy, Vol. 16, Number 1, pp 1-5. Winter, 1996.


London, Scott.  Creating Citizens Through Public Deliberation.  Dayton, OH:  The Kettering Foundation.  1997.


Marks, Alexandra.  Public Journalism Aims to Revitalize Public Live.  The Christian Science Monitor. _____.


Mathews, David.  For Communities to Work.  Dayton, OH:  The Kettering Foundation.  2002.


Mathews, David and McAfee, Noelle.  Making Choices Together:  The Power of Public Deliberation.  Dayton, OH:  The Kettering Foundation.  2002.


Maynard, Dori J.  Blindsided.  The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.  Oakland, CA:  2000.  Part of the Fault Lines Project:


McCombs, Maxwell E., and Shaw, Donald L.. "The Evolution of Agenda-Setting Research: Twenty-Five Years in the Marketplace of Ideas." Journal of Communications 43 (Spring 1993): 58-67.


McKnight, David.  Public Journalism, Citizenship and Strategies for Change.  A paper presented at the Culture and Citizenship Conference.  Sydney, Australia.  November 1998.


Merrill, John C.  Advent of Order and Social Harmony:  Public Journalism:  A U. S. Harbinger.  A Presentation at “Public Journalism:  A Critical Forum.”  University of South Carolina, Columbia.  October, 1998.


Merrill, John C., Gade, Peter J. and Frederick R. Blevens.  Twilight of Press Freedom: The Rise of People's Journalism.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2001.


_____.  "Merritt and McMasters Debate Public Journalism." Journal of Mass Media Ethics 11 (3) 1996: 713-183.


Merritt, Davis. Public Journalism and Public Life: Why Telling the News is Not Enough. Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 1995.


Merritt, Davis.  The Misconception About Public Journalism.  Editor & Publisher.  Vol. 128, Issue 26, July 1, 1995.


Merritt, Davis and Jay Rosen. Imagining Public Journalism: An Editor and Scholar Reflect on the Birth of an Idea. Indiana University School of Journalism, Roy W. Howard Public Lecture, April 13, 1995.


Meyer, Philip.  Public Journalism and the Problem of Objectivity.  IRE/University of North Carolina, 1995.


Miller, Edward D.  The Charlotte Project:  Helping Citizens Take Back Democracy.  The Poynter Papers:  No. 4.  St. Petersburg, FL:  The Poynter Center.  1994.


Morris, John L. A Study of Attitudes toward Audience Interaction in Journalism: Citizen-Based Reporting. Lewiston, NY:  Edwin Mellen Press, 2002.


Morgan, Lucy.  Covering the Statehouse:  Lucy Morgan’s Greatest Hits.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center on the States.  _____.  VIDEOTAPE.


_____.  News Breaks:  Can Journalists Fix It? The Highlights of the James K. Batten Symposium.  Washington, DC.  May, 1997.


_____.  News Futures:  Civic Innovations in Reporting.  The Highlights of the James K. Batten Symposium.  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  Chicago.  May, 1998.


Novek, Eleanor M.  "In the public interest – NOT!" Young people assess the social responsibility of the press in Civic journalism." Paper presented at "Public Journalism: A Critical Forum," Center for Mass Communications Research, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. October, 1998.


Oppel, Richard A. "Three Steps to Improve Public Journalism." The American Editor, January-February 1997: 12.


Osborn, Barbara Bliss.  Civic Journalism Takes Root on the Web. Online Journalism Review, November 1999.


Parisi, Peter. "Toward a ‘Philosophy of Framing’: News Narratives for Public Journalism." Journalism and Mass Communications Quarterly 74 (Winter 1991): 673-686.


Peck, Chris.  Civic Journalism:  The Savior of Newspapers in the 21st Century?  A Speech Presented at the AEJMC Conference.  New Orleans, LA.  August, 1999.


Peck, Chris.  Transformation From Within:  How Civic Journalists May Save the Media. Address to the Pew/AEJMC Civic Journalism Conference, Civic Innovations in Newsrooms and Classrooms..  Eugene, OR.  February, 2001.


_____.   "Politics, Vision and the Press: Toward a Public Agenda for Journalism."

In the book: The New News v. the Old News: The Press and Politics in the 1990s. New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1992.


Porter, Cy.  Community Journalism:  Getting Started.  Second Edition.  Washington, DC:  The Radio and Television News Directors Foundation and the Pew Charitable Trusts.  1996.  VIDEOTAPE AND STUDY GUIDE.


Potter, Deborah.  TV Stations Tap Viewers for Story Ideas.  Civic Catalyst.  Fall, 2001.


Price, Cindy J.  Public Journalists:  Are They Following the Social Responsibility Theory? A Presentation at the “Public Journalism:  A Critical Forum.”  University of South Carolina, Columbia.  October, 1998.


Putnam, Robert. Making Democracy Work: Civic Traditions in Modern Italy. Princeton, NJ : Princeton University Press, 1994.


Putnam, Robert. "The Strange Disappearance of Civic America." American Prospect. 24 (winter, 1996): 34.


_____.  Reality Checks.  Oakland, CA:  The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.  2000.


Ripley, Jr., Casey. The Media and the Public. New York: H.W. Wilson, 1994.


Ritt, Glen.  Self-Publishing Communities:  Partnering with the New Competition.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1998.  VIDEOTAPE.


_____.  Roadmap 2005:  National vs. Regional Journalism:  Strategies for a Successful Future.  A Symposium of the Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  New York.  October, 2000.


Rosen, Jay.  Community Connectedness:  Passwords for Public Journalism.  The Poynter Papers: No. 3.  St. Petersburg, FL:  The Poynter Center.  1993.


Rosen, Jay. Getting the Connections Right: Public Journalism and the Troubles in the Press. New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1996.


Rosen, Jay. "Public Journalism: A Case for Public Scholarship," Speech presented at the AAHE National Conference, March, 1995. Change, May/June, 1995.


Rosen, Jay. What Are Journalists For? New Haven, CT:  Yale University Press, 1999.


Rosen, Jay, Merritt, Davis “Buzz,” and Austin, Lisa.  Public Journalism:  Theory and Practice.  Dayton, OH:  The Kettering Foundation.  1997.


Schaffer, Jan.  Attack Dog, Watch Dog or Guide Dog…The Role of the Media in Community Building.  Marcia Kantrow Lecture Series.  Baton Rouge Area Foundation.  October, 1999.


Schaffer, Jan.  Building Zones of Connectivity. A Presentation at AEJMC Conference.  Miami, Fl.  August, 2002.


Schaffer, Jan.  Civic Journalism:  10 Tips for Rebuilding Frameworks of Society.  American Press Institute, Special Report:  Covering a National Tragedy, Managing and Reporting a News Crisis.  September, 2001.


Schaffer, Jan.  Civic Journalism:  10 Years of Work. A Presentation at AEJMC Conference.  Miami, Fl.  August, 2002.


Schaffer, Jan.  Civic Mapping. A Presentation at the Morris Communications Workshop.  Augusta, GA.  May, 2001.


Schaffer, Jan.  Interactive Journalism:  Clicking on the Future.  APME News.  Fall, 2001.


Schaffer, Jan (Exec. Producer.)  A Journalist’s Tool Box:  Techniques for Building Better Journalism.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.  VIDEOTAPE (Four Part Series.)


Schaffer, Jan.  Lessons in Connecting Readers to the Media.  The American Editor.  September, 2001.


Schaffer, Jan.  The Media and Civic Engagement.  A Presentation to the Public Faces of Philanthropy Conference.  Northern California Grantmakers.  San Francisco.  June, 1999.


Schaffer, Jan.  Mining a Collection of Race Stories.  Civic Catalyst.  Fall, 2001.


Schaffer, Jan.  Tips for Smarter Reporting.  Society of Professional Journalists.  Fall, 2002.


Schaffer, Jan (Exec. Producer.)  Tune in Your Community, Turn on Your Viewers.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1998.  VIDEOTAPE AND STUDY GUIDE.


Schaffer, Jan and Cloud, Stanley, eds.  The Citizens Election Project:  Case Studies.  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1996.


Schaffer, Jan and Miller, Edward D., eds.  Civic Journalism:  Six Case Studies.    Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1995.


Schaffer, Jan and Miller, Edward D., eds.  Of the People, By the People, For the People, With the People.  Washington, DC:  The Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1997.


Sirianni, Carmen and Friedland, Lewis.  Civic Innovation & American Democracy.  Change.  January/February, 1997.


Smith, Steven A.  “Alone Again Naturally:  A Short History of Civic Journalism and Time.”  Address to the Pew/AEJMC Civic Journalism Conference, Civic Innovations in Newsrooms and Classrooms..  Eugene, OR.  February, 2001.


Stamm, Keith R. Newspaper Use and Community Ties: Toward a Dynamic Theory. Norwood, NJ: Ablex,1985.


Steffens, Marty. “Being Open to the Unexpected.”  Address to the Pew/AEJMC Civic Journalism Conference, Civic Innovations in Newsrooms and Classrooms..  Eugene, OR.  February, 2001.


_____.  The Straight Scoop: An Expert Guide to Great Community Journalism.  Hartford, CT: The Hartford Courant, 1996.


_____.  Straight Talk from Americans—2000.  A National Survey by Princeton Survey Research Associates.  Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  2000.


_____.  Texas and the Latino Vote.  A Civic/Community Journalism Project by Radio Station KERA.  Dallas, TX.  2001.


Thorson, Esther and Friedland, Lewis A.  Civic Lessons:  Report on Four Civic Journalism Projects.  Pew Center for Civic Journalism.  1997. 


Tobia, Loren, and Brown, Colony. "Diversity in Broadcasting." In Insights The Journal of the Association of Schools of Journalism and Mass Communication (Spring, 1999): 18-20.


_____.  Total Community Coverage. Oakland, CA: The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.  2000.


Van Tuyll, Debra Reddin.  Public Journalism as Postmodern Phenomenon. A Presentation at the “Public Journalism:  A Critical Forum.”  University of South Carolina, Columbia.  October, 1998.


Verykoukis, Andrea. "A Journalism Less Ordinary? The Inspirational Tone of Public Journalism." Paper Presented to the Civic Journalism Interest Group of the AEJMC Convention. Baltimore, MD, August 5-8, 1998.


Winship, Thomas.  The New Curmudgeon:  Jim Batten and Civic Journalism.  Editor & Publisher.  April 1, 1995.


Yankelovich, Daniel. Coming to Public Judgment: Making Democracy Work in a Complex World. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press. 1991.


Yarnold, David.  Community Media Connections:  Linking with the News. A Presentation at Pew/Maynard Conference.  San Francisco, CA.  January, 2002.




Civic Journalism and Community Empowerment Organizations and Resources—Online Links

(Department of Communications, Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, USA and the Department of Media Technology, The Polytechnic of Namibia.)



Alliance for Better Campaigns (USA)

A public interest group that seeks to improve elections by promoting campaigns in which the most useful information reaches the greatest number of citizens in the most engaging way. The organization "aspires to a politics larger than attack ads and the money chase that pays for them – a politics rooted in a sense of national community and purpose."


Alliance for Community Media (USA)

The Alliance for Community Media is committed to assuring everyone's access to electronic media. The Alliance advances this goal through public education, a progressive legislative and regulatory agenda, coalition building and grassroots organizing.


A nonprofit, the Alliance represents Educational and Governmental (PEG) access organizations and community media centers throughout the country. It also represents the interests of millions of people who, through their local religious, community and charitable groups.


Alliance for National Renewal (USA)

The Alliance for National Renewal (ANR) brings together a network of people and organizations that want to better their communities. At the grassroots, all over the nation, inspiring stories of community renewal are waiting to be told and heard. This is your opportunity to tap into this rich and growing movement.


Amnesty International, International Secretariat (International)

Amnesty International is a worldwide campaigning movement that works to promote internationally recognized human rights.   Amnesty International's vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards. Its mission is to undertake research and action focused on preventing and ending  abuses of the rights to physical and mental integrity, freedom of conscience and expression, and freedom from discrimination, within the context of our work to promote all human rights.


Annenberg Public Policy Center (USA)

Established by publisher and philanthropist Walter Annenberg in 1994 to create a community of scholars within the University of Pennsylvania to address public policy issues at the local, state and federal levels. The center's initiatives focus on the Information and Society; Media and the Developing Mind; Media and the Dialogue of Democracy; and Health Communication.


Australian Centre for Independent Journalism (Australia)

Contains many links pertaining to the region, as well as the magazine Reportage Media Bulletin (containing full-text articles: Noam Chomsky on Journalism and Reporting Aboriginal Deaths in Custody) and Signposts to Asia and the Pacific (an online database for journalists and researchers) and much more.


Canadian Association of Journalists (Canada)


Center for Civic Education (USA)

The Center for Civic Education is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational corporation dedicated to fostering the development of informed, responsible participation in civic life by citizens committed to values and principles fundamental to American constitutional democracy.


Center for Civic Networking (USA)

The Center for Civic Networking (CCN) is a non-profit organization dedicated to applying information infrastructure to the broad public good - particularly by putting information infrastructure to work within local communities to improve delivery of local government services, improve access to information that people need in order to function as informed citizens, broaden citizen participation in governance, and stimulate economic and community development.


Center for Community Journalism (USA)

The mission of the Center for Community Journalism is to foster effective community journalism by training working journalists and forging a link between academia and the world of community journalism that strengthens both.


CCJ Goals are:  to provide continuing journalism education tailored to the needs of small news organizations, needs often overlooked by other journalism training programs; to help community newspapers keep abreast of emerging technologies; to explain the ways community newspapers contribute to healthy communities; and to strengthen the link between the classroom and the newsroom.



Center for Consensual Democracy (USA)

Consensual Democracy is a sustainable, grassroots approach to civic renewal based on the visions, values and goals of local citizens. It organizes community members to work together through nonprofit civic associations that are independent of local government.  Consensual Democracy is financed by local citizens through earned income and consensual (voluntary) taxes. It welcomes every citizen who wishes to contribute to a better community.


Center for Democracy and Citizenship (USA)

The Center for Democracy and Citizenship is a university-wide resource based in the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs, a leading public affairs graduate and research institution. The mission of the Center for Democracy and Citizenship is the promotion of democracy and the strengthening of citizenship and civic education within a variety of settings, with a special emphasis on youth.


Center for Democracy in Action (USA)

The Center for Democracy in Action facilitates citizenship development and opportunities for participation in public life and service. It is committed to the teaching of democracy as a transformative way of learning and living. The Center consciously locates itself at the interface of the academy and public life and draws its faculty from both sectors.


Center for Living Democracy (USA)

Despite all the bad news, something extraordinary is happening in America: A profound shift in attitudes and expectations is reshaping our culture from the bottom up. Living Democracy is what we call this broad awakening to the essential role of regular citizens in solving America's toughest problems. Millions are now learning that public life is not just for officials and experts, but part of a rewarding life for each of us. The Center's mission is to dramatically accelerate the emergence of Living Democracy.


Center for Media and Public Affairs  CMPA  (USA)

A non-profit, non-partisan media research organization located in Washington, DC


Chinese Communications Association (China)


Civic Journalism Initiative Projects (USA)

THE MINNESOTA PUBLIC RADIO CIVIC JOURNALISM INITIATIVE was started in August, 1995 after the successful "Minnesota Action Plan to End Gun Violence" project initiated by Leonard Witt when he was editor of Minnesota Monthly magazine. Civic or public journalism projects conducted by the Civic Journalism Initiative include:  Color of Justice , Covering Native American Issues , Sharing the Wealth: Charitable Giving in Prosperous Times , Welfare to Work, Urban, Rural Conversations, Rural Diversity.


The Civic Journalism Interest Group of the Association for Educational in Journalism and Mass Communication AEJMC (USA)

A newsletter, list-serve, and archives of civic journalism scholarship is available online.


Civic Network Television (USA)

Civic Network Television (CNT) strives to put technology to use in ways that help the civic, volunteer, not-for-profit and public organizations in communities deal more effectively with today's problems, while also preparing to meet the extraordinary challenges that lie ahead.


Civic Practices Network (USA)

Civic Practices Network (CPN) is a collaborative and nonpartisan project bringing together a diverse array of organizations and perspectives within the new citizenship movement. It shares a commitment to bring practical methods for public problem solving into every community and institutional setting in America. It assumes the responsibility of telling the stories, so that all citizens may have the opportunity to learn from what others are doing to renew their communities. CPN has a common faith that we can revitalize our democracy to tackle the complex problems of the 21st century if we can broadly exchange and continually refine the civic wisdom of what works and what empowers citizens to work together.


Committee to Protect Journalists (International)

By publicly revealing abuses against the press and by acting on behalf of imprisoned and threatened journalists, CPJ effectively warns journalists and news organizations where attacks on press freedom are likely to occur. CPJ organizes vigorous protest at all levels--ranging from local governments to the United Nations--and, when necessary, works behind the scenes through other diplomatic channels to effect change. CPJ also publishes articles and news releases, special reports, a quarterly newsletter and the most comprehensive annual report on attacks against the press around the world.


Communitarian Network (USA)

Widely regarded as the new environmental movement, the Communitarian movement is based on the centrist philosophy that individual liberties depend upon the bolstering of the foundations of civil society: our families, schools, and neighborhoods. It is through these institutions that we acquire a sense of personal and civic responsibility, an appreciation of our rights and the rights of others, and a commitment to the welfare of the community and its members. Central to the communitarian perspective is the belief that public policies should seek a balance between individual rights and the responsibilities of individuals to the society at large.


Community and Culture (South Africa)

Academic citizenship in a democracy such as South Africa entails among other things that the media must be accessible to all its people and that sufficient training facilities must be made available to prospective journalists from all walks of life. In the spirit of academic citizenship, UNISA’s Department of Communication has introduced a Community Journalism for Beginners certificate course to provide students from previously disadvantaged communities the opportunity to obtain a formal qualification in the field. This distance education course will equip aspiring journalists with theoretical and practical knowledge and skills in the field of journalism


Denmark Journalists’ Association (Denmark)


Finland Journalists’ Association (Finland)


Freedom Forum (International)

The Freedom Forum is a nonpartisan, international foundation dedicated to free press, free speech and free spirit for all people. Its mission is to help the public and the news media understand one another better. With assets of nearly $900 million, it is the USA's largest foundation focused on fostering First Amendment freedoms. The operator of the Newseum, the world's only interactive news museum, The Freedom Forum is a major supporter of journalism education, a leader in assisting the professional development of journalists, a champion of diversity and the advancement of women in news-media professions. It is a major force in international press-freedom programs.


German Association of Journalists (Germany)


Human Rights Watch (International)

Human Rights Watch is dedicated to protecting the human rights of people around the world.   It stands with victims and activists to prevent discrimination, to uphold political freedom, to protect people from inhumane conduct in wartime, and to bring offenders to justice.   It investigates and exposes human rights violations and hold abusers accountable.   It challenges governments and those who hold power to end abusive practices and respect international human rights law.   It enlists the public and the international community to support the cause of human rights for all.  Human Rights Watch is an independent, nongovernmental organization, supported by contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. It accepts no government funds, directly or indirectly.


Index on Censorship (International)

Index on Censorship was founded in 1972 by Stephen Spender.  Its goal is to protect the basic human right of free expression. For the past 31 years, it has reported on censorship issues from all over the world and has added to the debates on those issues. In addition to the analysis, reportage and interviews, each issue contains a country-by-country list of free speech violations. These lists remain as extensive today as they were in the early days of Index.


Institute for Media, Peace and Security (International)

The institute of the University for Peace created by the United Nations, specializes in the interactions between media, conflict, peace and security.


Institute for the Study of Civic Values (USA)

Since 1973, the Institute for the Study of Civic Values has been a leading center in the United States promoting community -- the collaboration of citizens, the private sector, and government in efforts to fulfill America's historic ideals. Throughout its history, the Institute has developed programs that use basic civic values to help citizens learn how to promote community and opportunity in the country today.


International Communications Association ICA (International)

ICA is an international association for scholars interested in the study, teaching and application of all aspects of human mediated communication.


International Federation of Journalists (International)

The International Federation of Journalists is the world's largest organization of journalists. First established in 1926, the Federation represents 450,000 members in more than 100 countries.  The IFJ promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice through strong, free and independent trade unions of journalists.  The IFJ does not subscribe to any given political viewpoint, but promotes human rights, democracy and pluralism.  The IFJ is opposed to discrimination of all kinds and condemns the use of media as propaganda or to promote intolerance and conflict.  The IFJ believes in freedom of political and cultural expression and defends trade union and other basic human rights.  The IFJ is the organization that speaks for journalists within the United Nations system and within the international trade union movement.


International Journalists’ Network (International)

The International Journalists’ Network (IJNet) is the international center for journalists’ online sources for media assistance news, journalism training opportunities, reports on the state of the media around the world, and valuable media directories.


Italian Association of Journalists (Italy)


J-LAB—The Institute for Interactive Journalism (USA)

J-Lab is the successor program to the Pew Center for Civic Journalism  J-LAB will support newsroom experiments in interactive news that advance civic journalism in the digital arena. J-LAB will be housed at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Jan Schaffer (formerly of the Pew Center) will be the executive director.


Kettering Foundation (USA)

The Kettering Foundation is an operating foundation rooted in the American tradition of inventive research. Its founder, Charles F. Kettering, holder of more than 200 patents, is best known for his invention of the automotive self-starter. Established in 1927, the Foundation today continues that tradition. The objective of the research now is to understand the way bodies politic, rather than bodies mechanical, function or fail to function. Kettering treats politics in its broadest sense politics as a dimension of everyday life rather than as only what officeholders and governments do. The research is done for practical purposes; it goes into crafting "tools" (study guides, community workbooks, and other exercises) that help a public act responsibly and effectively on its problems.


Media Alliance (USA)

Media Alliance is a nonprofit organization, which serves media professionals, nonprofit organizations and the general public in the San Francisco Bay Area. For twenty years, Media Alliance has worked to promote fairness and accuracy in the media in the Bay Area and nationwide. Our 3,500 members include professional journalists, freelance writers, activists, students, and other interested individuals.


The Media Institute (USA)

The Media Institute is a nonprofit research foundation specializing in communications policy issues. The Institute exists to foster three goals: freedom of speech, deregulation of the media and communications industry, and excellence in journalism.


MISA--Media Institute for Southern Africa (SADC)

The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) is a non-governmental organization with members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries. Officially launched in September 1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote free, independent and pluralistic media, as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration. MISA seeks ways in which to promote the free flow of information and co-operation between media workers, as a principal means of nurturing democracy and human rights in Africa.


The National Center for Community Media (USA)

The mission of the Huck Boyd National Center for Community Media is to serve and strengthen the local newspapers, radio stations, cable systems and other media that play a key role in the survival and revitalization of America's small towns.   The Center affirms the fact that community and communication are inseparable; you cannot have community without communication. It seeks to sustain and enhance the positive qualities of life found in small cities throughout America by nurturing and strengthening community media.


The National Civic League (USA)

The National Civic League advocates a new civic agenda to create communities that work for everyone. Founded in 1894 by Theodore Roosevelt and other turn-of-the-century progressives, NCL vigorously promotes the principles of collaborative problem solving and consensus-based decision making through technical assistance, training, publishing, research and an awards program.


The National Commission on Civic Renewal (USA)

The National Commission on Civic Renewal, made possible by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, will include individuals across the political spectrum and from many different walks of life, all of whom have demonstrated leadership in their fields and a commitment to the betterment of our country. The purpose of the Commission is to assess the condition of civic engagement in the United States today and to propose specific actions to be undertaken by the public, private, and voluntary sectors as well as by individuals that could improve this condition.


National Communications Association (USA)

NCA is a scholarly society and as such works to enhance the research, teaching, and service produced by its members on topics of both intellectual and social significance. Trends in national research, teaching, and service priorities are followed.


The National Community Building Network (USA)

The National Community Building Network (NCBN) is a national network that serves as hub for brokering information and connections among community builders. NCBN regularly brings its members together and helps community builders become more effective so that their actions have a greater impact on neglected low-income communities.   The mission of NCBN is to promote and advance community-building principles, in practice and policy, to achieve social and economic equity for all children and families.


The National Federation of Community Broadcasters (USA)

The National Federation of Community Broadcasters (NFCB) is a national membership organization of community oriented non-commercial radio stations. Large and small, rural and urban, eclectic or targeted toward specific ethnic communities, the membership is distinguished by its localism and its community participation and support. NFCB's 100 Participant Members and 130 Associates come from across the United States, from Alaska to Florida and from every major market to the smallest Native American reservation stations.


National Issues Forums (USA)

The National Issues Forums (NIF) is a network of organizations joined together by a common desire to discuss critical issues. Organizations who participate in NIF include educational institutions, leadership groups, civic groups, churches, libraries, senior centers, community groups, and youth groups. Some are independent, local forums sponsored by energetic citizens. Others are part of educational programs at colleges, schools, and extension services.


National Union of Journalists (United Kingdom)


Organization of News Ombudsman (International)

An ombudsman is someone who handles complaints and attempts to find mutually satisfactory solutions. Ombudsmen can be found in government, corporations, hospitals, universities and other institutions. The first ombudsman was appointed in 1809 in Sweden to handle citizens' complaints about the government. The word is pronounced "om-BUDS-man" and is Scandinavian in origin


Pew Center for Civic Journalism (USA)

The Pew Center is an incubator for civic journalism experiments that enable news organizations to create and refine better ways of reporting the news in ways that help to re-engage people in public life. The center helps to share the lessons learned at its workshops and seminars for journalists.  THE PEW CENTER FOR CIVIC JOURNALISM IS TO CEASE OPERATION IN 2003.  A SUCCESSOR PROJECT IS SCHEDULED TO BE LAUNCHED AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND AND WILL BE CALLED J-LAB.  SEE ITS LISTING.


THE CIVIC CATALYST:  A newsletter of the Pew Center.


PUBLICATIONS: The Pew Center has produced a series of publications that explore various civic journalism theories and practices.


VIDEOS: The Pew Center has produced a series of videos that explore various civic journalism theories and practices.


SPEECHES AND ARTICLES:  The Pew Center has an extensive online library and bibliography of speeches and articles commissioned by them or related to their projects.


RESEARCH:  The Pew Center funds a large number of research projects each year.  Reports of the projects are available.


Pew Research Center for the People and the Press (USA)

An independent opinion research group that studies attitudes toward press, politics and public policy issues.


The Pew Charitable Trusts (USA)

The Pew Charitable Trusts, based in Philadelphia, are a national philanthropy established 49 years ago. Through our grant making, we seek to encourage individual development and personal achievement, cross-disciplinary problem solving and innovative, practical approaches to meeting the changing needs of a global community. Each year, the Trusts make grants of about $180 million to between 400 and 500 nonprofit organizations.


Poynter Institute for Media Studies (USA)

The Poynter Institute is a school dedicated to teaching and inspiring journalists and media leaders. It promotes excellence and integrity in the practice of craft and in the practical leadership of successful businesses. It stands for a journalism that informs citizens and enlightens public discourse. It carries forward Nelson Poynter's belief in the value of independent journalism.


Public Agenda Foundation (USA)

Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research and citizen education organization based in New York City. It was founded in 1975 by social scientist and author Daniel Yankelovich and former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance.  The two-fold mission of Public Agenda is to: Help leaders better understand the public's point of view on major policy issues.   Help citizens better understand critical policy issues so they can make their own more informed and thoughtful decisions.


Public Allies (USA)

Public Allies is a national multicultural organization designed and run by young people for young people who want to have a positive impact on their communities and on our nation. Through a ten-month Apprenticeship Program, Public Allies develops the leadership capacity of young people in order to bring a new generation of social entrepreneurs into organizations that work to solve this country's most pressing public problems.


Public Broadcasting System (USA)

Democracy Project - The section of PBS's website that, in their words, is a "laboratory for interactive news programs and features to inform, inspire and engage you in America's public life." Currently, The Democracy Project is providing updates on the Congressional Campaign Finance Hearings, as well as opportunities for online discussion of current events. The series provides viewers with innovative news and public affairs programming built upon traditional PBS programming strengths - depth, dialogue, diversity of viewpoints and duration.


Public Conversations Project (USA)

The goal of the Public Conversations Project is to foster a more inclusive, empathic and collaborative society by promoting constructive conversations and relationships among those who have differing values, worldviews, and positions about divisive public issues.


Public Journalism Network, The (USA)

The Public Journalism Network is a global professional association of journalists and educators interested in exploring and strengthening the relationship between journalism and democracy.   The Network believes journalism and democracy work best when news, information and ideas flow freely; when news fairly portrays the full range and variety of life and culture of all communities; when public deliberation is encouraged and amplified; and when news helps people function as political actors and not just as political consumers.   It believes journalists should stand apart in making sound professional judgments about how to cover communities, but cannot stand apart in learning about and understanding these communities.


Society of Professional Journalists (USA)


Swedish Association of Journalists (Sweden)


United Nations High Commission on Human Rights (International)

"The Commission on Human Rights has been the central architect of the work of the United Nations in the field of human rights" - Mary Robinson, High Commissioner for Human Rights


The United Nations Commission on Human Rights, composed of 53 States, meets each year in regular session in March/April for six weeks in Geneva. Over 3,000 delegates from member and observer States and from non-governmental organizations participate.


The Walt Whitman Center for Culture & Politics of Democracy (USA)

The Walt Whitman Center for the Culture and Politics of Democracy, founded in 1989 by Dr. Benjamin R. Barber, is dedicated to sustaining democratic theory and extending democratic practice. It approaches democracy in the spirit of Whitman's ideal of a vigorous citizenry engaged in the culture and politics of a free society--democracy understood as a mode of living rather than a set of strictly political arrangements.


World Communication Association (International)




Civic Organizations

(List Edited for Currency and Duplication)

(Original List Created by Battleground School District, Washington, USA)



Are you concerned about the many belief systems dividing our country? Looking to become a better citizen through collaboration and partnership? Here are links to organizations willing to transcend our various belief systems to improve our communities.


Disclaimer: Glenwood Heights Primary and Battle Ground Public Schools do not specifically endorse any of these organizations. We can endorse their sincere desire to make our world a better place. We offer these links as resources for students, parents, and other citizens seeking information about civic issues.


Resources: This list was created based on the recommendations of Mark Gerzon in his book, A House Divided: Six Belief Systems Struggling for America's Soul, G. P. Putnam & Sons, ©1996



Center for Community Change Policy Alert:

Independent Sector:

International City/County Management Association (ICMA):

National Association for Community Leadership:

National Civic League:

      All-America City Awards

      Alliance for National Renewal

      International Healthy Cities Foundation

The National Conference for Community Justice:

Search for Common Ground:


Email comments or questions to:


Civic Journalism Online Resources

(List Edited for Currency and Duplication)

(Original List Created by the Dept. of Journalism, Texas A & M University,

College Station, TX  USA)



Building Local Civic Nets: Computer Professionals for Social Responsibility


California Voter Foundation

A non-profit, non-partisan organization that explores ways the news media can better provide the public with the information necessary to shape a healthy and engaged electorate. In 1995, CVF co-sponsored "Your Voices Count," a Civic Journalism project aimed at engaging citizens in the issue of money and politics. 


Democracy Project

The section of PBS's website that, in their words, is a "laboratory for interactive news programs and features to inform, inspire and engage you in America's public life." Currently, The Democracy Project is providing updates on the Congressional Campaign Finance Hearings, as well as opportunities for online discussion of current events. The series provides viewers with innovative news and public affairs programming built upon traditional PBS programming strengths - depth, dialogue, diversity of viewpoints and duration.


Electronic Frontier Foundation's "Activism & Government" Archive


Electronic Policy Network

A network of policy and research institutions founded in 1995 by Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Paul Starr and The American Prospect magazine  EPN includes more than 60 research organizations and foundations whose work tackles topics ranging from civic participation to welfare reform, health care to foreign policy, and education to Social Security.


Fallows Central

Widely known for his book "Breaking the News: How the Media Undermine Democracy", author James Fallows has become an advocate for civic journalism. Fallows joined the Atlantic Monthly as Washington editor in 1980, and remained in that position until he became editor of U.S. News & World Report in 1996, where he will be trying out some of new approaches to practicing journalism. The site has links to other resources such as Jay Rosen's monograph, Getting the Connections Right: Public Journalism and the Troubles in the Press.


Nieman Foundation

It is the oldest mid-career fellowship program for journalists in the world. Fellowships are awarded to working journalists of particular accomplishment and promise for an academic year of study. Also see the Neiman Reports.


Penn National Commission on Society, Culture and Community

Seeks to foster the "reasoned and reasonable" discourse essential to the social, political, cultural and community life of a democracy and to understand the problems of contemporary public discussion and behavior and foster a more engaged and thoughtful public discourse in the 21st century.


Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Committee for concerned Journalists

An initiative by journalists to clarify and raise the standards of American journalism and to clarify standards by bringing journalists together to decide for themselves what their purpose and aims are. It has called journalists to a period of national reflection through a series of nationwide public forums and a landmark report on the purpose of journalism. It produced The State of the American Newspaper project, a landmark series of magazine articles on the profession, conducts an annual review of local television news published by the Columbia Journalism Review, and produces a continuing series of content studies on press performance. Its aim is not primarily on diagnosing the press' problems, but is on creating initiatives that can clarify what journalism's essential role is and identify examples of good journalism around the country that personify that.


Radio and Television News Directors Association

The only organization in the world dedicated exclusively to serving the electronic journalism profession. RTNDA represents local and network news executives in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries.




"In a neighborhood dispute there may be stunts, rough words, and even hot insults.  But when a whole people speaks to its government, the dialogue and the action must be on a level reflecting the worth of that people and the responsibility of that government."

Martin Luther King, Jr., explaining the nonviolent purpose of the March on Washington, 1963.


The WWW Virtual Library:  International Affairs Resources

(Dr. Wayne A. Selcher, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College, Pennsylvania, USA)


This section of the WWW Virtual Library system presents over 2600 annotated links in a wide range of international affairs, international studies, and international relations topics. Most of the sites are in English and are carefully selected for their long-term value, favoring those with cost-free, high-quality information and analysis online. Each site is described only in general terms because of the typically rapid changes in the details of its contents. We suggest you begin with the Starter Tips for Internet Research page. You can either use the Quick Clicks drop-down menu at the top center of each page to navigate this whole site, or return to this page from the foot of any other page by clicking on:


Resource Categories

Getting Started

      Starter Tips for Internet Research

Virtual Libraries



Media Sources

News Sources

International Radio and Television Broadcasts

International Relations Journals and Magazines



United States Government

Nongovernmental Organizations

European Union

Research Institutes

United Nations

Other Intergovernmental Organizations



Regions and Countries

Global and Cross-Cultural Issues

Latin America

Middle East

Western Europe


General Resources for All Countries

Eastern Europe


Resources for Selected Countries



International Business and Economics

International Development

Study, Work, Internships, and Service Abroad

International Communications

World Religions

Public Health

Global Environment

Peace, Conflict Resolution, and International Security

International and National Law

Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs

International and Comparative Education

American Foreign Policy

French Language

Spanish Language

German Language

General Foreign Languages

_____________________________________________________________________This site was reviewed in the CHOICE Magazine, Web Issue VI, August 2002, and is listed in the Librarians' Index to the Internet , SOSIG <>, BUBL LINK, and the Gateway to Educational Materials  For some of the recognitions of this site, please see our Recognitions and Awards Pages   Click here for our Privacy Policy and Copyright Statements  Last updated on Tuesday, February 18, 2003 .


This section of the WWW Virtual Library system was created, and is edited and maintained, by Wayne A. Selcher,  Professor of International Studies, Department of Political Science, Elizabethtown College,  Elizabethtown, PA 17022-2288   U.S.A.

Copyright © 1997-2003 Wayne A. Selcher.  E-mail:

Journalism Organizations & Related Sites (USA, Some International)

(List Edited for Currency, Some Sites Added to Original List)

(Original List Created by Christopher Callahan, Associate Dean, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland, College Park, MD USA)


Media News


Romenesko's Media News

Jim Romenesko of the Poynter Institute links to the latest media-related news.


Daily Briefing

Daily media stories from the Project for Excellence in Journalism.


Associated Press Industry News

Media industry news daily from The Associated Press.


PBS Media Watch

Media stories from PBS News Hour with Jim Lehrer.


CNN Reliable Sources

Transcripts from the CNN media show.


Selected Top Sites for Journalists


American Journalism Review

Newslink provides links to nearly 5,000 newspapers, listings of journalism awards and fellowships and full text of selected AJR articles (Disclosure: I am a senior editor of AJR).


Communication Institute for Online Scholarship

The Communication Institute for Online Scholarship is a not-for-profit organization supporting the use of computer technologies in the service of communication scholarship and education.


Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma

Read about trauma, tips for interviewing effectively and sensitively, test your learning with the interactive quiz, watch experts discuss emotional injury. Center based at the University of Washington.


Educational Resources and Information Clearinghouse (ERIC)

Clearinghouse on Reading, English and Communication. Features literature on thesis topics as well as research summaries, bibliographies and many other products and services.



The online presence of FACS, the non-profit foundation that specializes in content-specific education for journalists.


Investigative Reporters and Editors

IRE includes a searchable database of more than 11,000 investigative reporting story abstracts, handouts developed by speakers at IRE conferences, campaign finance data and sources and a directory of investigative reporters worldwide, plus details on IRE contests, programs and conferences.


Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

The committee provides some of the most practical tools for reporters, such as the Freedom of Information Act letter generator, state laws on open records and public meetings, updates on Freedom of Information cases from around the country and a legal defense hot-line for journalists.


The Poynter Institute for Media Studies

Poynter Online gives details on the institute’s weeklong workshops, which are some of the best journalism educational opportunities available, plus research from the institute on various newsroom topics.


Society of Professional Journalists

The Electronic Journalist includes news stories on press issues and lists more than 60 journalism contests.


Newsroom Specialists


Computer-Assisted Reporters

National Institute for Computer Assisted Reporting


Editorial Writers

National Conference of Editorial Writers


Copy Editors

American Copy Editors Society


Online News Editors

Online News Association


Feature Editors

American Association of Sunday and Feature Editors



News Designers

Society of News Design



National Press Photographers Association

Digital Journalist


International Journalists

International Center for Journalists

International Federation of Journalists


Freelance Writers

American Society of Journalists and Authors

Washington Independent Writers


Magazine Journalists

American Society of Magazine Editors


Alternative Journalists

Association of Alternative Weeklies



National Society of Newspaper Columnists


Editorial Cartoonists

Association of American Editorial Cartoonists


Youth Page Editors

Youth Editors Association


Beats Reporters



Education Writers Association


Business & Finance

Society of American Business Editors and Writers

Association of Area Business Publications



Society of Environmental Journalists

International Federation of Environmental Journalists


Health Care

Association of Health Care Journalists



National Association of Science Writers


Police & Courts

Criminal Justice Journalists



Regional Reporters Association



Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors


Children & Families

Casey Journalism Center for Children and Families



Campaign Finance Information Center



Associated Press Sports Editors

Association for Women in Sports Media



Religion Newswriters Association


Other Specializations

Knight Center for Specialized Journalism

National Press Foundation


Journalism Magazines and Newsletters


American Journalism Review


Columbia Journalism Review




Editor & Publisher


The American Editor (ASNE)


Presstime (publishers)


Nieman Reports



Media Studies Journal (Freedom Forum)


Communicator (television)


The Business Journalist


SEJournal (environmental journalism)


Tip Sheet (environmental, science and health journalism)


The Children's Beat


ASPE (sports journalism)


Tracker (campaign finance coverage)


News Media & the Law


First Amendment News


State-specific FOI publications (NFOIC)


Journal of Mass Media Ethics


FineLine (ethics)


Dangerous Assignments (international)



Journalism & Mass Communication Educator


Online Journalism Review


Black Journalism Review


St. Louis Journalism Review


Minority Journalism Organizations


National Association of Black Journalists


National Association of Hispanic Journalists


Asian American Journalism Association


Native American Journalists Association


Unity (coalition of NABJ, NAHJ, AAJA and NAJA)



South Asian Journalists Association


National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association


National Association of Minority Media Executives


Women & Journalism


International Women's Media Federation


Journalism and Women Symposium


National Federation of Press Women


Association for Women in Communications


Association for Women in Sports Media


Women’s Institute for Freedom of the Press




Newspaper Management & Leadership


American Society of Newspaper Editors


Associated Press Managing Editors


American Press Institute


Inland Press Association


Magazine Publishers of America


Newspaper Association of America


National Newspaper Association


Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Association


National Association of Minority Media Executives


Journalism Research


The Freedom Forum


Pew Research Center for the People and the Press


Committee to Protect Journalists


Joan Shorenstein Center for Press, Politics and Public Policy


Annenberg Washington Program in Communications Policy Studies


Freedom Forum First Amendment Center


Project for Excellence in Journalism


Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting


Pew Center for Civic Journalism


Center for Media and Public Affairs


John S. and James L. Knight Foundation


Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication


Neiman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University



Broadcast Journalism


Radio-Television News Directors Association


National Association of Broadcasters


Broadcast Education Association




News Blues




The Producer Page


Freedom of Information & Media Law


Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press


Freedom Forum First Amendment Center


Freedom of Information Center


National Freedom of Information Coalition


Communications Law


Student Press Law Center


World Press Freedom Committee


Journalism History




Broadcast Pioneers Library of American Broadcasting


Classic Typewriter Page


Other Journalism Sites


Newswise (listings of awards and fellowships)


National Press Club


Pulitzer Prize


Newspaper Guild


College & University Journalism


Student Press Law Center


Internships & Job Opportunities


Dow Jones Newspaper Fund


College Media Advisers


High School Journalism


ASNE's High School Journalism


Journalism Education Association


Columbia Scholastic Press Association


National Scholastic Press Association


Quill & Scroll