February 27, 2010

Two great resources for community journalism research at Illinois

Last year I was doing some searching for research produced by Phillip Tichenor when I stumbled across something called the Phillip Tichenor Collection. I was surprised to find the collection was not at the University of Minnesota, where Tichenor is an emeritus professor, but instead is housed at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.
This discovery led me to two wonderful resources. The first is the Agricultural Communications Document Center; the second is Dr. James Evans, the man who overseas this vast collection of resources.
The collection has more than 30,000 documents, with its main focus, on agricultural communications, but the overlap to things useful and relevant to community journalism are natural and strong, with a vast collection of both work on journalism in the United States and on media globally, with a lot of very important research on media in rural communities and developing nations. Look through the database and you'll find much of the work produced by Al Cross and company at the University of Kentucky as well as many of the conference papers presented at COMJIG's research sessions at AEJMC.
In my two day visit, Dr. Evans proved to be an amazing resource. He spends his days souring the Web looking for research relevant to the center he has created and is very interested in sharing this resource with the world. He set me up with two research assistants and I left with more ideas than I know what to do with.

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