May 27, 2010

COMJIG annual report - need your info

Community Journalism Interest Group Members:
(Cross-posted to Yahoo mail group)

Annual report time is upon us again, and once again we are soliciting your input.

To make the report representative of what our members are doing, please e-mail IG Head Doug Fisher ( a summary of any research, presentations/publications, innovative teaching, service or other work done in advancing the cause of community journalism this past year.

It would be helpful if you could segment your note by those topics. Here are a couple of sample entries from last year's report under research:

  • COMJIG member Rex A. Martin, Bowie State, contributed a dozen entries to the new six-volume "Encyclopedia of Journalism" that Sage is releasing in September. His entries ranged from "Controlled Circulation" to "Obituaries" to "Self-Regulation" to the "Stars & Stripes." Where appropriate, he inserted references to community journalism, and some entries - such as that for "Weeklies" - have obvious relevance.
  • COMJIG member Michael Ray Smith, Campbell, published two articles in Grassroots Editor:  1) Smith, M. R.  & Lilley, M. (2008, Winter). The seven questions and The Daily Record. Grassroots Editor, 49(4), 19-20, and 2) Smith, M. R.  (2008, Fall). Hyperlocalism and The Daily Record. Grassroots Editor, 49(3), 12-17. Smith is also working on a book about the handwritten newspapers of John McLean Harrington. 

A few from teaching:

•    Member Al Cross established Midway Messenger, a student-written news site for Midway, Ky., pop. 1,620, a prosperous town that once had a newspaper and generates considerable news, some of which is not fully reported by the county-seat weekly. See,

•    Member Patricia Thomas, Georgia, taught a graduate course in Health and Medical Journalism, spring 2009. Students in this reporting/writing seminar were each assigned to cover health beat in one Northeast Georgia county. They partnered with undergraduates in documentary photography to produce multimedia packages about each county. Their aggregated blogs are available at  Go to to see the “Rural Health” package that the graduate and undergraduate students produced together. On that same page, click on “student portfolios” to see additional stories they wrote.

•    Member Andrea Frantz, Wilkes, received a Faculty Achievement Award for her teaching and research.

And a few from PF&R:

•    Don Corrigan, Webster, who is editor of two community weeklies, won 2nd place in Column Writing at the 2008 Independent Free Papers Association Convention (IFPA) in Seattle, and his newspaper group won numerous other awards, including General Excellence.  Corrigan won 3rd place for Best Outdoor Story for weeklies at the 2008 Missouri Press Association Convention in Columbia, Mo.

•    Member Al Cross, Kentucky, conducted two seminars titled “Sorting Through the Smoke” on covering local tobacco and health issues in Danville and Madisonville, Ky., May 15 and 29, 2009. The Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, which Cross directs, received the 2009 Media Award presented by the East Kentucky Leadership Foundation.

•    Member Deborah Givens and Head Elizabeth Hansen, Eastern Kentucky, and member Al Cross, Kentucky, are planning the  2010 conference of  the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors, which EKU and UK will co-host at Eastern Kentucky University in June 2010.

•    Member Chad Stebbins, Missouri Southern State, continues to serve as executive director of the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors and editor of Grassroots Editor, ISWNE's quarterly journal.

I appreciate your help on this. The IG is up for review next year, and we want to give incoming head Andris Straumanis a strong report.

Doug Fisher

No comments: