July 26, 2011

Spend Thursday afternoon with Community J scholars at AEJMC

The Community Journalism Interest Group has a great lineup of presentations from scholars exploring numerous aspects of communities, journalism and their intersection at this year's AEJMC annual convention in St. Louis. And, planning for these events is quite easy to do: Simply set your Thursday afternoon aside for back to back sessions focusing on community J:

- Poster session: Thursday from 1:30 to 3 p.m.
- Panel session: Thursday from 3:15 to 4:45 p.m.

These presentations are where scholars who presented peer-reviewed manuscripts will present their work. As you can see from the more detailed look at these presentations as well as the abstracts of the papers, the topics are timely and varied -- they also, I think, show the importance of looking at the new media landscape from the perspective of the community media scholar.
I hope you will attend these sessions, engage our scholars and offer them thoughtful feedback that will enable them to revise their manuscripts and work toward publication in top tier journals. These scholars have already received outstanding feedback from our dedicated group of reviewers, who offered some meaningful feedback and evaluation of the research papers submitted to the interest group this year.

Thursday: 1:30 pm to 3 pm / 145

Community Journalism Interest Group
Topic — New Terrain: The Shifting Definitions of Journalism and Community
48. A New Community Journalism? The Deseret News’ Shift Toward Gemeinschaft
and a Values-centered Audience
Richard G. Johnson and Quint Randle, Brigham Young
49. Community News as Collective Action*
Mark Poepsel, Missouri-Columbia
50. Patched In: Corporately Owned Online Community News Sites Pursue
Different News Topics Than Independent Ones
Jack Rosenberry, St. John Fisher

Discussant: John Hatcher, Minnesota Duluth

* Top Student Paper, Community Journalism Interest Group

Thursday: 3:15 pm to 4:45 pm / 167

Community Journalism Interest Group

Refereed Paper Research Session:
Discourse and Knowledge: Exploring the Community-journalism Relationship

Moderating/Presiding: Tommy Thomason, Texas Christian

At the Community Level: Culturally Competent News Coverage
of a City Neighborhood*
Dianne Garyantes, Rider
Community News along the Rural-Urban Continuum: Looking for News
in All the Wrong Places?
Gary Hansen and Elizabeth Hansen, Eastern Kentucky
Yes We Censor: The Impact of Commenting Policies on Two
Nonprofit Community Journalism Websites
Rebecca Nee, San Diego State

Discussant: name, affiliation

* Top Faculty Paper, Community Journalism Interest Group

Community Journalism Interest Group
1. At the Community Level: Culturally Competent News Coverage of a City Neighborhood • Dianne Garyantes, Rider University • This study represents the second phase of a larger study that examined the cultural competence of journalists reporting on inner-city communities. This phase explored journalists' reporting and news texts, and found support for the importance of ""micro"" knowledge to interpret cultural cues and the need for ""insider"" news sources to negotiate one's ""outsider"" status. However, reporters also need to go beyond ""insider"" news sources to provide culturally competent coverage of the community.
2. Community News along the Rural-Urban Continuum: Looking for News in All the Wrong Places? • Gary Hansen, University of Kentucky; Elizabeth Hansen, Eastern Kentucky University • Access to news on local politics and community issues is critical to community life. Using data from 1,154 respondents to a mail survey sent to a random sample of Kentucky households, both sources of local news and ratings of them are examined at various locations along the rural-urban continuum. Results demonstrate different media and information environments along the continuum and suggest many people may be looking for news in all the wrong places.
3. A new community journalism? The Deseret News' shift toward Gemeinschaft and a values-centered audience • Richard G. Johnson, Brigham Young University; Quint Randle, BYU • In August 2010, the Deseret News, a daily newspaper in Salt Lake City, announced a significant change in direction. It would begin to produce content based on core values that were consistent with teachings of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which owns the newspaper. This article examines whether the Deseret News has shifted from traditional metropolitan journalism to a more community-oriented focus. In an exploratory constant comparative analysis, it examines two months front-page content in 2011 and compares them with the same dates from 2010. It explores the sociological construct of Gemeinschaft and the principle of community journalism. The data from 2011 show a substantial difference in coverage, providing far more content directed toward a values-oriented community.
4. Yes We Censor: The Impact of Commenting Policies on Two Nonprofit Community Journalism Websites • Rebecca Nee, San Diego State University • This qualitative, multiple case study looks at the impact of commenting policies on public engagement with two of the oldest U.S. digitally native nonprofit community journalism sites, Voice of San Diego and the New Haven Independent. Findings suggest an effective commenting community can be created by requiring registration, providing appropriate technical supports, and having journalists monitor and enforce strict guidelines. Human resource demands and other attempts at community engagement by these news sites are also addressed.
5. Community News as Collective Action • Mark Poepsel, University of Missouri • Online news is a collective good. It is difficult, at times impossible, to exclude people from access to information once it is made available digitally. One's consumption of news does not subtract from the ability of another to use the same information. This basic economic theory helps explain the difficulty of establishing a working business model for online news. This theoretical approach also lays the groundwork for a discussion of alternative approaches to funding community news in a digital environment. This study examines a community news website in the American South. The website is supported in equal parts by advertising and by voluntary contributions. Theories of collective behavior are applied to a textual analysis of notes included with voluntary contributions to the news website in relation to the journalistic and social ideals of the site's publisher/editor. What results is a case study of a conversation between a community news publisher and that publisher's audience in the context of the moral imperatives underlying collective action. Social responsibility, altruism and an appreciation for the ideals of news in democratic society are examined as factors influencing decisions to contribute to community news. Identifying key elements of voluntary contribution can help with future funding efforts. The extension of theories of collective behavior has both theoretical and practical implications for community news if it is to survive in an economically challenging media ecosphere.
6. Patched in: Corporately owned online community news sites pursue different news topics than independent ones • Jack Rosenberry, St. John Fisher College • A content analysis found differences in news topics covered by independent online community news sites and ones that are part of the Patch.com network owned by AOL. Patch sites tended to have a greater emphasis on social ritual coverage while the independent operators favored coverage related to community structure.

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