Got this note in from Tommy Thomason, professor at TCU's Schieffer Journalism School and director of the Texas Center for Community Journalism:
I’m looking to find some of America’s outstanding community
journalists, and I thought my fellow COMJIG members might be able to
I’m currently writing a book about investigative reporting in
community journalism. Most folk see investigative reporting as the
exclusive province of the dying metros, but some of the unsung heroes of
journalism are doing great investigative pieces in small communities
with limited staff, resources and budgets. These are the folk who work
on their investigative stories until they have to take a break to go
cover the county agent speaking to the Rotary club.
I’m writing the book
with Kathy Cruz, a reporter with a community paper in Texas who is
herself one of the best investigative reporters in community journalism.
It’s titled “You might want to carry a gun: Community newspapers
expose big problems in small towns.” And this is where I am hoping my
COMJIG colleagues can help – we’re still on the lookout for more
outstanding examples of community journalists who have done important
We’re especially interested in those who have
overcome some obstacles to complete their work – threats to their
safety, community resistance to the story or series, advertiser
resistance to the investigation, problems with their colleagues at the
paper … you get the idea. We’re telling their stories, and to make the
book more useful to journalists and students, we’re passing along the
how-to’s that show the techniques behind the investigation.
interested in papers that show courageous editorial leadership – this is
a book highlighting reporting. These reporters tend not to be
well-known; only a few, like Samantha Swindler, end up having "60 Minutes"
do a piece on them. But that’s why we want to tell their stories and
to share their techniques.
If you know of a reporter or editor who
might be a good profile for us, please let me know. Just a name and a
paper, and maybe a sentence about why you think this person should be in
the book. We’ll take it from there. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.