March 28, 2016

COMJIG revamps call for papers to expand definition of community

Last year, I made an impassioned Buzzfeed style plea for scholars to consider to submitting their papers to the Community Journalism Interest Group for presentation at the annual Association for Journalism and Mass Communication conference.

This year, I thought about just referring you to last year's post, but then I remembered the hard work our leadership group, and especially Research Chair Clay Carey did to revamp our call for papers. I've included the new call below.

Everything from last year still holds true. Our interest group remains the friendliest, most complete and useful reviewing bunch this side of Minneapolis, the site of this year's convention. We also still offer publishing opportunities with our journal Community Journalism and reasonable acceptance rates,

But I think we've done even more to expand the definition of community and examine its intersection with the democratic mission of journalism with this revision. Please give it a read and submit your research to us. We'd love to double last year's number of accepted papers, 8, and feature even more at our top paper session on Saturday, Aug. 6.

If you plan to be in Minneapolis this summer, one other opportunity, I'd strongly ask you to consider as well is our pre-conference workshop, “Putting the ‘Hyper’ Back in Hyperlocal: Teaching Students to Get Excited about and Involved in Community Journalism”. For just $10 (that provides a drink break halfway through) you can learn from some of the top community journalism educators, including Bill Reader, John Hatcher, Al Cross and Toni Albertson, how to get your students excited about providing an important news service for people across this great country.

Thanks and I look forward to reviewing your papers!
COMJIG’s goal is to identify and present original, meaningful research that advances the understanding of the role of journalists and news organizations as members of communities, be they geographic, topical, or digital. Communities are multifaceted, and community as a field of study may be understood in different ways: It may be defined as a geographically bounded place, a group defined by social boundaries, or a collective that exists in the online world. Papers presented in COMJIG’s research sessions reflect the diverse approaches to understanding the ways various types of communities interact with and/or exist through media, and how journalism formats and products cater to those communities. Possible research topics could include the ways community formation affects the process of journalism, how journalists take advantage of community to build audience and/or to improve journalism, or the ways news companies and individual journalists encourage community among readers, listeners, or viewers. The interest group is also interested in research that extends our understanding of “community” in new directions: Papers could address such issues as how community is defined or how its meaning changes in an increasingly digital media environment. All methodologies and theoretical frameworks are welcome. 

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