Part of being able to answer those questions requires looking back at how previous changes influenced community journalism. The rise of the industrial printing press, the arrival of the radio, the growth of television, the early years of the World Wide Web — each of those events brought with it considerable change to the community-journalism landscape. Each new change altered how media scholars approached the study of news media, but few scholars seemed to consider how those changes also altered the communities served by those media.

A community cannot be seen as a closed system or the individual community member as a passive recipient of information. The modern community journalist is not an autonomous outsider, objectively recording all that transpires, but a community connector who has both a professional and a personal stake in that community. The next step for community journalism research is not to define “community” or “journalism,” but to explore the new ground that exists between them.

Launching a new journal focused on community journalism – with a foreword by Bill Reader and John A Hatcher.

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