Centre for Community Journalism

creating the future for journalism

The most effective way to get the news is to be there. Or create the news. Or be the news.

Journalism

Journalism is the gathering, processing, and dissemination of news and information related to the news to an audience. The word applies to both the method of inquiring for news and the literary style which is used to disseminate it.

The media that journalism uses vary diversely and include: content published via newspapers and magazines, television and radio, and their digital media versions – news websites and applications.

In modern society, the news media is the chief purveyor of information and opinion about public affairs. Journalism, however, is not always confined to the news media or to news itself, as journalistic communication may find its way into broader forms of expression, including literature and cinema. In some nations, the news media is controlled by government intervention, and is not a fully independent body.

In a democratic society, however, access to free information plays a central role in creating a system of checks and balance, and in distributing power equally amongst governments, businesses, individuals, and other social entities. Access to verifiable information gathered by independent media sources, which adhere to journalistic standards, can also be of service to ordinary citizens, by empowering them with the tools they need in order to participate in the political process.

The role and status of journalism, along with that of the mass media, has undergone profound changes over the last two decades with the advent of digital technology and publication of news on the Internet. This has created a shift in the consumption of print media channels, as people increasingly consume news through e-readers, smartphones, and other electronic devices, challenging news organizations to fully monetize their digital wing, as well as improvise on the context in which they publish news in print. Notably, in the American media landscape, newsrooms have reduced their staff and coverage as traditional media channels, such as television, grapple with declining audiences. For instance, between 2007 and 2012, CNN edited its story packages into nearly half of their original time length.

This compactness in coverage has been linked to broad audience attrition, as a large majority of respondents in recent studies show changing preferences in news consumption. The digital era has also ushered in a new kind of journalism in which ordinary citizens play a greater role in the process of newsmaking, with the rise of citizen journalism being possible through the Internet. Using video camera equipped smartphones, active citizens are now enabled to record footage of news events and upload them onto channels like YouTube, which is often discovered and used by mainstream news media outlets. Meanwhile, easy access to news from a variety of online sources, like blogs and other social media, has resulted in readers being able to pick from a wider choice of official and unofficial sources, instead of only from traditional media organizations.

from Wikipedia

The Future of Journalism

 

Journalism for the community by the community

Community journalism is about communicating and connecting stories, information, ideas, and opportunities that contribute to creating community. Our common interest is creating possibilities for the future of our communities.

Stories and ideas spread naturally by word of mouth. An idea that could have taken a hundred years to move around the world not so long ago, now takes a hundred minutes.

Community media systems accelerate our word of mouth communications and a place where people can contribute. A YouTube video shared on Facebook or Twitter could go viral overnight.

Technology has given us a communications tool kit that allows anyone to become a journalist at little cost and, in theory, with global reach. Nothing like this has been remotely possible before.

Dan Gillmor
We the media

The purpose of community journalism

The purpose of community journalism is to create connections that contribute to our understanding, our appreciation, and our ability to create community around our common interests and our common enterprise.

The role of community journalism is to draw our attention to what we know and what we don’t know. What interests do we have in common in our communities? What ideas and ways of seeing and doing things could contribute to or militate against our  community interests? Connections create opportunities for people in our communities.

Journalism with purpose

The role of community journalism and community media is to create connections. The art of community journalism is the art of creating connections and community with information, ideas, and opportunities that contribute to different community interests  and community enterprises.

 

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer Agenda

The following is the Post-Intelligencer’s editorial agenda for the Pacific Northwest, Washington state, and the Greater Seattle area:

  • Reform and balance the state’s tax structure by reducing sales and gross business taxes and adopting personal and corporate income taxes.
  • Adopt new strategies to combat sexual offences and other crimes of violence.
  • Give health and safety of the state’s children high local and state priority
  • Expand efforts to halt drug abuse, through law enforcement, treatment of addiction, and education.
  • Support efforts at local, state, and federal levels to alleviate homelessness.
  • Develop a balanced system of transportation in the Puget Sound region to include high-occupancy vehicle highway lanes, mass transit and passenger ferries and coordinated planning for new airport facilities.
  • Clean up Hanford’s massive, 40-year accumulation of nuclear wastes, which have contaminated soil and water and pose health and environmental threats to future generations.
  • Strengthen regional government by reorganizing Metro and the King County Council to make them more efficient and responsive to citizens.
  • Adopt state-wide growth management policies that channel new residential, commercial, and industrial growth into developed areas and are consistent among local government jurisdictions.
  • Continue to improve the quality of the state’s public schools at all levels, with emphasis on meeting the special needs of schools in urban and rural districts.
  • Clean up Puget Sound and prevent its further pollution.
  • Strengthen the growing role of Seattle and the Puget Sound region as a hub of international trade, cultural and academic exchange, and tourism.

    From the editorial page of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, circa 1986

Media and Management: Ideas on New Directions
What we know about the state of news media

What we want

Community journalism and community media gives our communities of interest and enterprise the ability to connect what they to learn to their interests, their context, and their enterprise. Contributions are connected to their source. What contributes to our interests and what could we do?

Questions

  • What do we know?
  • What could we do as a community?
  • What do we need to know to create possibilities as a community?
  • What do we need to know to make informed decisions?
  • What could we benefit from knowing as a community?
  • What we don’t know? What do we need to know? What would  we like to know?
  • What do we want our community journalists to do for us?
  • What are our community interests?
  • Who are our community ombudsmen?
  • Who’s looking out for our community interests?
  • Who’s contributing to our interests?
  • Who could contribute to or benefit from what we know?
  • What ideas and enterprises are contributing to our community interests?
  • Which creative leaders are contributing to our interests?
  • What do our creative leaders need?

Contributions from the community

Stories, ideas, information, opportunities, resources, connections from people gathered over years builds a library and tells the history of the community. The community grows as big as the common interest  and common enterprise attracts.

Contributions of community journalism

  • Connect to information we need to know and could benefit from knowing
  • Publish ideas contributed by our community leaders and contributors about what we could do
  • Publish opportunities we are creating for our community to contribute
  • Keep us informed on the development of stories of enterprises and events which are contributing to or militating against our interests
  • Improve our ability as a community to pursue our common interests
  • Create connections with the stories, information, ideas, and opportunities we contribute to our communication centre
  • Give everyone the ability to explore the history and the evolution of stories
  • Give everyone equal access to information about where we are now, what is happening, and who is contributing
  • Contribute to creating a culture of open community in our communications
  • Create communities around our common interests and common enterprises

Journalism and democracy

What is democracy? What could contribute to creating democracy in our community? In a democracy everyone gets to participate in creating their community. Community journalism, open media systems, and community enterprise all contribute to creating democracy.

Journalism with independence

Community media needs to be a sustainable enterprise to create sustainable communities. A sustainable community or enterprise is self-sustaining and economically independent. Sustainable enterprises are creative in exploring and responding to changing circumstances and new ideas and opportunities.

The Centre for Community Journalism and community media need to be sustainable community enterprises free from the need for public and philanthropic funding, and free of political and corporate interest or control. Politics is the art or science of influencing people.

Create direct connections to our media contributors, – people and enterprises and communities contributing stories, information, ideas, and opportunities, – to explore, to experience, to learn, to contribute, and to create connections and creative enterprise. www.godirectmedia.com

What we need to know

We need to know the context for the choice to be able to know the decision for our circumstances and context.

www.centreforcommunityjournalism.com

 

What we know

The media is the single most powerful tool at our disposal; it has the power to educate, effect social change, and determine the political policies and elections that shape our lives. Our work in diversifying the media landscape is critical to the health of our culture and democracy.
Women’s Media Center

Why is the mining industry buying up the media industry?
Australian Media Company for the Mining Industry – Film
Push for an Australian Fox news – Australian Broadcasting Corporation

The level of concentration in our sources of information and the influence of one point of view on our community and on and with our politicians. “Reporters are not free agents but employees who have to abide by editorial decisions made by their superiors”.
Media Giant Quebecor – C’est la Vie – CBC Radio Braodcast – July 8, 2012
CBC vs Sun News – Huffington Post

Journalism that uncovers detailed facts on issues that matter.
Vancouver Observer
Owned and operated by women

How do we draw our conclusions about how things are and what contributes to our interests? What do you think of the CBC? Toronto Sun readers poll results as of March 10, 2013:
13% It’s a national treasure – 4642 votes
13% It’s pretty good – 4491 votes
5% It’s OK – 1704 votes
3% It’s not good – 1138 votes
65% – It’s a waste of taxpayer money – 22600 votes

No tears for CBC Revenue Problems – What do you think of the CBC? – Toronto Sun, – November 16, 2012

Creating our own media

Alternative Media
TheAnti-Media.org is an alternative news aggregate site. We bring together grass-roots alternative journalism, citizen journalists and awakened individuals. We bring the world of alternative journalism to one place for you to read and discover your favorite journalists and bloggers. We accept and encourage the community submitting links to us so we can share them with the rest of the community. If you are a journalist and would like to contribute to this site and other media distribution outlets, please email us or join our Facebook group

Nick Bernabe of TheAnti-Media on Global No War with Syria Rallies – Film
“Flash Mob of Protests”: “No War With Syria” Rallies Planned in Over 70 Cities for Saturday, 8/31 – Story
TheAnti-Media.org – Enterprise

Connections

The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists

Canadian Association of Journalists

Canadian Journalism Foundation
Canadians need the best available information in order to make sound decisions about the issues that shape our society. Access to in-depth, authoritative information is vital to the democratic process.

As Canadians’ primary source of information about today’s complex and challenging issues, the media play a pivotal role in shaping public decision making. Media are challenged to fulfill their role of providing intelligent, incisive information. They need access to the knowledge and insights of experts. They need to gain greater understanding of the issues and forces that underlie policy and decision making in the private, non-profit and public sectors. They need opportunities to exchange ideas and perspectives with others both in and outside their field.

The Canadian Journalism Foundation creates these opportunities by working with media and non-media organizations to improve the quality of public information through excellence in journalism. Our forums offer high-level, in-depth dialogue and debate. The result: Powerful ideas and insight that contribute to knowledge and influence understanding.

www.godirectmedia.com

Opportunities

Every summer, the Banff Centre, – the arts, culture and education incubator, – offers a handful of established non-fiction writers the opportunity to spend a month-long residency developing a feature story under the guidance of faculty mentors. the program encourages writers to explore new ideas in journalism and to experiment with creating a piece that might otherwise be difficult to complete. The Globe and Mail publishes a selection of those stories as part of a series.

Banff School
inspiring creativity