Civic Journalism 2005 Abstracts

Civic Journalism Interest Group

The Democratic Ideal and Its Translation Online: The Possibility and Potential of the Internet as Public Sphere • Elizabeth Michelle Franko, University of Colorado • In both popular and scholarly publications, the Internet has been heralded as a new virtual public sphere, or as a tool for reviving a tired democratic process in established democratic states. This paper attempts to uncover and understand the ways in which classic and contemporary democratic theory elucidate the very potential of the Internet to become a viable public sphere. I also seek to interrogate the rhetoric around the Internet as a so-called democratic space.

Experiential Learning for Research and Reporting Classes Through a Comprehensive Newsroom Project • Sharon Hartin Iorio, Les Anderson, Leslie Blythe, Wichita State University • A class in communication research and a class in advanced reporting took part in a contracted civic journalism project for The (Junction City, KS) Daily Union newspaper titled “Re-imagining Junction City.” While examples of academic and professional partnerships exist, none that allowed students to participate both I n the research phase and in the follow-up reporting of the research findings could be identified in a recent literature review.

“Civic Journalism Is Journalism With Ethics”: Practitioners Speak To The Moral Imperative Of Their Work • Rick Kenney, University of Central Florida and Marie Hardin, Pennsylvania State University • How do civic journalists perceive the ethics of the journalism they produce? In a qualitative analysis of long interviews with reporters and editors in one civic journalism newsroom, this paper seeks to – in the spirit of communitarianism – give voice to the movement’s everyday “experiencers”: those who conceive, carry out, and publish the projects at the center of the decade-old debate over whether this brand of journalism is effective or even ethical The Student Writer as the Citizen in Public Journalism.

The Student Writer as the Citizen in Public Journalism • Cailin Brown Leary, University at Albany • Current conversations in public/participatory journalism and in composition are focused on how to engage and invigorate the citizenry. Writing teachers are preparing critical readers and writers to join the public conversation. These writing classrooms can become the sites where “somebody outside the journalism assembles the public.” (Joann Byrd from “What Are Journalists For?” Rosen).

OhmyNews’ and Its Citizen Journalists as Avatars of a Post-Modern Marketplace of Ideas • Ronald Rodgers, Ohio University • Abstract not available.

Judging Journalism • Ivor Shapiro, Patrizia Albanese and Leigh Doyle, Ryerson University • What does “excellence” mean in journalism? The literature reveals no universally agreed set of standards, and awards guidelines are often unclear. When interviewed about how they assess submissions, judges in Canada’s two leading journalism awards programs emphasized their intuition and experience rather than specific criteria, but placed special weight on writing style and on the amount and depth of reporting. Other values included originality, relevance and public impact, integrity, and analysis.

Interactive Media And Journalists: The Effects of Interactive Media on Civic and Traditional Journalists • Shelley Wigley, Oklahoma State University and Patrick Meirick, University of Oklahoma • This study looked at differences between civic and traditional journalists. Sports journalists at daily newspapers participated in a Web-based survey. Results indicate that civic journalists do not place more value on citizen input than traditional journalists, nor do they pay more attention to sports talk radio and Internet message boards as a source of information or fan opinion. The study produced one counterintuitive finding.

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