Thursday, February 09, 2006

UA Team Reports Research on News & Community

A University of Alabama journalism research team reported findings of their analysis of what academic researchers have to say about community journalism.

Wilson Lowrey, an assistant professor of journalism, led the team that included two UA Ph.D. students, Amanda Brozana and Jenn MacKay, in analyzing 70 research articles in 16 academic journals including titles such as the Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly and Political Communication.

From their qualitative analysis of the articles, they identified at least nine dimensions of news and community that appeared in the research articles:

1) community
2) Meeting Place
3) Field
4) Interpretive
5) journalism That Listens
6) Civic Leader
7) Advocate
8) Social Glue
9) Awareness of Social Differences

Some of the other key findings from the research-- 71% of the articles focused on daily newspapers while only 30% featured research on weekly newspapers and 12% on web sites.

"Most did not define community journalism directly," said Lowrey. "Many of the articles looked at the impact of community on the journalists or the news organization." Lowrey said.

Lowrey made a 15-minute ON POINT presentation, the second such talk of this day-long intense discussion.


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