RTNDA Backs Community Journalism

The Radio and Television News Directors Association in the United States endorses community journalism and their foundation side creates a project called “Journalism That Connects.”   Little written about the project.  RTNDF describes community journalism as “a catch phrase for a range of news practices that are generally defined by a news organization’s desire to be closer to its community’s concerns and interests.”

This is the paragraph that follows:

The program’s goal is to help stations establish a stronger dialogue with their community, ultimately producing a better news product. The benefits to stations are many: improved communication between the news organizations and the community; better coverage of issues important to its citizens; and greater appreciation by the community of how news organizations perform their jobs, leading to enhanced credibility of these news outlets.

“Journalism at its highest level” says the foundation.  I say what is old always becomes new.  Confusing?  The Pew Center has a 25 page report to read on Community Journalism Sites.  State of the News Media points out “citizen-based media” is very new but I argue “community journalism” has always been around.

The Poynter Institute has written on the subject extensively for some years this decade.  Broadcast Newsroom Computing pointed to other articles Poynter distributed on “community” or “civic”  journalism on this blog.   In an article on ethics at Poynter’s site Bob Steele lists types of journalists to be considered under the new thinking of community and civics:

Independent Reporter…………..Messenger

Detached Observer………………Interpreter

Advocate……………………………Watch Dog

Supporter……………………………Promoter

Opinion leader…………………….Intermediary

Agenda Setter……………………..Convener

Builder……………………………….Participant

Activist ……………………………..Thinker

 

Steele writes the above  represents a continuum rather than opponents.   C. H. Sterling post at the Museum of Broadcast Communications reads deregulation of broadcasting during the administration of the late US President Ronald Reagan may have produced today’s result.   He points out  “abolishing guidelines for minimal amounts of non-entertainment programming in 1985…(and)… elimination of the Fairness Doctrine in 1987” moved media away from community and civic service to entertainment content.

I stick with Sterling when he argues “the American example of relying more on competition than regulation also threatens traditional public service broadcasting which must meet increasing competition for viewers by offering more commercially-appealing programs, usually entertainment–rather than culture-based. “   Some thoughts to consider when you examine “community journalism.”

BNC’s Friday’s Memo takes another look at the business climate.

James Rowe

Rowe and Company, LLC

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: