Raising Questions about Civic or Public Journalism

By Dennis, Everette E. | Editor & Publisher, July 29, 1995 | Go to article overview

Raising Questions about Civic or Public Journalism


Dennis, Everette E., Editor & Publisher


FOR A COUPLE of years, the term civic or public journalism has been a part of the buzz at meeting of editors and publishers.

These groups have warmly welcomed this effort, which urges local news media to take a more active role by encouraging greater public involvement with public problems and setting the public agenda, as well as leading public debate.

Some argue that public journalism is a radical departure from traditional journalistic practice that aims at impartial news coverage. This has reignited a 30-year-old debate about the ethic of objectivity.

Others say this is nothing new, that community-oriented public affairs reporting has traditionally encouraged local civic progress. Cheerleaders for public journalism include university professors, foundations, some newspaper groups and others. Critics, where they exist, are mostly editors and other journalists.

To date, the literature of public journalism is limited, with only a few articles and two recently published books. Much, if not all, of what has been written is more the product of polemic calls to action and evangelical road shows than documentation or cogent assessment that comports with thoughtful histories of journalism.

Rarely is there a forum where questions about the public journalism debate can be candidly and openly discussed. If there were such a forum that welcomed inquiry, as well as cheerleading, here are some of the questions one might raise:

* Is there an accepted definition for public journalism?

* If so, how does it differ from conventional journalistic practice?

* What changes does this portend for the role of the journalist?

* To what extent is public journalism informed by the history of the media and by journalistic trends in community coverage and public affairs reporting? For example, what of the link between early and doctrinaire journalistic exposes and editorial campaigns that led to an ethics movement?

* How does public journalism differ (if it does) from the Communitarian movement, which has yet to get much national publicity in spite of prominent advocates and foundation support?

* Why did the Public Agenda Foundation and other civic and philanthropic groups fail to enlist journalists as advocates for their cause, while those supporting public journalism have been more successful with similar rhetoric and objectives?

* Under the premises of public journalism, how does a journalist differ from a community organizer, an honored aspect of social work that also seeks to create strategic alliances in local communities for public purposes? …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • A full archive of books and articles related to this one
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Raising Questions about Civic or Public Journalism
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

    Already a member? Log in now.