Community Journalism Definition

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Definitions of “Community” and “Community Journalism”:
A unified definition of the concept “community journalism” always proved difficult to reach. In its simple definition, community journalism is the coverage of local news by local professional journalists, “the idea of the journalist as a member of the community gathering new stories for the civic good ... for the public good…for the community” (Tamara L. Gillis and Robert C. Moore, 2003). According to this view, a journalist’s focus is on the community and how as a journalist, reporter, broadcaster, they can best serve the people. “This is best done when the journalist is a member of the community by being one of the citizens, not as an elitist member of the media or society” (Tamara L.
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While the anti-apartheid movement used it to mean those coming from poor and marginalized backgrounds, the liberals used it to mean ‘black’ (Rama and Louw, 1993). A more correct definition was adopted to mean “people in a particular local area who share similar problems and interests as a collectivity” (Rama and Louw, 1993). This definition was influenced by the realization of the crucial role that community radio plays for the disadvantaged sections of society, that is “the empowerment of the people by giving them the means to inform and be informed within a participative communication medium” (Rama and Louw, 1993).
Conceptualization of Community Journalism
In this study, however, the researcher will be concerned with community journalism as a synonym to small town newspapers (local journalism in Egyptian governorates.) Community journalism will include print as well as on-line journalism. The researcher uses Reader’s (2011) definition of a community journalist as anyone who shares a strong “connectedness” to his or her audience. Community journalism in this study is focused on professional news coverage and that should not be confused with the work of citizen journalists, who are often unpaid amateurs.
Definition of Civic
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Accordingly, Civic engagement will be conceptualized as “individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern” (Carpini, 2004). This will include “efforts to directly address an issue, work with others in a community to solve a problem, or interact with the institutions of representative democracy” (Carpini, 2004).
Impact of community journalism on civic engagement:
As mentioned above, the use of news media is often associated with civic engagement. According to researches, citizens who use news media are more likely to trust their community, participate in community groups, engage in political discourse with neighbors, and have higher levels of engagement than those who do not consume local media (McLeod, Scheufele, and Moy 1999; Stamm1985; Viswanath et al. 1990). Of all news media, reading newspapers, specifically, has a stronger influence on civic engagement than using other media, such as television and the Internet (Becker and Dunwoody 1982; Robinson and Levy, 1996).
Regardless of the type of participation, whether civic or political, the willingness to participate is the outcome of a dynamic process of information and
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