Tuesday, February 17, 2009

CCJIG invites non-members: Come say hello in Boston!

To acquaint non-members with our group I am reproducing below a brief profile which appears in AEJMC News (pdf 1.21 mb) of March 2009. We'd love to see new faces at the Boston convention August 4-8.
Civic & Citizen Journalism Interest Group
Head: Nikhil Moro, Central Michigan

Our interest group has emerged as AEJMC’s largest in 2008-09. We host scholars devoted to either public or participatory journalism. Of our 116 registered members 57 are female. Six of our members identify themselves as African-American, two as Asian-American, and twelve as International.

We are happy to report that thanks to our growing membership our budget is healthier than ever before. We are an active, welcoming group with a relatively young membership. We love new members!

Some of our members – those with an interest in civic journalism – explore the trend of professional reporters acting as participant observers (who might advance specific social agendas) rather than as dispassionate spectators. Such reporters recognize that “journalism has an obligation to public life – an obligation that goes beyond just telling the news or unloading lots of facts” (Pew Center). Academic interest in civic journalism was catalyzed by David Perry’s 2003 book titled The Roots of Civic Journalism and by other work by advocates such as Davis “Buzz”Merritt.

Other members of our group have an interest in “citizen journalism,” which is practiced by non-professionals who use a digital camera and a sharing spirit to observe events and record them on personal blogs, or on Twitter, iReport, CitizenSide and other such online forums. Unlike civic reporters, who are professionals, citizen journalists are not on the payroll of any legacy media organization. Typically, they are not even trained in jschool. Academic interest in citizen journalism pivots on the expositions of, among others, Mark Glaser, Jay Rosen, Dan Gillmor and Leonard Witt.

Many of our members are excited about technology-driven trends in journalism practice. In the last two years our group’s scholarship has addressed topics in civic engagement, pedagogical modeling, sources, transparency, perceptions of credibility, citizen journalism models, and political efficacy.

At the 2009 convention in Boston, we plan to build on that edifice as well as investigate new trends, such as topics in citizen/civic journalism in the 2008 presidential campaign season, newsroom projects, legal/ethical issues, the contrasts between crowdsourcing and “gatekeeping,” changes in the newspaper economy, media convergence, and use of polls and focus groups in civic reporting.

In Boston we plan to give away two “best paper” prizes of $151 each to a faculty member and a graduate student. Send us a paper! We also have slated two pre-convention workshops and about a dozen discussion panels. Details of our convention program and current discussions may be found at our blog http://ccjig.blogspot.com.


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