Monday, February 22, 2010

CCJIG Research Paper Call for 2010 Annual Conference

The Civic and Citizen Journalism Interest Group (CCJIG) invites research paper submissions for the 2010 convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication to be held in Denver on August 4 – 7.

Papers must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. on April 1, 2010, in accordance with all requirements of AEJMC and its uniform paper call and electronic submission process. Authors should ensure that their papers do not contain indentifying references. For a detailed explanation, please see “submitting a clean paper” under the uniform paper call on the AEJMC website.

Papers submitted will be eligible for separate faculty and student top paper awards of $151. Because of the separate competition for students, graduate students should be careful to identify themselves as such in the submission process. Papers co-authored with faculty members do not qualify for the student competition.

CCJIG is interested in research that examines the emergence, practice, sustenance and/or teaching of civic/citizen journalism. Authors are urged to submit papers that generally conform to this group’s interests. Papers that examine the use of blogs, for instance, do not automatically meet the group’s interests.

Suggested paper topics include: Citizen/civic journalism in political campaigns, citizen media, civic mapping, community conversations, newsroom projects, legal and ethical issues in civic/citizen journalism, crowdsourcing versus traditional "gatekeeper" journalism, civic/citizen journalism in a multicultural environment, civic/citizen journalism and new technologies, history/philosophy of civic/citizen journalism, the changing newspaper industry economy and its effect on the development of civic/citizen journalism movements, media convergence and civic/citizen journalism, the missions and meanings of "civic journalism" and/or "citizen journalism," teaching civic/citizen journalism, and use of polls, focus groups and other methods in civic reporting.

Special call: CCJIG is also looking for 2010 conference papers that explore and examine the intersections of community journalism, civic, and citizen journalism. One possible area of inquiry, for instance, would be to explore relationships between professional staff members of news organizations and their ‘citizen’ contributors. Papers might explore the differences (or similarities) in tasks, content, attitudes, or training as well as theories, ethical issues, history, and/or other applications that help to explain practices.

CCJIG welcomes submissions for the special call from all AEJMC members.

Please direct any questions to CCJIG Research Chair Glenn Scott (

Saturday, February 20, 2010

CCJIG at 15: Past, Present, Future

See CCJIG at 15: Past, Present, Future

Hot Topics in Journalism and Mass Communication, January 2010

Mary Beth Callie
CCJIG chair

Special SPIG call for Denver AEJMC: Social justice journalism in the classroom.

We teach techniques and technology, law and theory, but how should we handle questions of social justice?

Advocacy for the poor and powerless is nothing new to journalism. Muckrakers and crusaders through the decades have lived by the motto: “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” Many of us teach students about America's strong tradition of the alternative press that still thrives today. Additionally, many colleges and universities have social justice as part of their mission.

But what should this mean to journalism educators? How does a commitment to social justice square with journalists’ ideals of fairness, accuracy, impartiality and truth? Here’s a chance to explore. SPIG invites critical essays, qualitative papers, and quantitative research on the issues and questions involved in pursuing justice through the journalism classroom.

We already have a slot reserved for this research panel during the Denver convention – 5 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 5. This is in addition to our regular research showcase at the scholar-to-scholar session.

Submit your papers through the standard All Academic on-line process by April 1. (Details available at: Make sure you use the phrase “social justice” somewhere in the title.

If you have any questions, please contact either of us:

Research Co-Chairs

John Jenks (
Teresa Housel (

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New book examines 'Public Journalism 2.0'

Co-editors Jack Rosenberry (St. John Fisher College) and Burton St. John III (Old Dominion University) have published the edited volume Public Journalism 2.0: The Promise and Reality of a Citizen-Engaged Press (2010, Routledge).

Across 13 chapters, the book examines both the roots and contemporary dynamics of civic and citizen journalism and posits how public journalism can inform future journalistic endeavors.

In addition to a provocative "state of the practice" piece by Buzz Merritt -- an instrumental founder of the public journalism movement -- the book features original research, case studies and essays by scholars such as Joyce Nip, David Ryfe, Serena Carpenter, Donica Mensing, Sue Robinson and Aaron Barlow. The volume also features interviews with Tanni Haas, Lewis Friedland and Jan Schaffer.

This book can serve as a resource for classes in contemporary journalism practice and theory, especially for exploring how professionals and amateurs can effectively work together to develop a more relevant and citizen-engaged press.

Each chapter also features a summary area that offers, for pedagogical use, key theoretical and practical implications and reflection questions. As summarized by Routledge: "This collection establishes how public journalism principles and practices offers journalists, scholars, and citizens insights into how digital technology and other contemporary practices can increase civic engagement and improve public life."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Big day in Civic Journalism history

(Disclosure: The author of this post is also a co-author of the work discussed in it.)

On this day in journalism history, Feb. 9, 1990: Knight-Ridder Corp. CEO Jim Batten offers his views on newspapers and community as he is presented with the William Allen White Award by the University of Kansas and the William Allen White Foundation.

* * *

If there is a signalizing moment in the early history of the civic or public journalism movement, Batten’s address deserves consideration for the honor because of the prominence of the person offering the ideas (CEO of a major, well-respected news organization) and the timing, a couple of years into the experimentation that later came to be identified as public journalism.

Batten’s address was published by KU as a booklet, but copies of it have been relatively hard to come by – until now. Partly in honor of its 20th anniversary, the address been re-published (with permission of KU and the White Foundation) in a new book by CCJIG officers Jack Rosenberry and Burton St. John III, titled Public Journalism 2.0: The Promise and Reality of a Citizen Engaged Press (Routledge, 2010).

On the one hand, there was no “kick off” moment for the public journalism movement, which grew organically from various experiments – not coincidentally, many of them within Knight-Ridder. But as Rosenberry and St. John write in introducing Batten’s speech as a chapter of the work:

One must be careful about oversubscribing significance to isolated events. For example, it would be inaccurate to say that the environmental movement began with the publication of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring or that the push for African-American civil rights began with Rosa Parks’ refusal to sit at the back of the bus. Yet these happenings are seen as signal events that inspired people and helped to spread isolated and episodic initiatives into coordinated causes that touched upon concerns of the wider population.

There certainly is no direct line from the post-1988-election experiments in improved civic coverage that were among the first public journalism experiments to Batten’s speech in 1990 to the 600-plus public journalism projects identified by Sandy Nichols and Lew Friedland a few years later. But his talk was without question a blaze along the trail.

While by no means a history, Rosenberry and St. John’s book explores some of public journalism’s past as a way to inform the present evolution of participatory journalism and offer ideas for how it might enhance civic engagement. The title, in fact, is meant as a word play on “2.0” being computer lingo for an upgrade from the original version of a work and the 20th anniversary of the 1990 Batten speech. Along with Batten’s piece, the book consists of a series of contributions by journalism scholars including (in alphabetical order) Aaron Barlow, Serena Carpenter, Cathy DeShano, Lewis A. Friedland, Tanni Haas, Kirsten Johnson, Suzanne McBride, Donica Mensing, Davis “Buzz” Merritt, Kim Nakho, Joyce Nip, Sue Robinson, David Ryfe and Jan Schaffer.