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Civic Journalism Group Goals — Three Years Ago

In continuation of our discussion about the intersection of civic and citizen journalism, here is some historical perspective:

This from Sharon Iorio:

As required, the Civic Journalism Interest Group (CJIG) applied to AEJMC for Interest Group renewal in 2002 and was approved. You can read…for yourselves to see if you think the citizen aspect or other aspects of the mission and goals are still appropriate. The renewal document is attached and part of it is pasted below.

A formal statement of the mission and goals of the group:

The mission of the group is to foster the study and practice of civic journalism through teaching, research and service that includes professional freedom and responsibility.

Proposed goals of the group were developed through a Delphi process. Tanni Haas of Brooklyn College led the rounds during the 2001–2002 year. The newsletter and list-serve were used to solicit feedback from members. The results of that process will be reviewed as an action item and validated at the CJIG business meeting to be held Thursday, Aug. 8, 2002. The proposed goals are as follows:

Bring together academics, practitioners and students for discussion of civic journalism theory, research and practice.

Help academics learn about current civic journalism practices to provide training for the next generation of practitioners, including development of curriculum and pedagogy for undergraduate and graduate study in civic journalism.

Showcase the latest academic thinking on civic journalism to inspire practitioners and ensure that practitioners are involved in the interest group’s events and deliberations.

Create connections within AEJMC between civic journalism and related areas of scholarly inquiry.

Engage academics in fields related to civic journalism (political science, sociology, history) and practitioners in all areas of mass communication in dialogues to strengthen civic engagement in democratic institutions.

Promote the values of civic journalism by sending letters-to-the-editor to newspapers that either approve or isapprove of civic journalism.

Study and advance excellence in news writing through audience analysis, including feedback from and interaction with audiences.

Promote research into journalism’s connection to civic life and the development, uses and effects of civic journalism.

Expand civic journalism initiatives by networking with interested individuals, including diverse groups and youth at the community, state, national and international levels.

Conduct an annual survey of public perceptions of the news media and how the news media can reconnect with the public at grassroots levels.

Sponsor meetings with newspaper editors and interested citizens to discuss survey results.

Here is more historical perspective from Phil Meyer:

Deborah Potter, then with the Poynter Institute, and I were studying effects on the election and didn’t know whether call what we were measuring “civic journalism” in honor of the Pew Center or “public journalism” in honor of Buzz Merritt and Jay Rosen. I can’t remember whether we or Poynter made the decision, but we side-stepped the issue by calling it “citizen-based journalism.”

Since we are looking for past connections, one should also look at the Charter Declaration of the Public Journalism Network, written and accepted in January, 2003.

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