As citizens’ trust in institutions has plummeted over the last four decades, so too has citizens’ trust in the news media. Citizens are capable of enhancing, even performing, the work of journalism, and journalists are capable of enhancing the work of citizens. When journalists and citizens work together on reporting projects, journalists’ trust in citizens’ abilities improves and citizens’ trust in the media improves.
This Kettering Foundation Working Paper by Lee Becker, Tudor Vlad, and Andreea Voina outlines the development and implementation in 2017 of a university-level course at the University of Georgia’s Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication that addressed a serious gap in journalism education. The class explored what journalism has to do with citizenship. Journalism curricula at US universities routinely include discussions of citizens, identified as those served by journalists and journalism, but coursework that focuses on citizenship or on citizen perspectives on journalism is less common.
The paper provides a course description and suggestions for the development and implementation of a course on the relationship between journalism and citizens, applicable to journalism and other university curricula in the future. It includes a preface by Paul Voakes, professor of journalism, emeritus, at the University of Colorado.
Transitioning to solutions journalism: One newsroom’s shift to solutions-focused reporting.
Abstract: In 2018, Alabama’s largest daily newspaper, the Gannett-owned Montgomery Advertiser, set out to transform its newsroom to focus on enterprise and solutions journalism—rigorous news reporting on how people are responding to social problems, a practice that has gained attention as newsrooms have looked for innovative ways to increase audience engagement. To examine its impact, […]
Whistleblowers and their faith in journalism: The (d)evolution of trust among the sources that journalists need most
Abstract: Using in-depth interviews conducted with 12 U.S. whistleblowers who contacted the press in the 1970s through the 2010s, this paper examines changing perceptions of the news media and journalists among those who have confided in them and how these views have evolved. I find that trust in individual journalists, more so than in the […]