Thoughts and musings from a writer, editor, photographer, activist, and musician in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I believe that faith and social action are intertwined in efforts to positively motivate change in the society around us. We need to be actively involved in our communities to try to effect this change locally and globally. I also love the local Arts scene. Warning: alternative perspectives and strong opinions ahead. Intimidated yet? Good - read on.
Friday, April 11, 2014
Community Journalism: Workshop Notes
I recently gave a workshop on community journalism for a writing group in the McCauley neighbourhood. I thought I would share my notes here to try to encourage people to take part in community journalism and to inspire creative thoughts.A. What is Community Journalism?
It is hyper-local as opposed to just local
Geographically limited in scope (such as a neighbourhood newspaper)
Often produced by non-professional writers/photographers (citizen media)
Can go into depths of community events/news/opinions overlooked by other media
Gives a voice to the marginalized
Media can include newspapers, blogs, social media
Value of substance over style, because it is mostly being produced by non-professionals
B. Why Community Journalism?
Cover topics/events ignored by mainstream, larger media
To give community members a voice
With regards to community newspapers, to present the reality of life in a specific neighbourhood (for example, in the inner city, the good is often overlooked by other media)
A good place to start building a portfolio because it is easier to get published; less competitive
C. News Versus Opinion
One of the most misunderstood aspects of journalism
News: non-personal, fact-based, written in the third person. An article or column.
Opinion: Personal, feelings-based, written in the first person. Editorial or letter to the editor.
Five minutes each; share afterwards:
1) List a choice of themes, and ask participants to write something on that theme.
2) Write a short news piece on something going on in your community.
3) Write an opinion on something in the community, such as a social issue or recent happening.