Foreword by Gloria Freeland
Introduction by Jerry Brown
Preface: The Newspapers of the Blue Highways
1. The State of Community Journalism
What is community journalism? Relentlessly Local. You are Here. Small is Beautiful. Overview of statistics. Trends in the industry.
2. With Apologies to Nike, but Why Just Do It?
One journalist's love affair with small newspapers. We bleed ink. Guest essays by former New York publisher Vicki Simons and community journalism advocate Linda Gilmore of Kansas State.
3. What Am I Doing Here?
What do we do? The role of the community newspaper. Why size matters: Less is more. The ethnic press. Types of community newspapers. What we are and aren't. What we should be. The downside of community journalism. Guest essay by former Maine newspaper editor Steven Knowlton of Hofstra.
4. Whose Paper Is It Anyway?
The community newspaper and how the community looks back at us. Personal, possessive, jealous, involved. The editor-publisher as public servant. Community-ness and newsroom accessibility. Fifteen things every person working at a small paper should know.
5. About That Little Old Lady from Dubuque
What's wrong with the media today? Elitism. The reading public's concern with access, accountability, compassion, careerism and arrogance. What readers want. A visit with "Real People" in Texas. Guest essay by North Carolina editor-publisher Ted Vaden.
6. About the Community in Community Journalism
Can we define community? How are American places growing and changing? What is happening to our country? Where do community newspapers fit in? A visit with Alaska editor-publisher Jeff Brady.
7. News: 9/11 Was Local News Everywhere
Don't ever say nothing ever happens here. A visit to Bedford, Pa., on the day "all hell broke loose." The AAA Club: Accurate, Accessible, Accountable. The big picture. Obituaries.
8. Features: Pay Attention to the Signs
Soft news? What features really mean in community journalism. The community journalism spin. Types, hints, notetaking. Everybody has a story. Don't underestimate your impact.
9. Editorials: The Rapier, Not the Sledgehammer
The importance, form and function of the editorial pageeditorials, columns and letters in community journalism. The zombie page versus the lively local approach. Former Centre Daily Times (Pa.) editorial page editor Bill Reader asks: What about anonymous call-in "letters"? Guest essay by former Pennsylvania editor Jim Kevlin.
10. Interviewing and Writing
How to do an interview wrong, and how to do it right: turf, curiosity, time, imagination. The interview versus the "inner-view." Tape recorders or not, issues and examples. Organization. Style. Off the record. The power of the anecdote. Helpful hints for the beginner and reminders for old salts: Show, Don't Tell. Gene Roberts reflects on the power of local reporting.
11. It Used to Be Called the Women's Page
Now it's "Lifestyle." Whatever you call itit's vital in community journalism. Essay and examples by 91-year-old Virginia Rucker, 50-plus-year veteran and former associate editor of the Daily Courier of Forest City, N.C., who's still coming up with fresh story ideas. Should we be charging for weddings, engagements and anniversariesmuch less obituaries? How to handle same-sex announcements.
12. Community Sports: It's Only a Game, Right?
Form and function. It may not be Yankee Stadium or Camden Yards, but sports coverage in the community newspaper's backyard is the bread and butter of success. How one community paper responded to a major international event in its front yard.
13. Graphics, Design and the Community Paper
It's important at our level too, but in a different way. How a redesign can change your paper in more ways than just cosmetically. Former Pennsylvania executive editor John Winn Miller shares some winning ways. Tips for designing at small newspapers.
14. Photojournalism: Put That Camera Down and Dance, Boy!
How community photojournalism is different, both in features and news. The power of pictures. Joys and frustrations of digital. Captions. Tips from the pros and hints for the photo-illiterate. How to work together. Guest essay by New Jersey photographer Michael Palmieri.
15. Technology and Community Newspapers
How technology has affected community newspapers. Blogging. Online community papers: two shining examples. Convergence. New technew ethical dilemmas for taking and handling photos.
16. Ethics and Community Newspapers
How does a community paper judge the news? News is newsor is it? What is the newspaper's moral compass? Thorny problems: suicides, foul language, sleazy tactics, photos of dead bodies. Wrestling with the Bear at the Macon (Ga.) Telegraph. Guest essay by South Dakota photographer Jeremy Waltner.
17. We Mean Business, Too
Issues surrounding advertising, business, publishing, competition and business ethics.
18. Newsroom Management: The Personnel Approach
Work and personal relationships. Family ownership. Strategies, tactics and attitudes for enlightened management. The dynamics of a small paper are different. How can that work for you? Visits to two outstanding community weeklies. Diversity in our newsrooms.
19. Hablamos Español?
How seven mainstream community newspapers have handled the challenge of the new Latino demographics in their communities. How a Spanish-language newspaper views its role.
20. The Great Good Paper
How do the leaders of great papers keep on keeping on? Their secrets in this best practices chapter.
21. The Evolution of a Community Newspaper
It's been a brave new world for the world's smallest daily newspaper, and it remains so. A longitudinal study of one paper's growth and maturation.
22. A Johnny Appleseed Community Journalism Roadshow
Taking the classroom to the newsrooms of one state.
23. Two Case Studies of Community Newspaper Start-Ups
One that worked; one that didn't. What went wrong and what went right. So you want your own paper? Read this first.
24. Speedbumps and Troubleshooting
Troubleshooting and personal preventative maintenance. Beware "parachute journalism." Dealing with community involvement and conflict of interest. Nurturing your talents. Establishing credibility. Developing your sense of curiosity and precision. Moving on. Resources.
A Community Journalism Glossary
More Resources and References for Community Journalists