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This volume addresses some of the central issues of journalism today — the nature and needs of the individual versus the nature and needs of the broader society; theories of communitarianism versus Enlightenment liberalism; independence versus interdependence (vs. co-dependency); negative versus positive freedoms; Constitutional mandates versus marketplace mandates; universal ethical issues versus situational and/or professional values; traditional values versus information age values; ethics of management versus ethics of worker bees; commitment and compassion versus detachment and professional "distance;" conflicts of interest versus conflicted disinterest; and "talking to" versus "talking with." All of these issues are discussed within the framework of the frenetic field of daily journalism—a field that operates at a pace and under a set of professional standards that all but preclude careful, systematic examinations of its own rituals and practices. The explorations presented here not only advance the enterprise, but also help student and professional observers to work through some of the most perplexing dilemmas to have faced the news media and public in recent times.
This lively volume showcases the differing opinions of journalistic experts on this significant contemporary issue in public life. Unlike previous books and monographs which have tended toward unbridled enthusiasm about public journalism, and trade press articles which have tended toward pessimism, this book offers strong voices on several sides of this complex debate.
To help inform the debate, a series of "voices"—journalistic interviews with practitioners and critics of public journalism — is interspersed throughout the text. At the end of each essay, a series of quotes from a wide variety of sources — "In other words..." — augments each chapter with ideas and insights that support and contradict the points used by each chapter author.
Contents: J. Black, Introduction. J.W. Carey, Community, Public, and Journalism. C.G. Christians, The Common Good and Universal Values. Voices: A Different Way of Covering Crime. L.W. Hodges, Ruminations About the Communitarian Debate. Voices: San Diego Gets a Good News Solution. J.C. Merrill, Communitarianism's Rhetorical War Against Enlightenment Liberalism. Voices: The Sound of Discontent. R.D. Barney, A Dangerous Drift? The Siren's Call to Collectivism. Voices: In the Beginning There Was Columbus. R. Anderson, R. Dardenne, G.M. Killenberg, The American Newspaper as the Public Conversational Commons. Voices: "South of Heaven": A Community in Conversation With Itself. T.L. Glasser, S. Craft, Public Journalism and the Prospects for Press Accountability. Voices: What's So New About Public Journalism? J.H. Altschull, A Crisis of Conscience: Is Community Journalism the Answer? Voices: Adding Color to Public Journalism. R.M. Steele, The Ethics of Civic Journalism: Independence as the Guide. Voices: "Final Indignities": Finally, a Voice for the Community. D.B. Merritt, Public Journalism, Independence, and Civic Capital...Three Ideas in Complete Harmony. P. McMasters, A First Amendment Perspective on Public Journalism. Voices: McMasters and Merritt Debate the Merits of Public Journalism. L. Wilkins, Communitarian and Environmental Journalism. D. Elliott, The Problem of Compassionate Journalism. L. Peck, L. Waddell, Annotated Bibliography.