Community journalism is a complicated term to define. The term can consist of a type of social communication produced by the community for the community. Or, it could mean hyperlocal journalism whose ownership is community-owned, that is, it belongs to a civil association and is non-profit. This journalistic practice is the subject of a book, published by Labcom Books, with two chapters co-written by me.
The book is called “Community Communication and Proximity Journalism: Dialogues and Challenges in Crisis Scenarios“, edited by Brazilian researcher Paulo Victor Melo and Portuguese researcher Pedro Jerónimo. The work is the result of an event on the same theme that took place in November last year at the University of Beira Interior, Portugal.
It is noteworthy that in Portugal, journalism is only what is produced by professionals in duly registered media outlets. Regulation is serious business here. Therefore, the work talks about community communication, as it also addresses the participation of non-professionals. In this text, I use the Brazilian expression, despite supporting the appreciation of journalists, a professional category that is so mistreated in Brazil.
My chapters on community journalism
One of the chapters I participate in is a literature review on community journalism and news deserts. Brazilian researcher Luísa Torre and I discuss the two concepts and make a correlation on how the principles of community journalism can be a salvation for the crisis in local journalism, especially in small towns, where news deserts emerge.
Finally, almost at the end of the book, there is a work on the space for young journalists in the newsrooms of local Portuguese newspapers. After all, local newsrooms can be a gateway for new professionals. However, unlike Brazil, Portugal is a country with older newsrooms in the interior. The chapter also addresses the difficulty of carrying out this type of research.