Saturday, February 18, 2012

Editor-turned-academic falls in love with community journalism after six weeks at small paper

St. John, Wash., population 523
Journalism professor and former newspaper editor Mac McKerral got "the surprise of his life" while working last summer at The Community Current, a small newspaper in rural St. John, Wash., he writes in the latest edition of Quill, the magazine of the Society of Professional Journalists.

"It affirmed my belief in the value of community newspapers that focus singularly on their community — the good news and the bad — and that have a bond with the readers served," McKerral writes. "The Community Current is among many of those, but its signatures paint a picture of common characteristics that make it easier to understand why these papers survive and even thrive while the death knell for 'print' rings out."

McKerral's six-week sojourn, funded by his employers at Western Kentucky University, prompted him to write a 4,444-word article  about community journalism that is part love poem, part hard-nosed analysis and altogether interesting for those of us who appreciate and support rural and community journalism. Read it here.

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