Cover for Wenzel: Community-Centered Journalism: Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust. Click for larger image

Community-Centered Journalism

Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust

Fulfilling a vision of trust-centered local journalism

Contemporary journalism faces a crisis of trust that threatens the institution and may imperil democracy itself. Critics and experts see a renewed commitment to local journalism as one solution. But a lasting restoration of public trust requires a different kind of local journalism than is often imagined, one that engages with and shares power among all sectors of a community.

Andrea Wenzel models new practices of community-centered journalism that build trust across boundaries of politics, race, and class, and prioritize solutions while engaging the full range of local stakeholders. Informed by case studies from rural, suburban, and urban settings, Wenzel's blueprint reshapes journalism norms and creates vigorous storytelling networks between all parts of a community. Envisioning a portable, rather than scalable, process, Wenzel proposes a community-centered journalism that, once implemented, will strengthen lines of local communication, reinvigorate civic participation, and forge a trusting partnership between media and the people they cover.

"Andrea Wenzel is that rarest of beings, a thorough and skilled academic and an accomplished journalist. This book is a must read for anyone wanting to fully understand the crisis of trust in journalism, how it grows from deep, ingrained roots and flourishes through lack of attention and engagement. Wenzel’s examination of how journalism can better serve communities charts a clear empirical path for the field, but it also tells a compelling story about media, representation, and social cohesion at a critical time."--Emily Bell, director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

"This book is an important contribution to academic scholarship but also to the journalism industry and to foundations that support ongoing projects to rebuild trust. It provides much needed documentation at a pivotal and pivoting time, as journalism undertakes new practices in an attempt to survive."--Sue Robinson, author of Networked News, Racial Divides: How Power and Privilege Shape Public Discourse in Progressive Communities

Publication supported by a grant from the Howard D. and Marjorie I. Brooks fund for Progressive Thought.


Andrea Wenzel was a radio producer for fifteen years and is currently an assistant professor of journalism, media, and communications at Temple University.

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