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Written by J-Lab’s Jan Schaffer for publication

  • When Community Residents Commit ‘Random Acts of Journalism’

    Dec. 1, 2007 Jan SchafferNieman Reports

    In rural Dutton, Montana, 80 people showed up last fall, wooed by a notion of starting a local news site for this newspaperless town of 375 people. Months later, the community celebrated the launch of the Dutton Country Courier,

  • Construct Your Community’s Info-Structure

    Nov. 13, 2007 Jan SchafferNewspaper Association of America

    In 2005, Lisa Williams launched a hyperlocal news site for her newfound community of Watertown, Mass. Writing with wry, self-deprecating humor, she called it and it was an instant hit.

  • Citizens Media: Has It Reached a Tipping Point?

    Nov. 1, 2005 Jan SchafferNieman Reports

    New media initiatives emerge when citizens feel ‘shortchanged, bereft or angered by their available media choices.’

  • Civic Journalism—Growing and Evolving

    Mar. 1, 2005 Jan SchafferNieman Reports

    Civic journalism is growing and evolving rapidly because it makes a deliberate attempt to reach out to citizens. Civic journalism can take the form of town meetings–“real” or “electronic”–or watching CSPAN, going on-line or attending focus groups.

  • Reporting on Race: Building a New Definition of ‘News’

    Sep. 1, 2003 Jan SchafferNieman Reports

    A report on race reporting by civic journalists highlights some common approaches.

  • Ten of the Many Things I’ve Learned Since Abscam

    Sep. 1, 2002 Jan SchafferSurvival Guide For Women Editors

    As a federal court reporter at The Philadelphia Inquirer, I got a tip one Friday that something big was going to happen that would “involve the Halls of Congress.”

  • Civic Journalism

    Sep. 1, 2000 Jan SchafferNational Civic Review

    In its first effort at inventing a new relationship between the newsroom and the Internet, New Hampshire Public Radio came up with an elegantly logical idea. It created an on-line Tax Calculator that last year helped state residents actually compute the cost of different tax reform measures to their own ...

  • Civic Journalism: How the Media Engages Citizens in Public Discourse

    Jun. 24, 1996 Jan SchafferNation’s Cities Weekly

    In Charlotte, N.C., more than 1,000 citizens have responded to lists of critical needs in nine of the city’s most crime-ridden neighborhoods. The newspaper collected the lists from neighborhood residents as part of what became its award-series, “Talking Back Our Neighborhoods.”

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