Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

The Future of Community Media: The 2011 EKU Community Journalism Project

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

As online media grows and the recession forces companies to downsize, many journalism students are worried about the future of print media and its role in the community. Each year, the Eastern Kentucky University Community Journalism class conducts a research project pertaining to an aspect about media in communities in the university’s service region. The 2011 class decided to capitalize on the discussion about the importance of local media and investigate partnerships between local newspapers and high schools in Eastern’s 22-county service region. The class wanted to examine whether community media in the region had the necessary resources to disseminate information, part of which includes citizens who recognize the significance of local media. After conducting many phone and in-person interviews, the class found that many communities had already formed partnerships with high schools. Many high school administrators stated their schools offered some sort of journalism program, and many newspapers in the region had partnerships with local schools, whether the partnership was in the form of allowing student freelancers to write for the paper or printing the high school’s newspaper. We also created a list of various suggestions about how to begin a partnership for interested parties, including forming a student-run news bureau or even offering scholarships to students going to college who were interested in journalism. The best result, the class discovered, was that our project was a way for local media and high schools make connections for the betterment of journalism as a whole.

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The Future of Community Media: The 2011 EKU Community Journalism Project

As online media grows and the recession forces companies to downsize, many journalism students are worried about the future of print media and its role in the community. Each year, the Eastern Kentucky University Community Journalism class conducts a research project pertaining to an aspect about media in communities in the university’s service region. The 2011 class decided to capitalize on the discussion about the importance of local media and investigate partnerships between local newspapers and high schools in Eastern’s 22-county service region. The class wanted to examine whether community media in the region had the necessary resources to disseminate information, part of which includes citizens who recognize the significance of local media. After conducting many phone and in-person interviews, the class found that many communities had already formed partnerships with high schools. Many high school administrators stated their schools offered some sort of journalism program, and many newspapers in the region had partnerships with local schools, whether the partnership was in the form of allowing student freelancers to write for the paper or printing the high school’s newspaper. We also created a list of various suggestions about how to begin a partnership for interested parties, including forming a student-run news bureau or even offering scholarships to students going to college who were interested in journalism. The best result, the class discovered, was that our project was a way for local media and high schools make connections for the betterment of journalism as a whole.