Making good sense: transformative processes in community journalism
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Around four million listeners in an average week tune into community radio stations around Australia, primarily to hear local news and information - evidence of a failure by mainstream journalism to meet their diverse needs. This discussion draws from the authors' landmark national qualitative audience study of the Australian community broadcasting sector to explore the role being played by community journalism. The authors argue that journalism at the level of the local is playing a crucial role in the democratic process by fostering citizen participation in public life. This suggests a critique of mainstream journalism practices and the central place of audience research in understanding the nature of the relationships and processes involved. The authors argue that the nature of community journalism aligns it more closely with the complex 'local talk' narratives at community level that play a crucial role in creating public consciousness.