Putting the citizen back into 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. It has created arguably the highest per capita listenership globally for a national community broadcasting sector. This article argues that community journalism is playing a crucial role in addressing the 'democratic deficit' by fostering citizen participation in public life in many different ways. This suggests the failure of mainstream - and so-called 'citizen' journalism practices - in many respects and emphasises the central place of audience research in understanding the nature of journalism's multifarious 'discursive formations'. It suggests that the nature of community journalism aligns it more closely with complex 'local talk' narratives that foster the meaning-making process at community level, playing a crucial role in recreating a 'public conversation' and a heightened sense of citizenship.
© 2013 SAGE Publications. This is the author-manuscript version of the paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.