"Public Journalism" - ein neues journalistisches Konzept und seine Umsetzung in Lokalredaktionen der USA


  • Sonja Fink


Printmedien, Onlinemedien, Häppchen-Journalismus, Printstagnation, Auflagenzahlen,


Die Landschaft der Printmedien in Deutschland: Schon lange blüht sie nicht mehr so, wie es Journalisten und Verleger gerne sähen. Schneller, bunter, boulevardesker soll sie sein, die Nachrichtenvermittlung im Zeitalter des Häppchen-Journalismus. Zuwachsraten lassen sich da höchstens noch bei zusätzlichen Online-Angeboten auf der Datenautobahn im Internet verzeichnen. Insbesondere im Bereich der Tageszeitungen hält die Dürreperiode in Form von stagnierenden Stückzahlen - was in entsprechendem Kontext dann sogar als Erfolg vermarktet wird - und stetigem Auflagenverlust jedoch nach wie vor an, wie auch die Zahlen der aktuellen IVW-Auflagenliste belegen. (...)



Sonja Fink: "Public Journalism"- A New Journalistic Concept and lmplementation in Local Editorial Departments in the USA

Locality is the future of newspapers. ,Public J ournalism' is the motto with which individual journalists in the late 80's and early 90's attempted to find new approaches to reporting and coverage. Their main goal was to re-establish the relationship between journalism, the reader and their community - a relationship considered essential for a functioning democracy. The guiding principle is to engage people in forming opinions and critical reflection. With this, the precursors of this movement emphasise the significance of journalism situated in the local community for an overall societallevel. "Doing public journalism" means to move away from the tradition of the solely "objective" uninvolved reporter. The aim is not only to report on deplorable state of affairs but to start a discussion of possible solutions by co-operating with offleials in charge as well as competent boards and authorities. Community meetings, telephone campaigns, monthly readers' panels and editorials are parts of this concept that summon the reader to become actively involved in his community, thus creating a democratic society. The role of the media is henceforth not that of a cynical spectator but must understand its role as a responsible member of society. "Public Journalism" has become a form of provocative and project oriented activism in the USA. Pricey ventures such as the organisation of debates on TV or the sponsoring of youth centres have been abandoned and replaced by daily local reporting focusing on the expressed needs of the reader. It would be wrong to interpret "public journalism" as a categorical revolution of the entire sector of journalism. However, as a complementary modelthat is not detached from other vocational norms it is groundbreaking for responsible reporting and the future of newspapers. It calls for action in a time of disenchantment with politics and lacking involvement of citizens in order to maintain a form of govemment grounded in the principle of freedom. 




Communicatio Socialis 1968-2013