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St. John's Letter to the Editor Appears in Chronicle of Higher Education

"Journalism Should Focus on Connecting With Citizens," a letter to the editor co-authored by Burton St. John, assistant professor of communication at Old Dominion University, appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education Nov. 29.

The letter, written with Jeff South, a colleague from Virginia Commonwealth University, was in response to a story that appeared in the Chronicle in September about "supposed efforts to reinvent journalism."

The authors contend that the article fails to address "where journalism needs to truly revamp itself: by caring more about what audiences need and how their perspectives can help shape the news."

"We maintain that too many scholars and journalists fail to address a key cause of this crisis-professional journalism's own frame for providing accounts of the world hampers its relevance to the broader citizenry," write St. John and South.

Their recommendation for reinventing journalism? "Focus on connecting with citizens and including their conversations in the framing of news stories, instead of merely reporting objectively sanctified information to them. Content (and the relationship it promotes) is king-it is significantly more important than getting reporters to use flipcams or coaching them on how to develop new revenue streams."

Read the full piece at the Chronicle here.

This article was posted on: December 15, 2009

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Old Dominion University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution.