Collaborations between newsrooms and j-schools can help fill local news gaps

Newsroom collaborations can give students valuable training and provide a service by filling gaps in local news coverage, says a media labour expert.

Errol Salamon, the work and labour editor at J-Source, says that established media publishers and editors have also helped students by giving them the temporary power to run mainstream media companies.

In 1933, the Vancouver Sun gave students at the University of British Columbia an opportunity to take over the newsroom for the day. This was over a decade before formal journalism programs were introduced in Canada.

News health bolstered by local collaborations, expert’s work shows

Collaborations between newsrooms and community members could be key to saving local news, says an expert in journalism and community engagement.

Growing sustainable journalism models in areas that are underserved by  local news organizations is more complicated than aiding individual outlets, says Josh Stearns, associate director of the U.S.-based Democracy Fund’s Public Square Program. Instead, he said, stakeholders must find innovative ways to bring newsrooms and community members together to maintain local news.

How crime reporting ethics shift through cultures

Journalists around the world make the mistake of assuming that their journalistic ethical are the best – or only –standards. Especially with crime reporting, what might seem normal in North America is shocking to some cultures in Europe, say two researchers from Canada and the United States.

Naming victims and suspects in serious crimes is the default approach in North America, a practice meant to support the public’s right to know critical information about their community. But in some areas of Europe, not identifying people in news stories is meant to serve as a way to rehabilitate people and their reputations.

Local news matters because it connects community members

Local news matters because it fosters debate, instigates major social change and connects community members, participants at a recent conference on the future of local news were told.

“Does Local News Matter? Tales from the Trenches” offered four perspectives on the impact local journalism can have on a community and what happens in its absence. The presentations took place June 3 as part of Is no local news bad news? The future of local journalism, a conference hosted by the Ryerson Journalism Research Centre.

Local news, the panelists agreed, matters now more than ever.

Research shows that local news reporters are working harder than ever – and they’re loving it

Across the United States, reporters and editors at local newspapers are working longer hours, in smaller newsrooms and with fewer opportunities for advancement.

They’re also optimistic about the future of local news, and their futures in it, a recent study in the Columbia Journalism Review has found.

Damian Radcliffe, the Carolyn S. Chambers Professor in Journalism at the University of Oregon and co-author of the study “Life at small-market newspapers: A survey of over 400 journalists,” says that optimism stems…

Listening to community members essential, say Indigenous journalists sharing industry experiences at local news conference

While working at a weekly community newspaper, reporter Wawmeesh Hamilton was told that First Nations stories did not foster enough interest to earn a spot on the front page.

The directive came from the newspaper’s publisher where he worked at the time.

Hamilton recalls being offended as a child by a front page story featuring a non-Indigenous woman dressed as Pocahontas, holding a wine bottle.

When rural newspapers fall prey to predatory ownership, local content goes fast: new research

Small market newspapers are being stripped of local content by “predatory” chain ownership groups, a new study suggests.

John Miller, a professor emeritus at the Ryerson School of Journalism, compared local content in the Northumberland Today, the daily newspaper published in Cobourg, Ont., with local news published by its predecessors. The Cobourg Daily Star and the Port Hope Evening Guide amalgamated with the weekly Colborne Chronicle in 2009 to form Northumberland Today.


Small-scale community news outlets can have a meaningful impact and thrive “on a shoestring,” but decreases in funding have left the sector reeling, say community news researchers.

Non-profit community media in Canada, which has traditionally relied on a combination of government assistance and private investment, have seen those funds dry up in recent years. Unlike the United States, where nonprofit investigative news organizations like ProPublica and the Marshall Project thrive, Canada doesn’t have a strong tradition of “philanthro-journalism.”

Online access to archived pages on the Internet Archive uncertain for researchers

The disappearance of archived pages from the Internet Archive poses a threat to research and the preservation of news as the first draft of history, researchers heard recently during a Ryerson University conference on the state of local news.

The Internet Archive is a non-profit digital library with collections of books, movies, music and archived web pages from across the world. Its most popular feature is the Wayback Machine, which allows researchers to save webpages and search through their database of archived pages. Some pages that may have been previously accessible, however, have disappeared.

Researchers urge journalists to examine who gets quoted in news stories

While the value of different sources can be subjective, newsrooms have a responsibility to interrogate their choices surrounding which voices get the most coverage, researchers agreed at a recent conference on local news.  

Asmaa Malik, assistant professor at the Ryerson School of Journalism, emphasized that in a fast-paced newsroom, reporters rarely have time to question the value judgements they make. Yet, “research shows that news favours powerful people,” who get quoted more often and are featured more prominently in stories.

When the same voices continue to be amplified over and over, readers lose the opportunity to hear from more diverse sources.