Journalism as a Democratic Art – Essays by Cole CampbellPosted: April 15, 2012
Journalism as a Democratic Art, a new collection of essays by public journalism pioneer Cole Campbell and edited by Tony Wharton, is now available from Kettering Foundation Press. Campbell, who passed away in 2007 at the age of 53, was an acclaimed journalist as well as a longtime Kettering colleague. Each piece in the collection expresses Campbell’s belief that “people expect the press to help their communities solve problems.” As one-time editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Virginia, and then the Post-Dispatch in St. Louis, Missouri, Campbell worked to align his profession with that belief, often facing considerable resistance from other journalists. Campbell’s essays address a variety of subjects, including a partly-finished dictionary for journalists; timely essays written in the months after Hurricane Katrina and 9/11; and an interview by Jay Rosen, longtime professor of journalism at New York University.
Rosen told the New York Times, “Cole believed journalism should be not just what is going on in civic life, but what you need to know to be engaged–because if you don’t think you can participate in public life, why would you want to read about it in the newspaper?” Rosen also says Campbell’s essays have “implications for the work of any professional concerned with creating a more vibrant democracy in Campbell’s writing. His work is a must-read.”
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