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Community-Centered JournalismEngaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust$
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Andrea Wenzel

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780252043307

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.5622/illinois/9780252043307.001.0001

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Shifting Stories with Solutions Journalism

Shifting Stories with Solutions Journalism

(p.23) Chapter 1 Shifting Stories with Solutions Journalism
Community-Centered Journalism

Andrea Wenzel

University of Illinois Press

Chapter One introduces an example of how communication infrastructure theory can be used to diagnose the communication health of communities and to design an intervention in response. It also explores the role of place in influencing relationships between actors in local storytelling networks—in this case focusing on majority Black and Latinx communities in South Los Angeles that have historically been stigmatized by negative news representations. The chapter outlines a research-based intervention that sought to strengthen weak connections between local news outlets and community organizations by bringing representatives together to produce a series of solutions journalism stories about South LA. These stories were then discussed with South LA residents in a series of focus groups. While residents responded favorably to the solutions-orientation of stories, they wanted to see local media take steps to address power imbalances and to involve communities more in the process of making journalism.

Keywords:   communication infrastructure theory, community organizations, representation, solutions journalism, South Los Angeles, stigmatization, storytelling networks

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