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«Title of Dissertation: Community journalism as ritual: A case study of community and weekly newspapers in Laurel, Maryland Lindsey Lee Wotanis, ...»

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 Is Laurel a place you plan to stay—either as a resident or workingprofessional—long-term? Why/Why not?

357  Do you consider Laurel to be a community? Why/why not?

NEWS IN LAUREL

 As a neighborhood columnist covering your section of Laurel, how would you define your responsibilities?

 How did you learn what those responsibilities were?

 What are the values held by the people you cover? How do those values affect the work you do?

 What kind of stories do you look for? Where do you get story ideas?

 How often do stories you know of go untold? Why? Can you give an example?

 What kind of reader feedback do you get?

 What is your take on the Leader moving its main office to Columbia? Do you think it affects the quality reporting?

 How does the Laurel Leader compare to the other Laurel newspaper, the Gazette?

o Do you read the Gazette?

o What do you like/dislike about the Gazette?

 In your opinion, what is the role of the newspaper in Laurel?

 Is the newspaper important to Laurel? Why/Why not?

Questions for Frank Abbott, The Gazette Publisher

 How long have you been publisher of The Gazette? Please summarize your career trajectory—how you got from your first job to being in this position at the Gazette.

 When did The Gazette begin publishing in Laurel? Why?

 How many editors/reporters work exclusively for the Gazette (and the Gazette Laurel)? How many other staff people are there?

 How much turnover with employees happens there? How many editors have there been since you began publishing in Laurel?

 Do any of the employees—to your knowledge—live in Laurel? Would you consider that a conflict of interest, if they did?

 Do you live in Laurel?

 What are your policies with regard to Gazette journalists participating in the community on which they report?

o Do you think these policies help or hurt the journalists‘ ability to cover the community well?

 What journalistic principles, in your view, are most important when doing community journalism?

 How is community journalism—and specifically the journalism done by The Gazette—different from other ―bigger‖ kinds of journalism and publications, like the Washington Post, for instance?

 How much does competition—specifically the Laurel Leader—influence The Gazette‟s processes and policies?

358  What do you see as the primary role of The Gazette in Laurel?

 I noticed there are not many advertisements local to Laurel. Is there a conscious effort to recruit Laurel advertisers?

 The Gazette includes both local news to Laurel as well as regional news.

Why? Why not focus specifically on Laurel, for more direct competition with The Laurel Leader, which does have a strictly local focus?

 What is the role of the Washington Post Company in the operation of the Gazette, either generally or on a daily operations level?

 What is the ratio between news content and advertisements?

Questions for Paul Milton, Executive Editor of News Operations, the Laurel Leader  How long have you been Executive Editor at Patuxent Publishing? Please summarize your career trajectory—how you got from your first job to being in this position.

 Anyone who looks back to early Leaders can see a dramatic shift in the content of the newspaper, especially when the paper was taken over by Patuxent Publishing in the early 1980s. How is Patuxent‘s vision of community journalism different that the early editor‘s of the Leader?

 Does Patuxent Publishing have policies with regard to journalists living in the community on which they report? What are your policies with regard to Gazette journalists participating in the community on which they report?

o Do you think these policies help or hurt the journalists‘ ability to cover the community well?

 What journalistic principles, in your view, are most important for doing community journalism?

 What do you see as the primary role of the Laurel Leader in Laurel?

 How is community journalism—and specifically the journalism done by the Laurel Leader—different from other ―bigger‖ kinds of journalism and publications, like the Washington Post, for instance?

 What is the role of ―community‖ in the community journalism you do at Patuxent Publishing?

 What are the roles of the Baltimore Sun Co. and Patuxent Publishing in the operation of the Leader, either generally or on a daily operations level?

 How much does competition—specifically the Gazette—influence the Leader‟s processes and policies?

 The Gazette includes both local news to Laurel as well as regional news.

The Leader‟s content is strictly Laurel news. Why?

 I noticed there are fewer and fewer advertisements local to Laurel. What is the process for recruiting Laurel advertisers?

 From a cursory glance at the Leader over the past two years, it is quite apparent that the paper is shrinking. The size of newsprint has gotten 359 smaller, and the number of pages has nearly been cut in half. Is the Leader in financial danger?

 Since the Leader is the longest running paper in Laurel and has a very rich history, will Patuxent make special efforts to keep the paper afloat? If it comes down to it, would Patuxent consider selling the newspaper or would it be allowed to fold?





 Does the web version of the Leader get a lot of traffic? (How did you come to the decision to convert all of the websites under the title ―Explore Howard‖?)  Do you actively solicit reader feedback? How often do you do reader surveys to gauge your audience‘s perceptions of the newspaper?

 What is the future of community journalism? What is/has Patuxent Publishing done to prepare?

Questions for Public Officials ROLE  How did you become a public official in Laurel?

 What are your responsibilities? How do you meet them?

COMMUNITY/LAUREL  How long have you lived in Laurel?

 If you had to define or describe Laurel to an outsider, how would you describe it?

o How does Laurel compare to other places around it, like Columbia, for instance?

o How does Laurel compare to Washington D.C. and/or Baltimore?

o How does it compare with other places you‘ve lived in the past?

 When you refer to Laurel, in your mind do you make distinctions between Laurel ―city‖ and the outer parts of Laurel (like North Laurel, West Laurel, Montpelier, Russett)?

 What specifically about Laurel do you like/appreciate? What, if anything, don‘t you like about it?

 How would you describe the people who live in Laurel? What are they like?

 Are you involved in any clubs or organizations beyond city government in Laurel?

 Is Laurel a place you plan to stay long-term? Why? Why not?

 Do you consider Laurel to be a community? Why/why not?

NEWS IN LAUREL

 How do you stay connected to/informed about what‘s going on in Laurel?

 What kind of information (about Laurel) is important to you? Where do you get that info?

 What kind of media do you use most frequently?

–  –  –

NEWS AND POLITICS

 What is the relationship between the local newspapers and the Laurel government like?

 Can you think of an example of an interaction with a local journalist that went well? When there was a misunderstanding?

 How would you evaluate the overall coverage of Laurel by the local newspapers? Can you compare the two? Is the coverage fair?

 Does Laurel government actively attempt to create/sustain a sense of community in Laurel? How? What other elements are important to creating community in Laurel?

Questions for Business Owners/Advertisers ROLE  How did you become a business owner in Laurel?

 How long have you operated here?

 Do you have regular customers?

COMMUNITY/LAUREL  Do you also live in Laurel?

 Can you tell me about Laurel? What‘s it like?

o How does Laurel compare to other places around it, like Columbia, for instance?

o How does Laurel compare to Washington D.C. and/or Baltimore?

o How does it compare with other places you‘ve lived in the past?

361  When you refer to Laurel, in your mind do you make distinctions between Laurel ―city‖ and the outer parts of Laurel (like North Laurel, West Laurel, Montpelier, Russett)?

 What are the attributes of Laurel that you like/appreciate?

 What, if anything, don‘t you like about Laurel?

 If you had to define or describe Laurel to an outsider, what words would you use?

 How would you characterize the people that live in Laurel?

 Are you involved in any clubs or organizations in Laurel?

 Is Laurel a place you plan to stay long-term? Why? Why not?

 Do you consider Laurel to be a community? Why/why not?

NEWS IN LAUREL

 Do you use the weekly newspapers to advertise your business? Why?

 What kind of a response do you get as a result? (Do clients reference your ads, other things they read/see in the newspapers?)  Does the content of the newspaper influence your willingness (or unwillingness) to advertise?

 How else do you advertise your business? (Other mediums, etc.)  How do you stay connected to/informed about what‘s going on in Laurel?

 What kind of information (about Laurel) is important to you? Where do you get that info?

 Do you like the weekly papers in Laurel?

o What do you like about the Leader? The Gazette?

 Are there any specific features about the paper you particularly enjoy?

o What don‘t you like about those papers?

 Other than advertising, has your name ever been in the paper?

o Has a story ever been written about your business?

o How often does the paper mention someone you know?

 Are the newspapers important to Laurel? To your business in Laurel?

–  –  –

Academic Organizations  American Association of University Women Business Organizations  Laurel Board of Trade  Laurel Business & Professional Women  Laurel Regional Hospital Board of Directors  National Active and Retired Federal Employees (NARFE), Laurel Chapter Cause Organizations  American Cancer Society/Relay for Life  Friends of the Patuxent Wildlife Refuge  Patrons for Peace Laurel Organizations  Friends of the Laurel Library  Laurel Citizens Police Academy  Laurel City Emergency Services Commission  Laurel Civic Improvement  Laurel Historical Society  Laurel Moms Club  Laurel Neighborhood Watch Group  Laurel Senior Friendship Club  Laurel Tree Board  Laurel Volunteer Fire Department and Rescue Squad  Laurel Advocacy Referral Services (LARS)  Neighborhood Watch Group  PTA  Women‘s Club of Laurel  Various homeowners associations Social Organizations  American Legion, Post 60  Lions Club  Phelps Senior Center Religious Organizations  Faith Baptist Church  First United Methodist Church  Laurel Presbyterian Church  St. Mark‘s United Methodist Church  St. Mary‘s Catholic Church  St. Nicolas Catholic Church

–  –  –

About BlufftonToday.com and the Bluffton Today newspaper. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from http://www.blufftontoday.com/about.html.

About Community Newspapers. Retrieved April 13, 2008, from http://www.nna.org/CommunityCenter/AboutCommNewspapers.htm About EveryBlock. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from http://www.everyblock.com/about/.

About Us. Retrieved January 9, 2009, from http://www.hillhouse.org/aboutus.php.

About Us. Retrieved November 28, 2010, from http://www.patch.com/about.

Adams, A.C. (2006, March 29). Arthur C. Adams‘ Commentary. Retrieved from http://deadmalls.com/malls/laurel_mall.html.

Altschull, J. H. (1997). A Crisis of Conscience: Is Community Journalism the Answer? In Jay Black (Ed.) Mixed News: The Public/Civic/Communitarian Journalism Debate. Mahwah: Lawrence

–  –  –

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/28/business/media/28paper.html.

Baltimore, MD Real Estate Market Snapshot. Retrieved July 12, 2010, from http://realestate.yahoo.com/Maryland/Baltimore.

–  –  –

Construction of Reality, G. Tuchman]. Quarterly Journal of Speech, 66, 349-350.

Barlow, A. (2007). Blogging America: The New Public Sphere. Westport:

–  –  –

Barney, D. (2004). The Vanishing Table, or Community in a World That Is No World. In Andrew Feenberg & Darin Barney (Eds.), Community in the Digital Age: Philosophy and Practice (pp. 31-52). New York: Rowman &

–  –  –

Becker, L. B., Tudor, V., Desnoes, P. & Olin, D. (2009). 2009 Annual Survey of Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates. Retrieved October 16,

–  –  –

http://www.grady.uga.edu/annualsurveys/Graduate_Survey/Graduate_200 9/Graduate_2009_Page.php Bell, C., Newby, H. & Elias, N. (1974). Gemeinschaft and Gesellschaft. In C.

Bell, H. Newby, and N. Elias (Eds.), The Sociology of Community (pp. 7

–  –  –

Berg, B. L. (2007). Qualitative Research Methods for the Social Sciences. 6th edition. Boston: Pearson.

Bird, S. E. (2005). The Journalist as Ethnographer? How Anthropology Can Enrich Journalistic Practice. In E. W. Rotherbuhler & M. Coman (Eds.), Media Anthropology (pp. 301-308). Thousand Oaks: Sage.

–  –  –

City of Laurel: Archeological Survey.

Block, P. (2008). Community: The Structure of Belonging. San Francisco: BerrettKoehler Publishers, Inc.

Blogging a Blizzard. Retrieved January 1, 2011, from http://thekojonnamdishow.org/shows/2010-02-11/blogging-blizzard.

BRAC Impacts on Fort Meade Area Housing. (2009, October). Retrieved January

–  –  –

Breed, W. (1955). Social Control in the Newsroom: A Functional Analysis.

Social Forces, 33:4, 326-335.



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