What Is Civic Journalism?

Proponents of civic journalism argue that integrating journalism into democracy will make voters more informed and active participants. They also believe that new media have the potential to satisfy textbook functions of enhancing access to political information and facilitating broad-based political discussion and participation.

However, a recent study shows that many consistent conservatives and liberals hear dissenting political views from friends and family. Moreover, they tend to rely on a variety of news sources with varying audience profiles.

Civic journalism

Civic journalism is a new form of journalism that is focused on reassessing journalistic practices. It is a collaborative effort between journalists and community members to create more accurate and informative news content. It also promotes more effective democracy by encouraging citizens to participate in the political process.

One of the earliest proponents of civic journalism was Jay Rosen, a journalist and professor at New York University. He wrote a popular blog called PressThink and published the book What Are Journalists For? in 1999. Another early proponent was W. Davis “Buzz” Merritt, a former editor of The Wichita Eagle. Merritt felt that traditional journalistic values were failing society in important ways, and he believed that a working relationship with the community would help.

The idea behind civic journalism is that the public has valuable information to share with journalists, and the media can use this information to produce more meaningful and relevant news coverage. The key is to understand that the public has different interests and opinions about politics, and it is important for journalists to be aware of these differences.

In addition to traditional forms of journalism, civic journalism can also refer to non-professional citizen reporting on local news and events. Citizen journalism is an important part of democracy and can help to shape global events, such as the Arab Spring. Its value will continue to increase as more people join the network of shared information.


Fact-checking is a technique used to verify the accuracy of information in politic news. Often, fact-checking is performed by journalists, but independent organizations are also becoming prominent in the field, such as PolitiFact. Regardless of whether the aim is to inform or persuade, the information must be unbiased and accurate. It is important to note, however, that even if the facts are correct, they can still be biased based on how they are presented.

The rise of the fact-checking movement is a response to a perceived lack of objective reporting in legacy media, particularly during election campaigns and during crisis events such as the coronavirus pandemic. While the practice has been around for decades in op-ed pages and investigative journalism, it is now a central feature of political reporting. It is a form of journalism that aims to distinguish itself from influencers, bloggers, and opinion makers on social media by claiming values unique to the journalistic profession.

While it is possible to fact-check without bias, the process is not always easy. It requires time and resources, which may be difficult for the majority of traditional outlets. In addition, it is important to consider how the use of language influences public perceptions. For example, using comical meters such as “Pants on Fire” and other polarizing adjectives can inflame rather than relax the audience.


Partisanship is a fundamental aspect of politics, and it can affect how people interpret political news. Those who are more ideologically partisan may have more negative views of other parties or individuals, which can lead to misinformation about the political process. In addition, partisans are often motivated to share politic news that supports their beliefs. This tendency toward partisanship has contributed to the rise of fake news.

The latest wave of research on partisan media focuses on how partisanship influences the relationships between different types of news and politicized beliefs. The research also aims to understand how these relationships vary across partisan groups and how they interact with other factors, such as knowledge and news source use. For example, the research finds that partisanship moderates the relationship between a person’s belief in the COVID-19 virus being laboratory made and their beliefs about early vaccine availability. The more a person uses sources that cater to a conservative audience, the more likely they are to believe the virus was laboratory made. Similarly, the more people use centrist sources, the less likely they are to believe that a vaccine will be available early.

The study also tallied the number of news articles that mention each of the congressional members identified as hyperpartisans and those considered bipartisan. The most partisan congressmembers included Reps. John Kennedy (R-La.), Greene, Gaetz, and Tlaib. The seven most bipartisan members were Reps. Bilirakis, Derek Kilmer, Dean Phillips, Brian Fitzpatrick, Bacon, and Abigail Spanberger.

Issue-oriented coverage

Issues coverage focuses on public policies and societal problems and their solutions. It also examines candidate talking points and assesses their efficacy. Issues coverage reflects the attempt by television news to establish a political agenda, which is often out of touch with a large segment of the population.

For example, issues coverage emphasized the role of women in combat and highlighted the importance of the military in the country. It also discussed the importance of addressing immigration, healthcare and economic inequality. It was a welcome departure from the typical election coverage, which focused on personal traits and character qualities such as honesty, trustworthiness, temperament, comportment and boorishness.

The politicization and polarization of COVID-19 news coverage has led to significant differences in risk perceptions and responses among the public (Gottfried et al., 2020). In addition, it may amplify the predisposition of people to rely on political rather than scientific views.

The decline in issue-oriented coverage has serious implications for democracy. It has contributed to the proliferation of “fake news” and conspiracy theories, and it has also eroded professional standards in journalism. The blurring of the line between editorializing and reporting has made it harder for journalists to be unbiased. It has also encouraged the growth of citizen journalism, where anyone can publish content online. Moreover, the increasing amount of partisan advertising in newspapers has exacerbated this trend.

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