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Dimensions of Community Journalism Today

The essays in this issue consider how these dimensions of traditional community journalism production are undergoing tremendous change. Tait (2006) suggested, in Franklin’s edited volume Local Journalism and Local Media, that the ubiquitous reporting devices-cell phones-carried by nearly every citizen with the capability to transmit data means incredible possibilities for regional news outlets, but also national and international ones (he was talking specifically about television, but we can extrapolate his findings for all news safely). One significant trend in community journalism is the dramatic increase in the number of news non-profit centers that have assumed a “hyperlocal” or specialinterest focus such as MinnPost or the Texas Tribune as well as the entrepreneurial journalist whose missions harken back to the village weekly but whose platforms are thoroughly digital, multimodal, and interactive (Remez 2012). Scholars have only just begun exploring the existence and viability of these new business models, and little in the way of scholarship exists yet for their effect on traditional community journalism (Konieczna and Robinson, 2013). We can certainly say, however, that the ways in which digital technologies are being implemented-from the citizen journalist to the journalist leading Facebook Groups to the non-profit-have meant jockeying for authority in local domains, raising the question: Who is authorized to tell the day’s local stories, and how are those stories helping to enact community today?