At a time when trust in the media is low and "news deserts" are increasing across the United States, engaged journalism offers a framework for connecting people, community organizations, and news organizations in ways that aim to rebuild trust and ensure that news coverage is inclusive and representative of the entire community. Andrea Wenzel's book Community-Centered Journalism: Engaging People, Exploring Solutions, and Building Trust (University of Illinois Press, 2020) offers useful case studies of how media outlets across the country are breaking down silos and reaching new audiences in innovative ways.
The book also explores how emerging fields like engagement journalism and solutions journalism require rethinking previously-held industry norms around objectivity and the relationship between reporters and the people they cover. Envisioning a portable, rather than scalable, process, Wenzel proposes a community-centered journalism that, once implemented, will strengthen lines of local communication and reinvigorate civic participation.
Andrea Wenzel is an assistant professor of journalism, media, and communications at Temple University.