Civic Journalism and Source Diversity
AND GENDER DIVERSITY IN NEWS-STORY SOURCING
Brian L. Massey
Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Submitted to the Civic Journalism Interest Group,
for presentation to the annual meeting of the Association for Education in
Journalism and Mass Communication, New Orleans, LA, August 1999
Correspondence should be addressed to:
Asst. Prof. Brian L. Massey
School of Communication Studies
Nanyang Technological University
(65) 790-5772 > office telephone
(65) 792-7526 > fax
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Civic journalism is posited as a corrective for traditional journalism, and the
under-representation of women as sources of news information represents one of
traditional journalism's weaknesses. A comparative content analysis of civic-
and traditional-journalism newspapers found that the appearance of women as
information sources increased under civic journalism, but only marginally and
only in stories reported by female journalists. Men sources remained numerically
dominant. Questions about civic journalism's success as a corrective are raised.
Civic-journalism proponent Jan Schaffer asks, "Do women editors or news
directors produce more civic newspapers or news casts than men?" Implicit in
this question of heuristic intent is the proposition that the extent to which
civic journalism gets done depends not on the rank-and-file doers but rather on
whether their manager is man or woman. However, a manager's work generally stops
short of the actual doing; that is, her job essentially is to guide the
implementation of whatever tasks she believes must be done by the workers she
manages. Success or failure ultimately hinges at some crucial point in
implementation on the labors of the managed. Given that, one could recast
Schaffer's query to more broadly ask, "Do women journalists do civic journalism
somehow differently than their male colleagues?"
Civic journalism is posited generally as a newswork routine that could reverse
traditional journalism's shortcomings. Thus far researchers have shown the most
interest in civic journalism's use to reform political reporting to ultimately
bring more average citizens into the news, the democratic process and the civic
lives of their communities. One shortcoming of traditional journalism that
has yet to be fully explored from a civic-journalism perspective is that of the
under-representation of women in the news. Shoemaker and Reese note that
traditional journalism's "practices and routines [may] effectively suppress
effects on content due to [the communicator's] gender," even though more
women are entering the profession. It could be that the key to unlocking this
suppressed gender effect is to be found in the reformist principles and newswork
routines of civic journalism.
The present study focuses on the gender diversity of information sources in news
produced under civic journalism. Specifically, it tested the proposition that
reporters working in a newsroom where civic journalism has been implemented will
give greater representation to women than will journalists reporting
traditionally. This work is important, to paraphrase First and Shaw, because the
voices reporters use to tell the news often can help shape what audiences think
about events and the actors involved. "Therefore, the news [representation] of
women may influence their ability to enter the public sphere" as legitimate
sources of a uniquely female perspective on the important issues and events of
News Sources and Gender Diversity
Male voices dominate the telling of the daily news. This is a fairly consistent
finding of news-story sourcing studies that analyzed content produced through
traditional journalism's practices and routines. Women generally were just as
under-represented in news in the 1980s as they were in news published in the
1990s. Their numbers, as news-information sources, trail those for men by
substantial degrees in front-page newspaper stories, national-security and
defense coverage, and in reporting by business magazines. They are the
minority among invited guests on morning TV talk shows. In newspaper stories
and TV newscasts from around the world, women infrequently appear as newsmakers,
story subjects or news-information sources. Moreover, their appearances as
sources tends to be limited by story topic and they typically are portrayed as
the targets of action rather than as its initiators. It seems no wonder,
given the nearly imperceptible female news presence, that women readers
generally believe their newspapers have male personalities.
McQuail offers one explanation, noting a quantifiable connection "between the
relatively low numbers and the lower occupational status of women in news media
organizations _ and the underrepresentation [sic] or stereotyping of women in
the news." However, he also acknowledges that news content scarcely reflects
the fact that more women now are working as journalists. For example, depictions
of women remain stereotypical at publications where females occupy top editorial
positions. Kinnick suggests female sports journalists "bear the
responsibility for some of the stereotypical [reporting]" of the 1996 Olympic
Increasing the number of females as journalists has been seen as a curative for
the under-representation of women in the news. Yet Splichal and Garrison see
three possibilities for why this prescription has generally failed to work. For
one, journalists could be similar by most measures, except gender. Or perhaps
female journalists ultimately adopt the norms they find in residence in their
predominately male newsrooms. Or third, women's socialization into the routines
of traditional journalism suppresses any gender effect to arise from their
numerically greater newsroom presence.
On the one hand, if female journalists are occupationally indistinguishable
from their male colleagues, then the case could be closed: there simply is no
gender effect for researchers to discover. A number of scholars argue, however,
that journalism is transformed into a gendered newswork practice owing to the
dominance of male norms in the newsroom. Traditional newswork routines
essentially lead reporters to seek out male sources because the newsroom's
dominant norms vest those sources with greater importance and credibility. This
arguably is amplified by the news media's penchant for attending primarily
"elite" sources and the predominance of men in the elite circles of American
political and social power.
There could be a gender effect on content if not for it being held in check by
the long-practiced, gendered routines of traditional journalism. However, it is
probable that the effect could be realized through the regular use of a reformed
collection of newswork routines. Civic journalism, with its emphasis on
participation, inclusion and the newsworthiness of the "average citizen," would
seem ideally suited to that task.
Civic Journalism as Reform
Civic journalism, which also goes by the names "public" and "citizen-based"
journalism, arrived on the scene in the early 1990s to fire a debate within the
U.S. journalism industry like no other before it this century. Despite the
quantity of the debate and of news-media efforts to put variously stated
civic-journalism principles into practice, there is no formal theory or widely
accepted definition of the phenomenon to test. A number of researchers have
remedied this deficit by broadly defining civic journalism as reform and then
judging its success by comparing its results to traditionally reported news.
Lambeth offers further support for so defining civic journalism, suggesting
that "public journalists depict their civic-minded initiatives as a needed
corrective to traditional journalism.
Most regard mainline news as often overly conflictual and neglectful of
community interests or needs. They perceive many mainline journalists as
unwilling to innovate in the face of eroding popular support for journalism and
reluctant to think seriously about reform amid an endemic antimedia mood of the
body politic [emphasis added].
He proposes a five-point definition of civic journalism, synthesized from
the research and trade literature. Two of the five offer the most guidance to
the present study. Restated, they are:
Systematic listening to citizens. Civic journalists could be distinguished from
traditional journalists by the higher quality of their listening skills. That
is, their reformed newswork practice has been found useful for constructing a
systematic and social-scientific-like structure for hearing more of what their
communities say. Civic journalists strive to hear all of a community's
different voices instead of only those of the politician, civic and business
leader, and other members of a community's elite. One of the civic
journalist's goals is to give voice to the voiceless - to bring into the telling
of the day's news those community members held largely mute by traditional
journalism's routines. And a sizeable group of the "news-voiceless" is
comprised of women.
Alternative news-story framing. Journalists frame their stories, or set their
stories' central organizing themes, by including some facts and excluding
others, and that consequently elevates the salience of the included facts for
news audiences. How audiences perceive a reported news event or
public-policy issue - what they think about the event or issue, and the actors
involved - is influenced to some extent by the frame that the report's
journalist-author gives it. One working element of framing is sourcing: to
whom the included facts are attributed - the voices that are employed for
telling the news - can be just as influential as the facts themselves on
audience opinion. Given that news reported traditionally tends to contain
more male than female voices, civic journalists could be expected to fashion
alternative news-story frames by including more women as news-information
Systematic listening and alternative framing are two ways of operationalizing
the civic-journalism norm of "community connectedness" for journalists' use.
A civic journalist thus can be conceptualized as a journalist who connects to a
community by listening closely to what all of its members are saying, and then
uses what is heard in those conversations to construct alternative frames
through which news of importance to the community is reported. Civic journalism
becomes manifest as "a needed corrective" to journalism's traditional ways when
its listening and framing reforms are put into play.
Moreover, civic journalism's reformist routines arguably must become
institutionalized in the newsroom if they are to win long term success at
correcting the shortcomings of traditional journalism. Confining their use to
such occasional project-reporting topics as an election campaign "is itself a
barrier to change _ [D]oing projects is one way journalism stays the same."
Civic journalism must be exercised regularly lest it atrophy. It should be an
everyday newswork practice: its routines should be found in place of the
traditional ones that civic journalists say need reforming. And the results of
the reform should be evident across the full range of news content in which
traditional journalism's shortcomings now appear.
The Tallahassee Democrat in Florida's state capital is one daily newspaper that
has attempted to institutionalize the principles of civic journalism. In late
1994 the Democrat's newsroom managers, working through a two-and-a-half year,
Pew Center for Civic Journalism-funded project titled "The Public Agenda,"
sought to bring more average citizens' voices to bear on its local-news
The Democrat's conversion to civic journalism offers a natural basis for making
comparisons: its local-news reporting under civic journalism can be measured
against that of its past, traditional-journalism self. In addition, the daily
Gainesville (FL) Sun, which practiced traditional journalism at the time the
Democrat had converted to civic newswork, offers another venue for
comparison. The two newspapers are similar in many ways. Both are headquartered
in university towns, and in the mid-1990s, they published an equivalent number
of copies for readers in similarly sized counties. The Democrat even covers
state-government news as the Sun does - from a small bureau in the Capitol press
One implication of systematic listening, as a civic-journalism corrective, is
that people not normally attended by journalists now will be vested with
increased newsworthiness. What they say does matter, and it forms the basis for
alternative frames constructed from information contributed by and attributed to
them. Traditional journalism, by turning predominately to men for news-story
information, is in effect saying that women should not receive equitable
treatment as news sources. Under civic journalism, the opposite should be true.
Hence, it was proposed that:
H1: More women will appear as information sources in news produced by reporters
working in a civic-journalism newsroom than will appear in news produced in a
newsroom where traditional journalism is practiced.
The newswork routines of traditional journalism are thought to hold in check any
gender effect arising from efforts to increase the number of women in the
journalism profession. Women tend to receive similar treatment in content
produced by female and male journalists. But the gender effect - conceptualized
for the present study as an increased inclusion in news content of women sources
- could be unlocked through civic journalism's reformed set of newsgathering
routines. In other words, civic journalism should give female journalists a
newswork structure for going against the traditional grain. It is probable that
it works similarly on its male practitioners: journalists (regardless of gender)
who work to civic journalism's inclusive, non-gendered routines will seek to
give a community's news-voiceless (no matter their gender) a place in the
telling of news. To test this, two hypotheses were proposed:
H2: Female reporters working in a civic newsroom will include more women sources
in their stories than will their same-gender counterparts in a traditional
H3: Male reporters working in a civic newsroom will include more women sources
in their stories than will male reporters working in a traditional newsroom.
Three samples of seven constructed weeks each were drawn from the 1995 editions
published by the Democrat and Sun, and from the Democrat's 1988 publication run.
The former year was the last year the Tallahassee newspaper was led by the
executive editor who introduced it to civic journalism. The latter was
selected because it was a watershed year for civic journalism: criticism of the
news media's 1988 presidential election coverage led to the emergence of the
The analysis was conducted on articles appearing on either Page 1A or the
newspapers' Local News section fronts. Only local-news stories were included,
and "local news" was operationalized as stories carrying the by-lines of the
newspapers' local-staff news writers or Capitol Bureau reporters.
A "source" was defined as a person to whom a reporter attributed information
either by full or partial quotation or paraphrase. For sources, gender was
judged by their first names, as given upon the first reference to them in a news
story. For reporters, gender was determined from the first name of their
Sources were coded once for each story in which they appeared as a provider of
news-information. In addition, they were coded for "speaking-role mentions," or
the number of times they were cited in a single article. Citations were defined
as news-information explicitly attributed to a source through quotation or
reporter's paraphrase, and were coded once per paragraph per source. Sources
also were coded for the number of lines of news-story text in which information
was attributed to them by full quotation (their "direct" news voice) or by
partial quote/paraphrase (their "indirect" news voice). This represents a
combination of methods used in news-story sourcing studies by Stempel and
Culbertson, and Hallin, Manoff and Weddle.
Two graduate students in the Florida State University mass-communication
department coded the articles, in conjunction with the author. Krippendroff's
alpha coefficient for agreement beyond chance was applied as an intercoder
reliability check after subsets of approximately 10% of the articles in each
sample were recoded. The coders agreed perfectly on discerning a source or
reporter's sex. They agreed 88.3% of the time on tallying speaking-role
mentions; agreement for counting full-quote lines was .95, and for partial
quotes/paraphrases, it was .86.
A total of 722 articles were contained in the data set: 212 for the 1995
Democrat, 230 for the 1988 Democrat, and 280 for the Sun. Reporter's gender was
undeterminable from an article's by-line name for about 10% of the total,
however. During the two Democrat years and at the Sun, local-news reporters
were almost evenly divided by gender, among those for whom it could be
determined. Sixteen of the 32 gender-identifiable reporters who contributed
articles to the 1995 Democrat sample were women; in the 1988 Democrat sample, 15
of 28 reporters identified by gender were women. The 1995 Sun sample contained
articles written by 17 women, out of a gender-identifiable reporting staff of
However, gender diversity in the newsroom did not extend to news-story output:
male reporters authored the majority of the articles in the analysis. For
example, female journalists in the 1995 Democrat sample reported an average of
4.4 articles each, compared to an average 7.6 articles for their male
colleagues. In 1988, at the traditional-journalism Democrat, the mean
story-production rate stood at 6.0 for female reporters and 8.0 for male
reporters. The Gainesville newspaper's female journalists reported an average of
6.7 articles in that sample, compared to 9.1 for males.
The first hypothesis predicted that the greatest inclusion of women as news
sources would be found in content produced in a newsroom where civic journalism
had been implemented. H1 found support, as Table 1 reports. On average, 1.15
women sources were referenced in those civic-journalism Democrat articles that
used human sources. That was significantly higher than what observed for stories
the Tallahassee newspaper published in 1988, about six years before it converted
to civic journalism (t = 3.13, df 405.17; p< .001, 1-tail), and for stories
reported traditionally in 1995 by the Sun (t = 2.27, df 403.45; p< .01, 1-tail).
However, the two approaches to newswork were indistinguishable statistically on
their per-story inclusion of male sources.
H2 predicted that female reporters in a civic-journalism newsroom would include
more women sources in their stories than would female reporters working
traditionally. It too found support. In 1995, after the Democrat converted to
civic journalism, stories by its female reporters attributed news-information to
an average of 1.59 women sources, as Table 2 shows. That is a significant
increase over the mean representation of women sources in the 1988 Democrat's
female-reported local news (t = 3.17, df 127.09; p< .001, 1-tail). It also is
statistically noteworthy when compared to the mean per-story use of women
sources in stories reported by the Sun's female journalists (t = 4.03, df
107.03; p< .0001, 1-tail). Yet across the three sets of local-news stories,
female journalists were essentially no different in their use of men as sources.
The data reported in Table 2 offered no support for H3. Male reporters -
regardless of which approach to newswork was in play in their newsrooms - were
statistically similar in the number of female and male sources they included in
their local reporting, on average.
Voakes, Kapfer, Kurpius and Chern argue that even when source diversity is
achieved, "if all attributions revert to the same frame or point of view, then
we must question whether diversity is truly in evidence." Likewise, if an
increased number of women as sources do not speak anymore often to readers or do
not speak anymore directly, then one also must question the extent of the
diversity. Reporters can indicate the importance they placed on a certain
news-story source - or a particular type of source - by citing her more
frequently and by conveying her information more directly, through more full
quotations. Women sources were vested with increased newsworthiness by the
civic-journalism Democrat's female reporters, as measured by news-story
appearance rates. The question now is whether they gained a more frequent or
more direct news voice than they had in the newspaper's 1988 female-reported
The answer, as Table 3 shows, is no. Female reporters at the civic- and
traditional-journalism Democrat did not differ statistically on the per-story
mean number of speaking-role mentions and the depth of direct quotation that
they accorded their women sources. In addition, female-reported local news in
the 1995 Democrat attributed information to women sources through significantly
fewer partial quotes/paraphrases (t = -3.69, df 149; p< .0001, 1-tail) than was
the case with the newspaper's traditionally working female reporters of 1988.
Hence, women sources gained neither a more frequent nor more direct news voice,
and they lost part of their indirect news voice, after the Democrat converted to
Discussion and Conclusions
An increase in source diversity can be conceptualized as a "more even
[numerical] dispersion" in the news-story appearance rate among different
types of sources. Judged by this metric, the gender diversity of local-news
sources improved at the Tallahassee Democrat after it made a newsroom policy of
practicing civic journalism. Yet the increased inclusion of women sources is due
exclusively its female reporters' efforts: the 1995 Democrat's male reporters
sourced their stories no differently, gender-wise, than their same-sex
predecessors in 1988 and their male counterparts in 1995 at the Sun.
This is similar to the findings of Zoch and Turk, who concluded that female
journalists at three southeastern U.S. newspapers were "more likely than their
male colleagues to attribute information to female sources." Interestingly,
while civic journalism was not the focus their study, two of the newspapers they
investigated -- North Carolina's Charlotte Observer and the State of Columbia,
South Carolina -- enacted civic-journalism projects in the 1990s.
At the Democrat, reporting from a newsroom that practiced civic journalism did
appear to unlock a gender effect on sourcing, but only for news that was
reported by females. Even so, the effect did not also mean that more citations
or more quoted or paraphrased news-information would be attributed to women.
Opportunities for women to tell the news increased, in terms of their numerical
appearance in stories, but what they had to say was not given any greater play.
Moreover, although the effect was statistically important, it was modest at best
and of little practical importance. While the civic-journalism Democrat's female
reporters alone gave greater representation to women as sources, they actually
included an average of .65 additional women for each article they wrote,
compared to their female predecessors of 1988. But they also wrote only 70 local
stories, which appeared across 41 of the 49 editions sampled from the 1995
Democrat. That makes for a mean of 1.71 female-reported stories per edition -
and about one more woman source for each issue of the Tallahassee newspaper that
published the work of female reporters. It seems doubtful that the Democrat's
readers noticed this increased representation of women in their newspaper. And
it also seems unlikely that it reaches the level of equivalent representation
for women envisioned by critics of the preponderance of men sources in
The Democrat's female reporters may have constructed alternative news-story
frames by listening to - and including - women sources more systematically, but
it was traditional-newswork business as usual for the newspaper's male
reporters. This may explain the weak showing of the gender effect on sourcing
predicted for civic journalism. The numerical gain women sources made in news
reported by female journalists were countered by the dominance of men sources in
the male-reported local news. Or it may be as Meyer suggests: examining
civic journalism by a single medium's practice of it - as the present case study
has done - could mask or subdue effects on content arising from its use. Future
research should consider testing civic journalism's gender dimension on a
broader selection of newspapers attempting to put its principles into practice.
Nonetheless, even from the limited perspective of the present case study, it
seems unlikely that civic journalism's practice will lead to noticeably large
improvements in the representation of women until the sourcing behavior of male
reporters in the civic-journalism newsroom changes. Why male reporters working
under civic journalism may continue to source their stories predominately by
men, as was the case at the 1995 Democrat, is question deserving of further
One of the principles of civic journalism is the inclusion in the news of a
community's news-voiceless population, and that undoubtedly means breaking out
of traditional news-beat structures and newsgathering routines that favor
societal institutions where men may still dominate as readily accessible sources
of information. If what the voiceless have to say does matter to civic
journalists, then those reporters surely must make the extra effort of seeking
them out on deadline, or be given the freedom from deadline to do so. It could
be a matter of policy implementation, as Coleman and Kurpius have speculated for
other instances of a weak civic-journalism effect. Civic journalism at the
Democrat may have been too ambiguously defined as a newswork policy to allow
reporters to get a firm grasp on its concept or on how its principles could be
regularly and reliably applied. On the other hand, the policy may have been
clearly stated, but its implementation may not have been monitored sufficiently
for detecting and correcting any deviations.
It also could be a matter of training. Civic journalism represents a departure
from traditional newswork routines; therefore, to practice it effectively
journalists would require some degree of in-service training. Future research
should consider how reporters are trained in civic journalism, and how much
training they receive.
Gender diversity in the civic-journalism newsroom - in terms of news-story
production and hence, story assignments - also deserves scholars' attention. In
the present example, female reporters at the 1995 Democrat wrote few stories and
that may have diluted any gender effect on sourcing to be realized from their
equal numerical strength in the newsroom and the newspaper's conversion to civic
journalism. If civic journalism indeed corrects for traditional journalism's
shortcomings, then its reformist reach seemingly should extend into the
newsroom, as well as out to the community.
Civic Journalism and Source Diversity
Per-Story Mean Use of Sources by Gender
1995 T. Demo
(n = 212)
1988 T. Demo
(n = 230)
1995 G. Sun
(n = 280)
a t [Dem95-Dem88]
b t [Dem95-Sun95]
p < .001 (1-tail)
p < .01 (1-tail)
Reporters' Mean Per-Story Inclusion of Sources
1995 T. Demo
(n = 70)
1988 T. Demo
(n = 90)
1995 G. Sun
(n = 114)
a t [Dem95-Dem88]
b t [Dem95-Sun95]
p < .001 (1-tail)
p < .0001 (1-tail)
Civic Journalism and Source Diversity
Women Sources and Female Reporters:
Citation Frequency, Direct and Indirect News Voice
n = 69
n = 90
n = 68
n = 86
Lines of Full Quote
(direct news voice)
n = 63
n = 88
Lines of Partial Quote/Paraphrase
(indirect news voice)
p < .0001 (1-tail)
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 For a discussion of this point, see Lynn M. Zoch and Judy VanSlyke
Turk, "Women Making News: Gender as a Variable in Source Selection and Use,"
Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 75 (winter 1998): 764-65.
 Edmund B. Lambeth, "Introduction," in Assessing Public Journalism, ed.
Edmund B. Lambeth, Philip E. Meyer and Esther Thorson (Columbia, MO: University
of Missouri Press, 1998), 1-12.
 Sally McMillan, Macy Guppy, Bill Kunz and Raul Reis, "Public
Journalism: What Difference Does It Make to Editorial Content?" in Assessing
Public Journalism, ed. Edmund B. Lambeth, Philip Meyer and Esther Thorson
(Columbia, MO.: University of Missouri Press, 1998), 178-190; Renita Coleman,
"The Visual Communication of Public Journalism: A Content and Textual Analysis"
(paper presented at the annual meeting of AEJMC, August 1998, Baltimore, MD);
Andrea Verykoukis, "A Journalism Less Ordinary? The Inspiring Tone of Public
Journalism" (paper presented at the annual meeting of AEJMC, August 1998,
Baltimore, MD); David O. Loomis, "Is Public Journalism Cheap Journalism? Putting
Public Journalists' Money Where Their Mouths Are" (paper presented at the annual
meeting of AEJMC, August 1998, Baltimore, MD); McGregor et. al, "Beyond the
 Lambeth, "Introduction," 1.
 Edmund B. Lambeth, "Public Journalism as Democratic Practice," in
Assessing Public Journalism, ed. Edmund B. Lambeth, Philip E. Meyer and Esther
Thorson (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1998), 17.
 Susan Willey, "Civic Journalism in Practice: Case Studies in the Art of
Listening," Newspaper Research Journal 19 (Winter 1998): 16-29.
 Arthur Charity, Doing Public Journalism (NY: Guilford, 1995).
 Robert M. Entman, "Framing: Toward Clarification of a Fractured
Paradigm," Journal of Communication 43 (autumn, 1993): 51-58.
 Vincent Price and David Tewksbury, "News Values and Public Opinion: A
Theoretical Account of Media Priming and Framing," in Progress in Communication
Sciences, Vol. 13: Advances in Persuasion, George Barnett and Franklin J. Boster
ed. (Norwood, NJ: Ablex, 1997); Dolf Zillman, Rhonda Gibson, S. Shyam Sundar,
and Joseph W. Perkins Jr., "Effects of Exemplification in News Reports on the
Perception of Social Issues," Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 73
(summer 1996): 427-444; Shanto Iyengar, Is Anyone Responsible? How Television
Frames Political Issues (Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1991); S.
Horning, "Science Stories: Risk, Power, and Perceived Emphasis," Journalism
Quarterly 67 (autumn 1990): 767-776; William A. Gamson, "News as Framing:
Comments on Graber," American Behavioral Scientist 33 (Nov.-Dec. 1989): 157-161.
 Rhonda Gibson and Dolf Zillman, "Effects of Citation in Exemplifying
Testimony on Issue Perception," Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly 75
(spring 1998): 167-176; Rhonda Gibson and Dolf Zillman, "The Impact of Quotation
in News Reports on Issue Perception," Journalism & Mass Communication Quarterly
70 (winter 1993): 793-800.
 Jay Rosen, Community Connectedness: Passwords for Public Journalism
(St. Petersburg, FL: The Poynter Institute for Media Studies, 1993); Jay Rosen
and Davis Merritt, Public Journalism: Theory and Practice (Dayton, OH: Kettering
Foundation, 1994); Jay Rosen, "Making Things More Public: On the Political
Responsibility of the Media Intellectual," Critical Studies in Mass
Communication 11 (December 1994): 362-88; Davis Merritt, Public Journalism &
Public Life: Why Telling the News Is Not Enough (Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence
 Jay Rosen, "Project on Public Life and the Press: Report on Activities,
1993-1994" (paper presented to the meeting of Newspaper-Related Foundations,
Miami, FL, January 1995), 13.
 "Public Agenda: A Proposal by the Tallahassee Democrat and WCTV,"
available from Tallahassee Democrat, P.O. Box 990, Tallahassee, FL, 32302-0990;
"To Our Readers," Tallahassee (FL) Democrat, 22 October 1995, sec. F, p. 3. As
part of its effort to institutionalize civic journalism, the Democrat
incorporated its principles into a new mission statement and made that statement
a matter of public record by publishing it in the newspaper, with reporters' and
editors' signatures prominently displayed below it.
 Sun Managing Editor Curt Pierson, personal communication to author, 29
 In 1995 the Sun's audited circulation averaged 55,400 weekday/Saturday
and 60,300 Sunday copies, to the Democrat's 57,000 weekday/Saturday and 78,000
Sunday copies (Editor & Publisher International Yearbook, 1996). Alachua County,
from the Sun draws its primary readership, counted approximately 197,000
residents in 1995; the Democrat's main circulation area of Leon County held
about 9.5 percent more people that year (Florida Statistical Abstracts, 1995).
Gainesville hosts the University of Florida and Tallahassee hosts Florida State
University, the state's two largest public universities.
 Executive Editor Lou Heldman, the driving force behind the Democrat's
conversion to civic journalism, left the newspaper at the end of 1995 for a
higher-position job with the newspaper's corporate owner, Knight-Ridder. His
replacement arrived several months later, in 1996, and at the time held an
unknown commitment to his civic-journalism effort. For those reasons, 1995
seemed the more promising ground for testing the Democrat's use of civic
 Ronald D. Clark, "Foundations and Public Journalism" (paper presented
at the meeting of Newspaper-related Foundations, Miami, FL, January 1995).
 Guido H. Stempel and Hugh M. Culbertson, "The Prominence and Dominance
of News Sources in Newspaper Medical Coverage," Journalism Quarterly 61 (autumn
1984): 671-76; Hallin, Manoff, and Weddle, "Sourcing Patterns." Where necessary,
line counts were converted to a standard 12-pica column-width format.
 Klaus Krippendroff, Content Analysis: An Introduction to Its
Methodology (Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1980).
 Gender could not be determined from by-line name for two of 34
reporters in the 1995 Democrat sample, four of 32 reporters in the 1988 Democrat
sample, and one of the 36 reporters in the 1995 Sun sample. That left 192
(90.5%) articles in the 1995 Democrat sample, 194 (84.4%) articles in the 1988
Democrat sample, and 278 (99.3%) articles in the Sun sample.
 Paul S. Voakes, Jack Kapfer, David Kurpius and David Shano-Yeon Chern,
"Diversity in News: A Conceptual and Methodological Framework," Journalism &
Mass Communication Quarterly 73 (autumn 1996): 585.
 Voakes et. al, "Diversity in News," 584.
 Zoch and Turk, "Women Making News," 771.
 Online descriptions of the newspapers' civic-journalism efforts can be
accessed through http://www.pewcenter.org/projects.html and
 Meyer, "If It Works," 263.
 David D. Kurpius, "Public Journalism and Commercial Local News: In
Search of a Model (paper presented at the annual meeting of AEJMC, August 1998,
Baltimore, MD); Coleman, "The Visual Communication of Public Journalism."