Cole Campbell’s Ideas More Relevant Than Ever

Still on the subject of journalism and media… I just came across this commentary that I missed when it came out a year ago, written by Cole’s colleague and a friend of mine, David Ryfe.

The vision articulated by the late journalist and educator has provoked substantial criticism. But his insistence on bringing the public into the newsroom is also inspiring new projects for student journalists.

In his time as a public journalist during the 1990s, Cole Campbell was known as an “out-of-the-box” and innovative thinker. Truth be told, he was a bit of a radical. Anyone who would bring a coffin to a news meeting (to bury old ideas), or (gasp!) invite scholars to brainstorming sessions in the newsroom, is a bit of a risk-taker.

The news industry could use some radical thinking these days, which is one reason why Cole, who died in Reno last January (where he was Dean of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada), will be sorely missed. continue reading

Writing in May 2007, David Ryfe notes how in the new media landscape the criticisms of public journalism now seem off point. In the year since David wrote the piece, the situation for conventional journalism has grown even more dire and conventional media everywhere are looking hard at creating new relationships with their publics (not audience, Dave).

By Noelle McAfee

I am professor of philosophy at Emory University and editor of the Kettering Review. My latest book, Fear of Breakdown: Politics and Psychoanalysis, explores what is behind the upsurge of virulent nationalism and intransigent politics across the world today. My other writings include Democracy and the Political Unconscious; Habermas, Kristeva, and Citizenship; Julia Kristeva; and numerous articles and book chapters. Edited volumes include Standing with the Public: the Humanities and Democratic Practice and a special issue of the philosophy journal Hypatia on feminist engagements in democratic theory. I am also the author of the entry on feminist political philosophy in the online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and well into my next book project on democratic public life.

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