A microhistorical record of "micromedia": a community media journalist and her medium

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Peer-Reviewed Research


This article applies the notion of microhistory in recording the development of a community media journalist (Heather Brenner) and her publication (Tabletalk). Community media, in essence, is the ideal subject to be analysed within the tenets of microhistory, as community media is in essence “micromedia”, recording a distinctive persona, time and place — the microhistory — of an era. This article briefly reflects on the origin of community media, and then records the history of a “micromedia” journalist. Drawing on in-depth interviews with the subject and her former colleagues, this study attempts to explore the essence of a good community media journalist. Although the bulk of this study considers the reasons for her success, it also questions whether her career as a journalist was restricted because she was a woman in a maledominated world. She never sought recognition for herself, and thus she remains an unheard voice of journalism outside her paper's distribution area — almost a textbook example of a subject for microhistory.