Grassroots Journalism

Grassroots Journalism cover
Date of publication:
January 2007 | Update, July 2016

Grassroots Journalism is the essential handbook for a new kind of community journalism that shows people how actively engaging in public issues can make a difference in the quality of their own lives—and the world. The book is full of real-world examples where grassroots journalism worked—and resulted in positive change. Chapters cover the nuts and bolts of writing grassroots news articles, how to make sure your articles are read, and how the mainstream media suppress stories that challenge the status quo. This book is an indispensable guidebook for journalists, journalism students, and citizen activists.

The thoroughly revised and updated second edition, with expanded sections on electronic media, labor writing, and getting your articles published, contains everything you'll need to be a effective, published journalist, who makes an impact in your community.

Praise for Grassroots Journalism:

"Each time I've assigned the book to my students, they have given it rave reviews for clarity, depth, and effectively conveying the importance of grassroots journalism and how to do it." — Suzanne Simons, journalism professor, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington

"I have assigned Grassroots Journalism in a number of undergraduate courses, and have even recommended it for graduate students who are new to journalism. The content is excellent and the low price makes it a great addition for any class." — Lynn Clark, journalism professor, Univ. of Denver

"Grassroots Journalism is the Torah, the Gospels, and Koran for true believers who view authentic journalism practice as the foundation for real democracy. This is THE text." —Nicholas McBride, journalism professor, Univ. of Massachusetts

"If information is the currency of democracy, then it's a good practice for journalism to be of, by, and for the people in the search and reporting of abuses from concentrated power. Eesha Williams brings this kind of grassroots journalism to your desk, to your mind, and to your heart with the highest of standards. A very motivating manual indeed!" —Ralph Nader

"If journalists in Santa Cruz got a hold of Grassroots Journalism, read it, and did what it recommends, I believe more citizens would get active in local politics, and we on the City Council would have a far easier time affecting positive change in our city." —Michael Rotkin, three-time mayor of Santa Cruz, CA

"Full of story ideas and resources for reporters. Reading Grassroots Journalism inspired me, as a reporter, to try and show my readers how they can have an effect on the news, not just passively absorb it." —Luke Mines, staff reporter, Gazette Newspapers, Montgomery County, MD

"Grassroots Journalism is more than just an exceptional guide for journalism students and working journalists, it is an essential tool for restoring the credibility of our battered craft." —John Nichols, columnist, The Nation, editorial page editor, The Capital Times (Madison, WI)

"Williams has performed a valuable service, and written an extremely helpful and encouraging guide for journalism students and journalists who want to tell stories that otherwise won't get told." —William Serrin, Associate Professor of Journalism, New York University

"Grassroots Journalism maintains a sharp dual vision, focusing on both the practicalities of day-to-day media work, and the long-term possibilities for social justice." —Norman Solomon, author of The Habits of Highly Deceptive Media, syndicated columnist, winner of the George Orwell Award

"Grassroots Journalism is the long overdue antidote to traditional journalism textbooks that have stripped the politics and passion from newsgathering ... All journalism teachers who are more concerned with democracy than with protecting their backsides should assign this book, and all aspiring journalists should read it." —Robert McChesney, author of Rich Media, Poor Democracy, Professor of Communications, University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign

"I wish Grassroots Journalism had been assigned when I took my first journalism class; I would have learned things in one semester that it took me years to discover as a journalist. Williams' blend of no-nonsense advice, case studies and critique make the book a perfect supplementary text in a news writing course to give students a sense of the possibilities beyond the mainstream." —Robert Jensen, Associate Professor of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin

"Finally a book that goes beyond a critique of corporate media coverage and presents an alternative model for journalism that promotes social change. Media Alliance will use this book from now on in all its news writing classes." —Andrea Buffa, Executive Director, Media Alliance, San Francisco, CA

"In place of a traditional, top-down journalism, that defines 'news' as what powerful people say and do. Williams encourages a conscious, active journalism that starts and ends with real people's real lives. Helpful and much needed." —Janine Jackson, Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR).