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Grassroots Journalism - A Practical Manual for Doing the Kind of Newswriting That Doesn't Just Get People Angry, But Active - That Doesn't Just Inform, But Inspires
By Eesha Williams
New York, NY: The Apex Press, 2000
185 pp., $22.95, paper

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Grassroots Journalism is a publication that should be on any grassroots organization's shelf. Think of it as a training manual for writing in a clear and concise way to get results. While I don't believe it'll make you an excellent writer overnight, it will help in getting your message out. It is a good guide to teach how to get in touch with your community, make them see the problem, and give them an opportunity to correct it. It would even be an asset in journalism classes, teaching the styles that make the story successful, in any format.

Eesha Williams, the author, is also a journalist. He has written articles for publications from Heckler to Labor Notes. He is a journalist who clearly wants the grassroots media to be successful when facing the mainstream media. And to do that, we must change. We must become reporters in the truer sense of the word.

"Grassroots journalism means writing about those local issues in a way that is clear, honest, and pragmatic. It is about trusting your readers with the whole truth of the matter, and about giving some thought to exactly what's preventing activism and positive, democratic change from arising in your community:"

Divided into three sections, Grassroots Journalism takes us step by step into this new journalistic realm. Part One introduces us to the world of Grassroots Journalism: where the jobs are, the history of "muckraking," investigative reporting, and grassroots organizing, to looking at real life examples of grassroots reporting. Part Two gives you the nuts and bolts of writing. Finding your sources, structuring your lead, and writing for different demographic groups. Part Three contains a more academic discussion of why democracy in America needs anew kind of energizing, community-based journalism to bring justice back to our global economy. It also takes a look at mainstream media, and what's wrong with it. Grassroots Journalism is written in the very manner Eesha Williams espouses: clear and concise, energetic, and insightful. A must have for any writers; or editors; shelf.

- Annette Aguayo

If you are interested in writing reviews, please let us know via e-mail: Info@sric.org, or call us at 505-262-1862. You can also write to us at Voices, c/o SRIC, PO Box 4524, Albuquerque, NM 87106. Thank you.

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"As we see all around us, racism and racial discrimination continue unabated. Although we refer to our world as a global village, it is a world sadly lacking in the sense of closeness towards neighbour and community which the word village implies. In each region, and within all countries, there are problems stemming from either a lack of respect for, or lack of acceptance of, the inherent dignity and equality of all human beings. Our world is witness to serious ethnic conflicts; to discrimination against minorities, indigenous peoples and migrants workers; the accusation of institutionalized racism in police forces; harsh immigration and asylum policies; hate sites on the Internet and youth groups promoting intolerance and xenophobia."
– Mary Robinson,
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
24 March 1999

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