The Urban Communication Reader III
6 Auditing Communication Systems to Help Urban Policy Makers
Conducting an Inventory of Communication Resources
Auditing Communication Systems to Help Urban Policy Makers
Leo W. Jeffres, Kimberly Neuendorf, Guowei Jian, & Kimberly S. Cooper
In many disciplines, scholarship leads to application in the form of developing “best practices.” In communication, our research and the knowledge generated have led to guidelines in public speaking, scenarios for conducting political and informational campaigns, strategies for diffusing information and training practices in organizations. But generally, relative to those in other disciplines, communication scholars have been somewhat reluctant to offer help in most areas.
Although our scholarship in urban communication is relatively recent, it would be a mistake to be bashful about offering advice and expertise to policymakers and stakeholders of our cities. There are several ways to do this. First, we can apply the theories and evidence gathered in a more general context, e.g., uses and gratifications research explaining how media use enhances community attachment and civic engagement. Second, we can conduct research that addresses specific urban issues where communication phenomena are important. And third, we can develop tools and methodologies for problem solving in cities. In any case, the key is generalizing to the urban environment as a whole, and that’s the focus of this effort: to develop a methodology that looks at a community’s communication system as a whole.
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