Department of Sociology Speaker Series

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The Department of Sociology would like you to join us for our first Speaker Series talk of the year.

“I’m a little bit like a small-town preacher, these people are my congregation”: Conducting professional journalism in rural Alberta communities by Monica Lockett

Friday, October 21, 2022 at 2-3:15 p.m.:  Zoom registration required

 The journalism field in Canada is experiencing massive operational and ideological shifts, altering the way journalists operate and conduct their jobs. To understand the impact of these changes on those who work on the front lines of media, I turn my focus to journalists, specifically those in rural communities, where professional work is often adapted to best fit the needs of the community (Mellow, 2005). I question how these adaptations impact the professional identity and practices of journalists in rural communities and take a symbolic interactionist approach to this research.

 In interviews conducted with nine rural journalists in Alberta in 2021, respondents feel an imperative for strong local coverage, as well as deep, ingrained attachments to their community. I find the participants take the notion of objectivity and mold it to their own unique surroundings and relationships, highlighting the evident subjectivity of objective reporting. These findings are contrasted with the state of local media in Canada with a discussion on the changing nature of journalistic work.

Monica Lockett (she/her) is an Alberta-based journalist and communicator. She recently graduated with Great Distinction from the University of Lethbridge, earning a BA in Sociology. As a result of her achievements as a student, Monica was awarded the Faculty of Arts & Science Gold Medal (Arts). Monica has written academically on the duty of journalists who report on injustice, as well as on sound engineer experiences of microaggressions in recording studios.


Jenny Oseen | | (403) 329-2551