By Andrew P. Lokie and Marc Cooper
Missouri State University
The primary purpose of the eJournal of Public Affairs is to publish scholarship related to community and civic engagement. Our articles run the gamut from the attitudes of millennials concerning citizenship to theoretical discussions of the quality of university partnerships with community organizations. The real work of engagement typically takes place within projects. While most projects are ephemeral, the community voices that sustained them are rarely recorded, and their successes, despite changing lives, often disappear once the funding evaporates. Despite this, there is a burgeoning field of filmmaking in which documenting community-based projects is central. These documentaries, often created by the students, alumni, or faculty of engaged universities, create enduring records of the projects they describe. The eJournal’s Features Section will publish high quality submissions of media describing projects or sets of projects around a given theme. Features will be juried rather than reviewed. We expect them to address important subjects, particularly university/community partnerships that advance societal issues, promote experiential education, or demonstrate innovation. We will accept various media formats including videos, photo essays, and other multimedia, with an emphasis on media rich presentations. There is a fine line dividing strong descriptive media presentations from those geared toward self- or institutional promotion. The editors will assign features to both media and content specialists for evaluation prior to publication. This process cannot be as thorough as the double-blind peer review where we have the luxury of returning written submissions to authors for revision and then copy editing. Juried features usually cannot be revised. Moreover, we typically cannot expect to improve the quality of the original through judicious editing. Nevertheless, these pieces can be very important because they provide the engaged community with a window into the variety of projects, programs, and partnerships that are changing lives across the globe. Finally, when media productions are well crafted, they can be compelling material both for the classroom and the general public.
deliberation, dialogue, community engagement, civic education, service learning