Consensus-Orientated Journalism

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Chestertown, Maryland’s local newspaper

Consensus oriented journalism is generally found in smaller local newspapers. This particular type of journalism in usually found in small communities, newspapers that promote social and economic harmony by providing community calendars, and meeting notices (Campbell 2017, Martin 2017, Forbes 2017). Also, some of these articles talk about local schools, social events, town government, property crimes, and zoning issues (Campbell 2017, Martin 2017, Forbes 2017). Similar to an earlier time in American History, small newspapers are sometimes owned by business leaders who may also serve as local politicians (Campbell 2017, Martin 2017, Forbes 2017). Consensus oriented journalism papers have a small advertising base, so they are generally careful not to offend local advertisers (Campbell 2017, Martin 2017, Forbes 2017). They do not want to offend the local advertisers, because they finance a lot of the costs for these papers. The goal of these papers is to foster a sense of community, but at their worst, they overlook or downplay discord and problems.

For example, in an article written by the Chestertown Spy titled “Dickens of a Christmas” (Spy Desk 2017) The article talks about the excitement of bringing Victorian London and the spirit of Charles Dickens’ timeless tale, “A Christmas Carol”. This article would be considered consensus oriented journalism, because it is in a local newspaper, the topic is on a social event, and the article brings social harmony and excitement to the community.

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UMD’s campus newspaper

Furthermore, in an article titled “UMD Graduate Student Government elects new president after impeaching the last one” in the Diamondback Newspaper, which is University of Maryland’s newspaper (Fortson 2017). They talk about a meeting that took place in order to find a new president, after the first president was caught misusing the funds. They student government body elected Michael Goodman a second-year doctorate student as their new president. This would be considered consensus oriented journalism because the article is in a relatively small newspaper. Also, because the article talks about meeting that was held, and everyone in the meeting agreed that there had to be a new president put in place immediately.

In conclusion, consensus oriented journalism is generally found in small local newspapers that promote social and economic harmony. Usually, these articles support their advertisers’ beliefs because they do not want to lose the funding that is coming into the newspaper, so it is not shut down. Sometimes these newspapers are also owned by business leaders, therefore, the beliefs of the owners are also taken into consideration when it comes to writing an article. The goal of these articles is to come up with a general consensus on a topic and write a positive article regarding it. These articles also are typically written about local schools, sporting events, town meetings, zoning issues, town government, and also property crimes. Consensus oriented journalism is a good way to get the majorities opinion across to an entire community, and to let people know what is happening in the community.


Campbell, R., Martin, C. R., & Fabos, B. (2017). Media & culture: mass communication in a digital age. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins, Macmillan Learning.

“Dickens of a Christmas” Brings Victorian Fun Dec. 1-3. (n.d.). Retrieved December 05, 2017, from

Noah Fortson “UMD Graduate Student Government elects new president after impeaching the last one.” Retrieved December 06, 2017, from

Image Attribution: Both images used in this post are in the Public Domain

Written by Shane Silk, 2017