The Role and Impact of Community Newsletters in Fostering Social Cohesion and Community Development

David W Bruce, Katrina Ellis, Nancy Delury


Traditional forms of communication - printed newspapers and newsletters, personal conversation, and much more - are often forgotten in the rush to embrace new forms of information and communication technologies. In small rural communities these more traditional forms have been important tools for facilitating community development while fostering a sense of belonging and attachment to the community. This paper assesses the impact of the creation of a community newsletter by volunteers in the small rural unincorporated community of Lot 16, Prince Edward Island in March 2004. The results of a household survey and key informant interviews reveal that the newsletter is widely read, has contributed to a greater sense of awareness about community activities and people, and a greater sense of interest in the community as a whole. Furthermore, the newsletter is thought to be building some potential or capacity in the community for other activities in the future.

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The Journal of Rural and Community Development is supported by SSHRC.