Leo Jeffres

Leo Jeffres“Cities are more than just context – they should be the targets of our efforts to understand how communication connects people to each other and facilitates their ‘search for community.’ While many have abandoned exploring the geographic city in favor of virtual networks, the physical city continues to be relevant to people’s search for meaning in life. We need to understand how a city’s ‘communication capital’ is linked to civic engagement and a healthy public life. That means researching and understanding the processes of interpersonal, mediated, and organizational communication that are important for urban planning, public debate, and problem-solving in all types of cities and cultures.

I’ve spent a good portion of my professional life examining grassroots newspapers, communication in ethnic groups, neighborhood networks, and civic engagement. Sometimes the themes have changed as the environment evolves, but the goal of trying to develop communication theories and methodological tools for describing and understanding community remains.”

Leo W. Jeffres is Emeritus Professor of Communication at Cleveland State University. His most recent research focus has been on understanding patterns representing “communication capital” of urban areas and developing methods for an audit that would allow for comparisons and dynamic model building across time. He is the author of four books, including “Urban Communication Systems: Neighborhoods and the Search for Community” (2002); “Mass Media Processes” (1994); and “Mass Media Effects” (1997), and more than one hundred journal articles, monographs, and book chapters.