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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 12 1990). The 10 th edition, published in 2001, focused on the school newspaper as the first draft of the school’s history (Rolnicki, Tate, & Taylor, 2001). The authors also suggested that the teaching of journalism is more important than ever because of the communication- and information-rich society we live in. Other more recent texts have also emphasized various roles. For instance, the well-known Freedom Forum publication, Death by Cheeseburger, clearly espouses the free-expression and watchdog roles of the press (Freedom Forum, 1994). Other sources, including some textbooks (Lynch, 2009) have focused more on the “real world” of journalism, suggesting a largely vocational role. Because different sources in scholastic journalism literature have focused on varying normative roles for the high school press over the course of the last century or so, it is especially important to understand how varying stakeholders in scholastic journalism perceive their roles. This paper takes a first step in empirically asking about those role perceptions among school newspaper advisers: RQ1: What do high school newspaper advisers see as the most dominant roles of the high school newspaper? Journalists’ Role Perceptions To better understand the nature of “responsible” journalistic practice, and more specifically to understand what journalists consider to be responsible norms, Johnstone, Slawski, and Bowman (1972) asked journalists to rate the extent to which they agreed with eight items that were consistent with the researchers’ conceptualization of participant versus neutral roles. Weaver, Wilhoit, and colleagues replicated the study in the mid-1980s (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1986), mid-1990s (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1996), and

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
1990). The 10
 edition, published in 2001, focused on the school newspaper as the first 
draft of the school’s history (Rolnicki, Tate, & Taylor, 2001). The authors also suggested 
that the teaching of journalism is more important than ever because of the 
communication- and information-rich society we live in. Other more recent texts have 
also emphasized various roles. For instance, the well-known Freedom Forum publication, 
Death by Cheeseburger, clearly espouses the free-expression and watchdog roles of the 
press (Freedom Forum, 1994). Other sources, including some textbooks (Lynch, 2009) 
have focused more on the “real world” of journalism, suggesting a largely vocational 
role. Because different sources in scholastic journalism literature have focused on varying 
normative roles for the high school press over the course of the last century or so, it is 
especially important to understand how varying stakeholders in scholastic journalism 
perceive their roles. This paper takes a first step in empirically asking about those role 
perceptions among school newspaper advisers:
RQ1: What do high school newspaper advisers see as the most dominant roles of 
the high school newspaper?
Journalists’ Role Perceptions
To better understand the nature of “responsible” journalistic practice, and more 
specifically to understand what journalists consider to be responsible norms, Johnstone, 
Slawski, and Bowman (1972) asked journalists to rate the extent to which they agreed 
with eight items that were consistent with the researchers’ conceptualization of 
participant versus neutral roles. Weaver, Wilhoit, and colleagues replicated the study in 
the mid-1980s (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1986), mid-1990s (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1996), and 

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