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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 13 finally in the middle part of the last decade (Weaver, Beam, Brownlee, Voakes, & Wilhoit, 2007), significantly expanding on Johnstone and colleagues’ original participant and neutral perceptions into new categories. Their 1980s study found three roles: disseminator, which focused on simply being a conduit through which information flowed to the public; adversarialist, which not only focused on the watchdog role but also embraced the idea of influencing public opinion; and interpreter, which emphasized journalism’s ability to influence public affairs and act as a public service (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1986). In the 1990s, they added populist mobilizer, which valued connections with the community and emphasized civic responsibility (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1996). This role likely developed, the authors say, out of the public journalism movement of the early 1990s. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of both Johnstone and colleagues’ early work and the later work by Weaver and colleagues is that both groups tried to understand possible covariates and antecedents of believing in a particular normative role. All of these studies presented findings that examined various individual differences of the journalists in relation to the scales created to measure each role perception. Likewise, this study presents similar finding, asking the question about what factors might influence how an adviser views the high school newspaper: RQ2: What individual differences are statistically significant predictors of the various high school journalism role perceptions? Method

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
13
finally in the middle part of the last decade (Weaver, Beam, Brownlee, Voakes, & 
Wilhoit, 2007), significantly expanding on Johnstone and colleagues’ original participant 
and neutral perceptions into new categories. Their 1980s study found three roles: 
disseminator, which focused on simply being a conduit through which information 
flowed to the public; adversarialist, which not only focused on the watchdog role but also 
embraced the idea of influencing public opinion; and interpreter, which emphasized 
journalism’s ability to influence public affairs and act as a public service (Weaver & 
Wilhoit, 1986). In the 1990s, they added populist mobilizer, which valued connections 
with the community and emphasized civic responsibility (Weaver & Wilhoit, 1996). This 
role likely developed, the authors say, out of the public journalism movement of the early 
1990s. 
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of both Johnstone and colleagues’ early work 
and the later work by Weaver and colleagues is that both groups tried to understand 
possible covariates and antecedents of believing in a particular normative role. All of 
these studies presented findings that examined various individual differences of the 
journalists in relation to the scales created to measure each role perception. Likewise, this 
study presents similar finding, asking the question about what factors might influence 
how an adviser views the high school newspaper:
RQ2: What individual differences are statistically significant predictors of the 
various high school journalism role perceptions? 
Method


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