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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 14 This survey was conducted by drawing a sample from the Journalism Education Association’s online membership directory. Names and e-mail addresses were extracted from 1,123 JEA members who had indicated that they advise at least a school newspaper or newsmagazine and had an available e-mail address. E-mails were sent to all 1,123 advisers in February 2011, and reminders were sent one and two weeks later. All e-mails contained a web link to the online survey. A little more than one-tenth of the messages (129) were returned as undeliverable or were sent to those who responded that they no longer advise a student newspaper, leaving 994 potential respondents. Of that final pool of possible respondents, 365 responded to the survey, for a response rate of 36.7%. Measurements Role perceptions. To answer the research question about dominant role perceptions, respondents were asked to rate the degree to which they agree with various statements about the roles of the highs school newspaper. Responses were assessed using a seven-point Likert scale (1= strongly disagree, 7=strongly agree). Items were created based on general normative principles of professional journalism as espoused by Christians et al. (2009) and the normative roles of high school journalism as suggested by the various utilitarian and conceptual roles of scholastic journalism as outlined by Dvorak et al. (1994). For example, to assess the mechanistic role mentioned by Dvorak et al., the following statement was used: “The school newspaper is best viewed as simply an extension of the English curriculum.” Additionally, items from the most recent survey used by Weaver, Wilhoit, and colleagues (Weaver, et al., 2007) were adapted to be specific to the high school newspaper. For example, the function of the press to “point

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
14
This survey was conducted by drawing a sample from the Journalism Education 
Association’s online membership directory. Names and e-mail addresses were extracted 
from 1,123 JEA members who had indicated that they advise at least a school newspaper 
or newsmagazine and had an available e-mail address. E-mails were sent to all 1,123 
advisers in February 2011, and reminders were sent one and two weeks later. All e-mails 
contained a web link to the online survey. 
A little more than one-tenth of the messages (129) were returned as undeliverable 
or were sent to those who responded that they no longer advise a student newspaper, 
leaving 994 potential respondents. Of that final pool of possible respondents, 365 
responded to the survey, for a response rate of 36.7%. 
Measurements
Role perceptions. To answer the research question about dominant role 
perceptions, respondents were asked to rate the degree to which they agree with various 
statements about the roles of the highs school newspaper. Responses were assessed using 
a seven-point Likert scale (1= strongly disagree, 7=strongly agree). Items were created 
based on general normative principles of professional journalism as espoused by 
Christians et al. (2009) and the normative roles of high school journalism as suggested by 
the various utilitarian and conceptual roles of scholastic journalism as outlined by Dvorak 
et al. (1994). For example, to assess the mechanistic role mentioned by Dvorak et al., the 
following statement was used: “The school newspaper is best viewed as simply an 
extension of the English curriculum.” Additionally, items from the most recent survey 
used by Weaver, Wilhoit, and colleagues (Weaver, et al., 2007) were adapted to be 
specific to the high school newspaper. For example, the function of the press to “point 


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