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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 15 people to possible solutions to society’s problems” became “School newspapers should point students toward possible outcomes to school problems” in the current study. In total, 32 items were included. Antecedants and covariates to role perceptions. Several demographic covariates were examined, including gender and age. Additionally, factors relating to journalism education and experience were assessed, including whether the adviser had worked as a professional, college, or high school journalist, and if he or she had taken a college-level journalism course. School variables included whether the school was public or private, the total enrollment, and the grades served. Statistical Procedures To answer the first research question, factor analysis was used to uncover latent constructs that help explain dominant role perceptions based on the various items included. In the original Johnstone et al. (1972) and Weaver et al. (1986, 1996, 2007) studies, principal components analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used. However, there are substantial reasons to use another factor analysis procedure. For example, the goal of PCA is to reduce the number of items used to measure a construct, whereas exploratory factor analysis techniques are used to observe latent constructs (Park, Dailey, & Lemus, 2002). Moreover, varimax rotation is an orthogonal rotation technique, meaning that it assumes that there is no correlation between the factors. Park, Daily, and Lemus suggest that this is a misguided assumption as most concepts within communication research are not theoretically independent of each other. In fact, Weaver et al. (1986, 1996, 2007) found that some journalists scored high on more than one role

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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background image
Scholastic press roles 
15
people to possible solutions to society’s problems” became “School newspapers should 
point students toward possible outcomes to school problems” in the current study. In 
total, 32 items were included.
Antecedants and covariates to role perceptions. Several demographic 
covariates were examined, including gender and age. Additionally, factors relating to 
journalism education and experience were assessed, including whether the adviser had 
worked as a professional, college, or high school journalist, and if he or she had taken a 
college-level journalism course. School variables included whether the school was public 
or private, the total enrollment, and the grades served. 
Statistical Procedures
To answer the first research question, factor analysis was used to uncover latent 
constructs that help explain dominant role perceptions based on the various items 
included. In the original Johnstone et al. (1972) and Weaver et al. (1986, 1996, 2007) 
studies, principal components analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation was used. However, 
there are substantial reasons to use another factor analysis procedure. For example, the 
goal of PCA is to reduce the number of items used to measure a construct, whereas 
exploratory factor analysis techniques are used to observe latent constructs (Park, Dailey, 
& Lemus, 2002). Moreover, varimax rotation is an orthogonal rotation technique, 
meaning that it assumes that there is no correlation between the factors. Park, Daily, and 
Lemus suggest that this is a misguided assumption as most concepts within 
communication research are not theoretically independent of each other. In fact, Weaver 
et al. (1986, 1996, 2007) found that some journalists scored high on more than one role 


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