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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 19 changing normative roles of the scholastic press and to examine how high school advisers today view the primary roles of the high school newspaper. While other research has examined dominant roles of high school journalism (Dvorak, et al., 1994; Freedom Forum, 1994; Nelson, 1974; Redford, 1939), few studies have been published in recent years. More importantly, virtually no empirical work has examined the perceptions of those roles among stakeholders of high school journalism, such as the advisers in the trenches. This paper provides an important first look into what high school newspaper roles the advisers find to be most important. The first research question uncovered three primary roles: the school watchdog, critical thinking/free expression, and the arm of the school. These three factors are in line with previous research. That is, these roles relate to roles espoused by Dvorak et al., which is the most comprehensive look at various roles of the high school press. For example, the school watchdog role incorporates Dvorak et al.’s (1994) informational role, which focused on the similarities between the professional press and the school press. However, items within the school watchdog go far beyond just providing an information source to readers. Rather, the items that loaded into this factor incorporated features that focused on the school newspaper keeping the school administration in check, very similar to the Weaver et al.’s (1986, 1996, 2007) adversarial role. This watchdog role of high school journalism is defined by the role high school journalism plays in relation to the school administration, just as this function of the professional press is defined by its relationship to government and other powerful organizations. The second factor found in the current research focused on the ability of the high school newspaper to develop skills for critical thinking and appreciation for free

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
19
changing normative roles of the scholastic press and to examine how high school advisers 
today view the primary roles of the high school newspaper. While other research has 
examined dominant roles of high school journalism (Dvorak, et al., 1994; Freedom 
Forum, 1994; Nelson, 1974; Redford, 1939), few studies have been published in recent 
years. More importantly, virtually no empirical work has examined the perceptions of 
those roles among stakeholders of high school journalism, such as the advisers in the 
trenches. This paper provides an important first look into what high school newspaper 
roles the advisers find to be most important. 
The first research question uncovered three primary roles: the school watchdog, 
critical thinking/free expression, and the arm of the school. These three factors are in line 
with previous research. That is, these roles relate to roles espoused by Dvorak et al., 
which is the most comprehensive look at various roles of the high school press. For 
example, the school watchdog role incorporates Dvorak et al.’s (1994) informational role, 
which focused on the similarities between the professional press and the school press. 
However, items within the school watchdog go far beyond just providing an information 
source to readers. Rather, the items that loaded into this factor incorporated features that 
focused on the school newspaper keeping the school administration in check, very similar 
to the Weaver et al.’s (1986, 1996, 2007) adversarial role. This watchdog role of high 
school journalism is defined by the role high school journalism plays in relation to the 
school administration, just as this function of the professional press is defined by its 
relationship to government and other powerful organizations. 
The second factor found in the current research focused on the ability of the high 
school newspaper to develop skills for critical thinking and appreciation for free 


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