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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 20 expression among both student journalists and student readers. For example, some of the items included were related to encouraging student journalists “to use higher-order thinking skills” and “motivating ordinary students to get involved in public discussions” about school issues. This factor incorporated two of Dvorak et al.’s (1994) roles, the integrative and the free expression. The third factor focused on the school newspaper functioning as an arm of the school, and it incorporated the mechanistic and public relations roles from Dvorak et al. These roles are similar to the facilitative normative role that professional press can play, which focuses on the press working in concert with certain government goals (Christians, et al., 2009). Likewise, the arm-of-school role focuses on the facilitative relationship between the school press and the school administration. The scholastic press that subscribes to the arm-of-school role mirrors the values of administrators: teaching composition and communicating information that promotes the school and fosters school spirit. The second research question focused on the possible relationships between these role perceptions and the individual differences of the advisers and the school in which they teach. With regard to the school watchdog role, age, gender, years of advising, and professional journalism experience were shown to be related. More interesting, however, is that advisers who were hired specifically to teach journalism were more likely to believe this role to be important. This is a substantial finding for two reasons: 1.) It is one of the first times that research has examined this variable as a possible corollary to environments likely to foster increased student press freedom, and 2.) It shows that advisers hired specifically for that job value freer roles for the scholastic press. Logic would suggest that those teachers’ principals would perceive the roles of the high school

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
20
expression among both student journalists and student readers. For example, some of the 
items included were related to encouraging student journalists “to use higher-order 
thinking skills” and “motivating ordinary students to get involved in public discussions” 
about school issues. This factor incorporated two of Dvorak et al.’s (1994) roles, the 
integrative and the free expression. The third factor focused on the school newspaper 
functioning as an arm of the school, and it incorporated the mechanistic and public 
relations roles from Dvorak et al. These roles are similar to the facilitative normative role 
that professional press can play, which focuses on the press working in concert with 
certain government goals (Christians, et al., 2009). Likewise, the arm-of-school role 
focuses on the facilitative relationship between the school press and the school 
administration. The scholastic press that subscribes to the arm-of-school role mirrors the 
values of administrators: teaching composition and communicating information that 
promotes the school and fosters school spirit.
The second research question focused on the possible relationships between these 
role perceptions and the individual differences of the advisers and the school in which 
they teach. With regard to the school watchdog role, age, gender, years of advising, and 
professional journalism experience were shown to be related. More interesting, however, 
is that advisers who were hired specifically to teach journalism were more likely to 
believe this role to be important. This is a substantial finding for two reasons: 1.) It is one 
of the first times that research has examined this variable as a possible corollary to 
environments likely to foster increased student press freedom, and 2.) It shows that 
advisers hired specifically for that job value freer roles for the scholastic press. Logic 
would suggest that those teachers’ principals would perceive the roles of the high school 


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