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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 4 school newspaper is likely to influence the degree of press freedom with which that school newspaper operates. This paper takes an important first step in exploring role perceptions. First, it will view existing literature in a historical approach, working to understand how the normative roles of high school journalism and the high school newspaper have changed over the course of the 20 th and early 21 st century. Secondly, this paper will present results from a survey of more than 350 high school newspaper advisers and their perceptions of the primary roles of the high school newspaper. Finally, this work will discuss the individual and organizational predictors of those roles perceptions. Literature Review Normative Press Roles and the History of the High School Paper Before examining the historical progression of normative ideals involving the high school press, it’s important to properly explicate the term “normative theory.” Normative theory tries to explain how something should be done, largely based on social and cultural norms. Applied to journalism or mass communication, it is “the reasoned explanation of how public discourse should be carried on in order for a community or nation to work out solutions to its problems” (Christians, Glasser, McQuail, Nordenstreng, & White, 2009, p. 65). Perhaps the best known text on the normative roles of journalism is Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm’s (1956) Four Theories of the Press. In Four Theories, the authors suggest that national press systems can be classified according to four broad theories: the authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility, and soviet communist. More recent scholarship has criticized Four Theories; these critics say the 1956 work focused too much on comparing other press systems to the classical liberalism

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
4
school newspaper is likely to influence the degree of press freedom with which that 
school newspaper operates. This paper takes an important first step in exploring role 
perceptions. First, it will view existing literature in a historical approach, working to 
understand how the normative roles of high school journalism and the high school 
newspaper have changed over the course of the 20
th
 and early 21
st
 century. Secondly, this 
paper will present results from a survey of more than 350 high school newspaper advisers 
and their perceptions of the primary roles of the high school newspaper. Finally, this 
work will discuss the individual and organizational predictors of those roles perceptions. 
Literature Review
Normative Press Roles and the History of the High School Paper
Before examining the historical progression of normative ideals involving the 
high school press, it’s important to properly explicate the term “normative theory.” 
Normative theory tries to explain how something should be done, largely based on social 
and cultural norms. Applied to journalism or mass communication, it is “the reasoned 
explanation of how public discourse should be carried on in order for a community or 
nation to work out solutions to its problems” (Christians, Glasser, McQuail, 
Nordenstreng, & White, 2009, p. 65). Perhaps the best known text on the normative roles 
of journalism is Siebert, Peterson, and Schramm’s (1956) Four Theories of the Press. In 
Four Theories, the authors suggest that national press systems can be classified according 
to four broad theories: the authoritarian, libertarian, social responsibility, and soviet 
communist. More recent scholarship has criticized Four Theories; these critics say the 
1956 work focused too much on comparing other press systems to the classical liberalism 


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