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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 7 wrote that high school papers were “an annoying puzzle to the principal” because their differing identities from school to school. Hollis described those organizational identities as follows: being a stimulus to the teaching of English composition, being an advertisement for the high school, and being a tool to increase school spirit among students. These major roles persisted for some time, particularly the assertion that teaching newspaper writing serves as an effective tool for teaching English (Dillon, 1918; Gilbert, 1932; Harvey, 1914; Holder, 1935). Other emerging roles, such as that of emphasizing self-expression, were trumped by this mechanistic goal to teach English: “No better practice in the use of language could be devised than is to be found in writing of a day’s events; but once permitted to go uncensored, unedited by a careful proofreader in the school, the whole plan becomes worse than failure because it will create a false idea of the proper writing of English” (Dillon, 1918, p. 1). While the early focus of scholastic journalism was on English education or boosting the image of the school, Redford (1939, p. 41) characterized the 1910s and 1920s as the “period of realization of the possibilities of high school journalism.” Ashby (1927) said that the journalism during this time was in a “history making stage” (p. 1) because of the “wide variance in the conception of the purpose, function, and status of the high school course in so called ‘journalism’” (p. 4). This period was marked by the increased focus on training high school journalism teachers and by professional organization in the form of student journalism conventions. The timeframe also includes the first high school journalism textbooks (e.g. Harvey, 1914; Dillon, 1918). However, the discipline’s realization of possibilities was somewhat slow-moving, especially when it came to thinking of the high school publication as an activity directed primarily by

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
7
wrote that high school papers were “an annoying puzzle to the principal” because their 
differing identities from school to school. Hollis described those organizational identities 
as follows: being a stimulus to the teaching of English composition, being an 
advertisement for the high school, and being a tool to increase school spirit among 
students. These major roles persisted for some time, particularly the assertion that 
teaching newspaper writing serves as an effective tool for teaching English (Dillon, 1918; 
Gilbert, 1932; Harvey, 1914; Holder, 1935). Other emerging roles, such as that of 
emphasizing self-expression, were trumped by this mechanistic goal to teach English: 
“No better practice in the use of language could be devised than is to be found in writing 
of a day’s events; but once permitted to go uncensored, unedited by a careful proofreader 
in the school, the whole plan becomes worse than failure because it will create a false 
idea of the proper writing of English” (Dillon, 1918, p. 1).
While the early focus of scholastic journalism was on English education or 
boosting the image of the school, Redford (1939, p. 41) characterized the 1910s and 
1920s as the “period of realization of the possibilities of high school journalism.” Ashby 
(1927) said that the journalism during this time was in a “history making stage” (p. 1) 
because of the “wide variance in the conception of the purpose, function, and status of the 
high school course in so called ‘journalism’” (p. 4). This period was marked by the 
increased focus on training high school journalism teachers and by professional 
organization in the form of student journalism conventions. The timeframe also includes 
the first high school journalism textbooks (e.g. Harvey, 1914; Dillon, 1918). However, 
the discipline’s realization of possibilities was somewhat slow-moving, especially when 
it came to thinking of the high school publication as an activity directed primarily by 


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