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The student journalist: Roles of the scholastic press in the 21st Century
Unformatted Document Text:  Scholastic press roles 9 exclusively on teaching very practical journalism skills, with little focus on the philosophy or theory behind the purpose of the press. However, the inclusion, exclusion, and presentation of certain details could be interpreted as highlighting on certain normative goals over other. For example, in Adams and Stratton’s (1963) discussion of censorship of the press is only a few short paragraphs in length and focuses squarely on the threats to censorship among the professional press; it has no mention of a school’s administration as the possible source of censorship of the high school press. In fact, the end of one chapter suggests that school newspaper staffs make a list of topics that should never be covered, with such examples as critical reviews of plays or concerts; discussion of the performances or policies of the administration, faculty, or school board; or discussion of the operation of the school cafeteria. Perhaps the best place to examine the historical changes in the normative roles of high school journalism, especially through the latter half of the 20 th century and the first years of the 21 st , is through the various editions of one textbook, Scholastic Journalism. First published by Earl English in 1939 under the title Exercises in Journalism (English, 1939), Scholastic Journalism has gone through a total of 12 editions, with the latest published in 2009 (Rolnicki, Tate, & Taylor, 2009). From the very beginning and carried through almost all editions, two main goals emerged: one focusing in a mechanistic nature of teaching writing through the teaching of journalism, the other focusing on teaching students to be effective newspaper readers (English, 1939; English & Hach, 1950). In fact, the preface of the second edition of the book used this media literacy component as an effective tool to legitimize the inclusion of journalism in the high school curriculum: “If high school journalism courses are to justify themselves, improved

Authors: Maksl, Adam.
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Scholastic press roles 
9
exclusively on teaching very practical journalism skills, with little focus on the 
philosophy or theory behind the purpose of the press. However, the inclusion, exclusion, 
and presentation of certain details could be interpreted as highlighting on certain 
normative goals over other. For example, in Adams and Stratton’s (1963) discussion of 
censorship of the press is only a few short paragraphs in length and focuses squarely on 
the threats to censorship among the professional press; it has no mention of a school’s 
administration as the possible source of censorship of the high school press. In fact, the 
end of one chapter suggests that school newspaper staffs make a list of topics that should 
never be covered, with such examples as critical reviews of plays or concerts; discussion 
of the performances or policies of the administration, faculty, or school board; or 
discussion of the operation of the school cafeteria. 
Perhaps the best place to examine the historical changes in the normative roles of 
high school journalism, especially through the latter half of the 20
th
 century and the first 
years of the 21
st
, is through the various editions of one textbook, Scholastic Journalism. 
First published by Earl English in 1939 under the title Exercises in Journalism (English, 
1939), Scholastic Journalism has gone through a total of 12 editions, with the latest 
published in 2009 (Rolnicki, Tate, & Taylor, 2009). From the very beginning and carried 
through almost all editions, two main goals emerged: one focusing in a mechanistic 
nature of teaching writing through the teaching of journalism, the other focusing on 
teaching students to be effective newspaper readers (English, 1939; English & Hach, 
1950). In fact, the preface of the second edition of the book used this media literacy 
component as an effective tool to legitimize the inclusion of journalism in the high school 
curriculum: “If high school journalism courses are to justify themselves, improved 


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