Scholastic Journalism 2015 Abstracts

Who are the Journalism Kids, and Do They Do Better? • Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas; Sarah Cavanah, University of Minnesota; Patrick Miller, University of Kansas • Research linking journalism participation in secondary schools with academic outcomes has not adequately addressed selection. Using Education Longitudinal Study of 2002 data, this study (1) examined the academic and demographic attributes of high school journalists, and (2) assessed academic outcomes after accounting for these attributes. High school journalists had higher English self-efficacy, achievement, and positive attachment to school than their peers. Controlling for these attributes, journalists scored modestly higher than non-journalists on standardized English tests.

A Look at Student Communication Degree Choices: Influences and timing • Candace Bowen, Kent State University; Maggie Cogar, Kent State University • This study examines the timing of student degree choices in Kent State University’s College of Communication and Information and what influences those choices. The study used a quantitative approach and found many students make these decisions early in their college careers or while still in high school. It also found participation in communications-related activities in high school leads to an earlier declaration of their major.

Teaching Multimedia Journalism to High School Students Through the Lens of Freedom Summer • Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism; Gina Masullo Chen, The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism; Christopher P. Campbell, The University of Southern Mississippi, School of Mass Communication and Journalism • In-depth qualitative interviews with participants of a high school journalism workshop reveal that immersing students in coverage of a historically important news event enhances learning of multimedia journalism. Study explores how using a team-based approach to coverage of the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, a key event in Mississippi’s civil rights history, bolsters students’ ability to learn to tell stories using text, photos, video, social media, radio, and blogs. Ramifications for multimedia education are proposed.

African American Kansas scholastic journalism: A loss of minority voices in the construct of democracy • Jerry Crawford • The primary purpose of this study is to begin eliminating the gap in the literature regarding African American high school journalism students by examining the paucity of African American students in the state of Kansas’s high school journalism programs. Is there a lack of equitable courses and recruitment of these students in journalism courses? Do advisers see the need to diversify their classroom? Adding to the threat is a of lack funding for Kansas’s high school programs and the myriad demands placed on advisers, including their time and the dilemma of joining state, regional and national professional organizations.

#Mustread: How Journalism Textbooks Address Social Media • Aileen Gallagher; Hanna Birkhead • This study examines introductory news writing texts to determine how they teach social media in a journalistic context. Researchers conducted a content analysis of a dozen leading journalism textbooks and coded for mentions of specific social media platforms as well as instructional emphasis for using these platforms. Researchers found that Twitter was the platform identified most frequently in the text and that textbooks emphasized using social media primarily as a news-gathering tool.

Determining Predictors of Students’ Success in a Mass Communication Research with an Emphasis on Statistical Learning • Jeffrey Hedrick, Jacksonville State University; J. Patrick McGrail, Jacksonville State University • The current study takes previous research of mass communication students and their mathematical abilities, along with statistic education studies to determine a methodology for predicting successful student performance in a research course that requires statistical proficiency within coursework. Student’s grades in the prerequisite math course, any other prior math education in statistics, and their ACT/SAT served as numerical predictors. Independent variables included gender and area of emphasis within communication. The results support previous findings that journalism majors performed the highest, on average, while finding previous math grades and ACT scores to be moderate predictors of success.

What’s in a Name? Boundary Work and a High School Newspaper’s Effort to Ban Redskin • Marina Hendricks, University of Missouri-Columbia • A Pennsylvania high school newspaper published an editorial in Fall 2013 to announce its decision to cease using the name of the school’s sports teams, Redskins. That decision prompted the local school board to institute a policy giving administrators more editorial control over the newspaper. The controversy resonated with U.S. professional journalists, who followed it as it developed. This qualitative textual analysis of 94 news articles sought to understand the boundary work of those journalists.

The Historical Impact of City, State, Regional and National Scholastic Press Associations To High School Journalism • Bruce Konkle, University of South Carolina • Nearly 100 years have passed since a scholastic press association was organized in Oklahoma, with more than 165 similar organizations impacting high school publications since 1916. To understand various associations’ influence on scholastic journalism, this project highlights their importance to the improvement of student publications, addresses research concerning numerous associations, notes services associations offer members, and lists past and present associations that have had, and continue to have, an influence on print and online student media.

Making Mojos: How iPads are enhancing Mobile Journalism Education • NICOLE KRAFT, THE OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY; NATALEE SEELY, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Journalism students can no longer focus on being just writers or photographers. They need many media skills to have the greatest potential for career success. The iPad and supporting apps create a single tool for students to develop those skills, including note taking, recording, researching, writing and dissemination. We conducted a yearlong study of beginning journalism students utilizing iPads and apps in a flipped journalism class (lectures are homework, and skills are developed in class) and found the iPad could be used to augment journalistic training and accelerate student learning.

Self-Censorship in the High School Press: How principals, advisers, and peers influence comfort with controversial topics • Adam Maksl, Indiana University Southeast • A survey of young college students (N=171) was used to examine what educational factors influenced former high school journalism students’ comfort levels with controversial stories running in the student newspaper. Results suggest that perceptions of peers’ and advisers’ comfort with publishing controversial stories influences individual comfort levels. Contrary to suggestions from other scholastic journalism research, former scholastic journalists’ perceptions of their principals’ opinions were minimally predictive of individual comfort levels with running controversial stories.

The usefulness of a news media literacy measure in evaluating a news literacy curriculum • Adam Maksl, Indiana University Southeast; Stephanie Craft, University of Illinois; Seth Ashley, Boise State University; Dean Miller, Stony Brook University • A survey of college students showed those who had taken a news literacy course had significantly higher levels of news media literacy, greater knowledge of current events and higher motivation to consume news, compared with students who had not taken the course. The effect of taking the course did not diminish over time. Results validate the News Media Literacy scale and suggest the course is effective in helping equip students to understand and interpret news.

Readability and rationale of student speech policy • Erica Salkin, Whitworth University • When public high school students seek to understand their expression rights within their schools, their first stop isn’t the variety of court precedents and state statutes that explain such rights, but rather their own student handbooks and codes of conduct. This study explores student handbooks from 15 states to see how student speech rights and responsibilities are presented, both in terms of clarity of purpose and of readability fit to a high school student.

2015 Abstracts

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