ERIC Number: ED244289
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Editors' and Advisers' Perceptions of Scholastic Press Freedom in Maryland Public Schools.
Hines, Barbara; Saville, Anita
To test whether a positive relationship exists between perceptions of school press function and acceptance of First Amendment protection for school journalists, high school newspaper advisers in the public schools of an east coast state were surveyed concerning their understanding of and attitudes toward both student press freedom and student press function. Student editors were also questioned about their views toward student press freedom. The results gave no indication that advisers' understanding of student press law affected their attitude toward students' First Amendment rights or their attitudes toward student press function. It was not apparent from the analysis that advisers' experience, education, or attitudes influenced their perception of student press role. Both objective and subjective data indicated that student newspaper editors tended to have a narrower idea of student press freedom than did their advisers. While both advisers and editors overwhelmingly supported the coverage of controversial topics in the student press, both groups appeared to feel that such items may also be banned if they are "in poor taste" or do not represent "good journalism." Censorship occurred least where advisers and editors worked closely together to determine material suitability. The results showed a continuing trend toward improved recognition of student journalists' rights. However, it is also apparent that both philosophically and in practice, advisers and editors do not recognize the full measure of First Amendment press freedoms the courts have granted to student journalists. (A copy of the survey questionnaire is included.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: First Amendment; Press Law
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).