ERIC Number: ED362861
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1993-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
How Goes the Great Debate? A Study of "Censorship" and "Self-Censorship" and Their Effect on the Content of the Scholastic Press.
A study examined censorship and self-censorship of the high-school press. Surveys were sent in April 1992 to student newspaper editors and advisers at 1,040 randomly selected public high schools across the United States. A total of 323 editors and 270 advisers responded. Respondents were compared to each other and to those in the sample obtained in a 1990 study of advisers. Results indicated that: (1) differences among respondents in the surveys were not statistically significant; (2) faculty advisers and student editors agreed about the extent of adviser pressure, prior review and prior restraint, and the amount of student intimidation, deference, and self-censorship taking place at their school; (3) journalistic practices were more likely than controversial topics to be the cause of problems; (4) the two characteristics most related to differences of opinion for both advisers and editors overall were both newspaper characteristics--source and type of publication policy; (5) the smaller the school, the more likely was the editor to get into trouble for printing controversial stories and the more likely the adviser was to have stressed that controversial stories not run; (6) advisers and editors agreed with the "Hazelwood" ruling; and (7) prior restraint, intimidation, and self-censorship did not cause student journalists to stay away from controversial topics. Findings suggest that debate over causes of the "bland, innocuous" scholastic press is built on faulty assumptions, including the assumption that overt censorship and intimidation have had a devastating effect upon the content of the student press. (Contains 20 endnotes and 8 tables.) (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Journalism Research; Self Censorship
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (76th, Kansas City, MO, August 11-14, 1993).