ERIC Number: ED189628
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Ethical/Legal Dichotomies on the First Amendment Rights of the Student Press.
Broussard, E. Joseph; Blackmon, C. Robert
A survey was conducted of 260 high school principals in 48 states concerning their knowledge of communication law as it related to freedom of the press under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. The survey instrument contained information concerning nine composite court cases, and respondents were asked to indicate for each case how a judge might decide on the legal issues. They were also asked to state their own ethical perception of each case. In addition, the instrument solicited general information about the respondents' background, education, and journalistic experience. Completed forms were returned by 135 (52%) of the principals. Telephone interviews were then conducted with approximately 20% of those returning forms. The findings revealed that principals lacked knowledge of the law and suggest that, having little or no legal knowledge, principals make decisions biased by their personal values, their perception of the mores of their communities, or inadequate and unclear interpretations of the law by school boards and board attorneys. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (63rd, Boston, MA, August 9-13, 1980).