Mark Goodman, Candace Perkins Bowen and Piotr Bobkowski
The Center for Scholastic Journalism is a national clearinghouse committed to conducting and collecting the best research on scholastic media.
Kent State Center for Scholastic Journalism study shows student media strong
Kent State University’s Center for Scholastic Journalism released in November 2011 one of the most extensive national counts of American public high school student media ever conducted. CSJ’s groundbreaking report reveals that student media presence remains strong, but schools with large poor and minority student publications have diminished opportunities. Online student media numbers are lagging across the country. And student newspapers are not the most common form of student media.
Of the schools surveyed, 96 percent offer some opportunity for students to create content in a school-sponsored journalistic activity, leaving only four percent that exclude student media from their schools entirely.
“Our study doesn’t really tell us how healthy high school journalism is, but it does confirm that it’s there and in large numbers,” said Mark Goodman, Center for Scholastic Journalism Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism.
Goodman said he hopes the telling results from this year’s Scholastic Journalism Census will prompt a periodic assessment of the state of scholastic media.
“We want this count to provide a baseline from which we can assess changes in student journalism over time,” he said.
Other key report findings include:
- Fifty-four percent of students in schools without any student media qualify for free or a reduced lunch price. In schools with student media offerings, that number is 41 percent.
- Public high schools across the country publish more than 11,000 student newspapers outnumbering daily and weekly U.S. newspapers by more than 3,000 publications.
- More schools have a student yearbook than any other form of student media.
- More than 15,000 public high schools offer a journalism or publications class, and the majority of all student media activities are produced in relationship to a class.
- Only 33 percent of surveyed schools have any form of online student media, and only 8 percent publish materials strictly online.
- The average school with student media has 873 students and a 35 percent minority population. The average school without student media has 222 students with a 56 percent minority population.
The study’s principal investigators were Mark Goodman, Kent State University Professor and Knight Chair in Scholastic Journalism; Candace Perkins Bowen, Kent State University Assistant Professor and Director of the Center for Scholastic Journalism; and Piotr Bobkowski, University of Kansas Assistant Professor.
In their research, the investigators mailed paper surveys to a random sample of 4,354 public high schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They received responses from 1,023 of those schools between Feb. 1 and June 6, 2011 for a 23.5 percent response rate.
For a complete copy of the 2011 Scholastic Journalism Census results, visit the CSJ website.