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School News in the Local Newspaper

Richard J. Gordon
The Journal of Educational Research
Vol. 61, No. 9 (May - Jun., 1968), pp. 401-404
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27532093
Page Count: 4
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School News in the Local Newspaper
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Abstract

School news is a vital aspect of the public relations program of a school system (6, 7, 8). To have a systematic, effective school public relations program, with school news in the local newspaper as its hub, it is first necessary to know the type and quantity of school news that American newspapers are publishing which is the purpose of this study. Only four national studies have dealt effectively with this subject, and just one of these has been carried out in the last twenty-two years. The data presented here are from this last study, completed in 1966. The content analysis of fifty consecutive issues of twelve different newspapers in eleven states was used to classify 62,456 column inches of school news into twelve categories on school news. The major findings included: 1. School news comprised 1.75 percent of all news. 2. Notwithstanding geographic difference there was a marked similarity in the relative coverage of school news; the correlation among the newspapers in relative coverage was +.79. 3. School sports received 52 percent of all school news coverage and constituted 42 percent of the total number of articles. 4. All school news, less sports news, was equal to 0.84 percent of all news. School news less news of both sports and extra curricular activities was equal to 0.72 percent of all news. The data of the study show that it is highly doubtful that the citizens are being adequately informed of the activities, programs, and goals of the schools. Since the local citizens ultimately determine in some measure the nature of their public school system, the local school administrators must make every effort to ameliorate this lamentable situation.

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