Still Captive? History, Law and the Teaching of High School Journalism

Key Information

Still Captive? History, Law and the Teaching of High School Journalism, by The Society of Professional Journalists’ Journalism Education Committee

2015 [ISBN: 1-58107-276-7; 300 pages; 6 x 9 inch; soft cover] $34.95


SCSJcovWebThis book is the work of 14 separate individuals who came together out of a mutual passion: that of teaching journalism. Although all the authors are college or university professors, almost all of them began their journalism journey in a high school classroom — most in a newspaper class, many in a yearbook class.

Unfortunately, not all of them see the same enthusiasm for the subject that they remember. What they see in college classrooms are students who think they can jump right into being a sports analyst for a network or a fashion editor for a major publication, all as first jobs out of college. Many who come to higher education without a high school journalism experience come without the necessary critical thinking, creative thinking, collaborative and communication skills.

That is the reasoning behind this book: not just to discover the state of high school journalism, but a way to help teachers improve their own skills. This work is for teachers who either are or will be teaching high school journalism and people who are interested in preserving the programs.

The first part of this work is a look at the state of high school journalism in America in 2014. This includes a nationwide survey with the results in Section One. For teachers who want to argue for support in terms of newer technology, working with local professionals, additional certification or other issues, this section provides that information.

Section Two was developed because it became apparent early on that many high school journalism teachers had no idea about the federal court laws which govern what they teach. The three chapters take teachers from the earliest history and laws through the Hazelwood decision and slightly beyond – cases that have significant impact on governance of scholastic news media.

Section Three turns back to the classroom itself and discusses the basics of high school journalism, how outstanding programs have survived, teaching the 4Cs, how teachers can best use available workshops and incorporate more professional assistance in their classroom. The final section gives all the conclusions about what can be done to improve high school journalism, plus an annotated bibliography for anyone who wants to conduct further research in this subject, and brief biographical sketches of the authors and editors of this work. Also added is the original survey sent to 600 high school teachers.

It is the sincere hope of the SPJ Education Committee that this work is of assistance to scholastic programs throughout the country.

The Contents

Foreword –John Ensslin, former national president,  the Society of Professional Journalists
Profile 1: Ann Visser, Pella Community High School
Preface: How to Use This Book

Section I – The State of High School Journalism 2014
Profile 2: Candice Gravitt, Faith Lutheran Middle  School and High School
1. Introduction – Rebecca Tallent, University of Idaho,  and Lee Anne Peck, University of Northern Colorado
2. State of High School Journalism – The Survey:  Methods and Results – Lee Anne Peck, University  of Northern Colorado
3. Research Questions, Answers and Concerns –  Lee Anne Peck, University of Northern Colorado
4. Recommendations Then and Now – Lee Anne Peck,  University of Northern Colorado, and David Burns,  Salisbury University

Section II – History and Legal Issues for High School  Journalists: How We Got Here
Profile 3: Terry Durnell, Lee’s Summit North High  School
5. High School Journalism Pre-1960 – Lee Anne Peck,  University of Northern Colorado
6. High School Journalism: 1960 to Hazelwood –  Suzanne Lysak,  Syracuse University
7. Post-Hazelwood: The courts debate “forum” and  “legitimate” educational concerns – Nerissa Young,  Ohio University

Section III — What Can be Done
Profile 4: William Love, Sandpoint High School
8. Stellar High School Programs That Have Adjusted  with Time – Jeff South, Virginia Commonwealth  University
9. Teaching High School Journalism in the 21st Century  – David Burns, Salisbury University, and Rebecca  Tallent, University of Idaho
10. High School Journalism’s Value Goes Well Beyond  Training For Journalism Careers – Adam Maksl,  Indiana University Southeast, and Tracy Anderson, Central Michigan University
11. How Journalism Teaches Critical Thinking Beyond  the Newsroom – Leticia Steffen, Colorado State  University – Pueblo
12. The Use of High School Workshops – Jimmy McCollum, Lipscomb University, and June Nicholson, Virginia  Commonwealth University
13. The Relationship Between Working Journalists and  High School Programs – Rebecca Tallent, University  of Idaho; Mac McKerral, Western Kentucky University;  and Tracy Anderson, Central Michigan University

Section IV – Conclusions
Profile 5: Adrienne Forgette, Martha’s Vineyard  Regional High School
14. Conclusion: What Needs to be Done – Rebecca  Tallent, University of Idaho,  and Lee Anne Peck,  University of Northern Colorado
15. High School Journalism in the United States: References and Annotated  Bibliography

Profile 6: Chichi Pierce, Miami Beach Senior High
Addendum A: Questionnaire for High School Teachers and/or Those Advising Student Media
Addendum B: The Status of High School News Media in the 21st Century

The Editors

Rebecca Tallent, University of Idaho
Kym Fox, Texas State University
Butler Cain, West Texas A&M University
Mac McKerral, Western Kentucky Universit

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