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Date of Award

1984

Document Type

Dissertation - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)

Department

Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Thomas Cy Coleman

First Committee Member

William P. Bacon

Second Committee Member

William Darling

Third Committee Member

Bobby Hopkins

Fourth Committee Member

Donald Mayo

Abstract

Purpose : The purpose of this study was to clarify and analyze the relationship between large school districts and the press in California.

Procedures: Two similar surveys were developed for this study, one for superintendents and public information officers and one for editors and education reporters. The educators• survey had twenty-one items and the journalists• survey twenty-three items. A number of the items were on both surveys. The educators• survey was sent to the superintendent and public information officer of California school districts with over ten thousand average daily attendance (ADA); the journalists• survey was sent to the editor and the education reporter of the newspaper in the city in which the school district is located. The literature review and interviews with educators and journalists formed the basis for survey development .

Findings: (1) Fifty-nine percent of the districts have a specific public information/press policy; 69% of the districts have a public information officer; 67% of the districts have specific procedures for working with the press. (2) Significant differences in perception exist between educators and journalists about the public information/ press practices districts employ. (3) Superintendents and public information officers appear to be relatively satisfied with the treatment their districts receive by the press. (4) Educators and journalists do not agree about the role of the press in . public education. (5) Journalists characterize districts• public information efforts as moderately successful. (6) More educators than journalists believe their working relationship can be harmonious. (7) Educators cite aggressive reporters and the press• interest in the sensational as factors which hurt their working relationship; journalists, however, cite uncooperative administrators and lack of candor.

Pages

187

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