An examination of press coverage and public comment on educational issues

Tulk, Bertram Richard (1984) An examination of press coverage and public comment on educational issues. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
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Abstract

This study was conducted to assess the volume and nature of the treatment of education by the press and the public, as contained in the opinionated sections of daily newspapers. The researcher also sought to determine the nature of the relationship between press coverage and public comment on educational issues. -- The data for the study were obtained by examining the opinionated sections - editorials, columns, letters to the editor, and articles - published in the three daily newspapers of Newfoundland and Labrador during a five-year period, from January 1, 1979 to December 31, 1983. All items concerned with primary, elementary, and secondary education were classified in order to make possible a description of the volume and nature of the treatment. -- Some of the general findings which resulted from this analysis were: -- 1. The volume of press and public expressions directed towards education fluctuated over the period, the amount being proportionate to the degree of controversy surrounding specific issues at a particular time. -- 2. Although much press coverage and public comment was classified as being critical of educational decisions and practices, almost all of these items were aimed at improving the quality of education. -- 3. Issues related to teachers, the curriculum, and school administration ranked among the top four issues in volume with both press coverage and public comment. -- 4. Student-related issues were treated favourably by the press and the public. The press were completely supportive of denominational education, while public contributors gave favourable treatment to teacher-related matters. The majority of press coverage and public comment was classified as being critical towards bussing, the curriculum, and the reorganized high school program. -- 5. Public contributors were more prone than members of the press to voice strong positions on issues, the former embodying more critical, more supportive, and less neutral statements than the latter. -- 6. Press and public responses to previously-published items were predominantly contrary to opinions voiced by the instigating writers. However, members of the press tended to agree with the instigating items more often than did public respondents.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/7947
Item ID: 7947
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 85-87.
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 1984
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Journalism, Educational; Education--Newfoundland and Labrador--Public opinion

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