Ed Madison, University of Oregon
The strength of a democracy is often said to be inextricably linked with the strength of its free press. Yet recent news reports suggest that the future of the student journalism in the United States is in jeopardy. In May 2013, The New York Times found that only 1 in 8 New York public high schools had a student newspaper (Hu 2013). A month later, National Public Radio aired a report titled “High School Newspapers: An Endangered Species” (Simon 2013).
This downward turn in student journalism could influence the future of the mainstream press. Ellen Austin, Dow Jones Journalism Educator of the Year (2012) says, “Fifty per- cent of future journalists start in high school and seventy-five percent of minority journalists start in high school” (Interview 2011). Changes at the scholastic level are reflected by a sharp decline in professional journalism jobs. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a 13% decrease in journalism positions for the reporting period between 2012 and 2022, resulting in 7,200 fewer jobs (Occupational Outlook 2012)….