Support for Media Rights as a Criterion for Evaluating Journalism Education


Lee B. Becker and Tudor Vlad


Variability in journalism education exists both between and within countries around the world, yet relatively little has been done to examine empirically the consequences of journalism education or variation within it. One possible consequence is on attitudes of the graduates about journalism and journalistic practices.

This paper reports on the findings of studies conducted across time of graduates of the U.S. journalism and mass communication programs. The paper compares the attitudes of graduates of journalism and mass communication with those of the general U.S. population as one indicant of the impact of journalism training. It also compares graduates with different types of journalism education.

The data show that, despite the four years of instruction, the U.S. graduates gave only qualified support for the rights of the media. They were, however, more supportive than the U.S. public at large, though the differences were often relatively small.

In addition, the data show that the U.S. graduates with a print or broadcast journalism specializations were more supportive of media rights that those with telecommunications, advertising, public relations, and other majors. In other words, type of journalism and mass communication instruction was found to have an impact on the attitudes of the graduates.

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