New study by Renita Coleman, of University of Texas at Austin, Joon Yea Lee, of University of Alabama, Carolyn Yaschur, of Augustana College, Aimee Pavia Meader, of Winthrop University and Kathleen McElroy, of University of Texas at Austin, explores students motivations for majoring in journalism and the role conceptions of journalists. The analysis is based on survey responses from 678 US journalism students.
The results show that students and professionals recognize the same main roles of journalists, but rank their importance in a different order and define them differently. Students also consider ‘soft news’ as being on equal footing with traditional ‘hard news’ and that it is fine for journalists to join conversations about issues.
Future journalists are motivated by self-realization and improving the world – but also by fame. The authors note that journalism schools should acknowledge the updated role conceptions of journalism students.
The article “Why be a journalist? US students’ motivations and role conceptions in the new age of journalism” was published by Journalism. It is available here.
Picture: Learning session by Per Gosche, licence: CC BY 2.0