Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation

 

Trends in college news : a comparative study of Oregon State College news in the Oregonian and Oregon Journal for a 15-year period Public Deposited

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  • This study of the Oregon State college news appearing in the Oregonian and Oregon Journal in Portland at five-year intervals over a 15-year period was undertaken primarily to attempt to determine, if possible, trends in college news; to indicate the emphasis on different types of college news; to determine the relationship existing between news originating at the college and that which concerns the college but originates off the campus; to determine whether more or less college news is being used; to discover editorial page interest in college affairs; and to indicate to what extent the newspapers made use of faculty-written articles. Files in the College News Bureau office were used in analyzing the 10,614 clippings which were classified according to their source, their length, the size of headline, and their content through 13 primary classifications under which there were a total of 36 sub-divisions. The study covered the complete clipping files of news stories, pictures and other editorial matter relating to the college for both Oregonian and Journal for the academic years of 1921-22, 1926-27, 1931-32, and 1936-37. The facts obtained indicated that the amount of space devoted to Oregon State college news in the Oregonian and Journal nearly doubled in the 15-year period, although the actual number of stories showed a slight decrease. A total of 2514 stories and pictures and 19,539 column inches--enough to fill more than 116 full eight-column pages--were used in 1936-37. The newspapers appeared to be taking greatly increased cognizance of the college in its off-campus relationships and making more of an effort to get news other than that supplied by their correspondents. The amount of space devoted to news originating off the campus more than doubled. Approximately a third of all college news originated off the campus in 1936-37 compared with about a sixth in 1921-22. Athletics accounted for by far the largest percentage of college news in each of the years studied--38 percent of the stories and 45 percent of the space in 1936-37--although the sports stories declined slightly in percentage in 1936-37 and showed a leveling-off tendency after 1926-27. Athletics combined with campus activities accounted for more than half the total stories and space in each of the four years. Stories on administration of the institution changed in rank order from thirteenth in 1921-22 to eighth in 1936-37, while instruction dropped in rank order from seventh to twelfth place. Upward trends were also noted in the number of stories on extension and alumni, while downward trends showed up also in campus activities, faculty and news features. The average length of college news stories, in contrast with what is considered as general newspaper practice, increased in both papers, from 4 to 7 inches in the Oregonian and from 2.8 to 6.4 inches in the Journal. Space devoted to pictures increased more than two and a half times, although the number of pictures showed a decline in 1936-37. Editorial comments in both papers showed a remarkable increase, especially in the Journal. The Oregonian increased its number from nine, totaling 60 inches, to 47 totaling 243 inches, while the Journal increased from 14 totaling 92 inches to 141 totaling 879 inches. The Journal made practically no use of faculty written articles, and all but two of the signed faculty articles in the Oregonian in the last year of the study related to agriculture and appeared in the Farm and Home section. The college news appearing in these two papers showed a wide variation from ten graded types of stories considered the most important by a representative group of educators, newspapermen and other interested directly in higher education. On the other hand, the types of Oregon State college news showed little deviation from that found in two other less complete studies of college news.
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