Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Bass, Abraham Z.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Journalism--Study and teaching Secondary--Illinois; High school teachers--Illinois--Workload


Although the high school newspaper has been an established American entity since the 1920s, the newspaper adviser, who builds, guides and ultimately bears the responsibility for its well-being, has remained a shadowy figure. At one school, he may be viewed as an activity director, monitoring the newspaper as an extra-curricular venture; at another, she may be regarded as a clinician, overseeing a laboratory operation. Advisers usually find themselves putting in extra hours of supervision, for which they may or may not be compensated with extra time or money. One may be responsible for mechanical duties such as typesetting or full production, including press runs. To meet increasing printing costs, one may receive funds from the school board while another may have to brainstorm fundraising ideas per issue. And in addition to the newspaper, the adviser may supervise one or more other publications. The typical advisership has no local job description, so that when a question of pay, duties, or conditions arises, there are no local accepted standards. In these times of budget slashes, advisers need to know where they stand in relation to others in their field and what they can reasonably expect or request in terms of compensation and conditions. This study examines the working situations of high school newspaper advisers in Northern Illinois, in particular, those employed at schools on the Northern Illinois School Press Association mailing list. A questionnaire was mailed in May 1982 to the 150 schools listed and 67 responses were received, for a 1+3 percent return. Twenty closed-end questions were asked, zeroing in on the amount of time and type of workers used for newspaper production, as well as the degree of adviser compensation. Frequencies were tabulated, indicating that most respondents receive some extra pay yearly, and that most agree strongly that payment for work outside of class time should be given. An overwhelming 98 percent work "overtime,” and a majority said their students do more than 75 percent of the production work. Overall, this study sheds light on the duties, pay, and working conditions of high school newspaper advisers in Northern Illinois.


Includes bibliographical references.


v, 106 pages




Northern Illinois University

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