SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT/NEWSPAPER REPORTER RELATIONS IN TENNESSEE
The purpose of this study was to examine the opinions of Tennessee public school superintendents and newspaper reporters concerning: (1) policies, practices, and procedures commonly involved in the process of disseminating, gathering, and reporting school news and (2) the existing overall professional working relationship. The following conclusions were made from findings: (1) While superintendents and reporters rate their overall working relationship as good, 20 percent evaluated the status as only poor to fair. (2) The most satisfied superintendents initiate frequent contact with the press and tend to favor free access to the schools by reporters. (3) Most superintendents have had little or no academic preparation for working with the news media, and half think school administrators should take a university course covering the role of the press. (4) Most superintendents believe reporters should not have free access to school information and superintendents should not be accessible to reporters at all times of the day. (5) Over a quarter of the superintendents do not believe the public has a right to know everything that happens in the schools. (6) Most superintendents think, if asked, reporters should submit stories for approval prior to publication, and almost one-third of the superintendents believe it is appropriate to withhold information that could make them or the schools look bad. (7) Most reporters see their role as public watchdogs with a duty to report the news, even when unpleasant. (8) Most superintendents believe school information should be centralized so reporters can go to one source for information. (9) Most superintendents believe school boards should have an official policy statement providing guidance for the release of information to the press. (10) Most superintendents and reporters think superintendents should hold regular conferences with reporters to discuss problems of mutual concern. (11) Superintendents and reporters think reporters should be more careful about accuracy and completeness.
LOWELL DENNIS FRAZIER,
"SCHOOL SUPERINTENDENT/NEWSPAPER REPORTER RELATIONS IN TENNESSEE"
ETD Collection for Tennessee State University.