Researchers Geoffrey Graybeal and Amy Sindik conducted a focus group and a survey with high school journalists attending a weeklong journalism summer program at a university campus. Most of the 142 students who completed the survey (84%) reported being either somewhat, very, or extremely involved in the community, civics, or politics.
Focus group respondents perceived a reciprocal relationship between participation in high school journalism and involvement in community and other civic issues. Students reported that high school journalism programs expanded their horizons and prompted them to be more involved in their communities. Being more involved, meanwhile, helped these students identify issues and stories to cover in their student media.
The researchers concluded that “the focus group participants felt being civically engaged enhanced their journalism skills and made them more aware of their surroundings, which in turn gave them inspiration for ways to cover their local communities” (p. 42).
Source: Geoffrey Graybeal and Amy Sindik, “Journalism Students and Civic Engagement: Is There Still a Connection?” Community Journalism 1 (2012, issue 1): 29-46.