This study examined whether African American participation in high school journalism is lower than the participation of other students in the State of Kansas. Past research has found that participation in high school newspapers and yearbook staff is often the pathway for students to consider careers in journalism. For the sake of this study, participation was defined as "any school-directed journalistic activity or program where students are allowed to produce content." This study used a questionnaire sent to 100 high school advisers and teachers, experimentally accessible in the state, administered over three years as the survey instrument. The response rate was 71 percent of 100 teachers from 98 high schools.

Kansas has a statewide population of less than 4% African Americans. Therefore, to be as representative as possible, only the top 20 Kansas high schools with at least a 20% African American enrollment were selected to provide data. Contact information was selected from the Kansas Scholastic Press Association (KSPA) and the Journalism Education Association (JEA), and census data were selected from Kansas. The study also examined the value placed on the activity and participation of students in high school publications and clubs had on inclusivity for all students. In addition, advisers were asked when students could enter newsrooms if there were any prerequisites to be on yearbook or newspaper staff and if advisers were actively recruited for these positions. Lastly, the study sought to duplicate a study completed in 1992, which was written to see if there were programs to make high school journalism programs more inclusive by 2000. Does the possible loss of African American high school journalists present a later loss of essential voices in the media and the media messages in the future?



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