The Problem of Subjectivity in High School Reporters’ News Writing


  • Melanie Gail Wilderman University of Oklahoma Gaylord College
  • Sohana Nasrin University of Maryland



scholastic journalism, journalism education, journalism, news reporting, subjectivity


Through a qualitative textual analysis of writing samples from 10 high school journalism programs, this research explores the types of subjectivity found in student journalists’ reported news stories. Results are categorized into three problem areas: 1) problems common to most novice writers; 2) problems of nuance, which are more complicated and can require years of experience to fully grasp, and 3) problems specific to young writers who have grown up in a digital media landscape that allows them to shape the content they consume to their specifications. Recommendations relevant to scholastic journalism instruction follow analysis.

Author Biography

  • Melanie Gail Wilderman, University of Oklahoma Gaylord College
    Melanie Wilderman is an associate professor of journalism at the Gaylord College, University of Oklahoma, as well as the exectutive director of Oklahoma Scholastic Media. Her research interests include journalism education, community journalism and service learning.


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