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Catholic High Schools in the Diocese of Bangued, Abra, Philippines

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This study endeavored to analyze the student publications of the Catholic high schools of Bangued Diocese. Specifically, this study looked into the recurring patterns, the dominant themes, and errors found in the News, Editorials, Features, Literary, and Sports pages of the school papers.

Using the qualitative type of content analysis by Zang and Wildemuth (2002), the researcher studied 11 out of the 16 student publications of the Catholic schools. The recurring patterns found in the sections of the school publications are: a.) News – Frequent use of the words assembly, celebration, and religious terms such as Mary, Our Lady, Holy Mass, Eucharistic celebration, Reverend Father, SVD, officers, feast days, Bishop Leopoldo Jaucian, SVD DD; Summary Lead or Conventional Lead for the news articles and Novelty Lead for banner stories;. b.) Editorial – frequent use of the words students, youth, parents, and gratitude; and the application of Editorial of Criticism and Editorial of Tribute for type of editorial; c.) Features – dominant use of character sketches of personalities in campus; d.) Literary – frequent use of the words friend, love, God, prayer, care, thank, life, you; e.)Sports – frequent use of the words intramurals, sports, games, friendship games, competition, basketball, volleyball, men, women, varsity team, families, indoor games, outdoor games, won, defeat, court, and lead.

The dominant themes evident in the student publications that were analyzed are: a.) News – school-related and community-related themes; b.) Editorial – Leadership/leaders, youth, jubilee celebrations, and life at the present and in the future; c.) Features – character sketch of school directors, teachers, employees, and students; d.) Literary – love, friendship, and life; e.) Sports – School intramurals and friendship games with other diocesan schools.

The errors found the various sections of the student publications are: a.)News –long paragraphs, verbosity, incorrect grammar, wrong use of punctuation marks, poor sentence construction, use of personal pronouns, use of adjectives, and inclusion of personal comments; b.) Editorial – The inclusion the editor’s byline as well as the use of personal pronoun “I;” c.) Features – Lack of quotes from the interviewees, a few errors in sentence construction, wrong choice of word, and incorrect information; d.) Literary – A minor slip in verb tense and claiming ownership to a famous poem and placing the student’s name as its byline; e.) Sports – Incorrect grammar, incorrect use of jargons, and misspelled words.

Campus journalism is essential in the affairs of the school. Hence, the quality of student publications of the Diocese of Bangued need to be improved including paper size, printing quality, choice of articles, and content in order to address the functions expected of a campus paper.

Six student publications were offset printed and use tabloid format. In terms of content and quality, The Voice of St. Joseph Seminary and The Fount of Little Flower High School stood out among the papers of the Diocese followed by The Trail of Holy Spirit Academy of Bangued. Among the newsletters, Vision of Queen of Peace High School La Paz topped the list in terms of content and journalistic writing, followed by The Eagle of St. John High School, and Palipyas of St. Paul High School.

The news pages of the student publications were filled with school and community events. The editorials portrayed issues that matter to the students whereas the Literary pages are deluged with adolescent emotions. Among the sections of the paper, it was the Features Page which needed to be beefed up because all of the school organs contained character sketches. In terms of sports writing, most of the tabloids displayed an adept skill in sports writing but for the newsletters, more trainings would enhance their sports stories and the newsletters would be better off with a sports page.

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