Project Hovdabrekka

Archive for September, 2006|Monthly archive page

First results presented in Stavanger

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2006 at 07:12

The first results from the Hovdabrekka project was presented at the bi-annual conference for Nordic journalism educators in Stavanger 15-17. sept.

Several documents from this event is available at this website. New documents include:

– A powerpoint (in .ppt and a much more print-friendly .pdf-format) from the presentation in Stavanger (with extra slides not shown)
– three documents with tables (very rough): By country, by country and gender, and by institution.

Please note that the tables by country have been weighed to accomondy for the different gender ratios in the Nordic countries. Also, Norway are represented by two groups “NorwState” which include Oslo, Volda, Stavanger, Bodø and Kautokeino. “NorwOther” includes the other. Also note that for Denmark, the students of Roskilde are not included (see the “methodology post” below.

Jan Fredrik


Notes on the methodology

In Surveys on September 20, 2006 at 07:07

An invitation to participate in the survey and a link to the web-survey was sent via e-mail to all first-year students of journalism at 19 educational institutions in Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway within three weeks after they started their education in the fall semestre 2005. 62% (603) respondend.

The questionnaire
The starting basis for the nordic questionaire was the questionnaires from Norwegian surveys of first-year students of journalism , which then was adapted to the comparative format necessarily for a cross-national survey. Many questions from the original questionnaire were removed, and many new included, according to the research interests of the participants in the Hovdabrekka group.

The web-questionnaire can be viewed here:

The sample of institutions
The aim of this sample was to include the largest and most important schools of journalism in the Nordic countries. First, all member institutions of the Nordic journalism educators in Norway (6), Sweden (4), Denmark (3) and Finland (3) was included – 16 in all. In addition, the Norwegian participants wanted to include 4 additional Norwegian institutions which offered journalism studies, totalling 20 institutions.

One institution – the journalism education (JMK) at The university of Stockholm – did not want to participate in the study, leaving the final number of institutions at 19.

The administration of the survey
Originally, the plan was to send out e-mail invitations to the students from the web survey program (Opinio) based on lists of email-adresseses collected by each country’s administrator. This gave us the opportunity to remind selectively only those who had not answered the questionnaire.

This plan was carried out in Norway, Sweden and Finland, but not in Denmark. The problems started when Roskilde University refused to give out the email-adresses for their students. Because of this, all the institutions in Denmark administrated the invitations and reminders themselves.

Because of a misunderstanding, Roskilde also sent the invitation to all journalism students at their institution – not only the first year students – and given the abscense of possibly discriminating variables in the survey and afforementioned lack of access to the list of students, it is difficult – maybe even impossible – to seperate first- from second year students at Roskilde in our data. Needless to say, with a few exceptions (ex. social background data, gender etc.) most of the data from Roskilde can thus not be compared directly with the data from other institutions in the survey.

Response rate
Two forms of response rate will be briefly discussed here: 1) answering- not answering the questionnaire and 2) completing-not completing the questionnaire

1) Anwering vs. not answering the questionnaire (total response/nonresponse)
The original sample included 936 students, of which 603 answered some or all questions in the questionnaire, giving a total response rate of 62%. The response rate, however, varied much across various institutions:

TOTAL 62 %
Finland – Jyväskylä 64 %
Finland – Tammerfors 46 %
Finland – Helsinki 61 %
Sweden – JMG Göteborg 62 %
Sweden – MKV Mitthögskolan 61 %
Sweden – Södertörn 35 %
Denmark – Århus 60 %
Denmark – Roskilde* –
Denmark – Odense 29 %
Norway – Oslo Uni. College 84 %
Norway – Volda Uni. College 77 %
Norway – Bodø Uni. College 85 %
Norway – Sami Uni. College 70 %
Norway – Uni. Stavanger 65 %
Norway – Uni. Bergen 78 %
Norway – Gimlekollen 74 %
Norway – BI 55 %
Norway – Bjørknes 95 %
Norway – MI 52 %

The response rate is probably somewhat higher than the numbers indicate, as students lists at start of the semestre are often incomplete. Two institutions appear especially problematic (in addition to Roskilde): University of Southern Denmark (Odense) and Södertörn University College in Sweden, which both have very low response-rate, 29% and 35% respectivly, giving doubt about the representativeness of the data. In general, the overall response rate must be considered satisfactionary, if not very good.

b) Completing vs. not completing the questionnaire (item nonresponse)
Another problem with the data is the high dropoff. Of the respondents who started answering the questionnaire, only 76% completed it . The genereally rising curve seem to indicate this problem to be related to the length of the questionnaire and not to a particular question. Naturally, this effect affact the data relativly in regard to their placement in the questionnaire. It should be noted, however, that such dropoff are a common problem in websurveys.

Jan Fredrik

The Hovdabrekka project

In Uncategorized on September 20, 2006 at 07:03

Project Hovdabrekka originated at the Nordic conference for journalist teachers at Hovdabrekka, Iceland September 2004, where a small group of scientists/lecturers assembled with a desire to do a comparative quantitative study of students at Nordic journalism schools. The group now consists of Jan Dyberg (Danish School of Journalism), Marina Ghersetti (University of Gøteborg), Henrikka Zilliacus-Tikkanen (Universitety of Helsinki), Rune Ottosen (Oslo University College), Gunn Bjørnsen (Bjørknes Private School) og Jan Fredrik Hovden (Volda University College, secretary).

Until very recently, there existed little systematic knowledge on the students of journalism in the Nordic countries. With the study of Norwegian students done by Ottosen, Bjørnsen and Hovden since the year 2000, we now have extensive survey data on the two largest schools of journalism in Norway (Oslo and Volda University Colleges), but little from other nordic countries or he many other schools of journalism in Norway. Other existing data is mainly in the form of very general surveys to the total student population at educational institutions, or internal entrance or candidate-studies with a rather limited scope. Until now, there has thus been a lack of comparative surveydata that makes it possible to compare and analyze differences between the schools of journalism in Norden.

For these reasons, the Hovdabrekka group planned and sent out a web-survey to new students at 19 schools of journalism in Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Finland at the start of the autumn semestre in 2005.

Jan Fredrik