Project Hovdabrekka

Archive for the ‘Surveys’ Category

Hovdabrekka 2012

In Surveys on June 7, 2012 at 11:09

* Update 15. Jan: The data collection is now finished. 1830 responded, a response rate of 45%. See “The surveys” for more details.

A new survey of Nordic journalism students is planned for the autumn. This will update our time series (the previous surveys were done in 2005 and 2008), and provide new knowledge of how the current changes in the Nordic societies and media systems have an impact on journalism students´ recruitment, their professional ideals and ambitions.

As before, our motivation for this project is twofold, providing us with data for research and for sharing with journalist educators for pedagogic use (see the previous post for access to results from the 2008-data). And again, this project will be done without special funding, so we hope for the continuing cooperation and support by the participating journalism educations, on which we depend.

Methodologically, the web survey will follow the template established by the 2008-survey. Before summer, the national contacts in each country (see below) will contact the journalism schools to provide information and establish a survey contact within each institution. At the start of the semester we will ask the contact/administration for an updated list of e-mail addresses of the journalism students, which will then be used for a centralised distribution of the web questionnaire (via e-mail), using a service ( which guarantee the students´ anonymity, and also help us reduce the burden on each student through making it possible to administer follow-ups to only those who have not answered the questionnaire. The institution and survey contact will not have to do any work, except help us get access to the e-mail list and encourage the students to participate. The questionnaire will to a large extent replicate the one used in 2008, but it will be considerably shorter.

18 schools of journalism participated In 2008. We hope to include most of these, and perhaps add some. At this time, the list is not finalised. We will send out e-mail invitations to the students as soon as we are able to get updated student lists after summer. In Norway (and perhaps also in the other countries?) late August/early September is most likely.

There has otherwise been some small changes in our group, so that the team for the 2012 survey is:

Norway: Gunn Bjørnsen (national contact), Volda, and Rune Ottosen, Oslo
Sweden:  Jenny Wiik (national contact), Göteborg
Denmark:  Ida Willig (national contact) and Jannie Møller Hartley, both Roskilde
Finland: Henrika Zilliacus-Tikkanen (national contact), U. Helsinki and Raimo Solokangas, Jyväskylä
Iceland: Þorbjörn Broddason and Valgerður Jóhannsdóttir, both Háskóli Íslands and Birgir Guðmundsson, Háskólinn á Akureyri.

If anyone has any questions,comments or ideas for the survey, please contact me or one of our group members.


Jan Fredrik Hovden,
University of Bergen (group leader)


Nordic Journalism Students 2008: Data collection finished

In Surveys on February 6, 2009 at 13:22

The survey of Nordic Journalism Students for 2008 is now finished. The average response rate was 53%. The average response rate per institution was 62%, revealing major differences in response rates between institutions and countries (Bodø had the highest response rate at 90%).

Average response rates for the countries were: 39% (Finland), 58% (Sweden), 67% (Norway) and 48% (Denmark). In particular, two schools contribute a lot to the relative low response rate: Tammerfors (26%) and Odense (29%). Also, three other schools have a response rate below fifty percent: Jÿvaskÿla (45%), Södertörn (48%), Gimlekollen (47%) and Roskilde (48%). We will look into the resons for the low response rate in Tammerfors and Odense.

Overall, however, with a total response from 2183 students, we are convinced that this data material offer exciting possibilites for cross-national research on the recruitment and professional ideals and aspirations of the Nordic Journalism Students. We also like to thank our partners at the participating schools for the contribution to making this survey possible, and of course – the students.

Nordic Journalism Students 2008: In process

In Surveys on December 18, 2008 at 10:38

Hovdabrekka II, our survey of the students of 18 Nordic journalism schools are now in process. Over 4000 students are included in the sample (which includes the total population of students, unlike in 2005, which included only first-year students). We are considering repeating the study in specific intervals, for example every fourth or fifth year.

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