Energy in the Eighties: Education, Communication, and the Knowledge Gap

Document Type




Format of Original

13 p.

Publication Date

Fall 1990


SAGE Publications

Source Publication

Journalism Quarterly

Source ISSN


Original Item ID

doi: 10.1177/107769909006700311


A four-wave panel study of West Allis, Wisconsin, homeowners, conducted from 1981 to 1986, found some evidence of a relationship between education and knowledge of energy issues, especially among the more educated readers of newspaper energy stories. There was some tendency—although not strong—for an initial knowledge gap: the more educated seemed to learn more than did the less educated at first. This difference diminished over the period of the study, a pattern that appears consistent with decreasing media attention to the energy issue during that time. Some other results of this study suggest that further research is warranted into the effects of audience information processing capabilities and techniques on memory for mass mediated information.


Journalism Quarterly, Vol. 67, No. 3 (Autumn 1990): 554-566. DOI.