Date of Award

Spring 1989

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Scotton, James F.

Second Advisor

Booth, Douglas

Third Advisor

Thorn, William

Abstract

The ecologic model of planet-wide interdependence and the threats to it by a destructive technology were popularized by Rachel Carson in her 1962 book Silent Spring. The book had an enormous impact on the way pesticides were viewed, as the debate moved from a closed circle of professional scientists and conservation groups to the pages of the daily press. Yet it wasn't until 1969 or 1970 that the press finally adopted a holistic environmental lexicon to explain the ecologic process. A thematic content analysis of pesticide coverage in The New York Times between 1947 and 1970 suggests that this lateness is due to the limits of the press as an institution, such as deadline constraints on reporters, and the tradition of journalistic objectivity.

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