Date of Award

Spring 1989

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Communication

Abstract

The American tradition of an independent press is thriving, said page one editors across the country who made choices of page one stories and play for their newspapers. But, admitted respondents to this survey of a select group of gatekeepers, they seek a great deal of input -- some of it directly related to their news judgments -- from broadcast and print media. Multiple regression analysis showed three variables particularly related to high media usage: The higher the circulation of his or her newspaper, the more likely the gatekeeper was to use broadcast media as a whole. The more years on the job, the more likely the gatekeeper was to use broadcast media for news. The more education the editor had completed, the more likely that editor was to listen to radio news. The relationship between high media use and its effect on the cognitive structure of journalists has yet to be validated, but the links established between media use and its influence on a broad, general audience have been established. It now remains for further research to probe the impact of media dependence -- both broadcast and print -- on the judgment-making of gatekeepers, and consequently on the structured reality created by the news media as a whole.

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