Title page for ETD etd-03312006-170606

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Billingsley, Susan
Author's Email Address susankbillingsley@yahoo.com
URN etd-03312006-170606
Title An Analysis of the President-Press Relationship in Solo and Joint Press Conferences in the First Term of President George W. Bush
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Stephen A. Banning Committee Chair
Craig Freeman Committee Member
Richard Nelson Committee Member
  • press behavior
  • adversarial relationship
  • adversarialness
  • joint press conference
  • news conference
  • press conference
  • president-press relationship
Date of Defense 2006-03-27
Availability unrestricted
A comparative analysis of presidential press conferences was conducted to determine whether the previously established adversarial relationship between the United States president and the American press was alleviated to some degree by the presence of a foreign dignitary. The study applied a system for quantifying adversarial behaviors exhibited by the press to questions asked of President George W. Bush in solo conferences and where he was joined by another head-of-state in joint press conference sessions. Questions from selected conferences during his first term were coded according to four indicators of adversarialness: initiative, directness, assertiveness and adversarialness. Results showed that the president-press relationship is indeed less adversarial in joint press conferences than in solo. This conclusion may serve as justification for increases in general press conference frequency in the last three administrations and the disproportionate increase in joint sessions.
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