Title page for ETD etd-07132005-131432

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Latham, Brecke Megan
Author's Email Address brecke.latham@la.gov
URN etd-07132005-131432
Title Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blanco: Her Press Strategies and the Local Press
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Kirby Goidel Committee Chair
David Kurpius Committee Member
Tim Cook Committee Member
  • governor
  • press strategies
  • government
  • press
  • politics
  • media strategies
  • Louisiana politics
  • press relations
Date of Defense 2005-04-13
Availability unrestricted
This thesis focuses on Louisiana Governor Kathleen Babineaux Blancoís press strategies. The first section of the paper provides the standard and documented description of the role and press strategy for a governor. The second section provides a background of the responsibility of the press within a democratic society in the context of the Social Responsibility Theory. The third section examines what elements define a press/politico relationship and what defines positive and negative aspects related to this type of relationship.

This research utilizes a qualitative research design, including in-depth interviews, participatory observation/field notes and case studies. Perceptions, derived from the governorís staff members inside the Blanco administration and one capitol bureau reporter, examine; 1). Governor Blancoís press strategy; 2.) Elements for a successful news story, and; 3). A description of the press/politico relationship.

There is a lack of research on gubernatorial press relations. Therefore, three topics from the Blanco administration are examined as case studies in this paper. The topics include the negotiations with the Saints, the Executive Order on non-discrimination against gays and lesbians and Union Tank Car. These were the most popular issues covered by the press in the governorís first year in office. Each followed a press strategy within the organization and provided valuable situations to evaluate with regard to the press and the strategies within an Executive level of government. From the thesis and out of the perceptions of the interviewees, a successful governor will manage a message to the media by first being successful in managing a message within the administration. If these messages are disseminated in an organized fashion, reporters are more apt to objectively reporting the elements of a story. Interviewees also perceived that objective reporting is defined for how accurate the news stories are in relation to the information that was provided by their political source. It was also found through the interviews that for the governor to have a successful press strategy may mean that she will use discretion with accessibility to the media. Meaning, the governor is aware that speaking openly to the press on all occasions, may not guarantee success, but will successfully provide media accessibility.

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