Title page for ETD etd-08052010-163557

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Alvarez, German Adolfo
Author's Email Address galvar5@lsu.edu
URN etd-08052010-163557
Title In Search of State Government: The Lack of State Legislative Coverage in Local Television News
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dunaway, Johanna Committee Co-Chair
Scholl, Rosanne Committee Co-Chair
Lawrence, Regina Committee Member
  • state legislature
  • news media as institutional
  • interviews with journalists
Date of Defense 2010-06-29
Availability unrestricted
This study examines how the institutional characteristics of local television news stations affect the stations’ coverage of state legislative news. Focusing on the state of Louisiana, the researcher conducts in-depth interviews with news workers from the seven media markets in the state. The interviews were focused toward the decision makers in the newsroom in order to examine the process that determines the newscast the audience receives. The interview discussions centered on the news making process. In addition, the interviews focused explicitly on the effect of proximity to the state capitol; coverage of state level news versus community level or national level news; and the effect of gubernatorial coverage on the topics within state legislative news. The findings suggest that local television news media hold distinct institutional characteristics that determine the extent of legislative news coverage provided. Proximity affects commitment to state government news. Also, news workers tend to cover the governor more than state legislative news. Finally, the findings of this study suggest that the structure of local television news is not optimal or even sufficient for serving the public in state legislative news.
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