ERIC Number: ED218622
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Jul
Reference Count: 0
Deviance of Political Groups and Media Treatment: An Empirical Analysis of a Critical Hypothesis.
Shoemaker, Pamela J.
A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that the mass media act as agents of social control by varying the coverage of political groups in relation to how deviant they perceive the groups to be. Editors from the 100 largest daily newspapers in the United States were asked to rate 11 political groups on four scales thought to measure political deviance. Fifty-seven responded. Media treatment was determined through content analysis of 604 articles in 7 major newspapers over a 1-year period. The vast majority of the articles were from the "New York Times." Content was analyzed based on two dimension: prominence and character. Prominence included the length of the article, its position in the newspaper, and the position of the group in the article. Character was based on four legitimacy criteria: evaluation, validity, viability, and stability. Results indicated some support for the theory that the media act as agents of social stability; however, a direct causal relationship between a journalist's perception of a group's deviance and the kind of article he or she will write about the group cannot be assumed. (JL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (65th, Athens, OH, July 25-28, 1982).