ERIC Number: ED230938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
The "Ultimate Spokesman" Revisited: The Visibility of State Lawmakers in the Mass Media.
A study examined how statehouse reporters covering the 1982 session of the Indiana General Assembly used information sources. Specifically, it focused on reporter reliance on key senate leaders, on the visibility of those senators in published stories, and on the institutional images transmitted in stories in which those and other senators were interviewed. The study also investigated why reporters relied on certain sources for their information. Thirty-three reporters from different media were interviewed, and 287 randomly selected stories about the senate session were analyzed. Results indicated that "ultimate spokesmen" were designated by reporters, and that these tended to be the most visible leaders in the senate. Reasons given for using the key leaders included their ability to provide reliable information, offer clear explanations, and be candid. Reporters from different media used sources differently, with wireservice and broadcast reporters exhibiting the greatest reliance on formal institutional activities and on the governor in covering the legislature. Newspaper reporters were less reliant on the governor and more reliant on the senators. They also tended to produce more interview stories. (Author/FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Indiana; Media Role; State Legislatures
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983).