ERIC Number: ED248501
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1984-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Legislative Structure and Reporting Style: Statehouse Coverage of Parttime vs. Fulltime Legislatures.
Data gathered in a study of news coverage of the parttime Indiana and fulltime Michigan state legislatures were used to determine if source use in stories, portrayals of lawmakers and of the legislature as a whole, and topic coverage varied with the length of the legislative session. A content analysis was conducted of the 111 stories written by the 14 statehouse reporters covering the Indiana legislature's two-month session, and of 151 stories written by 15 statehouse reporters covering a two-month period of the unlimited Michigan session. Thirteen different sources, grouped in four general types, were recorded for each story: activity sources, such as floor votes; interview sources, such as committee chairs; print sources, such as bills; and background sources, such as books. Stories were also coded for the portrayals of lawmakers and the legislature as a whole, and for principal topics. Results indicated that reporters covering the Indiana legislature used fewer sources, held fewer interviews, dealt with legislative life more narrowly, and gave sustained attention to fewer topics than did reporters covering the Michigan legislature. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Indiana; Legislative Sessions; Michigan
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (67th, Gainesville, FL, August 5-8, 1984).