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ERIC Number: ED138790
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1977-Apr-21
Pages: 22
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Newspapers and Adult Understanding of Public Affairs: Two Longitudinal Community Studies.
Tichenor, P. J.; And Others
Two longitudinal field studies of the process of information dissemination through newspapers were conducted on two different public affairs topics (regional planning and routing of a high voltage power line) in four communities to examine the role of newspapers in increasing levels of conflict and in creating greater levels of awareness and understanding of issues relating to collective concerns within the community. Two principal hypotheses were investigated: (1) That as a community issue develops, adult citizens in the general population tend to get their first information from newspapers (or other mass media) rather than from personal contacts or sources; and (2) that the higher the level of conflict surrounding an issue in a community the higher the level of citizen familiarity and knowledge concerning that issue. Each study involved two phases of interviewing general population samples about a half year apart, with varying levels of newspaper coverage of topics in between. Rural areas with other areas which were more urban and pluralistic were also compared. The studies supported the first hypothesis and were generally supportive of the second. A sequential pattern of media coverage was also identified that may be common in regional issues and therefore relevant to programs of adult education about public affairs. (TA)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Adult Education Research Conference (Minneapolis, Minnesota, April 21, 1977)