ERIC Number: ED186904
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
News Media Coverage of U.S. Senators in Four Congresses, 1953-1974. Journalism Monographs No. 67.
Weaver, David H.; Wilhoit, G. Cleveland
The Associated Press (AP) coverage of the United States senators in the 83rd, 89th, 91st, and 93rd Congresses was studied to determine the impact of various predictor variables. A path model of these variables was developed, reflecting implicit causal assumptions between visibility (press coverage) and such factors as the size of the senator's home state, seniority in the Senate, the senator's office staff size, committee leadership/prestige, and level of activity (within and outside the Senate). Analyses of all the correlations between these variables showed that senatorial activity was the strongest predictor of AP coverage, especially for Democrats. Only the data for the 89th Congress deviated from this pattern; in that analysis, the size of a senator's staff was the best predictor of coverage. State size was equal to or stronger than activity in predicting the visibility of Republican senators in the 83rd and 93rd Congresses. In general, the variables were better at predicting Republican Senatorial activity and press coverage. The findings suggested that senators in positions of power within the Senate were not necessarily getting the most frequent press coverage. The most active senators usually got the most press coverage, and they tended to come from the most populous states and have the largest office staffs. (RL)
Descriptors: Correlation, Journalism, Legislators, Media Research, News Media, News Reporting, Political Influences, Political Power, Predictor Variables, Seniority
AEJ Publications Manager, School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN 55455 ($2.50)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Association for Education in Journalism.