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ERIC Number: ED308556
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1989-Apr-8
Pages: 20
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
President Reagan and Radio: A Comparison of the First and Second Terms.
Freshley, Dwight L.; Haywood, Arden
To shed light on why President Ronald Reagan chose radio as his favorite medium, a study examined President Reagan's radio addresses in the first year of his second term, 1985, and compared them with his first term speeches of August 1982 to August 1983. The study also compared President Franklin D. Roosevelt's fireside chats with Reagan's radio talks and conducted Flesch Readability Tests on three Reagan speeches to see how easy they were to understand. Findings showed that (1) in comparison with the earlier speeches a repeated pattern of domestic economy and foreign policy issues dominated the year's sample in both terms with a slight reversal in 1985 of foreign policy over domestic economy because of the Geneva Summit and other foreign trips; (2) in the second analysis, which involved television evening news coverage, the same topic reversal obtained, with two out of three networks choosing foreign policy topics over the domestic economy; (3) the third comparison of the "New York Times" coverage also showed a reduction in coverage of the President's speeches in 1985 by comparison with 1982 and 1983, with the average length and number of front page stories remaining about the same; and (4) the Flesch's Readability Test confirmed that an epideictic topic like Mother's Day would be easier for the public to understand than topics on the economy or foreign policy which were "fairly difficult" to grasp, but, surprisingly, "The Great Communicator" was not considered easy to understand. (Three tables of data and 15 notes are included.) (MS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A