Date of Award

Fall 2005

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Communications (M.S.)

Department

School of Communications

Abstract

This study examines the on-going research into where Americans get their information about news events. The vehicles that news consumers use drive many markets and news coverage itself. Readers, listeners and viewers are not only choosing a media vehicle; they are also choosing who will advertise on and support those media outlets. Demographics play a role in determining which media vehicles are turned to for everyday news events, crisis information or political events and analysis. Those demographics can in turn influence the events covered by the media. Media outlets will cover what people want to see or hear so advertisers will pay for the coverage and contribute to the bottom line. The audiences are fractured because technology is changing, expanding and providing more choices than ever before. The analysis of studies, memoirs and interviews shows that the news consumers and the news providers are plunging ahead together, unevenly at times, but in a constant dance that will continue to evolve with the growing options for disseminating information. The Internet is playing a much larger role even with the older media such as newspapers. Weblogs are having a major impact in delivering information and dissecting large media outlets. The speed of some news delivery is challenging the standards of accuracy. What has remained very steady through this sea of change is Americans’ appetite for news.

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