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A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HEADLINES OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON TIMES

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Date Issued:
2005
Abstract/Description:
Previous research suggested Election 2004 involved many issue regimes and wedge issues (Kaplan, 2004; Drum, 2004; Fagan & Dinan, 2004). Preceding research proposed that the American perception of presidential candidates has been somewhat based on the mass media's increasing priming and agenda setting techniques (Scheufele, 2000; Kiousis & McCombs, 2004). Hence the research addressed two questions: Is there a bias for or against either candidate in the headlines of the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Times? If there is bias, which issues tended to produce the most positive, negative and neutral results? All election headlines, from February to November 2004, pertaining to a specific candidate were recorded and analyzed. The researcher chose to study headlines because they convey the newsworthiness of the story and former research confirms that reader perceptions of a news account can depend on the headline (Pfau, 1995; Tannenbaum, 1953). This study utilized content analysis to assess the word choices and biases of the headlines of the two newspapers. The researcher created definitions for coding, trained two coders, and analyzed and discussed the results. The main findings were the Washington Times contained more headlines that were pro-Bush, while the Los Angeles Times contained more headlines that were pro-Kerry. The key issues that reflected bias included that candidate's campaign, homeland security, and values.
Title: A CONTENT ANALYSIS OF 2004 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION HEADLINES OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES AND THE WASHINGTON TIMES.
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Name(s): McCluskey, Maureen , Author
Costain, Gene , Committee Chair
University of Central Florida, Degree Grantor
Type of Resource: text
Date Issued: 2005
Publisher: University of Central Florida
Language(s): English
Abstract/Description: Previous research suggested Election 2004 involved many issue regimes and wedge issues (Kaplan, 2004; Drum, 2004; Fagan & Dinan, 2004). Preceding research proposed that the American perception of presidential candidates has been somewhat based on the mass media's increasing priming and agenda setting techniques (Scheufele, 2000; Kiousis & McCombs, 2004). Hence the research addressed two questions: Is there a bias for or against either candidate in the headlines of the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Times? If there is bias, which issues tended to produce the most positive, negative and neutral results? All election headlines, from February to November 2004, pertaining to a specific candidate were recorded and analyzed. The researcher chose to study headlines because they convey the newsworthiness of the story and former research confirms that reader perceptions of a news account can depend on the headline (Pfau, 1995; Tannenbaum, 1953). This study utilized content analysis to assess the word choices and biases of the headlines of the two newspapers. The researcher created definitions for coding, trained two coders, and analyzed and discussed the results. The main findings were the Washington Times contained more headlines that were pro-Bush, while the Los Angeles Times contained more headlines that were pro-Kerry. The key issues that reflected bias included that candidate's campaign, homeland security, and values.
Identifier: CFE0000442 (IID), ucf:46395 (fedora)
Note(s): 2005-05-01
M.A.
Arts and Sciences, Nicholson School of Communication
Masters
This record was generated from author submitted information.
Subject(s): Content Analysis
Newspaper Headlines
The Washington Times
The Los Angeles Times
Persistent Link to This Record: http://purl.flvc.org/ucf/fd/CFE0000442
Restrictions on Access: public
Host Institution: UCF

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