Off-campus South Dakota State University users: To download campus access theses, please use the following link to log into our proxy server with your South Dakota State University ID and password.
Non-South Dakota State University users: Please talk to your librarian about requesting this thesis through interlibrary loan.
Thesis - University Access Only
Master of Science (MS)
Department / School
Journalism and Mass Communications
This exploratory study examines the impact of newspaper writing on members of the South Dakota State House of Representatives and State Senate. Throughout the history of the United States, political opinions written in newspapers championed causes to affect change. This study examines how South Dakota state legislators react to opinions written in South Dakota’s 11 daily newspapers and if they take those opinions into consideration when making policy decisions. Thirty-four of the state’s 105 legislators completed an online questionnaire, which included multiple choice, a five-point Likert-type rating scale and an open-ended question. Legislators who indicated that they frequently or always read opinions in at least one South Dakota daily newspaper came in at 68.7 percent – showing that they are reading the political opinion writing of South Dakota’s daily newspapers. The findings indicate that legislators do not view their own values, the values of their constituents and newspapers as being the same. This could explain why legislators do not follow the recommendations laid out by newspapers. This exploratory study raises questions about the influence of newspapers to achieve follow-through from legislators. Further research would reveal more information about how credibly newspapers are viewed in the state.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
Legislators -- South Dakota
Press -- South Dakota -- Influence
Op-ed pages -- South Dakota
Press and politics
Includes bibliographical references (pages 63-67)
Number of Pages
South Dakota State University
In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Reiss, Elizabeth A., "The Impact of Newspaper Opinion Writing on South Dakota Legislators" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1587.