Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



The objectives of this study are to determine (1) differences in subject matter in two Midwestern farm magazines, and (2) how these magazines conformed to reader needs, based on the assumption that these needs are a reflection of the traditional types of agriculture in the area served by the publications. The magazines used in this study are: The Dakota Farmer, Aberdeen, South Dakota, and The Farmer., St. Paul, Minnesota. Comparisons, when draw, are designed to indicate a point rather than to judge or intimate that one of the magazines is better than the other. To further emphasize this point of non-endorsement, the reader's attention is called to the "disclaimer clause” which public agencies often use as a protective umbrella when it is necessary to mention trade or product names in printed matter. As an example: To simplify terminology, trade names of products or equipment are sometimes used. No endorsement of specific products named is intended, nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned. Ln specifying reader needs as based on traditional types of agriculture, the term "needs" is used mainly to include what the editors apparently think a subscriber might want in the way of specific information about various aspects or hid method or making a living. What he might want for entertainment or other purposes cannot be eliminated entirely, of course. It is well to keep in mind a longstanding principle in mass communication theory: that people expose themselves to communications that fit with their existing ideas and opinions. South Dakota is predominately an agricultural state. Livestock, including cattle, swine, sheep and poultry, accounts for almost three fourths of the agricultural income. Crops which make up most of the remaining income source include corn, wheat, oats and hay. These traditional types of agriculture--livestock and crops--in South Dakota formed the base in determining the "needs" of the people assumed to be the readers of the magazines used in this study--The Dakota Farmer and The Farmer, to determine types of agriculture, two basic references were used: sources of agricultural income and types of farms in the state. (see more in text)

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Agricultural literature -- South Dakota




South Dakota State University