Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Harold Widvey


A number of researchers have studied the media habits of the general public. They have examined the habits of adults, teenagers and numerous other groups. Only a few researchers have examined the college-aged group, a group which includes both teenagers and adults, and which may reflect unique patterns of media use. This study was designed to examine the news media used by selected subgroups of the college population. The population from which the subjects were chosen for this study included students who were enrolled at South Dakota State University in the fall semester of 1980. The purpose of this study was to examine media consumption of international, national, state and local news by South Dakota State University students. The study investigated student perceptions of completeness, fairness, and believability of media news sources. The time spent by students as consumers of media was an included variable. This study excluded student preference for specific stations, newspapers and magazines. The research focused on the particular medium being utilized. The study attempted to isolate distinctive patterns of media news consumption among selected student population groups. The research tested the following hypothesis relative to all news and specifically to international, national, state and local news. This author has been involved with the media for more than nine years. In that time this researcher has come in contact with a number of different persons who have been interested in sources of news for the college student. The question has been asked of this author many times: When one wants to influence the college student, is it best to use radio, television, or the print media? As one regarded as an expert by persons not involved in the media, this author has had a difficult time answering that question. Also, this researcher as an undergraduate at South Dakota State University lived at home and did not have to change media habits as do most college students. The study was conducted at South Dakota State University, a school with approximately 6500 students in a midwestern town with a population of between 15,000-20,000. This research can be used in cities and colleges of similar size that are also located in the midwest, and data gathered can be compared to information in this study. This research provided insight into college students' use of the media.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University -- Students
Mass media -- South Dakota
Radio audiences -- South Dakota
Newspaper reading
Television viewers



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University