Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School



This study attempted to determine the pattern of news diffusion of Vice President Spiro Agnew's resignation October 10, 1973, among the students of South Dakota State University, Brookings. The study was conducted by using a five-percent simple random sample of SDSU students. A questionnaire, which asked the 224 respondents the first source of information, the time of hearing the news, location of hearing the news, if they had told the news to anyone else after hearing it, and if they had sought further information from any source, is the basis for this study. The most important finding from this study was that when the event had "extraordinary significance," interpersonal source became the most important first source of information, followed by television and radio, in order. Newspapers became the least important first source. One conclusion was that as interpersonal communication became important due to the "extraordinary significance" of the event, the role of females in interpersonal communication also became dominant. It was found that more females had interpersonal source as the first source of information; more females told someone else after hearing it from the first source, and thus activated the word-of-mouth communication channels; and more females sought further information from interpersonal sources. A brief review of fifteen important news diffusion studies conducted in the United States is also included.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University -- Students

Communication -- South Dakota



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University