Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Journalism and Mass Communications


The study by Spector was based on a comparison of the count of favorable, unfavorable and neutral editorial items with vote on a municipal referendum. Spector found a high correlation between editorial position and the election outcome. The editorial policy of the Bridgeport daily newspaper was decidedly against the municipal referendum. Spector coded 23 unfavorable editorials (against the referendum), one neutral in content, and none favorable. Bridgeport voters voted 73 percent against the referendum. Voters in the 15 1/2 – county Oahe Conservancy Sub-District in 1960 voted overwhelmingly (85.5%) to establish the sub-district board to monitor and promote the Oahe project. The history of the role of the Huron Daily Plainsman, described by Associate Publisher Laverne J. Maher, shows that at the time of the election to form the sub-district board, the newspaper actively (through its editorials and the efforts of its publishers and editors) campaigned in favor of establishing the board. Whether the newspaper’s stance significantly contributed to the 85.5 per cent favorable vote is a matter for research, but it does shed light on the area of local newspaper involvement in a local issue. After reasoning that editorial policy and a newspaper’s active pursuit to affect an issue could lead to substantial influence, this researcher south to determine the content of news about Oahe in the news columns of the Huron Daily Plainsman. The writer concluded that the use of content analysis to quantify the Oahe in the news columns of the Huron Daily Plainsman would contribute to an understanding of the treatment (or news “play”) given news about which the newspaper has established an editorial stance.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Oahe Irrigation Development

Content analysis (Communication)

Huron daily plainsman (S.D.)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University