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.

Document Type

Thesis - University Access Only

Award Date


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department / School

Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Richard W. Lee


In an evolving society, each year brings new knowledge, new inventions and new technological advances to the civilized population of the planet. From the beginning of spoken word, probably about 35,000 B.C., human communication saw thousands of advances through cave drawing to clay tablets to quill and scroll to moveable type, the printing press and the Gutenberg Bible of 1456 (Rogers, 1986). That process continues today, although higher on the evolutionary ladder. Now, semiconductors, resistors, capacitors and microchips enable microcomputers with modems to talk to each other over telephone lines. This thesis is an attempt to freeze a moment in time and examine a particular news release delivery method made possible by the new technology of this decade. That method is the electronic news release. A few land-grant university communicators have pioneered electronic delivery of news releases to newspapers and magazines as they go about transferring new agricultural technology to farmers. Meanwhile, other land-grant communicators, including those at South Dakota State University, are asking themselves if they should follow the pioneers. The advantages are highly touted, but not well documented. It was unknown how South Dakota newspapers would accept electronic delivery. This paper attempted to document whether there is real gain in switching from mail delivery to electronic delivery of news releases, either through more column inches printed or through good will. The study did so by content analysis and multiple case studies comparing and contrasting use of new releases by two South Dakota daily newspapers when delivered for a period by mail another period electronically over the phone wires.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

South Dakota State University. Cooperative Extension Service -- Information services
Agricultural journalism -- South Dakota -- Editing
Agricultural journalism -- South Dakota -- Data processing
Press releases -- Data processing
News agencies -- Data processing



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University