McNair/Gateway Scholars Program USC

Anthony Heckman

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Major and Classification

Public Relations

Faculty Mentors

  • Professor Craig Carroll

Department

McNair Project

"Understanding the President's Portrayal as a Competent Leader Through Content Analysis of Four Major U.S. Newspapers"

The research question addressed in this study is how the media's coverage of President Bush's actions concerning international relations affects his image in the media and his job approval rating. Through comparing a stratified random sample of four leading newspapers and the President's job approval rating as it appears in the Gallup Poll, my research will further the discussion of the attribute agenda-setting theory. Lexis-Nexis was the platform utilized to gather front page newspaper articles appearing in the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, USA Today, and The Washington Post. Although the articles were chosen at random, only those with a key term relevancy of ninety percent or higher were selected to be used in the study, a technique that ensures the credibility of the research. As hypothesized, my results lend credence to the notion of an attribute agenda-setting theory in the media. Although research in this area is increasing, further study must be done in order to gain insight into the true affect that various media have on modern day society.