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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Measuring Object and Attribute Salience in 2014 Illinois Gubernatorial Endorsements
by Breckenridge, Courtney, M.S., Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, 2017, 55; 10616447
Abstract (Summary)

Set against the backdrop of the 2014 Illinois gubernatorial election between Pat Quinn and Bruce Rauner, this study utilizes content analysis to measure object and attribute salience of newspaper endorsements and campaign news releases. Although newspaper editorial boards used similar frames to describe the candidates, the study identified key differences in object salience, the frequency with which each candidate was referenced (Subject), as well as in the attribute salience, or tone of the assertions used to describe Rauner and Quinn (Valence). Rauner was the subject of the endorsements 60% of the time, versus 39% for Quinn. Coverage for Rauner was also significantly more positive in valence, with 64% positive assertions. Quinn, by contrast, received primarily negative-neutral coverage, with 49% negative, 28% positive, and 22% neutral coverage. The findings suggest endorsements contributed to positive associations of Rauner and negative associations of Quinn on frames that were given a high priority by the media agenda, and thus the public agenda.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Yu, Jason
Commitee: Kapatamoyo, Musonda, Poepsel, Mark
School: Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville
Department: Mass Communication
School Location: United States -- Illinois
Source: MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Communication, Political science, Mass communications
Keywords: Attribute salience, Framing, Newspaper endorsements, Object salience, Political campaigns, Second-level agenda setting
Publication Number: 10616447
ISBN: 978-0-355-24635-3
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