Date of Award

1-1-2009

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Mass Communication and Media Arts

First Advisor

Lowry,Dennis

Abstract

A national mail survey of 117 journalists and 127 PR practitioners in 2008 shows that a majority of journalists and PR practitioners are familiar with at least one mass communication theory; a majority perceive that at least one mass communication theory influences their work; a majority think it is important to teach mass communication theories to students; and a majority think it is important to conduct research on mass communication theories. Compared to journalists, PR practitioners perceive more influence on their work from mass communication theories. The results also show that familiarity with mass communication theories is a strong predictor of journalists' and PR practitioners' perceived theoretical influence on their work, and their perceived importance of teaching and conducting research on mass communication theories. Education has indirect influence on journalism and PR: those who have learned theories in school are more familiar with mass communication theories; the more familiar people are with mass communication theories, the more theoretical influence they perceive and the more important they think it is to teach and conduct research on mass communication theories.

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