Date of Award
Master of Arts
Current literature in the fields of political science and communication exhibit confusion over the existence and effect of corporate influence on a newspaper's daily transactions. Does newspaper ownership affect content? Previous research answers this question "yes," "no," and "maybe." I conduct a longitudinal, time series study across 1,366 newspapers and nearly 30 years to answer the question of whether newspaper ownership affects the papers' presidential campaign endorsements in election years. With demographics data and vote returns as well as newspaper ownership and endorsement information, this study looks at newspaper consolidation and the effect of ownership on endorsements. The results shed light on the current confusion. Changing ownership has a partisan effect on endorsements: Ownership change causes a newspaper to endorse the Republican presidential candidate but has no effect on a newspaper's likelihood of endorsing a Democratic candidate.
This thesis is Open Access and may be downloaded by anyone.