Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies


Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Susanna Priest, Chair

Second Committee Member

Anthony Ferri

Third Committee Member

Lawrence Mullen

Graduate Faculty Representative

David Dickens

Number of Pages



For decades, researchers have maintained that the president has a significant role in setting the policy-making agenda. In this study, a grounded theory approach was applied to determine President George W. Bush's success in focusing the media's attention toward policies mentioned in his State of the Union Addresses (2002-2008). Bush's issue priorities were determined by coding individual paragraphs as themes. To identify the frequency of these same themes in the media, the front pages of The L.A. Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post were analyzed one week before and after each address. Coding was limited to every other speech year. Once themes were collapsed, Pearson's chi square tests indicate changes in theme frequency for subsequent media coverage of speech issues in 2002 and 2006: Results suggest, however, that the speech only seemed to affect media coverage in 2002, which could be attributed to Bush's waning public approval.


Bush; George W. (George Walker); 1946; Mass media; Policy sciences; Presidents - Press coverage; Presidents - United States – Messages; Rhetoric


American Politics | Communication | Journalism Studies | Mass Communication | Social Influence and Political Communication | Speech and Rhetorical Studies

File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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