Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dorothy Bowles, Paul Ashdown, Charles Maland
This study compared coverage.of Richard M. Nixon in Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News World Report from Nixon's resignation from the presidency in August1974 until his funeral in April 1994. In a chi-square analysis of the direction of assertions about Richard Nixon in the three newsweeklies, it was discovered that there was a highly significant difference in the direction of coverage among Newsweek, Time, and US News & World Report. As a result, this analysis examined each of the newsweeklies' coverage of Richard Nixon on an individual basis rather than collectively. In all three newsweeklies, assertions about the former president were, for the most part, neutral. Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report each had more than 80 percent of neutral assertions during the 20-year period under study. What these findings suggest is the presence of objectivity in all three newsweeklies. Newsweek and Time were similar to each other in that each had a slightly higher percentage of negative than positive assertions about Nixon. Conversely, U.S. News & World Report, though containing less than half the number of assertions overall than either NewsWeek or Time, had approximately four times the number of positive assertions than negative about President Nixon.There was an increase, in percent, in the positive assertions about Nixon in each of the newsweeklies over time from August 1974 until his funeral in 1994; however,the increase wasn't a steady increase over the 20-year period under study. Nonetheless, Newsweek had only 3 percent of positive assertions about Richard Nixon in 1974 and 11 percent of positive assertions in 1994. Time had 6 percent of positive assertions about Nixon in 1974 and ended with 12 percent of positive assertions in 1994. Finally, U.S. News & World Report started with 1 percent of positive assertions in 1974 and had 15 percent of positive assertions about President Nixon in 1994.
Witcher, Russ, "After the fall: coverage of Richard M. Nixon in Newsweek, Time, and U.S. News & World Report, 1974-1994. " PhD diss., University of Tennessee, 2000.