Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts


Communication and Information

Major Professor

Peter Gross

Committee Members

Paul G. Ashdown, Edward Caudill, Dwight L. Teeter Jr.


Because of his role as chairman of the Senate crime investigating committee, which held widely viewed hearings in March 1951, U.S. Senator Estes Kefauver has been called television’s first political star. This research examines contemporaneous press accounts, particularly those from Kefauver’s adopted hometown of Chattanooga, Tenn., to determine the extent to which such a storyline was immediately apparent. Microfilm and electronic database resources, supplemented by book and peer-reviewed journal content, form a contextual framework through which is argued the position that the Chattanooga dailies were in fact attuned to the changes being wrought by Kefauver’s probe. Ultimately, The Chattanooga Times is found to have pondered those developments and their aftermath much more intently than did the Chattanooga News-Free Press.

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