Semester of Graduation

2018

Degree

Master of Mass Communication (MMC)

Department

Manship School of Mass Communication

Document Type

Thesis

Abstract

Political and media institutions have a dynamic relationship at both the national and state level. Over time, their relationship has changed as a result of technological advances. Twitter has become a powerful communication tool for both politicians and media professionals and has changed the way these two groups correspond with one another and with constituents. Little research has been conducted on state-level political and media institutions’ use of Twitter and this two-project piece aims to fill this void. Project 1 identifies the extent to which journalists covered United States governors’ tweets in 2017. Generally, very few tweets per governor were covered. Project 2 is a case study about Kentucky politicians’ and media’s use of Twitter during the state’s 2018 Legislative Session. By observing their use of the legislative hashtag, #kyga18, it became evident that Twitter served as an educational tool, where tweets were used to explain the complexities of critical pension reform legislation that would affect many Kentucky residents and their families. Overall, politicians were most influential on Twitter, and media’s usage was not as prominent. Nonetheless, this piece provides a basic understanding of Twitter’s presence in state-level political and media institutions and serves as a stepping stone for further research to be conducted.

Date

10-23-2018

Committee Chair

Darr, Joshua

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