Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Hugh Cowdin

Second Advisor

Dr. Kent Kirwin

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael Sherer


The possible effects of external imagery in televised political campaign advertising upon our electoral system, coupled with the current public interest in this area, could lead to a call for legislation restricting televised political advertisements to a "talking head" format. This study found that a statute regulating televised political campaign advertisements in this manner would violate the first amendment to the United States Constitution. The regulation of external imagery would not be a valid time, place and manner restriction because external imagery is compatible with messages on the television medium and the regulation of external imagery would not be content-neutral. It is unlikely that the courts would find the regulation to be a valid content-based restriction because a compelling government interest does not exist. This study concludes that the best solution to the problems presented by external imagery in televised political advertising is not for government intervention, but for the citizens and the press to be actively involved in political affairs.


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Facutly of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright 1993, Les J. Gwartney