Sarah T. May

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Deborah Smith Howell


Like the air we breathe, the media permeate our society. Twenty-four hours a day news and information is available from all reaches of the earth. Because the majority of our knowledge of the world around us comes from the media, they have tremendous power over how people, places and events are perceived (Graber, 1997). Whether the story publicizes controversial issues such as same-sex marriage, or tugs at patriotic themes like flag burning, by giving air times or column inches, media imply certain values and beliefs and newsworthy. In a democratic society, media do not say what to think, but highlighting people, places and events through their reporting, news media indicate what to think about (Levy & Robinson, 1986).


A Thesis Presented to the Department of Communication and the Faculty 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 1999 Sarah T. May.