Date of Award

1993

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A.

Department

Communication Studies

First Advisor

Hildebrandt, K.

Keywords

Mass Communications.

Rights

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

Abstract

This thesis examines the relationship between access to local sources of local mass communication (television, radio, daily and weekly newspapers) and levels of political participation in municipal elections in Ontario using macro and micro level data. Aggregate level data was generated by combining a dataset containing information from all the 1985 municipal elections in Ontario with information about each municipality's local media. This lets us examine elections which take place simultaneously and within the same general political and cultural context but with widely varying configurations of local media present. The aggregate level measures of political participation used are: whether the head of council is elected or acclaimed, the turnout rate, the percentage of incumbents on council and the percentage of council positions contested. Micro level data was gathered from surveys done in the city of Windsor, Ontario before and after the city lost its only televised source of local news. This allows us to examine political participation at the individual level with access to media physically varied. At the survey level two measures of political participation and two levels of community involvement are used: interest in local politics, voting in local politics, attending local government meeting and awareness of local issues. Aggregate findings indicate that the presence of local media affects levels of political participation. In rural areas of the province local media is generally limited to weekly newspapers which usually have positive effects on participation. Urban centres have many different combinations of local media present. The same medium may have different effects on municipalities of different sizes and on different types of political participation, suggesting that the underlying process may be different. There is no clear support for the hypothesis that the number of different types of media present has an effect, although findings suggest different combinations of media may have different effects.Dept. of Communication Studies. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis1993 .Y685. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 32-02, page: 0382. Adviser: Kai Hildebrandt. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 1993.

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