Media Coverage of Crises Faced by Higher Education Institutions

by Conrad, Robert A., Ph.D., UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, RENO, 2011, 176 pages; 3457529


The purpose of this dissertation is to examine how different news media covered four higher education crises or controversies: the Ward Churchill academic freedom controversy, the shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Lawrence Summers' controversial tenure as Harvard University's president, and the Duke University lacrosse team scandal. Using the Leximancer software, lexical concepts of news coverage—from news blogs, the Associated Press, and the Chronicle of Higher Education—for each case data were collected subjected to a chi-square test of independence. Additional analysis examined whether the top-five lexical concepts were consistent with framing theory's five frames of crisis news coverage and whether news coverage in year one differed from year two. Results show that media cover higher education crises differently. Crisis communications recommendations are given for public relations personnel and for administrators and other leaders of higher education institutions who may experience a crisis event or a controversy.

AdviserDeborah A. Verstegen
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsMarketing; Journalism; Higher education administration
Publication Number3457529

About ProQuest Dissertations & Theses
With nearly 4 million records, the ProQuest Dissertations & Theses (PQDT) Global database is the most comprehensive collection of dissertations and theses in the world. It is the database of record for graduate research.

PQDT Global combines content from a range of the world's premier universities - from the Ivy League to the Russell Group. Of the nearly 4 million graduate works included in the database, ProQuest offers more than 2.5 million in full text formats. Of those, over 1.7 million are available in PDF format. More than 90,000 dissertations and theses are added to the database each year.

If you have questions, please feel free to visit the ProQuest Web site - - or contact ProQuest Support.