Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Reed College of Media


Reed College of Media

Committee Chair

Terry Wimmer.


This study examines the effects of media concentration of ownership on editorial page vigor of West Virginia daily newspapers that changed from independent to non-independent ownership from 1965 to present. A content analysis over two-time periods, a one-week constructed sample while under independent ownership and a one-week constructed sample after the newspaper changed to non-independent ownership, suggests that overall editorial page vigor does not change. However, data concerning editorial geographic focus and number of letters to the editor suggest an increase in vigor after moving to non-independent ownership. That is, the newspapers published more locally focused editorials and more letters to the editor while under non-independent ownership rather than while under independent ownership as predicted in the hypotheses. This is the first known study to include columns, as well as editorials and letters to the editor, in an editorial page vigor analysis. An expanded study to include newspapers in similar regions and a larger constructed week sample is suggested. An examination of editorial cartoons, in addition to editorials, columns and letters to the editor, is also suggested for future editorial page vigor research.