Politicians and the Internet

Melody Kay Gwilliam, West Virginia University


The topic for this thesis examines the utilization of senatorial websites by United States Senators as a new communication tool. Three different areas of content will be examined: informational content, interactive content and audio-visual content. Those three areas will be used to examine the differences between Senators in several different ways: gender and race, party affiliation, length of service in the senate, region of the country they represent, urban and rural states, and age of the Senators. The results showed 6 significant findings in the areas of content: Democrats had more informational content; Northern Senators had the best and Midwestern Senators had the least audio-visual content; newer Senators in the senate had more informational content; and younger Senators had more informational, interactive, and total content.