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The Role of Information Among Policy Elites: A Case Study of the Federal Communications Commission

Perry, Mark R (2009) The Role of Information Among Policy Elites: A Case Study of the Federal Communications Commission. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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For the most part, Federal Communication Commission policy has gone unnoticed by the American public for most of its seventy-five year history. That all changed in the spring of 2003. In the fall of 2001, the FCC launched its Third Biennial Review of media ownership rules. By the spring of 2003, the FCC was inundated with electronically filed comments, most of which expressed displeasure at the proposed rule which relaxed ownership rules for both television and radio. The resulting vote of 3-2 in favor of the rule change outraged many Americans. This research is a case study focused on determining the role that information played in decision making among the policy elites of the FCC. Given the limitations of a positivist approach to policy study, this study employs the methodology of Network Text Analysis (NTA) and Social Network Analysis (SNA) to discover knowledge maps. This discovery is intended to reveal what criteria guided the decisions that emerge in the written policy, the five commissioner comments, the Third District Court opinion, the 12 FCC commissioned studies, and the public record. This analysis, which uses SNA, reveals consistent concepts or knowledge maps; primarily reasoned analysis, competition, legal, and broadcast media. Additionally, this research shows that the policy itself was most responsive to ecomments filed by corporations and interest groups - not individual citizens. The research shows that the media had little influence in this policy primarily because they reported on the policy during the week that the policy was released.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Perry, Mark
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairComfort, Louise
Committee MemberNelson, Lisa S
Committee MemberCoontz, Phyllis D
Committee MemberCarbo, Toni
Date: 30 September 2009
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 22 April 2009
Approval Date: 30 September 2009
Submission Date: 16 September 2009
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Graduate School of Public and International Affairs > Public and International Affairs
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: AutoMap; FCC; media ownership; NTA; policy decision-making; public policy; SNA
Other ID:, etd-09162009-050342
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:02
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:50


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