Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)


Brand and Media Strategy

Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Susan E. Waters

Committee Members

Melanie Richards, Phyllis Thompson


Past research shows that journalists are gatekeepers to information the public seeks. Using the gatekeeping and agenda-setting theory, this study used a content analysis of tweets from political journalists during the final 2016 presidential debate to examine social media usage in efforts to convey information to followers and whether social media has allowed for journalists to present a more transparent view of candidates to the public. This study used feminist political theory to further analyze whether the tweets from political journalists portrayed Hillary Clinton, the female candidate, with stereotypical “female” traits, such as more emotional and more trustworthy. Applying these theories, this study found that political journalists use social media for personal uses and when discussing politics are still gatekeepers of information. When the debates were discussed, the study demonstrates there was little discussion via tweets of gendered traits and issues in regards to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.