Kim E. Higgs

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




This study of the Nonpartisan Leagues (NPL) newspaper, Nonpartisan League Leader, examined the interaction between the social, economic, and political environment of North Dakota at the turn of the century and the founding and growth of the NPL Leader. The impact of mass media, specifically newspapers, on farming communities is a forceful tool in shaping social, economic and political processes of those communities. This impact provides a perspective that news is embedded with values, beliefs, and customs of a specific political, economic and cultural system. The evidence presented in the Letter to the Editor column provided the view that news is a social process, and that the views presented in those letters had an impact on the cultural, political and social environment of the community. It is further held that the power over discourse benefits those who own the tools of production and other elite in society.

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