First Ladies take on highly visible public roles within the American political system. They serve as role models for American women, symbolically representing the upper-middle-class-white American woman. The mass media cover extensively the women who become first ladies and symbolism associated with the firstladyship. The purpose of the present study is to provide a systematic examination of New York Times coverage of first ladies to understand and interpret change that has occurred in coverage. The findings suggest that first ladies have the opportunity to take advantage of the first lady podium and use it to meet public expectations and fulfill personal agendas, causing media to respond by covering them differently than in the past.
Library of Congress Subject Headings
New York Times; Presidents' spouses--United States--Press coverage
Communication and Media Technologies (MS)
Department, Program, or Center
Department of Communication (CLA)
Scheible, Jacqueline M., "The east wing beat: The Changing role of first lady" (2004). Thesis. Rochester Institute of Technology. Accessed from
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