Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communication

Document Type



This dissertation explores the differences in the quality of radio foreign news and foreign correspondents between CBS during World War II and NPR during the Iraq War II. Triangulating quantitative and qualitative methods (content analysis, historical research, and in-depth interviews), this study proposes a model of quality foreign news to help determine what the Murrow tradition means. The model is then used to test if that celebrated tradition lives on in a non-commercial setting at NPR. The two-pronged model pulls together theories of mass communication and historical accounts to assess (1) the quality of the foreign correspondents at the two organizations, and (2) the quality of foreign correspondence during the two eras. The study is the first to measure what the Murrow tradition means in a systematic, longitudinal analysis. It is important to compare the present against the so-called “golden age of foreign correspondence” because of a perceived decline in the credibility of news in general and in the quality of foreign news in particular. The newsroom analysis found that the new generation of foreign correspondents at NPR match or exceed the qualities of the Murrow Boys. The content analysis found that the foreign news at NPR scores higher across all quality journalism variables, suggesting that foreign news is not an endangered species in subsidized settings. NPR correspondents further shared their insights and perspectives on the present and future of radio foreign correspondence.



Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Secure the entire work for patent and/or proprietary purposes for a period of one year. Student has submitted appropriate documentation which states: During this period the copyright owner also agrees not to exercise her/his ownership rights, including public use in works, without prior authorization from LSU. At the end of the one year period, either we or LSU may request an automatic extension for one additional year. At the end of the one year secure period (or its extension, if such is requested), the work will be released for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

John Maxwell Hamilton