Honors Program Theses


Honors Program Thesis (UNI Access Only)

First Advisor

Catherine Palezewski

Second Advisor

Christopher R. Martin


Presidential candidates--Religious aspects--Press coverage--United States; Religion and politics--Press coverage--United States; Religion and the press--United States;


This paper is a response to a gap in the literature regarding both religion and politics, and their intersection in media. Although there is some research into the way media frame the news, “Media scholars have tended to overlook religion for both theoretical and methodological reasons. Media theorists have tended to adhere to a rather strict definition of secularization” (Hoover 18). Religion may be difficult to study and analyze within the news, however it is a necessary field of study. Furthermore, the intersection of religion and politics demands study as “research suggests that religion may be an increasingly important dynamic in the U.S. democratic process” (Glacock, Livesay, and Ruggerio 257).

Regardless of an individual's views towards religion and the role that it plays currently in the United States government, it still demands analysis due to its influential nature over the political process. This research seeks to answer several questions: (1) How do media frame the religion of political candidates, and are there themes or patterns in how media cover religion in this political context? (2) Does the coverage of religion vary depending on the specific religion? and (3) Does the framing of a politicians’ religion focus more on issues or personal character?

Year of Submission



Department of Communication Studies

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (37 pages)



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