Date of Award


Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation


School of Journalism and Mass Communications

First Advisor

Kenneth Campbell


In January 2007, Senator Hillary Clinton announced her intention to run in the 2008 presidential primary and became the first woman in United States history to be a front-runner for a major political party's presidential nomination, This dissertation examines television news representations of Clinton and the implications of those representations on the formation of collective memory associated with female politicians, especially at the national level.

Using a grounded theory analysis, the study identifies three themes that are present in network television news stories covering Clinton during her life when it was most public, from 1993 through 2008. Drawing on the theory of collective memory, this study presents the argument that these television representations had implications on the memory viewers had of Hillary Clinton during the public phases of her life. Like an onion, collective memory is formed layer by layer, each new story adding a dimension to the memories of those who see it. The themes presented in this study--news influences, innovator and image-making -- are a foundation for discussing the implications that the news stories had on the collective memory of the viewers watching them.


© 2010, Mary Elizabeth McLaughlin