Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Open Access)


Colby College. Government Dept.




I continue to believe that the press are very powerful in the shaping of public opinion about the Congress, since they serve as one of the only sources of information about the Congress. I conclude that Congress, as an institution, must find ways, other than through the mass media, to inform the American public of its activities. Since I have identified a clear connection between the negative press coverage of Congress as an institution and negative public opinion of Congress as an institution, I believe that an increase in the dissemination of positive information about the institution of Congress may have a positive effect on public opinion. Therefore, positive information about Congress disseminated through web sites like THOMAS, high school civics classes, and maybe even direct mailings from the Congress itself could work to decrease the impact of this negative press coverage.

In conclusion, the American public must be free to judge its government. I have found that this is not the case as the press maintain a very influential role in the shaping of public opinion about the Congress as an institution. While the cynical nature of the media is not necessarily a bad thing, it must be countered so that Americans are provided with a variety of information from which to judge their Congress. The American public must be free to judge their Congress in order to secure the future of the American democracy.


Press and politics -- United States, Government and the press -- United States, Press Influence, Mass media -- Political aspects