SO ORDERED: A Textual Analysis of United States’ Governors’ Press Release Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Taylor Voges (Grady Ph.D. Student) and Matthew Binford (Grady Ph.D. Student). SO ORDERED: A Textual Analysis of United States’ Governors’ Press Release Responses to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. San Fransisco, August 6-9, 2020

Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic presents a unique environment from which each individual state, in the United States, has been forced to address their publics. In order to understand how each state has engaged with this pandemic, a textual analysis of each state’s governor’s first press release was conducted; five thematic trends were identified. Through use of risk communication, contingency theory (using external threat variables), and utilitarianism framework, the implications of these press releases are discussed.