Department - Author 1

Journalism Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Journalism



Primary Advisor

Dan Eller


The following study focused on media coverage of the socioeconomically disadvantaged student population at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA and its immediate surrounding community. Specifically, this study pointed out the gaps in the existing coverage and it looked for ways to fill in those gaps. In additional to filling the gaps, the study emphasized the agenda-setting theory, to bring more awareness and understanding of the struggles and existence of the mentioned student demographic in a city most commonly known as an affluent and not so diverse area of California. To bring this awareness and understanding, four interviews were done with local educational professionals in this specific area. The professionals were from Cal Poly and the San Luis Coastal Unified School District, and their responses from interviews done individually with them were used as qualitative data for this study. The interviews and responses brought to light experiences and issues that were connected to existing literature. The research questions were geared to helping bring a new focus on the media coverage of this demographic. The study concludes with summarizing what could be the new agenda for coverage on this topic, recommendations of possible story pitches, and further study to be done to advance this coverage.