Author(s)

Gregory Richter

Date Approved

6-22-2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Public Relations

Department

Public Relations/Advertising

College

College of Communication & Creative Arts

First Advisor

FitzGerald, Suzanne

Subject(s)

Wind power plants--New Jersey;Public relations

Disciplines

Public Relations and Advertising

Abstract

The purposes of this exploratory investigation were to (a) determine if the local government of Ocean Gate, NJ, would use communication techniques to achieve compliance, or sufficient approval, of government and citizens for wind turbine development and (b) determine if some citizens will express strong views against wind energy while the majority of Ocean Gate's citizens will favor wind turbine power generation in their municipality. This researcher used interviews with important figures surrounding the wind project. This researcher also conducted pen and paper survey research of 106 local residents of Ocean Gate and surrounding areas through a convenience sample found outside the Ocean Gate Post Office. The researcher conducted a content analysis of news headlines comprising three months before through three months after Ocean Gate's wind turbine began operation and three months before and three months after each of two wind turbines began operating in Hull, MA. A few survey respondents expressed strong negative opinions towards wind energy in Ocean Gate, but most respondents, 78%, supported wind energy in Ocean Gate. The interviews supported both hypotheses.

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