Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Mass Communications

Major Professor

Robert Dardenne, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Deni Elliott, Ph.D.

Committee Member

S. Elizabeth Bird, Ph.D.


Culture, Folklore, Journalism, Myth, Storytelling


This study explores the local news story for evidence of the folktale tradition. It examines a range of local news stories for their folktale functions. The study compares the cultural and psychological function of the news story to that of the folktale and compares the functional definition of folklore to that of journalism. The study also explores the idea of a classifiable sphere of formal character, motif and plot functions that may be explored within the news story and folktale texts. This study builds on the premise that the study of folklore should be at the center of a consideration of the cultural context of local news stories.

Using the ideas of formal classification, the study examines a selection of local news stories with folktale characteristics for evidence of folktale functions as structural features within the text. In analyzing content, the study employs a structuralist methodology to evaluate the folktale and mythic functions in the text. The study evaluates the selection of purposefully chosen news story texts for the existence of folktale functions, types, motifs, and key master myths defined formally by a structuralist methodology.

In part, this study explores how folklore acts within culture as a socio-psychological dynamic. From the findings of the critical reading, the study begins to probe the idea of the folktale function of journalism as a cultural psychodynamic. Through the analysis of a selection of carefully chosen regional texts, this study provides an example of the application of the folktale function of journalism, examining the news story as a page in the tradition of folklore.