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Publication Date


Date of Final Oral Examination (Defense)


Type of Culminating Activity

Thesis - Boise State University Access Only

Degree Title

Master of Arts in Communication



Major Advisor

John G. McClellan, Ph.D.


Gregory Hill, Ph.D.


Julie Lane, Ph.D.


This study explores the complexities of delivering messages to the public at times when different government agencies need to interact and work together. Embracing a qualitative interpretive approach, this study analyzes the meanings of media messages and the perceptions of intergovernmental collaborators to gain insight into two cases of intergovernmental collaboration. Investigating how messages were crafted for journalists covering the situations as well as how collaborative agencies built trust, shared responsibilities, and avoided blame by studying the communications emerging from these cases and interviewing public administrators involved in at least one of these two cases. Overall, this study provides insights to better understand practices of intergovernmental collaboration, and offers suggestions for improving these practices to enhance public confidence and trust when they are receiving critical public service messages.