Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 1 Running Head: The Information Transfer Cycle within the State

of the Union Address

The Information Transfer Cycle within the State of the Union Address Katie Hill LI 803 March 16, 2008

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 2 The Information Transfer Cycle within the State of the Union Address

INTRODUCTION The State of the Union address is a speech given annually, usually in January, by the President of the United States. The purpose of the State of the Union

address is to give the American people along with the members of Congress an update on the state of the United States as well as the agenda that the President’s administration has in store for the upcoming year (Hill, 2007,pg. 3). The information transfer process is heavily grounded in the structure of the State of the Union address. The

objective of the State of the Union address is to convey the information that the President and his administration has in regards to the status of the country.

CREATION Creation is defined by the idea that knowledge is created by those who hold authority in their perspective fields of study (Achleitner, “Information Transfer Definitions” handout.) Within the context of the State of

the Union address there are two possible levels of

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 3 knowledge creation. The first would be the original

creation, or the need for the State of the Union address, which is clearly stated within Article II, Section three of the United States Constitution, which states that the President must “from time to time” give an address of the state of the union. The second knowledge creation can be In more recent

found in all of the addresses that follow.

history, the knowledge creation of the State of the Union address can be found within the media and the press. President is put under constant scrutiny by the press. Political analysts and journalists, being considered professionals, create the idea that either the President has handled his position in an improper manner, or that the American people believe that a change in governmental policy needs to be made. By the simple act of reporting The

their findings and opinions, the journalists have created the reason for the President to explain his actions and to let the American people know where he plans to take them in the new year.

DISSEMINATION Dissemination, as defined by Scullion, is simply, “to distribute, spread or scatter research findings or policy initiatives” (2002, pg. 68). This scattering usually takes

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 4 place within an academic context, meaning the information is published in scholarly journals and articles. When looking at the State of the Union address it seems quite obvious that the address, more specifically, the address in the years after President Woodrow Wilson returned the address to speech form, is the act of dissemination. State of the Union Address is itself the process of dissemination. The President gives his speech, which is The

transmitted over the radio and television waves, it’s printed in books and newspapers, and with the invention of the internet can be found online. Through all of these

mediums the information contained within the State of the Union can reach people, not only in the United States, but around the world.

ORGANIZATION Organization refers to the way that information is classified and categorized. The State of the Union

addresses have been published in a series titled The State of the Union Messages of the Presidents. Within the Dewey

Decimal classification (DDC) system, this book can be located under the call number 353.035. Under the Library of Congress classification (LCC) system, this book can be located under J81.C66. There are also many books that have

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 5 been written that critically analyze the State of the Union addresses given by the Presidents. Donna Hoffman and

Alison Howard’s book, Addressing the State of the Union: the Evolution and Impact of the President’s Big Speech, is an example of this type of book. This book can be located

under 352.23 in the DDC and under JK587.H65 in the LCC system.

DIFFUSION Diffusion and Dissemination are closely related. As

mentioned earlier, Dissemination relates to the scattering or dispersing of information, while Diffusion relates to the understanding or comprehension of information. According Roger Everett, Diffusion has four main elements, those being communication channels, innovation, social system, and time (2003, pg. 10). In this sense, the idea

of Diffusion within the context of the State of the Union address could be categorized as analysis provided by the media and political analysts. Once the President’s address Many

is made public the media tears it apart word by word.

times the speech uses terminology that the average American would not necessarily understand. The political analysts

look at what the President said; break it down in a manner that would help the American people to understand. There

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 6 are also a lot of editorials written in response to the State of the Union. In many cases the editorials are not

written in praise of the President’s speech as the article “TRB from Washington: Presidential” shows. This article

written by Michael Kelly (1997) in the magazine the New Republic bashes President Clinton for his technique in delivering the 1997 State of the Union Address. In short, if one were to apply Everett’s elements of diffusion to the State of the Union address, the innovation would be the ideas brought up within the speech, the social system would be the idea of democracy and how the constitution requires the speech, the channels of communication refer to all of the venues in which the State of the Union address is projected, and time refers to the short length of time in which it takes for the process of diffusion to take place in regards to the analysis of the State of the Union.

UTILIZATION Utilization, as defined by the American Heritage College Dictionary, is to find a profitable or practical use (1997). Within the Information Transfer Cycle it

refers to the development of strategies and policies that allow the knowledge to be used (Achleitner, “Information

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 7 Transfer Definitions” handout). In the framework of the

State of the Union address, Utilization can be found with the legislation that comes out of the advice given by the President. In most cases the President will give One must

suggestions throughout the State of the Union.

remember that the State of the Union is actually directed towards Congress, it just happens to be made available to the American people; so most of the suggestions made by the President are made in an attempt to prompt Senators and Congressmen to write legislation about a particular issue. However, the President does take advantage of the fact that the address is made available to the American people. If

the President can plant the idea of a particular piece of legislation in the American people, they in turn will harass their Congressmen to do something in response.

PRESERVATION Preservation of materials is one of the main purposes that libraries serve. Libraries not only provide access to

books, but they collect materials in an attempt to preserve them. The State of the Union is considered an important Records of all Congressional Along

part of American history.

dealings are permanently kept by the government.

with this record, the State of the Union address can be

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 8 accessed by patrons of most libraries. As mentioned

before, the State of the Union addresses have been published in a series. This series can be found in many Also, with the use of

libraries around the world.

technology and the internet there is a digital record of the State of the Union addresses. Along with the above

mentioned forms of preservation, most Presidents have their own Presidential Libraries, usually located in their home state. These Presidential libraries hold all documents and

artifacts that pertain to their perspective President.

CONCLUSION To summarize, the information transfer cycle stages can be found in the political science field, and more specifically they can be found within the State of the Union Address. As learned in the Spring 2008 LI803: Information Transfer and the Knowledge Society, at the School of Library and Information Management at Emporia State University, Emporia, Kansas, the information transfer cycle can be found across the disciplines. It may not

always be recognizably found, but with some critical analysis, the following stages, Creation, Dissemination, Organization, Diffusion, Utilization, and Preservation, can be found in any discipline.

Information Transfer Cycle: State of the Union 9 References

Hill, Katie. (2007). Lights, Camera, Action: A Look at How the State of the Union Address has Changed Over the Years. Senior Thesis, McPherson College, McPherson, KS. Houghton Mifflin Company. (1993). The American heritage College Dictionary. Boston: Houghton Mifflin. Kelly, Michael. (1997, February 24). TRB from Washington: Presidential. New Republic, 6. Rogers, Everett. (2003). Elements of Diffusion. Diffusion of Innovation, 1-37. New York: Free Press. Scullion, P.A. (2002). Effective Dissemination Strategies. Nurse Researcher, 10(1), 65-68. United States, & Israel, F. L. (1966). The State of the Union messages of the Presidents, 1790-1966. New York: Chelsea House.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful