International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Global Announcements of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi: A Content Analytic Approach to Press Releases Issued Between 1959 and 1991
Lee Fergusson

Press releases form a distinct and important sub-genre of communications theory and represent a valuable means of discourse with news media and the public. By mediating words and images in a timely way, press releases provide a direct means for a person or organisation to transmit opinion and content about topics of social, public and/or professional interest. Such was the case with the press releases of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi who, through his various national and international news services, communicated with the media and general public on a variety of social issues. However, the contents of these press releases have never been systematically investigated or discussed. Using established content analytic methods from communications theory, the purpose of this research was to uncover the features and structure of Maharishi’s press releases and to explore their main themes. In a two-phase research design, 691 press releases were analysed for1) issuing entity,2) date of issuance,3) place of issuance,4) direct quotations,5) media frame,6) focus of frame,7) content area, and 8) themes. Results indicate that across a 32-year period, Maharishi communicated in a consistent and intelligible way, connecting and interweaving Vedic and scientific content associated with current events and topics of social importance.

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