Newspaper Division 2010 Abstracts

Open Competition
Courting Iran: The New York Times and Washington Post News Coverage of the March 2000 U.S. Foreign Policy Changes • ABHINAV AIMA, Penn State New Kensington • This content analysis study of the sources quoted in news reporting on Iran in March 2000 found that U.S. Government and U.S.-policy friendly sources continued to dominate the news reporting in The New York Times and Washington Post, even though the foreign policy toward Iran was shifted from a hawkish to a dovish posture. The U.S. Government, in particular, was able to assert itself in the news coverage with 34% of source attributions for all news attributions in the reporting of The New York Times and Washington Post. The two newspapers also showed no statistically significant differences in the sourcing of their news stories, thereby indicating a propaganda effect on news routines that was prevalent in both of the leading national newspapers.

Now Tweet This: How News Organizations Use Twitter • Cory Armstrong, University of Florida; Fangfang Gao, University of Florida • This study examined how Twitter is used as a content dissemination tool within the news industry. Using content analysis, this study looked at tweets of nine news organizations over a four-month period to determine how individuals, links, news headlines and subject areas were employed within the 140-character limits. Results indicated that regional media tended to differ in usage from both local and national media and that broadcast news agencies were more likely to tweet multimedia packages than were print-based organizations. Crime and public affairs coverage were the most tweeted topics, the results indicated. Implications were discussed.

Sporting a New Angle: A Content Analysis of Journalists’ and Bloggers’ Framing of Rush Limbaugh’s Failed NFL Ownership Bi • Marie Hardin, John Curley Center for Sports Journalism, Penn State University; Erin Ash, Pennsylvania State University • As their audiences have increased, the practices and professionalism of bloggers in the sports blogosphere have been scrutinized by scholars and journalists alike. This research explores differences between bloggers and journalists by examining the ways each type frames sports stories with significant social impact. Differences in the ways journalists and bloggers contextualize a story were revealed through a content analysis of media columns and blogs that covered Rush Limbaugh’s failed attempt to become an NFL owner.

A Discourse Analysis of Supreme Court Case Coverage in News Magazines and NewspapersKathryn Blevins, The Pennsylvania State University; Courtney Barclay, Newhouse School at Syracuse University • The Supreme Court is one of the most respected yet obscure institutions in the United States. Due in part to this obscurity, most citizens rely news coverage of the Supreme Court for information about the decisions and how these decisions impact their lives. Past research has indicated an overall decrease in the coverage of Supreme Court decisions though, which is particularly problematic in light of citizens’ reliance on news reporting and interpretation. This study used a recent First Amendment free speech case Morse v. Frederick as a case study to examine coverage in high circulating news magazines and newspapers. The study examined issues of quantity and quality of coverage as well as accuracy and thematic content. Overall quantity was consistent with past studies that found that news magazines tend to have fewer stories than newspapers. This study found a possible emergent trend in newspapers having a higher quality of coverage, while in the past news magazines tended to have better written stories. Accuracy in reporting was an issue in both news magazines and newspapers and a critical discourse analysis of themes found strong institutional themes within specific publications, but no themes that could be generalized from the coverage when it was taken as a whole.

Searching for the core of journalism education: Program directors widely disagree on curriculum priorities • Robin Blom, Michigan State University; Lucinda Davenport, Michigan State University • Journalism educators must make important decisions on the core curriculum: the courses that all journalism students must take to graduate. There is much variety between schools, which brings the question of what kind of curriculum core journalism directors, overall, prefer. This study with a sample of 134 directors indicates that they widely disagree on which specific courses are the most important for all journalism students to take to become competent in the industry.

The Anonymous Poster: Today’s Hybrid of the Anonymous Pamphleteer and Anonymous Source? Lola Burnham, Eastern Illinois University; William Freivogel, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • Editors and judges face novel questions about how to treat anonymous posters to news sites. Is the anonymous poster more like the anonymous pamphleteer or anonymous source? Some judges have provided posters with as much or more protection than sources. Yet anonymous sources are more deserving of protection than posters. Newspapers vet anonymous sources, know their identity and know they possess authoritative information. Newspapers risk current legal protections by equating posters with sources.

Walking a Tightrope: Obama’s Duality as Framed by Selected African American Columnists • Kenneth Campbell, University of South Carolina; Ernest Wiggins, University of South Carolina • We examine columns of three Pulitzer Prize-winning African American columnists to identify the frames they used to offer perspective on the candidacy and early administration of Barack Obama, the first African American president in the United States. The period under study stretches from the time when it became clear that Obama would be the Democratic Party’s presidential nominee to the first six months of his administration. We find that the columnists — Leonard Pitts of The Miami Herald, Eugene Robinson of The Washington Post and Cynthia Tucker of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution — concentrated on a frame of duality to explain Obama’s historic election bid and early presidency.

News and Community in a Tumultuous Border Region • Cathleen Carter, Colorado State University; Kris Kodrich, Colorado State University • This ethnographic study examines the complexity of reporting the news in a tumultuous border region. Using observation and interview, it reveals how reporters and editors at the El Paso Times define their roles and responsibilities as they cover the violence as well as daily life on both sides of the United States/Mexico border. The study examines how journalists at the El Paso Times attempt to meet the needs of the community, which in this case encompasses two major cities – Ciudad Juarez and El Paso – separated by a river, the Rio Grande. Juarez, where thousands of men, women and children have been murdered in recent years, is one of the most dangerous cities in the world. The El Paso Times newsroom is seven blocks from Juarez. This study, conducted in the El Paso Times newsroom in October-November 2009, shows that journalists at the El Paso Times consider Juarez an integral part of their community. Subsequently, the journalists attempt to cover Juarez as best they can, despite the danger.

Hiring for Change? A Content Analysis of Newspaper Industry Job Ads Appearing on JournalismJobs.com and Editor & Publisher • Johanna Cleary, University of Florida; Meredith Cochie, University of Florida • This study examines the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs) prioritized by news managers who are hiring and offers conclusions about what employers value during this time of great change. It compares today’s priorities with those of the 1980s – another time of significant change. The content analysis of 418 job ads is based on Lewin’s Planned Change Theory, which seeks to deconstruct transitional periods. Results show that technical skills are important, but leadership/management and multitasking capabilities are increasingly mentioned.

The gap between online journalism education and practice: The twin surveys • Ying Roselyn Du, Hong Kong Baptist University; Ryan Thornburg, UNC-Chapel Hill • The gap between journalism education and journalism practice has long been the focus of debates in the field. Amid the emergence of online journalism in the 1990s, the profession’s criticism of journalism education has continued unabated. It is ever important to revisit the old gap issue in this new context. This study attempts to examine the discordance between education and practice by comparing online journalism professionals and educators’ perceptions of key skills, concepts, and duties for online journalism. Findings of the twin surveys suggest that differences do exist in the online context.

Abortion and Same-Sex Marriage: Wedging Issues Together Through Indexing • Cindy Elmore, East Carolina University • This analysis of U.S. newspaper coverage of abortion during 2000-2005 reveals that abortion is frequently linked in the news with same-sex marriage. Bennett’s indexing theory is applied to explain how the issues came to be so frequently paired in the news. President George W. Bush and other Republican or conservative organization officials were found frequently linking the issues during the years examined, which, according to indexing, provided the impetus for journalists to perpetuate the pattern.

College newspaper editors and controversial topics: Applying the third-person effect and the willingness to self-censor • Vincent Filak, UW-Oshkosh • An examination of 189 matched pairs of college newspaper editors and college newspaper advisers found instances of third-person perceptions and a willingness to self-censor when editors reported their comfort levels regarding controversial material. Data from the pairings (n= 189) revealed that editors underestimated advisers’ comfort levels and that those estimations, while erroneous, were predictive of the editors’ comfort levels. In addition, while the advisers’ willingness to self-censor and actual comfort-level data was not predictive of the editors’ comfort levels on several controversial topics, the editors’ own ratings on the WTSC scale did predict the editors’ comfort with the material.

Effects of Quantitative Literacy and Information Interference on the Processing of Numbers in the News • Coy Callison, Texas Tech University; Rhonda Gibson, UNC; Dolf Zillmann, University of Alabama • This investigation examines how people of differing numeric skills form quantitative impressions on the basis of statistical information and exemplars in news reports. An experiment varied differences in quantitative literacy and exposure to quantitative information presented in base-rates, exemplars, and combinations of both. Additionally, interference from exposure to competing quantitative information was employed. Findings suggest that, irrespective of numeric skills, explicit statistics yield more accurate estimates than sets of exemplars. After interference from unrelated messages, however, individuals of superior numeracy show greater proficiency in processing statistical information, whereas persons of inferior numeracy rely more on exemplars in making quantitative assessments.

Understanding the News Habit: An Exploration of the Factors Affecting Media Choice Jonathan Groves, Drury University • This exploratory study used logistic regression analysis on a national media-usage survey to understand the role of habit in the decision-making process of consumers. The analysis considered habit in addition to other facets of a media-usage model based upon uses-and-gratifications theory. For all media, habit was a significant factor in whether people chose a medium as their primary source for news.

The G-20 Summit: An analysis of newspaper coverage of nine days that the world came to Pittsburgh • Steve Hallock, Point Park University • Analysis of the coverage of three national and two local newspapers of the world economic summit held in Pittsburgh in 2009 found a preference for official agendas over those of organizations that had attended to demonstrate in support their agendas. Demonstrated in story frequency and use of official sources, this preference revealed a media affinity with the elites and official organizations rather than a proclivity to serve as watchdog over them.

In the Rough: Tiger Woods’ Apology and Journalistic Antapologia • Paul Husselbee, Southern Utah University; Kevin Stein, Southern Utah University • This content analysis of newspaper treatment of Tiger Woods’ apology uses a hybrid of qualitative and quantitative methods to examine pre-apology coverage and journalistic antapologia (reaction to apology). Findings indicate that before and after the apology, journalists focused on Woods’ alleged character flaws, suggested that the apology did not take adequate responsibility, and questioned the motive for the apology. The tone of coverage was primarily neutral, although a significant amount of the coverage was unfavorable.

Covering a teenage killer: Using framing to qualitatively analyze Baltimore newspapers’ coverage of the murder of the Browning family • Kimberly Lauffer, Towson University; William Toohey, Towson University • Using frame analysis, the authors examined 40 written items and 32 photographs about the quadruple homicide of a Baltimore County family that appeared in five Baltimore-area newspapers and by the Associated Press between Feb. 3 and Feb. 26, 2008. We identified two dominant frames in the written stories immediately following the Browning murders: (1) the inexplicable nature of the crime and (2) the murderer as victim. We also noted a lack of adherence to journalistic standards of neutrality during this initial stage of coverage.

Editor Blogs: Ample Commentary, Little Transparency • Norman Lewis, Full-time faculty; Jeffrey C. Neely, University of Florida; Fangfang Gao, University of Florida • Journalists urge disclosure of how news decisions are made to build credibility, a task ideally suited for blogs. However, a survey of 280 daily newspapers found only 39 had a top editor who blogged, just 5.5% of 621 blog entries addressed news decisions, and few editors engaged readers in discussion. Only one newspaper had an editor blog that regularly discussed news decisions. The results question whether editors see transparency as a core journalistic value.

Conversational Journalism: An Experimental Test of Traditional and Collaborative Online News • Doreen Marchionni, Pacific Lutheran • The concept of journalism as a conversation has been richly explored in descriptive studies for decades. Largely missing from the literature, though, are clear operational definitions and empirical data that allow theory building for purposes of explanation and prediction. This controlled experiment sought to help close that gap by finding a way to first measure the concept of conversation, then to test it on key outcome measures of perceived credibility and expertise in online newspaper sites. Findings suggest that conversational journalism is a powerful, multi-dimensional news phenomenon, but also nuanced and fickle. Conversation features most predictive of credibility and expertise were audience members’ perceived similarity to a journalist and that journalist’s online interactivity with the audience. Findings also suggest that short, biographical videos of journalists may be key in conveying the feature of social presence, or humanness, of a journalist online.

The Transformation of Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age • Jon Marshall, Northwestern University • In the past decade, the Internet changed how investigative stories were presented. This study shows how new technology allowed readers to follow their own path through information using timelines, document links, video, audio, maps, and interactive graphics. By the end of the decade, digital tools had transformed how reporters gathered information through techniques such as crowdsourcing, wikis, and social networking. The Internet was giving investigative journalists powerful new tools while also draining newspapers of resources.

Polarization or Moderaterism? Activist Group Ideology in Newspapers • Michael McCluskey, Ohio State University; Young Mie Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Although a longstanding tradition suggests an enduring value of moderatism (Gans, 1979) in news, trends suggest growing polarization (Bennett & Iyengar, 2008). Survey data from 208 activist groups is merged with content from 118 newspapers about the activists (N = 4,329 articles) to analyze the moderatism vs. polarization question. Analysis shows that moderate groups, compared to ideologically polarized groups, were covered in newspapers with lower circulation and had less presence within the articles.

Agenda Setting and Print Media Coverage of College Football: Impact on Bowl Championship Series Matchups • Michael Mitrook, University of Florida; Todd Lawhorne, University of Florida This study examines the 2005-2008 Bowl Championship Series (BCS) in order to analyze the relationship among the agendas of voter opinion, print media coverage, and college football rankings. The study analyzed 500 print media stories, 42 college football voter polls (made up of Harris Interactive polls and USA Today Coaches polls), and BCS rankings. Significant correlations were found supporting agenda-setting effects in the voter opinion, print media coverage and BCS ranking relationship.

Training Sports Journalists in Converged Newsrooms: What Educators Need to Know to Train Sports Journalists • Ray Murray, Oklahoma State University; John McGuire, Oklahoma State University; Stan Ketterer, Oklahoma State University; Mike Sowell, Oklahoma State University With the trend toward convergence journalism, future newspaper sports journalists must know different skills from their predecessors. This research project investigated job skills desired of the next generation of sports journalists within newspaper organizations. Nearly 120 respondents managing newspaper sports departments were surveyed about job skills or attributes future employees must demonstrate. Through a factor analysis, four underlying dimensions were found: Reporting Skills (deemed most important by participants), Broadcasting Skills, Editing Skills, and Sports Knowledge.

When Citizens Meet Both Professional and Citizen Journalists: Social Trust, Media Credibility, and Perceived Journalistic Roles among Online Community News Readers • Seungahn Nah, University of Kentucky; Deborah Chung, University of Kentucky • Through a Web-based survey (N=238), this study examines how online community news readers perceive the roles of both professional and citizen journalists and predicts the extent to which social trust and media credibility contribute to the perceived journalistic roles. Analyses show that while both social trust and media credibility were positively related to the role conceptions of professional journalists, social trust was positively associated with the role conceptions of citizen journalists only. Implications are discussed for the relationship between social capital, media credibility, and perceived journalistic roles.

Community Conversation or ‘The New Bathroom Wall?’ Anonymous Online Comments and the Journalist’s Role • Carolyn Nielsen, Western Washington University • This nationwide survey of journalists working at small, mid-size, and large daily newspapers across the country measures their perception of professional role in regard to online comments. It finds most journalists see themselves as disseminators in regard to online comments. Most journalists are not frequently reading comments on their work and largely do not see comments as useful. Most have never replied to online comments on their work. However, they also do not see comments as a serious drain on time or negative impact to morale. Journalists strongly support the idea of allowing online comments on newspaper Web sites, but wish comment were not anonymous. Further, they are troubled by the racism and factual inaccuracies they see.

Latinos in mainstream and Latino press: An argument for Cultural Citizenship • Lisa Paulin, N.C. Central Univ. • The Latino population is growing faster in the southeastern United States than anywhere else in the country and impacting communities on numerous fronts. This study sheds light on the complexity of how Latinos are represented in North Carolina’s news media. Specifically, this content analysis examines coverage of five Latino issues in two mainstream and two Spanish-language (Latino) newspapers in North Carolina. My original goal was to capture an overview of the similarities and differences in how the newspapers covered newsworthy events or issues that were related to Latinos. The results, in fact, raise questions about how to define a Latino issue. The issues that were covered the most were related to gangs and the death of Jesica Santillán, and the least-covered issues were changes to driver’s licence laws and the Mt. Olive boycott. However, there were anomalies in the coverage that confounded these assertions. The two issues that received the least coverage had higher percentages of stories that were completely relevant to the issue. In my discussion, I propose using cultural citizenship to help define research on Latinos and other underrepresented groups for future research.

It is all the same newspaper to me: Assessment of the online newspapers through uses and gratification analysis and relationships with their print parents • Jelena Petrovic, University of New Mexico • This study deploys uses and gratification framework to assess the relationship between online and print newspapers. Using survey data, AMOS confirmatory factor analysis indicated emergence of two online-only gratifications – virtual community and process interactivity – that indicate that online readers act as both receivers and transmitters of information. MANOVA analysis and Pearson Product-Moment correlations between online and print gratifications provided support for a supplementary relationship between online and print newspapers.

Journalism’s layoff survivors tap resources to remain satisfied • Scott Reinardy, University of Kansas • Hobfoll’s (1989) Conservation of Resources Theory contends that individuals work to gain and defend valued resources. During difficult times, workers will tap into reserves to ward off stress. This study examines job satisfaction among 2,000 newspaper layoff survivors and the resources of organizational trust, morale, perceived job quality and organizational commitment. Those who are highly satisfied demonstrated higher levels of resources. Also, those with dwindling resources had diminished job satisfaction and intentions to leave journalism.

The Good, Bad, and Unknown: Coverage of Biotechnology in Media • Ann Reisner, University of Illinois; Gwen Soult, University of Illinois • As biotechnology research and application has become a controversial social issue; social movement organizations and leaders have emerged as the major voice for public protest. However, news theories suggest that the news is normally presented through established routine agencies, primarily government sources. As such, these theories would suggest that social movement organizations opposing genetic engineering in agriculture would have limited success in presenting their claims through established mainstream media. Through content analysis of 250 randomly selected Illinois newspapers, whose circulation is 40,000 or more, and television sources, the authors found that social movement organizations had considerable success in having their claims presented. Ideological position of the organization appears to be less important than the bureaucratic credentials of the main spokesperson in terms of success of gaining coverage.

Role Convergence, Newspaper Skills and Journalism Education: A Disconnect • John Russial, University of Oregon; Arthur Santana, University of Oregon • This study, based on a national sample of newspapers, examines role convergence in newspapers in light of the degree of multimedia produced. It finds a great deal of job specialization as well as some convergence of newsroom roles. Role convergence can be seen in certain job categories and in certain types of skills, but not across the board. Online staff jobs are the most more converged, but even for those employees, traditional skills are considered more important than new technical skills, such as multimedia. These findings raise questions about the belief that journalism programs must restructure their curricula to prepare students for converged jobs.

Giving Users a Plain Deal: Contract-Related Media Liability For Unmasking Anonymous Commenters • Amy Kristin Sanders, University of Minnesota-Tine Cities; Patrick File, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • Using legal research methodology, this paper examines a nascent legal issue for online news organizations: could they face civil liability for voluntarily unmasking anonymous commenters? An discussion of contract law, applied to a case study of six news Web sites, found many news organizations’ user agreements likely immunize them from contractually based liability, while in practice the news organizations claim that they zealously guard user privacy and will resist unmasking commenters at almost any cost. Are users getting a plain deal?

Electronic press run: An analysis of newspaper breaking news e-mail alerts • Jessica Smith, Texas Tech University • A content analysis of breaking news e-mail alerts (N=1,153) sent by 17 of the largest newspapers in the United States reveals that the topics of these alerts differs from the traditional topical distribution on newspaper front pages. The categories most heavily covered in the alerts are elections, sports, crime, and government. About 68% of the alerts correspond with stories in the next day’s print edition of the newspaper, but only about 35% of the alerts correspond to front-page stories. About 34% of the alerts contain any form of source attribution. These results have implications for intra-organization gatekeeping and the growing market for personalized mobile and electronic news delivery.
Decoding Darfur conflict: Media framing of a complex humanitarian crisis Mustafa Taha, American University of Sharjah, UAE • This qualitative study uses frame analysis to examine how the New York Times’ framed the conflict in the Sudanese region of Darfur between 2003-2007. Darfur has become a site of multi-dimensional conflict involving local, regional, and international actors. A traditional low-level local conflict between nomadic Arabs and African framers over water supply and grazing lands has degenerated into a massive racially-charged armed conflict engulfing the Sudanese region of Darfur, Chad, as well as the Central African Republic. Scarce economic resources, culture, race, religion, and identity constitute hot sites of struggle in Darfur. A robust United Nations force is being deployed in Darfur to put an end to a civil strife depicted by the Times as a genocidal war. Most of the Times’ depictions framed the conflict as an ethnic war between Arabs and Africans. The NYT put the blame squarely on Sudan government, called for more sanctions, and demanded bringing war criminals to the International Criminal Court (ICC). The only viable solution will be a fair and equitable peace negotiated settlement between Sudan government and the rebels.

An early history of newspaper agents • Tim Vos, University of Missouri School of Journalism; You Li, University of Missouri • This study reexamines the history of newspaper agents in the 19th century to determine who these agents were and what their duties included. The study used primary sources to examine an array of references to newspaper agents and to craft profiles on agents from 13 newspapers in the first half of the century. The results show a much broader array of duties and identities than current histories generally consider.

Frame-changing and Stages of a Crisis: Coverage of the H1N1 Flu Pandemic • Lily Zeng, Arkansas State University • This study examines the coverage of the H1N1 flu pandemic in the New York Times from a dynamic perspective. It identifies four stages of the crisis: Peak I, Valley, Peak II, and Post-Peak II. Based on a two-dimensional model, the study reveals that during the life span of the pandemic (April 2009 to February 2010), the newspaper maintained a consistent emphasis on the event as a national challenge and an apparent focus on current updates of the situation of the disease, especially during the two peak stages of the life span. When the crisis enters a new stage, however, the frame-changing strategy is usually employed to maintain the salience of the event on the news agenda.

Why Some Young Adults Dislike Print Newspapers and Their Ideas for Change • Amy Zerba, University of Florida • Eight focus groups across three cities were conducted with everyday young adults to understand why they don’t read print newspapers. This study deeply examined nonuses, like inconvenience, to uncover their true meanings. Participants suggested ways newspapers could change and critiqued a young adult newspaper. The participants were studied as two age groups, 18-24 and 25-29. Small group differences did emerge. Results showed these young adults are search-savvy news consumers who want choice and effortless news.

Under the Weather: The Impact of Weather on US Newspaper Coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Bu Zhong, Pennsylvania State University; Yong Zhou, Renmin University of China Investigating how weather may influence news reporting represents an effort of examining certain hypotheses concerning journalistic practices that may not match a known pattern of the profession. By using computer-aided content analysis, this study examined the effects of weather measured by the Air Pollution Index (API), temperature and climate (sunny or cloudy) on four US newspapers’ 2008 Beijing Olympic reports (N = 289), which are the New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today and Wall Street Journal. The results demonstrated that the API and temperature were significantly related to the number of negative words used in the four papers’ Olympics reports. In general, when the weather (air pollution, high temperature) went worse, US journalists in Beijing used more negative words in reporting the Olympics. But the climate was not found to have the same effect. Some differences existed between the newspapers in terms of the weather impact.

Newspaper

MacDougall Student Paper Competition
The elite press coverage of the 2009 health care reform debate • Steven Adams, Iowa State University (Greenlee School of JLMC) • Research condemned media coverage of the 1993-1996 health care reform debate, and this study seeks to determine whether the elite press followed suit in 2009. It applies paragraph-by-paragraph content analysis to investigate the framing and sourcing of articles in The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Results show that the issue/economic frame dominates the news coverage, in stark contrast to Clinton-era coverage; framing and sourcing change significantly over the course of the debate; and significant relationships exist between specific sources and frames.

Do Comments Count?: The Effects of Type and Amount of User-Generated Comments on News Stories • Erin Ash, Pennsylvania State University; Kirstie Hettinga, Penn State; Andrew Peeling, Pennsylvania State University • Most online newspapers provide feedback forums that allow readers to discuss, through commenting on particular stories, the topics presented in the news. A 2 x 2 x 2 mixed-factorial experiment (N = 95) investigated the relationship between the type and amount of user-generated comments on news stories and readers’ perceived level of journalistic quality. This study also examined bandwagon, expertise, and invasiveness heuristics as possible mediators of the relationship between comments and journalistic quality ratings.

Declarations of Independence: Experts, popular sources, and press independence in the health care debate • Matthew Barnidge, Louisiana State University • This study examines press independence from the government in the 2009 health care debate. It captures the discourse represented in the news about the debate by measuring sources and the expressions they make. This paper also outlines a distinction between various types of autonomy, and offers a new conceptualization of independence. The main question guiding this research is whether there is a substantial difference among the various viewpoints expressed by different types of news sources.

Young voters online news use and political tolerance: The influence of alternative news use to argument repertoire of college students • Mi Jahng, University of Missouri-Columbia; HyunJee Oh, University of Missouri • This study examines the use of alternative online news and the political discussion participations of adolescents. This study focused on finding see what feature of online news can encourage young college student voters to have higher political tolerance. We used argument repertoire as an indicator of political tolerance. We found that opinionated voice online news significantly improved the argument repertoire of the younger voters. Implications of this study are discussed in terms of facilitative role of press in democracy.

Social Network Sites as Another Publishing Platform for Newspapers • ALICE JU, University of Texas at Austin • With the growing popularity of social network sites, newspapers have been using social network sites such as Twitter and Facebook to distribute the news stories. This paper examines how many newspapers are using Twitter and Facebook as another publish platform, the relation between a newspaper’s website unique visitor and its social network site subscriber. The result shows that 1) most newspapers are using social network sites while reaching few audiences, 2) the relation between the number of unique website visitors and social network website subscribers doesn’t show significance, and 3) larger social network sites do not guarantee a broader audience.

Collective memory and discursive contestations: Reconstruction of a Maoist-Era Icon in China’s Government-controlled Newspapers • Ji Pan, University of South Carolina • To understand the dynamics of collective memory as carried by government-controlled media in transiting societies, this study textual-analyzed how China’s newspapers reconstructed the image of Lei Feng, a pre-reform hero worshipped by the entire nation since the 1960s. Drawing on collective memory conceptions, this study found that preservation and erasure of pre-reform meanings and factual narratives, present commemoration derived from preserved meanings and alternative chronicling by less-controlled media coexist in the reconstruction. In resonance to China’s cultural shift, the alternative chronicling humanized Mao’s flawless soldier into a lively and fashion-loving youth without directly confronting the newspaper discourses, which exploited the existing symbolism to promote economic development and the building of a harmonious society. Implications for the fluidity of collective memory and discursive contestations in transiting societies are discussed.

The influence of educational information on newspaper reader attitudes toward people with mental illness • Scott Parrott, The University of Alabama • Newspaper articles stereotypically portray people with mental illness as violent, unstable, and socially undesirable. The present research project examined whether the inclusion of educational material in an otherwise stereotypical newspaper article would foster less negative reader attitudes toward people with mental illness than an article without the educational material. The simple pre-test/post-test, within-groups experiment demonstrated limited success. Suggestions are made on ways newspaper reporters might produce less stigmatizing articles about mental illness.

Conversation or cacophony: Newspaper reporters’ attitudes toward online reader comments • Arthur Santana, University of Oregon • A relatively new addition to the list of interactive components at newspaper Web sites, online reader comment forums have both served and unnerved many journalists. This research, based on a national survey, demonstrates how newspaper reporters have ambivalent feelings toward the forums — tolerating them for occasional insights while despising them for harboring anonymous bullies and bigots. Either way, the forums have had an undeniable influence on the way newspaper journalists do their jobs.

Latino Candidates: Community Features, Newspaper Treatment, and Election Outcomes in 14 Southwestern Cities • jennifer schwartz, University of Oregon • This study explored the relationship between community structural characteristics (racial/ethnic diversity, percent Latino, and Latino median household income) and newspaper treatment of Latino and white candidates in 815 photographs and 608 photograph-associated headlines from 14 newspapers in the last two months of four statewide elections that occurred between 2003 and 2008 in the U.S. Southwest. Findings show newspapers in more racially/ethnically diverse cities provide a larger number of more prominent and more favorable visuals of Latino candidates than white candidates.

Integration or Law and Order – Editorial Stances of the Arkansas Gazette during the Central High Crisis • Donna Stephens, University of Central Arkansas; Nokon Heo, University of Central Arkansas • The study examines the editorial stances of the Arkansas Gazette during the Central High Crisis. In order to test proposed hypotheses, two independent coders conducted a content analysis of eighty-eight Gazette editorials that ran on the topic of the Central High Crisis from September 1, 1957 through May 27, 1959, as reproduced in the book, Crisis in the South: The Little Rock Story. Editorials were coded for three categories of variables: the Ultimate Message of the Editorial; Attitude of the Editorial toward Faubus, Brown vs. Education, President Eisenhower, and the Tactics of the Segregationists; and words or phrases commonly used to convey the newspaper’s attitudes were also analyzed for qualitative analysis. The results showed that the Arkansas Gazette advocated a law-and-order stance rather than one that favored integration during the Central High Crisis. The Gazette was overwhelmingly negative regarding Governor Faubus and the tactics of the segregationists. Also it was found that the Gazette’s editorials took no real stance toward Brown or Eisenhower during this time period. The results were discussed in the context of journalistic perspectives.

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