Public Relations Division 2010 Abstracts

Open Competition
Effect of Message Type in Strategic Advocacy Communication: Investigating Strategies to Combat Ageism • Terri Bailey, Florida Gulf Coast University • This experimental research study investigated the effects that message type in mass media messages have on attitudes toward older adults among undergraduate college students. The purpose of the study was to investigate strategic communication message strategies that could be employed to combat negative stereotypes that stigmatize a social group, in this case older adults. Due to the large population of aging baby boomers, efforts to combat prejudice and discrimination against older adults—termed ageism—is both timely and salient. Theoretical bases for the study included social identity theory and the elaboration likelihood model. Three types of message appeal conditions (cognitive, affective, and mixed cognitive/affective) were presented in simulated online news articles that combated two negative stereotypes of adults over age 65. The simulated news article was designed to reflect a published press release disseminated to the media by an age organization. The results showed that presenting fact-based cognitive arguments supported by research evidence was a more effective message strategy for producing positive attitude change toward older adults among the 200 undergraduate students participating in this experiment than were affective messages based on emotional appeals, subjective personal evaluations, and compassionate arguments or a combination of cognitive and affective appeals. Furthermore, results indicated the importance of mass media messages in terms of producing positive attitude change toward a stigmatized social group, older adults. There was significant positive attitude change toward older adults after exposure to the stimulus materials in both the immediate and time-delayed (one week) conditions.

Eclipsing Message Meaning: Exploring the Role of Source Identity and Cynicism in Publics’ Perceptions of Health Care Reform Issue Ads • Abbey Blake Levenshus, University of Maryland; Mara Hobler, University of Maryland; Beth Sundstrom, University of Maryland, College Park; Linda Aldoory, univ of Md • Using the circuit of culture to analyze interviews and focus groups, researchers found sponsor identity represented in health care reform ads overlapped with cynicism in critical, complementary ways. Researchers identified two themes, ongoing and eclipsing, regarding source identity’s meaning-making role and three themes regarding source cynicism’s regulating influence, including questioning sponsor motives, regulating sponsor identity, and regulating message. Findings add depth to the circuit of culture’s articulation between identity, regulation, and consumption of issue advertisements.

Mediating the power of relationship antecedents: The role of involvement and relationship quality in the adolescent-organization relationship • Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study presents one of the first examinations of the influence of antecedents of relationships on the organization-public relationship. Results from a survey of adolescent volunteers suggest that reason for volunteering with a nonprofit organization was a significant predictor of the teens’ future intentions toward the organization. Two variables partially mediated the relationship between antecedents and future intended behavior, involvement and relationship quality. Findings suggest that while reasons for relationship initiation play a powerful role in the organization-public relationship, organizations can minimize the impact through relationship management.

Grounding Organizational Legitimacy in Societal Values • John Brummette, Radford University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University • The purpose of this exploratory study is to utilize grounded theory to create a better understanding of the values and standards that constitute organizational legitimacy from the public’s perspective. Values identified are: honesty, fairness, accountability, competence, innovation, efficiency, trustworthiness, accessibility, personalization, quality, accreditation, corporate social responsibility and longevity. In addition, the study found that different values are linked to each of the six types of organizations (retail, manufacturing, service, educational, nonprofit and government) discussed by the study’s participants.

Influence of Public Relations Communication Strategies and Training on Perceptions of Hospital Crisis Readiness • Emily Buck, Texas Tech University; Coy Callison, Texas Tech University; Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University • To better understand organization-wide perception of crisis readiness and crisis communication effectiveness, 731 hospital employees were surveyed. Employees participating in crisis training perceived themselves and their hospital as more crisis ready than those who had not. Awareness of the crisis plan leads to higher levels of perceived crisis readiness; training, two-way communication, and face-to-face communication lead to greater perceived crisis readiness. Participants reported hospitals presented crisis plans through oral presentation more frequently than other methods.

The Dual-Continuum Approach: An Extension of the Contingency Theory of Conflict Management Cindy T. Christen, Colorado State University; Steven Lovaas, Colorado State University • This paper examines the limitations of using a single advocacy-accommodation continuum when depicting organizational stance and movement in conflict situations. The authors argue that advocacy and accommodation vary independently in response to a variety of contingent factors. To comprehensively capture the locations and motions that are possible in intergroup conflicts, a two-continuum approach is proposed. Separate assessment of the effects of contingent factors on advocacy and accommodation can be used to locate organizational stance along advocacy and accommodation continua. Situations that are problematic for a single continuum can be captured if separate continua are employed. By depicting initial stance and desired direction of movement for both the organization and external group, the dual-continuum approach can also provide practical guidance to public relations practitioners in selecting strategies for achieving preferred outcomes. By suggesting the application of different models of public relations practice based on differences in organization-external group stances and movement, the dual-continuum approach also lays the foundation for eventual synthesis of excellence and contingency perspectives.

Delusions vs. Data: Longitudinal Analysis of Research on Gendered Income Disparities in Public Relations • David Dozier, San Diego State University, School of Journalism and Media Studies; Bey-Ling Sha, San Diego State University • Gendered income disparities are well documented: men earn higher salaries than women. Less clear are the reasons why. This study analyzed four surveys of PRSA members (1979, 1991, 2004, and 2006). Men earned significantly higher salaries than women practitioners, men had more years of professional experience, and greater professional experience was correlated with higher salaries. In three of four surveys, men earned significantly higher salaries than women, after controlling for professional experience.

Factors Contributing to Anti-Americanism Among People Abroad: The Frontlines Perspective of U.S. Public Diplomats • Kathy Fitzpatrick, Quinnipiac University; alice kendrick, Southern Methodist University; Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University • This study examined the views of U.S. public diplomats on factors that contribute to anti- American attitudes among people abroad. The purpose was to gain a better understanding of the most significant causes of anti-Americanism through the first-hand experiences of the men and women who have served on the front lines of U.S. public diplomacy and to consider the implications for U.S. public diplomacy going forward. A factor analysis revealed four underlying dimensions of anti-Americanism, which were labeled Information, Culture, Policy and Values. The public diplomats rated the Policy factor as the most significant, followed by the Information factor, the Culture factor and the Values factor.

Understanding Made in China: Valence framing, product-country image, and international public relations • Gang (Kevin) Han, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication/Iowa State University; Xiuli (Charlene) Wang, School of Journalism and Communication/Peking University • This study employed an experiment to examine the effects of valenced news frames, in terms of risks and benefits, on people’s perceptions of and attitudes towards the product-country image (PCI) of Made in China. Findings suggested that participants in the risks-frame condition gave significantly negative evaluation on this product-country image, whereas the participants in the benefits-frame condition offered more positive evaluation. Personal relevance, shopping experience, and shopping habit jointly affected this relationship as covariates. The concept of product-country image, as well as the implications of valence framing for international public relations, was also discussed.

Disaster on the Web? A Qualitative Analysis of Disaster Preparedness Websites for Children • Karen Hilyard, University of Tennessee; Tatjana M. Hocke, University of Tennessee; Erin Ryan, The University of Alabama • In a qualitative analysis using stakeholder theory, child development research and website usability criteria, the authors examine three disaster preparedness websites created for children by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The sites were characterized by outdated content and technology, low levels of two-way communication and poor usability compared to other offerings for kids on the Web, and may therefore fail to effectively accomplish the mission of preparing children for disasters.

Corporate Social Responsibility Disclosure of Media Companies • Jiran Hou, The University of Georgia; Bryan Reber, University of Georgia • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives have become increasingly common among corporations in the United States. However, there has been very limited research studying media companies’ CSR initiatives and disclosure. In this study, we examined the CSR initiatives and disclosure of major media companies in the United States. Specifically, we conducted content analysis to analyze five major dimensions of CSR disclosure: environment, community relations, diversity, employee relations and human rights. We also analyzed the disclosure of companies’ media specific CSR activities. Our findings showed that nine of the ten companies have engaged in different types of CSR activities. These companies’ CSR initiatives differ by the types of the company, and the size of the company also has influence on the reporting of CSR initiatives.
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he effects of crisis response strategies on attribution of crisis responsibility and relationship quality outcomes • Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama; Kenon Brown, The University of Alabama • This study investigated the effects of crisis response strategies on the attribution of an organization’s crisis responsibilities and relationship quality outcomes and determined the linkages among relationship quality outcome indicators. This study found that none of the tested crisis response strategies were helpful in reducing public blame surrounding the featured organization’s responsibility in the crisis. This study did not discover any significant impact of the crisis response strategies on the relationship quality outcomes.

Content analysis on CSR Reporting of Companies’ Web sites: Signaling Theory Perspective • Hyuk Soo Kim, The University of Alabama; Joe Phelps, University of Alabama; Jee Young Chung, University of Alabama • The current study introduced the signaling theory in the domain of CSR reporting and content-analyzed how companies report their CSR activities on their corporate web sites. Top 100 advertising-spending companies were selected as a sample frame. From the perspective of signaling theory, the current study investigated how companies are reporting their CSR activities by employing the concept of benefit salience and congruency. Additionally, this study explored the relationship between CSR activities and branding. The results showed that companies are not effectively reporting their CSR activities and did not find any relationship between CSR activities and branding.

Exploring ethics codes of national public relations professional associations across countries • Soo-Yeon Kim, University of Florida; Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama • This study explored ethics codes present on Web sites of national public relations professional associations across countries. Of a total of 107 countries examined, 66 (61.7%) countries were found to have one or more professional associations. Among the 45 Web sites accessible in English, 38 (84.4%) provided ethics codes, the most frequently presented values in which were ‘fairness,’ ‘safeguarding confidences,’ and ‘honesty.’ This study was an exploratory attempt to provide a descriptive picture of public relations professional associations and their ethics codes across countries.

Corporate Social Responsibility and Organization-Public Relationships: Public Relations and Marketing Educators’ Perspectives • Daewook Kim, University of Florida; Mary Ann Ferguson, University of Florida • This study examines how public relations educator’s perceptions differ from marketing educators with regard to corporate social responsibility (CSR) dimensions. It further explores the association between CSR and the organization-public relationship (OPR) dimensions. This research found that marketing educators showed more value for the economic dimension, while public relations educators showed a relatively higher value for the ethical & legal and discretionary dimensions of CSR. The perceptual differences are also embedded in the association between the CSR and OPR dimensions.

When Cousins Feud: Advancing Threat Appraisal and Contingency Theory in Situations That Question the Essential Identity of Activist Groups • Jeesun Kim, Grand Valley State University; Glen Cameron, University of Missouri – Columbia • This experiment applied the concepts of avowed and ascribed identities to situations when similar activist organizations clash. Based on the threat appraisal model (Jin & Cameron, 2007) and contingency theory (Cancel, Mitrook, & Cameron, 1999), analysis of effects of an attack on a group’s essential identity due to hypocritical behavior advances theory and practice of strategic conflict management. The distinction between internal and external threat and the linear perspective in stance predictions on the contingency continuum are both revised and extended by current findings.

Reputation Repair at the Expense of Providing Instructing and Adjusting Information Following Crises:Examining 18 Years of Crisis Responses Strategy Research • Sora Kim, University of Florida; Elizabeth Avery, University of Tennessee; Ruthann Lariscy, University of Georgia • Quantitative content analysis of 51 articles published in crisis communication literature in public relations indicates both a prevalent focus on image restoration or reputation management in the crisis responses analyzed in more than 18 years of research and a relative neglect of instructing and adjusting information in subsequent recommendations. This research makes insightful crisis response recommendations regarding consideration of organizational type involved in a crisis (government, corporation, or individual) and targeting active publics when selecting crisis responses.

Face to Face: How the Cleveland Clinic Managed Media Relations for the First U.S. Face Transplant • Marjorie Kruvand, Loyola University Chicago • When the first U.S. face transplant was performed at the Cleveland Clinic in late 2008, public relations practitioners at the non-profit academic medical center in Ohio played an essential role in helping to establish whether the risky and controversial surgery would be judged successful by the medical community, the news media, and the public. This descriptive case study uses agenda building theory and the related concept of information subsidies to examine how practitioners planned and handled media relations for one of the year’s top medical stories – a story accompanied by challenging ethical issues. Strongly influenced by what they believed was a media relations fiasco involving the world’s first face transplant, which had been performed three years earlier in France, Clinic practitioners effectively used information subsidies while tightly controlling information about and access to the patient. The study finds that the Clinic’s media relations activities resulted in highly positive media coverage that enhanced the Clinic’s reputation while also helping to reshape the U.S. media agenda on face transplants.

Social Media And Strategic Communications: Attitudes And Perceptions Among College Students • Bobbi Kay Lewis, Oklahoma State University • Social media have been adopted from its inception by public relations, advertising and marketing practitioners as tools for communicating with strategic publics. Wright and Hinson (2009) have established that public relations professionals perceive social media positively with respect to strategic communication. Given that social media are having an impact on professionals in the industry, the current study examined if social media are having a similar impact on college students in general and students studying in the area of public relations and advertising. The attitudes and perceptions of social media among college students were explored by modifying the survey instrument used by Wright & Hinson to explore the attitudes and perceptions of social media among PR professionals. It is important for educators and curriculum leaders to have an appreciation of students’ knowledge base of social media and how they employ it in their construction of knowledge and reality. It is also valuable for professionals in the industry, who are hiring recent college graduates, to gain insight into how students perceive social media in their own lives and as strategic tools. Findings suggest that college students majoring advertising and public relations view social media more positively than other majors because they understand how it fits in to the industry in which they are being educated. Because of these findings, social media should be incorporated into strategic communications curriculum to better prepare students for the current media climate.

Bureaucrats, Politicians, and Communication Practices: Toward a New Model of Government Communication • Brooke Liu, University of Maryland; Abbey Blake Levenshus, University of Maryland; J. Suzanne Horsley, University of Alabama • The success of any government policy or program hinges on effective internal and external communication. Despite the critical importance of communication in the public sector, very little research focuses specifically on government communication. Through a survey of 781 government communicators in the U.S., this study builds on a model – the government communication decision wheel – by adding a previously untested variable: political versus bureaucratic employer. Specifically, the study identifies four significant differences and five similarities in how the public sector environment affects bureaucrats’ and elected officials’ communicators’ public relations practices. The findings provide valuable insights for practitioners and contribute to public relations theory development for the under-researched public sector.

Twitter me this, Twitter me that: A quantitative content analysis of the 40 Best Twitter Brands • Tina McCorkindale, Appalachian State University • In February 2010, Twitter, a microblogging website, had more than 21 million unique visitors, and continues today to be an increasingly important social media tool for public relations. Most public relations research about Twitter has focused on case studies—few quantitative analyses have been conducted. Therefore, the purpose of this paper was to conduct a content analysis to determine how Mashable’s 40 Best Twitter Brands were using Twitter, and what makes these the best brands. From October 2009 to January 2010, a constructed month of tweets were analyzed to determine an organization’s usage and authenticity/transparency on Twitter. While some organizations only used Twitter to disseminate information or for customer service, other organizations used the microblog to engage with various publics. Results also found organizations who named the individual who tweeted on behalf of the organization engaged in more dialogue with various publics compared to those that did not. The researcher also provided a list of 11 gold standard Twitter accounts, as well as suggestions for future research.

Exploring the Roles of Organization-Public Relationships in the Strategic Management Process: Towards an Integrated Framework • Rita Linjuan Men, University of Miami; Chun-ju Flora Hung, Hong Kong Baptist University • By combining the growing body of knowledge on organization-public relationships with insights from strategic management in the management literature, the purpose of this study is to demonstrate, from the relational approach, the value of public relations at the organizational level. Specifically, it intends to examine the roles of organization-public relationships (OPRs) in each stage of the strategic management process, namely, strategic analysis, strategy formulation, strategy implementation and strategic control. Seventeen in-depth interviews were conducted with public relations directors, vice presidents, and general managers from Fortune 500 and Forbes’ China 100 Top companies in China to explore the issues. The findings show that OPRs can contribute to strategic analysis by being the source of information, channel of information, active information detector and foundation for internal analysis. It contributes to strategy formulation by providing broad information, incorporating intelligence, perspectives and insights and engaging employees in decision-making. In strategy implementation, OPRs can generate support from parties involved and facilitate the strategy execution process. In strategic control, OPRs can provide feedback and updated information for strategy adjustments and strategy review, engage employee in self-management and facilitate organizational control through relational trust, commitment and satisfaction. Through playing multiple roles in each strategic management stage, OPRs can eventually contribute to sustainable competitive advantage, achievement of organizational goals and organizational effectiveness. An integrated framework of OPRs and strategic management is developed in this study based on the empirical data. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Crisis Preparedness versus Paranoia: Testing the Crisis Message Processing Model on the Effects of Over Communication of Crisis Preparedness Messages by Governments • Kester Tay, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; Rasiah Raslyn Agatha, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore; May O. Lwin, Nanyang Technological University; Augustine Pang, Nanyang Technological University • The literature has constantly emphasized consistent messaging and reinforcement of messages by organizations managing crisis. What remains unclear is the effects of over-emphasis and over-exposure of messages to the audience. The authors have developed a model called the Crisis Message Processing Model to understand how audience process crisis messages. This study, the first of a series of empirical tests, examines the interactions among message intensity, repetition and threat perceptions. Findings showed rigor of the model (75 words, as requested by PR division).

Exploring Citizen-Government Relationships: A Study of Effective Relationship Strategies with South Korean Citizens during a crisis • Hanna Park, University of Florida; Linda Hon, University of Florida • This study explored the citizen-government relationships (CGRs) in South Korea during a crisis, mass protests in 2008 against the U.S. beef import. Associations among relationship maintenance strategies (RMSs), CGRs and publics’ support for the government and president were investigated. For this study, 200 online community users participated in online survey. Results showed that respondents perceived the government’s RMSs as asymmetrical and CGRs as negative. RMSs were positively correlated with CGRs and support for the government.

Identifying the Synergy Between Corporate Social Responsibility • Hyojung Park, University of Missouri, School of Journalism; Bryan Reber, University of Georgia • Using a two-step approach to structural equation modeling, this study examined how different types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are associated with relational satisfaction, trust, company evaluation, and behavioral intentions. The results revealed that trust was positively influenced by economic, ethical, and philanthropic responsibilities, while satisfaction was positively influenced only by economic responsibilities. Additionally, CSR performances appeared to positively affect company evaluation and behavioral intentions (purchase, employment, and investment) through trust and satisfaction.

Talking Health Care Reform: The Influence of Issue-Specific Communication on Political Organization-Public Relationships and Attitudes • Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University; Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University • A survey of US citizens (n = 420) was conducted to examine the influence of strategic communication regarding health care reform on perceptions of organization-public relationships (OPRs) with political parties. Results indicate that issue-specific strategic communication – and dialogic communication in particular – not only enhanced perceptions of the OPR with the sponsoring political party, but also destabilized relationships with the opposition party. Positive perceptions of political OPRs resulted in favorable attitudes toward parties and the issue.

Organization-Employee Relationship Maintenance Strategies: A New Measuring Instrument • Hongmei Shen, San Diego State University • The purpose of this study was twofold: 1) to develop a valid and reliable new instrument to measure relationship maintenance strategies in the context of organization-employee relationships, and 2) to explore how organizations build relationships with internal publics. A focus group (N = 10) and an online survey were administered (N = 583). Statistical tests established the validity and reliability of a six-factor 20-item instrument for relationship maintenance strategies. It was also found that organizations utilized openness, assurances of legitimacy, networking, and compromising to a larger extent than distributive negotiation and avoiding to build relationships with their employees. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Hope for Haiti: An Analysis of Facebook and Twitter Usage during the Earthquake Relief Efforts • Sidharth Muralidharan, Univ. of Southern Mississippi; Leslie Rasmussen, Univ. of Southern Mississippi; Daniel Patterson, Univ. of Southern Mississippi; Jae-Hwa Shin, Univ. of Southern Mississippi
• The Haitian earthquake devastated the small island of Hispaniola, leaving thousands dead and billions of dollars of property damage. The earthquake also represented a watershed in the use of social media usage by nonprofit and media organizations to inform, communicate and mobilize support from the general public and orchestrate disaster relief efforts. By implementing applying the theory of framing to posts and tweets of nonprofits and media organizations, the authors found that morality and responsibility were the dominant message frames for nonprofits and conflict was the dominate frame for media; both used frames that were episodic in nature; and positive emotions were the dominant frame for nonprofits while media focused on negative emotions. Nonprofits and media used information dissemination and disclosure effectively but were not as effective with involvement strategies, implying a less interactive and more of a one-way communication.

Has the use of online media rooms to create a dialogue with journalists changed in global corporations? Comparing 2004 to 2009. • Dustin Supa, Ball State University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University • This study examines whether the top 50 global corporations in 2004 established dialogic communication with the media through their use of online media rooms and, using the same methods, compares those findings to the same corporations in 2009. The authors have determined that while progress toward increased dialogic communication was realized in some areas, in other ways, there was little or no improvement. In fact the online media room in 2009 was less likely to contain some of the features that were found in 2004.

How Emergencies Have Affected the Interaction of Journalists/Sources: Message Development in the Terror Age • Christopher Swindell, Marshall University • In a terror attack or other emergency, journalists and sources (often public relations practitioners) may bring the misperceptions they hold about the other group to bear in the interaction. This study uses survey research to highlight differences in message strategy and importance that the two groups have about a hypothetical terror attack. The researcher questioned 150 working journalists and official sources using coorientation to assess subtle differences in their beliefs about the work of the other. Using ANOVA and post hoc t-tests, the researcher found journalists and sources disagree, are incongruent, and most importantly, are inaccurate in their perceptions about message speed, accuracy and panic potential. Public relations best practices advocate forthrightness and candor with the news media. The current study found many journalists suspicious of practitioners and vice versa regarding the most critical elements of emergency messages. The paper suggests both groups should better appreciate the role of the other, especially in an emergency or terror attack where life and limb may be at stake.

The Possibilities and Realities of Studying Intersectionality in Public Relations Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, University of Houston; Natalie Tindall, Georgia State University; Hua Jiang, Towson University • Intersectionality refers to multiple, interdependent identities that simultaneously impact groups. This paper introduces intersectionality to public relations so researchers and practitioners can to better understand the contexts of organizational-public communication relationships. Theories of power, identity, and intersectionality in public relations are reviewed. Emphasis is put on dissecting the complications of studying intersectionality and ways previous researchers have explored it. The study design for an intersectional analysis of publics is discussed.

Indeed, It Does Depend: Examining Public Relations Leaders through the Lens of the Contingency Theory of Leadership • Richard Waters, North Carolina State University • Contrary to other leadership theories, the contingency theory of leadership argues that anyone has the potential to lead depending on situational variables. Through a survey of 11 PRSA chapters and 9 state/local public relations associations (n = 539), this study found that the contingency theory of leadership describes and predicts public relations behavior (role enactment and relationship cultivation behaviors) satisfactorily. Implications for practice and theory development are discussed.

It’s Not a Small World After All: Using Stewardship in a Theme Park’s Daily Operations Richard Waters, North Carolina State University • Through the use of participant-observation research, this manuscript attempts to encourage relationship management scholars to explore Kelly’s (2001) conceptualization of stewardship as viable strategies for creating relationships centered on trusting behaviors. Though often equated with fundraising, the four stewardship strategies—reciprocity, responsibility, reporting, and relationship nurturing—were found to play a significant role in how managers and human resources officials strengthened relationships with employees at Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park. With numerous examples of their utilization in a specialization far removed from fundraising, the study challenges the traditional approach scholars have taken to understand cultivation activities in the organization-public relationship.

Ethical Considerations in Social Media Usage — a Content Analysis of Silver Anvil Winners Patricia Whalen, Faculty; Sylwia Makarewicz, recently graduated master’s student Focusing on ethical practices in social media and relationship theory, this descriptive study uses content analysis to document usage of social media and ethical/reputational terms among recent PRSA Silver Anvil winners. The study found that a slim majority used social media, but, especially in consumer goods firms, the technology was more likely to be used as a message dissemination tool than an intent to build trust and develop more credible relationships with key constituencies.

Translating Science for the Public: Predictors of PIOs’ Roles in the Knowledge Transfer Process • Judith White, University of New Mexico • Public information officers (PIOs) link knowledge transfer between researchers and journalists. Orientation toward science/health/technology knowledge is important to PIOs’ choices of education, training, and occupational experience. This study constructs an index to measure science/health/technology orientation (SHTO) from an Internet survey of a random sample of PIOs. This study shows SHTO index to be a statistically significant predictor for variety of story topics covered but not of number of scientist sources used in information subsidies.

A study of PR practitioners’ use of social media in crisis planning • Shelley Wigley, University of Texas at Arlington; Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University • A survey exploring social media and crisis planning was conducted with 251 members of the Public Relations Society of America. Nearly half of respondents (48%) said they have incorporated social media into their crisis plans. Of these respondents, most indicated they have incorporated Twitter as a tool in their crisis planning, primarily for distribution purposes. Additionally, the study found that public relations professionals whose organizations rely more heavily on social media tools in their crisis planning correlated positively with practitioners’ greater confidence in their organization’s ability to handle a crisis. As for practitioners’ use of social media in their every day practice, results revealed that a large percentage use social media on a personal level; however, results also indicated that a large percentage of respondents’ organizations (82%) use social media. Survey respondents indicated that the stakeholders they communicate with most via social media are potential customers and clients (71%), followed by news media (61%).

Telling your own bad news: A test of the stealing thunder strategy • Shelley Wigley, University of Texas at Arlington • This study explored the concept of stealing thunder, or telling your own bad news, by conducting a content analysis of newspaper coverage following two political scandals – one in which a source stole thunder from reporters and one in which the source engaged in silence and allowed the media to break the story. Results showed no association between stealing thunder and the number of articles or length of article. However, stealing thunder was associated with more positively framed stories and fewer negative media frames.

A Longitudinal Analysis of Changes in New Communications Media Use by Public Relations Practitioners: A Two-Year Trend Study • Don Wright, Boston University; Michelle Hinson, Institute for Public Relations, University of Florida • This two-year trend study of a large number of public relations practitioners (n=1,137; n=574 in 2009; n=563 in 2010) found new communications media have a huge impact on public relations practice. This study found social networking site Facebook to be ranked as the most important of these new media for public relations messages in 2010, replacing search engine marketing that ranked first in 2009. Micro-blogging site Twitter was the next most frequently used new media site in 2010 followed by social networking site LinkedIn and video sharing outlet YouTube. The overall use of social networking, micro-blogging and video sharing websites in public relations practice increased dramatically between 2009 and 2010. The use of blogs, search engine marketing and electronic forums or message boards remained relatively constant while the importance of podcasts decreased slightly. This study found huge some large gaps existed between how new communications media actually are being used and how much public relations people think they should be used. This study also measured the frequency of personal use by public relations practitioners of traditional news media and new communications media and found that although most who practice public relations get their news from newspapers followed by magazines, television news and radio news, the use of micro-blogging sites such as Twitter, social networks such as Facebook and video sharing sites such as YouTube made dramatic increases between 2009 and 2010.

When did transparency appear in PR and what does it mean? A historical analysis of the word and its contexts. • Giselle A. Auger, University of Florida • Since 1990 the word transparency has increasingly been found in discussions of financial accountability, government culpability, crisis communication, and corporate social responsibility. The purpose of this study was to examine the adoption of transparency into the public relations literature, its contexts and meanings. Through a historical review of the use of the word transparency, and a content analysis of the word within the public relations literature, the adequacy of existing definitions are evaluated.

The Impact of Industy on the Crisis Situation: Applying Consensus to the SCCT Model • Kenon Brown, The University of Alabama
• The purpose of this study is to investigate the impact of an industry’s crisis history on a member organization’s crisis situation by exploring the concept of consensus and its impact on the Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) model. The study uses a 2 x 2 x 2 factorial experiment to test the impact of industry crisis history and its interaction effects with crisis history and relationship history during the reporting of a fictitious product recall. Results found that industry crisis history had no effect on crisis responsibility or organizational reputation.

Roles of nonprofit organizations as social oil: How local nonprofit organizations help multinational corporations build social capital in host countries • Moonhee Cho, University of Florida • Emphasizing the importance of social capital, the purpose of the paper is threefold: 1) to explicate social capital as the resources that determine the business success or failure of multinational corporations (MNCs), 2) to discuss the role of nonprofit organizations as boundary spanners in the relationship between MNCs and community members, and 3) to propose a model that demonstrates how local nonprofit organizations build social capital of MNCs vis-à-vis community members as well as provide propositions in formation of social capital. In doing so, the paper provides a framework of the relationships among three sectors of society: private, nonprofit, and community, for developing democracy in a pluralist society.

When tourists are your friends: An exploratory examination of brand personality in discussions about Mexico and Brazil on Facebook • Maria DeMoya, University of Florida; Rajul Jain, University of Florida • Using Aaker’s (1997) brand personality framework, this study explores how two top international tourist destinations -Mexico and Brazil— communicate their brand personalities on their Facebook pages and which personalities their followers associate with them. Specifically, this research explores if these destinations’ public relations efforts are succeeding in communicating the brand image of their countries by promoting them online on one of the most popular social media outlets.

Text Haiti to 90999: The future of relationship fundraising for a nonprofit organization. • Terri Denard, University of Alabama • The relief campaign following the 2010 Haiti earthquake yielded unprecedented text-message donations. This study examines the relief campaign to learn whether its initial success can yield deeper relationships or provide a blueprint for similar campaigns. The study found the text channel reached younger and first-time donors, 10% of whom opted-in to receive future communications. However, donations dissipated after the initial rush, underscoring the importance of cultivating new relationships through traditional and emerging channels.

The Situational Theory of Publics: Youth Civic Engagement • Jarim Kim, University of Maryland • This study addresses how the youth become active in the political processes. Research question guiding this study is why and how did youth come to be an active public in the 2008 Obama campaign? Using ten in-depth qualitative interviews with college students this study looked at how and why they became actively engaged in the political process. The situational theory of publics was employed as a framework to examine their active participation. Findings indicate that an active public engaged in Obama campaign satisfied all of the three variables of the theory. This study also found the antecedent factors of the STP that influenced their communicative behaviors. This study advances the understanding of the active publics in the political communication context as well as elaborating independent variables of the STP.

Does going green really matter to publics? The effects of environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR), price, and firm size in the food service industry on public responses • Yeonsoo Kim, University of Florida • This study examined the different effects of pro-active environmental CSR and passive CSR practices on attitudes toward the company, intent to seek information on and communicate the company’s CSR to others, and intent to pay incentives. How price of products/service, consumers’ environmental concern, and corporate size interact with those effects was tested. Proactive environmental programs led to more positive publics’ responses. Subjects wanted to find information on and talk about CSR programs the most when companies with proactive CSR provided cheap products. When small companies had proactive environmental CSR programs, participants showed favorable attitudes and stronger intent to pay more regardless of price. Conversely, in the case of passive CSR, participants showed better reactions only when the price was cheap. Environmentally conscious consumers showed more sensitive reactions toward the CSR practices in general.

Return to Public Diplomacy: A Review of the Published Work • Anna Klyueva, University of Oklahoma • Reinvigorated interest toward public diplomacy in the aftermath of 9/11 facilitated the growth of research in the field. This study analyzes peer-reviewed articles published from 1989 to 2010 from two relevant disciplines: communication and political science. The objectives of the study were to determine the concepts that have emerged, grown, or diminished within the past two decades in the field of public diplomacy; to report the types of research methods that have been most commonly employed; and to compare and contrast the similarities and differences in scholarly discussions on public diplomacy between communication and political science.

Power-control or empowerment? How women public relations practitioners make meaning of power. • Katie Place, University of Maryland • The purpose of this study was to examine qualitatively how women public relations practitioners make meaning power. Literature regarding power-control theory, gender and power and empowerment contributed to this study. From the literature, one research questions was posed: How do women public relations practitioners make meaning of power? To best illustrate and describe how women public relations practitioners experience the phenomena of power, the researcher incorporated a qualitative research method which utilized 45 in-depth, semi-structured, face-to-face interviews with women public relations practitioners guided by an interview protocol. A grounded theory approach (Glaser & Strauss, 1967) was used to analyze the data. From the data arose several themes regarding gender and power. Results suggested that women practitioners made meaning of power as a function of influence, a function of relationships, knowledge and information, access, results-based credibility and empowerment. The data extend our understanding of practitioner power, power-control theory and empowerment in public relations. Power in public relations exists in various forms and empowerment serves as an alternative meaning making model of power.

Explicating Cynicism toward Corporate Social Responsibility: Causes and Communication Approaches • Hyejoon Rim, University of Florida • This study attempts to explicate the concept of cynicism in the context of corporate social responsibility, focusing more on the causes rather than its consequences. As corporate social responsibility has become increasingly popular in business, it has become more important to determine how to best communicate such initiatives with the public in this cynical age. Grounded on psychology, marketing, and business literature, this research intends to outline potential antecedents of cynicism on the situational and individual levels. At the situational factors, industry environment, organizational reputation, salience of promotion, and goodness of fit are identified. At the individual level, external locus of control and ethical ideologies are suggested as dominant sources of cynicism. Implications for strategic corporate social responsibility management and communication, as well as further research are discussed.

Legitimacy 2.0: Possible Research Avenues for Corporate Reputation in the Digital Age • Joy Rodgers, University of Florida • Among the challenges facing public relations practitioners in the new collaborative, interactive, and non-hierarchical digital arena is the management of corporate identity and reputation. This study examines the concept of legitimacy as it relates to reputation in order to contribute to the term’s theoretical foundation in the online realm and suggests some potential avenues for research to inform the practice of public relations reputation management in a digital information society.

Legitimation in Activist Issues Management: Congressional Testimony of the AIDS Coalition to Unleash Power (ACT UP) • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Oklahoma • This study investigated the rhetorical legitimation efforts of ACT UP, an activist group whose extreme tactics have been characterized as illegitimate. Through rhetorical analysis of the Congressional testimony of five ACT UP representatives from 1988 to 1992, the study determined how ACT UP representatives attempted to bolster legitimacy for themselves as issue managers, for their issues, and policy recommendations as they attempted to participate in shaping public policy on AIDS issues.

The Role of Social Capital in Public Relations’ Efficacy: How Internal Networks Influence External Practice • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Oklahoma • This paper argues that public relations can be used as a force to enhance collective social capital, but only when a public relations unit has access to or reserves of social capital themselves. The paper introduces a case of a government agency in Jordan, and presents findings from a network analysis study that shows the public relations unit(s) to be deficient in social capital and thereby unable to affect its creation within or without the organization.

The impact of online comments on attitude toward an organization based on individual’s prior attitude • Kang Hoon Sung, University of Florida • This study is a 3 (Prior attitude) by 4 (Type of online comments) factorial design experiment that tests effects of online comments on attitude toward an organization based on individual’s prior attitude. The results showed that online comments have a significant effect on people’s attitude. Especially, people with prior neutral attitude were affected the most. For people with prior negative attitude, two-sided comments were most effective. Usability was the most influential factor in changing attitude.

Framing Breast Cancer: Building an Agenda through Online Advocacy and Fundraising • Brooke Weberling, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
• Using qualitative content analysis, this study employs agenda building and framing to examine e-mail messages from Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Komen Advocacy Alliance to determine strategies for communicating about breast cancer and inspiring involvement in the nonprofit organizations’ advocacy and fundraising efforts. Three types of messages, nine frames and various tactics emerged among the 50 messages (sent during one year). Theoretical implications and applications for public relations and fundraising professionals are discussed.

Meeting the needs of the practice: An evaluation of the public relations curricula • Moonhee Cho, University of Florida; Giselle A. Auger, University of Florida • Considering that much of the academic literature focused on the practice of public relations, and that there appeared to be consensus between educators and practitioners about the skills necessary for entry to the field, the researchers questioned whether in fact public relations courses and programs within higher education were adequately preparing students for placement in an entry-level position or providing skills that would aid in advancing to higher level positions. To this end, researchers conducted two content analyses, first on courses offered at the college or university level, and secondly, on current job descriptions for public relations positions. Results indicated that the public relations curricula is generally meeting the needs of the practice; however the demand for knowledge and skills in social and emerging or new media by potential employers far exceeds the frequency with which such subjects are addressed in the public relations curricula.

Big Chief Tablets and Sharpened Pencils: Helping PR Practitioners Transition from Practice to Classroom • Barbara DeSanto, Maryville University of Saint Louis; Susan Gonders, Southeast Missouri State University • The first stage of Super’s (1990) theory of adult career development, exploration, combined with Tierney’s (1997) analysis of universities’ culture and socialization processes provides two perspectives to apply to a current information workshop offered as an educational tool to public relations practitioners thinking about becoming involved in academia. Using this theoretical framework allows workshop participants and workshop providers ways of understanding the process and stresses of career change decisions from each other’s perspective.

The RFP Solution: One Response to Client/Service Learner Issues • Cathy Rogers, Loyola University New Orleans; Valerie Andrews, Loyola University New Orleans • Public relations programs have adopted service learning as standard practice, particularly by incorporating real client work to maximize student learning. While the literature documents the widespread use of real clients and service learning as an exemplary teaching method, little has been written about the instructor/client relationship, other than to note the difficulties of dealing with clients, including unrealistic expectations, inadequate communication, lack of respect for students as professionals, and commitment to the project. This paper reviews one university’s creation and implementation of a formal request-for-proposal (RFP) process to match community partners with mass communication course projects. The paper reviews the process and results of focus groups conducted to create the RFP process and examines two phases of the RFP implementation. This case study shows how an RFP disseminated to local nonprofits can minimize unrealistic professor and client expectations and maximize student learning and client satisfaction.

Pre-Professional Attitudes and Identities: The Socialization of Journalism and Public Relations Majors • Bey-Ling Sha, San Diego State University; Amy Weiss, San Diego State University • Relationships between journalists and public relations practitioners tend to be uneasy, if not antagonistic. The purpose of this study was to explore the possible origins of this complex relationship by examining the socialization of journalism and public relations college majors. The findings indicate that, although pre-professional journalists and public relations practitioners have some diverging perspectives on both their counterparts and their respective professional identities, these differences may not be as significant as they first seem.

Service-Learning in the Public Relations Classroom: An Experiential Approach to Improving Students’ Critical-Thinking and Problem-Solving Skills • Brenda Wilson, Tennessee Technological University • A study of students in a public relations course showed support for a service-learning instructional model enhancing critical thinking and problem solving and reducing rote memorization. Data were collected from 40 undergraduates in a pretest/posttest design and showed significance on 11 of 19 critical-thinking and problem-solving items. Students said they would recommend the course to others, worked harder in it than in most courses, and were satisfied with their expected grade.

<< 2010 Abstracts

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 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.


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.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Media Management and Economics Division 2010 Abstracts

Social Media and Young Latinos: A Cross-Cultural Examination • Alan Albarran, The University of North Texas; Aimee Valentine, The University of North Texas; Caitlin Dyer, The University of North Texas; Brian Hutton, The University of North Texas • This paper examines uses and gratifications of social media in a large cross-cultural study among young adult Latinos in six countries. A two-stage research design was employed using a series of focus groups followed by a survey (n = 1,507) administered in each country. This paper presents initial findings and discusses the results compared to earlier studies along with the managerial and economic implications of social media among this growing demographic.

Sports as a competitor in the local radio market • Todd Chambers, Texas Tech University • This study used information from 245 radio markets to better understand the market structure of sports radio. Since its inception as a format in the late 1980s, all sports radio has increased in terms of the number of stations and market share. Using information about metropolitan statistical areas, radio stations and information from sports leagues, the data indicated that the vast majority of markets have at least one sports radio station. The findings suggested that competition within the sports format led to higher ratings than in markets with just one sports radio station.

Consumer Perceptions of Social Media: Comparing Perceived Characteristics and Consumer Profiles by Social Media Types • Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Moonhee Cho, University of Florida; Sangwon Lee, Jamestown College • This study examines the consumer perceptions of six major social media types (social networks, blogs, online forums, content communities, and micro-blogging) on five characteristics: participation, commonality, connectedness, conversationality, and openness. Consumer profiles are also investigated to assess the role of demographics and usage in differential perceptions. Using an online survey of a national consumer panel, the study found that different social media applications are perceived differently and social media usage, gender, and age are related to these differences.

Writing Their Own Obituaries? Examining How Newspapers Covered the Newspaper Crisis from the Media Economics Perspective • H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin; Seth Lewis, University of Texas at Austin; nan zheng, University of Texas at Austin • During the past two years, U.S. newspapers covered the crisis of their own industry extensively. Such coverage drew substantial attention to the state of the newspaper but also raised questions about whether journalists misunderstood or over-reacted to this newspaper crisis. This study examines whether such coverage was based on media economics data and whether it placed the crisis in the historical/economic context so as to present a fair and balanced portrayal of the state of the newspaper.

Demystifying the Demand Relationship Between Online and Print Products under One Newspaper Brand: The Case of Taiwan and the Emergence of a Universal Pattern • H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin; J. Sonia Huang, National Chiao Tung University • This study seeks to clarify the often misunderstood demand relationship between online and print newspapers with reality-based research. As a replication and extension of previous research conducted in the U.S. and in Hong Kong, this study examined further the demand relationship between online and print newspapers in Taiwan. Analyzing survey data of 7,706 Web users, this study generated results of striking similarities: 1) Simultaneous use of a newspaper’s online and print products is common; 2) the print edition attains a much higher penetration relative to its online counterpart; 3) print penetrations increase among readers of the same newspaper’s online edition; 4) online readers were more likely to read the same newspaper’s print edition and vice versa. These counter-intuitive findings posit important theoretical questions as well as practical challenges regarding the management of multiple product offerings under one newspaper brand. A universal pattern characterizing the demand relationship between online and print newspapers is emerging.

Non-English Language Audiences in the U.S.: Predictors of Advertiser Investment across Media Platforms • Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida • Based in audience valuation and consumer theory, this replication study examined U.S. advertiser valuation of non-English language audiences across radio, online, newspaper, magazine, and outdoor media platforms, then compared these results with those examining U.S. television advertisers. Results reveal that nearly all advertisers—regardless of medium—invest in non-English language audiences due to the specific cultural traits of that audience, which permit culturally-relevant messaging and segmentation. Results and implications for each media platform are discussed.

The New Economics of Advertising • Andrew Gaerig, University of North Carolina • This paper examines, on a macro level, how media advertising has changed from both a qualitative and quantitative perspective. The paper investigates the rise of below the line advertising and how it relates to traditional media advertising. It then reclaims the Principle of Relative Constancy as a framework under which media leaders can begin to understand advertising spending. Finally, it offers suggestions for how media companies can thrive in this new advertising ecosystem.

Online Relationship Marketing in Media Industries: The Adoption of Social Media by Media Firms Miao Guo, University of Florida; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • This study investigates how and to what extent traditional media organizations adopt social media to perform relationship marketing functions on their websites and the factors that might affect such practices. Through a content analysis of newspaper and television websites, it was found that traditional media have aggressively incorporated many social media tools to connect with their readers/viewers. There are, however, significant differences in the use of social media between the national and local media as well as newspaper and television media. The study also found that media type and market size play a role in social media adoption and relationship marketing functions on local media sites.

Marketing and Branding in Online Social Media Environments: Examining Social Media Adoption by the Top 100 Global Brands • Miao Guo, University of Florida • This study examined how and to what extent social media was utilized on the top 100 global brands’ websites to realize relationship marketing and branding functions. Based on a media typology model along several media characteristic dimensions, the study first differentiates diverse social media tools, comparing mass and personal communication channels. By conducting a content analysis on the use of social media on top global brand websites, the study found that social networks such as Facebook and Linked In are the leading social media channels used by these companies. Variations in social media adoption also differ by industry type, which reflects how the offline resources and capabilities of a firm might influence its online relationship marketing and branding strategies.

The Relationship between Online Newspapers and Print Newspapers: A Public Good Perspective Louisa Ha, Bowling Green State University; Xiaoqun Zhang, Bowling Green State University; Gi Woong Yun, Bowling Green State University; Kisung Yoon, Bowling Green State University • Compared to print newspapers, online newspapers still play a minor role in newspaper revenue. However, because the decline of print newspapers seems irreparable, newspaper industry tries to promote online newspapers in order to maintain their share of media market. This paper investigates the demographic characteristics of online newspaper readership. The analysis shows that online newspaper readers are likely to be male, lower income, younger, and have higher education. The online newspaper readers and the print paper readers have different demographic characteristics. The study shows a weak positive relationship between the reading time of online newspapers and print newspapers. The data does did not support the inferior good hypothesis in which usage is affected by income level. Using a public good perspective, this study shows that medium use time, not willingness to pay directly, is a better measure for value of online newspapers as a public good. The online newspaper is a fledging public good to attain enough value to be supported by consumers.

The theory of news-agency management: Copy sharing, public goods, and the free-rider problem Grant Hannis, Massey University • Scholarly interest in news agencies’ operations has been characterized as frequently eschewing any overt theoretical component. In response, this paper applies the economic theory of the free rider to better understand managerial decision-making in the New Zealand news agency NZPA. The theory explains NZPA’s efforts to stamp out piracy of its wire copy early in its career and why NZPA recently abandoned a fundamental aspect of its operation, sharing copy among its members.

New Business Pursuit at a Small Advertising Agency: An Emerging Model for the Pursuit of New Accounts • Daniel Haygood, Elon University; Jae Park, University of Tennessee Pursuing new business is integral to the ongoing success of an advertising agency. The largest firms have established practices in competing for new accounts and increasingly must deal with advertising agency search firms. But what are small advertising agencies doing to successfully seek new business? This research looks at the new business strategy/practices of a small advertising agency and proposes a small agency model for successfully pursuing new business.

News Editors’ Beliefs and Attitudes toward Online Advertising: A Happy Balance between Journalistic Ideals and Commercial Realities? • Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota; Tsan-Kuo Chang, Department of Media and Communication, City University of Hong Kong; Brian Southwell, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Hyung Min Lee, University of Minnesota; Yejin Hong, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • We surveyed a representative sample of newspaper editors and TV news directors (1) to determine perceptions and attitudes of news editors toward online advertising; (2) to examine if news editors believe that online advertising negatively influences news content; and (3) to explore predictors of their perceptions of online advertising. The findings suggest that journalists do not hold strongly negative attitudes toward online advertising and do not have strong support for setting limitations for online advertising.

Modeling access charge reform: Achieving parity between interstate and intrastate long-distance telephony Krishna Jayakar, Penn State University; Richard Taylor, Penn State University; Amit Schejter, Penn State University • Access charges are intended to compensate local loop providers for the usage of the local networks for long-distance traffic origination and termination. They have also provided a cross-subsidy from long-distance to local service to keep local rates low. Actual charges thus bear little relation to price, especially at the state level—thus, it often costs more to call long-distance within a state, than across the continent. In this paper, we present a mathematical model for access charges using a constant elasticity demand function, and argue that the net social welfare effects of access charge reductions will be positive.

Factors determining the popularity of Fortune 500 corporate blogs Eun Hwa Jung, University of Florida; Dae-Hee Kim, Graduate student; Angie B. Lindsey, University of Florida • Blogs and blogging have become a phenomenon that transforms communication and information gathering. The interest in this phenomenon has been extended to business and marketing fields as a new channel of corporate communications. However, there has been a lack of research about the popularity of corporate blogs and influential factors to the popularity of corporate blogs. Thus a content analysis about corporate blogs of Fortune 500 companies was conducted. The results showed that some of factors (frequency of posting, number of authors, number of video and picture, number of comments, and easiness of web search) were significant difference between popular corporate blogs and unpopular corporate blogs that were gauged using Technorati Ranking. Based on the research results, the current study contributes to increasing the knowledge and extending the understanding about the corporate blogs. Research implications and limitations are discussed for future research.

Not For Profit or Not For Long – Is Nonprofit Journalism Sustainable? • Kelly Kaufhold, University of Texas at Austin • At least nine new independent nonprofit news organizations have been launched online since 2004 – many of them going head to head against established news organizations – and 12 more university-based programs have entered the market. These outlets embrace a variety of funding sources, including foundation support, advertising, user- and crowd-funding models. This study aggregates and analyzes these different funding models in the context of existing news outlets, and discusses the potential for success in nonprofit news.

Business Size and Media Effects: An Examination of Econo-Psychological Factors • Wan Soo Lee, School of Visual & Mass Communication, Dong-Seo University; Min-Kyu Lee, Chung-Ang University • This study investigates the non-mediated experience effect of economic conditions on business sentiment, the agenda-setting effect of news coverage on business sentiment and the self-fulfilling hypothesis that business sentiment affects economic reality, especially focusing on corporate size. The result shows 1) that the future business condition affected the business sentiment in small and large firm, implying there is no significant size effect, 2) that the current business conditions only affected the business sentiment in small and medium firms, not in large business firms, implying there is a significant size effect, 3) that the tone of news coverage has no significant effect on business sentiment, which doesn’t support agenda-setting effect, and 4) business sentiment only affected the increase and decrease rates of GDP regardless of corporate size. We discuss the possibility to broaden the theoretical horizon of corporate communication research by measuring the relationships among corporate sizes, economic circumstances, media reports and understanding of economic realities.

Market Competition and Media Diversity: An Examination of Taiwan’s Terrestrial TV Market from 1986 to 2002 • Shu-Chu Li, National Chiao Tung University; Yi-Ching Liu, National Chiao Tung University • This study adopted the S-C-P model as the theoretical framework for examination of the competition-diversity relationship in Taiwan’s terrestrial television market from 1986 to 2002. This study divided the 17 years into four periods with the first period categorized as one with an oligopolistic market structure, the second period as one with minor competition, the third period as one with strong competition, and the fourth period as one with intra-media competition. The four methods used to measure media diversity include vertical programming diversity, horizontal programming diversity, content diversity and source diversity. This study analyzed 44,432 programs that were randomly selected from the 17-year period. The data analysis shows that media diversity increased as minor inter-competition entered Taiwan’s market, while media diversity decreased when strong inter-competition entered the market. Furthermore, this study found that strong intra-media competition was associated with an increase of media diversity in Taiwan’s television market.

Case Study: Competition and Merger of a Daily and a Weekly in a Non-metropolitan Market Jason Lovins, Ohio University • Competition among non-metropolitan daily and weekly newspapers has been studied, but little research exists on strategic decisions related to competition and merger. This case study examines a 25-year competition and merger of a daily and a weekly. A publisher, an editor and owner are interviewed to discuss competition and reasons for acquisition. The study concludes that the outcomes parallel those of prior research focusing on metropolitan markets, though both papers maintain separate branded identities.

Media Discontinuance: Modelling the Diffusion S Curve to Declines in Media Use • Jay Newell, Iowa State University; Ulrike Genschel, Iowa State University; Ni Zhang, Iowa State University • The cumulative diffusion of innovations such as new media has been modeled with an S-curve. This study explores the potential extension of the use of the S-curve to model declines in existing media. Using annual data from declines in telegrams, afternoon newspapers, vinyl records, outdoor movie theaters and VHS tapes, this study finds that decays in existing media often follow a dramatic downwards path that is more abrupt than that of media undergoing growth. Implications for media management and theory are discussed.

Predicting Theatrical Movies’ Financial Success • Seung Hyun Park, Hallym University; Namkee Park, University of Oklahoma
• This study replicates past research that examined the predictors of movies’ box office revenues. Using a sample of 400 movies released from 2004 to 2007, the present study discovered that production budget, the number of screens, critics’ review, and star actors were significant for the total domestic, first-week, and international box office revenues. The study also found that the Easter season negatively affected both the domestic and international box office revenues.

Refashioning Television: A Structural Analysis of Webisodes L. Meghan Peirce, Ohio University; Tang Tang, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • This study was interested in how the structure of traditional television media changes when content is instead designed exclusively for Internet broadcasting. This was achieved by conducting a content analysis on 100 webisodes nominated for a 2010 Streamy Award. Specifically, it aims to explore transparent characteristics, interactivity, and the differences between professional and amateur Webisodes. Results demonstrate that webisodes come in many forms, lengths and purposes. Most webisodes fall under the comedy genre. A large variety interactivity features exist in webisodes. However, most of this interactivity is user-to-webisode, not webisode-to-webisode, suggesting consumption is designed to be done in a relatively short succession. Finally, professionally-produced webisodes presented violent and sexual acts significantly more often than their amateur counterparts. This study contributes to existing research, as the findings may provide strategic value for webisode producers interested in creating popular and viral webisodes with relatively little production costs and management.

Journalism layoff survivors burn in Arizona, keep cool in L.A. • Scott Reinardy, University of Kansas • Following dramatic newsroom cuts, this study examines organizational transformation of layoff survivors at the Los Angeles Times, Arizona Republic, Dallas Morning News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch. It’s a comparative analysis of burnout levels, job satisfaction, organizational trust, morale and commitment. Interestingly, the younger, less experienced staff at the Arizona Republic is suffering more burnout and lower levels of perceived job quality than journalists at the L.A. Times, but demonstrate more organizational trust than the other papers.

Economic Factors and the Adoption of Video-on-Demand Service in the Cable Industry • sangho seo, Konkuk University • The primary purpose of this study is to examine economic factors affecting on the adoption of video-on-demand service in the U.S. cable industry. This study examines what economic factors leads to investments in new technologies, and results in deployment of video-on-demand services in local markets. Probit regression analyses reveal that MSOs transfer efficiency to deployment of video-on-demand services in local markets. Therefore, the implications of the efficiency of horizontal integration have significant meaning. In addition, the result of this study has indicated that cable operators with triple-play services are more likely to adopt video-ondemand services than cable operators without triple-play services.

You Can Build It, But Will They Come: Not-For-Profit Media Competition for Audiences • Dan Shaver, Jonkoping International Business School/Media Management & Transformation Centre This study examines the question of whether there is sufficient audience demand for content provided by not-for-profit news sites developed to meet the perceived loss of local news coverage resulting from closures and cut-backs in resources by existing newspapers to create a sustainable business model. It concludes that inefficient marketing and a lack of innovation hinder attraction of online audiences from websites offered by traditional media outlets and that sustainability requires improvement in both areas.

Newspaper customer value: An exploratory examination of the role of network effects in a converging industry • Ed Simpson, Ohio University • This exploratory study sought to quantify the value of newspaper readers, both paid and pass-along, to print operations and the value of unique visitors to newspaper Web sites. By employing the theory of direct and indirect network effects, this study found evidence to support discussions of movements away from historical paid circulation models and cost-per-thousand advertising calculations in determining audience value. This study found that so-called free customers provided substantial value to newspaper Internet sites and that, in fact, newspaper readers also contributed to the value of the Web sites. This study suggests that convergence is far more than an ephemeral concept of how journalists and Web designers do their work, but argues for deeper examination of a recasting of customer value within the industry.

User Flow in a Non-linear Environment: An Examination of Web Site Consumption Tang Tang, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Gregory Newton, Ohio University • This study represents one of the first attempts to empirically examine a combined model of psychographic and institutional factors that predict web site consumption. The study found that user characteristics, motivations, use of Internet structures and external web sources, and user availability predicted the use of social networks, entertainment, news, sports and e-commerce sites. Results suggest that in a non-linear environment, media users still exhibit predictable patterns of behavior. Different types of web sites need to guide user flow differently according to their unique characteristics.

Text is Still Best: Online editors’ attitudes towards news story platforms • Bartosz Wojdynski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Developments in Web audiences and business models have resulted in more converged news rooms, in which the ability to produce media for multiple platforms has become increasingly important. This paper examines results from a survey of online editors (n=31) from popular U.S. news sites to explore differential perceptions of the role, strengths, and weaknesses of six online story formats: text, video, audio, audio slideshow, interactive graphic, and multimedia package.

Diffusion of Innovation or Not?: Both Cases of Direct t-DTV Adoption With and Without Payment Kyung Han You, The pennsylvania State University; Hongjin Shim, Yonsei University • This study investigated factors affecting the intention to directly adopt terrestrial digital television (t-DTV), assuming that diffusion of t-DTV free-of-charge and with willingness-to-pay is not identical to general diffusion patterns. Findings showed that t-DTV adoption with willingness-to-pay followed general diffusion pattern, whereas t-DTV adoption free-of-charge did not. Further, Innovation characteristics did not predict intentions to directly adopt t-DTV free-of-charge. Findings suggested that willingness-to-pay is critical in determining diffusion patterns. Implications and limitations are also discussed.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Media Ethics Division 2010 Abstracts

Open Competition
Give Me MoMo: Exploring Moral Motivation in Public Relations Students • Mathew Cabot, San Jose State University • Recently, media ethics scholars have begun conducting research using moral development theories and instruments, joining researchers from other fields who have discovered the benefits (theoretical and pedagogical) of integrating moral psychology and moral philosophy in applied professional ethics. This study addresses the question, Why by moral? Using the Four-Component Model of moral functioning, this study examines the moral identities and moral commitments of public relations students from three California universities. Furthermore, it explores the connection between moral identities and professional identities and discusses how these relate to producing moral public relations practitioners.

A Contractarian Approach to Tabloids and the Limits of Celebrity Privacy • Mark Cenite, Nanyang Technological University • Celebrity gossip websites like TMZ have renewed perennial criticisms of tabloids for invading celebrities’ privacy, but this article argues that publication of much standard tabloid fare can be justified through a contractarian ethics approach that examines implied agreements between celebrities and media. Celebrities can be deemed to have assumed risks of relinquishing privacy by thrusting themselves into the limelight. A narrow range of celebrity privacy exists, however, and is violated in cases such as publication of medical information.

A pedagogical proposal on cognitive bias to avoid reportorial bias • Sue Ellen Christian, Western MIchigan University • In this conceptual proposal for an addition to the training of undergraduate students, I suggest that journalists – especially in today’s multicultural, global digital media world — need to be aware of cognitive biases to help avoid reportorial bias that stems from assumptions, stereotypes, norms and thinking processes. This article details an interdisciplinary pedagogical approach and how it has been incorporated into an undergraduate journalism reporting and writing capstone class with generally positive student feedback.

VNRs: Is the News Audience Deceived? • Matthew Broaddus, University of Tennessee; Mark Harmon, University of Tennessee; Kristin Farley Mounts, University of Tennessee • Using a snowball technique, the researchers presented survey respondents with authentic-looking local television news stories. The 132 respondents evaluated three stories. Some used station-generated footage, some network, and some VNRs. Respondents were asked their best estimation of the source. The data indicated a real likelihood VNR deception is occurring. Respondents averaged 56 percent correct identification of VNRs, compared to 65.7 percent for video from affiliated networks, and 82.3 percent correctly identifying locally shot video.

How legalities play a part in the transaction between journalists and their anonymous sources Michele Kimball, University of South Alabama • This research uses qualitative research methods to understand how journalists integrate legal factors into the process by which they determine whether to use unnamed sources in their news reporting. The journalists in this study contended that anonymous sourcing is an ethical issue. Therefore they don’t integrate potential legal ramifications into their ethical choices. But in actuality, many of the journalists’ choices regarding granting anonymity to sources were made with defensive legal strategies in mind.

Non-Western Ethics Analysis of Media Coverage of Death During the 2010 Winter Olympics Mitch Land, University of North Texas; Koji Fuse, University of North Texas; Susan Zavoina, University of North Texas (Associate Professor) • NBC aired a graphic video of the death of a Georgian Olympic luger, Nodar Kumaritashvili, and other U.S. media, including other broadcast networks. The New York Times followed suit. In light of fierce criticisms by the family, viewers and readers, this paper applies utilitarianism, the palaver tree concept, and Confucianism by using the Point-of-Decision Pyramid Model, a modification on the Potter Box, to explore Non-Western paths to moral reasoning in this case.

Personal Ethical Orientations of Journalism Students, Their Association with Tolerance of Others, and Learning Cross-Cultural Principles • Maria Len-Rios, U. of Missouri; Earnest Perry, University of Missouri • A pre-test/post-test study (N=152) gauges the relationship between student personal ethical orientations and the learning of cross-cultural journalism principles. Results reveal those with strong ethical idealism had greater knowledge of conceptual cross-cultural principles at T2 and more strongly believed that they were professionally important. RWA and SDO intolerant personality types were negatively associated with specific ethical orientations. Implications for teaching cross-cultural principles to those with intolerant personalities by incorporating ethical orientations into the course are discussed.

Edgar Snow: How His Early Years in China Illustrate the Importance (and Potential Limitations) of Objectivity • Anthony Moretti, Point Park University • This paper outlines why Edgar Snow concluded objectivity could not serve him as he reported from China in the 1930s and 1940s. Snow dealt with conflicting journalism values as he reported on a nation he came to love. Did his attachment mean he was no longer objective? Yes. This paper examines the ramifications of that question, whether it be answered yes or no.

The Fifth Estate: A textual analysis of how The Daily Show holds the watchdogs accountable Chad Painter, University of MIssouri School of Journalism; Lee Wilkins, University of MIssouri School of Journalism • This study investigates how Jon Stewart and his Daily Show correspondents use laughter to hold the media accountable. By defining accountability and linking it with normative understandings of journalism’s values and institutional role, the study attempts to document whether Stewart is serving as a mirror and critic of individual journalists and the institution of journalism itself. The study also evaluates whether Daily Show content that focuses on news media performance constitutes ethical political communication.

Identifying and Defining Values in Media Codes of Ethics • Chris Roberts, University of Alabama Among other functions, mass media codes of ethics help practitioners identify the values of their individual crafts. This paper uses typologies created by social psychologists to compare values identified in 11 ethics codes for journalists, advertising/marketing practitioners, public relations practitioners, and bloggers. Codes share many similar values types but also show differences based upon the nature of the craft for which the code was designed. Codes also use similar words to describe different values.

A separate code of ethics for online journalism? Results of a large-scale Delphi study Richard van der Wurff, Amsterdam School of Communication Research; Klaus Schoenbach, Amsterdam School of Communication Research & University of Vienna • Sixty experts in a three-wave Delphi study in the Netherlands assess the quality of online and traditional journalism and propose measures for improvement. A small set of commonly accepted journalistic norms, to be observed strictly (like accuracy and transparency), is separated from societal and contextual norms that journalists justifiably can hold different views on (like protecting privacy and separating entertainment from information). Based on these ideas, we propose a voluntary but binding code for journalism in the 21st century.

Ethical Priorities Revisited: A Delphi Study of Furture Ethical Issues facing Journalists Rebecca Tallent, University of Idaho; Michelle Wiest, University of Idaho • The recession of 2009-2010 accelerated many of the economic changes underway for a decade in American journalism, but what about ethical changes? Would smaller newsrooms, media convergence, and citizen journalism have any impact on journalism ethics? This study uses a Delphi technique to define future ethical issues that may result from economic and technical changes in the news media. In addition, the study compares the results with those in a 1995 study that attempted to predict future ethical issues prior to the technological explosion affecting the news industry.

Returning Students’ right to access, choice and notice: A proposed code of ethics for instructors using Turnitin • bastiaan vanacker, loyola university chicago • This paper is an attempt to identify the ethical issues involved with the use of Turnitin by college instructors. The paper first addresses the pros and cons of using plagiarism detection software (PDS) in general and argues that the use of such software in higher education can be justified on the basis that it increases institutional trust while the often cited drawbacks of such software are not universally valid. An analysis of the legal issues surrounding Turnitin will show that the way this particular PDS operates does raise some ethical issues because it denies students notice, access and choice about the treatment of their personal information. The insights of this analysis provide the underpinning for a code of ethics for professors using Turnitin.

The Power of Tank Man versus Neda: How New Media Iconic Images Create Ethical Connections Maggie Patterson, Duquesne University; Virginia Whitehouse, Whitworth University • Iconic images offer insight into new ways ethical connections can be made to battle censorship and indifference. The 1989 Tank Man images following the Tiananmen Square Massacre (6-4 Event), largely unseen inside China, is compared with the 2009 images of Neda Agha Soltan’s shooting death on the streets of Tehran during the Green Revolution, viewed worldwide on YouTube. Social networking and new media may provide ethical relationships that break through homophily.

Public Opinion about News Coverage of Leaders’ Private Lives: A Role for New vs. Old Media? • Bartosz Wojdynski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina • A Southern state telephone survey (n=416) found agreement that media coverage of public leaders’ private lives is an important news media responsibility, with agreement greater for legacy media than for online media, and differing depending on hypothetical scenarios presented. The data also suggest increasing tolerance of such coverage and growing belief in responsibility of media to report on private indiscretions relative to previous studies

Humiliation TV: A Philosophical Account of Exploitation in Reality Television • Wendy Wyatt, University of St. Thomas • This paper is a philosophical analysis of the frequent charge that reality television is exploitative. It relies primarily on Ruth Sample’s account of exploitation from her 2003 book Exploitation: What it is and Why it’s Wrong to determine, from a theoretically grounded position, whether and in what cases the charge is justifiable. The paper considers the competing values of reality TV and whether the goods that reality TV creates outweigh the harms of its potentially exploitative nature. The paper concludes with a discussion of what action, if any, should be taken in cases where exploitation does occur.

Student Papers – Burnett Competition
The student hypocrite: Exploring the relationship between values and behavior • Giselle A. Auger, University of Florida • Today’s students are tomorrow’s public relations practitioners. Increased demands for transparency and accountability in practice provided relevance for this study that explored the correlation between student values and their behaviors as indicators of how they are likely to perform as practitioners. The purpose of this study was to explore the relationships between student values, based on Kahle’s (1996) List of Values (LOV), the importance students place on ethical standards in public relations practice, and student’s adherence to their university’s honor code. Results of this study indicated a dichotomy between student values and behavior: there was little correlation between student values and their behavior, or between importance of ethical standards and behavior; however, strong correlation was found between student behavior and the perceived behavior of their peers.

Commodification of Community: The Ethics of Lay’s Local • Erica Goodman, University of Colorado at Boulder
• The rhetoric of local is increasingly prevalent in food advertising. Using the Lay’s Local campaign, this analysis employs Kidder’s Checklist to determine if advertisements from Frito-Lay are ethical and if they represent and support the objectives of the local food movement. Bok’s understanding of deception, Mill’s utilitarianism and Rand’s rational self-interest all lend to the final conclusion that the misrepresentation used has a short-term focus which does more harm than good and is therefore unethical.

Analyzing Ethics in Newspaper Stories about Capital Punishment • Kenna Griffin, University of Oklahoma • This study analyzed how ethical concepts are reflected in the news media’s coverage of capital punishment through a thematic content analysis of 37 news stories. Although deontological and consequentialist ethical theories were implicitly references throughout the sample, no specific references were made. This suggests the need for more deliberate attention of ethical contexts related to the execution process, as these themes help shape the public’s opinions about historically widely debated legal and social issue.

The Series of Tubes Incident: A Case Study of (Un)Ethical Framing in U.S. Newspapers • Cara Owen, University of Colorado- Boulder • Within today’s changing media environment, today’s newspaper organizations must look out for their own corporate interests in order to survive. For many organizations, meeting the bottom line is not often in the best interest of the citizens. This study gathered data on U.S. newspaper article framing regarding Senator Ted Stevens and the series of tubes incident. Results indicate that 29 percent of the articles merely mocked the Senator without providing political contextualization. The Potter Box model of reasoning was applied to explore justification for such framing. The researcher concluded that pure mockery framing is unethical according to Kant’s categorical imperative, Rawl’s Veil of Ignorance, Aristotle’s Golden Mean and Mill’s Utilitarianism.

Digital Sustainability: Ethical Observations of a Disappearing Present • Ed Peyronnin, Colorado State University • Our consciousness has never been more focused on the present. Key to our future is the record of our past. Repositories rapidly digitize content to improve speed and access. What ethical perspectives guide those who digitize our records? What are the moral duties of those responsible for placing cultural heritages into these repositories? This paper will begin a discussion that communications ethicists should have and provide a definition for the term digital amnesia.

The ethics of public records: Is it always right to publish? • Gwyneth Shaw, University of Arizona School of Journalism • This paper applies the ethical principles outlined by W.D. Ross and Sissela Bok and applies them to two cases involving public records, one involving tapes of jail interviews for Casey Anthony (a suspect in the disappearance of her daughter) and the other concerning a state database of concealed weapons permit holders. This paper asks whether, in today’s information-saturated age, journalists should publish information simply because the law says they may.

Reconsidering Transparency: Finding a Cooriented State in a Disoriented Concept • Ian Storey, Colorado State University • It is time to offer a clear definition of transparency and how it should be considered not only in interpersonal communication practices, but across a vast array of disciplines and professional practices. This paper is an attempt to precisely explicate the concept of transparency, while also offering new theoretical concepts about transparency in light of the influence of new communication technologies. Three states of transparency – including transmissional transparency, transactional transparency, and hypertransparency – are discussed and explicated in this work. The essay also offers initital suggestions of how further research to measure transparency might be found through the coorientation model.

Just (and Unjust) War Journalism ad, in, and post Bellum: Towards a Theory of Comprehensive Conflict Coverage • Philip Todd, University of Oklahoma • Because war is unique among human activities, journalists often lack any paradigm for comprehensive coverage of armed conflict. From the 2001 terrorist attacks, through the subsequent public debate and the eventual military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq, the ongoing discussion often invokes various appropriations of just war theory. This paper examines how this theory itself might serve as a starting point, ongoing rubric and expanded justification for such reportage, and proposes a dozen coverage concerns.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Mass Communication and Society Division 2010 Abstracts

Sources of Facts and Advice for Farmer Decision-Making Concerning Soil Conservation Practices in Wisconsin • Tammy Enz, Iowa State University; Eric Abbott, Iowa State University; Suman Lee, Iowa State University • This study uses diffusion theory and opinion leadership to investigate sources of facts and advice used in farmer decision-making concerning soil conservation practices. The importance of interpersonal interactions and the role of new communication technologies, including the Internet, email and the cellular telephone, as well as practical inquiry into which persons, organizations and/or media sources are important opinion leaders in the area of implementation of soil conservation were investigated. Information sources used in actual past behavior changes and information sources likely to be influential in a future hypothetical scenario were assessed. Data for this study were gathered through a random sample mail survey of Grant County, Wisconsin rural landowners. A return rate of 48% yielded 268 usable surveys. Findings reveal that farmers use a number of sources for information concerning the adoption of soil conservation innovations, with ‘neighbors and other farmers,’ ‘government agency staff’ and ‘magazines and other publications’ being the most frequently used and the most important sources throughout the decision process. Perceived trustworthiness of a source was found to be a significant predictor of perceived source influence and although 40 % of respondents reported that they are not Internet users, the Internet enjoys a relatively high-perceived trustworthiness among all respondents. Among Internet users, the Internet had a very high level of trust—ranking third behind ‘government agency staff’ and ‘neighbors and other farmers.’

Viral politics: A look into the credibility and effects of online viral political messages • Monica Ancu, U. of South Florida St. Petersburg • Since the advent of YouTube and video-sharing technology, a growing number of political viral ads have attracted both media attention and the audience fascination. These viral ads, either posted on YouTube or spread by online users through e-mail, can reach millions of viewers. The producers of such political messages are sometimes the political candidates themselves, but more often ordinary citizens with no apparent political credentials. It also often happens that the producer of these viral ads remain anonymous, while the viral ad circles the Internet and becomes part of popular culture. This experimental study investigates viewer reactions to viral political ads with various sources (politician, ordinary citizen, and anonymous), and also the impact of such ads on political attitudes. Findings show that viral ad can significantly influence viewers’ opinion of political candidates, despite the fact that the message might be anonymous. Viral ads produced by political candidates, ordinary citizens and anonymous sources received the same (low) levels of credibility among participants to this experiment.

Human interest and deceptiveness in the news: faking a human face • Ingrid Bachmann, University of Texas at Austin • This study compares deceptive news stories written by 9 high-profile journalists and authentic news stories from the same news organizations. The deceptive news score higher in Rudolph Flesch’s human interest index and also are more likely to humanize the news event by presenting a human example, emphasizing the human participants and exploring their personal lives. Without the restrictions of the complex world, deceptive reporters can create more interesting, dramatic stories than their non-deceptive colleagues.

Online Political Involvement and Connectivity Expectations toward Presidential Candidates Keunmin Bae, Pennsylvania State University; Pamela Brubaker, The Pennsylvania State University; Michael Horning, The Pennsylvania State University; Daniel J. Tamul, Pennsylvania State University • Scholars have demonstrated their research interest in the connections between conversation, media consumption and political participation. However, literature shows the interest can be further investigated in the context of the Internet-savvy media ecology. The current study aims to explore the causal mechanisms that involve political Internet users’ online information seeking and their participations in democratic processes before and after the 2008 U.S. presidential campaigns, taking the O-S-O-R and O-S-R-O-R models as theoretical foundations. Path analysis was employed, using a data set by Pew research center. An extended model of the O-S-R-O-R, which includes a cognitive variable at the end of the model, is presented with discussions of implications from findings.

Inequality in Knowledge Acquisition, Political Discussion, and Internet Exposure: Nonlinearity in the Acquisition of Knowledge in the Internet • Sungsoo Bang, UT, Austin • By testing the knowledge gap hypothesis based on South Korea’s 2007 national survey, this study examines whether Internet use increases or decreases the knowledge gap between social classes. This study finds that there is a significant difference in Internet consumption and knowledge acquisition depending on education. The results also support the significance of political discussion in modifying the relationship between education and knowledge acquisition from the Internet. Findings demonstrate that Internet consumption fosters, rather than decreases, the gap in political knowledge between social classes. Furthermore, this study finds that the relationship between knowledge acquisition and Internet exposure is not linear but curvilinear in specific segments of the population. Nonlinearity and nonaccumulation in knowledge acquisition from the Internet of the less-educated suggest the need for a theoretical modification of the knowledge gap, which is based on the linear relationship between knowledge acquisition and media use.

Are you a WOMAN? : Representation of Femininity in Two Women’s Magazines, Cleo & Her World • Iccha Basnyat, National University of Singapore; Leanne CHANG, National University of Singapore • Frames of how to be a woman reveals dominant social meanings. Therefore, content-analysis was conducted to examine portrayals of femininity vis-à-vis masculinity within frames of women’s magazines. Findings reflect a blurry line between femininity in opposition to masculinity. However, new frames of being a woman have emerged in dichotomized frames of traditional versus modern. Frames continue to create a lens for interpretation of social meanings of gendered personhood creating expectations to meet the ideal image.

Sex, Race, and Misrepresentation: the Political Implications of Interracial Relationships in American Film • Carole Bell, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study explored the representation of supportive and critical messages about interracial dating in popular film. More specifically, the study addressed how films depicting interracial couples encourage audiences to view these relationships within distinct political perspectives and racialized systems of belief. Using a combination of frame analysis and a cultural/critical approach, this research showed that the representation of interracial couples in American films has often been, as some scholars theorized, observably problematic and in contradiction of Hollywood’s ostensibly egalitarian ideals. Despite marked social change during the period studied, certain tropes of interracial interaction remain prominent across long periods of time- especially the association of interracial relationships with social costs from peers and family and friends, the tendency to present the interracial romance as one that is less likely to be long lasting and fully realized, and the near ubiquitous association of interracial romance with violence.

‘Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be All Right; Popular Music as a Way of Coping After the Virginia Tech Shootings • Jennifer Billinson, The S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University The connection between emotion and music is one that we have come to accept as common knowledge, turning to music as a way of dealing with tragedy and grief. Although it has been explored separately throughout disciplines in the past, in order to truly understand the human connection between music and grief, I have examined literature in the fields of sociology, psychology, and anthropology, paired with uses and gratifications theory in order to explore this occurrence from a communications standpoint. The purpose of this inquiry is to examine how popular music is used in the wake of national tragedies. A textual analysis of the music used in 100 YouTube tribute videos created after the shootings at Virginia Tech was conducted in order to better understand how music was employed to heal and assuage the grief of a college campus, as well as a country. Results show that songs chosen were overwhelmingly popular music, falling into two categories; sad at the time, and timelessly sad. In addition, video producers stated that they created videos as a way to heal themselves, attempt to heal others, or simply because they could think of no other action they could take in the wake of such tragedy.

The Skinny On Weight Stigmatization: Testing the Effectiveness of a Media Literacy Program Designed to Decrease Anti-Fat Bias in Children • Scott Parrott, The University of Alabama; Kim Bissell, University of Alabama • Several studies have examined factors related to bias against people who are overweight, but to date, no study solidifies the variety of factors that could be responsible for anti-fat bias in children. This study examined implicit and explicit levels of fat bias in grade school children with the goal of identifying factors that might be stronger predictors of weight stigmatization. Further, the study tested how or if a media literacy program designed to address weight stigmatization might result is less critical assessments of overweight individuals. Thus, the study presented here had two over-arching objectives: test the effectiveness of a media literacy campaign aimed at decreasing stigma against overweight individuals; and b) identify possible correlates of pre-existing negative attitudes about overweight individuals. Findings from this research suggest that the literacy program addressing weight stigmatization was successful in changing these children’s perceptions about overweight individuals. Using a pre-test/post-test within-subjects experimental design, just over 200 elementary and middle school children were assessed on their degree of fat bias and then exposed to a month-long intervention program designed to reduce weight stigma. Post-test results indicate that when participants were asked to report their likelihood to be friends with an overweight individual, children across demographic groups reported greater willingness to do so following the intervention program. In terms of predictors of anti-fat bias, our findings suggest demographic variables along with television viewing and household dieting behavior were related to children’s pre-test levels of weight bias. These and other findings are discussed.

Thinkers versus feelers: The role of cognitive processing styles and media in the development of in weight stigmatization • Kim Bissell, University of Alabama; Scott Parrott, The University of Alabama; Steven Collins, University of Central Florida • Several studies have examined the complex factors related to the stigmatization or bias against people who are overweight, but to date, no study solidifies the variety of factors that could be responsible for anti-fat bias in adults. This study of 176 adults examined implicit and explicit attitudes of anti-fat bias along with media exposure and two measures of cognitive processing, rational and experiential processing. Using factors that represent an individual and social environment, we were able to identify factors that served as the stronger predictors of weight bias against others. Results suggest that experiential processing along with greater exposure to entertainment media were the strongest predictors of anti-fat bias in this adult sample. The descriptive results from the IAT are also some of the more telling results from the present study, as a majority of the sample linked positive adjectives to thin and negative adjectives to fat. Future research should continue to vet out the possible correlates of implicit and explicit measures of weight bias so that intervention strategies can be created and promoted. These and other findings are discussed.

Learning how to vote: Vote determinants for parent-child dyads in the 2008 election Learning how to vote: Vote determinants for parent-child dyads in the 2008 election Leticia Bode, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Kjerstin Thorson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Emily Vraga, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dhavan Shah, University of Wisconsin-Madison Although we know a great deal about how people decide for whom they will vote, we do not have much understanding of how they think about that decision. This project explores the stated factors to which adolescents and their parents attribute their voting decisions, and to what extent parent-child dyads co-orient in terms of those factors. We find that co-orientation increases during the election cycle, and predicts co-orientation of partisanship.

Indexing in Economic News: Coverage of the 2009 Economic Stimulus Package • Portia Bridges, Manship School of Mass Communication at Louisiana State University • Indexing theory predicts that media coverage will reflect levels of elite debate. Elite controversy should embolden press to report a more open public debate. Indexing is expected to operate in certain issue areas of news coverage, but support for the theory exists largely in the realm of foreign affairs. This study evaluates indexing for a macroeconomic issue, the 2009 economic stimulus package. Although elite sources dominated, coverage did include a range of non-governmental voices.

Biofuels and Public Benefit and Risk Perceptions: The Interacting Effects of Political Ideology and Media Attention • Michael Cacciatore, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Andrew Binder, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dietram Scheufele, University of Wisconsin; Bret Shaw, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Research on public opinion formation for biofuels is severely lacking and is necessary for policymakers and industry alike in order to determine the future of this scientific innovation. In this paper, we focus on two primary factors that have been found to influence opinions about emerging science and technology: political party identification and media attention. In particular, we examine the main effects of political media attention, science media attention, and political party affiliation on domain-specific benefit vs. risk perceptions of biofuels. Next, we test for interaction effects between media attention and party ID on our benefit vs. risk perception measures in order to garner a more detailed understanding of the process of biofuels opinion formation. Our results suggest a moderating role of people’s political party identification on political media attention across perceptions of benefits vs. risks for biofuels. These findings suggest that attention to political content, both on television and in newspapers can have rather different effects on the benefit vs. risk perceptions of Democrats and Republicans, respectively.

Pundits or Pugilists? The Role of Guest Incivility in Televised Debate D. Jasun Carr, UW-Madison; Emily Vraga, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Courtney Johnson, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Mitchell Bard, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Young Mie Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison • An increasingly competitive media landscape has caused stylistic changes in news programming. This experiment employs a 3×2 design to examine how moderator style and guest tone influence media perceptions. Results illustrate that among the three moderator styles — correspondent, combatant, and comic — the correspondent moderator produced the highest ratings of media credibility and program evaluations without limiting entertainment value. However, guest tone does not directly or indirectly affect perceptions of the program or the media.

Listening in: Profiling podcast users and their political participation Monica Chadha, School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin; Alex Avila, University of Texas at Austin; Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Texas – Austin • Little research is available on podcast users and their role within democratic societies. Internet use for news has been shown to positively relate to political engagement leading to increased political participation levels both, offline and online. Other forms of digital and user-generated media such as blogs and various modes of citizen-journalism with the same political framework have also been the focus of academic study, yielding similar results. Nevertheless, the emerging world of podcasting remains outside this realm. Based on U.S. national data, results lend support to the notion that podcast use for news leads to political participation even when controlling for the effect of other media forms. This paper also identifies unique demographic predictors for those likely to be podcast listeners.

An Exploration of Trends in Food Attitudes and Behaviors Among Adults with 6-11 Year Old Children: An Agenda Setting Theory Perspective • MARIEA HOY, Univ of Tennessee; COURTNEY CHILDERS, Univ of Tennessee • Based on Agenda Setting Theory (McCombs & Shaw, 1972), the documented increase in obesity-related news stories over past decade should result in an upsurge in obesity’s perceived importance among the public. Using secondary data from a large, nationally representative sample of parents/guardians of six to 11 year olds from 2002 to 2008, notable changes in attitudes and behaviors among these primary gatekeepers of children’s food choices and consumption habits are discussed. This exploratory study provides the media, public policy makers, and communication strategists with a means to identify specific aspects of the obesity issue that may encourage a healthier diet and lifestyle.

Why Are We Losing the War on Obesity? Contradictory Social Cognitive Effects of Media on Individuals’ Health and Behavior against Higher BMI, Lower Education Level, and Poverty hojoon choi, The University of Georgia; Minsun Shim, University of Georgia • Using HINTS data 2005, this study examines why the efforts of US government and public organizations for reducing overweight and obesity problem through media have been ineffective. Guided by social cognitive theory, this study found 1) the social cognitive effect of health information exposure through media is too weak to improve overweight and obesity problem, and 2) there is contradictory social cognitive effect deepening the problem, from media vehicle itself. Our findings provide implications and suggestions with regards to public health policy, especially of how public health policy should efficiently be planned to improve overweight and obesity.

Continued Willingness to Purchase after Learning an Advertisement is False John Donahue, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Melanie Green, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill In the present study the truth status of a narrative advertisement was manipulated. Some participants were led to believe the ad was factual, while other participants were informed it was inaccurate due to unintentional inaccuracy or intentional deception. Although readers who learned of the deception derogated the marketing department that created the ad, they were still as willing to purchase the product as those readers who were never informed of a deception taking place.

How Washington, DC Prestige Press Make Meaning of Contemporary National Security Media Coverage • Heather Epkins, University of Maryland, College Park • This qualitative study employs 15 in-depth interviews with Washington, D.C. national security prestige press (Stempel, 1961) to explore perceptions of building terrorism news content, including the recent rhetoric shift to Overseas Contingency Operation from War on Terror. Rarely studied but extremely influential, these particular reporters offer substantial insider knowledge on evolving trends for terrorism news production. Findings include evidence of new journalist routines with implications for public policy and the integrity of journalist practices.

Exaggeration of Self in Everyday Life: Symbolic Interaction and • Lee Farquhar, Samford University • This yearlong cyber-ethnography examined identity performances on With a symbolic interaction framework, the study relied on participant observation of about 350 college-aged Facebookers and interviews and guided tours of Facebooker profiles with a sample subset of 48 individuals. Results indicate that Facebook identity presentations tend toward exaggeration due to the characteristics of computer-mediated communication, the norms of Facebook, and the structure of the site itself. Specifically Facebookers perform identity through status updates, images, uploaded photos, and other mini-applications through the site. Regarding method, this study showed that participants were much more comfortable and talkative via online interactions – such as through Facebook’s chat function – than they were in face-to-face interviews.

Building Identity Through Facebook Images • Lee Farquhar, Samford University • This study examines identity presentations and interpretations on Facebook, focusing on images – specifically uploaded photos. The two-phase research design includes a period of participant observation of a sample of 346 college students and recent graduates followed by an interview period with a sample subset of 48 interviewees. The study analyzes photos and other images with a symbolic interaction perspective, relying on participant impressions and language to generate categories of photos, examine the role of identity pegs, and assess the role of the profile pic as a first impression. Results suggest that Facebookers actively manage their identity through the employment and manipulation of Facebook applications such as Pieces of Flair and Bumper Stickers and by selecting and highlighting specific photo types. Use of visuals on Facebook is often tied to establishing the Facebooker’s membership in in-groups while disassociating the Facebooker from out-groups.

Social Networking Sites from an Interpersonal Perspective: Facebook and Expectancy Violation Theory • Eric Fife, James Madison University; C. Leigh Nelson, James Madison University; Kristin Zhang, James Madison University • An online survey of 237 respondents at a large southeastern university revealed that the tenets of expectancy violation theory generally apply to Facebook. Participants reported a wide range of expectancy violations on Facebook. A moderate positive relationship was found between violation valence and uncertainty reduction, while relational closeness was identified as an independent variable influencing evaluations of expectancy violations on Facebook. Implications for the continued use of expectancy violation theory in Facebook scholarship are considered.

Framing Across the Pond: A comparative perspective on the media coverage of the 2009 health care reform debate • Jackson Foote, University of Missouri – St. Louis • Drawing on the social constructionist approach to framing, cross-cultural media studies, and Gamson & Lasch’s (1983) signature matrix, this paper compares the latest round of news discourse around the health care issue in leading newspapers in the United Kingdom and the United States. I question whether the way in which the US policy debate is framed in prestige newspapers on different sides of the Atlantic reveals key differences in the ‘issue culture,’ a deep-rooted set of clustered idea elements surrounding health care in these two countries.

Undressing the Words: Analysis of Genre and Gender in the use of Profanity, Misogyny, Violence, and Gender Role Presentation in Today’s Popular Music • Cynthia Frisby, University of Missouri
• Much of the literature relating to effects of music lyrics suggests that hip hop/rap music, contains violent and misogynic lyrics. Is hip hop/rap music the only genre to rely on anti-social message themes? Previous research on the subject of the deleterious effects of hip hop music has yet to answer this question, thus it was determined that it was time to listen to [all] the music. The present research examines the genre, gender of the artist, use of profanity, portrayal of women, stereotypes, and references to violence for the top songs in the years 2006, 2007 and 2009. A content analysis of 150 randomly drawn songs from a total of 8 genres was conducted. The present study shows that both genres, pop and hip hop/rap music, genres that are popular with most adolescents today contain message themes that center around the use of profanity, communicate violence, demean and objectify women, and perpetuate gender steoreotypes–supporting theoretical caveats of objectification theory.

Political Cynicism and Political Involvement Reconsidered: A Test of Antecedents • Hanlong Fu, University of Connecticut; Yi Mou, University of Connecticut; Mike Miller, University of Connecticut; Gerard Jalette, University of Connecticut • This study investigates the relationship between political cynicism and political involvement by connecting them with antecedent variables: need for cognition, elaboration and perceived media importance. The findings show that elaboration and political involvement are exogenous, casting influence on political cynicism, need for cognition, and perceived importance of media. This finding confirms the previous contention that political involvement is the key to harnessing political disaffection. The results also show that political involvement is positively associated with political cynicism, echoing recent evidence that cynical citizens can be politically involved in some context. The implications of the results for future research are discussed.

The Role of Physicians’ Beliefs about e-Health and Perceived Peer Endorsement in Discussing e-Health with Patients • Erin Robinson, Georgia Hospital Association; Yuki Fujioka, Georgia State University • A survey of 104 physicians examined the role of physicians’ personal beliefs about e-health, perceived peer endorsement of discussing e-health with their patients, and perceived self-efficacy in the way physicians interact with their patients. Perceived benefits of e-health information predicted more positive mediation (endorsement of e-health); whereas perceived negative effects of e-health was associated with more negative (counter-reinforcement of e-health) and restrictive (limit the kind of e-health websites) mediation. Negative evaluation of e-health was only related to more negative mediation. The study also suggested that greater perceived peer endorsement affected physicians’ mediation behaviors. Findings are discussed in light of the literature of parental mediation of media and Theory of Reasoned Action.

Predictors of Verbal Aggression: Demographics,Sociological Factors, and Media Usage • Jack Glascock, Illinois State UniversityIn this study demographic, sociological and media usage factors were assessed for their relative contribution to verbal aggression. Male participants reported more verbally aggressive behavior and attended to more aggressive media. Social correlates such as parental and peer influences and demographics, primarily sex and SES, were found to be relatively significant contributors to verbal aggression while media consumption accounted for only 4% of the explained variance. In light of these findings, it seems that intervention at the parental level might be the most effective strategy in moderating potentially damaging verbally aggressive behaviors.

Political Socialization of 2008 First-time Eligible Presidential Voters: How this cohort integrates their perceptions of Politics, Patriotism, Religion and News Media • Kenna Griffin, University of Oklahoma; Peter Gade, University of Oklahoma • This study explores the political socialization and attitudes of a large, important group of the political electorate—first-time presidential voters. The 2008 cohort, Millennials, was the largest, most culturally diverse and tech-savvy group of first-time presidential voters in U.S. history. The sample sorted 42 opinion statements about politics, patriotism, religion and news media prior to the 2008 presidential election. Three factors of like-minded groups – Skeptical Freethinker, Conservative-Christian Patriot and Patriotic Information-seeker – emerged from Q-methodology analysis.

Creating Cultural Conflict: Biased Geographic Reporting of Crime on the Southeast Side Robert Gutsche Jr, The University of Iowa • Over a five-month period in 2009, a student-run college newspaper covered a rise in crime in its city after eight teenagers were arrested for their alleged participation in mob violence on the city’s southeast side. This textual analysis turns to the concept cultural news narratives to understand the coverage of the southeast side as a representation of the other world.

Mass Media and Racial/Ethnic Minorities; Analysis of News Coverage of the Kosians (Korean-Asians) in South Korea, 2001-2009 • Eun-Jeong Han, Washington State University • The purpose of this study is to examine how the Korean newspapers (re)create, and represent Kosians (Korean-Asians). Through the analysis of 349 articles published from April 1st 2001 to April 1st 2009, this study shows that Korean news media; 1) enforced Kosians’ cultural assimilation to dominant Korean cultures without Koreans’ attitude changes; 2) strategically blocked Kosians’ collective actions reporting individual-focused successful stories; and 3) inhibited Kosians’ empowerment presenting them as a group of powerless Other.

Affluenza Effects in a Broad Context: Twelve Further Tests of the TV-Materialism Link • Mark Harmon, University of Tennessee • Secondary analyses of twelve surveys test links between TV viewing and materialist/consumerist attitudes, producing support for the affluenza hypotheses. One cannot conclude, however, that television viewing causes materialistic values or leads to symptoms of materialism such as financial worry, debt, life dissatisfaction, and unhappiness. These data suggest an alternate relationship: those who are bored, poor, alone, and/or sick spend more time with television as a cheap and easy diversion, but it proves to be unsatisfying.

Need for Orientation and Journalists’ Use of Political Blogs in Covering the 2008 Presidential Campaign • Kyle Heim, Seton Hall University • This study examined journalists’ need for orientation through a survey of reporters who covered the 2008 presidential campaign. Reporters’ levels of journalism experience and whether they were based in Washington, D.C., were significant predictors of their use of political blogs to satisfy informational needs, confirming that need for orientation, consisting of the lower-order concepts of uncertainty and relevance, can be applied to intermedia agenda setting. A separate conceptualization of reporters’ need for orientation toward issues, frames, and evaluations found less support.

Trusting Institutions, Citizen Journalism and the Hostile Media Phenomena • Jill Hopke, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Eugenia Highland, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Hernando Rojas, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Albert Gunther, University of Wisconsin-Madison Using a three-wave design with an embedded web-based experiment, this study considers the controversy over agricultural production in the United States to examine partisan’s perceptions of hostility in traditional and citizen journalism content. Findings show that (1) attributing media content to a citizen journalism source, does not alter the perceptions of hostility overall or of the specific news story; (2) those who are higher on institutional trust tend to perceive less hostility in media coverage overall; and (3) there is a significant interaction between media source and institutional trust. Those higher on trust perceive less bias in a traditional journalism story than in a citizen journalism one. Implications for future research are discussed.

Impact of Internet Pornography on Adolescents’ Acceptance of Rape Myths Chien-Yi Hsiang, School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University • This study examines the effects of Internet pornography on adolescents’ acceptance of rape myths and their attitudes toward rape victims and rapists. Data used for this study come from a survey of 1,668 high school students in Taipei, Taiwan. Results of the study show that exposure to Internet pornography is significantly related to increased acceptance of rape myths, decreased perception of rape victim suffering, and reduced recommended prison terms for rapists.

Beyond Exposure: Exploring the Role of Economic News Coverage in People’s Sense of Economic Well-being • David Remund, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Nell Huang, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina; Jennifer Harlow, UNC-CH • Prior research has suggested that exposure to news media may not alone account for economic awareness and perceptions. Through analysis of state-wide survey data and county-level economic indicators, this study finds that measures of real-world economic conditions play a more important role in predicting a person’s sense of economic well-being than news media exposure, attention, or perceived economic coverage quality.

Message Boards, Public Discourse and Historical Meaning: An Online Community Reacts to September 11 • Bonnie Bressers, Kansas State University; Janice Hume, University of Georgia This study examines messages posted to in the first three days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Readers used this new communication technology to engage in geographically and temporally unrestricted public discourse. They exchanged opinions, released emotions, argued, supported and reacted. Their dialogue offers a glimpse into the mediated public conversation at an important historic moment when people were just beginning to understand the tragedy’s meaning and the possibilities of interactive, digital technologies.

Theory Driven Message Development and the Effectiveness of the Entertainment Education Strategy in Sexual Assault Prevention • Stacey Hust, Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University; Paula Adams, Washington State University; Chunbo Ren, Washington State University; Ming Lei, Washington State University; Jessica Fitts Willoughby, Washington State University; Cassie Norman, Washington State University; Marie Louise Radanielina-Hita, Washington State University; Emily Garrigues Marrett, Mississippi State University; Bruce Pinkleton, Washington State University • Despite its appeal to health practitioners, questions about the effectiveness of entertainment-education still exist. This study uses an experiment to test the effectiveness of EE materials focused on sexual assault prevention that emphasized either norm corrective material or behavior modeling content. The results signify that EE based on different theoretical foundations can successfully change attitudes and efficacy. For optimal effects, however, message designers may want to use theoretical foundations that best match their intended goals.

Intermedia agenda setting in television, online newspapers, portal sites, and blogs in South Korea JIN SOOK IM, University of Florida • This study examined the agendas of news on portal sites, blogs news, television and an online newspaper in South Korea in order to determine how intermedia agenda setting functions in the media. This study selected four medias—MBC (television), Chosun Ilbo (an online newspaper), Daum (a portal site with a news service), and Daum Blogger News (blogs news). Based on the results, this study concluded that all media share the agenda. Portal sites news influence on the agenda of television, online newspaper, and blogs. The portal site news and blogs news are interactively connected. The online newspaper has a large influence on the portal site news rather than other media. Television and online newspapaper influenced each other, yet television has more influence on the online newspaper. Traditional media, television and online newspaper influence the agenda of blogs news. However the agenda of blogs news did not influence on the agenda of television and online newspaper but on portal site news.

Comparing Frames Analysis: The Influenza A (H1N1) Flu in U.S. and South Korea Newspapers JIN SOOK IM, University of Florida • This study revealed several frames in the coverage of H1N1: emergency frame, hope frame, attention frame, blame frame, statement frame, economic frame, and conflict frame. The most prominent frame in both newspapers was emergency, followed by hope, attention, blame and statement, economic, and conflict. After confirming the first death, the prominent frame in the U.S. media changed from an attention frame to an emergency frame. South Korean print media did not change their dominant frame. Both before and after the first Korean death in South Korea was confirmed, the preferred frame was emergency frame. Some journalists employed war words, and the use of a hope frame decreased after the first death was confirmed. The conflict frame did not appear in the South Korean coverage, whereas U.S. print media showed a conflict frame after the first death was confirmed.

Adolescent development of political efficacy and its mediating role in political socialization Mi Jahng, University of Missouri-Columbia; Hans Meyer, Ohio University; Esther Thorson, University of Missouri • Through a survey of more than 1,200 pairs of teenagers and their parents, this study examined what factors lead to political knowledge and political participation in young children. We also examined whether these factors changed as children aged. Tweens (12-14 years old) seemed to rely more on parental political involvement and family political discussion for their political knowledge, while teens (15-18) relied more on finding knowledge through school and the media. In diagramming how knowledge moved to participation however, political efficacy or the belief that their actions made a difference were the largest predictors for tweens and teens. The study suggests that programs designed to get children interested and participating in politics should focus on developing self-efficacy instead of simply imparting knowledge or political opinions.

Political Knowledge and Participation in Teens During Low and High Political Interest Periods Surrounding the U.S. 2008 Presidential Election • Esther Thorson, University of Missouri; Mi Jahng, University of Missouri-Columbia; Mitchell McKinney, University of Missouri-Columbia • The impact of family talk, school political education, parental political participation, youth news media exposure, and three cognitive/attitudinal variables on political knowledge and four measures of political participation were examined in a three-wave panel study of 11-17 year olds and their before, immediately after, and six months after the U.S. Presidential election. Patterns of impact of the predictor variables were consistent across time, but varied significantly across the knowledge and participation measures.

Talking about Poverty: News Framing of Who Is Responsible for Causing and Fixing the ProblemSei-Hill Kim, University of South Carolina; John Carvalho, Auburn University; Andrew Davis, Auburn University • We explore how American news media frame the poverty issue, looking at the way the media present the causes and solutions. We also examine the notion of frame building, exploring the factors that may influence the way an issue is framed. Findings indicate that the media’s attributions of responsibility are largely societal, focusing on causes and solutions at the social level more than the personal level. Liberal newspapers, in particular, have made more references than conservative papers to social causes and solutions. We also report that television news is slightly less likely than newspapers to make social-level attributions.

Does the Internet Lead to Fragmentation? Relationships of Relative Entertainment Use and Incidental News Exposure with Political Knowledge and Participation Yonghwan Kim, University of Texas at Austin; Hsuan-Ting Chen, University of Texas at Austin; Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Texas – Austin • This study tests the fragmentation thesis by examining how and whether relative entertainment use (REU) and incidental news exposure (INE) on the Internet are related to citizens’ political knowledge and participation. In other words, the current study investigates how people’s REU and INE influence the fragmentation process – expressed in terms of the public’s political knowledge and political engagement – and how these independent variables interplay in that process. Using a national survey conducted online (N = 1,159), we find that Internet use for entertainment may have less impact on the public’s fragmentation process. On the other hand, the findings suggest that accidental news exposure on the Internet have an important role in informing citizens and facilitating their political participation. INE on the Internet was positively related to the respondents’ political knowledge and online political participation. More importantly, we find consistent patterns indicating the interaction between REU and INE to the respondents’ political knowledge and online forms of political participation. Those who were less likely to use the Internet for entertainment were more likely to be knowledgeable about politics and participate in online political activities when they were accidently exposed to news online. Findings suggest that whether the Internet leads to the fragmentation of a society and whether it promotes informed and active citizenship may depend on the level of REU and INE. Implications are discussed.

Exploring Effectiveness of Credibility in Usage of Political Blogs • June-yung Kim, University of Florida; Hanna Park, University of Florida • Although online blogs have become one of the most popular sources among people seeking information, there is a debate about the credibility of blogs. This study examined the effect of Web design and the quality of arguments on political blogs on internet users’ perception of blogs using Petty and Cacioppo’s Elaboration Likelihood Model (1983). The level of issue involvement was also investigated as a moderator. Statistical results are discussed in the result section.

Experiment examining poll disclosure effects on issue attitudes and perceived credibility • Ashley Kirzinger, Louisiana State University • Recently, pollsters have been pressuring media organizations to include more information when reporting polls. This experiment answers two parts of this debate: Are there differences in how levels of poll disclosure affect attitudes and are consumers able to distinguish differences in poll quality? Findings support that different levels of poll disclosure may have different effects on individual attitudes and that we are not good consumers or evaluators of polling data.

Entertainment versus Hard News: Does Entertainment News have more of an Influence on the Priming Effect than Hard News? • Jennifer Kowalewski, Texas Christian University •  The Pew Research Center for People & the Press (Kohut, 2004, 2007) has reported that more young people are turning to nontraditional news programs for political information such as Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show. Entertainment programs often have political information but present that information in a more humorous context than news programs. This experiment tests how the presentation style, entertainment versus hard news, influences the priming effects, taking into account existing attitudes. The findings suggest that for certain issues traditional news programs do not have a monopoly on informing individuals about the current political environment. For other issues, journalists may need to convey the importance of those issues to their audience by eliminating the humor. Overall, though, the experiment showed promising results. As entertainment news programs grow in popularity, more research is needed to investigate more fully how these programs may influence public opinion.

Mediated struggle in bill-making: How sources shaped news coverage about health care reform Denis Wu, Boston University; Cheryl Ann Lambert, Boston University • This research study analyzed sources used in news coverage of President Obama’s health care reform from January-November 2009 when the House of Representatives passed the health care reform bill. The media access model and agenda-building were applied to the sources including administration, pharmaceutical companies, physicians, and special interest groups. Findings indicated that health industry sources were cited more than citizens and government sources were cited more frequently than health industry sources.

Death in the American Family: Framing of Health Care Reform after Senator Edward Kennedy’s Death • ben lapoe, Louisiana State University This paper presents a textual analysis of newspaper articles that focused on health care reform a week before and a week after Senator Edward Kennedy’s death; health care reform was one of Senator Kennedy’s passions. Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Kim Walsh-Childers, and Jean Carver Chance (2003) analyzed health care reform coverage in 1996 and found that health care consumers were relatively voiceless. Unlike their findings, this paper found that in 2009, the public boasted a loud voice in newspaper coverage of health care reform. However, these voices were not framed as victims, but as extreme, confused, and angry antagonists.

The Effects of Cosmetic Surgery Reality Shows on the Cognitions of Beauty and Desire for Cosmetic Enhancements • Shu-Yueh Lee, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • The priming effects of cosmetic surgery reality shows were supported by this study. After exposure to cosmetic surgery reality shows, viewers’ beliefs about beauty and stereotypes about physically unattractive people were reinforced. Priming with cosmetic surgery reality shows also increased the desire for cosmetic enhancements. Gender and body anxiety play important roles in affecting the perceived privileges of beauty and the intent to undergo cosmetic enhancements. Women were more likely to have the desire for cosmetic enhancements; however, men were more likely to endorse the power of beauty. Additionally, the habitual viewing of makeover shows appeared to have a more profound effect on the stereotypical perceptions of physically unattractive people.

Ideology-Motivated Selective Exposure on the Internet and Its Impact on Political Judgment ByungGu Lee, University of Wisconsin-Madison; JungHwan Yang, University of Wisconsin-Madison In the context of a partisan dispute over a major policy in South Korea, we examined the notion that people prefer ideologically congruent content in the new media environment and the selectively consumed information mediates the indirect impact of political ideology on political evaluations. We tested these ideas by analyzing data from a sample of Internet users in Seoul, Korea and neighboring regions (N = 275). The results demonstrate that political ideology significantly predicted the kind of online information people preferred to consume. The emerged partisan selectivity in turn influenced political evaluations in a way that the direction of political opinion corresponded to the prevailing valence of selectively consumed content. Moreover, the impact of ideology on political evaluations remained significant when controlling for online partisan selectivity. However, no significant influence of ideology extremity on the degree of selectivity was found. Implications for selective exposure and future research are discussed.

What are Americans seeing? Examining the Gain and Loss frames of Local Health News Stories Hyunmin Lee, University of Missouri-Columbia; YoungAh Lee, Missouri School of Journalism; Sun-A Park, University of Missouri; Erin Willis, University of Missouri School of Journalism • While local television news is the number one source among Americans for health information seeking, relatively little attention has been given to what viewers are actually watching in these news. Guided by framing theory and prospect theory, this study conducted a comparative content analysis of how local television health news stories (N=416) utilized gain or loss frames. The type of frame of the health news story showed differences across health news topics, tone of the news, length and prominence, and mentions of efficacy or conflict.

The World According to Beck: An Economic Exchange of Abstract Symbolism Between Subjects Christina Lefevre-Gonzalez, The University of Colorado, Boulder • Fox News host Glenn Beck has become an object of derision and intrigue for political analysts and media critics alike. Because his rhetoric appears to be disconnected from empirical reality, critics have focused on psychological discussions of both him and his viewers. As an alternative, this paper explores this relationship as a two-way ideological and economic exchange between subjects, seated in political economy, rhetorical theory, and phenomenology, producing a deeper understanding of Beck and his audience.

Conceptualizing the Role of Gender in Journalistic Practice: A Pilot Study Examining Leverage Maria Len-Rios, U. of Missouri; Amanda Hinnant, U. of Missouri; JiYeon Jeong, Missouri School of Journalism • This study theorizes about the role journalist gender plays in sourcing decisions that ultimately affect gender representation in news content. An analysis of the literature is presented and then a pilot study is introduced to examine these ideas among a specific subset of journalists: health journalists (N = 598). The data reveal no gender gap regarding knowledge and journalistic training. Differences were found by story topic and attitudes toward writing about gender-specific health stories. The concept of leverage and journalistic experience is discussed in relation to women journalists and journalist roles.

Advertisers’ Use of Model Distinctiveness: Main Model Characteristics in Cosmopolitan and Latina Magazines • Maria Len-Rios, U. of Missouri; JiYeon Jeong, Missouri School of Journalism; Elizabeth Gardner, University of Missouri; YoungAh Lee, Missouri School of Journalism Distinctiveness theory is applied to examine if ads in Hispanic women’s magazines are culturally targeted. Analysis of Cosmopolitan (N=739) and Latina (N=428) reveals that Latina ads contain models that are more racially (Cramer’s V= .15) and ethnically (V=.41) diverse, have darker skin (V=.12), and larger body sizes (V=.12). Sociocultural cues such as racial pride (V=.20), collectivism (V=.28) and cultural application (V=.25) appear more often in Latina ads. Implications for culturally targeting ads are discussed.

Online Parenting Information Seeking: Attitude and Usage of Chinese Parents with 0-to-6-year-old Children Yan Cui, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Wan Chi Leung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This research examines how Internet connectedness, expectancy value and needs are related to attitude and usage of the Internet in seeking parenting information by Internet users with children aged 0 to 6 in China. This study empirically extends previous research from health information to more general parenting information. It also enriches the research regarding the Internet and parenting information seeking.

Media exposure, self, collective and proxy efficacy: Predicting preventative behaviors in a public health emergency • Xigen Li, City University of Hong Kong; Xudong Liu, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • This study explored the factors that predict the preventive behaviors in a long-lasting and worldwide public health emergency, H1N1 influenza pandemic. The study found that proximity of media exposure to H1N1 influenza pandemic had a positive effect on fear arousal and perceived threat. Besides self-efficacy, the study explored the impact of the belief in the ability of others in fulfilling a collectively beneficial goal. Both collective efficacy and proxy efficacy positively predicted preventive behaviors towards H1N1 influenza. While self-efficacy had a positive effect on preventive behavior, the hypothesis about the effect of self-efficacy on preventive behaviors moderated by proxy efficacy was not supported.

Influence of Value Predispositions, Interpersonal Contact, and Mediated Exposure on Public Attitudes toward Homosexuals in Singapore • Benjamin Detenber, Nanyang Technological University; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University; Rachel Lijie Neo, Nanyang Technological University; Shelly Malik, Nanyang Technological University; Mark Cenite, Nanyang Technological University • As a follow up to an earlier study (Detenber et al., 2007), this national survey tracks changes in Singaporeans’ attitudes toward lesbians and gay men (ATLG) and examines value predispositions, interpersonal contact and mediated exposure as predictors of ATLG and acceptance of homosexuals. Findings indicate that there was no significant change in ATLG from 2005 to 2010. Intrinsic religiosity was the best predictor of ATLG while interpersonal contact had the strongest association with acceptance of homosexuals.

Social Media Activism as a Behavioral Consequence of the Third-Person Effect: Assessing the Influence of Negative Political Parody Videos on YouTube • Joon Soo Lim, MTSU; Guy Golan, NA • In this study, we investigated the perceived influence of negative political parody videos on viewers’ perceptual judgment and on their behavioral reactions. The current study attempted to advance knowledge of the third-person effect by providing one of the first empirical examinations of social media activism as a behavioral consequence of third person perceptions. The results of our experiment lend support to both the perceptual and the behavioral components of the third-person effect. Consistent with findings in previous studies, we found that participants in a professionally produced video condition of our study perceived more negative impact of negative political spoof on others than on themselves. The results of our regression analysis provide evidence of a significant correlation between users’ perceived negative impact on others and an increase in the likelihood to engage in social media activism.

Curated creativity: Motivations and agendas influencing the relationship between Twitter use and blog productivity • Jeremy Littau, Lehigh University; Carrie Brown, University of Memphis; Elizabeth Hendrickson, University of Tennessee; tayo oyedeji, University of Georgia • In this study we examine the impact use of Twitter has on blogging habits and introduce the concept curated creativity to describe the process by which the information exchanged on social networks can influence a user’s blog production. Users report more diversity of blog posts and frequency in blogging as a result of Twitter activity and that motivations for use (the desire to connect with others) play a key role in the process. Our model suggests curated creativity is a fusion of agenda-setting and media use theories, in this case via a self-selected audience that filters the Web and brings the most important news and information to their followers’ attention.

Is She Man Enough?: News Coverage of Male and Females Candidates at Different Levels of Office Lindsey Meeks, University of Washington • This study analyzes print news coverage of eight U.S. mixed-gender elections from 1999 to 2008 in order to examine: (a) whether female candidates receive different coverage than male candidates, and (b) if coverage differs as the level of office moves from lower, more local offices to higher, more national office. Results indicate that women do receive more coverage regarding issues and character traits than men, and more coverage regarding gender as they ascend in office.

Connecting to One Another, Communities, and Newspapers • Rachel Davis Mersey, Northwestern University • This paper has four main purposes. First, it reviews the current state of the journalism business. Second, it evaluates the primary theoretical model of the relationship between journalism and communities. Third, it identifies the limitations of that model, based on the relevant evolutions in the practice of journalism and the construct of community. Finally, this paper presents a framework for studying communities and journalism based on the construct of identity.

Sources without a name: An analysis of the source interaction between elite traditional news media and filter blogs • Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; Bruce Garrison, University of Miami • Political blogs have emerged as a new journalistic format that has gained influence on the political discourse in the United States. Previous research has shown that this influence stems mainly from attention given to blogs by traditional news media. Based on the concepts of intermedia agenda setting and agenda building, this study explored the source interaction between 10 elite traditional news media and 10 political filter blogs during a two-month period through an analysis of 2102 blog references and 4794 traditional news media sources and found that while traditional news media frequently cite blogs in their coverage, the source attributions to the blogs are vague. Blogs on the other hand heavily cite traditional news media, but the analysis revealed that conservative blogs cite elite traditional news media less than liberal blogs. Conservative blogs relied more on conservative media outlets in their election coverage. The findings raise questions about changes in the standard journalistic research and attribution procedures as both media formats often rely on each other as sources rather than on original reporting.

Portrayals of the Insanity Defense in News/Interview Programs • Michael Murrie, Pepperdine University; Rachel Friedman, Pepperdine University • Scholars interested in law and mental health have blamed media for perpetrating common myths about the insanity defense: 1) it is overused; 2) only in murder cases; 3) there is no risk to the defendant who pleads insanity; 4) those acquitted not guilty by reason of insanity are released quickly; 5) those acquitted not guilty by reason of insanity spend less time in custody; 6) defendants who raise an insanity defense are usually faking; 7) insanity trials often feature battles of experts, and 8) defense attorneys use the defense only to help clients beat the rap. A census of most relevant television network and NPR transcripts from 1994-2008 shows that in-depth news and interview coverage tends to reinforce most myths rather than contradict them, especially the broadcast networks and Fox. NPR coverage tends to contradict the myths.

Background Television and Toddlers’ and Preschoolers’ Emergent Literacy • Amy Nathanson, The Ohio State University; Eric Rasmussen, The Ohio State University • 73 mother-child pairs were surveyed and interviewed to understand the relationship between background television and the emergent literacy of young children, and to identify explanations for any observed relationships. The study found that the frequency of background television exposure had a detrimental effect on young children’s emergent literacy, possibly because the type of material that is persistently on TV may interfere with young children’s ability to benefit from other forms of stimulation in the home.

Wise Latina: The Framing of Sonia Sotomayor in the New York Times and El Diario La Prensa Carolyn Nielsen, Western Washington University The nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the U.S. Supreme Court was an iconic event in American history and a test of the news media’s ability to tell a story that crossed several levels of intersectionality. This framing study of the New York Times and El Diario La Prensa integrates Critical Race Theory and intersectionality in critiquing the narratives in a national, general-market newspaper and in its Spanish-language counterpart. Blending traditional political frames with new diversity frames, it shows how the Times emphasizes the burden of diversity frame and how El Diario emphasizes the benefit of diversity frame.

Exemplars, metaphors, and catchphrases, most notably the now-famous phrase wise Latina, are emblematic not only of the coverage, but of the differences between the two newspapers. Triggering Body Dissatisfaction: The Role of Familiarity on Subsequent Evaluations of the Self Temple Northup, The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill • Past research examining the content of media programming has clearly demonstrated that women in the media tend to have to conform to certain beauty and body standards in order to succeed. Because this thin ideal is so well-documented, there has been an incredible interest in examining the effects of those portrayals on media consumers. Results from many experimental studies suggest that the media can in fact play an important role in causing body dissatisfaction among women. This present research looks to build upon prior research by exploring the role of familiarity with the mediated image in causing body dissatisfaction. Specifically, a 2 (thin is good, overweight is good) x 2 (concrete image, abstract image) experiment was conducted using a manipulated health website. Results suggest that in line with prior research, abstract (unfamiliar) images of skinny women and moderately overweight women influenced women so that they felt worse about themselves. A similar result was obtained with concrete (familiar) images of skinny celebrities. Concrete images of overweight celebrities, though, did not cause body dissatisfaction. Implications from these results are discussed.

Issue Attention Cycles and the H1N1 Pandemic: A Cross-National Study of U.S. and Korean Newspaper Coverage • Hyun Jung Oh, Michigan State University; Thomas Hove, Michigan State University; Hye-Jin Paek, Michigan State University; Byoungkwan Lee, Hanyang University; Sun Kyu Song, Incross Inc. • This study analyzes U.S. and South Korean news coverage of the H1N1 pandemic to examine cross-national differences in attention cycle patterns, cited sources, and news frames. A content analysis was conducted with 630 stories from U.S. and Korean newspapers during the period of April to October, 2009. Attention cycle patterns, news frames, and sources varied across the two countries according to triggering events, professional norms, cultural values, and social ideologies.

Exiting with Dignified Rhapsody: A Lexical Study of U.S. Presidential Concession Speeches • Uche Onyebadi, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • U.S. presidential concession speeches are not legally mandated; they are part of a political culture that stresses system continuity after hard-fought and divisive electoral battles. This study uniquely used Diction 5.0, a computer-based content analysis software, to analyze presidential concession speeches from 1952 to 2008. Findings show that while concession speeches structurally appear the same, they qualitatively vary. Unlike Democrats, Republican Party contenders show more reluctance to concede in their concession speeches.

The Effects of Interest Group Campaigns on Candidate Evaluations: Agenda-Setting, Partisan Stereotypes, and Information Processing in Televised Political Advertising David Painter, University of Florida; Maridith Miles-Dunton, University of Florida; Juliana Fernandes, University of Florida • This study employs an experimental design with 141 participants to test the effects of ballot initiative advertisements on candidate evaluations. Specifically, the interaction of the initiative’s agenda setting and partisan stereotype effects were tested to draw conclusions about the impact of ballot initiative advertising. The results indicate ballot initiative advertising has a significant agenda setting effect and partisan stereotyping of candidate’s issue position on the ballot initiative leads to polarization of candidate evaluations.

Booms, Bailouts and Blame: News Framing of the 2008 Economic Collapse Anthony Palmer, University of South Carolina; Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina This study examines the framing of economic news in the three major broadcast networks during the height of the economic crisis of 2008. Frames examining which agents were reported as causing the economic news being reported and which agents were attributed with providing an economic solution were studied. Agents responsible for causing or solving an economic problem include government, businesses, individuals, and foreign entities. Other variables studied include the volume and scope of economic news coverage and source attribution. A content analysis of 357 broadcast news transcripts revealed that corporations were most commonly framed as causing the economic news being reported while government was most commonly framed as able to provide a solution to the economic news being reported. Implications of these findings in the context of the media’s tapping into public outrage towards corporations are discussed.

Selective Moderating and Selective Responding of User Comments on Online Social Media: A field experiment • Sung-Yeon Park, Bowling Green State University; Gi Woong Yun, Bowling Green State University; Kisung Yoon, Bowling Green State University; Kyle J. Holody, Bowling Green State University; Shuang Xie, Bowling Green State University; Anca Birzescu, Bowling Green State University • This study explored selective moderating and selective responding to user comments on blogs as two potential threats to the integrity and openness of online public discourse. However, the data demonstrated that selective moderating was only rarely employed by bloggers and Website managers to silence opposing views. Selective responding by other users, on the other hand, was more common. Disagreeable comments were often ignored and more likely to be refuted by users on blogs.

Common Acceptance Rate Calculation Practices in Communication Journals: Developing Best Practices Stephen Perry, Illinois State University; Lindsey Michalski, Illinois State University One controversial issue for journals in many fields including communication is that of acceptance rates calculation method. While there are some standards for how acceptance rates are reported, even within the standard formulas variation can arise. At best it is an inexact science when variation exists in how such rates are calculated. But how wide is that variation? To answer that question and point to some best practices, this study examines how various journal editors have calculated acceptance rates. Survey results are from a sample of 49 respondents. While the sample is small, so is the population of journal editors. Still, we believe the analysis to be valuable for the field in helping determine the value of acceptance rate reporting for determining both article quality and faculty merit related to acceptance rates. Results show that there are some standard practices regarding acceptance rate calculation and some common elements of the calculation surfaced. Most interestingly, however, was that characteristics of the editor – not the specific journal – were leading indicators that moderate acceptance rate calculation method. Additionally, this article proposes two formulas for acceptance rate calculation. The Submission Acceptance Rate formula is mostly commonly used and results in lower acceptance rates compared to the second, while the Final Decision Acceptance Rate formula can be more accurately structured and boasts several proponents.

Media Literacy as a Catalyst for Changing Adolescents’ Attitudes and Behaviors Toward Sexual Media Messages • Bruce Pinkleton, Washington State University; Erica Austin, Washington State University, Murrow Center for Media and Health Promotion; Yvonnes Chen, Virginia Tech; Marilyn Cohen, University of Washington • Researchers used a pretest-posttest quasi-experiment with control groups (n=178) to evaluate the effectiveness of a media literacy-based sex education curriculum. Treatment-group participants better understood that media influence teens’ decision making and were more likely to report that mediated portrayals of sex are inaccurate than control-group participants. Treatment-group participants also reported more knowledge and a greater ability to resist peer pressure to engage in sex than control-group participants.

Nationwide Coverage of Public ResponsibilityToward the Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:A Community Structure Approach • Jacqueline Webb, The College of New Jersey; Flora Novick, The College of New Jersey; Hannah Pagan, The College of New Jersey; Marisa Villanueva, The College of New Jersey; John C. Pollock, The College of New Jersey Using a community structure approach, a nationwide survey compared the relationship between city characteristics and city newspaper coverage of government versus societal aid towards the homeless. A database search of articles in a national cross-section of 28 newspapers over a two year period, 09/15/07 to 09/15/08 ( the fall of Lehman Brothers) to 09/15/09 (one year after the fall) yielded a total of 748 articles. To explore changes in media coverage between the two sampled years, articles were coded for prominence and one of two measures of frame direction, (government responsibility, social responsibility ,or balanced/neutral), then combined into a single Media Vector score for each newspaper. Pearson correlations revealed that cities with higher populations of stakeholder characteristics yielded significant results. Higher proportions of African Americans in cities were linked with news coverage emphasizing social (rather than government) responsibility for the homeless in both first (r= -.637, p= .000) and second (r= -.604, p=.000) years. By contrast, higher populations of Hispanics correlated with coverage emphasizing governmental responsibility in both first (r= .382, p= .025) and second (r=.460, p=.008) years. After a factor analysis for both years, there was a significant shift in the regression of city-level factors from belief system (almost 20% of variance) to vulnerability (about 35% of variance), most likely in response to the economic downturn the nation faced after the collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008. Coverage of homelessness in the media shifted to represent the larger proportion of society left in vulnerable circumstances, illustrating the impact of social conditions on media coverage, and contradicting the guard dog theory of media as automatically reflecting elite interests.

The Digital Boneyard: An Exploration of Death, Simulacra, and Social Networking Sites • Andi Prewitt, Portland State University With the development of new modes of communication like the Internet, society has seen a shift in public expression—and grief is no exception. Social networking sites have become an increasingly popular outlet for exploring a variety of emotions, and there is still work to be done on the topic of death as experienced online. When members of social networking sites die, their profiles are often turned into memorials. People continue to post messages, photographs, and videos on these pages—talking directly to the deceased as if they could still see the communication. This action allows the profile to live on, signifying a definite disconnection between symbol and reality that is best explored through social critic Jean Baudrillard’s development of the concepts of simulacra and simulation. By reproducing a version of one’s self on a social networking site, users create an environment that values signs more than real experience, thereby elevating an individual’s profile over the flesh-and-blood human being. The result is that no one ever really dies in cyberspace because images and profiles live on and the online grieving process only helps propel this detachment. The flood of comments posted online tends to get further from the source that sparked them in the first place: the individual’s death. As these copies replicate, it becomes apparent that the original never existed.

Examining Influence During a Public Health Crisis: An Analysis of the H1N1 Outbreak Jinsoo Kim, University of Florida; Matthew Ragas, University of Florida; Young Eun Park, University of Florida; Kyung-Gook Park, University of Florida; Yoo Jin Chung, University of Florida; Hyunsang Son, University of Florida • This study revealed evidence of second-level agenda-building and agenda-setting relationships regarding a set of macro-attributes used to frame the H1N1 flu outbreak. Cross-lagged correlation analyses suggest that government communication efforts influenced the macro-attributes emphasized in media coverage at the start of the outbreak, only to see this path of influence reverse as the issue matured. On the other hand, influence in the exchange of attribute priorities among coverage and online public discussion appeared fairly balanced.

Transnational Regional Community through Global Culture: the Case of East Asia and the Korean mass mediated culture • Woongjae Ryoo, Gyeonggi Research Institute • The Korean mass mediated culture has been successful in Asia, and it signifies a regionalization of transnational cultural flows as it entails Asian countries’ increasing acceptance of cultural production and consumption from neighboring countries that share similar historical and cultural backgrounds rather than from politically and economically powerful others. Hence this paper will explore this global cultural phenomenon and how a country considered ‘in-between’ can find a niche and reposition itself as a cultural mediator in the midst of global cultural transformation. The diverse attributes of this mass mediated global culture suggest the possibility that this venue might be understood as a potential node of communicative practice for building a peaceful regional community among many Asian countries that have experienced the harsh memory of war, colonialism and exploitation.

Debunking Sarah Palin: Mainstream News Coverage of Death Panels • Regina Lawrence, Manship School, Louisiana State University; Matt Schafer, Louisiana State University In August 2009 Sarah Palin popularized two words that would profoundly shape the healthcare reform debate. This content analysis examines how journalists covered the death panels claim. The data show that journalists stepped outside the bounds of ritualized objectivity to label the claim false, often without attribution. The authors explain news patterns by examining news analysis and interviewing prominent journalists, and offer advice on dealing with false information in the future.

Filling the credibility gap with news use: College students’ news habits, preferences, and credibility perceptions • Matt Schafer, Louisiana State University • This article examines the relationships between news habits and credibility of the Internet, television, and newspapers. Specifically, the survey explores perceptions of credibility as related to news preferences and amount of news consumption. Results show that students use the Internet and television for news significantly more than newspapers. Despite this, students believe newspapers are most credible. The author, then, explains the nostalgic credibility of newspaper and the relationship between Internet news consumption and perceived credibility.

Images of injury, desensitization, and support for war: An experiment • Erica Scharrer, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Gamze Onut, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Lisa Wortman, University of Massachusetts Amherst • Results from a 3 (within subjects: time 1, time 2, time 3) x 2 (between subjects: more sanitized group, less sanitized group) repeated measures design with 67 participants show that repeated exposure to news about war over time can lead to changes in viewers’ emotional sensitivity, issue priority and concern about war, and support for war, indicating desensitization and re-sensitization effects. Gender, trait empathy, and political ideology also played an important role in these processes.

A little bird told me, so I didn’t believe it: Twitter, credibility, and issue perceptions • Mike Schmierbach, Penn State University; Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, Pennsylvania State University • We investigate how media use of the microblogging tool Twitter affects perhaps of the issue covered and the credibility of the information. In contrast to prior studies showing that ordinary blogs are often judged credible, especially by their users, data from two experiments show that Twitter is considered less credible than various forms of stories posted on a newspaper Web site or even on an anonymous blog.

Partisan Segmentation, Branding and Television News: Where Is It Leading the Public Debate? Dan Shaver, Jonkoping International Business School/Media Management & Transformation Centre; Mary Alice Shaver, Jonkoping International Business School/Media Management & Transformation Centre • This study examines the relationship between partisan segmentation strategies for branding of cable and broadcast news networks in competition audience ratings and political and social polarization. It concludes that partisan segmentation strategies work more effectively with audience members at the extreme poles of the political spectrum but may, through selective exposure and nonrational exposure effects, contribute to a fragmentation of the flow of information required for efficient democratic decision-making.

Measuring the Dynamics of Perceptual Gaps: A Survey of Public Relations Practitioners and Journalists in U.S. and South Korea • Jae-Hwa Shin, Univ. of Southern Mississippi • This study suggests the professional and social distance characterizing the source-reporter relationship and provides an opportunity for developing a theoretical and methodological model integrating coorientation measures with third-person perceptions. A Web survey of 624 public relations practitioners and journalists in U.S. and South Korea showed both false dissensus and social distance among public relations practitioners and journalists enacted through the source-reporter relationship. Coorientational analysis simultaneously demonstrated that members of each profession disagreed with and inaccurately predicted responses of the other. Their inaccurate projection of the views of the other profession was greater than their disagreement, resulting in false dissensus, on two dimensions of conflict and strategy. This study also reveals the third person perception of each professional, insofar as journalists and public relations professionals see more similarity with the general public than with the other professionals. Journalists displayed slightly greater similarities with the third person than their counterpart in the source-reporter relationship.

Ecopedagogical Potential in Pixar’s Wall*E • Alexandra Smith, Penn State University, College of Communications • Environmental themes are increasingly prevalent in popular media. Teaching about environmental issues is not always the goal of such texts. Furthermore, capitalist production techniques frequently undermine pedagogical value. Scholars interested in evaluating environmental messages in media texts may find a useful analytic tool in the developing framework of ecopedagogy. This paper uses critical discourse analysis to consider whether Pixar’s Wall-E retains any ecopedagogical validity when textual messages are considered alongside the film’s capitalist production model.

Female Characters and Financial Performance in 100 Top-Grossing Films in 2007 • Stacy Smith, USC; Rene Weber, University of California Santa Barbara; Marc Choueiti, Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism • The aim of this study was to estimate an exploratory model testing relationships between content creators’ gender, the gender composition of lead characters and casts, production costs, distribution/exhibition factors, and domestic/international box office performance and DVD sales of 100 top-grossing films from 2007. Results reveal that female leads have a positive and significant small direct effect on foreign box office receipts, with controls. Domestically (ticket and DVD sales), the paths are non significant and negative.

The Rumoring of SARS and the SARS of Rumoring at Times of Uncertainty and Information Scarcity: A Study of the 2003 Epidemic in China • Zixue Tai, International Communication Division; Tao Sun, University of Vermont • By analyzing, both quantitatively and qualitatively, rumor content as covered by major Chinese newspapers, this study explores the multiple dimensions of SARS-related rumor mongering throughout China during the 2003 epidemic. Findings indicate a strong correlation between the scale of SARS infections and level of rumoring across regions. As for channels of dissemination, rumor mongering still found a natural habitat in word of mouth, while Internet-based platforms and cell phone text messaging emerged as viable grapevines. Our particular typology of SARS-incurred rumors leads us to identify four distinct kinds of rumors: legendary rumors, etiological narratives, proto-memorates, and bogies. The four types of rumors are discussed against the background of superstitious beliefs, folklore practices, popular mentalities, and China’s particular information environment.

The fury of the storm: A framing analysis of the climate change discussion and Hurricane Katrina Melissa Thompson, University of Minnesota • Hurricane Katrina is often pointed to as an event that altered the discussion about climate change in the U.S. With this assumption in mind, this study examines the coverage in four newsweekly magazines the year before and the year after Hurricane Katrina. Frames were grouped to pinpoint themes in the coverage. This analysis reveals that Katrina was not the catalyst for change in the discussion of climate change as has been previously assumed.

Filling the Knowledge Gap: A SEM Analysis of the Moderating Role of Media Use (Online vs. Traditional News) • Hai Tran, DePaul University • This study utilized a media consumption survey, sponsored by the PEW Research Center, to gauge causal relations among socioeconomic status, online news use, traditional news use, and knowledge of public affairs. The analysis examined whether technological change could add to knowledge differences between social segments. A SEM procedure was conducted to examine more closely the assumptions of causality in knowledge-gap research. Theoretical and methodological implications of the study were also discussed.

Keeping up with Current Affairs: New(s) Sources and Their Users • Damian Trilling, The Amsterdam School of Communication Research; Klaus Schoenbach, Amsterdam School of Communication Research & University of Vienna Does a high-choice media environment really produce information hermits who avoid exposure to general public-affairs information? In contrast to widespread fears, the results of a large-scale survey, representative for the Dutch population, suggest that most citizens still get an overview of current affairs. Television news still is the most popular source for overview information. The Internet even reaches those who want to be entertained instead of informed.

Man-child in the White House: The discursive construction of Barack Obama in reader comments at • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • This study uses fantasy theme analysis to examine reader comments left on news articles at in an attempt to unravel the rhetorical vision that Fox readers construct to help them make sense of Barack Obama’s presidency. Results describe the dramatic forms that readers envision and re-enact when articles about the president – favorable, unfavorable, or tangential – are presented.

Family Harmony: How Campaign Information Environment Affected Evaluations of Obama Among Parents and Kids • Ming Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Itay Gabay, University of Wisconsin – Madison; porismita borah, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dhavan Shah, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study examines how changes in campaign information environment brought about shifts in parent-child evaluations of Barack Obama. Results from a two-wave parent-child panel study during the 2008 campaign indicate that increasing use of TV and newspapers narrowed the evaluation gap whereas school deliberation, online media, and total volume of ads increased it. Additionally, we also found an interactive effect between increasing family discussions and proportion of Democratic ads.

Framing Deng Yujiao:How online public opinion impacts offline media reports • Haiyan Wang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This paper examines how the frame of a news event in traditional print media and online public forum influence each other. The focus is on the Deng Yujiao Case that stirred a heated and sensational row in China in 2009. Results based on content analyses show bidirectional relationship between traditional media reports and online public opinion, and thus suggest that the influence of online media should be taken as a new variable in framing research.

Effects of Media Use on Athletes’ Self-Perceptions • Cynthia Frisby, University of Missouri; Wayne Wanta, Oklahoma State University • A survey of university athletes examined whether uses of four media (newspapers, television, radio or the Internet) for sports information were related to self-perceptions of control, commitment, confidence and concentration. The results suggest that newspaper and Internet use reduced feelings of stress among the athletes, perhaps due to athletes’ use of the two media as diversions from the pressures of competitive athletics. Television use was not related to any of the measures of athletes’ self-perceptions.

Perceived Hostile Media Bias, Presumed Media Influence, and Opinions about Immigrants and Immigration • Brooke Weberling, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina; Francesca Dillman Carpentier, UNC-Chapel Hill • Using data (N=529) from North Carolina, where the Latino population grew 400% in two decades, this study explores the hostile media bias and third-person effect. As hypothesized, anti-immigrant sentiment (AIS) was significantly related to perception of hostile (pro-immigrant) news coverage. However, AIS was not directly related to belief in coverage effects on others. Analysis revealed two paths for relationships among AIS, exposure and attention to media coverage, and perceived media bias and third-person effects.

Behavioral Consequences of Conflict-Oriented News Coverage: The 2009 Mammography Guideline Controversy and Online Search Trends • Brian Weeks, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Laura Friedenberg, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Brian Southwell, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Jonathan Slater, Minnesota Department of Health • This study explores the impact of conflict-oriented news coverage of health issues on the public’s information seeking behavior. Using Google search data as a behavioral measure, we demonstrate that controversial television and newspaper coverage of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force’s November 2009 recommendations for changes in breast cancer screening guidelines strongly predicted the volume of same-day online searches for information about mammograms. The implications of news coverage of health-related behaviors are discussed.

Involvement with celebrities in media: The role of parasocial interaction, identification, affinity, and capture • Nainan Wen, Nanyang Technological University; Stella Chia, City University of Hong Kong; Xiaoming Hao, Nanyang Technological University • This study examines college students’ involvement with celebrities in Singapore. Results of four focus group discussions, comprising 26 college students in a Singaporean university, showed that celebrity involvement was a multi-dimensional construct, consisted of four distinct components—parasocial interaction, identification, affinity, and capture. Media consumption was closely intertwined with each of the four components. Through media consumption, involvement with celebrities directly or indirectly influenced college students’ emotion, cognition, and behavior.

The Effects of Video Game Controls on Hostility, Identification, Involvement, and Presence Kevin Williams, Mississippi State University • One hundred and nine male college undergraduates at a large Southeastern university played a video game in one of three conditions: using a traditional handheld controller, using hand motion-based controls, or using hand motion-based controls with the addition of a balance board. Results showed that using motion-based controls significantly increased measures of hostility, identification with the avatar, involvement with the game, and feelings of presence with the game. Results regarding presence indicate motion-based controls, while creating interactivity with the game, do not necessarily create a feeling of immersion into the game environment.

The 2008 Presidential Election, 2.0: A Content Analysis of User-Generated Political Facebook Groups • Julia Woolley, The Pennsylvania State University; Anthony Limperos, The Pennsylvania State University; Mary Beth Oliver, The Pennsylvania State University • This study uses quantitative content analysis to assess how John McCain and Barack Obama were portrayed across political Facebook groups prior to the 2008 presidential election. Results indicate that group membership and activity levels were higher for Obama than for McCain. Overall, Obama was portrayed more positively across Facebook groups than McCain. In addition, profanity, racial, religious and age-related language varied with regard to how each candidate was portrayed. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The Effects of Government Censorship of Negative News Coverage on Public Opinions • Boya Xu, West Virginia University • This study examines press function under government regulation and explores the impact that the censorship may have on public psychological responses. In contrast to previous research on phenomena in times of crisis that relied mostly on descriptive work, this research interprets the effects of the news coverage related to the recent economic depression based on basic models of media effects, such as news framing of different media forms, and its potential to shape perceptions of the events. Using data collected from a survey of 218 residents in Morgantown area, it is found that the receiving of negative news coverage was negatively related to the building of mass confidence towards the economic situation. A comparison of the different mass reactions from television and newspaper viewing was also examined through the survey, and research findings show consistencies between the results and predictions derived from reactance and balance theories that are recognized. This study will hopefully draw attention to the influence of the mass media as a political institution in shaping public responses to the continuing threat of economic crisis in the United States, and thereby guiding media action.

The external side of the story: An examination of the effect of hyperlink network structure on the impact level of NGO web sites • Aimei Yang, University of Oklahoma • Previous web site analysis has tended to focus on the internal features of web sites. The current study shifts the attention to external factors, and posits that characteristics of a web site’s hyperlink network can significantly influence the level of Web impact the web site can achieve. A group of Chinese environmental NGOs’ hyperlink network is analyzed. Results suggest organizational web sites with central network position and connect with web sites that are operated by commercial and network organizations tend to exert greater web impact. Implications and suggestions for future research are also presented.

Bonding and Bridging Social Capital:The Impact of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous News Content • Guang YANG, Hong Kong Baptist University • This paper explores the effect of individuals’ cognitive capacity underlying the process of media exposure on social capital in terms of the structure of social network, particularly focusing on news reading process. Selective exposure actually is functioned as a capacity for individuals that determine quantitatively and qualitatively different news content that are exposed to, thus influencing the forms of social interactions with others. The implications are also discussed.

User-generated Content on the Internet: Implications for Democratization, Nationalism, and Political Empowerment in China • lin zhang, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Jiang Zhao, The Chinese university of Hong Kong; He Nan, The Chinese university of Hong Kong • As related to user-generated content on the Internet, nationalism, pro-democracy orientation and civic engagement have received significant interest in recent years. Set in the particular political and social context of China, the current study challenges the technological determinist view by exploring quantitatively the relationships among nationalism, netizen’s pro-democracy orientation, offline civic engagement and the practice of producing content on the Internet. It also tries to investigate into the implications of a user-generated Internet model for political empowerment in the transitional Chinese society. The study finds that pro-democracy orientation and civic engagement are more salient predictors of online content generation than thelevel of nationalism. It also reasserts that civic engagement and nationalism are positively linked to individual’s degree of political empowerment. Therefore, it has added to our understanding of the motivations behind content generation on the Internet with the rise of Web 2.0, and has proffered an empirical examination of the important issue of Internet-induced democratization in China.

Multivariate Testing of the Dark Side of Social Capital • Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University; Jerod Foster, Texas Tech University • The purpose of this study is to empirically investigate the potential negative influences of social capital on tolerance and effects of media use on tolerance using Howard, Gibson, and Stolle’s (2005) US Citizenship, Involvement, and Democracy Survey of 1,001 respondents. Results show that community trust increases three types of tolerance and bonding social capital decreases social tolerance.

Damsel in Distress? Sensationalism in News Coverage of Amber Alert Victims • Shuhua Zhou, University of Alabama; Skye Cooley, University of Alabama; Jon Ezell, University of Alabama; Jefrey Naidoo, University of Alabama • The so-called Missing White Women Syndrome in the media was largely a popular belief that has not been systematically investigated. This study used victimization theories in narratives to guide an investigation into coverage of the Amber Alert victims. Results indicated that the story behind the syndrome was multilayered. Findings also helped inform discussions on its possible conceptualization.

Narrative Persuasion in Fantastical Films • Lara Zwarun, University of Missouri St Louis; Alice Hall, University of Missouri – St. Louis • To examine the possibility that fantastical narratives can shape real-world beliefs and attitudes, participants (N = 138) used a personal computer to watch one of two short films that dealt with a contemporary social issue (privacy or the environment) set in an imaginary future. Viewers of one film were not significantly more likely than viewers of the other to hold story-consistent beliefs, agree that the issue in their film was serious, or intend to take action to address the issue. However, interaction effects show that those who saw the film about privacy and who experienced higher levels of transportation, reported greater perceived social realism in the film, or had a higher need for cognition were most likely to possess story-consistent privacy beliefs. The study extends what is known about narrative persuasion by applying it to unrealistic fiction as well as to a relatively new type of media usage, the viewing of films on a computer.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Minorities and Communication Division 2010 Abstracts

The Stranger in Our Midst: Foreign versus American identity in newspaper coverage of the Binghamton shooting • Angie Chuang, American University School of Communication • News coverage of the April 3, 2009, mass shooting at an immigrant-services center in Binghamton, New York, focused on Jiverly Wong, who was most commonly identified as a Vietnamese immigrant, though he was a naturalized U.S. citizen. This study found that the coverage resembled that of Seung-Hui Cho and the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings, which was criticized for an overemphasis on Cho’s immigration status as a South Korean national with U.S. residency. A textual analysis of newspaper coverage of Wong reveals that, despite the fact that he was legally an American, the patterns of identification of his foreign characteristics remained similar to those that marked coverage of Cho. Furthermore, in constructing a posthumous profile of Wong, characteristics that highlighted his foreignness were emphasized, and those that did not, such as the loss of his job, were often cast in a way that underscored immigrant identity, such as the lost American Dream.

When Science and Politics Collide in the Framing over Indigeneity • cynthia coleman, aejmc • The concept of identity has captured the interest of humanists and social scientists alike for centuries. Constructionists, for example, have examined identity from the perspective of an ideographic self formulation as well as a socially created self. Scientific and pseudo-scientific methods have been deployed to measure identity from such vantage points, resulting in a post-modern view of identity as a sort of mash-up of intrapersonal and extrapersonal confluences exerting authority over biological determinism. The current paper examines how discourse reveals identity politics arising from the discovery of the Kennewick Man skeleton

The Essence of ‘What Matters’: An Ownership Convergence Case of Black News Going Mainstream • George Daniels, University of Alabama • This study looks at one manifestation of ownership convergence as 40-year-old Essence Magazine teamed up with CNN to co-produce a cross-platform segment of African American news stories entitled What Matters. Of the 56 reports airing between May 2009 and February 2010, most spotlighted health disparities and attitudes about race or racial inequality. This thematic analysis revealed what the author(s) call the Essence Effect when one combines two strong brands and cross-promotes them across platforms.

eFluence: The Impact of Source Race, Racial Relevance of a Service, and WOM Valence • Troy Elias, University of Florida • This study examines the impact of a source’s race, the racial relevance of a service, and the valence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) on Black and White consumer attitudes. The results of the study indicate that Blacks will generally display attitudes that mirror the evaluations of their racial ingroup members on online discussion forums given that their race is clearly visible. The results also suggest that the racial relevance of a service can moderate the impact of ingroup consumer feedback for Blacks. Blacks still demonstrated favorable consumer attitudes toward a Black-relevant service even in the presence of negative Black consumer feedback. For Whites, the valence of eWOM is significantly more powerful in terms of their consumer attitudes, as opposed to the race of a source on a discussion forum or the racial relevance of a service. The results demonstrate that for Whites, the eWOM effect is larger for negative WOM than for positive WOM or for the race of a source on a discussion forum or the racial relevance of a service. Implications for Social Identity Theory are discussed.

Oversexualized Jezebels?: A Content Analysis Comparing Race and Genre in the Sexualization and Objectification of Female Artists in Music Videos • Cynthia Frisby, University of Missouri; Jennifer Stevens Aubrey, University of Missouri • The present study examines the use of sexual objectification and sexualization by popular female music artists in their music videos. Our primary purposes were to examine (1) differences by race (in particular, differences between white and African American artists) and (2) by genre (i.e., pop, R&B/hip hop, and country). Results suggested that surprisingly, there were no differences in the use of sexualization or skin exposure between black and white artists. However, the results yielded consistent genre differences in which country artists were much less likely to engage in sexualization and objectification, probably due to the socially conservative nature of the genre. However, in the main, there were few differences in sexualization and objectification between pop and R&B/hip artists. Findings are discussed in relation to objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts, 1998) and the general framework of post-feminism (e.g., Gill, 2007; McRobbie, 2004).

Cultural Determinants of Political Participation: Predicting Chinese American Constituents’ Voting Attitudes and Decisions in Response to Online Electoral Public Service Announcements • Gennadi Gevorgyan, Xavier University • This paper investigates the attitudinal effects of cultural appeals in online public service announcements (PSAs). With our general question Does Culture Matter? we examine the cultural variables behind electoral decisions and political attitudes of Chinese American constituents. In doing so, we identify the mechanisms of making online political information engaging and appealing to ethnically diverse citizens and, therefore, bridging the existing cultural gap in political participation. A between-subjects experiment and a survey revealed that culture plays a significant role in forming political attitudes and decisions. In particular, culturally oriented or congruent electoral PSAs triggered more favorable attitudes and a greater willingness to vote than culturally incongruent PSAs. This finding was particularly salient among constituents with strong ethnic identities.

Through the Lens of Race: Constructing Narratives About Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke by Professional Journalists • Mary Hillwagner, AEJMC • This paper looks at the cautionary tales of Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke and how these narratives are perceived by a dozen newspaper journalists. Blair and Cooke, of the New York Times and the Washington Post, respectively, left the news business in disgrace after it was revealed that the reporters had fabricated information in their news copy. Blair and Cooke are African Americans. This paper undertakes in-depth interviews with a dozen reporters, five White and seven Black to discern how the Cooke and Blair matters have been internalized. To this end, this study employs narrative analysis and argues that there were nuances that race mattered to black journalists. Meanwhile, Whites in the study do not mention the race of Cooke or Blair when discussing the incidents.

Smoking Isn’t Kool: Exploring the Impact of Black Ethnic Identity and Cultural Cues in Pro-Smoking and Anti-Smoking Promotional Messages • Osei Appiah, The Ohio State University; Catherine Goodall, Kent State University; Gregory Hoplamazian, Ohio State • Innovative tobacco marketing strategies have raised significant concerns about the ease with which such messages may appeal to certain disproportionately targeted audiences like Blacks. Study 1 examined whether Kool’s cigarette packaging featuring hip-hop cultural images are as effective as more traditional cigarette packages in influencing smoking-related attitudes. Blacks were exposed to either a traditional Kool cigarette package or a non-traditional hip-hop cigarette package featuring a Black or a White character. Blacks with strong ethnic identity had more negative attitudes toward smoking, were less likely to intend to smoke, and were less likely to have smoked in the past vis-a-vis Blacks with weak ethnic identities. Study 2 examined the effectiveness of hip-hop imagery and text in changing smoking-related attitudes among Black participants. Findings indicate that after exposure to an anti-smoking PSA, strong ethnic identity Blacks reported more negative feelings towards smoking, a lower intention to smoke, and more negative attitudes toward the cigarette industry relative to Blacks with weak ethnic identity. Implications for health communication researchers regarding the use of cultural cues in PSAs, and ethnic identity as a protective factor against pro-smoking messages are discussed.

Viability of Online Outlets for Ethnic Newspapers • Ralph Izard, Manship School of Mass Communication, Louisiana State University; Masudul Biswas, Louisiana State University • This study identifies the strategies, challenges, and opportunities of adopting online outlets for ethnic newspapers representing African Americans, Asian Americans, Latinos/Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans by conducting a web survey among ethnic newspaper editors and publishers. Survey results showed different strategies for newspapers that have both print and online editions and online-only newspapers. Overall, survey respondents identified finance, nature of operation, traditional audience, technological complexity, and limited access to the Internet as areas of challenges. Likewise, areas of opportunity for ethnic newspapers that adopt online outlets are reaching more audience, attracting online advertisers, and newer avenues of revenue generation.

You Talkin’ to Me?: Analysis of Weight Watchers and the 50 Million Pound Challenge Websites Christal Johnson, University of Oklahoma; Meta Carstarphen, University of Oklahoma Guided by situational theory of publics, this study analyzed messages on Weight Watchers and 50 Million Pound Challenge weight-loss Web sites to determine how the sites are enabling Black women to remove constraints and promote information seeking in their weight-loss efforts. A content and rhetorical analysis revealed that Jenny Craig lacks culturally-sensitive factors that motivate Black Women to attune to its messages. Implications, limitations, and future research possibilities are discussed.

Althea Gibson and Wilma Rudolph: An Analysis of Mainstream and Black Press Coverage on Their Pioneering Victories • Pamela Laucella, IU School of Journalism • Althea Gibson and Wilma Rudolph made history as pioneering women athletes during one of the most important times in America’s history. Gibson won the French Championships (now the French Open) in 1956, and the ensuing two years she won both the U.S. Nationals (now the U.S. Open) and Wimbledon. Rudolph won three gold medals in track and field at the 1960 Rome Olympic Games and became the first American female athlete to win three gold medals at one Olympics. The purpose of this research is to elucidate journalists’ perceptions of Gibson, Rudolph, their athletic accomplishments, the transcending significance of their victories, and the articles’ potential significance on information and perspectives regarding race, gender, and culture. The research provides a comparative look at race and gender and how journalists at the mainstream and Black press covered two prominent, pioneering athletes, whose efforts broke barriers for athletes and individuals alike.

Whose Second Life is This?: How Avatar-Based Racial Cues Shape Ethno-Racial Minorities’ Perception of Virtual Environments • Jong-Eun Roselyn Lee, Hope College; Sung Gwan Park, Seoul National University • Popular virtual worlds, such as Second Life, are often criticized for their White-dominance or White-avatar-favoritism. In two experiments, the present research investigated how avatar-based racial cues shape ethno-racial minorities’ sense of belonging to the world and perceived usability of the interface for avatar customization. White and non-White student participants were recruited for the experiments. In Experiment 1 (N= 59), participants were randomly exposed either to White-dominant avatar profiles of Second Life residents or to racially-diverse avatar profiles. After the exposure to the Second Life residents, participants were given an opportunity to customize their own avatars on the Second Life interface. The findings of Experiment 1 revealed that the non-White participants exposed to the White-dominant avatar profiles, when compared to those exposed to the racially-diverse profiles, reported significantly lower sense of belonging to Second Life and lower levels of intention to participate in Second Life. The findings of Experiment 2 (N = 64), which used the same experimental procedure as used in Experiment 1, demonstrated that the non-White participants exposed to the White-dominant avatar profiles gave significantly higher estimation of White user population within Second Life. In addition, these participants were more likely to report that they felt limited when customizing the skin feature of their avatars. Theoretical and practical implications regarding diversity in virtual worlds are discussed.

The Cultural Consternation of Brand O(prah): Oprah and Gayle’s Big Adventure • Felicia McGhee-Hilt, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; Dwight Brooks, Middle Tennessee State University; Cheryl Ann Lambert, Boston University; Megan Fields, University of Tennessee-Knoxville • This analysis examines the Oprah brand of Live Your Best Life as constructed in Oprah & Gayle’s Big Adventure, a five-episode series of Oprah featuring the host and her best friend driving across America. The textual analysis uncovers tensions between Oprah as personification of Live Your Best Life and its principles of diet, exercise, personal relationships, philanthropy, and spirituality. These tensions suggest limitations of the Oprah brand as a mediated self-improvement philosophy.

Crisis knowledge and preparedness four years after Hurricane Katrina: Comparing Gulf Coast populations according to race • Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; David Brown, Louisiana State University; Stephanie Grey, LSU; Renee Edwards, LSU • The study’s purpose was to gauge the hurricane knowledge and preparedness of Gulf Coast resident four years after Hurricane Katrina, with particular interest in racial differences. 519 residents were surveyed in fall 2009. Findings showed African-Americans have less hurricane knowledge, and that mistrust of government and the media may be obstacles to information. Additionally, there was a positive correlation between residents’ awareness of a state-wide preparedness campaign and having a storm plan in place.

Refracting media characters through the prism of ethnic identity formation • David Oh, Denison University • Ethnic identity formation plays a role in second-generation Korean Americans’ identification practices towards media characters and celebrities in transnational media from Korea. Specifically, the findings of this study are that there are intragroup differences in identification practices that cluster around stages of ethnic identity formation and that identification practices are not independent of social power as Korean American fans of Korean celebrities and media characters construct taste hierarchies that also define ethnic authenticity.

How Ya Durrin’?–Love, Drag, Racism and Shirley Q. Liquor • Peter Parisi, Hunter College This paper assesses Shirley Q. Liquor, a controversial blackface, drag character performed by Charles Knipp, a gay, white male. A welfare recipient with 19 children of unknown paternity, the character certainly displays racial stereotyping, yet Knipp insists that he intends a loving, complex portrayal. A rhetorical-cultural analysis suggests that his claim has substance. At a time of increasing cultural self-consciousness surrounding racial representation, the Shirley Q. controversy clarifies the relationship of negative stereotyping, counter-stereotyping and positive portrayal.

The BIA Occupation: The Media Frames A Native American Struggle to Gain Control • Mavis Richardson, Minnesota State University, Mankato This paper discusses framing used by mainstream and Native American newspapers of the BIA building takeover in Washington, D.C., in 1972. It was assumed that the native press might contain, at least to some extent, constructions seen in white mainstream newspapers. However, coverage in the native newspapers clearly reflected Indian culture while the mainstream newspapers reflected white culture. These differences may be attributable to cultural differences between native and white cultures.

Minorities on Internet Web Pages: A Content Analysis of Their Portrayal • Aymara Jimenez, BYU; Tom Robinson, Brigham Young University • The Internet has become a communication source that shapes and cultivates peoples’ perceptions of consumer products, companies, ideas, issues, and people. To make a website attractive, character images are used to ensure the recall and recognition of the site. Since images stay in individuals’ minds longer, the portrayal of those images becomes is important when dealing with minorities. A content analysis of the top 200 websites looked at how minority characters are represented and portrayed. Overall the portrayal of minorities was good but minorities are under-represented and Hispanic characters appear the least and are almost nonexistent.

How Mexican-American women define health: Cultural beliefs and practices in a non-native environment • Emma Wertz, Kennesaw State University • Culture impacts the ways people evaluate and respond to health and illness. Mexican-American culture plays a part in how women take care of their heath and react toward the threat of breast cancer. Using previously identified dominant cultural factors that may influence the health of Mexican-American women as a foundation, this qualitative study describes how the women define and maintain health, particularly breast health. As a result, health communicators can more carefully and appropriately tailor messages for this group. This study is important because it adds to the current body of knowledge by investigating the cultural beliefs of Mexican-American women. While several researchers have studied the cultural beliefs of Hispanics, it is imperative that scholars begin to further investigate the cultural beliefs of the sub-groups within the larger Hispanic ethnic category. In addition, previous studies have primarily been conducted in states that border Mexico, thus providing an opportunity for this study to contribute to the current body of literature by giving a voice to Mexican-American women in the southeast. In-depth interviews were conducted with Mexican-American women in the southeast. The main theme that emerged from the data was: The Maintenance of Health through Traditional Practices in a Non-native Environment. Two thematic constructs that participants engage in helped to describe how the women in the study maintain health in a traditional manner when they live in a non-native environment: (1) the belief that health is a combination of the body and mind and (2) the belief that health care is a Mexican woman’s responsibility.

Student Paper Competition

Erin Ash, Penn State, Growing and Selling (Stereotypes): Depictions of Race and the Drug Business in Showtime’s WeedsThe television program Weeds follows the life of Nancy Botwin, a White upper middle-class drug dealer. Although this depiction is seemingly counter-hegemonic, much of the humor of the show is derived through the use of distinct constructions of Whiteness and Blackness and representations of criminality as a naturally Black activity, and not a good fit for Nancy. This textual analysis of the show finds support for the continued use of enduring stereotypes about African Americans.

Bryan McLaughlin, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Reaffirming Racism: Racial Discourse During Barack Obama’s Presidential Campaign • The 2008 Presidential election will always be remembered as a historical moment, primarily because Barack Obama became the first black president in the United States. In many ways this is a testament to the strides America has made in racial relations over the last century. In reality, however, Barack Obama’s presidential campaign may have hurt racial progress by reaffirming a post-racial discourse that presents race as nothing more than a distraction. This study rests on a vast array of research that has shown racism continues to be pervasive in American society, but exists most powerfully below the surface. A frame analysis of The New York Times, Newsweek, NBC Evening news, Barack Obama campaign speeches and Rush Limbaugh radio segments during the Democratic primary revealed a consistent use of a post-racial discourse that undermines attempts to have a forthright public discussion of race. The results show that there is little discussion of why race is still such an important topic and what this election says about the state of race in the United States; it is discussed primarily because it is an important political and newsworthy topic. While these various sources frequently discuss race, it is mostly a result of race being an unavoidable topic in the presidential election. The findings show that people are willing to talk about race, but not as a topic that warrants serious evaluation, but as a distraction that has political effects.

Cristina Mislan, Penn State, The Chicago Defender: Is it a political institution?
ABSTRACT: This paper examines how the Chicago Defender framed Reverend Jesse Jackson’s 1988 and President Barack Obama’s 2008 Democratic presidential campaigns. The study utilized framing theory and employed textual analysis to reveal how the Defender provided meaning for about two black presidential candidates and attempted to support Reverend Jackson but showed skepticism about his ability to win the nomination. On the contrary, the newspaper overwhelmingly supported President Obama, using his candidacy to elevate the black community.

Husain Murad, Arkansas State University, Creative directing: In the eyes of Arab American Hollywood directors • The purpose of this study is find out about the characteristics which makes a director creative in the movie making field and the challenges along the way to reaching this goal. This study asks four research questions what are the challenges that face minority directors in Hollywood? And why they faced those challenges? Do they see creativity different than Hollywood directors? How does the film industry rate a creative director in general? How does the industry specifically rate a minority director?
The researcher conducted semi-structured in depth interviews instrumentation with three Arab/ Arab American directors. The findings show that Arab/ Arab American directors in Hollywood are rare within Hollywood tough business industry. Like any minority Arab faces a lot of misrepresentation, stereotypes, language barrier and prejudice. The way to overcome these obstacles is to try work hard and make a noise so the big studios would recognize that minority director. Other findings show that the key to get through Hollywood is to be creative on Hollywood standards and to have group connections inside Hollywood mainstream society.

Sharon Santus, Caryn Winters, Christopher Toula, George Christo-Baker, and Dorian Randall, Penn State, The ‘Obama is a Muslim’ Myth: Analyzing the implications of right wing abuse of religion and culture during the 2008 presidential race • The Obama is a Muslim myth speaks to the broader relationship between Islam and West in the 21st century. The signifier Muslim being used in a smear campaign against the President during his campaign seems to indicate that in our post 9/11 socio-political climate, many Americans view Islam and Muslims in totalizing terms which others them and their identity. This article will attempt to unravel the complex relationship between Muslim-Americans and the Obama is a Muslim myth with the intention of understanding both the candidate and the dominant discourses surrounding perceptions of Muslim-American and Arab-American populations. This analysis is necessarily multifaceted. Accusations of Obama being a Muslim not only reflect the politicization of religion and culture, but also the racialization of religion, the salience of Islamophobia, and the covert use of new racist ideology.

Jennifer Schwartz, University of Oregon, Framing Power: A comparison of Latino and White Candidate Photographs and Headlines at Fourteen U.S. Newspapers • Despite political representation remaining far below Latinos’ share of the population, little research has compared news coverage between Latino candidates and white candidates. This is the first study to content analyze 815 newspaper photographs and 608 photograph-associated headlines of Latino candidates and white candidates in 14 newspapers during the last two months of four statewide elections that occurred between 2003 and 2008 in the U.S. Southwest. Results show overall by state newspapers provided slightly more positive newspaper treatment of Latino candidates compared to white candidates.

Nangyal Tsering, University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, Welcome to America: The Star Tribune’s coverage of Tibetan Americans in Minnesota • The paper looks at the coverage of the Tibetan Community in Minnesota by the Star Tribune from Jan 1991 to Oct 2009. While most previous research shows that the press largely portrays the immigrant communities in a negative light, the results of this study finds that Tibetan case is an exception. This positive portrayal of the Tibetan community can be attributed to a complex mix of factors, including the mainstream media’s perpetuation of the Western stereotype of Tibet as a peaceful Shangrila.

Larissa Williams, University of Texas at Austin, The Case for Race: Factors affecting the credibility perceptions in the blogosphere • This study uses an experimental method to test the effect of the race of a blogger on audience perceptions of credibility. No significant differences in perceived credibility were found between Black and White bloggers, though including information on the blogger (picture and biography) increased perceived credibility. Issue salience (how entertaining, important, relevant, etc.) was also associated with higher perceived credibility.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Internship and Careers Interest Group 2010 Abstracts

Practical and Ethical Aspects of Advertising Internships: The Good, the Bad and the Awkward • alice kendrick, Southern Methodist University; Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University • In a nationwide survey of 1,045 advertising students, slightly more than half (53.4%; n=530) reported that they had held an internship outside of their academic studies. Females and seniors were more likely than other students to report having completed an internship, and internship students were more likely to have higher self-reported GPAs. Graduating seniors who had held an internship were significantly more likely to have received a job offer by the month of June, though their salary expectations and actual salary offers did not differ significantly from students who did not have internships. About 11 percent of internship students agreed that the company with which they interned engaged in some type of perceived unethical behavior, and 6.4% offered examples. Open-ended comments revealed that student concerns were likely to focus on what were perceived to be questionable business practices, personal misbehavior by company staff and intern exploitation. Implications for advertising educators and internship employers are discussed.

Internship Supervisors’ Evaluation of Communications Majors’ Internship Performance • Vicki Todd, Quinnipiac University; Grace Levine, AEJMC — Law and Policy Division • On-site internship supervisors evaluated communications majors regarding their internship work performance. Supervisors placed more emphasis on students’ personality traits than on job skills students performed during their internships. Supervisors evaluated public relations students more positively regarding the personal characteristics of time management; willingness to take on new tasks; and the ability to think critically, creatively, and independently. PR majors also ranked more positively based on the job skills of preparation of tasks/assignments and research skills.

Entering the Game at Half-time: Engaging Transfer Students in Internships and Co-Curricular Activities in Mass Communication Programs • Lauren Vicker, St. John Fisher College
With enrollment soaring at community colleges across the country, the number of transfer students is also increasing at many four-year mass communication programs. This study begins a look at this often-neglected population in terms of their engagement in activities that will help to build their professional resumes and portfolios. The research examines transfer students’ motivation to participate in internships and co-curricular activities through a survey of students and interviews with several transfer students. Results indicate that transfer students are participating in internships and co-curricular activities in numbers significantly lower than native students who come to college as freshmen. Transfer students’ main concern is fitting these activities in along with required courses and work time. Mass communication faculty need to pay more attention to ways of engaging transfer students in the full life of their academic programs.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Interest Group 2010 Abstracts

Conflicting desires: An analysis of All My Children’s negotiation of lesbian representation in the early 2000s • Tara Kachgal, University of Wisconsin Superior • This paper analyzes the interplay between soap opera insiders and outsiders over the representation of Bianca Montgomery, U.S. daytime television’s first major lesbian character. Focusing on the three-year period following Bianca’s 2000-2001 coming out, the author charts a series of moves by program makers that initially excited but gradually frustrated and angered lesbian fans. A connection is subsequently drawn between the storyline’s seeming failure and the broader U.S. sociopolitical climate of the mid-2000s.

You Do Not Know Me: Sexual Identity, Consumption, and the Sign of The L-Word • Rebecca Kern, Manhattan College • This paper examines The L-Word as a media product logo and as a cultural sign with important significance. Through CBS’ and Showtime’s commodification of The L-Word, viewers of the show could express their membership as a fan. The cultural sign of The L-Word; however, is more than a logo for a show, the pink ‘L’ represents female sexual identity: lesbian and bisexual, making it possible for anyone to express inclusion in a marginalized sexual identity. It is within this that the lines of insider/outsider fan ‘ness’ and female sexual identity are blurred. These types of products serve a greater purpose of marking social acceptance and cultural shifts in sexual identity expression.

Breeding Masculinities: Bareback Pornography and the Fluid Phallus • Byron Lee, Temple University • Gay bareback pornography (films featuring men engaging in unprotected anal intercourse) has come under attack from multiple communities. This analysis instead examines the discourses of masculinity that are presented in Treasure Island Media films. I argue that bareback pornography presents queer forms of masculinity, rendering them visible and therefore desirable. In bareback pornography, the focus on ejaculate changes the nature of the cum shot, and positions the ejaculate, and not the penis, as the phallus.

Body Image and Race on • Joseph Schwartz, Northeastern University; Josh Grimm, Texas Tech University • In this study, we conducted a content analysis of 214 images of male models published on the gay-oriented blog from May, 2007 to March, 2010. Results showed that most models were White, in their twenties, and had low levels of body hair. Almost uniformly, models had low levels of body fat and high levels of muscularity. Additionally, models’ body types varied significantly by race. Implications of these findings are discussed.

Learning Lesbianism: Media’s Role in Shaping Adolescent Lesbian Identity • Valarie Schweisberger, Syracuse University • Lesbian media representation is scant at best, and for young gay women who come to terms with their sexuality during adolescence, media may have an influence on the formation of their sexual identity. This cross-sectional study of adolescent lesbians explores the role of traditional entertainment media in shaping the development of sexual identity. I conducted in-depth interviews with a convenience/purposive sample of 17 adolescent lesbians in Central New York, and inquired about their perceptions of entertainment media’s influence on their experiences of lesbianism. Results indicate that media have a largely educational influence on adolescent lesbian identity construction.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Advertising 2010 Abstracts

Changing shades of green • Lee Ahern, Penn State; Denise Bortree, Penn State University; Alexandra Smith, Penn State University, College of Communications • The growth, and changing nature, of strategic green communications has become a key issue for environmental advocates and for communications researchers. This study, the first extensive longitudinal content analysis of green advertising of its kind, reveals layers of information relative to message types, message sponsors, frames and appeal levels. It also provides for the examination of these relationships over time. Implications for strategic environmental communications are discussed.

Brands Among Friends: An Examination of Brand Friending and Engagement on Facebook • Kelli Burns, USF • When Facebook allowed companies to create profiles in November 2007, about 100,000 corporate users created a free page during the first 24 hours (Zukowski 2008). This study surveyed 112 Facebook members to understand the variables related to friending and engaging with brands. Facebook brand fans differ significantly from non-Facebook fans on several key variables. Also, Facebook fans who exhibit more engagement behaviors with a Facebook brand can be differentiated from those with fewer engagement behaviors.

U.S. Advertising Agency Operating Efficiency • Yunjae Cheong, The University of Alabama; Kihan Kim, Seoul National University; Justin Combs, University of Alabama • This study uses Data Envelopment Analysis to evaluate the financial efficiency of a sample of 41 U.S. advertising agencies, based on their profits and expenditures in six key areas (i.e., payroll to employees, other payroll-related expenses, administrative expenses, space and facilities expenses, corporate expenses, and professional fees). The analyses reveals that, on average, 5% of an agency’s budget is wasted, incurring the greatest amount of waste in the administrative area. The tobit regression also indicates that professional fees contributed the most agency inefficiency overall.

Health and Nutrition- Related (HNR) Claims in Magazine Food Advertising: A Comparison of Benefit-Seeking and Risk-Avoidance Claims • Hojoon Choi, The University of Georgia; Kyunga Yoo, The University of Georgia; Wendy Macias, The University of Georgia; Nah Ray Han, The University of Georgia • This study employed content analysis to examine benefit-seeking or risk-avoiding use of health- and nutrition-related (HNR) claims in food advertisements of high circulation magazines published between 2007 and 2009. Overall, food marketers made substantial use of risk-avoidance claims in their ads, mainly employing nutrient content claim among three claim types of HNR claims. Moreover, risk-avoidance claims were especially found in the product categories which are perceived as relatively innutritious and less healthy. Our findings provide implications and suggestions with regards to food advertising and public health policy.

Celebrity Endorsers in Advertising: Effects of Negative Information Levels and Timing of Exposure to Negative News • Hojoon Choi, The University of Georgia; Leonard Reid, University of Georgia; Mariko Morimoto, University of Georgia • Using the frameworks of consumer contamination theory and associative learning theory, this experiment examined the moderating effects of level of negative celebrity information (major vs. minor criminal offense) and timing of exposure to negative information (recent vs. past news story about crime associated with endorser) on evaluations of (a) endorser, (b) ad, (c) brand, and (d) purchase intention in celebrity endorser advertising. Two hypotheses and one research question were addressed. The results supported H1: major criminal offense associated with the celebrity endorser had significantly more negative impact on perceived endorser expertise, attractiveness, and trustworthiness, and on attitudes toward advertising and brand, and purchase intension than minor offense. The results partially supported H2: time of exposure to news about endorser criminal offense (recent and past) only significantly impacted perceived trustworthiness. Mediation analysis found that endorser trustworthiness fully or partially mediated the relationship between the independent variables and dependent variables.

The Role of Affective Responses on Advertising Evaluations in a Sport Media Context • Michael Clayton, Christopher Newport University • This research contributes to the theoretical knowledge within the field of PIA (program-induced affect) and has practical implications for sports marketers and advertisers. An experiment was conducted to explore the ability of sports to create bipolar affect responses among highly identified fans of competing teams. The experiment supported previous research in sports marketing regarding the power of sports to create strong affective responses. The research failed to find support for the mood congruency theory which would suppose that positive affective responses created by sport media would lead to more positive advertising evaluations, while negative affective responses would lead to more negative advertising evaluations.

The Impact of Control Mechanism and Game Customization on Videogame Advertising Effects • Frank Dardis, Pennsylvania State University; Mike Schmierbach, Penn State University • Videogame research indicates that a player’s game customization and the control mechanism used can influence various cognitive, affective, and physiological aspects of the gaming experience. However, little research has tested these two factors in relation to advertising effects. Therefore, the current experimental investigation examined the impact of control mechanism and game customization on the effectiveness of in-game advertising. Interaction effects indicated that players using a traditional, hand-held controller remembered more ads in an auto-racing game than did those who used a steering wheel and foot pedals, but only when customization was not allowed. Additionally, controller type and customization led to differing attitudes toward in-game advertising in general. Marketing implications regarding technological videogame advancements are discussed.

Consumer Articulations as Electronic Word-of-Mouth: A Social Identity Perspective • Troy Elias, University of Florida; Osei Appiah, The Ohio State University • This study examines key factors that may play a critical role in determining consumer attitudes toward products and services based on online consumer feedback. The results indicate that positive online consumer feedback leads to significantly more desirable consumer attitudes than sites with no consumer feedback, or sites with overly negative consumer word-of-mouth (NWOM). The results also indicate Blacks tend to respond more favorably to services that are linked to their own racial ingroup, especially when those services have substantial positive consumer evaluations. Also, for a less familiar, less relevant service, word-of-mouth reviews played a more significant role for Blacks in their overall consumer attitudes. For Whites, the results demonstrate that the e-WOM (electronic word-of-mouth) effect is larger for negative WOM than for positive WOM. Implications for Social Identity Theory and the Distinctiveness Principle are discussed.

Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and the Study of Advertising, 2004-2009 • Gregory Hoplamazian, Ohio State; R. Lance Holbert, Ohio State • This study is an assessment of all works employing some aspect of SEM in three advertising ournals (Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research, and International Journal of Advertising) between 2004-2009 (N=62). Focus is given to both measurement and structural models. Each model is assessed in terms of specification, estimation, and evaluation strategies. Summary judgments are offered concerning what the field does well and poorly in relation to its use of SEM.

Social Self-Esteem Responses to Race Representation in Advertising: Downward Social Comparison and White Guilt • Gregory Hoplamazian, Ohio State; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Ohio State • In this study advertising characters’ race (Black, White) and social status (high, low) are manipulated to investigate sociocognitive responses to race representations in advertising.
Results support the proposed social identity framework for Black participants with ethnic identity serving as a significant moderator. Conversely, Whites’ responses are in stark contrast to this framework, and warrant further investigation of attitudes toward specific racial groups. Impact of advertising character portrayal on viewers’ social identity and self-esteem are discussed.

Stereotyping Westerners: An Analysis of Gender and Occupational Roles of Western Models • Ying Huang, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Dennis Lowry, Southern Illinois University
• A content analysis of 638 advertisements and 246 individual Western models in 22 Chinese magazines was performed to examine the use of Western models regarding frequency, race, gender, product category and occupational status. Their occupational status was also compared with 240 models in U.S. magazine advertisements. Results showed Western models are dominantly female, white and in non-working roles, which suggests their roles are more limited compared with their roles in U.S. advertising.

Finding the Right Spot: The Effect of the Length of Preceding and Succeeding Ads on Television Advertising Effectiveness • Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University; Yeuseung Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study investigated the impact of the length of the immediately surrounding commercials on the effectiveness of a given ad with the consideration of sequential order relations between two consecutive ads. The results showed that advertising is more effective when a commercial is longer than immediately surrounding ads and that the impact of length of an immediately preceding commercial is stronger than that of a succeeding ad. Practical implication is discussed.

Influences of Culture, Country Origin and Product Category on the International Advertising Strategies of Multinational Corporations in North America, Europe and Asia • JING JIANG, Renmin University of China; Ran Wei, University of South Carolina • This study tests the standardization typology (e.g., global, glocal, local, and single case; Wei & Jiang, 2005) by examining Multinational Corporations’ (MNCs’) international advertising targeting culturally different markets. In doing so, the influences of product origin by region, product category, and cultural values were examined. Results of a content analysis of 210 selected ads before and during the 2008 Beijing Olympics show that MNCs are more likely to adopt the glocal strategy than any other strategies by standardizing the creative strategy but localizing the execution. Furthermore, results reveal that EU-based MNCs tend to pursue a highly standardized advertising approach (global strategy), whereas the North America-based MNCs seem to favor the glocal strategy and Asia-based MNCs tend to standardize their ads the least (local strategy). Finally, Western and non-Western cultural values are found to converge, indicating a trend of increasing similarity in international advertising. Product category was found to have an impact only on the level of standardization in execution in a cross-cultural context. Theoretical and managerial implications of the findings are discussed.

Factors Influencing Consumer Acceptance of Mobile Advertising • Jong-Hyuok Jung, Syracuse University; Wei-Na Lee, The University of Texas at Austin; Yongjun Sung, The University of Texas at Austin • The primary objective of this study is to provide a comprehensive understanding of consumers’ acceptance of mobile advertising. Specifically, this research explored how the persuasive communication process works via mobile advertising. In order to accomplish this research objective, the relationships among various factors identified from earlier studies were tested. Based on previous literature regarding consumer attitudes, media use, and innovation adoption, a conceptual framework was developed to understand consumer acceptance of mobile advertising. For this reason, the current study employed an online survey with 514 online participants. The results suggest that consumers’ attitudes toward mobile advertising are closely related with all three factors used in this study (e.g., mobile device, message, consumer factors). Furthermore, consumers’ attitudes toward mobile advertising are strongly influenced by message factors (e.g. entertainment, credibility, irritation, message interactivity) and consumer factors (e.g. social influence, compatibility). Thus, careful considerations in message strategy and thoughtful consumer research are needed to increase the effectiveness of mobile advertising. Additionally, the sizable and significant impact of consumer attitude on behavioral intention further supports findings from previous research.

Framing Tactic, Framing Domain, and Source Credibility in DTC Hormone Replacement Therapy Advertising: An Integration of Prospect Theory and Language Expectancy Theory • Kenneth Eun Han Kim, Oklahoma state university • The present study attempts to explore the interactive effects among the gain-loss framing domain, the attribute-goal framing tactic, and message source credibility on the persuasive outcomes associated with DTC Hormone Replacement Therapy advertising. An experiment was designed with a 2 (framing tactic: attribute framing versus goal framing) _ 2 (framing domain: gain framing versus loss framing) _ 2 (source credibility: high versus low) between-subjects design, exploring the interactive effects of framing tactic and framing domain on the consumer’s attitude toward hormone replacement therapy and DTC ad-promoted behavior intentions. Women, aged 45-65 were recruited for the study samples. The data obtained indicate that loss framing is affected by the level of source credibility such that the loss framing impact decreases with a low credible source, while the gain framing impact is not affected as much as loss framing by source credibility. However, this study failed to find any significant interaction between gain-loss framing domain and attribute-goal framing tactic.

I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV: The effects of context and endorser credibility on advertising effectiveness • K. Maja Krakowiak, University of Colorado at Colorado Springs; Kelly Poniatowski, Elizabethtown College • As actors and actresses become increasingly comfortable with ad appearances, ads featuring celebrities have started to be shown during entertainment content starring them. This study examines how placing endorser ads in the context of content that also features the endorser affects responses to the ads. The findings of an experiment (N = 161) reveal that one-time viewing of entertainment content featuring an endorser does not affect responses to an ad featuring that endorser; however, frequent viewing of such content results in more favorable perceptions of the endorser’s credibility, which, in turn, leads to more favorable responses to the endorser ad. Implications of the findings for priming theories and advertising research are discussed.

The Effects of Spokes-Characters’ Personalities of Food Products on Source Credibility • Hobin Kyung, Korea Telecom; Ohyoon Kwon, The University of Texas at Austin; Yongjun Sung, The University of Texas at Austin • Personified spokes-characters can be created and controlled in ways in which advertisers want to establish and maintain the images and personalities of the food products. This research explores the relationships between spokes-characters’ personality dimensions and source credibility dimensions, including expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness. The overall findings suggest that different spokes-character personality dimensions influence the source credibility dimensions differently and that both sincerity and competence are the two most significant spokes-character personality dimensions to increase the levels of source expertise, trustworthiness, and attractiveness.

Brand Interactivity and Its Effects on the Outcomes of Advergame Play • Joonghwa Lee, University of Missouri; Hyojung Park, University of Missouri, School of Journalism; Kevin Wise, University of Missouri, School of Journalism • This study developed the concept of brand interactivity based on the characteristics and definitions of interactivity and applied it to advergames. A 2 (brand interactivity: present/absent) _ 2 (game: Mahjong/Bejeweled) within-subjects experiment was conducted to examine the effect of brand interactivity on attitude toward the advergame, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. Brand interactivity appeared to have a positive effect on brand attitude and purchase intention.

Product Placement in Mobile Phone Games: The Impact on Persuasion • Hui-Fei Lin, National Chiao Tung University
• Various past researches have studied product placement, such as in television shows (Law & Braun, 2000). Some studies have begun to examine brand placement in computer or on-line games (Nelson, 2002; Nelson, Yaros, & Keum, 2006; Lee & Faber, 2007; Yang & Wang, 2008). However, the effectiveness of brand placement in other entertainment media, especially mobile phone games, from psychological aspects has received little attention. Furthermore, due to the increase of product placement in mobile phone games, it would be valuable to gain insights into the game players’ perceptions of the impact of product placement in mobile game on game players’ memory, attitudes towards product placements in games and their purchase intention. The purpose of this current research is to explore the effect of product placement on mobile phone games on persuasion. A 2 (Type of games: high level of attention x low level of attention) x 2 (Location of placement: focal vs. peripheral) x 2 (Type of brand: high familiarity brand vs. low familiarity brand) between-subjects design was conducted (N=324). As hypothesized, results showed that 1) gamers have a greater memory of brands when brands were embedded in the focal area of the game than when they were placed in the peripheral area of the game; 2) gamers have a better memory when high familiarity brands were embedded within the games than when low familiarity brands were placed; 3) Gamers who have more positive attitudes towards product placements are more likely to exhibit stronger purchase intentions.

From Eisenhower to Obama: Lexical Characteristics of Winning vs. Losing Presidential Campaign Commercials • Dennis Lowry, Southern Illinois University; Md. Naser, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • This is the first longitudinal study of 15 presidential campaigns using lexical analysis to isolate differences been winning and losing commercials. The corpus, which consisted of 1,227 commercials from Campaigns ’52 through ’08, was analyzed with Diction 5.0 lexical analysis software. Results indicated that there were striking lexical differences between the commercials of presidential winners versus losers. Winners were significantly higher on positive terms and other-directed references to groups, while losers were higher on self-related I/me/my words.

Individual Differences in the Perception of Product Placements: Field Dependence-Independence, Brand Recall, and Brand Liking • Jörg Matthes, University of Zurich; Christian Schemer, University of Zurich; Werner Wirth, University of Zurich • We argue that the cognitive style field dependence-independence predicts people’s ability to detect audiovisual product placements. In an experiment working with an authentic audiovisual stimulus, we varied the appearance of placements and tested the field dependence of our participants. Results demonstrate that field independent individuals show a higher placement recall but lower brand liking compared to field dependent individuals. The results speak to the importance of individual difference variables for product placement research.

A cross-national study of young consumers’ intentions to redeem mobile coupons • Alexander Muk, Texas State-San Marcos • The mobile phone is considered as an ideal advertising vehicle because of the growing number of mobile phone subscribers worldwide. Mobile coupons, in SMS format with discount codes, are sent directly via the cell phones to customers who have signed up for receiving them. While redeeming mobile coupons by cell phone users is increasing in Asian countries like Japan and Korea, American cell phone users are slow in adopting this new couponing tool. To gain a better understanding of the effectiveness of mobile couponing, a cross-national approach may help identify important factors that influence consumer perceptions of mobile coupons. The United States, Korea and Taiwan were selected for this study because of their different cultural characteristics as well as their tendencies in adopting wireless technologies. Congruent with research involving cross-cultural consumer behavior, this study found differences across countries in terms of cultural influences on consumers’ intentions to redeem mobile coupons. The findings showed that cultural values are important factors affecting consumer acceptance mobile coupons.

Are Responsible Drinking Campaigns Done Responsibly?: The Effectiveness of Alcohol Industry-Sponsored Advertising Campaigns • Sun-Young Park, University of Florida; Yeonsoo Kim, University of Florida; Cynthia Morton, University of Florida • The purpose of the present study is to provide a summary of the theoretical foundation associated with how industry-sponsored responsible drinking advertising campaigns work, providing a conceptual model that assesses the effectiveness of the campaigns. Based on the path-analysis, the study investigated consumers’ attributions of corporate altruistic motives, perceptions of corporate credibility, attitudes toward corporations, and attitudes toward responsible drinking ad campaigns sponsored by corporations, along with the pro-social effects (i.e., the intention to drink alcohol responsibly), and pro-corporate effects (i.e., the intention to drink alcohol) of the campaigns. In particular, the findings of the study support the idea that industry-sponsored messages externally discourage misuse or promote individual responsibility, but the messages are blended with favorable portrayals of product consumption. The findings revealed that the intention to drink alcohol is enhanced by responsible drinking ad campaigns sponsored by alcohol companies through creating positive company attitudes. Implications, limitations, and future research are suggested.

Does Planning Make Perfect in India? How Advertising Practitioners Perceive Account Planning • Padmini Patwardhan, Winthrop University; Hemant Patwardhan, Winthrop University; Falguni Vasavada-Oza, Mudra Institute of Communication • This study examined acceptance of account planning among advertising practitioners in India, an emerging global advertising hotspot. Three research questions were proposed to investigate planning’s growth across agencies, individual perceptions about planning, as well as coercive, mimetic and normative pressures in its development. A cross sectional survey of practitioners from all key agency areas was conducted for a 30% (n = 154) response rate. Results indicate that (1) planning practice is growing in India with a majority of respondents indicating that their agencies use it at least in a basic way (2) planning perceptions are highly positive and (3) environmental (external) pressures are believed to impact planning development through not all are seen as equally important. Future research directions are proposed.

What Makes A Super Bowl Ad Super?: Five-Act Dramatic Form Impacts Super Bowl Ad Ratings. • Keith Quesenberry, Temple University; Michael Coolsen, Shippensburg University • A content analysis for dramatic form was performed on 62 Super Bowl XLIV commercials. Results demonstrated strong support for the hypothesis that average consumer favorability ratings for Super Bowl commercials is significantly higher for commercials that follow a full five-act dramatic form compared to commercials that do not. Additionally, significant cumulative effects on consumer favorability ratings were demonstrated with increasing numbers of acts and development of those acts. This could have significant implications for marketers.

Affect, Motivational Orientation and the Effectiveness of Positively vs. Negatively Framed Health Advertisements: The Mediated Moderation Effect of Mood Sela Sar, Greenlee School of Journalism and Communication; George Anghelcev, Penn State University • This study examined the impact of mood on motivational orientation and its interaction with positive and negative frame. The results showed that ad message framed to be congruent with mood led participants to have more positive attitudes and stronger intentions to perform the health behaviors. Discussion focused on the integration of mood, motivational orientation strategy and framing into models of health persuasion.

The Influence of Sexy and Humorous Content on Motivated Cognitive Processing of Televsion Advertisements • Curtis B. Matthews, Texas Tech University; Johnny Sparks, Texas Tech University; Scott Parrott, The University of Alabama • The goal of this within-subjects experiment was to examine how sexy and humorous content during 24 television advertisements influenced motivated cognitive processing of incidental and brand information. Self-reported arousal, used to indicate appetitive activation, increased with sexy content. Audio recognition sensitivity, used to indicate thoroughness of encoding, was greater for humor than nonhumorous and for sexy than nonsexy advertisements. Cued recall, used to indicate thoroughness of storage, was found to be higher for sexy than nonsexy advertisements. Cued recall was greater for incidental information in humorous advertisements. However, brand information processing suffered in humorous ads. Sexy content improved brand recall.

Exploring Social Game Play With Advertising: Brand Attitudes in an Online Community • Sara Steffes Hansen, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • This study explores attitudes related to brands experienced in social games. Exploratory regression analysis of survey data considered player attitudes of all brands and well-liked brands in game interactions. All brands negatively related to knowledge of advertiser tactics and telepresence departure, and positively connected to brand consciousness and exciting game personality. Well-liked brands connected negatively to telepresence departure and positively to arrival. Play frequency and ads aiding realism positively related to both brand categories.

Perceived Diversity in Advertising Agencies and the 4 Ps of Creativity • Jorge Villegas, University of Illinois at Springfield; Thomas Vogel, Emerson College • Diversity in advertising agencies has been a highly discussed issue, yet the impact of diversity on an ad agency’s creativity has not been addressed. This paper explores the relationships between the 4P framework – person, place, process and product – of creativity and diversity in advertising agencies. The results show that perceptions of diversity have a positive effect on creativity and interact with the process and product elements of the 4p framework.

A Comparative Study of American and Chinese Young Consumers’ Acceptance of Mobile Advertising: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach • Hongwei Yang, Appalachian State University; Liuning Zhou, Center for the Digital Future, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California; Hui Liu, Department of Communication, Beijing International Studies University • A web survey of American college students was conducted in April 2009 and a paper survey was administered to college students of four Chinese public universities in May and June, 2009 to test a model of mobile advertising developed by Finnish Scholars, Merisavo and associates, in 2007 in which five factors (utility, context, control, sacrifice and trust) predict consumer acceptance of mobile advertising. A structural equation modeling was employed to fit the model to two sets of survey data. Generally, the model has achieved an acceptable fit in the United States with significant standardized regression coefficients on context, sacrifice and trust. However, utility and perceived control are not important predictors of US college students’ acceptance of mobile advertising. Overall, the model performed reasonably well in China with significant standardized regression coefficients on utility, control, sacrifice and trust. Context seems not to be an important factor while control is a negative predictor. Accordingly, the model cannot be directly transplanted to the United States and China and future research is needed to develop a comprehensive model of American and Chinese consumers’ acceptance of mobile advertising. Implications for global, American and Chinese marketers are discussed.

More Effective Message Styles for Communicating with Young Adults • Hyunjae (Jay) Yu, School of Communication, Sogang University; Hoyoung (Anthony) Ahn, University of Tennessee; Yongick Jeong, Louisiana State University • Young adults, between the ages of about 18 and 24, are the group of people who are most often exposed to situations involving diverse health risk behaviors. They are able to drink and use drugs under far less parental supervision than earlier age groups. Reports have shown that frequent involvements to several types of health risk behaviors (e.g., drunk driving, bar fighting, smoking, substance use) can seriously damage young adults physically and psychologically. However, despite the high rate of health risk behaviors among young adults, there have not been enough discussions about how we can produce more effective anti-health risk behavior messages that target young adults. This exploratory study provides some useful insights into this issue by testing the possible effects of three frameworks: gain/loss framing, different information sources, and negative/positive mood. The results reveal that the young adults in this study find more appeal in anti-health risk behavior messages conveyed by a traditional Public Service Announcement (PSA) rather than by a report in a television news program. The results also reveal that people pay more attention to messages that use negative moods (e.g., Öthere are many people losing a lot of precious things because of their health risk behaviorsÖ) instead of positive moods (e.g., Öthere are many people gaining a lot of precious things by avoiding health risk behaviors Ö). An interaction effect between information sources and mood was also detected.

Accuracy of Self-Perceived Creativity: Are We as Creative as We Think We Are? • Jody Mattern, Minnesota State University Moorhead; Jeffrey Child, Kent State University, School of Communication Studies; Shannon Vanhorn, Valley City State University; Katherine Gronewald, North Dakota State University • This study examined the accuracy of self-perceptions of creativity. College students (n = 849) took online tests that first examined their self-perceptions of creativity, and then measured actual creative output. The Gough Personality Scale was used to measure self-perceptions of creativity, then two measure of creativity—one of convergent thinking (Mednick’s Remote Associates Test) and one of divergent thinking (Guilford’s Alternative Uses Task)—were used to compute creative output. Results of the tests (n = 519) support a significant and positive correlation between the self-assessment and the overall creativity task score, r = .203, p < .001. Thus, participants with a higher self -perceived creativity personality assessment were also ultimately more creative, leading to a discussion about the role of advertising education in creative output.

Preparing young creatives for an interactive world: How possible is it? • Brett Robbs, School of Journalism, University of Colorado, Boulder • Has the growing importance of interactive affected the skills full-service advertising agencies seek in young creatives? If so, what impact should that have on the curriculum? This study uses depth interviews with working professionals to explore such questions. Findings indicate that while agencies want students to have some knowledge of interactive, they continue to emphasize skills creative courses are already designed to develop. Adding interactive to that mix, while not without challenges, should be possible.

Informal Learning Using New Technologies • Adam Wagler, University of Nebraska-Lincoln • Informal education has been well researched for many decades with learning moments occurring at a variety of times. This paper looks at applications of informal teaching methods used in a college classroom. Experiences during the Omaha Science Media Project, a grant project developing high school curriculum using media tools to learn about science, are also analyzed and applied to extend learning outside of the classroom. The paper looks at a new media design course’s use of video blogs and other forms of social media. This encourages students to become the experts by exploring additional topics related to the course. The result was active participation in class as well as the use of new technologies like Google Wave, Delicious and more to promote collaboration and informal learning.

PF & R
Making the connection: Creative women talk about empathy, creativity and gender • Sheri Broyles, University of North Texas; Jean Grow, Marquette University • Senior creative women were asked what three words come to mind when they think of creative men/women, what men do that women can learn from and vice versa as well as what part empathy plays in the creative process. Thematic categories identified male traits of bonding, competitive, humor and strong while empathetic and insightful were female traits. Smart and talented were balanced for men/women. The role of empathy and its relation to creativity is discussed.

Content Analysis of Male Domesticity and Fatherhood in American Television Commercials • Wanhsiu Tsai, University of Miami • This study examines how American commercials represent men as spouses and parents in the family context. A content analysis of prime-time commercials across different networks and cable channels was conducted. Findings indicate that men are rarely shown in domestic settings and are much less likely than women to be shown performing domestic chores and childcare activities. Specifically, in advertising’s portrayal of domestic settings, men are frequently depicted only in background and marginal roles. When men are shown as nurturant fathers, their involvement with children is limited to playing with children.

Having Your Beer and Drinking It Too: Strategic Ambiguity and Self-Regulatory Compliance in Beer Commercials • Lara Zwarun, University of Missouri St Louis • This study explores audience responses to beer commercials that use strategic ambiguity to creatively circumvent self-regulatory advertising guidelines in order to communicate about drinking. A quasi-experiment reveals that some viewers of these ads report seeing the behaviors that are discouraged by the guidelines, and in many cases, believe such behavior is being promoted. The more likely participants were to believe they had seen people combining drinking with potentially dangerous activities, the greater their agreement that the ads were promoting the alcohol expectancies that predict drinking. However, when faced with imagery of drunkenness, people were unclear if drinking was being glamorized or presented responsibly, and were less likely to believe positive alcohol expectancies were being promoted. Findings suggest that strategic ambiguity can allow beer advertisers to appear responsible while diminishing the threat of risky drinking in some ads. However, in the case of commercials with less glamorous portrayals of alcohol consumption, strategic ambiguity may compromise marketing objectives.

Special Topics
Sex (and Semiotics) sells: Decoding Gender, Power and Persuasion in Text-less magazine ads • Yelisabel Scott, University of Oklahoma, Meta Carstarphen, University of Oklahoma; • This study looks at advertising imagery through a visual rhetorical lens in the way suggested by Scott (1994); in other words, advertising imagery is looked at as a sophisticated form of visual rhetoric with invention, arrangement, and delivery characteristics capable of communicating a complex argument even with the absence of linguistics, but also with style and memory characteristics as well. In the visual rhetoric context, Scott (1994) positions certain characteristics of advertising visuals within the first canons mentioned above, but seems to ignore the other two. Even though the goal was to select a total of ten (10) ads (five from the magazines targeted toward men and five from the magazines targeted toward women) with the intention of making it a fair and even split, an interesting pattern emerged. When considering gender, there were far more text-less qualifying ads for women than for men, raising questions about advertising text-less argument construction and audience assumptions.

Bringing Clarity and Direction to Advertising ROI: A New Conceptual Model for Practical Application • Don Dickinson, Portland State University • The first premise of this paper is that the return on investment for advertising should not evaluated solely or even primarily on the basis of sales. Rather, as a communications tool, advertising should be evaluated on its ability to move people through a series of intermediate steps on a continuum that ranges from ignorance of a product category on one end to brand advocacy on the other. In so doing, such an approach reflects fundamental changes in knowledge, attitude and behavior. The second premise is advertising ROI should be easier.The model begins with a taxonomy that organizes AROI into four broad areas which encompass 14 different categories of outcomes. This taxonomy is the first of three breakthroughs in this paper. The 14 outcome categories encompass 40+ specific metrics, any small number of which could be chosen for an on-going marcom program or specific campaign. The taxonomy is followed by a comprehensive table that answers the above four questions for each outcome and metric. This comprehensive table is the second breakthrough. The third breakthrough is an example of how this new AROI analysis would be presented in an annual AROI Report.

Viral Advertising: A Conceptualization • Petya Eckler, U of Iowa; Shelly Rodgers, University of Missouri School of Journalism • Much confusion exists over what viral advertising is and how it differs from viral marketing, electronic word-of-mouth, and user-generated content, to name a few. A comprehensive definition of viral advertising is provided to develop a deeper understanding and to advance research in the viral arena. We discuss features that are unique to viral advertising and their importance to our conceptualization. We then present a timeline on the history of viral advertising, discussing key changes and developments. After briefly summarizing existing scholarship on viral advertising, we offer suggestions for future work in the field.

A Comparison of Online Streaming Video and Television in Terms of Advertising Perceptions and Attitudes • Kelty Logan, University of Colorado at Boulder • While it is readily apparent to advertisers that online access of episodic television is becoming increasingly popular, there is little information regarding how use of the new medium differs from traditional television viewership. The research employed online interviews among young adult viewers of online streaming television and traditional television to determine if young adult consumers (aged 18-34) regard advertising viewed within online streaming television programming differently than they regard advertising viewed within traditional, non-recorded television programming. Results indicate that viewers are less tolerant of advertising viewed in the context of online streaming video content than traditional television advertising.

Perceptions of Internet Advertising: A Q Sort Analysis • Ashley Stevens, BYU; David Mecham, BYU; Lincoln Hubbard, BYU; Tom Robinson, Brigham Young University; Mark Popovich, Ball State University • Differences in attitudes toward four types of Internet advertising were measured to aid in further understanding of the effectiveness of Internet advertising, as well as the perceived effectiveness of specific types of Internet advertising. Social judgment theory provides a theoretical framework to aid in understanding how different types of Internet advertisements are perceived. Q-Methodology sorts of 48 statements concerning Internet advertising were used to probe viewpoints toward four types of Internet advertising: interstitial (pop-up), banner, sponsored-search, and video advertisements. Results indicate that interstitial advertisements and banner advertisements were perceived as intrusive and annoying, while video advertisements were tolerated to facilitate online television viewing.

An Exploratory Study on Factors Affecting American Young Consumers’ Mobile Viral Behavior • Hongwei Yang, Appalachian State University; Liuning Zhou, Center for the Digital Future, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Southern California • A web survey of 407 American college students was conducted in April 2009 to examine to what extent young consumers’ demographic, psychographic and behavioral characteristics influence their frequency of forwarding mobile viral content. We found that age, opinion leadership, belief in mobile advertising utility, belief in the usefulness of contextual mobile advertising, acceptance of mobile advertising, cell phone calling, and text messaging were positively related to American young consumers’ frequency of forwarding mobile messages. A backward multiple regression was employed to extract the following significant predictors: age, opinion leadership, belief in the usefulness of contextual mobile advertising, cell phone calling and text messaging. Implications for mobile marketers are discussed.

Online Media Tracking and Evaluation: A Conceptual/Instructional Model • Aimei Yang, University of Oklahoma; Fred K. Beard, University of Oklahoma • Given the current trend of growth in online advertising and public relations, it is imperative to prepare students for the opportunities and challenges presented by the Web 2.0 environment. However, an extensive review of the literature revealed no established framework around which students can readily comprehend the various uses of online media and the increasingly varied and sophisticated means for evaluating them. This paper addresses this gap in the pedagogical literature by presenting a conceptual and instructional model of online media use and evaluation. This model first matches four Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) disciplines and goals with the most effective online media tools, and further models the appropriate evaluation measures that fit with the communication goals and types of online media.

Predicting Attitudes toward Email and Postal Direct Advertising by Consumers’ Innovativeness • Kenneth C. C. Yang, The University Of Texas At El Paso; Caroline Staub Garland Garland, The University Of Texas At El Paso • This study employed a self-administered survey method to collect empirical data. This study employed a random sampling method to select a sample of 400 from a database of 1806 supporters of a National Public Radio station housed at a large public university in the Southwest. A total of 106 responses were received within the 21-day period. Several linear regression models were run and showed that consumers’ innovativeness variables significantly predicted their attitudes toward email direct mail advertising in the regression model (F=5.86, p<0.01). &#946; coefficients further demonstrated that the more technologies and online activities consumers adopt, the more positive their attitudes toward email advertising will be. Results also showed that consumers’ innovativeness (measured by their online activities) negatively predict their attitudes toward postal direct mail advertising. &#946; coefficient demonstrated that the more online activities consumers undertook, the less favorable their attitudes toward postal direct mail advertising were. Similar results were found for consumers’ preference of postal direct mail advertising (F=3.76, p<0.05). Online activities also negatively predicted consumers’ preference of direct mail postal advertising as shown by &#946; coefficient in the regression model. Furthermore, hierarchical regression model further demonstrated that consumers’ innovativeness (as measured by their online activities) continued to be a statistically significant predictor, rather than their demographics (such as gender, income, education, etc). Implications for diffusion of innovation theory and advertising effectiveness research were discussed.

How Much Do People Remember the Disclaimers in TV Ads? • Hyunjae (Jay) Yu, School of Communication, Sogang University • TV advertising disclaimers contain important information for consumers so they are not misled about advertising content and the characteristics of the products advertised. Therefore, disclaimers are very important not only for consumers, but also for preventing advertisers from running into potential legal problems regarding the content of their ads. However, despite disclaimers’ significance, the research on advertising disclaimers is not extensive. This exploratory study investigates how much young adult consumers (18-25 year old college students) recognize and recall disclaimers in advertisements for two different products (beer and car commercials). In addition, this study also examines if there is any relationship between the participants’ personal consumer characteristics (i.e., the level of impulsiveness in buying behavior and materialistic orientation level) and their recognition/recall of advertising disclaimers. The results show that many participants in this study barely recognized/recalled the disclaimers from either advertisement; the level of recognition (recall) did not seem to be significantly influenced by the people’s personal consumer characteristics.

What personal characteristics impact the attitude toward TV advertising? -The case of baby-boomer consumers- • Hyunjae (Jay) Yu, School of Communication, Sogang University; Hoyoung (Anthony) Ahn, University of Tennessee • The research investigating the relationships between people’s personal characteristics and their attitude toward advertising could produce important implications for developing more persuasive advertising to target audience. Even though related studies have been conducted by many researchers, the research dealing with older consumers and their attitude toward advertising has been very limited, mainly because it has been generally believed that most sales are relied upon younger consumers. However, the importance of older consumers in companies’ marketing has increased recently because of their improved health and financial ability, prompting new research interest. This study investigates the possible relationships between the baby boomers’ attitude toward advertising and three personal characteristics (i.e., age perceptions, social comparison orientation, and materialistic tendency) that have been considered for a long time factors influencing people’s perceptions about advertising. The results show that many boomers strongly believe they are younger than their actual ages and have high social comparison orientations. And those personal characteristics significantly influenced their attitudes toward the TV advertisements they were exposed to.

The Impact of Economic Crisis on Financial Services Advertising Appeals • Hongmin Ahn, University of Texas at Austin; Young-A Song, University of Texas at Austin • While many scholars and researchers have contributed to the sizeable literature on the interaction between advertising and a society, few have examined economic circumstance as a meaningful force shaping advertising. This study provides the empirical evidence that changes in economic status, the recession in particular, serve as substantial moments wherein advertising appeals have been significantly transformed. The data of 1,488 ads placed in two popular magazines show that the patterns of appeals have turned to direct assertive styles in the wake of the economic crisis of 2008-2009. At the same time, however, ads during this recession period have used a far wider variety of strategic and tactical appeals than those in pre-recession era.

The Politics of Memory: Strategic Recollections of the Past as Oppositional Pitfalls for Election 2008 • Michelle Amazeen, Temple University • This paper explores the use of cultural memory in the political advertising campaigns of the 2008 U.S. presidential election. Both candidates effectively used seemingly positive memory themes to portray his opponent negatively. Despite Obama’s attempts to avoid racial issues, McCain’s Convention Night ad put him in the framework of the Civil Rights movement anyway. The mainstream media’s uncritical consideration of the ad, which invoked Martin Luther King Jr.’s memory in representing Obama’s achievements, suggests not only an uncontested version of racial achievements in America, but also the power granted to political ads in narrating a naturalized version of public memory.

Promoting the Promoters Online: How Ad Agencies Use Corporate Websites to Promote Their Services • Barbara Chambers, Texas Tech University; Curtis B. Matthews, Texas Tech University • Smaller advertising agencies have not typically been the focus of academic research, but they often face obstacles to promoting their own services. The Web provides an interactive environment for promoting expertise. This study used content analysis to examine 79 mid-sized agency websites to determine the prevalence of features such as text, feedback, multi-media, navigation, new media, and brand loyalty. Agencies with more resources had more interactive websites and used more social media for agency promotion.

Targeting Kids Online: Content Analysis of Viral Advertising Featured in Food and Beverage Brands’ Web Sites • Yoon Cho, University of Oregon • As the number of children accessing Internet continues to grow, food and beverage advertisers targeting children are focusing their marketing efforts online. Among these online marketing efforts, viral advertising featured in their Web sites become major interactive advertising tools. Viral advertising relies on entertaining content and interactive features to grab consumers’ attention and uses the Internet to influence consumers to pass along the content to others (Porter and Golan 2006). Through content analysis, this study investigates the types of viral advertising featured in food and beverage brands’ Web sites, examines the level of interactivity of viral advertising, and what types of food and beverage products are featured in viral advertising and sees which product categories have the highest and lowest level of interactivity. The findings will lay the groundwork for empirical studies exploring the effect of viral advertising on children’s attitudes, and possibly, consumption habit of food and beverage products.

Content Analysis of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising for Stigmatized Illnesses: Does It Provide Fair and Balanced Information? • Hannah Kang, University of Florida • This study evaluated the content of DTC print ads for stigmatized illnesses from 1998 to 2008 by using the FDA’s fair- balance disclosure provision and methods of the previous studies. DTC ads for eight stigmatized illnesses in Time magazine were analyzed. Results showed 13.5 percent of the ads offered the same amount of benefit and risk information and met the fair balance requirements of FDA in terms of the amount of benefit and risk information.

To Click or Not To Click?: The Factors Influencing Clicking of Ads on Facebook • Yoojung Kim, The University of Texas at Austin; Mihyun Kang, The University of Texas at Austin; Dong Hoo Kim, The University of Texas at Austin; William Reeves, University of Texas at Austin; Jang Ho Moon, The University of Texas at Austin • This paper explores various factors influencing the clicking of ads in Facebook: the perceived informativeness, entertainment, and irritation, Facebook usage intensity, the number of joined Facebook Pages. The results of logistic regression showed that people are more likely to click ads on Facebook if they perceive ads as more informative and less irritating. In addition, there was a positive relationship between Facebook usage intensity and number of Facebook Pages and clicking of ads on Facebook.

Consequences of Agenda-Setting: The Impact of Agenda-Setting Effects of Political Advertising on Candidate Favorability, Voting Intention, and Voter Turnout • Yonghwan Kim, University of Texas at Austin • This study examines the consequences of agenda-setting effects of political advertising for attitudinal and behavioral outcomes—candidate preference, voting intention for candidates and voter turnout. The current study, beyond the main focus of agenda-setting research on news media such as newspaper and television news, attempts to contribute to the growing research on consequences of agenda-setting by investigating how salience in individuals’ minds shaped by exposure to political ads influences their attitude toward candidates, vote choice, and voter turnout through use of an experimental design. The direct impacts of perceived salience of candidates’ personal attributes were found to predict individuals’ candidate preference and voting choice. In addition, the results showed interaction effects of the political ads tone and the perceived issue salience on the likelihood of voter turnout.

The Effects of Advertorials on Consumers’ Perceptions of Their Relationship with the Corporation: The Roles of Media Credibility and Advertorial Types • Daewook Kim, University of Florida; Jun Heo, University of Florida • This study aims to examine how corporate social responsibility advertorials influence consumers’ perceived relationship with corporations. Two independent variables were used for the study: level of media credibility (high/low) and types of advertorial (labeled/unlabeled). The research findings suggest that media credibility has significantly positive impacts on perceived relationship with corporations, whereas types of advertorial show an insignificant influence. Theoretical background and practical implications are provided.

The Effects of Divided Attention on Implicit and Explicit Memory for Radio Advertisements • Kelli Lyons, Texas Tech University • Studies have established a dissociation between implicit or subconscious memory and explicit or conscious memory. Most often the dissociation is observed when time between study and testing phases in increased or when a secondary task is completed during the study phase. Many studies have suggested that explicit memory is highly influenced by divided attention, while implicit memory is not affected to the same degree. These studies do not suggest that implicit memory does not require attention. In fact, they found that more frequent responses to a secondary task do have a negative effect on implicit memory. However, these studies have most often used simple stimuli such as individual words. The current study tests memory for words from radio advertisements in divided and full conditions. The results did show an affect of attention on explicit memory, but they were not consistent with previous literature for implicit memory, with the current study finding evidence to suggest that implicit memory was affected by attention. However, more importantly, this study revealed that secondary tasks interact in a different way with mediated messages than they do simple stimuli.

The Effects of Message Framing and Behavioral Norms in Responsible Drinking PSAs: The Role of Deviance-Regulation Theory • Sun-Young Park, University of Florida; Jaejin Lee, University of Florida; Hyunsang Son, University of Florida; Eun Go, University of Florida • Given the potential importance of message strategies in binge drinking interventions among college students, the current research investigates the effects of message framing and behavioral norms (i.e., rules about appropriate behavior) and their interaction effects on attitudinal and behavioral responses to responsible drinking. For this study, a 2 x 2 (message frames: gain or loss; behavioral norm: healthy or unhealthy) between-subjects randomized experimental study was conducted to examine the effects on message persuasiveness, ad attitudes and responsible drinking intentions. The results revealed that messages stressing the benefits of performing the requested behavior (i.e., gain-framed) and positive behavioral norms (i.e., healthy norms) yielded more favorable outcomes. More importantly, significant interaction effects suggest that the condition of the loss-framed messages and the unhealthy norm was least effective among four conditions in the experimental design. This study lays the theoretical groundwork for the role of message framing and behavioral norms in enhancing the effects of responsible-drinking campaigns. Also, the study provides useful insights into the potential utilizations of health messages about responsible alcohol use in PSAs. Implications, limitations, and future research are suggested.

An Analysis of NARB Panel Decisions Before 1994 • Jessica Powviriya, University of Arkansas Journalism Department • This study examined 71 of the 139 (or 51 percent) of the NARB cases which were decided through 1994. The study analyzed case decisions for whether ads were substantiated, the medium used and comparison advertising. Results suggest that the household products and services group was the most frequent category of concern in the NARB casework, accounting for most of the cases involving substantiation and comparative advertising.

Celebrity-Associated Promotions: Celebrity Endorsed Advertising vs. Celebrity Product Placement
William Reeves, University of Texas at Austin
• This study investigates celebrity product placement, an exciting new advertising technique. In particular, this study examines the effects of celebrity product placements effect on celebrity credibility, attitude towards the brand, and purchase intent, and specifically in comparison to celebrity endorsement. Results of the experimental study reported in this paper show that celebrity product placement has amore positive effect on celebrity credibility, attitude towards the brand and purchase intent than the traditional celebrity-associated practice, celebrity endorsement.

Self-Concept Portrayed in Advertising and Consumer Perceptions on Luxury Fashion Brands • Mark Yi-Cheon Yim, The University of Texas at Austin • The objective of this study is to reveal the current direction of advertising for luxury fashion brands (LFB) by comparing the consistency between self-concept portrayed in magazine advertisements and consumer perceptions on LFB. To achieve the goal, a content analysis and a survey (n = 730) were conducted. Additionally, how other consumer characteristics (i.e., brand consciousness and culture) operate in forming attitudes toward LFB was investigated. The results suggest that females are overrepresented in advertisements for LFB, considering the readership’s gender composition. Although females are generally more favorable to LFB, both genders high in brand consciousness are favorable to LFB.

<< 2010 Abstracts

Graduate Education Interest Group 2010 Abstracts

Making the Case for Critical Media Literacy: Goals and functions in undergraduate education • Seth Ashley, University of Missouri-Columbia • Media literacy is the province of a vast array of educational goals and a diverse field of study. This theoretical paper examines and seeks consensus among existing understandings of media literacy and aims to advance the definition, establish clear goals for media literacy and justify its inclusion in general liberal arts education. The paper emphasizes the role of critical media literacy education in preserving quality journalism and democratic self-governance.

The Success of Opting Out? Political Information in the Changing Media Environment • Leticia Bode, University of Wisconsin – Madison • As technology develops, the sources from which people may obtain political information continue to increase. This paper represents a first step in understanding the implications of the increasing prevalence and use of alternative information flows online. By examining the systematic differences between purposive information seeking (Google News) and possible sources of incidental exposure to political information (Twitter). We address important differences between the two, but verify the ability to be incidentally exposed to political information.

Wait, Who Said That? The Role of Source Cue Placement in Argument Evaluation • D. Jasun Carr, UW-Madison; Emily Vraga, University of Wisconsin-Madison • The 2002 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act mandates that campaign advertisements identify their origin. This requirement provides an opportunity to examine a real-world impact of source cue placement on the persuasive process. Utilizing a 2 x 2 (cue placement by consonant vs. dissonant ad exposure) experiment to explore the effects of cue placement on the persuasive impact of an advertisement, we find that cue placement matters more when individuals are not motivated to process the ad.

I Want to Help Others: Empathy and Distance effects on Compassion, Attitudes, and Behavioral Intentions • Sheetal Chhotu-Patel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • An experimental study examined the self’s compassion, attitude, and prosocial behavioral intentions in response to a news story about a suffering other. The results showed that the interplay between empathy in relation to a suffering other in a news story and the geographical distance of the other were inconsistent to a certain degree with previous theoretical findings. Theoretical and applied implications and recommendations for future research on emotion and social cause messaging are discussed.

A New Area of Video Game Research? The Pro-Social Effects of Playing Violent Video Games Cooperatively • J.J. De Simone, University of Wisconsin – Madison • Given their prevalence in American culture, violent video games’ negative effects are a heavily studied phenomenon in the social scientific literature. However, many studies analyze the issue on the individual level, hence ignoring the potential pro-social effects of playing violent games cooperatively with another person. This research review discusses the relevant literature, analyzes problems with the current state of the research, and posits future directions for study of the pro-social effects of collaborative play of violent video games.

Directing the Dialogue: The Relationship Between YouTube Videos and the Comments They spur • Stephanie Edgerly, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Emily Vraga, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Timothy Fung, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kajsa Dalrymple, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Timothy Macafee, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study performs a content analysis of YouTube videos and comments about the Proposition 8 campaign in California. Specifically, we examine how a video’s focus and tone are related to comment features. We find consistent support for the flow of information from topics mentioned in the video to topics addressed in commentary, as well as uptake of an uncivil tone from the video to the comments. Implications are discussed for promoting quality online information exchanges.

The Writing on the Wall: A Content Analysis of College Students’ Facebook Groups for the 2008 Presidential Election • Kevin W. Bowers, University of Florida; Juliana Fernandes, University of Florida; Magda Giurcanu, University of Florida; Jeffrey C. Neely, University of Florida • This study looks at student Facebook groups supporting one of the 2008 presidential candidates from largest land-grant universities in seven battleground states. The findings reveal that students are using Facebook to facilitate political involvement. Pro-Obama groups demonstrated higher site activity than pro-McCain groups. Discussions related to the political civic process, policy issues, campaign information, and praise for the supporting candidate overpass topics related to social interactions across all groups during both Primary and General Election seasons.

Birds of a Feather Flock Together – Homophily in Online Social Networking Sites such as Facebook • Mia Fischer, College of Charleston • Facebook recently registered its 400 millionth user. Positioning itself as a leader of interactive, participant-based online Web 2.0 media, Facebook promises to change how we communicate even more fundamentally, in part by digitally mapping and linking peripatetic people across space and time. As socio-demographic boundaries are torn down, it may seem as if Facebook runs counter to 50 years of sociological research regarding what is known as homophily, the tendency of individuals to associate only with like-minded people of similar age and ethnicity. This study investigated how the concept of homophily, taken out of its traditional interpersonal context, is evident in relationships on Facebook. Quantitative methods in form of an online survey among a purposive sample of 447 Facebook users were employed. Participants clearly depicted signs of inbreeding homophily regarding age, ethnicity, sexual orientation, educational level, occupation and income; all factors typically segmenting our society. Despite participants’ strong belief in Facebook’s ability to globally connect people with different socio-demographic backgrounds, exclusively pre-existing offline relationships were fostered. Aware of their account privacy settings, users rigorously restricted profile access to outsiders, such as professors, strangers and parents. This can be seen as an attempt to maintain Facebook’s original college niche community status, further rising issues of identity construction in online environments. If Web 2.0’s interactive media disseminating user generated content really provides potential for social and political change, an analysis of homophilious factors on Facebook is a first indicator to infer about the factual possibilities of such desired changes.

A Theory of Planned Behavior Study of the HPV Vaccine: a comparative analysis of college students’ intention to get the vaccine in the United States and South Korea • Eun Go, University of Florida • This study explored factors that can affect the behavioral intention to get the HPV vaccine of American and Korean female college students using the TPB. Results indicated that both American and Korean female college students’ attitude, subjective norm and perceived behavioral control regarding the HPV vaccine were significantly associated with the intention to be vaccinated. Involvement was also positively related to both attitude and behavioral intention to get the HPV vaccine for both sets of respondents. Furthermore, subjective knowledge could predict behavioral intention with greater accuracy than perceived behavioral control could.

News Framing of Swine Flu in Time of Global Economic Recession: A Comparison of Newspaper Coverage in the United States and China • Miao Guo, University of Florida; Fangfang Gao, University of Florida • This study examined the news coverage of swine flu (H1N1) by newspapers in the United States and China in terms of prominence, news source selection, and frames. The results showed that there were no significant differences in the volume of front-page coverage of swine flu between the U.S. and Chinese newspapers, indicating that the number of cases of swine flu in these two countries had little to do with the volume of news coverage. However, the patterns of source selection and the presence of economic consequences, health severity, human interest, international action, and conflict news frames varied depending on the newspaper’s country of origin and newspaper type. Social context, culture, media structure, and different focuses of media outlets were utilized as the influential factors that contribute to the differences.

Three Decades of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising of Prescription Drugs • Wan Jung, Univ. of Florida; Jihye Kim, Univ. of Florida; Eun Soo Rhee, Univ. of Florida
• The current study content-analyzes topics, trends, authorships, and patterns found in studies on Direct-To-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertising (DTCA) published in 97 U.S. journals between 1981 and 2009. Two hundred thirty nine papers were analyzed in this study. The results demonstrate a definite pattern of increase in DTCA research, the existence of a wide variety of individual and organizational contributors, and a need for better methodological rigorousness in DTCA research.

A convergence journalism course design grounded by education-psychological research of knowledge types and transfer • Adam Kuban, University of Utah • Current convergence journalism research rarely offers transparent examples of what faculty should consider in their attempts to become more convergence-focused. Three instructors at a public university in the Intermountain West applied education-psychological theories related to knowledge transfer and how people learn to the content created for a new convergence journalism course. The resultant course design—grounded in theory—could serve as a template for journalism educators who wish to develop their own course.

Understanding Web Identity: Approaches to the Study of Identity and Self-Expression in Cyberspace • Mark Lashley, University of Georgia • This paper examines the body of literature on social media and online social networking as they relate to expression of individual identity. The paper argues that, while many theoretical approaches have been taken to the study of identity in online spaces, the work of Goffman and the theory of Impression Management provide the most useful and versatile framework for ongoing inquiry in this area.

Canonical Correlation Analysis of Online Video Advertising Viewing Motivations and Access Characteristics • Joonghwa Lee, University of Missouri; Hyunmin Lee, University of Missouri-Columbia • This study investigates consumers’ motivations for watching online video advertising, and the relationship between the motivations and access characteristics of viewers. Findings revealed five different motivations for viewing online video advertising—social interaction, relaxation, information, escapism-pass time, and entertainment. Canonical correlation analysis revealed that the desire to fulfill viewing motivations are positively correlated with frequencies to actively access Web sites, and frequencies to visit different types of Web sites. Implications and future research are discussed.

Star Wars Revisited: An Analysis of Ronald Reagan’s Rhetoric On The Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) • Ji Hoon Lee, University of Florida • This study analyzes President Ronald Reagan’s discourse advocating the Strategic Defense Initiative by focusing on the use of language, motivational appeals and speaker’s character and addresses how he rhetorically justified the apparent change in American foreign policy. The study also illustrates how he was able to deal with such sensitive issue as nuclear weapon and come out with highly persuasive speeches for the public during the times of the Cold War.

Internet Service Providers and Defamation: The United States and the United Kingdom Compared • Ahran Park, university of Oregon • This paper compares ISP liability for online defamation in the United States and the United Kingdom. Because American and English defamation laws have the same root, ISP liability for defamation in England would deserve attention from U.S. lawyers and scholars. In addition, English libel law has more reason to compare for online research in that the CDA of the United States and the Defamation Act of the United Kingdom were the first attempts anywhere in the world to legislate ISP liability at the same year in 1996. Thus, this comparative research will be helpful to online speakers and ISPs who have similar common law background but eventually fall under different online defamation laws.

Celebrity Endorsements and Nonprofit Charitable Organizations: The Role of Celebrity Altruistic Motive and Identification • Sun-Young Park, University of Florida; Moonhee Cho, University of Florida • The not-for-profit charitable organizations are undergoing a significant burst of enthusiasm over the potential uses of celebrity endorsers. The current study aims to investigate the effects of attributions of a celebrity’s motive and identification with a celebrity who supports a charity on publics’ attitudinal and behavioral responses. Specifically, the findings of this study attest to source effects on consequential responses, including the perceptions of and attitudes toward the celebrity’s credibility, the celebrity’s endorsement, the nonprofit organization, and intentions to donate money and volunteer time to the charitable organization. This study lays the theoretical groundwork about the factors that influence the effects of celebrity endorsement and provides nonprofit charitable organizations with useful managerial implications of using a celebrity to endorse a socially worthy cause. Overall, the findings suggest that to maximize celebrity endorsement effectiveness, nonprofit practitioners should keep in mind the importance of attributions of celebrity motive as well as celebrity identification. Implications, limitations, and future research are suggested.

Does market matter? Proximity, placement, graphics, and topic in News Recommendation Engines on newspaper Websites • Ed Simpson, Ohio University • The Internet inherently has been seen as a worldwide medium, offering equal access across the globe to information to anyone with the proper equipment and connections. Yet, newspapers inherently serve a local general market, based primarily on geography. Key questions arise about whether traditional elements of news definitions and play remain applicable in the digital environment. In other words, when it comes to newspaper Websites, does market matter? In order to begin addressing these questions, which are important for understanding industry trends and theoretical implications involving Internet usage, this study focused on self-selected items in News Recommendation Engines on eight national and regional newspaper Websites. This content analysis examined 1,248 items contained in NREs. The primary entry point into the study, guided by the theory of uses and gratifications, was to seek whether significant differences in self-selection items could be detected across markets. This study found such differences. The most prominent findings included wide variances in the origin of items self-selected as well as the type of item appearing. The findings suggest, overall, that traditional news values, such as proximity, timeliness, and impact, do affect self-selection patterns, and that findings of self-selection patterns on national Web sites such as New York Times and Yahoo! News, do not necessarily reflect what is happening on newspaper Web sites in general.

The impact of technology-enabled learning: A comparison of ideal versus real. • Lakshmi N Tirumala, Texas Tech University; Catherine Team, Texas Tech University • The current study examined the differences between traditional classroom learning versus technology mediated learning (video podcasting). A 3-minute instructional video was delivered through a podcast with the same topic taught in a traditional classroom by the same instructor. This study used a between-subjects design with one independent variable and multiple dependent variables. The sample size consisted of 72 students from a large southwestern university who participated in the study. The study found no significant difference in students’ evaluations of the instructor between the video podcast condition and the conventional classroom condition. On the other hand, the student perceptions toward the classroom condition were found to be significantly positive compared to the student perceptions toward the video podcast condition.

Unusual Pathways to Issue Engagement: How Dispositional Cynicism Conditions Incivility Effects on Television Political Talk Shows • Ming Wang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; porismita borah, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Wise, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Keith Zukas, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Bryan McLaughlin, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Michael Mirer, University of Wisconsin • In this study, we attempt to explicate the effects of televised political talk shows on viewer issue engagement and how they are conditioned by dispositional cynicism and skepticism. Using an experiment manipulating guest tone and host style on a talk show, this study finds that strong cynics were more likely to engage than weak cynics when both guests were civil. We offer a revisionist account of how talk shows and cynicism impact the public.

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