Communication Technology and Policy 2005 Abstracts
Communication Technology and Policy Division
The Digitized Self as Public Tender: Privacy Laws (or lack thereof) and the Sale of Personal Records • Umaru Bah, Morgan State University • The paper discusses three factors influencing the lack of an effective federal personal records privacy law (PRPL), namely the automation of public records, the existence of state and federal laws that permit unfettered access by private entities to personal records, and the de facto commercial enterprise between the public records industry and state and federal agencies. The paper criticizes self-regulation and outlines the provisions for a good federal PRPL.
My Missourian: A case study of open source journalism • Clyde Bentley, Brian Hamman, Jeremy Littau, Hans Meyer, Brendan Watson, and Beth Welsh, Missouri • The journalism world was shaken in 2004 by the success of a publication in Korea that drew most of its content from volunteer “citizen journalists.” When the “open source journalism” concept of OhMyNews landed in the United States via the Northwest Voice in Bakersfield, CA, a Midwestern journalism school decided to create and document a demonstration publication using resources and procedures that could be freely adopted by any newspaper. This case study documents that effort.
Congressional Efforts to Protect Children from Internet Pornography: Muted Voices in the Legislative Process • Jeffrey Blevins and Fernando Anton, Iowa State University • This analysis brings a range of theoretical perspectives on the communications policymaking process to bear on Congressional efforts to regulate Internet content in the interest of protecting children and will show how those endeavors have been vexed by advancements in technology, concerns about free speech, and perhaps, the closure of the Office of Technology Assessment. The subsequent implications of this analysis for communication scholars who wish to intervene in this process will then be discussed.
Executives’ Perceptions of Print/Online Integration Factors that Influence Major Newspaper • Bonnie Bressers and Robert Meeds, Kansas State University • In today’s competitive environment, the newspaper industry often expends significant resources on communication technology initiatives without fully understanding the obstacles involved or potential outcomes. Newspapers have struggled with how to integrate the newspaper operations with their online counterparts to leverage their strengths. A survey of 63 major newspaper editors quantifies which operational procedures and policies are predictive of greater levels of integration, and which influence management’s belief that integration has met its objectives.
In a Word: A Qualitative Exploration of Health Information-Searching Behaviors Among Healthy and Diabetic Women • S. Camille Broadway, University of Florida • In an effort to fill in gaps in previous research into online health-information seeking, this study used three qualitative methods — focus groups, think-aloud protocols and in-depth interviews — to examine the specific processes and procedures that diabetic and healthy women used to find information on the Internet. User perceptions of resource attributes influenced the selection of search engine. Search terminology fell into three basic types: symptoms, disease names and source name.
Uncovering the Regulation of Interactive Television • Justin Brown, University of Florida • Because interactive television (ITV) requires addressability, digitization, large bandwidth and upstream throughput for the user to request information, the cable television industry is widely acknowledged as being in a favorable strategic position to distribute ITV services. This paper explicates ITV and identifies variables that may affect the regulation and deployment of cable’s offering of ITV.
A Comparative Study of the U.S. and Korean Mobile Telephone Industries • Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • South Korea is the world leader in mobile communications deployment. This study examines the factors that have shaped the state of mobile phone markets in the U.S. and Korea and explores the country specific conditions that have contributed to the differential development of mobile telephones in these two countries. Much dissimilarity between the two markets was discovered, especially in the role of the government, technical development, and relevant broadband environment.
Toward An Integrated Model of Software Piracy Determinants: A Cross-National Longitudinal Study • Byeng-Hee Chang and Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • This study examines the factors affecting a country’s software piracy level. Since political/regulatory means typically play a direct role in piracy control, this study also reviews the endogeneity of intellectual property protection to assess its power as a mediating factor between the other proposed determinants and software piracy. It was found that income inequity, economic openness, education, technological development, software market size, and regulatory protection strongly affect the level of software piracy in a country.
The Utility of Iowa State University’s Agriculture Extension Online Resources To Iowa Farmers • Kim Claussen, Iowa State University • This study evaluated the utility of the Iowa State Agriculture Extension website to Iowa farmers. It determined the majority of farmers are not using the website. Farmers reportedly rely on, trust, and spend most of their free time reading farm publications, watching television shows and listening to radio programs about farming, talking to other farmers, and attending seminars or training sessions. They also tended to pay closer attention to these sources than to online channels.
Internet Users Friends of FOI? Attitudes Toward Access to Public Records and the Relationship to Media News and Information Use • David Cuillier, Washington State University • Citizen and press access to government records is essential for a strong democracy. To better understand factors related to support for FOI, a nationwide survey of 614 college students measured media use in relation to support for press access to public records. The results indicate that television news use is negatively related to support for access, and newspaper and Internet are positively related. Implications for FOI and Internet users are discussed.
Are Bloggers Journalists – or Just Very Lonely Pamphleteers? • Constance Davis, Northern Illinois University • The rapid proliferation of Web logs – or blogs –has raised the question of whether bloggers are journalists who can protect confidential sources. The courts have defined a journalist as someone who intended to disseminate to the public the news that is being gathered. Courts have held that journalists need not be a member of the mainstream media and need not publish through traditional means. But courts will not uniformly hold that bloggers are journalists.
Making the Transition from Old to New Media? Patterns of Media Use By Young Adults in Germany and the US • Dennis Davis, University of Otago, New Zealand, Ruediger Steinmetz, University of Leipzig, Germany, Stephanie Broege, University of Otago, New Zealand, and Veena Raman, Penn State • Findings are reported from a cross-national convenience survey of students conducted from 2001 to 2004. New and old media use was compared in Germany and the US. TV viewing time increased along with computer use and Internet use. TV use increased less among students who reported more computer skill or longer experience using the Internet. German women differed most. They had high use of only one form of new media — text messaging via cell phones.
Social Presence and Online Agents: Does Rich Media and Agency Make a Difference? • Edward Downs, Sampada Marathe, Anamarcia Lacayo, Penn State University • This study examined perceptions of social presence between participants and an online agent. The presence of biographical information and richness of media was manipulated to create a 2×2 factorial design. When controlling for gender, results demonstrated a significant main effect for biographic information and a significant interaction effect for media richness. Limitations and theoretical implications are discussed, as are directions for future research.
Predicting Non-Adoption of Communication Technologies Based on Demographics, Media Exposure, and Selected Perception • Michel Dupagne and Michael Salwen, University of Miami • A national telephone survey was conducted with 486 adults to identify non-adoption predictors of 13 communication technologies based on demographic, media use, and perceptual variables. A logistic regression with three hierarchical blocks was run for each of the technologies. Consistent with diffusion theory and research, non-adopter respondents were more likely to have fewer persons in their households, lower income, and lower perceptions of relative advantage of new technologies than adopter respondents.
One World Wide Web, Three Monitoring Schemes: A Comparative Analysis of the Internet Surveillance Systems of the United States, Russia and China • Lyombe Eko, Anup Kumar, and Jie Liu, University of Iowa • This paper compared the Internet surveillance systems of the United States, the Russian Federation, and China. The comparison was carried out within the framework of the Eko Internet regulatory typology. It was found that the three countries carry out Internet surveillance within the framework of their respective political, economic, social and cultural systems. The United States is a neomerchantilist regulator of the Internet whose surveillance activities are mostly limited to judicially sanctioned law enforcement measures.
Measuring Attention Differences in Reading Print and On-Line Using EEG • Joel Geske, Iowa State University • This study explores if media affect attention patterns for subjects reading text. A series of typography studies done in the mid-1990’s indicated that typography for the computer screen does differ from print standards. A further review of the literature suggests that there is a difference in how the brain processes information and reacts to various media. Some of these variations indicate a decrease in attention and ability to concentrate.
Satellite Television Adopters: Who will Choose DBS Over Cable TV? • Ju Ha, Hallym University, South Korea • Direct broadcast satellite is creating a new level of multichannel video subscription services. In the highly competitive multichannel television programming delivery market, the future success of DBS is largely dependent on its ability to acquire and retain subscribers, among other factors. Based on the theory of diffusion of innovations as a research framework, this study explored the adoption process of DBS by examining the factors associated with the adoption.
Emerging Media Business Models Worldwide: A Study of Leading Webcasters in 13 countries • Louisa Ha, Bowling Green State University, Richard Ganahl, Bloomsburg University, Alex Arampatzis, Edge Hill University College, Ilhem Allagui, University of Montreal, Piet Bakker, University of Amsterdam, Marylaine Chausse, University of Montreal, Baoguo Cui, Tsinghua University, Petar Djekic, University of Cologne, Monica Herrero, University of Navarre, Kenichi Ishii, University of Tsukuba, Alice Lee, Hong Kong Baptist University, Yu-Li Liu, National Chengchi University, Claudia Loebbecke, University of Cologne, Claude Martin, University of Montreal, Hang Min, Jonkoping University, Sora K. Park, Kwangwoon University, South Korea, Charo Sadaba, University of Navarre, Spain, Clement So, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Niranjala D. Weerakkody, Deakin University, Australia • This paper reports the findings of a 13-country comparison of webcasting business practices, and the results of a test of the robustness of the webcasting business model framework suggested by Ha and Ganahl (2004). The globalness of the webcast medium is also examined. The study establishes the variety of business practices by different types of webcasters, and the domination of domestic webcasters and domestically produced content in webcast services.
A Comparative Analysis of the Broadband Policy: The US vs. South Korea • Gwang Jub Han, Howard University, Dong-Hyun Byun, Chonnam National University, South Korea, and Jung Mi Lee, Howard University • This paper attempts to simultaneously provide an answer to the following interrelated questions: Why is broadband more readily available in South Korea than in the US? It is found that the Koreans’ rapid diffusion of broadband access is the result of combining the government’s culturally-sensitive ICT policy that promotes both the supply and the demand of the broadband with Korean people’s unique cultural traits including the sophisticated, hush-rush consumer behavior.
The Gendered Blogosphere: Where Promise Meets Reality • Dustin Harp and Mark Tremayne, University of Texas-Austin • This study examined the political blogosphere and looked for answer to the question: Why are so few of the top bloggers women? Answers are found in two theoretical approaches, feminist theory and network theory. Ways to “subvert the hyperlink hierarchy” are examined.
Catch 1201: An analysis of discourse in the 2000 and 2003 DMCA anticircumvention hearings • Billy Herman and Oscar Gandy, University of Pennsylvania • Section 1201 of the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act bans the circumvention of technological protection measures (TPMs) that protect copyrighted works. The Librarian of Congress holds triennial hearings to determine exemptions to this ban. This paper, a discourse analysis of these hearings, concludes that the hearings are a venue shift–absolving Congress of fair use concerns, giving the Librarian no real power to solve them, and eliminating courts’ ability to excuse otherwise non-infringing conduct.
The Digital Divide in a Community Context: Access versus applications • Douglas Hindman, Washington State University • This study uses survey data from two communities to test hypotheses about the digital divides in access versus applications. Findings showed that status indicators were more closely associated with the adoption of Internet applications than with local newspaper reading. Rates of adoption of the various technologies varied significantly among the geographic areas even as the relative ranking was stable across communities. Status indicators were consistently associated with both technology access and Internet applications.
Moderating Role of Situational Information Processing Goals in Issue Publics’ Candidate Evaluation: The Interaction of Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivations • Young Mie Kim, Ohio State University • Taking a motivational approach and employing a unique methodological tool that combines individual level Web behavior data with survey data, this study examines the interaction of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations in online information selection and candidate evaluation in the context of an election campaign. In particular, this study investigates the moderating effects of situational information processing goals (i.e., extrinsic motivation) on the selectivity and candidate evaluation of members of an issue public (i.e., intrinsic motivation).
An Examination of Factors Contributing to South Korea’s Global Leadership in Broadband Adoption • Tuen-Yu Lau, University of Washington, Si-Wok Kim, University of Washington, and David Atkin, University of Connecticut • The present study explores the economic and public policy factors that have contributed South Korea’s global leadership in broadband adoption. Our analysis suggests that (1) the dramatic growth of the broadband market in Korea is the culmination of appropriate government policy, growing demand, and fierce market competition based on responsive supply, and (2) operators can benefit from consolidation as well as multiple revenue sources generated by new services in order to remain competitive.
Collaborative IT Problem Solving Between Users and Technicians: An Application of Co-Cognizing Model in IT Customer Services • Jong Hyuk Lee, Syracuse • This study explored the process of IT problem solving between users and technicians by applying the co-cognizing model. Users and technicians, according to this model, go through common sequential steps to solve their problem: co-exposing, co-focusing, co-orienting, co-constructing, and co-reorienting. Time line method, composed of in-depth interview and content analysis, was carried out for 37 users and 21 technicians. As a result, 10 steps of problem solving process were identified and explained by the co-cognizing model.
No Creation, No Liability: Should ISP’s News Portals Enjoy Blanket Immunity from Defamation Suits? • Tae Hee Lee and Robert Magee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study investigates whether news portals should enjoy broad immunity from liability for defamation under Section 230 of the CDA. Since Zeran v. AOL, courts have granted ISPs blanket immunity. However, some courts have argued that if an ISP participates in developing third party content, it could be regarded as an information content provider and thus be held liable. Conflicting lines of reasoning are applied to the case of news portals.
Mapping the Journalism-blogging Relationship • Wilson Lowrey, University of Alabama • This paper depicts the likely areas of conflict between journalism and blogging, and predictors of this conflict. These issues are examined from within systems theory from the sociology of occupations, which suggests occupations compete with one another to maintain jurisdiction over work areas. This framework suggests journalism is well positioned, but there are areas ripe for poaching by bloggers — e.g., partisan content and specialized content. Journalists pursue strategies to address such vulnerabilities.
Event Blogging the 2004 Conventions: Media Bloggers, Non Media Bloggers, and Their Network Connections • Sharon Meraz, University of Texas at Austin • This study examined 5,225 links from 104 blogs covering the Democratic National Convention (DNC) and the Republican National Convention (RNC). Using network theory, homophily, and gatekeeping to predict relationships between media bloggers and non-media bloggers, results highlighted consistent power law relationships and diverse linking practices among the four different networks. Media bloggers were more prone to link to non-media blogs covering the DNC, link less, and link internally to their own blog.
Information Communication Technologies and National Development in the Caribbean: The Jamaican Situation • Nancy Muturi, University of the West Indies, Jamaica • ICTs have been credited for contributing to this shift from the one-way form of information dissemination to strategic communication thus enhancing the adoption of new ideas and changes in undesirable behaviors and practices. Applying the Diffusion of Innovations theory, this paper explores the ICT situation in the Caribbean in terms of access and adoption and use in various development sectors, as well as the challenges to effective adoption and maintained use of these technologies.
Wireless User Groups: A Comparison with Early Predecessors • Namkee Park, University of Southern California • This paper attempts to elicit prominent characteristics of wireless user groups, which have presented grassroot endeavor of building Wi-Fi networks over unlicensed spectrum. After examining the earlier technology groups of radio amateurs, rural telephone co-ops, and community networks, the study claims that the characteristics of user innovation, user autonomy, and sense of community can play an important role for wireless user groups to lay the groundwork for the future trajectory of the Wi-Fi technology.
Bridging the Digital Divide in South Korea: A Content Analysis of Korean Government Projects from 2000 to 2004 • Namsu Park and Jaekwan Jeong, University of Texas at Austin • Meaningful access to the Internet should be paired with education and content for the disadvantaged groups as well as access within economic and sociopolitical rationales. This article examines government projects to bridge the digital divide in South Korea by asking: 1) distribution of the projects in access, literacy and content by year, 2) rationales in the projects for different disadvantage groups and 3) distribution of the projects in access, literacy and content for different groups.
The Realities of Leadership in Online Cancer Support Groups (Ocsgs) • Songyi Park and Pamela Whitten, Michigan State • This is an exploratory study about the realities of leadership in online cancer support groups. Content analysis and chi-square test of more than 1,300 messages of the leaders in eight groups showed that: 1) the organizational support is a unique aspect of leadership in these groups. 2) The degree of participation and the frequent types of support the leaders offer vary depending on their formal status. 3) Gender differences are found in the leadership styles.
Precursors of Adolescents’ Use of Visual and Audio Devices During Online Communication • Jochen Peter, Patti M. Valkenburg, and Alexander P. Schouten, University of Amsterdam • The increasing use of webcams and microphones questions the assumption that computer-mediated communication lacks visual and auditory cues. Drawing on a survey of 1,060 adolescents, we found that a considerable proportion of adolescents used webcams and microphones during instant messaging. If adolescents perceived the lack of visual cues in online communication as important, they used webcams less frequently. Greater levels of social anxiety reduced the use of webcams, higher levels of private self-consciousness increased it.
The Rise of Neoliberalism in Global Communication Systems from NWICO to WSIS • Victor Pickard, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign • Recent discussions centered on communication rights and internet governance at the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) recall earlier United Nations Educational Scientific Cultural Organization (UNESCO)-sponsored debates on the New World Information and Communication Order (NWICO). This paper brings into sharper focus both parallels and significant disjunctures between the two movements by examining historical connections and contrasts in relation to the rise of neoliberalism.
The Whole World Is Talking: Intermedia agenda-setting in American and foreign online media organizations • Monica Postelnicu, Kristen Landreville, and Cristina Popescu, University of Florida • Online media were often characterized in terms of diversity and as an alternative to the homogenous coverage of traditional media organizations. Using an intermedia agenda-setting theoretical perspective, this study explores diversity and originality of news content among 84 online news Web sites from 24 countries. Results indicate that online media seem to follow in the footsteps of traditional media and only offer consumers limited diversity.
Children and Media Policy in a Digital Environment • Jack Powers, Syracuse • Children’s access to media content is unprecedented as is the concern over the deleterious effects of exposure. Surprisingly, governmental policies that have been enacted to ostensibly protect kids from the harmful influences of media are often shaped, not by the media content, but rather by how that content is delivered. This paper sets out to understand the issues involved with children and media policy and makes five policy recommendations.
Mapping the Blogosphere: Citizen-Based Media in the Global News Arena • Stephen Reese, Lou Rutigliano, Kideuk Hyun, Jaekwan Jeong, University of Texas-Austin • Globalized communication has created a space for news and political discourse that overrides geography and increases opportunities for non-mainstream news sources. This paper examined one part of these greater trends – weblogs. It analyzed the linking patterns on six of the most popular weblogs to study their relationship to the mainstream media in the U.S. and internationally. Findings suggest a more complementary relationship between weblogs and traditional journalism and less political insularity than typically assumed.
Googling Hate: Hate Speech, First Amendment Ideology, and the World Wide Web • Laura Resnick, Ohio University • A Jewish-American businessman was shocked to discover Google’s top-matching website for his key-word search (“Jew”) was JewWatch.com, a virulent anti-Semitic site. His subsequent campaign to convince Google to eliminate the site from their index launched a public controversy. This paper examines Google’s claims that their search-engine technology does not reflect their values, as well as the ramifications of national ideologies on the international medium of the Internet.
Internet Use, Digital Literacy and Purposive Web Use: An Emerging Model • Rebecca Reynolds and Jin Sun Cho, Syracuse University • This study presents findings from a survey exploring the relationships between internet use, digital literacy, and purposive web use. Findings confirm past work indicating that age is a barrier to Internet use and digital literacy. Additionally, digital literacy serves as a predictor for online political participation and other forms of purposive web use. And, online political participation serves as an indicator of offline participation.
Computer-mediated Courtship: Heterosexual Courtship Strategy in an Online Environment • Handley Robert, University of Texas at Austin • People increasingly turn to Internet personal ads to attract a mate. This study examines heterosexual courtship theory when the behavior it seeks to explain occurs in a mediated environment: Internet personals. Results show that advertisers behave in ways predicted by heterosexual courtship theory; however, courtship behavior varied with ad service and with the presence or absence of a photograph. Results suggest that ad services represent different social units and the photograph may influence courtship strategy.
Experiencing Journalism: A New Model in Online Newspapers • Susan Robinson, Temple • A descriptive analysis of four online newspapers supports Deuze’s (2003) contention that journalism is morphing into a connective, interactive, multi-media, dialogical form of news dissemination online. This paper also demonstrates how Internet attributes engage audiences in new ways. The author suggests an expansion of Deuze’s (2003) online model to include a concentration on public experience, incorporating both a citizen journalism participatory function as well as a presence function.
How People Learn Using Interactive Cancer Communication Systems • Bret Shaw, Jeong Yeob Han, Robert Hawkins, Fiona McTavish, and David Gustafson, University of Wisconsin-Madison • To provide insights about how women with breast cancer learn from Interactive Cancer Communication System, this study examines how using different service types employing conceptually distinct pedagogical methods relates to learning outcomes. As expected, findings supported the constructivist idea that interactive computer programs may supplement the learning potential of information services delivered via transmission-oriented methods. Contrary to expectations, however, those who used information services benefited less if they were more frequent users of communication services.
As Assessment of Privacy Policies at Health Related Web Sites • Kim Sheehan and Michelle Honald, University of Oregon • Americans are concerned with privacy of health information, yet actively seek health information online. Many health-related web sites collect personalized information to facilitate exchanges between visitors and site sponsors. This study found sites collect a range of personal information through a variety of interactive methods. They have mixed compliance to the FTC FIPs, with few sites providing information about choice in data collection, security, and access of information. Readability of privacy policies is low.
Constituent E-mail: Its Impact on State Legislators’ Perceptions and Agendas • Mary Sheffer, Louisiana State University • This is a follow up study to a 2000 report, which gauged Illinois legislators’ perceptions and attitudes toward e-mail communication. The inability to determine the origin of e-mail negatively affected constituent e-mail’s impact on legislators’ personal political agendas. Advances in e-mail technology could alleviate this problem, thus impacting legislators’ perceptions and use of e-mail as a political tool of communication. This paper, therefore, measures and compares state legislators’ perception of the importance of e-mail communication.
Broadband Internet Adoption: Influencing Factors • Byong-Ryul Shin and Jyotika Ramaprasad, Southern Illinois University • The study’s conceptual model predicting broadband Internet adoption distilled independent variables from theories of diffusion of innovations and uses and gratifications. Most relationships were confirmed indicating viability of the model. Broadband adopters tended to be those who think of themselves as more innovative; who have greater needs for entertainment, speed, and always-on; who have higher family incomes; and who perceive more advantages of broadband Internet in terms of saving time, multitasking, and service reliability.
Public Interest and Competition in the Convergence of Telecom and Broadcasting: A Comparative Case Study of Korea and UK • Dong Hee Shin and Eun-Sang Yoon, Penn State • Convergence of broadcasting and telecommunication services draws attention because of its complexity and possible impact on market and regulation. The focus of this study is to review current policy debates on convergence in Korea and UK. This research identifies the reasons for the seemingly endless debates between pro-competition and pro-public interest. It suggests a layered regulatory framework that can embrace both competition and public interest.
Communication Technologies and Political Development: Cultures Matter, Vertical Media Don’t • Marko Skoric and Yong Jin Park, University of Michigan • This study comparatively examines the interplay between culture, horizontal communication technologies and political/economic development. Using empirical indicators of cultural values and indices of technology, we analyze the impact of cultural variables on the accessibility and decentralization of horizontal networks. The findings indicate that political/economic development is related to the accessibility and decentralization of horizontal networks, affected by the presence or absence of cultural values emphasizing freedom of choice, modernization, and political liberty.
Interactivity and Online News Sites • Jessica Smith, University of South Florida • Interactivity is a built-in feature of the Internet, and it is important to understand how online news sites use it. A conceptual definition of interactivity has not been applied consistently, but various operationalizations include e-mail, online forums, real-time chat, multimedia, polls, and hyperlinks. This paper examines the concept and definitions of interactivity on the Web and offers a literature review that groups techniques that have been labeled interactive.
Effects of Interactivity on Attitude Formation on Political Websites: A Test of Mediation Effect of Perceived Interactivity • Indeok Song, Indiana • This study tests a mediation model of website interactivity, which is based on the idea that objective aspects of interactivity or technological aspects of interactivity do not always correspond to the perceptual or subject aspects of interactivity and that perceived interactivity may mediate the effects of objective aspects of interactivity on outcome variables. The results from an experiment with 78 college students supported the mediation model for predicting political attitudes formed on a political website.
A Thought-Experiment with Small-City Media After 4G Wireless Technology Introduction • Greg Stene, Wichita State University • Development of Fourth Generation (4G) wireless broadband technology is the variable in a thought-experiment considering potentials for individuals, bloggers, and newspapers to enter the location of the small-town newspaper and challenge it for dominance. The experiment suggests that the possible 4G (or 5G) ability to transmit video nearly instantly can change the newsgathering process itself, and permit immediate Web publication, creating journalism without gatekeepers, editors, or schedules.
Group Communication, Technology and College Newspaper Editors • Amanda Sturgill and Kristin Zastoupil, Baylor • Studies have looked at the impact of technology on organizations in general, but fewer have looked at the impact on media as organizations. About 50 student editors at college newspapers completed measures of communication satisfaction, group satisfaction and work group cohesiveness. The audit includes statements of the frequency of use of various kinds of communication technologies as well as measures of how effective the respondent finds organizational communication.
Internet Postings and Blogger Videos: Bic This! Kryptonite’s Bike Lock-Ballpoint Pen Fiasco from an Issue Contagion Perspective • Patricia Swann, Utica College • The Internet is changing the way issue managers identify and evaluate potential threats to an organization. Timothy Coombs’ issue contagion perspective posits that the Internet provides a means for altering issue priorities. The evaluative tool of likelihood can determine what issues need action. The Kryptonite product failure case examined how an issue contagion develops and how success markers of likelihood could be used to identify the signs of an Internet issue gaining momentum and spreading.
Legal Consciousness of Copyright • John Thomson, Jr., University of Wisconsin, Madison • New home copying technologies have brought a legal shift which has made individuals increasingly responsible for copyright law. This paper attempts to examine what people know about, and how they comply with, copyright through sociology’s theoretical framework called “legal consciousness.” Based on a series of intensive interviews about knowledge of copyright, it will be argued that the lack of legal knowledge highlights the social construction of the law.
Interactivity, Perceived Interactivity and Parasocial Interaction on a Political Candidate Website • Kjerstin Thorson and Shelly Rodgers, Missouri • We examined the effects of interactivity and perceived interactivity on attitudes toward a political candidate website, impression of the candidate, and intention to vote for the candidate. A blog served as the context. Interactivity significantly influenced attitude toward the website, but not candidate impression or vote intention. Perceived interactivity influenced all three dependent variables but did not interact with interactivity, suggesting that these are two separate constructs. The effects were mediated by parasocial interaction.
Agenda-Setting and Blogs: Issue and Attribute Salience Influence on Celebrity Web Sites • Kaye Trammell, Louisiana State, and Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • This study investigated agenda-setting on blogs through posts (n = 700) and reader feedback in comments (n = 534) and trackbacks (n = 48). After finding support for agenda setting, data revealed corresponding issue salience between bloggers and readers. Differences based on interactivity level were investigated. Agendas of high interactivity users were correlated with the blogger; findings were not significant for low interactivity users. Delayed response times weakened the agenda setting effect.
Contingent Interactivity and News Story Navigation: An Experiment • Mark Tremayne and Amy Schmitz Weiss, University of Texas-Austin • This study compared contingent and structural hyperlink designs and found that users in the contingent condition selected hyperlinks more frequently. The practical and theoretical implications of this and other findings are discussed.
Hacking Authority: Teens Negotiating Acceptable Use in School Computing • Cassandra Van Buren, Utah • In the context of growing global reliance on networked computers, the negative impact of malicious computer hacking is increasing. The article describes results of an ethnographic study of the ways in which staff at a public high school attempted, using various strategies, to invest students in protecting network security on campus. Participant-observer data is presented and analyzed in the context of best-practices recommendations for policy makers.
Online Interactivity on Political Websites From the 2004 Legislative Election • Tai-Li Wang, National Chengchi University, Taiwan • This study conducts comparative analysis of multiple genres of political websites through the perspectives of online interactivity during Taiwan’s 2004 legislative election. Findings suggest that, in terms of human-to-content interaction, party websites appear to function as more effective channels for boosting voter support than candidate websites. Citizen and non-governmental websites appear to provide more avenues for human-to-human interaction with less resource base. The human-to-interface interaction appears to be downplayed in the 2004 legislative election.
Building a Coherent Web: Using Structure-Building Text and Hypertext To Facilitate Engagement and Understanding of News About Complex Issues • Ronald Yaros, University of Wisconsin-Madison • An experimental design, supported by a theoretical framework of text coherence and comprehension measured effects of the within subjects (N=301) factor of text structure and the between subjects factor of hypertext link structure. Results suggest that audience interest in and understanding of unfamiliar news is enhanced by explanatory structure building text for linear (axial) links but not for non-linear (network) links. Results are interpreted in the context of cognitive capacity and effects of user interactivity.
How Consumers Process Cultural Cues on Commercial Websites: The Role of Felt Targetedness in the Communication Model of Cultural Cues • Tae-Il Yoon, Hallym University, South Korea, and Esther Thorson, University of Missouri • This study examines how consumers process cultural cues in the context of commercial websites. Based on the review of previous communication models, this study proposed and confirmed a model of hierarchical sequence in which consumers went from felt targetedness to purchase intention. These findings were consistent and robust across three different cultural groups. Felt targetedness was especially found to play an important role in consumers’ processing of cultural cues embedded in commercial websites.Print friendly