Radio-TV Journalism 2005 Abstracts

Radio-TV Journalism Division

More like Ken, More like Barbie: Pressures on television news anchors about their appearance • Katherine A. Bradshaw and James C. Foust, Bowling Green State University and Joseph P. Bernt, Ohio University • Anchors at all experience levels face pressures about their appearance from sources with power over them. Females are more pressured than males and generally it continues throughout female’s careers, while males face less pressure with more experience. Female anchors are under more constant pressure from consultants, news directors, and viewers about their on-air wardrobe and their hair.

Televising the 2004 Presidential Debates: Which Format Best Addressed Voters’ Concerns • Paul Brown, University of Texas-Austin • Televised presidential debates have become our nation’s most-watched political event. For only the fourth time in history, one of the 2004 debates allowed uncommitted voters to ask the questions rather than journalists. This quantitative analysis found both the Town Hall and traditional moderator formats did not correlate with the public agenda. Analyzed individually, the Town Hall format proved even less effective in addressing issues deemed most important to the public.

The Effect of CNN and Fox News’ Post-Debate Coverage on Viewers’ Perceptions of Presidential Candidates • Jennifer Brubaker, and Gary Hanson, Kent State University • Television news coverage following a presidential debate is often framed as a contest between winners and losers. The use of this frame helps viewers form their assessments of the candidates’ performances. This study examines the effect of post-debate news analysis on the perceived outcome of the debates and on the perceptions of the personal qualities of the candidates. The study found that the perceptions of Fox News Channel viewers changed after watching the network’s post-debate analysis.

“The Family Business”: Entertainment Products and the Network Morning News Shows • Johanna Cleary, University of Florida and Terry Adams, University of Miami • The morning news programs may provide the perfect forum for networks to benefit from “corporate synergy,” perhaps at the expense of editorial integrity. Whether those making decisions about content can satisfy these competing pressures and still adhere to the social responsibility theory of the press is an increasingly significant question. This study measured the entertainment content of the three network morning shows and correlated that to the ownership of the programs and producing entities.

Before the Bloggers: The Upstart News Technology of Television at the 1948 Political Conventions • Mike Conway, Indiana University • More than a half-century before political bloggers, television was the exciting new technology at the 1948 political conventions. For the first time, millions of viewers got a live look at democracy in action, warts and all, in an era when the conventions still had drama, surprises, and smoke-filled rooms. Television’s impact on the conventions was immediate and lasting. At the same time, those summer sessions provided television with the perfect platform to gain journalistic respect.

Telestrator Terrorism: Fear Messages in the Television News Coverage of Hurricane Ivan • Nancy McKenzie Dupont and Mary Blue, Loyola University New Orleans • This paper examines the role fear-inducing messages in the coverage of Hurricane Ivan in the New Orleans market. Content analysis and personal interviews were used to gather data. The research results find that fear-inducing message were common and not limited to one kind of message-originator nor one television station, which is surprising given that meteorologists admitted that they knew the hurricane would not make a direct hit on New Orleans.

New Radio – A Turn-on for Young Adults and a Turn-off for AM and FM • David Alan Free, University of Texas-Austin • This study examines the relationship between young adults and new forms of radio. AM and FM frequencies have dominated the market, but now, more choices for radio programming are offered by satellite, Internet, and cable radio. The quantitative analysis of the data attempts to discover “why” new radio is chosen over traditional radio by applying the Uses and Gratifications approach. The results provide insight into “why” young adults are switching to new radio.

Competition and Diversity: A Content Analysis of News Diversity between Fox News and CNN • J. Sonia Huang, University of Texas at Austin • The cable news leader, CNN, was turned over by Fox news in January 2002. The present study attempts to examine the competition effect on content diversity. A content analysis of Fox news and CNN from 1998 to 2004 was conducted to examine the content diversity between and with the two channels. Results showed that topic and location diversity decreased significantly over time within each channel. At the same time, diversity of topic, format, and location between the two channels also dropped dramatically.

Television News Coverage of the Iraq War: An Assessment of Second-Level Agenda Setting And Framing • Seok Kang, Arkansas Tech University • This study examined whether a second-level agenda setting and framing effect existed during the Iraq war from March, 2003 to October, 2004. Results demonstrated that news about the Iraq war is more episodic than thematic. There is more positive than negative framing in affective attributes of the war news. Results also found that news attributes about the Iraq war show similarities between the poll results and television news coverage.

But, will it Play in Lawrence? Audience Perceptions of Convergence at the Lawrence-Journal World, News 6 and LJWorld.com • Stan Ketterer, Oklahoma State University, J. Steven Smethers and Bonnie Bressers, Kansas State University • Existing media convergence studies tend to focus on management and content issues. This study looks at the convergence through the lens of the audience in Lawrence Kansas, a converged media market, reflecting attitudes of focus group respondents towards media convergence. While both groups were concerned about the potential development of a media information monopoly, the older group was more tolerant of convergence, viewing it as necessary in order for the community to have local news coverage.

A More Perfect Union’s Jack A Visual Representation of the Debate over Journalistic Mission Within the American Democratic Experiment • Timothy R. Lewis, Lyndon State College • Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences indicates that students who rely on their spatial intelligence need a visual model to comprehend new material. Teachers tapping a student’s spatial intelligence should link new ideas to a visual image. This paper argues a child’s game piece – a toy jack – can be used to illustrate the complex interaction of the press and the governing process in the United States, despite the contradictory elements found in both.

The Impact of Linear vs. Nonlinear Listening to Radio News on Recall and Comprehension • Hesham Mesbah, Kuwait University • An experimental design using 82 undergraduates from Kuwait University was employed to test the research hypotheses. The stimulus is a real newscast that was recorded and manipulated into four versions in line with the research problem: traditional radio newscast, online newscast played with one click, linear interactive netcast with a click for each news item, and a support activity conditions were additional links for details were added to each link.

“News Alert” – Again, And Again, And Again: How 24-Hour Cable News Networks Are Redefining Television Breaking News • Andrea Miller and Lesa Hatley Major, Louisiana State University • This study explores the premise that the current scholarly definition of television breaking news (non-routine) is outdated. A Content analysis of two constructed weeks of three 24-hour cable news outlets (CNN, Fox News and MSNBC) was used to explore how often the networks “break in” and what types of stories are labeled “breaking.” Results showed the networks are significantly more likely to air breaking news during a ratings period.

Comparing Two Kinds of News Reports about Political Ads: A Model to Predict Candidate Evaluation • Lisa Mills, University of Florida and Pilar Bermudez, University of Central Florida • Researchers conducted experiments to compare television news viewers’ perception of political ads, traditional political race profile reports and ad watch reports. Utilizing real ads and television news reports surrounding competing candidates in a 2002 Congressional Race, researchers found evidence to support their hypothesis that viewers perceive ad watches differently from traditional race profile reports that do not attempt to examine ad truthfulness. Subjects found ad watch reports clearer and easier to understand.

Too Little Too Late: Network Coverage of the FCC’s 2003 Media Ownership Rule Changes • Lisa Mills, University of Florida, Pilar Bermudez and Brian Becker, University of Central Florida • This study conducts a content analysis of network news transcripts in the year leading up to the June 2003 FCC media ownership rule changes. The researchers find evidence the two networks owned by media corporations that stood to gain most from the changes provided the most pro-deregulation coverage. They conclude that none of the commercial, cable or public networks provided coverage that was thorough or timely, thus the public was left out of the policy debate.

American Network Television News Coverage of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia during 1990 and 1991: The Baltic States’ Drive Toward and Attainment of Independence • Anthony Moretti, and Norman E. Youngblood, Texas Tech University • This research examines American network television news coverage of Latvian, Lithuanian, and Estonian efforts in 1990 and 1991 to break free from Soviet domination. This study reports that the evening news programs provided substantive coverage of what was happening in the Baltics until U.S. military forces were deployed to the Middle East because of the Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. Moreover, this study finds that U.S. sources were used less often than expected based on previous research.

Boo-yah! Sports Journalists Identify ESPN’s Impact on Sports Writing • Scott Reinardy and Earnest L. Perry, University of Missouri • A survey (N = 249) of newspaper sports editors, sports writers, desk personnel (copy editors and page designers) examined the perception of how the language used on ESPN influences the writing style sports writers use in stories. The results indicate that sports journalists believe jargon, entertainment-based writing and ESPN’s SportsCenter is altering the tone of sports writing.

The Impact of Live Versus Packaged News on Television Viewers’ Information Processing of Some Episodes of the Iraq War • Rut Rey, Iowa State University • This study evaluated the impact of two modes of presenting television news, live versus packaged reports, on viewers’ processing of incidents that occurred during the 2003 American intervention in Iraq. An experiment was conducted using 200 volunteer students. No differences were found in the encoding, storage, and retrieval performance between the group that was shown live reports and those who saw the packaged stories.

Intermedia Agenda Setting in the 2004 Presidential Elections: Issue Saliency in Television News, Political Advertising and Blogs • Kaye D. Trammell, Guy Golan, Louisiana State University and Wayne Wanta, University of Missouri • This study examined whether political ads and candidate blogs were successful in influencing the issue and news agenda of the major television news networks during the 2004 presidential election. Data showed strong correlations between blogs and the media agenda. Advertisements did not correlate with the media agenda. Cross-lag analysis showed that the media set the candidates’ agenda. The authors suggest intermedia agenda setting occurred as the media transferred their agenda to campaign blogs.

A Descriptive Analysis of NBC’s Coverage of the 2004 Summer Olympics • C. A. Tuggle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Suzanne Huffman, Texas Christian University and Dana Scott Rosengard, University of Memphis • This study examines the amount of NBC’s 2004 Olympics coverage devoted to women’s athletics and compares that to 2000 and 1996. Analysis showed that men received more overall coverage, but women’s teams were covered more extensively than were men’s teams. That coverage concentrated on two specific women’s teams, with other women’s team competitors receiving scant coverage. As was the case in 2000 and 1996, women who competed in 2004 in sports involving power or hard physical contact received almost no attention.

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