Mass Communication and Society 2016 Abstracts

Moeller Student Competition
Influencing the Twitterverse: Agenda setting capabilities of religious leaders • Jordan Morehouse, University of Houston/MA Graduate • This study examined the content published by two international religious leaders on the social networking site, Twitter. A content analysis was performed to describe the content published by the two international religious leaders. Agenda setting theory was used to guide this study. The findings suggest that the religious leaders publish content regarding “teachings or suggestions on how to live.” The findings contribute to literature regarding agenda setting, religion in the media, and social media.

Social Media for Socialization? The Mediation Role of Social Media on the Relationship between Sex and Traditional Gender Values • Keonyoung Park, University of Minnesota Twin Cities; Hyejin Kim, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities • By employing selective exposure theory, this study examined the mediation role of social media usage on the relationship between college students’ biological sex and willingness to accept traditional gender values. Findings showed the mediation effects by motivation to use and topic selection but not by time spent in social media. This study is expected to contribute to literature by providing comprehensive understanding of social media as a media reinforcer of socialization and traditional values.

Open Competition
Am I Depressed, or Is It the Showhole?: Mental Health, Affective Gratifications, and Binge-Watching • Alec Tefertiller, University of Oregon; Lindsey Conlin, The University of Southern Mississippi • Terms like “binge-watching” and the “showhole” suggest a relationship between binge-watching and emotional health. This study sought to understand the relationship between binge-watching and unhealthy emotional traits and regular emotional states such as sadness. The study did not find a conclusive connection between binge-watching and unhealthy emotional traits. However, the study did find emotional states experienced after binge-watching had implications for entertainment gratifications.

Propaganda Pros: The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria’s Crusade to a Caliphate • Alex Luchsinger, University of South Carolina; Robert Mckeever, University of South Carolina • ISIS has launched a robust media campaign to establish a caliphate throughout the world. They are recruiting around the world, largely because of the broad reach of the Internet. This research focused on ISIS propaganda used to persuade people to support the group. Survey data were collected (N=406) from the U.S. and the 13 other countries with large Muslim populations. Findings indicate that identification mediates the effect of exposure to propaganda on behavioral intention.

In Twitter We Trust? Testing the Credibility of News Content from Twitter Sources • Anne Oeldorf-Hirsch, University of Connecticut; Michael Schmierbach; Alyssa Appelman, Northern Kentucky University; Michael Boyle, West Chester University • Twitter has grown as a major news source, yet little is known about trust in the site for news content. This study employed an online experiment (N = 311) to test the effects of attributing the origin of a news story and quotations in news stories to Twitter on perceptions of credibility. Results suggest that strong visual cues of tweets used as quotations in stories have a negative effect, but otherwise effects are minimal.

Journalism and Democracy in Kyrgyzstan: Analysis of Victimizations in Kyrgyz Journalism • Bahtiyar Kurambayev • “In-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews with 27 journalists based in capital Bishkek city reveal that Kyrgyz journalists employ avoidance strategy because of potential victimization including lawsuits, physical attacks, arrests, etc. This study also explores what long term effect this victimization produces on journalists themselves and overall freedom of the press in Kyrgyzstan, the country which is viewed as the most democratic in former Soviet Union Central Asian region. The author employed a snowball sampling to locate initial several research participants and seek their suggestions of other journalists. The interviews were held during the period of January 4-January 23, 2016. They were held primarily in Russian language. The practical implications are also discussed.”

See, Click, Control: Predicting the Popularity of Civic Technology for Social Control • Brendan Watson • Many local news media no longer fulfill their surveillance and feedback control functions. Thus, cities rely on emerging media to maintain social order. This study found that large, pluralistic cities with higher levels of community stress had higher usage levels of the mobile app, SeeClickFix, which allows residents to snap and send photos of community problems to local governments. Implications for structural pluralism theory and research on social functions of emerging civic technologies are discussed.

“Liking” and being “liked”: How personality traits affect people’s giving and receiving “likes” on Facebook? • cheng hong, University of Miami; Zifei (Fay) Chen, University of Miami; Cong Li, University of Miami • Using the theoretical framework of gift giving and impression management, this study examined an important social media communication phenomenon—giving and receiving “likes.” Through a survey with 421 Facebook users, four groups of individuals were identified based on their reported frequencies of giving and receiving “likes” on Facebook: “like” enthusiasts, unrequited “likers,” “like”-throbs, and “like” abstainers. The study results revealed that these four groups of Facebook users significantly differed in their personality traits and age.

“Dog-Involved Bitings?” Construction of Culpability in News Stories About “Officer-Involved Shootings” • Chris Etheridge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Rhonda Gibson • The #BlackLivesMatter social movement has drawn renewed attention to a discussion of police use of force throughout the United States. Historically police and media outlets that cover these incidents have tended to individualize situations where police use force on a citizen. This qualitative content analysis attempts to demonstrate that calling these incidents by the controversial term “officer-involved shooting” gives journalists a common reference point for broader discussions about police use of force, race, and accountability.

Media Framing of the Confederate Flag Debate in South Carolina • Christopher Frear, University of South Carolina; Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina; Sei-Hill Kim • A quantitative content analysis of news stories in three South Carolina newspapers (N=417) examines the framing of the Confederate flag debate in the wake of the 2015 Charleston massacre. Findings from Charleston, Columbia, and Greenville newspapers reveal distinct regional differences in framing and that stories focused on the legislative process in removing the flag more than the flag’s symbolic meaning or the shootings.

Co-viewing as social facilitation of children’s cognitive processing of educational television content • Collin Berke, Texas Tech University; Travis Loof, Texas Tech University; Rebecca Densley; Eric Rasmussen, Texas Tech University; Justin Keene, Texas Tech University • Previous research has revealed that the mere presence of a parent watching television with a child can influence the child’s cognitive processing of and emotional reactions to that content. This study sought to extend these previous findings by investigating the role of co-viewing on the child’s cognitive processing, as evidenced by psychophysiological orienting responses, of three specific types of information commonly found in educational content: explicit plot, explicit educational, and implicit inference. An experiment was conducted that measured the heart rate of children while watching messages either with or without a parent present in the room. Two main predictions were made in this study. First, parent child co-viewing would lead to greater resource allocation to encoding the message—as indicated by cardiac deceleration. Second, information that required internal processing, such as explicit educational or implicit inferential content would lead to greater resources allocated to internal processing—as indicated by cardiac acceleration. The results of a multi-level model indicate that co-viewing does have an effect on the short term, phasic processing of novel information, and that the three types of information have different and dynamic effects on the overtime processing exhibited by the child. Implications for parental mediation strategies and educational television programming are given.

Amplified Gatekeeping: A Theoretical Proposal • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • This essay reviews gatekeeping theory and proposes a rethinking of gatekeeping in this age when audiences, not just journalists, take part in the production and distribution of news. This paper argues that rather than pit one channel against the other, a more empirically grounded representation of the news construction process is one where both journalist and audience gatekeeping channels are considered. When bits of information pass through the journalist channel and then through the audience channel, they are able to reach more people. When bits of information pass through the audience channel and then through the journalist channel, they are conferred with more legitimacy. When bits of information pass through both journalist and audience channels before reaching the public, gatekeeping becomes amplified.

A message testing approach to news media literacy PSAs • Emily Vraga, George Mason University; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa • In an evolving news environment, our understanding of “news media literacy” (NML) must also evolve to equip individuals with the skills to critically engage with news. Using an experimental design, this study tests different NML messages to determine if certain messages appeal to some groups over others and if the effectiveness of the messages depends on the media context in which they are consumed. Findings suggest that context and audience characteristics influence NML message effectiveness.

Domestic violence and sports news: How gender affects people’s understanding • Erin Willis; Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico University • Domestic abuse has frequented recent headlines among professional athletes and ignited much debate about personal conduct off the field. This study examined if and how participants differentiate between male and female victims and perpetrators of violence; specifically, whether participants placed blame differently when presented a health message in a sports context when it involves a male or female athlete as perpetrator. Results and practical implications are discussed.

Online Discourse: Exploring Differences in Responses to Civil and Uncivil Disagreement in News Story Comments • GIna Masullo Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Pei Cindy Zheng, The University of Texas at Austin • This experiment (N = 499) examined how uncivil and civil disagreement differ in their influence on emotions and intentions to participate politically. Results showed that exposure to uncivil disagreement lead to an increase in negative emotion and a decrease in positive emotions to a greater extent than exposure to civil disagreement or the control. In addition uncivil disagreement – but not civil disagreement – led to an indirect effect on intention to participate politically, operating through emotions.

Nasty Comments Anger You More Than Me, But Nice Ones Make Me As Happy As You • GIna Masullo Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Yee Man Margaret Ng • Two experiments (N = 301; N = 567) showed people perceived online comments posted on news stories had a greater effect on the negative emotions of others, compared to the self, suggesting support for an emotional third-person perception (TPP). In addition, results showed agreement comments had an equal effect on the positive emotions of the self and others, suggesting an emotional first-person effect (FPE).

Extrovert and engaged? Exploring the connection between personality and involvement of stakeholders and the perceived relationship investment of nonprofit organizations • Giselle A. Auger, Rhode Island College; MoonHee Cho, University of Tennessee • This study explored the relationship between the big five personality traits – agreeableness, intellect, conscientiousness, emotion, and extroversion – and the involvement, engagement, and perceived relationship investment (PRI) of participants with nonprofit organizations. The role of personality is important because it reflects fundamental qualities that may influence an individual’s behavior. Results demonstrated significant correlation between each trait and involvement, passive engagement, and PRI. Four were also positively correlated to active engagement of participants.

The Effect of Pro- and Counter-Attitudinal Exposure on Cognitive Elaboration and Political Participation: Examining The Moderating Role of Emotions in Exposure to Political Satire • Hsuan-Ting Chen, Chinese University of Hong Kong • Results from an online experiment suggest that exposure to political satire can spur or thwart cognitive elaboration and political participation depending on whether the satirical content posits attitude-consistent or counter-attitudinal political views and how viewers respond emotionally to the message itself and the context of the message. Attitude-consistent exposure is more likely than counter-attitudinal exposure to prompt cognitive elaboration, which in turn encourages political participation. Anxiety about the issue can further enhance this relationship. Exposure to counter-attitudinal political satire, however, is a double-edged sword. It can either enhance or impede cognitive elaboration and participation depending on to what extent viewers feel amused by the political satire or are enthusiastic about the issue after exposure to the satire.

Verbal Aggression, Race and Sex on Reality TV: Is This Really the Way It Is? • Jack Glascock; Catherine Preston-Schreck • This study presents the results of a content analysis of verbal aggression in a composite week of popular reality TV programming on cable and broadcast television. Also examined were contextual variables including race and sex. Results show that reality programming contains a significant amount of verbal aggression that is often depicted as justified and without consequences. African Americans were found to be overrepresented and depicted as more verbally aggressive and more likely to be victims than other races/ethnicities. Other minorities, Asian Americans and Hispanics, were practically nonexistent. The results are discussed in terms of the potential effects of exposure to verbal aggression and the accompanying contextual factors found in reality TV programming.

Sharing or Showing Off? Reactions to Mapped Fitness Routines Posted on Social Media • Jared Brickman; Yujung Nam; Shuang Liu; QIAN YU, Washington State University; Zhaomeng Niu • Sharing fitness achievements on social media has become increasingly popular, including maps that show running routes. The purpose of this study was to investigate mass audience reactions to these types of posts. An online experiment with a 2 (map presence) x 2 (running speed) design was completed by 285 undergraduates. Posts with maps were evaluated using ANCOVA, finding people reacted more positively to maps with fast speeds or text-only posts with slow speeds.

How Young Uninsured Americans Respond to News Coverage of Obamacare: An Experimental Test of Emotional and Cognitive Predictors • Jason Martin, DePaul University; Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Kimberly Walker, University of South Florida • This experiment integrated theory from multiple domains to examine how aspects of news coverage of Obamacare and audience members themselves interact to shape attitudes and intentions. Using a sample of uninsured young adults (N=1,056), we tested a model of the effects of frames, exemplars, political identity, and need for orientation on emotions, attitudes, and intentions. The findings point to the importance of individual differences and message factors in predicting emotions that mediate effects.

Examining the social media mourning model: How celebrities are mourned on Twitter • Jensen Moore, University of Oklahoma; Sara Magee, Loyola University Maryland; Jennifer Kowalewski, Georgia Southern University; Ellada Gamreklidze, Louisiana State University • We utilize the Social Media Mourning (SMM) model to content analyze celebrity death Twitter posts from 2011-2014. We examine which of the three communication types, variables within those types, and issues fans use the most when mourning deceased celebrities via social networking sites (SNS). Results indicate mourners engage primarily in One-Way and Two-Way Communication about celebrity deaths via Twitter. Immortality Communication and consequences of communicating about death via SNS were not abundant on this platform.

Acknowledging the silly alongside the severe: Mediated portrayals of mental illness as trivializing versus stigmatizing • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Rachelle Pavelko • Researchers have documented the ways in which media stigmatize mental illness. However, media also portray mental illness trivially, like when a well-organized closet is akin to obsessive-compulsive disorder. An experiment (N=175) asked participants to recall either a media portrayal where mental illness was stigmatized or a portrayal where it was trivialized. Results suggest that audiences can recall certain components of stigmatization and trivialization, but these mediated portrayals are associated with different psychological perspectives.

The effects of media exposure and media attention on sustainability communication • Jinhee Lee; MoonHee Cho, University of Tennessee • The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of consumers’ media exposure and attention on pro-environmental behaviors and the moderating effects of environmental concern and media credibility. Based on an online survey of 503 consumers, the study found positive effects of media exposure and media attention on pro-environmental behaviors. Significant interaction effects between media credibility and environmental concern were displayed. Theoretical and practical implications are addressed.

Adolescents’ Third-Person Perception Regarding Media Depictions of Bullying • John Chapin, Penn State • Adolescents consume more than 100 hours of TV per month. Teen shows often address bullying, but the depictions can be simplified and unrealistic. Findings from a survey of 1,593 adolescents indicate 52% of the students believe depictions of bullying on TV are usually realistic, and 35% say victims bring the abuse on themselves. The study uses third-person perception as a theoretical framework, documenting that adolescents believe depictions of bullying on TV affect others more than themselves. Third-person perception was predicted by optimistic bias and Just World Beliefs. Adolescents who exhibit third-person perception are more likely to believe media depictions are realistic and more likely to blame victims of bullying in real life.

The Influence of Demographics and News Media Exposure on Philadelphians’ Beliefs About Poverty • Joseph Moore, University of Missouri; Esther Thorson, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This study examined the effect of gender, race, socioeconomic status, political ideology, and media exposure on Philadelphians’ beliefs about the causes of, and most effective solutions to poverty. Analysis of survey data revealed significant effects for all categories. Women, racial minorities, and those with lower incomes were more likely to regard poverty as a structural phenomenon. Greater exposure to television news was found to contribute significantly to individualistic thinking about poverty causes and solutions.

Fifteen Years of Framing Research: Is Framing Research Maturing? • Joseph Provencher, Texs Tech University; Benjamin Smith, University of California, Santa Barbara; Cynthia-Lou Coleman, Portland State University • Framing research has grown in recent decades, and critics ask whether research is guided by core elements underpinned by common theories and methodologies: is framing a fractured paradigm? While a handful of scholars argue over paradigms, researchers continue to conduct studies under the heading of framing. We examine features about current research, including theoretical drivers, methodologies employed, whether framing is situated within message or cognitive domains, and whether researchers study framing within a process model.

Traumatic Experiences: Measuring Journalists’ Trauma Exposure and Emotional Responses • Kenna Griffin, Oklahoma City University • This study measures work-related trauma exposure and emotional trauma symptoms experienced by journalists. It also considers traits of the individual journalists and their exposure that make them more prone to emotional trauma. The 829 respondents reported trauma exposure and symptoms greater than those experienced in the general population and comparable to emergency workers. Age, job experience, and trauma exposure severity, duration and frequency were found to affect the likelihood that journalists would experience symptoms.

How can I watch what I eat when I eat while I watch? Examining the role of media in children’s eating behaviors and food consumption • Kim Bissell, University of Alabama; Sarah Pember, The University of Alabama; Kim Baker, University of Alabama; Xueying (Maria) Zhang, University of Alabama • This study examined the use of an iPad app that measured children’s eating behavior and the healthfulness of the foods they consumed throughout the day using the new media device as their source of tracking food consumption. Factors that might predict greater consumption of healthy or unhealthy foods were examined, along with the use of media while eating. Findings suggest the environment in which children are eating food is a strong predictor of the type and amount of food they are eating. Children in the present study who participated in their school’s free or reduced breakfast and lunch program had very little control over the foods they had access to for those meals, and therefore, had a greater likelihood of consuming more unhealthy foods. Children across the sample reported using media while eating at home and further reported family members using devices during mealtimes at home. The use of media while eating food was a significant predictor of more unhealthy food consumption. These and other findings are discussed.

Gain-Loss Framing and Emotional Imagery: Testing Valence and Motivational Rules for Matching • Kiwon Seo, Sam Houston State University • An experiment (N = 424) examined how message styles of framing and imagery are matched to affect persuasion. Specifically, they are matched by valence (gain framing + positive images vs. loss framing + negative images) and by motivational direction (framing + approach motivation image vs. framing + avoidance motivation image). The results indicate that (a) visual images attenuated framing effects and (b) valence matching was superior to motivation matching.

Political inequalities start at home: Parents, children and the socialization of civic infrastructure online • Kjerstin Thorson; Yu Xu, University of Southern California; Stephanie Edgerly • We use a two-wave panel survey of parent-child dyads to show that the roots of online democratic divides are found in the unequal socialization of political interest. We test a model connecting parent socioeconomic status to family communication in the home and development of youth political interest. We develop a theoretical concept of online civic infrastructure to foreground how social media use in childhood and adolescence may shape future opportunities for civic and political engagement.

Suicide reporting: Taiwan public’s opinions about the copycat effects and WHO’s media guidelines • Kuang-Kuo Chang, Shih Hsin University; Eric Freedman • This study examined the opinions of Taiwan’s general public about suicide and its news reporting in application of the World Health Organization media guidelines. Key findings suggest (1) that the copycat effect is strongly perceived by the respondents (2) who, however, assigned causal and treatment responsibilities to suicidal individuals and to the governments, respectively, instead of to the media. More important, respondents surprisingly rated avoiding sensational reporting as least significant among the 10 guidelines. The study discusses implications of the findings in policymaking, public health advocacy, and journalistic practices in preventing the copycat effect of suicide as a serious social problem.

“The news you choose”: examining if racial identity trumps other factors when news is negative • Lanier Holt, The Ohio State University; Dustin Carnahan, Michigan State University • An abundance of studies show that people prefer to read stories about people who are like themselves. However, what happens when these stories are negative? This analysis tests racial identity and the black sheep effect to see if in these circumstances will people still prefer stories about their own, or will they select stories that denigrate racial out-groups? We find that even given other factors, racial identity still trumps other factors in people’s news choices.

Media Literacy Education and Children’s Unfavorable Attitudes towards Gender Stereotypes and Violence in Advertising in the United States • Laras Sekarasih, UMass Amherst; Christine Olson; Gamze Onut, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Kylie Lanthorn, University of Massachusetts Amherst; Erica Scharrer, University of Massachusetts Amherst • This study examines the effectiveness of media literacy education (MLE) in cultivating critical attitudes towards gender stereotypes and violence in advertising among 4th and 6th graders. Pretest and posttest comparisons suggest stronger unfavorable attitudes towards the presence of violence in advertising upon the completion of MLE. However, stronger unfavorable attitudes towards the stereotypical portrayals of boys and girls in advertising was only found among girls; no significant change was found among boys.

Grass Mud Horse: Luhmannian Systems Theory and Internet Censorship in China • Lei Zhang, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; Carlton Clark, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse • This paper argues that the efforts of the Chinese Communist Party to censor the Internet are likely to undermine the CCP’s credibility in the eyes of the Chinese people. Systems theory as Niklas Luhmann offers powerful theoretical lens through which to observe contemporary events in China. Luhmann argues that global society is a communication system rather than the aggregate of human beings. The Chinese Communist Party can censor or silence particular people, but it cannot shut down the global information network that is transforming China.

Blurring the Boundaries between Journalism and Activism: A Transparency Agenda-building Case Study from Bulgaria • Lindita Camaj • This paper explores the relationship between journalists and civil society actors in promoting the Freedom of Information (FOI) right in Bulgaria. It emphasizes the importance of civil society as influential actors in the media agenda-building process and presents a new approach to conceptualize the journalist-nongovernmental organization (NGO) relationship from a cooperative, rather than power-distance, perspective. The alliance between NGO and journalists in Bulgaria resulted in (1) increased public awareness of the FOI right, (2) increased FOI law uses by citizens and journalists, (3) improved the governmental transparency, and (4) enhanced quality of journalistic output. Theoretical and practical relevance of these findings is discussed.

Psychological Traits, Addiction Symptoms, and Smartphone Feature Usage as Predictors of Problematic Smartphone Use among University Students in China • Louis Leung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Jingwen Liang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study investigates the effects of psychological traits (i.e., procrastination, leisure boredom, and impulsivity) and addiction symptoms on problematic smartphone use. Data were collected from a random sample of 649 university students. The results showed that procrastination, impulsivity, including sensation seeking and (lack of) perseverance, symptoms of addiction (e.g., inability to control craving, withdrawal, and complaints), and frequent usage of smartphone features for instrumental, relational, expressive, and informational purposes were significant predictors of problematic smartphone use.

Be a “Defensive User”: A Study of Opinion Leaders on Chinese Weibo • LUWEI ROSE LUQIU, Penn State University; Michael Schmierbach • This study focuses on the effect of several tactics that the Chinese government implemented to crack down on opinion leaders in social media. Through a 2 x 2 experimental study with Weibo users, it tests the effects of both attacks using negative comments as well as differences in the amount of original content posted. Contrary to expectations, negative comments actually spur greater interest, suggesting that users may have formed a unique culture to protect themselves from government manipulation.

Young Latinos’ Satisfaction with the Affordable Care Act and Insurance Preferences: The Role of Acculturation, Media Use, Trust in Health Sources, and Ideology • Maria Len-Rios, The University of Georgia; Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia • The purpose of this study is to assess how individual characteristics of Latinos, including acculturation levels, media use, trust in health resources and ideology, predict Latinos’ satisfaction with the Affordable Care Act. This study is important because Latinos are among those in the U.S. most likely to lack health insurance coverage, and rate access to health insurance as important. We offer an analysis of a national nonprobability online survey (N=434) of Hispanic Americans representing 35 states. Our findings showed that acculturation and political ideology predict satisfaction with the ACA, as well as trust in service providers and information sources.

Content-Expressive Behavior: Discussion Network Heterogeneity, Content Expression, and Political Polarization • Matthew Barnidge, University of Vienna; Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu, University of Vienna; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna • One thriving area of research on participatory media revolves around political expression and the creation of political content. This study analyzes the connections between these behaviors, heterogeneous information networks, and ideological polarization while accounting for the role of emotional intelligence. Results from a two-wave-panel survey of U.S. adults show that people who engage in content-expressive behavior are embedded in heterogeneous information networks, and that emotional intelligence moderates the relationships between content-expressive behavior and political polarization.

Like Me: How Facebook Users Engage in Self-Presentation • Megan Mallicoat • This study draws on self-presentation theory to examine how participants strategically present themselves through Facebook. Participants (N=168) were asked to rate their day-to-day Facebook interactions according to a 25-point scale measuring behavior motivated by a taxonomy (Jones & Pittman, 1982) of five self-presentation strategies. Results show self-reported self-presentation efforts on Facebook are similar — but not identical — to prior research regarding self-presentation. Results also suggest Facebook use might be a useful predictor of self-presentation strategies.

The Influence of Narrative Messages on Third-Person Perception • Michael Dahlstrom, Iowa State University; Sonny Rosenthal • Narratives can shape perceptions about the world through unique processing pathways, but are audiences aware of this influence? This study explores these questions by bridging the theoretical frameworks of third person perception and narrative persuasion and testing them in an environmental context. Findings suggest that individuals do recognize narratives as having special influence, but only when they perceive the potential effects of a message to be harmful.

Anti-intellectualism among Students in Journalism and Communication: A Developmental Perspective • Michael McDevitt; Jesse Benn; Perry Parks, Michigan State University; Jordan Stalker, University of Wisconsin; Taisik Hwang; Kevin Lerner, Marist College • This study measures anti-intellectualism in journalistic attitudes for the first time, and documents developmental influences on anti-intellectualism among undergraduates at five colleges with comprehensive programs in journalism and mass communication. Journalism major and role conceptions generally fail to inoculate students against professional anti-rationalism and anti-elitism. While reflexivity is typically viewed as an expression of critical thinking, support for transparency in news work appears to condone a populist suspicion of intellectuals and their ideas.

Drinking at Work: The Portrayal of Alcohol in Workplace-related TV Dramas • Mira Mayrhofer, University of Vienna; Jörg Matthes, U of Vienna • We analyzed the most popular work-related TV-dramas regarding the portrayal of alcohol in a televised workplace environment. Of interest were character-beverage interaction, setting, motivations, topic, valence, and portrayed consequences. Half of all beverage scenes were alcohol-related and a character–beverage interaction was more likely for alcoholic than non-alcoholic beverages. Furthermore, over 30% of all consumed beverages at work were alcoholic and only a few consequences of alcohol were presented.

Picturing horror: Visual framing in newspaper coverage of three mass school shootings • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Morris II, University of Oregon • Images can and do influence the manner in which audiences understand and remember news. As such, it is critical that scholarship consider visual framing. This study examines visual framing of a timely and disturbing topic: mass shootings. Through content analysis of 4,934 photographs from nine days of newspaper coverage from three mass school shootings, the study found empirical evidence of routinization of coverage and coverage that emphasized the perpetrators at the expense of the victims.

The (in)disputable “power” of images of outrage: Public acknowledgement, emotional reaction, and image recognition • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; Natalia Mielczarek; Daniel Morrison, University of Oregon • A recent news image–that of a drowned 3-year-old Syrian boy washed ashore as a result of refugees fleeing Syria–resonated with audiences and leaders, becoming a seeming catalyst for action. But the effect was short lived. Through survey data, this research explores iconic images and visual collective memory, considering connections between public acknowledgement, emotional reaction, and image recognition. Studying such relationships will help us to further understand the (in)disputable “power” of harrowing images.

The Religious Facebook Experience • Pamela Brubaker, Brigham Young University; Michel Haigh, Penn State • “This study explores why people (N = 428) use Facebook for religious purposes and the needs engaging with religious content on Facebook gratifies. Along with identifying the uses and gratifications received from engaging with faith-based Facebook content, this research explores whether or not religiosity, the frequency of Facebook use, and the intensity of Facebook use for religious purposes predicts motivations for accessing this social networking site for faith-based purposes. An exploratory factor analysis revealed four primary motivations for accessing religious Facebook content: ministering, religious information and entertainment, spiritual and emotional support, and proselytizing. A multiple regression analysis showed religiosity, the frequency of Facebook use, and the intensity of Facebook use for religious purposes predicted motivations for ministering and seeking religious information and entertainment. Intensity of Facebook use was the only predictor of spiritual and emotional support whereas frequency of engagement with religious content was the only predictor proselytizing.”

Constructed: Digital journalists, role conception and enactment • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado • This study utilizes social construction theory to examine how digital journalists conceive and enact their roles. Through 37 in-depth interviews with digital-only journalists working across the country for a variety of non-legacy market models, this study found that digital journalists embrace the interpreter role, the advocate role and one new role germane to digital journalism: the mobilizing marketer. The study then examines the routines and norms that have become institutionalized to enact these roles.

“Not Strawberry Shortcake Again!”: Exploring Parental Mediation of Pre-School Children’s Book Selection and Book Reading in a Library Setting • Regina Ahn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Michelle Nelson, UIUC – Advertising Department • Our research investigates parental mediation practices for children’s book selection and reading with an ethnographic approach in a library setting. Findings show the prevalence of licensed media character books and commercial influences on children’s and parents’ book choices (e.g., Strawberry Shortcake). Based on our observations, a typology of parental mediation and social interactions emerged; yet, limits of parental strategies were also explored in the library. Implications and future research directions of the research are discussed.

Celebrity Candidate Voters in Campaign 2016: Media Use, Motivations and Political Learning • Stacey Kanihan, University of Minnesota; Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota • Drawing from the “celebrity politics” literature, this national survey (n = 1608) examines the influence of a celebrity candidate on voters’ media behaviors during the 2016 U.S. presidential primary. Findings reveal celebrity supporters are mainly driven by entertainment motivations and follow news on television and YouTube, but their predictor of campaign knowledge is news websites. A comparison group of others also learns from Twitter and television. Findings contextualized by the ideal of an informed electorate.

The Ironic Effect of Covering Health: Conflicting News Stories Contribute to Fatalistic Views Toward Nutrition • Temple Northup, University of Houston • In the United States, the number of overweight or obese people has increased considerably. This is a serious issue and it is important to investigate what role the media may play in this problem. This research examines some of the psychological mechanisms that could explain the previously identified link between media and an unhealthy diet by specifically testing the effects of reading news stories that contain contradictory (or consistent) health information. Results suggest conflicting health information caused increased negative affect as well as feelings of fatalism related to eating well, an important and known predictor of unhealthy food consumption.

Use of Violent War-Themed First Person Shooters and Support for Policies of Military Intervention • Toby Hopp; Scott Parrott; Yuan Wang, The University of Alabama • A survey (n=246) explored the relationship between exposure to violent, war-themed First Person Shooter (FPS) video games and citizen attitudes toward interventionist military policy. Results suggested that frequent exposure/use of war-themed FPS games was positively associated with both moral disengagement and attitudes governing the acceptability of military violence. The data further indicated that moral disengagement was a positive predictor of citizen preference for interventionist military policy.

The Changing Media Perceptions and Consumption Habits of College Students: A Media System Dependency Perspective • Todd Holmes, State University of New York at New Paltz; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • Using media system dependency (MSD) as a theoretical framework and a series of 12 focus groups over four years, this exploratory study examined how college students’ perceptions and use of traditional and new media platforms and devices changed throughout their years as college students. The findings suggest that college students’ dependency on new media platforms is a function of the ability of these media to facilitate the attainment of understanding, play, orientation, and expression goals.

Exploring Flaming, Message Valence, and Strength of Organizational Identity • Troy Elias, University of Oregon; Andrew Reid, University of Southern California; Mian Asim, Zayed University • Mobile applications or “apps,” represent increasingly ubiquitous small digital programs that facilitate a wide array of tasks, including banking, social networking, or monitoring one’s health. This study examines factors that affect consumers’ adoption of apps. Specifically, this experimental study explores the impact of negative and positive reviews from ingroup members, in conjunction with flaming comments from outgroup members, on the attitudes and behavioral orientations of those that strongly and weakly identify with an organization. Results of the study reveal that when users are presented with an identity-relevant informational app, those individuals who possess weak levels of organizational identification will have a more favorable attitude toward an organization’s app, attitude toward the app’s brand, and a greater likelihood of purchasing the app after viewing positive reviews versus negative reviews, as opposed to individuals with strong levels of organizational identification, who appear to be less susceptible to negative WOM.

Too Hard to Shout Over the Loudest Frame: Effects of Competing Frames in the Context of the Crystallized Media Coverage on Offshore Outsourcing • Volha Kananovich; Rachel Young • This study investigates the effects of competing frames in newspaper coverage of offshoring, an issue that is characterized by explicitly negative media coverage and a single dominant frame. The findings of a randomized, controlled experiment (N=152) demonstrate conventional framing effects on attitudinal change, but show that the attitudes of people with greater interest in economic and political news move away from supporting offshoring if they are exposed to a positively valenced frame.

Promoting HPV Vaccination for Male Young Adults: Effects of Descriptive and Injunctive Norms • Wan Chi Leung • This study explores promotions of the HPV vaccination for men, focusing on how social influence plays a role in influencing young male adults’ attitudes toward the HPV vaccine. An online survey was conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, and responses from 656 males aged 18-26 in the United States were analyzed. Results indicated that exposure to messages were associated with perceived effects of the messages on others, which related to the perceived descriptive norm of vaccine uptake among other males. However, the perceived injunctive norm was more powerful in predicting support for the HPV vaccination for males than the perceived descriptive norm. Findings point to suggestions for future promotions of the HPV vaccination for males.

From immediate community to imagined community: Social identity and the co-viewing of media event • Xi Cui; Jian Rui, Lamar University; Fanbo Su, Guangzhou University • This paper examines how various forms of co-viewing media events, i.e. physical discussion, social media engagement and imagined togetherness, contribute to viewers’ emotional reactions to the live broadcast genre which, in turn, strengthen viewers’ social identity. It is found that, consistent with theorizations of rituals and media events, viewers experience stronger emotional reaction when they actively engage in social interactions of various forms during watching a media event. Among the various co-viewing situations, social media engagement is found to be the strongest predictor of emotional reaction. The emotional reactions further translate into viewers’ social identity that is relevant to the messages conveyed in the media events. The findings provide some answers to the debate regarding the validity of large-scale mediated integrative rituals in contemporary societies. Meanwhile they deepen our understandings of co-viewing behaviors, especially social media engagement, in the consumption of traditional mass-media events.

Examining the Interaction Effects between Media Favorability and Recency of Business News on Corporate Reputation • XIAOQUN ZHANG, University of North Texas • This study showed the significant interaction effect between media favorability and recency of business news on corporate reputation, indicating that the second-level agenda setting effect and recency effect take place simultaneously when people use media messages to form corporate reputation. The composite measure of media favorability and recency was superior to the measure of favorability. This study was based on the content analysis of 2,817 news articles from both elite and local newspapers.

Becoming Collective Action Experts: Parsing Activists’ Media and Discourse Strategies in China • Yuqiong Zhou, School of Communication, Shenzhen University; Yunkang Yang • Action strategy, media strategy, and discourse strategy are three key strategies of social contention. Compared to action strategy, our understanding of the other two is very limited. This study attempts to analyze the working mechanisms of media and discourse strategies and the co-working mechanisms between the two by employing new theoretical framework and research methods. Based on literature review, we examine the media strategy from the perspectives of mediated content, connective action and media co-empowerment and circulation; we analyze the discourse strategy from the approaches of framing and gaming; and finally we illustrate the coordinating relationship between media and discourse strategies. The meta-analysis of 40 massive incidents during 2009-2014 demonstrates that “time vs. space” and “us vs. them” are the two coordinates of China’s contentious discourse system. The comparative case study of Wukan and Panyu incidents shows that despite the great differences between Wukan villagers and Panyu citizens in demographics, social capital and media literacy, they both demonstrated remarkable wisdom and managed to adjust their media and discourse strategies to fulfilling consensus mobilization, action mobilization, and social mobilization. In particular, Wukan villagers’ creative utilizing of new media deserves further discussion.

Student Competition
Who has (not) Set Whose Agenda on Social Media? A Big-Data Analysis of Tweets on Paris Attack • Fan Yang, Pennsylvania State University; Tongxin Sun • Utilizing social network, semantic and sentiment analysis, this study investigates agenda setting of 13,784 Tweets on Paris attack. Findings indicate individual Twitter opinion leaders are as influential as media organizations for agenda setting. The significant negative correlations of issue/attribute salience between the agendas of media and individual opinion leaders suggests that rather than setting agendas for each other, the two complement each other in determining “what” and “how” to think about Paris attack on Twitter.

The New Gatekeepers: Discursive Construction of Risks and Benefits for Journalism, Silicon Valley, and Citizens • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This study explores interactions between journalism, Silicon Valley, and citizens based on a qualitative textual analysis of interviews between journalists and technologists in the Riptide oral history of the digital disruption of journalism. Guided by the concept of reciprocity, the study examines how interviewers and interviewees discursively constructed risks and potential benefits in this relationship for journalism, Silicon Valley, and citizens. Interactions were discursively constructed most prominently in terms of risks for journalism.

Location-based social networking: Location sharing of the users, by the users, for the users • Kyung-Gook Park, Concentrix; Jihye Kim, University of Florida • The goal of this study is to examine location-based social networking (LBSN) services users’ uses and gratifications and the relationship between the intensity of LBSN services use and trust in location content. The findings demonstrate that the intensity of LBSN services is positively associated with each gratification. In addition, discovery is positively related to trust in user-generated content (UGC), whereas communication is negatively related to trust in ready-made content (RMC).

Political self-categorization, geography, and the media: How does news consumption play a role in perceptions of universal human rights? • Lindsey Blumell, Copenhagen Business School/Texas Tech University • Since the end of WWII, the international community via the United Nations has developed a framework of human rights that is meant to be universal to all persons, but political and cultural factors have limited that adoption. This study looks at how overall, transnational, and humanitarian news consumption influences a global audience’s perceptions of human rights. Results of a transnational survey indicate news consumption and political self-categorization are the strongest predictors of human rights attitudes.

Media and Anti-Muslim Sentiment in China: A Study of Chinese News Media and Social Media • LUWEI ROSE LUQIU, Penn State University; Fan Yang, Pennsylvania State University • The goal of this study is to determine the relationship between the portrayal of Muslims in Chinese news and social media and anti-Muslim sentiment in China. Analysis of 10 years of news reports about Muslims and Islam on state news media and over 10,000 posts on Weibo, a Chinese microblog equivalent to Twitter, shows an overall negative tone against Muslim, priming a significant stereotype effect. IAT was conducted among non-Muslim Chinese and negative stereotypes about Muslims as a result of media cultivation were detected. A survey of Chinese Muslims showed real-life discrimination to be a consequence of this negative attitude. This study shows that media stereotypes of Muslims are the key factor for anti-Muslim sentiment, because they play an important role in forming public opinion in China. However, although there is a negative attitude toward Muslims on social media, such media have provided an alternative platform for Chinese Muslims to communicate with out-group members and have allowed discussions between Chinese Muslims and non-Chinese Muslims.

Complicity, trust or getting through the day? News media institutional norms at the state house • Meredith Metzler • The relationship between elected representatives and reporters is mutually dependent yet antagonist, stemming from the press’ role as a political institution. This qualitative analysis finds that legislative offices understand their institutional role as representation of constituents and the news media’s as a neutral information provider. The results suggest professionalism manifested legislator’s trust in media. Recurring concern over “information correction” suggests legislators find themselves increasingly as fact arbiters in the changing media landscape.

Negotiation of Sexual Identity in Gay On-Air Talent on West Texas Mainstream Media • Nathian Rodriguez, Texas Tech University • This analytic autoethnography explores identity negotiation in on-air media personalities in West Texas by augmenting the author’s personal experience with the lived experiences of five other LGBTQ radio/television on-air personalities. Employing the communication of identity theory, results indicate conflicts between the personal and communal frames, the relational and communal frames, and the enactment frame with all other frames. Strategies used to help navigate these conflicts include employment of hegemonic masculinity norms, self-monitoring and assimilation.

Effects of Mass Surveillance on Journalists and Confidential Sources: A Constant Comparative Study • Stephenson Waters, University of Florida • This qualitative study explores how national security journalists communicate online using digital security technologies to evade potential surveillance by government authorities. This study follows a panopticism framework, which states that those under real or perceived observation will alter their behavior to be more subservient to authority. Through a series of seven in-depth interviews with journalists, using a constant comparative method, journalists who participated in this study reported that the way they work has changed under a real or perceived threat of mass government surveillance, making their work more difficult and potentially damaging their communications with sources. Many potential interview subjects refused to participate on the record because of the sensitivity and potential risks involved in the discussion of the subject matter.

“We can’t stop, and we won’t stop”: Motivated Processing of Sex and Violence in Music Media • Tianjiao (Grace) Wang, Washington State University • This study examines the processing of two types of content commonly found in popular music videos- sex and violence. High sex high violence music videos were the most engaging and memorable messages, potentially creating a flow experience. The motivated cognition perspective proved to be robust in predicting the processing of messages containing motivationally relevant content.

2016 Abstracts

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