Newspaper and Online News 2016 Abstracts

Open Competition
Can breaking news coverage fix lack of government openness? A case study of content strategies at Egypt’s increasing popular Youm7 online newspaper • Ahmed Orabi, Journalism Department, College of Media, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Eric Meyer, University of Illinois • “Increased attention to breaking news coverage of incremental developments rest have helped make Youm7 an Egyptian online newspaper one of the nation’s most frequent online destinations since Egypt’s Arab Spring unrest. This qualitative case study examines how and why the transformation occurred. It is based on four weeks of field work between April 8 and May 3, 2015, inside Youm7’s newsroom using three tools: ethnographic observation, in-depth interviews with 20 journalists and content analysis.

The Costs of Risky Business: What Happens When Newspapers Become the Playthings of Billionaires? • Alex Williams, University of Pennsylvania; Victor Pickard • This manuscript analyzes the actions of individuals that purchase struggling metro newspapers. We first contextualize the journalism crisis by reviewing the business model of the newspaper industry in the 20th century. To understand who buys metro newspapers, we then chronicle the most prominent newspaper acquisitions in 2011 and 2012: The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Orange County Register. We discuss three types of new owners: politicos; venture/vulture capitalists; and benevolent billionaires.

Tweeting news during a crisis: How professional norms influenced Ferguson coverage • Amber Hinsley, Saint Louis University; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • “This study explores journalists’ professional norms during a crisis by content analyzing their tweets in the week following Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo. It also identifies norms that resonated with the public and compares print and broadcast journalists. Journalists adhered to their objectivity norm, but broadcast journalists’ opinion tweets were more likely to be retweeted. Implications include whether journalists should have different social media policies, and if certain audience engagement measures should be reassessed.

The Portrayal of Schizophrenia in Legacy and Digital Native News • Anna Rae Gwarjanski, The University of Alabama; Scott Parrott; Brian Roberts; Elizabeth Elkin • A quantitative content analysis compared coverage of schizophrenia in legacy news websites and digital native news sites. Researchers coded 558 articles for the presence/absence of stereotypes concerning schizophrenia, the number and type of sources directly quoted, and the valence of source commentary and overall articles. Articles from legacy news sites stood greater chance of containing stereotypes about schizophrenia. Articles from legacy news sites stood greater chance of containing an overall negative valence about schizophrenia.

The Disappearance of the Front Page: Measuring Heterogeneity of Newspaper Stories in Print, Online and Mobile • Arthur Santana, San Diego State University • This paper examines the uniformity of news stories across three platforms – print, online and mobile – from the same newspaper, on the same day, at the same time of day. Using 50 U.S. newspapers in two constructed weeks, this paper quantitatively investigates the similarities of the top stories (N = 6,300) in each medium. Findings build on the theory of agenda setting in a digital age and prompt new discussions about the effects of media fragmentation.

Framing the same-sex marriage ruling: How audience ideology influences newspaper coverage • Brandon Szuminsky; Chad Sherman • This 487-newspaper study investigated the substantive differences in the media agenda of the 2012 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage, as represented by newspaper front page coverage, with emphasis on differences in coverage between “red” and “blue” states. Framing decisions expressed through headline word choice and space allocation were analyzed as examples of variation within the media agenda. The findings suggest the media agenda is in fact significantly impacted at the local level.

A network approach to intermedia agenda-setting: a big data analysis of traditional, partisan, and emerging online U.S. news • Chris Vargo, University of Alabama; Lei Guo, Boston University • This large-scale intermedia agenda-setting analysis examines U.S. online media sources for 2015. Based on the NAS Model, the results showed news media of different types set network agendas to various degrees. Agendas were highly reciprocal. Online partisan media best explained the entire media agenda. The agendas of the New York Times and the Washington Post were more likely to be caused by emerging media. NAS effects varied by media type, issue type and time periods.

Newspaper front page photographs: Effects of image consumption in a digital versus print news format • Daniel Morrison, University of Oregon; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Morris II, University of Oregon • Based on a volume of scholarship citing differences in recall and knowledge of text-based content consumed from print versus digital platforms, this experimental research found certain significant differences regarding the same visual content viewed in a print versus digital format. Study findings indicate that technological change (digital consumption) has effects for communication consumption regarding images, which may underlie the changing nature of iconic images and iconic image formation in the age of digital news.

Did Black lives matter? The evolution of protest coverage after the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown • Danielle Kilgo, University of Texas at Austin; Rachel Mourao; George Sylvie • “This study utilizes devices from the protest paradigm to examine news media coverage of protests surrounding the judicial decisions of George Zimmerman and Darren Wilson. A content analysis of national newspaper coverage shows that coverage prior to the judicial rulings focused on protestors’ tactics (violence versus peaceful) and changed to the realm of ideas (grievances and demands) after the acquittals. No progression was found in legitimization of protests.

Why editors use human interactive features: Individual, organizational, and community level factors • Deborah Chung, University of Kentucky; Seungahn Nah • Employing Shoemaker and Reese’s hierarchy of influences approach (1996), we investigate factors affecting U.S. daily news editors’ use of human interactive features that facilitate the expression of ideas (customization features) and dialogue/discussion (interpersonal features). Individual-level factors were found to predict the use of customization features while organizational characteristics predict the use of interpersonal features. When individual and organizational variables were removed, the community structural variable emerged as a predictor for use of interpersonal interactive features.

Who Is Willing to Pay? Understanding Readers’ Payment Intention of News • Donghee Wohn; Mousa Ahmadi, New Jersey Institute of Technology • Despite the increase of people paying for digital content, media companies have been experiencing limited success to get people to pay for news. We conducted interviews (N= 25) to examine why people are inclined or disinclined to pay for news. We then conducted a survey (N= 250) to examine how much people would be willing to pay for news and the differences between fixed rate and pay-what-you-want models. We then examined differences in motivation and news engagement between three groups: those who did not want to pay anything (savers), people who were inclined to pay very little (scrimpers), and people who were willing to pay for news services (spenders). Understanding differences between these groups not only helps inform business models, but also demonstrates that changes in design could alter people’s attitudes about paying for news.

5 Ways BuzzFeed is Transforming (Or Preserving?) the Journalistic Field • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • Guided by field theory and the concept of journalistic boundary work, this study sought to examine whether BuzzFeed, a new agent in the journalistic field, is participating in the preservation or transformation of journalism. This was carried out by analyzing its news outputs based on the markers—or boundaries—that defined traditional journalistic practice, such as news values, topics, formats, and norms. The analysis found that while news articles produced by BuzzFeed are exhibiting some departures from traditional journalistic practice, in general BuzzFeed is playing by the rules, which might explain its legitimation as a recognized agent in the field.

Giving in or giving up: What makes journalists use audience feedback in their news work? • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado • Guided by the theory of planned behavior, this study sought to identify factors that lead journalists to monitor and incorporate audience feedback in their news work through Twitter and web analytics. Based on a survey of 360 online journalists in the United States, this study found that journalists’ personal attitudes toward using audience feedback, organizational policy on the use of audience feedback, as well as how much knowledge and skill they think they currently have to use audience feedback in their work, affect their intention to use, and ultimately, their actual use of, audience feedback in their editorial decisions.

Divvying Up How We Spend Time With News Devices and Channels • Esther Thorson, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Samuel Tham, University of Missouri – School of Journalism • Americans spent around 70 minutes a day consuming news. With so many ways to access news, what variables determine how much time we spend with legacy media like newspapers and television, and what leads to digital and mobile usage. This study develops a model of the variables that lead to device and channel choices for news, which is tested in a national sample of 1000 adults.

Differently Pitiless: Representations of Immigrants in Episodic and Thematic Frames. A Transatlantic Comparative Analysis • Francesco Somaini, Central Washington University • This study investigated the representations of immigrants emerging from news stories in Arizona and Italy and the relationship between online comments attached to those stories and the episodic or thematic frame used to tell them. Quantitative content analysis was used in a comparative approach across regions that constitute borderlands between first and second world countries. Implications of framing for journalists covering minorities and disempowered groups are discussed.

Local Newspaper Use in Hawaii Fosters Acculturation to Local Culture, Community Ties and Involvement • Francis Dalisay, University of Guam; Masahiro Yamamoto, University at Albany – SUNY; Chamil Rathnayake; Joanne Loos, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Kapiolani Ching, University of Hawaii at Manoa • We use the case of Hawaii to test a proposed mediation model positively linking local newspaper use with community ties (i.e., social cohesion and trust) and community involvement via acculturation to local culture. Findings revealed acculturation to local culture was associated with higher social cohesion, trust, and community involvement. Also, local newspaper use had an indirect positive association with sense of belonging, feelings of morale, social trust, and community involvement through its positive association with acculturation to local culture.

News of the future: Journalism organizations’ members look at content, news practice, their jobs and their organizations • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • This paper uses an online quantitative survey to explore the attitudes of members of journalism organizations toward journalism and the workplace, likely trends in employment, and what services those organizations should – and do – provide. By examining multivariate relationships rather than univariate measures, it offers suggestions for journalism organizations, employers, educators, and others interested in how journalists and colleagues in related professions see the world after the impact of the recession and the loss of revenue.

Normalizing Online Commenting: Exploring How Journalists Deal with Incivility on News Sites • GIna Masullo Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin • In-depth interviews with 34 journalists reveal they are becoming more comfortable with online comments and often engage with commenters to foster deliberative discussions or quell incivility. However, our data also suggest some journalists feel discomfort with engaging in this way for fear it breaches the journalistic norm of objectivity. Overall, findings suggest journalists are not ceding their gatekeeping role to the public through comments, but rather re-asserting it through moderating objectionable comments and engaging.

Active yet Passive: Students media habits begin with active choice, evolve to passive consumption • Hans Meyer, Ohio University; Burton Speakman • The definition of media habits must include more than one dimension: active choice. LaRose (2010) calls for expanding the theory to include active and passive use. This study advances LaRose’s call through at nationwide survey of more than 1,000 current college students. It finds that the main attitudes that drive frequent media usage are active, such as need to be involved, and passive, such as the need to know. In fact, the media students use demonstrate an evolution from a one-time active choice to passive attention. This is especially true for social media where students mainly seek entertainment and connection but end up getting a lot of important news and information.

The Reluctant Prosumer/Produser: Limited User Interest in Interactivity Offered by a Metropolitan Newspaper • Jackie Incollingo, Rider University • A mixed methods research project combining two quantitative survey results (n=632 and n=1,248) with semi-structured interview data (n=30) explored how users of a newspaper’s digital content engage with interactive features, and whether these features satisfy their desires. Although the literature celebrates the potential of prosumption (where the activities of consumer and producer converge), this research indicates that digital users do not prioritize sharing stories online, and reported little desire to leave comments or create content.

Groundbreaking Storytelling or Dancing Hamsters? What Eyetracking Tells Us About the Future of Longform Journalism • Jacqueline Marino; Susan Jacobson; Robert Gutsche • As journalists continue to integrate multimedia into longform journalism, news organizations wrestle with questions of audience interest and economic sustainability. To investigate audience reception to digital longform journalism, this study employs eyetracking technology and interviews with audience members to understand their interactions with text, video, and other elements. It also explores how digital longform journalism may attract and retain audience interest. Keywords:audience, digital journalism, eyetracking, longform journalism, mobile

Driving Las Vegas: News Coverage of Uber’s Clash with Unions in Sin City • Jessalynn Strauss, Elon University; Lauren Bratslavsky • This paper looks at the framing of Uber’s expansion into Las Vegas by the local newspaper of record, the Review-Journal. It examines and unpacks the complicated context of the fight between Uber and taxicabs in Las Vegas, taking into account the city’s strongly union history. The framing analysis pays particular attention to the portrayal of union opposition to Uber expansion in an attempt to determine how the newspaper mediates understanding of organized labor in this particular case.

“Two Cheers for ‘Doing It All’: Skills and Newspaper Reporting Jobs” • John Russial, University of Oregon • “This study looks at newspaper reporting jobs ads in order to examine whether reporters need to be able to “do it all” ¬– producing text, video and photography and using social media. It is based on content analyses of, a major online marketplace. Photography and social media are mentioned considerably more often than video skills. Photo skills are more important for weeklies and social media for dailies. The results raise questions about what type of cross-platform training is necessary.

Journalists’ Use of Knowledge in an Online World: Examining Reporting Habits, Sourcing, and Institutional Norms • John Wihbey, Northeastern University • There has been little empirical study of how journalists are drawing on and applying academic research and systematic knowledge. This paper examines data from an original online survey (n = 1,118). A multivariate analysis finds that knowledge usage is more likely among journalists with certain forms of training, a national audience, and more coverage specialization. Politics and television reporting were associated with lower levels of engagement with expert knowledge.

The contextualist function: U.S. newspaper journalists value social responsibility • Karen McIntyre; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; Jesse Abdenour • A survey evaluated U.S. newspaper journalists’ attitudes toward contextual journalism — stories that go beyond the immediacy of the news and contribute to societal well-being. Results indicated that journalists highly value professional roles associated with contextual journalism. Responses revealed new journalistic role functions, including the “Contextualist.” Contextualists and traditional journalists expressed positive attitudes toward contextual journalism forms — solutions journalism, constructive journalism and restorative narrative — while adversarial and market-oriented journalists had negative attitudes toward contextual journalism.

The Viability of Peace Journalism in Western Media Environments • Kimberly Foster; Beverly Horvit, University of Missouri School of Journalism • “Conflict is pervasive and inevitable. Although not all conflicts lead to violence, violent conflicts have left a measurable toll of devastation. Peace journalism, a concept born in the 1970s, aims to frame news in a way to provide a comprehensive understanding of conflict that empowers more insightful critical public discourse. This paper addresses the theoretical challenges to peace journalism practices and provides insight into opportunities for in-depth reporting from conflict zones by Western media practitioners.

#LoveWins: Sharing breaking news of the marriage equality act on Instagram • Leslie-Jean Thornton, Arizona State University; Sonia Bovio, Arizona State University • On the morning of Friday, June 26, 2015, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges, commonly known as the marriage equality ruling. Within the minutes of the announcement, social media exploded with posts about the news. Participants in the online celebration rallied around the hashtag #LoveWins, with Twitter posts using the hashtag cresting at 5,187,809 when the day was done. But while Twitter garnered the most traffic, Instagram offered a different experience, along with a steady traffic flood of more than 1,500 posts using the #LoveWins hashtag within the first 20 minutes of the announcement. However, unlike Twitter, where imagery is an option, Instagram is fundamentally more visual as every post is image-driven. The #LoveWins feed on Instagram was awash in news reports from a wide variety of news organizations. Overwhelmingly, however, those breaking news posts did not come directly from the news organizations themselves. This qualitative study examines the visual messages of people using #LoveWins to share breaking news via Instagram. In light of those findings, it examines the visual messages and hashtag use of news organizations cited in #LoveWins breaking-news posts as news sources, and the potential news audience in Instagram communities.

Journalistic Identity as Branding: Individual, Organizational, and Institutional Considerations • Logan Molyneux, Temple University; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Seth Lewis • Journalists, scholars and industry observers have noted a rise in journalistic branding, especially on social media. To what extent and in what ways are journalists constructing social identities online? This study conducts a content analysis of Twitter profiles and tweets from a representative sample of U.S. journalists. It finds that nearly all journalists practice branding in some form (in bios, in tweets, via links), and branding is concentrated at organizational and individual levels.

Effects of News Framing on Reader’s Opinion of E-Cigarettes • Lu Wu, UNC-Chapel Hill; Rhonda Gibson • Electronic cigarettes have gained great popularity in the past few years but remain a novel and controversial subject in news coverage. The current study is an experiment that builds on existing content analyses of media coverage of e-cigarettes to determine what effects common news frames (those focused on regulation, health effects, and tobacco/smoking industry concerns) have on news consumers. Results show that different framing tactics in news can sway people’s attitudes towards e-cigarettes, specifically when it comes to discussion on regulation and youth smoking. Framing has little effects on people’s social norms towards e-cigarettes or their intention to use e-cigarettes.

Gathering Evidence of Evidence: News Aggregation as an Epistemological Practice • Mark Coddington, Washington and Lee University • News aggregation is often presented in opposition to reporting, though the two practices have much in common as journalistic evidence-gathering techniques. Using participant observation and interviews with aggregators, this study explores aggregation as an epistemological practice, examining the ways aggregators weigh evidence, evaluate sources, and verify information. It finds that narrative is a form of second-order newswork, built on the principles of reporting and reliant on it for secondhand evidence.

All The News That’s Fit To Post: Millennials’ Definitions Of News In The Context Of Facebook • Megan Mallicoat • The current study purposed to investigate the content of millennials’ Facebook news feeds with the intent of assessing how information therein compares with previously defined traditional news topics. The social-psychological theory of self-presentation was also considered: using Facebook can be a very public action, and so this study purposed to determine how self-presentation behavior might influence Facebook actions and news feed content. A purposeful sample of participants between the ages of 25-34 was selected (n = 20), and a computerized content analysis was conducted using Provalis Research’s program WordStat. One-on-one interviews were also conducted.

Framing Occupy Central: A Content Analysis of Hong Kong, American and British Newspaper Coverage • Mengjiao Yu, University of South Florida; Yan Shan, University of South Florida; Scott Liu, University of South Florida • Grounded in framing theory, this paper presents a quantitative content analysis of newspaper reporting of the Hong Kong protests, also known as the Occupy Central Movement or the Umbrella Revolution, between September 28 and December 11, 2014. The political, economic and legal implications involved have made the protests one of the most newsworthy events in the history of Hong Kong since the transfer of its sovereignty from the United Kingdom to China in 1997. This study aims to examine the various frames used in the coverage of the protests in three major newspapers that operate within different political, economic and ideological boundaries: South China Morning Post, The New York Times, and The Guardian. Results of the content analysis supported the hypotheses that significant differences existed in the newspapers in their framing of the protests, the protesters, the government, news censorship, and politically sensitive issues. While the frames used by The New York Times and The Guardian were in agreement with the Western democratic-liberal press system, the frames used by South China Morning Post reflected the authoritarian-liberal nature of the Hong Kong press system.

Now You See Me, But You Don’t Know: Consumer Processing of Native Advertisements in Online News Sites • Mengtian Jiang, Michigan State University; Brigitte Balogh McKay, Michigan State University; Jef Richards, michigan state university; Wally Snyder, michigan state university • “Native advertising has become increasingly popular among publishers and advertisers to indirectly compete for consumer attention. Guided by the Information Processing Theory and using a mixed method design, this exploratory study investigates consumer’s cognitive processing of online native advertisements in terms of attention allocation, native ad recognition and brand recall. Results showed that participants had a relatively low literacy for native advertising. Implications of the findings are discussed and future research directions suggested.

The Effects of Native Advertising on Legacy and Online News Publishers • Michelle Amazeen, Rider University; Ashley Muddiman, University of Kansas • Extending research from Wojdynski and Evans (2015), this experimental study replicates the challenges of effectively disclosing native advertising and demonstrates a promising inoculation method that increases likelihood of recognition. Moreover, this quantitative research indicates that both legacy and online news publishers were punished for displaying native advertising. Attitudes toward the publisher and perceptions of its credibility declined for both, although online publishers suffered greater attitudinal damage than did legacy publishers who may benefit from their established reputation.

Micropayments for News: The Effects of Sunk Costs on News Engagement • Nicholas Geidner, The University of Tennessee; Jaclyn Cameron, University of Tennessee Knoxville • Survey walls – a micropayment scheme where users answer survey questions in order to access content – represent a way news organizations are monetizing content. This experimental study examines the effects of survey walls on engagement with online news. The results demonstrate that survey walls alter individuals’ engagement with news content. Specifically, individuals in “pay” conditions spent more time on the article and were less willing to share the content than people in the “non-pay” condition.

Who’s in, Who’s out? Constructing the Identity of Digital Journalists • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Tim Vos, University of Missouri • Through the framework of social identity theory, this study utilizes in-depth interviews with 53 digital journalists to see what they believe is essential to their work and who falls outside the label of digital journalist. The results support the notion that changes to the digital media environment have indeed been a new source of professional identity for digital journalists. We then explore what this might mean for the field of journalism.

Journalism Transparency: How journalists understand it as a professional value, ethical construct and set of practices • Peter Gade; Kevin Curran, Univ of Oklahoma; Shugofa Dastgeer; Christina DeWalt, The University of Oklahoma; Desiree Hill; Seunghyun Kim, University of Oklahoma; Emmanuel-Lugard Nduka, University of Oklahoma • This national survey of 524 journalists seeks to identify how journalists understand transparency as a professional value, ethical construct and set of practices. Results identify six dimensions of transparency knowledge, and that journalists strongly embrace transparency as an ethical construct. The extent to which journalists practice transparency is constrained by their existing work loads, concerns about negative outcomes and overall skepticism of change.

‘We don’t cover suicide … (except when we do cover suicide)’ • Randal Beam; Sue Lockett John; Michael Mead Yaqub • Unlike most other unnatural deaths, journalists approach suicide as an occurrence that they are hesitant to cover. “Our policy is not to write about suicides,” they say. Except that often, they do. This paper, based on interviews with 50 U.S. journalists, examines the rationales that the journalists invoke as they decide about whether to cover a suicide.

Twitter’s influence on news judgment: An experiment among journalists • Shannon McGregor, University of Texas – Austin; Logan Molyneux, Temple University • Literature suggests that journalists give a substantial amount of attention to Twitter. What affect might this have on their news judgment, their decisions on what to let through the gates? This study hypothesized a positive bias in favor of news appearing to be from Twitter. Instead, an experiment among working journalists (N = 212) finds a negative bias, suggesting that journalists who use Twitter less in their work tend to discount news they see there.

JOURNALISTS RESEARCHING BIG DATA: A study of research methods and processes in big data journalism • Soo-Kwang Oh; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • Through a content analysis of data journalism stories from The Guardian (n=260), a pioneer in contemporary big data journalism, we sought to investigate how the practice of big data journalism takes into account rigorous research method and design. Findings suggested that big data journalism lacks discussions of several elements required for proper scientific research, such as size of data, date of collection and methods for analysis.

Advocacy or Objectivity? Role Perceptions and Journalistic Culture in Alternative and Mainstream Media in Brazil • Summer Harlow, Florida State University • Most research on journalists’ role perceptions and journalistic culture remains Western-focused, and is limited to mainstream media. This quantitative study uses a survey to fill two gaps in the literature by examining differences in role perceptions and journalistic culture among mainstream and alternative media journalists in Brazil. Results indicate significant differences in role perceptions, as mainstream media journalists place more importance on traditional ethics, while alternative media journalists value their normative responsibilities more.

Should There Be an App for That? An Analysis of Interactive Applications within Longform News Stories • Susan Jacobson, Florida International University; Robert Gutsche; Jacqueline Marino • The most-read story of 2014 on the website of The New York Times was a news app called “How You, Youse and You Guys Talk.” While news apps can enhance news stories, they cost a lot of time and money to produce. In this study, we conduct semi-structured interviews with 12 Millennial tablet computer users to evaluate longform multimedia news packages that include Web applications as part of the story presentation to better understand what might be involved in creating successful news apps.

#IfTheyGunnedMeDown: An analysis of mainstream and social media in the Ferguson, Missouri Shooting of Michael Brown • Tracy Everbach, University of North Texas; Meredith Clark, University of North Texas; Gwendelyn Nisbett, University of North Texas • Focusing on the hashtag #IfTheyGunnedMeDown, this study examined the framing of mainstream newspaper coverage of social media activism in the aftermath of the 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri. People of color primarily used the hashtag to draw attention to what they perceived as negative stereotypes perpetuated by the news media. The study employed a textual analysis of news coverage followed by semi-structured interviews with hashtag-protest participants. The analysis found that the mainstream media followed news production rituals by relying primarily on elite, established sources and generally ignoring the social media protestors’ voices. The social media protestors who used the hashtag said they employed it to bypass the mainstream media, and this research indicates they may well have done so and possibly reached a younger generation that relies more on social media than legacy media.

Student Papers
Exploring the Effects of News Personalization and User Comments: Third-Person Perception of the 2013 Target Data Breach • Boya Xu, University of Maryland • It has been robustly supported that media can have a profound social impact indirectly that people’s attitudes or behaviors may be influenced by their perception of the effects of certain content on others, not by the content directly. This impact is particularly magnified when people see others as more negatively influenced than they are themselves, known as the third-person effect. The current study dives into the 2013 Target data breach that has grasped intense attention among the public and media outlets nationally. Survey results show that personalized news content and news sources may encourage individuals to perceive themselves as equally or more vulnerable to the information than others, which was overlooked by the original theorization of third-person effect.

#wjchat: Discursive Construction of Journalistic Values and Norms on Twitter • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This qualitative textual analysis of posts from @wjchat (web journalism chat) on Twitter provides evidence that journalists and journalism educators use social media to discursively construct institutional values and norms such as verification, objectivity, and diversity. The findings were consistent with and extended gatekeeping theory, the hierarchical influences model, and sociological and discursive institutionalism. Keywords: Gatekeeping, new institutionalism, journalistic values, Twitter. Method: Qualitative.

Carrying Credibility: How News Distribution Affects Reader Judgment • Holly Cowart, University of Florida • This experiment examines the impact of online platforms on source credibility. Using a traditional news media with an online presence, and an online-only news media, it compares news content on three platforms (website, Facebook, Twitter). Results of the 146-person experiment indicate a difference in perceived credibility among platforms. The traditional news media sees a significant drop in credibility between the website and the two social media sites. The online-only news media does not. The implications of these finding are discussed in terms of the changing way that news is presented. News media distribute their content to apps and social media sites. Based on this study, that distribution may result in a loss in credibility for the news source.

Framing EU borders in the news: An analysis of three European news websites • Ivana Cvetkovic, University of New Mexico • Human mobility is widely reported in the news with various framings of national spaces, migrants, borders, home, and security. Using discourse analysis of articles published in the online editions of Croatia’s Jutarnji list, Britain’s The Guardian, and Germany’s Der Spiegel, this research identifies news frames about borders in the European Union context. The analysis produced four micro-frames: borders as lived space, border security, border materialization, and disputes over border-management.

Is That News Story an Ad? News Homepage Design May Mislead Consumers into Sponsored Content • Kate Keib, University of Georgia Grady College; Mark Tatge, University of South Carolina • “While advertisers are set to spend nearly $8 billion on native ads this year, the Federal Trade Commission released a policy on deceptive advertising specifically addressing paid content designed to look like editorial. We execute a content analysis of 60 top U.S. news websites, capturing the design elements of native ads and their similarity to editorial content. Results show that native ads are very similar to editorial content.

An Impolite Conversation: The Interaction between Anonymity and Online Discourse on Political Blogs • Meghan Erkkinen, University of Minnesota • “Previous research has indicated that anonymity is correlated with increased impoliteness and incivility in newspaper comments sections. This study uses quantitative content analysis to examine the impact of anonymity on the comments of partisan political blogs. Results indicate that sites allowing anonymous comments host more impolite and uncivil comments, and that those comments are more likely be directed interpersonally, than sites that require users to verify their identities.

National Issues and Personal Choices, Agendamelding in Iran: A Study of Traditional Media and Twitter in 2015 • Milad Minooie • Building on agenda setting research, agendamelding posits that audiences form their agendas based on social/horizontal media (e.g. Twitter) and their personal preferences in addition to traditional/vertical media (e.g. newspapers). The findings of the present study suggest that social media users adopt their agendas from social/horizontal media rather than traditional/vertical media. One of the implications of this finding is that when the government holds monopoly over traditional/vertical media, personal preferences and social/horizontal media become more salient.

Intermedia Attribute Agenda Setting in the Context of Issue-Focused Media Events: The Case of Caitlyn Jenner and Transgender Reporting • Minjie Li, LSU • On April 24, 2015, Olympic gold medalist Caitlyn Jenner confirmed her transgender identity on “Bruce Jenner: The Interview” with Diane Sawyer and started her own reality show, I am Cait. This study identifies patterns of second-level intermedia agenda setting in the framing of Caitlyn Jenner’s high-profile planned media events about her gender transition, examining the extent to which they influence the way national news outlets report transgender-related stories and the salience of certain story attributes. More specifically, through a comparative quantitative content analysis, this study found that transgender-related reports appearing after the Caitlyn Jenner’s interview were more likely to 1) mention alternative non-binary gender discourses to highlight transgender subjectivity, 2) take the intersectionality perspective to address the the complexity of transgender issues from the aspects of race, class, and sexuality difference, 3) differentiate transgender issues from LGBT issues, and 4) take in-depth approaches to report the stories.

How Online News and Informational Media Position Themselves in the Networked Media Ecosystem: A Study of Niche • Mohammad Yousuf, University of Oklahoma • This study used the Theory of the Niche to examine how four types of online news and informational media—Mainstream, Institutional, Alternative, and User-generated—position themselves in the networked media ecosystem. A total of 700 content units—175 from each media type—were analyzed to test four hypotheses regarding the primary functionalities of these media types. Three hypotheses were supported and one was rejected. Data did not find a primary functionality of the Institutional media.

Digital News Sharing: The Role of Influence and Habits in Social Media News Sharing • Samuel Tham, University of Missouri – School of Journalism • 30% of Americans use social media for news. With news organizations seeking to harness more online news sharing from their viewers, questions are raised as to what kinds of users share news on social media. This study proposes a model that examines the impact of technology leadership (social influence), news affinity, digital device use (habits), and the role of demographics to better understand the characteristics of users that share news on social media.

War of Perception: A Habermasian Discourse Analysis of Human Shield Newspaper Reporting During the 2014 Gaza War • Shane Graber, University of Texas-Austin • In 2014, as Arabs and Israelis fought a deadly and destructive 50-day military battle in Gaza, a simultaneous war of perception was being waged in American news media. This study uses a Habermasian critical discourse analysis to examine how five of the largest newspapers reported accusations of Palestinian human shielding. The findings show that journalists tended to report distorted representations of the human shield claims, potentially obfuscating unfairly a highly complex Middle East conflict.

“When India was Indira”: Indian Express’ Coverage of the Emergency (1975-77) • Subin Paul • When Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imposed censorship in the summer of 1975, few newspapers tried to withstand the attack on press freedom. This historical study used framing theory to examine how Indian Express constructed its position against the Gandhi regime during the 21-month National Emergency. The qualitative content analysis of the Indian Express’ coverage demonstrated its struggle to frame the Emergency as authoritarian. More broadly, the analysis provided a way to understand how journalism functions under censorship.

2016 Abstracts

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