Media Ethics 2015 Abstracts

Open Competition
How do ads mean? A mutualist theory of advertising ethics. • Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Esther Thorson, Missouri School of Journalism; Tatsiana Karaliova, Missouri School of Journalism; Heesook Choi •
This gathered qualitative data about people’s responses to ads identified as ethically problematic based on guidelines and conventions established by advertising ethics critics and the FTC. It analyzed people’s responses to the ads using social constructionist, rhetorical, and dramatistic theoretical lenses. Applying Symbolic Convergence Theory, the study found significantly different communities of meaning as individuals interpreted video commercials. It suggests a new approach to studying advertising ethics.

The Press Complaints Commission is Dead; Long Live the IPSO? • Mark Harmon, University of Tennessee; Abhijit Mazumdar, University of Tennessee • The authors tally 57 monthly Press Complaint Commission complaint resolution reports, dating from January 2010 to September 2014. The sums from each category were expressed as a percentage of all 28,457 complaints. The data show that PCC was something of a paper tiger. This quantitive analysis led to a qualitative review of the ethical need for, potential best practices of, and opportunities facing the United Kingdom’s new Independent Press Standards Organization, the PCC successor organization.

Journalism Under Attack: The Charlie Hebdo Covers and Reconsiderations of Journalistic Norms • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • The terrorist attack on the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo created an ethical dilemma for U.S. news organizations. In reporting on the attacks, news organizations had to decide whether to republish examples of the magazine’s controversial cartoons. This decision highlighted an otherwise taken-for-granted assumption — that the journalistic field is governed by a set of norms, but these norms may, at times, be at odds. This study used qualitative textual analysis to shed light on the journalistic norms involved in American journalists’ own discourses explaining their respective editorial decisions to republish or not to republish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. The resulting analysis demonstrates how a shock to the journalistic profession can challenge existing norms as well as bring new norms to light.

The Death of Corporal Miller: Omission, Transparency and the Ethics of Embedded Journalism • Miles Maguire, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • The New York Times won acclaim for its coverage of the second battle of Falluja in November 2014. But its initial articles left out a crucial detail, that a Marine corporal was killed while aiding two of the paper’s journalists. Over four years the Times published four different versions of the death of the Marine without ever fully explaining the circumstances that surrounded the incident or attempting to reconcile the differences in its accounts. On the contrary the newspaper has refused to articulate what factors led to the withholding of information about Miller’s death, a position that is clearly at odds with its own code of conduct as well as with the growing emphasis on transparency as a cornerstone of journalism ethics. This study, based on a review of the written record and interviews with key participants, sheds new light on the ethical challenges of embedded journalism and shows how the embedding process can work to shape news accounts to support military objectives at the expense of traditional journalistic values. The paper includes an examination of the way that the military has adopted transparency as a key element of what it calls inform and influence activities, which are now identified as part of combat power. The conclusion suggests that a commitment to transparency on the part of news organizations would be a way to regain independence in battlefield reporting by embedded journalists.

Examining Intention of Illegal Downloading: An Integration of Social Norms and Ethical Ideologies • Namkee Park, Yonsei University, South Korea; Hyun Sook Oh, Pyeongtaek University, South Korea; Naewon Kang, Dankook University, South Korea; Seohee Sohn, Yonsei University, South Korea • This study investigated applicability of ethical ideologies reflected by moral idealism and relativism, together with social norms, to the context of illegal downloading. The study found that intention of illegal downloading was dissimilar among four groups of ethical ideologies; situationists, absolutists, subjectivists, and exceptionists. Injunctive norm was a critical factor that affected illegal downloading intention, yet only for situationists and absolutists. For subjectivists and exceptionists, ego-involvement played a critical role in explaining the intention.

Media Ethics Theorizing, Reoriented: A Shift in Focus for Individual-Level Analyses • Patrick Plaisance, Colorado State University • This project argues that multidisciplinary methods and work to reconsider key concepts are critical if media ethics scholarship is to continue to mature. It identifies three dimensions of a reoriented framework for media ethics theory: one that reconceptualizes inquiry at the individual level; another that situates media technology in assessments of autonomous agency and organizational affiliation; and a third that applies formalist virtue ethics as the best framework for normative claims arising from the first two.

NGOs as newsmakers: boon or bane? A normative evaluation • Matthew Powers, University of Washington – Seattle • In recent years, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have assumed a growing role in shaping – and in some cases directly producing – news. What are the normative implications of this development? Drawing on normative traditions of public communication, this paper identifies four roles NGOs are tasked with performing: expert, advocate, facilitator and critic. To date, research suggests NGOs align most closely with representative liberal and democratic participatory ideals of journalism, while marginalizing deliberative and radical traditions.

When White Reporters Cover Race: The news media, objectivity and community (dis-)trust • SUE ROBINSON, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kathleen Culver, University of Wisconsin-Madison • When white reporters cover issues involving race, they often fall back on traditional, passive practices of objectivity, such as deferring to official sources and remaining separate from communities. Using in-depth interviews combined with textual analysis in a case study of one mid-western city struggling with race, we explore the ethical tensions between the commitment to neutrality and the need for trust building. This essay argues for an active objectivity focused on loyalty to all citizens.

An update on advertising ethics: an organization’s perspectives • Erin Schauster, Bradley University • Ethical problems in advertising continue to exist but an update on these problems from an organizational approach is needed (Drumwright, 2007; Drumwright & Murphy, 2009). Forty-five one-on-one interviews were conducted regarding perceptions of advertising ethics. Findings suggest that ethical problems exist such as treating others fairly, behaving honestly, respecting consumers’ privacy and maintaining creative integrity. The implications of creative integrity and an organizational approach as ethical relativism are presented.

Carol Burnett Award
Ethics in Design: The Public Sphere and Value Considerations in Online Commenting Development • Kristen Bialik, University of Wisconsin-Madison •
Drawing on the work of Habermas’ public sphere and discourse ethics, as well as user-interface design and Value Sensitive Design theory in technology, this paper examines whether improved online comment system policies and design can help foster a more robust form of the public sphere. The study raises larger questions of how values within traditional journalism, as well as values underpinning democratic societies, can be emphasized in the structural spaces of online public forums.

The many faces of television’s public moral discourse? Exploring genre differences in the representation of morality in prime time television • Serena Daalmans, Radboud University • This study is focused on differences between TV genres (news, entertainment & fiction) in the representation of morality on television. We conducted a quantitative content analysis, based on a sample of prime-time television programs (2012) (N = 485). The results reveal distinct differences between the genres concerning the representation of moral domains, moral themes, types of morality and moral complexity, and striking similarities regarding moral communities as beacons of moral accountability.

Moderating Marius: Ethical Language and Representation of Animal Advocacy in Mass Media Coverage of the Copenhagen Zoo Saga • Christina DeWalt, The University of Oklahoma • Ethical theory is used in this study to assess news coverage of the Copenhagen Zoo’s decision to euthanize a healthy giraffe and the subsequent public outcry regarding the animal’s death. This paper examines twenty-six print, broadcast, and radio news pieces utilizing ethical frameworks derived from the widely used philosophies of Kant and Bentham. The types of news frames deployed as well as the willingness of mainstream media outlets to expand public exposure to broader social issues related to animal captivity and welfare, and their willingness to include non-traditional sourcing in meaningful and balanced ways was examined through in-depth, textual analysis. Findings indicate that while the mass media did extend moral considerations to the nonhuman subject through implicit means, news production norms, practices, and routines continued to hinder advancement of alternative voices and expansion of social exposure to broader ethical issues inherent in the story.

Aggregation and Virtue Ethics • Stan Diel, University of Alabama • As consumers increasingly look to the Internet to find news and traditional news organizations shed jobs, the demand for original news content online has come to exceed supply. To fill the void, websites, both digital-native and those associated with legacy news media, have turned to aggregation so quickly that the practice has developed faster than both legal and ethical standards that might moderate it. While deontological systems of ethics often guide traditional media, such rule-based codes are not easily applied to digital news practices. A system of virtue-based ethics grounded in an arch-virtue of truthfulness and moderated by the virtues of fairness, non- malevolence and temperance, and a standardized definition of terms, are proposed to help guide aggregation practices.

Analysis of moral argumentation in newspaper editorial contents with Kohlberg’s moral development model • Yayu Feng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This study evaluates moral reasoning stages addressed in editorial pieces regarding rape culture from two newspapers in Athens, Ohio, with Kohlberg’s Moral Development Model. An analytical system was developed based on Critical Discourse Analysis and Moral Development Theory, which contributes a new approach to investigating media moral messages. The study details the different patterns of moral reasoning stages represented in the newspapers and offers a case study of editorials’ performance as moral educators.

Peace Journalism and Radical Media Ethics • Marta Lukacovic, Wayne State University • The radical characteristics of peace journalism position it as a model that expands the current understandings of normative media theory. Hence, peace journalism echoes the most innovative calls of media ethicists such as Ward’s proposition of radical media ethics. Peace journalists and citizens have to face constraints that are posed by cultural and structural violence when attempting to reflect on international conflicts and crises in peace journalistic/conflict sensitive manner.

The point of debating ethics in journalism: consensus or compromise and the rehabilitation of common sense as a way toward solidarit • Laura Moorhead, Stanford University • Philosopher and media gadfly Habermas in the newsroom? This paper — through the frame of Habermas’s discourse ethics — highlights a path for debating ethics in journalism using rational-critical discussion, which can lead to consensus or compromise through a move from individual to collective community interests. The paper considers the rehabilitation of common sense, through emerging technology and an interdisciplinary approach. The point of debating ethics in journalism surfaces as the hope for solidarity despite increasing pluralism.

Weekly Newsmagazines’ Framing of Obesity, Responsibility Attribution, and Moral Discourses • Lok Pokhrel, Washington State University • This paper presents a study of how obesity-related health issues in the United States are represented in four American weekly magazines: Newsweek, Time, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. The paper particularly examined the media’s attribution of responsibility for the problem of obesity, that is, whether the issue constitutes an individual or collective responsibility. The paper also argues that the news media’s framing of obesity-related health issues, through the use of various discursive and framing tactics, raises ethical concerns. Through analysis of weekly news magazine discourses, the study finds two themes that raise ethical concern: the weekly publications (a) primarily discussed the problem of obesity in terms of either individual or societal responsibility; (b) highlighted the ethical concerns from appeals to both personal responsibility and a sense of obligation to promote the health of others and fulfill the duty to avoid becoming an unfair burden to others.

Toward an ethic of personal technologies: Moral implications found in the fruition of man-computer symbiosis • Rhema Zlaten, Colorado State University • The impending fruition of man-computer symbiosis suggests a shift towards society’s acceptance of human partnership with technology. Increased intimacy between humans and machines creates a need for understanding individual rights in modern society’s transmedia paradigm. This paper calls for the creation of an ethic of personal technologies; a partnership of understanding how society grew to accept the full integration of technology into daily life and the rights of each digital footprint in a computer-mediated society.

Special Call For New Horizons in Media Ethics
A Duty to Freedom: Conceptualizing Platform Ethics • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri • This
paper makes two arguments. First, the field of media ethics should incorporate ethical analyses of the relationship between digital communication intermediaries (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) and their users. Second, these intermediaries should abide by a primary duty to protect the users’ freedom to speak via their platforms, followed by a secondary duty to mitigate potential harms caused by users’ speech. The paper synthesizes theories of intermediary liability and corporate media ethics to make this argument.

The Ethical Implications of Participatory Culture in a New Media Environment: A Critical Case Study of Veronica Mars • Murray Meetze, University of Colorado Boulder • In a fast-paced media landscape where producer and consumer relationships are constantly being renegotiated, the ethical implications of this participatory culture must be addressed. This article explores current literature on participatory culture through the lens of a case study of the Veronica Mars 2013 Kickstarted film. The Veronica Mars Kickstarter provides a unique view of the strengths of audience involvement in media content production. The Belmont Report social science principles for human subject research will be utilized in this case study examination along with the ethical framework of W.D. Ross’ duty-based ethics. This analysis aims to establish tangible ethical guidelines for media industry production in an unstable media environment.

What Constitutes Good Work in Journalism Education • Caryn Winters, University of Louisiana at Lafayette • What is the good work educators –especially journalism educators –are obliged to do in consideration of their simultaneous roles as members of a democratic community and members of professional communities?Rather than focus on specific professional practices, I have chosen to emphasize the necessity for professionals –and especially those professionals who play key roles in building the democratic capacity –to understand the core principles of their professional realms. When journalists and journalism educators engage in professional activity that is informed by these principles, they have the potential to transform their professional realms and democracy.

2015 Abstracts

Visual Communication 2017 Abstracts

Online Coverage of Brittany Maynard’s Death: Visual and Verbal Information • Kelsie Arnold; Kimberly Lauffer • This study examined textual and visual elements in web-based coverage of Brittany Maynard’s decision to exercise Oregon’s right to die in order to understand how the media framed their coverage using multimedia components. The authors used a qualitative perspective and a quantitative data collection instrument to synthesize data and key themes that emerged from the research. Culturally embedded frames, loaded language, and graphic elements were all deemed essential to telling the story of Brittany Maynard.

Attributes of Likable Organizational Logos: An Exploratory Study using Q Methodology • Angie Chung; Dennis Kinsey • Logos have a big impact on how people feel about an organization. The goal of this research is to identify the subjective perceptions when people evaluate logos and explore what elements affect the likability of organizational logos. This exploratory research used Q Methodology to quantitatively and qualitatively examine subjective preferences for different types of logos. Forty participants sorted 50 organizational logos (Q sample) from “most appealing” (+5) to “most unappealing” (-5). Three different factors emerged from the correlation and factor analysis—the first group expressed the importance of color, the second group thought logos with living creatures were appealing and the third group were attracted to logos suggesting dynamic movement. Findings are discussed in terms of practical implications for how organizations can choose logos that can be received more positively.

A reciprocal-networked model of the photojournalistic icon: From the print-television news era to the present • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Perlmutter, Texas Tech University; Natalia Mielczarek, Virginia Tech • Millions of news images have been created, but only a relative few have become the fabled “icons” of photojournalism that have been popularly ascribed with extraordinary powers to mobilize national opinion, start or stop wars, or at least capture “decisive moments” in history. Since most of the photoicon era occurred when news was a wholly industrial (via print and then broadcast and cable) enterprise, media gatekeeping has been a critical component of the process of icon creation, distribution, and maintenance. Traditionally, news photographs became iconic, in large part, through their purposive, industrially defined, and prominent placement on elite newspaper front pages and lead position in broadcast/cable news across the globe. But as we rapidly move away from print news and towards a digital/internet/social news environment, what is the effect on the formation of iconic imagery? We argue that it is both a changed reality of news delivery formats and the democratization of news production and dissemination via social media that predicates a theoretical shift in the formation of iconic imagery. Using the historical research method, we draw from current theoretical tenets of iconic image formation and leading research on iconic imagery to present propositions of a model of iconicity that we term the “reciprocal-networked model of iconicity,” which presents four central and related stages: creation, distribution, acceleration, and formation. We conclude this philosophy of images with some speculative predictions about the development of photoicons within the evolution of our reciprocal-networked model, arguing that several trends are predictable.

Fire, ice or drought? Picturing humanity in climate change imagery • Kim Sheehan; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Morris II, University of Oregon • Despite scientific evidence of climate change, Americans continue to minimize its importance. At the same time, research suggests that advocacy campaigns and news media coverage of climate change—both text and images—do not necessarily resonate with audiences. The current study brings together existing theory on the knowledge-deficit model and research findings on both climate change imagery and story personification to explore in a 3x3x2 experiment how photographs relating to climate change have the best potential to connect with people regarding emotion and engagement.

Resignifying Alan Kurdi: News photographs, memes, and the ethics of visual representation • Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Iowa • The Turkish photojournalist Nilufer Demir’s photograph of the drowned refugee child Alan Kurdi attained worldwide recognition as a media spectacle, initially prompting humanitarian responses and political action, but later morphing into online memes and inciting public backlash as “war porn.” I argue here that the ethical motivations of photojournalism and memes are oppositional with regard to their representations of embodied vulnerability. While photojournalistic depictions of vulnerable bodies are motivated by an ethics of care intended to generate empathy and progressive social change, memes disrupt those affective connotations through processes of mimicry and replication. By means of a comparative semiological analysis, this paper examines the way the sign system of Demir’s photograph was mutated into a meme, radically changing the ethical connotations of the former. The differing ethical affordances of news photos versus memes, and their relationship, may help to explain the reversal of the cosmopolitan humanitarianism initially sparked by the Alan Kurdi photograph and tell us more about the ethical frictions and contrapositions at work in the contemporary media environment.

Access, deconstructed: An analysis of metajournalistic discourse concerning photojournalism and access • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Ross Taylor, University of Colorado • This study examines metajournalistic discourse published surrounding the intersection of photojournalism and access. Researchers conducted a textual analysis of metajournalistic discourse published in articles by The Image, Deconstructed from 2011 to 2017 (N=70). Findings suggest that photojournalists define access differently than scholars. They obtain access through purposeful body language and verbal communication, clarity of intent and persistence. These findings are interpreted through the lens of the theory of metajournalistic discourse.

Using Angle of Sight to Confirm Media Bias of a Political Protest • Michael Friedman, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga • The study sought to understand if photographic media bias of political protest could be detected by applying the photographic principle of angle of sight to the pictures of the event. The investigation focused on the photographic news coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests from two competing and politically opposite New York City tabloid newspapers. The purpose of the study was to determine if there were any differences in the selection of angle of sight photographs, which could act as a subtle cue to either glorify or condemn the protests. Results show strong statistical support that both papers chose the angled photograph that matched with their political opinion of the protest and is relevant to other researchers who seek to understand our legacy of media coverage of political protests.

Professional Photographers and Platforms and the Perceived Credibility of Photographs on the Internet • Gina Gayle; Andrew Wirzburger, Syracuse University; Jianan Hu; Honey Rao • As the use of amateur journalists in place of professionals to photograph current events has begun to shape news content (Pantti & Anden-Papadopoulos, 2011), and people assign varying levels of credibility to the sources of news content (Bracken, 2006), understanding the effects of “professional” labels is growing increasingly salient. This study sought to investigate differences in perceived credibility of photographs on the internet depending on whether or not a professional had taken the photograph and whether or not it had been published by a professional media outlet. Definitions for the dimensions of perceived photograph credibility were adapted from previous research into general internet credibility (Metzger, 2007). The researchers hypothesized that people provided with information that the photograph was somehow “professional” would perceive it to have higher credibility. The study was designed as an experiment with four groups that evaluated photographs using a self-administered online questionnaire; each group was provided with different information about the photograph to stimulate differences between groups. Results produced no significant differences between groups for the concept of credibility but did yield significance for “authority,” one dimension of credibility. These results may be due to the influx of citizen journalism as well as diminishing public trust in mainstream news media.

Chaos, Quest and Restitution Narratives of Depression on Tumblr • Ali Hussain, Michigan State University • This paper studies how visuals from Tumblr might be used to evoke narratives of depression. Fourteen patients with moderately severe depression were interviewed using photo-elicitation method. Findings encompass three types of narratives: chaos, quest and restitution. Chaos narrative describe experiencing illnesses with no cure or unreliable treatments. Quest narrative are about patients’ fighting back. Restitution narrative points toward the belief that health is restorable. Study offers implications to use images during depression counseling sessions.

Show me a story: Narrative, image, and audience engagement on sports network Instagram accounts • Rich Johnson, Creighton University; Miles Romney, Brigham Young University • Social media is a growing space for interpersonal and masspersonal communication and the shared image that often accompanies these messages has become a factor in increasing audience engagement. This study seeks to understand what types of images generate more engagement from social media audiences. A group of communication scholars argue that narrative is the most basic form of human communication and therefore messages with strong narrative themes more easily connect the message from the communicator to the audience. This study performed a content analysis of nearly 2,000 images shared by Sports Networks on Instagram. Operating under Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (2006) methodology for determining narrative in image, the study found that images that contained narrative or metacommunicative messages (Bateson, 1951) resulted in greater interest and engagement by audiences through the manifestation of likes and comments. The study offers a methodology for organizations seeking greater engagement from social media audiences.

Cognitive Effects of Emotional Visuals and Company–Cause Congruence in Visual CSR Messages • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Sungwon Chung, Fort Hays State University • Using the limited capacity model of motivated mediated message processing (LC4MP), associative network theory, and expectancy violation theory as theoretical frameworks, this study seeks to explore the cognitive effects of two aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages: emotional visuals and company–cause congruence. We employed a 2 (emotional tone of visuals: positive vs. negative) × 2 (company–cause congruence: low vs. high) within-subjects experimental design. We tested these factors using three CSR issues: hunger in Africa, water shortage in Africa, and an environmental issue. The results showed interaction effects between the two factors for recognition sensitivity (d′) to company logos, ordered from being the highest when using a negative image and high company–cause congruence, to a negative image and low company–cause congruence, a positive image and low company–cause congruence, and a positive image and high company–cause congruence as the lowest. For cued recall of company names, we found that there were two main effects, with no interaction effects, and negative images were more effective than positive images: high company–cause congruence was more effective than low company–cause congruence. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Sleight of Hand, Slight of Truth: Deceptive Editing of Documentary Footage in The Look of Silence • Thomas Mascaro, Bowling Green State University • Abstract: The documentary film The Look of Silence conceals editorial sleight of hand involving a 1967 NBC documentary The Battle for Asia, Part III: Indonesia: The Troubled Victory. The editing, which is not disclosed to audiences, misrepresents the original report and contravenes documentary practice. This case illuminates libel law, with regard to DVD and interview statements accompanying a film’s release, and worrisome trend of “poetic” films eclipsing empirical reporting in documentaries.

Solutions in the shadows: The effects of incongruent visual messaging in solutions journalism news stories • Karen McIntyre, Virginia Commonwealth University; Kyser Lough, The University of Texas at Austin; Keyris Manzanares • This experiment examined the impact of story-photo congruency regarding solutions journalism. We tested the effects of solution and conflict-oriented news stories when the photo paired with the story was congruent or incongruent with the narrative. Results revealed that a solution-oriented story with a congruent photo made readers feel the most positive, but surprisingly readers were most interested in the story and reported the strongest behavioral intentions when the story was paired with a neutral photo.

The dead Syrian refugee boy goes viral: Funerary Aylan Kurdi memes as tools for social justice in remix culture • Natalia Mielczarek, Virginia Tech • The picture of the 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose dead body washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015, became iconic after it went viral on social media. Within hours, Aylan was a symbol, a hashtag and a meme. This project analyzes the most popular funerary Aylan memes to understand their meanings and functions as they proliferated cyberspace. Through visual rhetorical analysis, the project expands the functions of memes from the typically theorized visual jokes and social commentary to tools of social justice. The case study demonstrates how memes get deployed as rhetorical statements to subvert and re-negotiate reality, in this case to create a ‘better ending’ for the dead boy and to seek atonement for his death. The project also analyzes the paradoxical relationship between a news icon and its digital appropriations, suggesting a new metric for iconicity in digital participatory culture.

What Makes a Meme a Meme? Five Essential Characteristics • Maria Molina, Pennsylvania State University • During the 2016 presidential elections (December 2015-2016), the term “meme” had a higher search interest in the U.S. than the word “election” (Google Trends, 2016). But what makes an Internet meme a meme? And what attracts users to not only view memes, but also create and share them? This article reviews the existent literature, explicates this form of user-generated content, and provides a set of characteristics to differentiate Internet memes from other type of content also shared online. The goal of this exercise is to provide the study of Internet memes with an integrated definition, encompassing the mutually understood set of characteristics of memes. As Chaffee (1991) describes, a concept explication plays a vital role for the advancement of a field as it helps uncover the different components of the term, provides a description of the studies that have been done in the field, and postulates areas of future research and how to move in a cohesive direction. More specifically, it will provide a tool, or measure for the analysis of the uses, motivations, and effects of this new media trend.

The Graphicness of Renowned Imagery: A Content Analysis of Pulitzer Prize Winning Photography • David Morris II, University of Oregon; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • An ongoing journalistic debate centers on the extent of acceptability of graphic imagery in the news media. In order to provide a more complete understanding of this ongoing debate, it is essential to conduct research that provides insight into the content of such imagery, especially renowned imagery. The current research uses a content analysis to explore the visual themes and type of graphicness present in the census of 763 Pulitzer Prize winning photographs from 1942 to 2015.

Closing the Gap Between Photojournalist Research and Photojournalism Practice: Exploring the Motivations of the Subjects of Sensitive Photo Essays • Tara Mortensen; Brian McDermott; Daniel Haun, University of South Carolina • There have always been challenges to pursuing photo essays, including the wariness of potential photo subjects who are often in the midst of personal hardships themselves, as well as a commitment of months or years to a single story. But contemporarily, there is a shrinking number of photojournalists and resources in the newsroom, as many have been replaced with iPhone-armed reporters and the abundance of citizen-shot photography (Allan, 2013; Hartley, 2007; Örnebring, 2013; Stelter, 2013; White, 2012). Citizens are more willing than ever to share thousands of photos a second on Snapchat and millions of photos on instagram every day (Biale, 2016; Schlosser, 2016), but an irony to this phenomenon and additional blow to photojournalists who are struggling to maintain their professional status (Gade & Lowrey, 2011; Mortensen, 2014) is that these same people are often hesitant allow professional photojournalists to tell their story (McDermott, 2012). This study is the first to inquire about the factors that influence peoples’ willingness to allow professional photojournalists tell their story, including topics such as sexual assault in the military, a woman’s struggle with losing her legs, and a mother’s struggle with losing a child. Guided by uses and gratifications theory, ten in-depth interviews with subjects of peer-judged contest winners from 2014 – 2016 in the multiple picture story categories of the NPPA Monthly Clip Contest, the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Contest, and the World Press Photo Contest were conducted and analyzed using a constant comparative method (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Priming effects on Instagram: An analysis of how pictures on Instagram affect individuals’ risk perceptions and information seeking behaviors • NIcole O’Donnell • This research explored how images on Instagram affect individuals’ information processing and seeking. Participants viewed Instagram posts that discussed the natural flavors added to processed foods. Individuals in a science-image condition had higher risk perceptions than individuals in a health image condition; however, this effect was moderated by nutrition label usage. Additionally, 45% of participants choose to seek further information on the topic. Implications for the integration of priming effects and information processing theories are discussed.

Profile Pictures and Political Expression: The Perceived Effectiveness of Avatar Activism (an Austrian Case). • Judith Schossboeck, City University Hong Kong • This paper investigates the phenomenon of avatar activism (AA), understood as changing one’s profile picture in a social media (SM) or online social network (OSN) for political reasons or a good cause from a quantitative perspective. Specifically, the effectiveness of avatar activism as perceived by users engaging in this practice, as well as its relation to factors like age, participation in OSNs, online social capital and political engagement are investigated. An online questionnaire of n = 210 was distributed before the Austrian Presidential Elections in December 2016, and the topic AA was placed within the context of the elections, but also addressed other examples of AA. After increasing the variable perceived effectiveness of AA along several levels related to cognitive or actual impact, results show that most people do see this activity as a good form of self-expression, but doubt the actual political impact. Age, participation in OSNs and online social capital could not be identified as influencing factors of perceived effectiveness of AA. However, engagement in AA is related to other forms of political engagement. The limitations of the study and possible further directions are discussed.

Networked photographic repertoire and capital: Prosumption of selfies among Taiwanese gay men on Instagram • Hong-Chi Shiau, Shih-Hsin University • This study attempts to illustrate identity performance and consumption by Taiwanese gay men through their behavior of posting and commenting on selfies. This study selects a gay community on Instagram as a site for fieldwork because millennials are quitting Facebook, once Taiwan’s most popular social networking site, but now in a steep decline. The prosuming of selfies on Instagram is analyzed as a particular form of speech community, adjusted to the orientation of users towards initiating social bonding, corporal aesthetic regulation, or even sexual encounters. Through ethnographic interviews with 17 gay male college students from Taiwan and textual analysis of their correspondence though texting on Instagram, this study contextualizes how the rituals and social processes engaged in on Instagram help constitute a collective identity pertaining to Taiwanese gay men on Instagram. The prosuming of selfies is examined as an identity-making process involving three nuanced types of cultural capital. These uploaded representations of the self are referenced to the collective past. Three typological personae are identified to illuminate the notions of cultural, aesthetic and emotional labor. The conclusion offers an alternative sociological intervention that goes beyond the notion of digital narcissism to help understand how the labor of presenting selfies is invested and reproduced.

‘Sight Beyond My Sight’ (SBMS): Concept, Methodology, and a Tool For Seeing • Gabriel Tait, Arkansas State University • Sight Beyond My Sight (SBMS), a new visual research method, aims to empower individuals to participate in the photographic communication and social science research process. This introductory study examines local people taking pictures to share knowledge about topics. This SBMS case study of photos from eleven participants (eight men and three women) between the ages of 18-65 from Liberia, West Africa, explains the method, discusses the participants, highlights some photographs taken, and offers an encapsulated analysis of what was learned from Liberians about Liberia. Advancing the participatory research methods of “Photovoice” (Wang and Burris 1994) in public health communication education, “Shooting Back” (Hubbard 2009) in photojournalism, and “Autophotography” (Ziller 1990) social psychology, SBMS bridges a gap in communication and social science research practices.

The evolution of story: How time and modality affect visual and verbal narratives • T.J. Thomson, University of Missouri • A majority of Americans distrust the news media due to concerns over comprehensiveness, accuracy, and fairness. Since many interactions between journalists and their subjects last only minutes and can be published within minutes, if not live, research is needed to explore how journalists’ understandings of their subjects’ narratives evolve over time and how much time is necessary to avoid surface-level coverage. Also, since people are now exposed to more image-based rather than text-based messages, additional research is necessary to explore how the verbal narratives spoken by subjects compare to their nonverbal narratives as captured by news photographers in visual form. Through a longitudinal, interview-based approach, a photojournalist working on a 30-plus-day picture story was interviewed weekly for six weeks over the course of his project to track perceptions of how his subjects’ verbal narratives changed. At the conclusion of the projects, the photojournalist’s subjects were also interviewed to explore how their verbal and nonverbal narratives compared. Informed by literature in role theory, narrative, and visual journalism, the findings explore how news media narratives can be more nuanced and how people shape their visual and verbal narratives consciously and unconsciously.

Parsing photograph’s place in a privately public world • T.J. Thomson, University of Missouri; Keith Greenwood, University of Missouri • Billions of personal cameras exist globally that capture more than one trillion images each year. In contrast to studies that focus on cameras in a particular industry or field, such as body cameras in law enforcement or diagnostic imaging in medical settings, this study adopts a comparative and integrative approach using the public-private distinction to explore 1) how people in different social spheres perceive cameras and those who operate them, 2) what factors influence those perceptions, and 3) how technological convergence, camera access, and digital dissemination ease are impacting social life. Through in-depth interviews with individuals in the public and private spheres, an understanding of camera operators as primarily disruptive or primarily affirmative emerged and participants and factors that influenced their perceptions were gathered. Participants also said more cameras and converged technology are blurring the lines between public and private, that exposure in public seems to reduce inclination for private exposure, that cameras are shifting the nature of experience, and that cameras are becoming increasingly regulated.

Location, Location, Location: Visual Properties and Recognition of Video Game Advertising. • Russell Williams • Videogame placements are important for advertising and there is limited cognitive capacity available to players during a game to notice these ads. This is a quasi-experimental study using a commercial videogame and the Limited Capacity Model as an exploratory mechanism. It demonstrates that positioning in the focal visual block enhanced recognition, and that integrated ads and landmarks are better recognized than interruptive advertisements. Practical implications are discussed.


Public Relations 2017 Abstracts

What’s the “Right” Thing to Do? How Ethical Expectations for CSR Influence Company Support • Lucinda Austin; Barbara Miller, Elon University; Seoyeon Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study investigated a new concept in corporate social responsibility (CSR) research—publics’ perceived ethical obligation of companies to address CSR, comparing low- and high-fit CSR programs when companies contribute negatively to social issues through their products or processes. Through a mixed-design experiment, findings revealed that participants placed higher expectations for ethical obligation on corporations in high-fit CSR scenarios. Additionally, ethical expectations—when met—influenced participants’ attitudes about and supportive intentions towards the company.

Risky Business: Exploring Differences in Marketplace Advocacy and High-fit CSR on Public Perceptions of Companies • Barbara Miller, Elon University; Lucinda Austin • A between-subjects experiment explored differences in outcomes for high-fit corporate social responsibility (CSR) versus marketplace advocacy programs. Findings revealed that marketplace advocacy, as compared to high-fit CSR, led to increased skepticism and attributions of egoistic motives, and decreased attributions of values-driven motives, company attitudes, attitudes about the social initiative, and supportive intentions.

Testing Perceptions of Organizational Apologies after a Data Breach Crisis • Joshua Bentley, Texas Christian University; Liang Ma, Texas Christian University • This study used a 2x2x2x2x2 experimental design (1,630 participants) to test stakeholder reactions to four apology elements in two data breach scenarios. All four elements, expressing remorse, acknowledging responsibility, promising forbearance, and offering reparations contributed to participants’ perception that the organization had apologized. In a high blame scenario, remorse and forbearance were even more important. Acknowledging responsibility did not have a significant effect on organizational reputation, future purchase intention, or negative word of mouth intentions.

Giving from the heart: Exploring how ethics of care emerges in corporate social responsibility • Melanie Formentin, Towson University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • Public relations-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) research largely focuses on organizational goals; scholars rarely examine CSR impacts. In this paper, nonprofit-organization relationships are explored, illustrating how ethics of care is an appropriate normative perspective for encouraging CSR that privileges the beneficiary’s needs (Held, 2006). Depth interviews with 29 nonprofit representatives addressed scholarly gaps. Inductive analysis revealed that nonprofit practitioners describe good CSR as being concerned with themes related to trust, mutual concern, promoting human flourishing, and responsiveness to needs.

Whose responsibility? Connecting Organizational Transgressors with Government Regulating Institution • ZHUO CHEN, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study examines the underlying logic of situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), i.e., the concept that organizational transgressors are independent from the broader “institution” of their environment. Based on analysis of a case of false medical advertising (the Baidu-Wei Zexi case), our study contends that the responsibility attributed subject of a crisis should be extended from the corporate transgressor (Baidu and the hospital involved) to an institutional subject— the government regulating institution. Accordingly, we believe that the intensifying factors (consistency and distinctiveness) and consequential factors (affective and behavioral) should be modified. Using structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, the empirical findings support this argument; for example, attributing responsibility to the government regulating institution rather than to a corporate transgressor can provide a more powerful predictor of activist action. Similarly, negative emotion about corporate transgressors can damage affective attitudes towards the government regulating institution. All in all, this study expands the theoretical scope of attributed subjects in SCCT—linking corporate wrongdoers to their government regulating institution. Thus, our study calls for revisiting the underlying logic of SCCT and contends that a corporate actor is indeed intertwined with the broader institution.

President Donald Trump Meets HBCU Presidents: A Public Relations Post-Mortem • George Daniels, The University of Alabama; Keonte Coleman • When President Donald Trump welcomed more than 60 presidents of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to the Oval Office for a photo opportunity in February 2017, he made history in the size of the crowd in his office. A textual analysis of 44 news articles and 22 statements of the HBCU presidents shows national media played up controversies while local media gave the HBCU leaders an opportunity to advocate for more resources.

Linking SNS and Government-Citizen Relationships: Interactivity, Personification, and Institutional Proximity • Chuqing Dong; Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota • Recent years have seen an increasing adoption of social network sites (SNS) in governments at all levels, but limited research examined the effectiveness of the government using SNS that may differ by institutional proximities (e.g., federal, state, and local). To fill the gap, the study explored the interactive and interpersonal approaches of relationship management in the context of government SNS communication. Specifically, two experiments were employed to examine the effects of interactivity, organizational characters, and institutional proximity in predicting the public’s perceived government transparency, engagement intention with government SNS, and trust in government. The study found that agencies at the state and local levels would benefit to different degrees in the government-citizen relationship quality based on the two communication strategies. Moreover, the results encouraged authorities to embrace SNS as a relationship-building tool by replying more to individual citizens’ comments, use a personal tone in conversations, and post more of citizen-oriented contents instead of organization-centered information. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed in the context of the Organization-Public Relationships (OPR) in the public sector.

Using Real and Fictitious Companies to Examine Reputation and News Judgments in Press Release Usage • Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Melanie Formentin, Towson University • This study uses an experimental design to explore working journalists’ (N = 253) willingness to use or reference press releases that contain typos. The authors explore whether company reputation can overcome errors. The use of both real and fictitious companies yielded interesting findings for future public relations research. The reputations of existing companies, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, were rated more favorably than a fake company, and press release judgments most strongly predicted potential usage.

CSR, Hybrid, or Ability Frames: Examining How Story Frames Impact Stakeholders’ Perceptions • Michel Haigh, Texas State University; Frank Dardis, Penn State University; Holly Ott, University of South Carolina; Erica Bailey, Penn State University • This study examines the impact of corporate social responsibility messaging strategies and messages frames on stakeholders’ perceptions of organizations through a 3 (ability/CSR/hybrid) x 2 (thematic/episodic) online experiment. Results indicated that corporate social responsibility and hybrid strategies perform significantly better than the ability strategy when thematic framing is employed, but that the ability strategy performs well in the episodic-framing condition. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Is social media worth of investment? Seeking relationship between social-mediated stakeholder engagement and nonprofit public donation–a big data approach • Grace Ji; Don Stacks • The majority of investigations in nonprofit public relations have been continuously studying how and whether nonprofit organizations (NPOs) can maximize the full potentials of social media to engage stakeholders online. Yet few have questioned if social media-based stakeholder engagement can impact organizational outcomes that happen both on and offline, such as public donation. Taking the stakeholders’ perceptive, this study attempts to examine the effect of Facebook-based stakeholder engagement with NPOs on organizations’ fundraising success. Using Ordinary Least Square estimation method with lagged variables, the authors modeled nine-year longitudinal social media and financial penal data from the largest 100 NPOs in the United States. Results suggest that not all stakeholder engagements are significant predicators for charitable donation. Only liking and commenting engagement behaviors are positively associated with public donation, but sharing behavior does not improve fundraising success. More interestingly, over posting could associate with a decrease in public donation. The findings bring new empirical insights to existing literature and also practical implications to non-profit public relations professionals.

An Examination of Social Media from an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Perspective in Global & Regional Organizations • Hua Jiang; Marlene Neill, Baylor University • Communication executives perceive internal social media as a channel that should be integrated and consistent with other communication messages, and also understand the necessity of coordinating with other communication disciplines. Through in-depth interviews with 28 internal and social media communication executives working in the United States, we found evidence of both true collaboration and functional silos. We also examined social media policies and resources provided to empower employees as social media ambassadors. Implications and recommendations were discussed.

The Rashomon Effect of an Air Crash: Examining the Narrative Battle over the Smolensk Disaster • Liudmila Khalitova, University of Florida; Barbara Myslik, University of Florida; Agnieszka Turska-Kawa, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Sofiya Tarasevich, University of Florida; Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • The study explores the agenda-building efforts by Russian and Polish governments in shaping international news coverage of the airplane crash near Smolensk, Russia, which killed the Polish President. Compared to the two governments’ public relations messages, Polish and Russian news outlets played a more significant role as their countries’ advocates in determining the international media agenda. Moreover, the Russian media seemed more influential than the Polish outlets in shaping the international narrative about the crash.

Growth of Public Relations Research Networks: A Bibliometric Analysis • Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama; Yorgo Pasadeos, University of Alabama; Tugce Ertem Eray, University of Oregon • This research reports on a 6-year citation study of published scholarly research in public relations between 2010 and 2015 in comparison with Pasadeos, Berger, and Renfro (2010) and Pasadeos, Renfro and Hanily’s (1999) works, which examined the literature’s most-cited works in the 2000s and 1990s respectively and identified a research network. Like the two earlier studies, this study identifies current authors and their publication outlets, taxonomizes most-cited works, and draws a co-citation network. Comparing the current study’s findings with those of ten and twenty years earlier helps us understand how the field has evolved as a scholarly discipline and offers future directions for study.

Enhancing Employee Sensemaking and Sensegiving Communication Behaviors in Crisis Situations: Strategic Management Approach for Effective Internal Crisis Communication • Young Kim, Marquette University • Understanding employees and their communication behaviors is essential for effective crisis communication. Such an internal aspect of crisis communication, however, has been undervalued, and the need for research has been recently growing. To fill the research gap, the aim of this research is to explore effective internal crisis communication within the strategic management approach, considering employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving and their antecedents. A nationwide survey in the U.S. was conducted among full-time employees (N =544). This study found that two-way symmetrical communication and transparent communication were positively strong antecedents of employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving in crisis situations, controlling for other effects.

Bless or Curse: How Chinese Strategic Communication Practitioners Use Social Media in Crisis Communication • Sining Kong; Huan Chen, University of Florida • This paper aims to examine how Chinese strategic communication practitioners use social media in crisis communication. In-depth interview was used to collect data from twenty Chinese strategic communication practitioners, who have experience in dealing with crises and issues via social media. A model was advanced and depicted how to use social media to monitor and respond to crises, and how to use social media, especially the live broadcast, to mitigate publics’ negative emotions to rebuild positive relationship with publics.

Unpacking the Effects of Gender Discrimination in the Corporate Workplace on Consumers’ Affective Responses and Relational Perceptions • Arunima Krishna, Boston University; Soojin Kim, Singapore Management University • The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) how allegations of gender discrimination impact consumers’ relationship with the brand in question, and (b) individual-level factors that impact consumers’ negative affective response to the allegations and eventually, consumer-brand relationships. Findings from a survey conducted among U.S. Americans indicate that individuals’ relational perceptions with a corporate brand whose products/services they consume are negatively affected by allegations of misconduct, in this case, gender discrimination. Results revealed that individuals’ moral orientation and anti-corporate sentiment predicted their perceptions of moral inequity of corporate behavior, which in turn impacted their negative affective response to the allegations. Such negative affective response then impacted individuals’ consumer-corporate brand relationships. Theoretical and practical implications of this work are discussed (120 words).

Crisis Information Seeking and Sharing (CISS): Scale Development for Measuring Publics’ Communicative Behavior in Social-Mediated Public Health Crises • Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia; Yan Jin, University of Georgia • Although publics’ information seeking and sharing behaviors have gained increasing importance in crisis communication research, consistent conceptualization and reliable scales for measuring these two types of communicative behavior, especially in social-mediated crises, are lacking. With a focus on public health crisis situations, this study first refined the conceptual framework of publics’ communicative behavior in social-mediated health crises. Then two multiple-item scales for measuring publics’ crisis information seeking and sharing (CISS) in public health crises were developed and tested by employing online survey dataset from a random national sample of 559 adults in the United States. Results indicate that there are eight types of crisis information seeking behavior and 18 types of crisis information sharing behavior, online and offline, crossing over platforms, channels and information sources. The two CISS scales reveal underlying processes of publics’ communicative behavior and provide a valid and reliable psychometric tool for public relations researchers and crisis communication managers to measure publics’ information seeking and sharing activities in social-mediated public health crisis communication.

Enhancing Empowerment and Building Relationships via Social Media Engagement: A Study of Facebook Use in the U.S. Airline Industry • Zhiren Li, University of Florida; Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida • Born in the Web 2.0 era, social media platforms have altered the way people communicate and collaborate with others and with organizations. This study uses Facebook to examine the U.S. airline companies’social media engagement with their consumers. By conducting a web-based quantitative survey, our findings suggest that social media engagement in the U.S. airline industry has a positive influence on airline-customer relationships. Social media empowerment also mediates the effect of social media engagement on overall organization-public relationships. However, the results of our findings differ somewhat from previous studies, hence, we call for further research on social media engagement and organization-public relationships.

Is Experience in Fact the Best Teacher? Learning in Crisis Communication • Clila Magen, Bar Ilan University • The following study deals with the crisis communication learning process of organizations in the private sector. It indicates that if there is any crisis communication improvement it is primarily on the exterior layer. In the cases analyzed in the study, very few profound changes were apparent when the organizations faced recurring crises. Despite the promising potential which lies within the Chaos Theory for crisis communication, the research demonstrates that a crisis will not necessarily lead to self-organizing processes which push the organization to improvement and advancement.

How Should Organizations Communicate with Mobile Publics on Social Messengers: An Empirical Study of WeChat • Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida; sunny tsai, university of miami • Mobile-based social messengers are overtaking social networking sites as the new frontier for organizations to engage online stakeholders. This study provides one of the earliest empirical studies to understand how organizations should communicate with mobile publics to enhance public engagement and improve organization-public relationships. This study focuses on WeChat—one of the world’s most popular social messaging apps. Organizations’ information dissemination, interpersonal communication, and two-way symmetrical communication are found to effectively drive public engagement, which in turn enhances relation outcomes. Strategic guidelines based on the study findings are provided.

Crisis Management Expert: Elements and Principles for Measuring Expert Performance • Tham Nguyen, University of Oklahoma; Jocelyn Pedersen, University of Oklahoma • Crisis management or crisis communication has become an important research area and recommended course for college students studying public relations and communication. Yet, it takes time for students or average professionals to transfer knowledge into practice in order to be considered an expert in the field. In a study of twenty-five in-depth interviews with Belgian crisis communication practitioners, Claeys and Opgenhaffen (2016) found that practitioners relied mainly on experience, scientific research, gut feelings and intuition rather than theories to respond to a crisis. This study also noted that decision-making about crisis communication depends on the circumstances, particularly, when the crisis involves potential legal issues or when it threatens to damage an organization’s reputation and its many important relationships. Organizational decision makers sometimes call on experts to help them reduce the uncertainty and ambiguity of the situation they face. Yet, when is it appropriate to call an expert in a crisis situation? And how can decision makers gain the most from what a crisis management expert can offer? By reviewing literature in crisis management and expert performance, this conceptual paper discusses what experts and decision makers are, the relationship between crisis experts and decision makers, and it outlines elements and principles to consider in developing a measurement system for expert performance. In addition, the paper proposes a general model for crisis management expert performance. Concluding thoughts will provide suggestions about what to consider before calling a crisis management expert and what decision makers should expect from crisis experts.

A Qualitative Analysis of How People Assess the Credibility of Sources Used by Public Relations Practitioners • Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University; Marianne Eisenmann, inVentiv Health; Maggie Holman, Texas Christian University • This study examined how people assess the credibility of sources used commonly by public relations practitioners—earned news stories, traditional advertisements, native advertisements, independent blogs and corporate blogs. Researchers conducted five groups with 46 participants and implemented a survey with 1,500 participants recruited from a consumer panel. Participants view earned media stories as the most credible. Regardless of source utilized, people value strong writing, copious facts and balanced perspectives when processing public relations messaging.

Examining the role of Culture in Shaping Public Expectations of CSR Communication in the United States and China • Holly Ott, University of South Carolina; Anli Xiao, the Pennsylvania State University • This study examines the role of culture in shaping publics’ expectations for CSR communication through survey research in the United States (N = 316) and China (N = 315). Results highlight differences in each public’s expectations of what and how companies should communicate CSR. Among Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity are identified as the strongest predictors for CSR variables. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Where are the women? An examination of the status of research on women and leadership in public relations • Katie Place, Quinnipiac University; Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, Univ. of Houston • Despite evidence that there are no significant differences in leadership ability among women and men in public relations, women are still largely absent from leadership and senior management positions. Furthermore, very few studies about leadership in public relations have considered the affect gender has on leadership enactment and success. Therefore, this secondary analysis examined the state of women and gender scholarship about leadership in public relations as part of a larger study about the state of women in the communication discipline. Specifically, our research found that the majority of the research about leadership and gender highlights women’s lackluster leadership presence, factors contributing to women’s lack of presence, leadership styles and preferences, and leadership and management roles of women. This manuscript provides recommendations for improving women’s presence in leadership roles, particularly in providing a roadmap for future research opportunities. These include considerations for methodological approaches, leadership approaches and roles research, types of leadership, cultural change, and education.

Changing the Story: Implications of Narrative on Teacher Identity • Geah Pressgrove; Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis; Stephanie Madden, University of Memphis • This study takes a qualitative approach to understanding the connections between narrative, professional identity and reputation management in public education. Central to the findings are the factors that have led to a reputation crisis for the profession of teaching and thus contribute to the national teacher shortage. Ultimately, this study points to the notion that increasing retention and recruitment can be effected when narratives are understood and the principles of reputation management are applied.

Spokesperson is a four-letter word: Public relations, regulation, and power in Occupy New York • Camille Reyes, Trinity University • “This case study analyzes interviews with members of the press relations working group of Occupy Wall Street in New York. Using critical cultural theory as well as history, the group’s media relations tactics are discussed with an emphasis on the role of spokesperson, revealing contested meanings about public relations work in the context of a social movement. The moments of regulation and production in the circuit of culture explain the constraints experienced by many of these activist practitioners as they navigate the horizontal structure/ideal of their movement with hierarchical norms of more institutional public relations practices—creating a paradox of sorts. How does one defy the status quo when seeking to engage with a mainstream media system that—to their eyes—is co-opted by the wealthy elite, while using tactics that are seen as equally problematic? Historical analysis lends a comparative frame through which to view a critical cultural interpretation of public relations in an understudied context.

Distal Antecedents of Organization-Public Relationships: The Influence of Motives and Perceived Issue and Value Congruence • Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication; Nicole Lee • Using an online survey of 514 US adults, this study identified which relational antecedents motivated individuals to enter organization-public relationships (OPRs) across a variety of organization types. Additionally, we examined the relative influence of motives, perceived issue congruence, and perceive value congruence on OPR perceptions. Findings suggest social/cultural expectations and risk reduction are the primary motives influencing perceptions of OPRs; however, perceived issue and value congruence with the organization are more influential antecedents than motives.

Does an Organization’s CSR Association affect the Perception of Communication Efforts? • Kang Hoon Sung, Cal Poly Pomona • Organizations often utilize interpersonal communications tactics on social media such as responding to customer comments or adopting a human conversational voice for better evaluations. Past studies have shown that these interpersonal communication tactics could indeed lead to positive outcomes and give the organization a more human and sincere face. The study examined whether the organization’s perceived CSR associations could have an influence in this process. Grounded in prior research on suspicion and organization’s personality dimensions, the current study investigated the influence of organization’s prior CSR associations on the organization’s interpersonal communication efforts that are associated with increasing the sincerity personality dimension (e.g., increased interaction, enhanced conversational tone). The results of the online experiment revealed that CSR activities significantly increased the organization’s perceived sincerity personality dimension and decreased suspicions about motives of the organization’s communication efforts. The mediation analysis suggests that less suspicion leads to more perceived sincerity toward organization, eventually leading to increased relationship quality.

The ‘New York World,’ Byron C. Utecht, and Pancho Villa’s Public Relations Campaign • Michael Sweeney, Ohio University; Young Joon Lim, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley • This paper attempts to assess Francisco “Pancho” Villa not as a general or quasi-politician, but rather as a practitioner of public relations. It investigates, by close observation of his actions and words, his strategy and tactics to build support among three specifically targeted audiences: the people of Mexico, American war correspondents, and the people of the United States. This paper examines secondary literature about public relations and about Pancho Villa’s life for evidence of his practicing public relations as we understand it today. Supplementing this literature review are primary documents from the archives of Byron C. Utecht at the University of Texas at Arlington. Utecht’s collection consists of his original photographs of his travels in Mexico on behalf of the New York World; telegrams to and from the World; typewritten notes and stories; clippings of his articles in the World and the clients of its wire service; and published interviews with Utecht about his trips into Mexico both as a lone journalist and as an accredited correspondent. It seeks to answer the key question: How did Villa practice public relations?

Ten years after The Professional Bond: Has the academy answered the call in pedagogical research? • Amanda Weed, Ashland University • CPRE is scheduled to release its next report of the status of public relations education in September of 2017. In anticipation of the report, this research seeks to determine if the academy has answered the call of The Professional Bond through an examination of pedagogical research published from 2007 to 2016 in four academic journals including the Journal of Advertising Education, the Journalism & Mass Communication Education, the Journal of Public Relations Education, and Public Relations Review. By conducting a meta-analysis of published research through a content analysis of article types, themes, and topics, this research determined that pedagogical research in public relations is lacking, especially among the topics specifically addressed in The Professional Bond.

The Role of Dissatisfaction in the Relationship Between Consumer Empowerment and Their Complaining Behavioral Intentions • Hao Xu, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; Jennifer Ball, Temple University • This experimental study examined the mechanism of how consumer complaining behavioral intentions are driven by social media empowerment, and the role of dissatisfaction in this mechanism. The results revealed that dissatisfaction has both mediating and moderating effects in the relationship between consumer empowerment and some of the specific complaining behavioral intentions. Both theoretical and practical implications in terms of the dynamics of consumer dissatisfaction and power-induced complaining intentions were discussed.

Partisan News Media and China’s Country Image: An Online Experiment based on Heuristic-Systematic Model • Chen Yang, University of Houston – Victoria; Gi Woong Yun, University of Nevada, Reno • Based on Heuristic-Systematic Model, this research used a 2×2 pretest-posttest experimental design to measure China’s image after participants’ exposure to the news stimuli about China from a partisan media website. Two manipulated factors were media partisanship (congruent or incongruent partisan media) and news slant (positive or negative coverage of China). The results did not demonstrate any priming effect of news coverage. However, media partisanship had a significant influence on country beliefs. Significant interaction effects on country beliefs and desired interaction were also found.

NGOs’ humanitarian advocacy in the 2015 refugee crisis: A study of agenda building in the digital age • Aimei Yang, University of Southern California; Adam Saffer • In the 2015 European refugee crisis, humanitarian NGOs offered help and actively advocated for millions of refugees. The current study aims to understand what communication strategies are most effective for humanitarian NGOs to influence media coverage and publics’ social media conversations about the crisis. Our findings reveal that agenda building on traditional media and in social media conversations require different strategies. Specifically, although providing information subsidies could powerfully influence traditional media coverage, its effect waned in the context of social media conversations. In contrast, NGOs’ hyperlink network positions emerged as the one of the most influential predictor for NGOs’ prominence in social media conversations. Moreover, stakeholder engagement could influence agenda-building both in traditional media coverage and social media conversations. Finally, organizational resources and characteristics are important factors as well. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Using Facebook efficiently: Assessing the impact of organizational Facebook activities on organizational reputation • Lan Ye, State University of New York at Cortland; Yunjae Cheong, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies • This study analyzed 22 companies’ efficiency of using Facebook in reputation management by using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Results reveal that overall, the efficient companies (n =8) posted less frequently than did the inefficient companies (n = 14); companies receiving more engagements were more efficient than those receiving fewer engagements; and companies adopting one main Facebook Page were more efficient than those adopting multiple Facebook Pages. Size and length of history of an organization were not found to affect efficiency outcomes significantly.

The Effects of Behavioral Recommendations in Crisis Response and Crisis Threat on Stakeholders’ Behavioral Intention Outcomes • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University; Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University • This experiment investigates the intersection between crisis threat, self-efficacy, affect and organizational messaging strategies on stakeholder behavioral outcomes in crises. Behavioral recommendations in crisis messages affected stakeholders’ behavioral outcomes through self-efficacy. Negative emotions also mediated behavioral recommendation and threat’s influence on stakeholders’ behavioral outcomes. Results imply that the extended parallel process model has significant implications for crisis management, however increases in stakeholder self-protective behaviors come at the expense of organizational reputation.

Issues Management as a Proactive Approach to Crisis Communication: Publics’ Cognitive Dissonance in Times of Issue-Related Crisis • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University • Through an experiment, this study examines effects of issues management (issues attribution framing) on publics’ response to issue-related crisis. In Coca-Cola and obesity crisis’s case, public-organization identification and issues involvement were identified as predictors of blame, corporate evaluation, and purchase intentions. Results indicated that high identification and high issue involvement publics may experience cognitive dissonance and are more likely to support the organization under the external attribution frame (framing the obesity issue as personal responsibility).

The First Generation: Lessons from the public relations industry’s first university-trained social media practitioners • Luke Capizzo, University of Maryland • Public relations educators are grappling with the best methods to prepare undergraduates for the constantly shifting world of social media practice. The recent graduates (2011-2016) interviewed for this study constitute the first generation of practitioners with robust, formal social media training. Their experiences in school and in the workforce reinforce some current best practices—such as the value of internship experiences, the resonance of case studies, and the importance of excellent writing skills—but also point toward the need for increased emphasis on strategic social media, brand writing, visual communication, and the continued importance of a deeply integrated curriculum. Using social cognitive theory as a guiding framework, this study examines the salience of observational learning, behavior modeling, and self efficacy for building pedagogical theory for the social media classroom.

Unearthing the Facets of Crisis History in Crisis Communication: Testing A Conceptual Framework • LaShonda Eaddy, The University of Georgia • Coombs’s (2004) Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) identifies performance history, which includes crisis history and relationship history, as an intensifier of attribution of responsibility during crises. The proposed model examines crisis history and its possible roles among various stakeholder groups as well as possible impact on organizational control, crisis emotion and crisis responsibility. The study also offers a crisis history salience scale that was developed based on a thorough literature review as well as in-depth interviews with public relations practitioners, public relations scholars, journalists, and the general public. The crisis history salience scale can assist crisis communicators consider the multiple facets of crisis history during their crisis communication planning and implementation.

Dominant coalition perceptions in health-oriented, non-profit public relations • Torie Fowler, University of Southern Mississippi • Unlike many departments within an organization, public relations is often faced with the task of proving their importance to the dominant coalition. In health-oriented, non-profit organizations, leaders may find it hard to prove their value when patients, research, or life-saving technology takes precedent. This study examined the perceptions of public relations leaders in this specific field regarding their inclusion in the dominant coalition, how they are able to influence decision-making in their organization, and what barriers could keep leaders from obtaining membership into the coalition. This qualitative study included nine in-depth interviews, where four of the nine participants, perceived they were included in the dominant coalition of their organization. Several themes were identified when participants were asked how they were able to influence decision-making, such as: being included early, having credibility, practicing proactive public relations, and devising a strategic plan. Although less than half of the participants believed they were included in the dominant coalition, all of them thought they could influence the decisions made by the dominant coalition in some capacity. There were two consistent barriers to inclusion: a misunderstanding of public relations and an uneducated or inexperienced practitioner. This study contributes to the body of knowledge about public relations by bringing additional insight into how health-oriented, non-profit public relations leaders perceive that they are able to influence decision-making of the dominant coalition. The study also shows how current literature about public relations inclusion in the dominant coalition does not align with actuality for this group of leaders.

Constructing Trust and Confidence amid Crisis in the Digital Era • Jiankun Guo • Using a hypothetical food-poisoning crisis on campus, this qualitative research explored college students’ construction of trust and confidence online/offline via in-depth interviews. It applied the Trust, Confidence, and Cooperation (TCC) Model as a conceptual lens, but added new insights pertaining to the altering media landscape. Results showed that students constructed trust/confidence online according to a variety of factors (message features, sources, sites, and targets), but virtually all of them valued offline “facetime” due to its ability to convey emotional cues. Multimedia, therefore, offered an advantage in offering emotional reassurances via online channels. Participants also viewed trust-/confidence-building from the authority as a fluid process accumulated slowly overtime, regardless of channels. This study contributes to crisis communication scholarship in the digital era, particularly with an aim to facilitate community resilience.

Understanding the Donor Experience: Applying Stewardship Theory to Higher Education Donors • Virginia Harrison, The Pennsylvania State University • This study examines how stewardship strategies and involvement impact organization-public relationship outcomes for higher education donors at three different levels of giving. Findings suggest that stewardship strategies positively predict OPR outcomes, and that donors at different giving levels experience stewardship strategies and OPR outcomes differently. Also, findings reveal that stewardship may include only three strategies. Involvement only slightly moderates the relationship between stewardship and OPR outcomes. Implications for fundraising practice and theory are made.

Stakeholder relationship building in response to corporate ethical crisis : A semantic network analysis of sustainability reports • Keonyoung Park; Hyejin Kim, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • This study explored how a corporation’s ethical crisis affects the way of sustainability reporting as a crisis communication tool. Especially, this study sheds light on the relationship building with stakeholders after the ethical crisis. To do so, we examined the Korean Air’s sustainability annual reports (SAR) before and after the ‘Nut Rage’ incident using a series of semantic networking analyses. Asiana Airline’s SARs before and after the crash at the San Francisco International Airport were also analyzed to find distinctive characteristics of the ethical crisis. The result suggested that the Korean Air’s SAR seemed to show the importance of relationship with stakeholders after the ethical crisis, while there was no meaningful change after the non-ethical crisis of Asiana Airlines. The results were discussed in relation to the situational crisis communication theory.

What Did You Expect? How Brand Personality Types and Transgression Types Shape Consumers’ Response in a Brand Crisis • Soyoung Lee, The University of Texas at Austin; Ji Mi Hong; Hyunsang Son • The current research examined how different types of brand personality play a role to develop a specific consumers’ expectation toward a brand, and how this expectation works in various ways in different types of brand transgressions. Based on expectancy violation theory and brand transgression research, a 2 (brand personality types: sincerity vs. competence) × 2 (brand transgression types: morality-related vs. competence-related transgression) factorial design was employed. Corporate evaluations and purchase intention toward the brand were considered as dependent variables. The results revealed that a brand having a sincerity personality is more vulnerable to a morality-related transgression. However, there is no difference in consumers’ responses by transgression type for a brand with a competence personality. Findings showed that brand personality types and transgression types can be critical factors to influence consumers’ responses in times of crisis. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

What Makes Employees Stay Silent? The Role of Perceptions of Problem and Organization-Employee Relationship • Yeunjae Lee • This study aims to examine the impacts of individuals’ perceptions of problems and organization-employee relationship on employees’ silence intention during periods of an organizational issue. Using the situational theory of problem-solving (STOPS) and relational theory, this study intends to explore conceptual convergences by building linkages among issue-specific perceptions, relationship, and employee silence. An online survey was conducted for 412 full-time employees working in companies with more than 300 employees in the U.S. Results suggest that individuals’ perceived relationship is negatively related to their problem, constraint recognition, and silence intention, while it is positively related to involvement recognition. Perceptions of constraint recognition and less involvement to an organizational issue are associated with employee silence. Different impacts of individuals’ issue-specific perceptions and relationship were also examined for different types of silence—acquiescent, prosocial, and defensive silence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

“Breaking the Silence”: Segmenting Asian Americans in the United States to Address Mental Health Problems in the Community • Jo-Yun Queenie Li • This article describes an exploratory study designed to investigate the applicability of cultural identity in public segmentation within a racial/ethnic population in order to address mental health issues in Asian community in the United States. Using a pilot survey of 58 Asian Americans, this research employs the acculturation theory and the situational theory of publics to explore individuals’ communication behavior related to mental health issues. By doing so, this study contributes to the (re)conceptualization and operationalization of cultural identity in intercultural public relations discipline and provides practical implications to organizations that target specific racial/ethnic groups. The findings show that Asian Americans who are more highly acculturated in the United States could be considered as the active publics. They may be helpful in spreading out information, reaching out potential publics, encouraging themselves and other members in the community who have suffered from mental health issues to utilize mental health services.

Pouring Water on Conservative Fire: Discourse of Renewal in Facebook’s Response to Allegations of Bias • Tyler G Page, University of Maryland • Using Facebook’s 2016 trending topics crisis, this study applies the message convergence framework and discourse of renewal to analyze an organizational crisis response. The study reports a qualitative analysis of Facebook’s crisis response statements and a quantitative content analysis of 140 blog, magazine, and newspaper articles covering the crisis. Tone of news coverage improved when discourse of renewal strategy was covered and when media coverage included at least one quote from the organization.

Understanding Public Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives: The Situational Theory of Publics and the Theory of Reasoned Action Approaches • Soojin Roh, Syracuse University • In an attempt to extend the situational theory of publics, this study tested a public engagement model to explain how situational factors, subjective norm, and attitudes toward a sustainability initiative influence public’s communication action as well as different types of behavioral engagement intention. An online survey (N=502) was administered to test predictors of participation intent for recycling clothes campaigns and continuous public engagement with the sustainability cause. Structural equation modeling results indicate that problem recognition and constraint recognition are key predictors of information gaining (information seeking, sharing, and processing) and campaign participation intent. Subjective norms and positive attitude toward the campaign lead to the greater likelihood of participating in the campaign. The analysis also yielded a significant association between information gaining and public’s behavioral engagement including civic engagement, suggesting the mediating role of information gaining. Furthermore, the analysis showed a significant direct effect of involvement on civic engagement. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Understanding Public Engagement on Digital Media: Exploring Its Effects on Employee-Organization Relationships • Yuan Wang, The University of Alabama • This study examined the effects of employees’ organizational identification and engagement with mobile phones and social media on their relationships with the organization and positive word-of-mouth (WOM) communication through a web-based survey of employees via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Findings suggested that employees’ organizational identification significantly influenced their digital media engagement. This study also identified employees’ organizational identification and digital media engagement as new predictors of employee-organization relationships, which, furthermore, led to positive WOM communication.

Defining and Communicating Diversity: A Content Analysis of the Websites of the Top PR Agencies • Anli Xiao, the Pennsylvania State University; Jinyoung Kim; Wunpini Mohammed; Hilton Erica; Colleen Pease • “This paper examines how top PR agencies define diversity, how they express diversity identities and communicate diversity values to prospective employees and clients. Through a content analysis of top PR agencies’ websites, this study finds PR agencies’ defined diversity narrowly and they showed limited efforts in communicating diversity values to future employees and clients. Agency ranking significantly correlated with some diversity efforts communicated. Implications are discussed.

Experiential Learning and Crisis Simulations: Leadership, Decision Making, and Communication Competencies • Hilary Fussell Sisco, Quinnipiac University; John Brummette; Laura Willis, Quinnipiac University; Michael Palenchar, University of Tennesseee • Students benefit from simulation exercises that require them to apply public relations research and theories. Using an experimental learning approach (N=16), this present paper assesses the effectiveness of a crisis simulation exercise using a pre-test/post-test evaluation. Findings suggest that crisis simulation exercises can prepare future practitioners by providing them practices in discipline-centric experiences that also bolster their personal professional development in the areas of leadership, decision making and communication competency.

One Liners and Catchy Hashtags: Building a Graduate Student Community Through Twitter Chats • Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis; Robert Byrd, University of Memphis; Stephanie Madden, University of Memphis • This study takes a mixed-methods approach to understanding how graduate student education and engagement are intertwined, and the ability of an ongoing Twitter chat to increase both. Analysis includes the chats themselves, a mixed-methods survey to chat participants, and memoing completed by the researchers (also faculty chat participants and the chat moderator). Key findings include the importance of building both online and offline connections, the ability of Twitter chats to increase fun and reduce stress, and to gain both tacit and explicit knowledge. Finally, the project offers practical suggestions for those looking to start their own chat series.

Millennial Learners and Faculty Credibility: Exploring the Mediating Role of Out-Of-Class Communication • Carolyn Kim • Every generation experiences distinct events and develops unique values. The Millennial generation is no exception. As Millennial Learners enter classrooms, they bring with them new views about education, learning and faculty/student communication. All of this blends together to influence their perspectives of faculty credibility. This study explores the mediating role of out-of-class communication (OCC) in relation to the historical dimensions known to compose faculty credibility.

Examination of Continuous Response Assessment of Communication Course Presentation Competency • Geoffrey Graybeal, Texas Tech University; Jobi Martinez, Texas Tech University • This study examined the use of continuous response (dial test) technology as a means of providing feedback to improve formal presentations required to meet learning objectives in college communication courses and a variety of assessment strategies utilized in the assignment. Findings suggest that use of video assessment and a student self-assessment have the greatest impact on final presentation performance and that the first dial test pitch should not be graded.

Competition and Public Relations Campaigns: Assessing the Impact of Competition on Projects, Partners, and Students • Chris McCollough, Columbus State University • Scholars in public relations pedagogy have provided a strong body of research on the impact of service learning, community partnerships (Daugherty, 2003), and applied learning in general on campaigns, writing, and production courses common to the public relations curriculum (Wandel, 2005). Rarely explored, however, is the impact of competition among student groups within a public relations course on the quality of campaigns, student experience, client satisfaction, and achievement of learning outcomes (Rentner, 2012). The paper will present a comparative analysis of campaign courses that employed competitive and non-competitive campaign course models to demonstrate the impact of incorporating competition within public relations courses.

Integrating Web and Social Analytics into Public Relations Research Course Design: A Longitudinal Pedagogical Research on Google Analytics Certification • Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Yan Jin; Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia; Solyee Kim, University of Georgia • This longitudinal pedagogical research contributes with integrating web and social analytics-based activities into the Public Relations Research course design. Results from the pre- and post-tests confirmed that students’ knowledge on web and social analytics is low but desire to learn is high. Consistent patterns on learning outcomes suggest more experience-based learning activities are needed to leverage the practical implications of web and social analytics in public relations research and practice. More pedagogical recommendations are discussed.

Media Relations Instruction and Theory Development: Relational Dialectical Approach • Justin Pettigrew, Kennesaw State University • There has been almost no research in the area of media relations or media relations instruction in the public relations literature. This study seeks to fill a gap in theory-building in the area of media relations and examines the state of media relations instruction in today’s public relations curriculum through a survey of public relations professors. The author suggests relational dialectical theory as a way to better understand the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists, and proposes a relational dialectical approach to theory building and in teaching media relations in today’s changing landscape.

Developing a Blueprint for Social Media Pedagogy: Trials, Tribulations, and Best Practices • ai zhang, Stockton University; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville • Social media research, and particularly social media pedagogy, has increased substantially as a domain in public relations research. Yet, along with this increased focus on social media pedagogy, educators and other higher education professionals are under pressure from industry, professional communities, and university administrations to keeping their classes updated and relevant for their students. To better understand the current state and rising expectations facing educators teaching social media, this study interviewed 31 social media professors to explore the trials and tribulations of their journey and to identify best practices of social media as a pedagogical tool. The study also suggested a blueprint for implementing social media pedagogy in the classroom. Future implications for both research and practice are also discussed.

An Exploratory Study of Transformed Media Relations Dimensions After the Implementation of an Anti-graft Law • Soo-Yeon Kim, Sogang University; JOOHYUN HEO • The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, which went into effect on September 28, 2016, strictly prohibits gift-giving to journalists, thereby making a traditional media relations practice in Korea illegal. A survey of 342 public relations practitioners revealed that providing monetary gifts, performing formal responsibility, building informal relationships, getting paid media coverage, and taking informal support were found to be significant subdimensions of media relations. After implementation of the anti-graft law, public relations practitioners expressed a belief that the practice of providing monetary gifts will shrink the most and performing formal responsibility would experience the most growth. The formal responsibility factor was significantly positively related to support for the new law and public relations ethics, while taking informal support was negatively linked to public relations ethics. Getting paid media coverage showed the most significant positive relationship with difficulties of effective media relations.

Raymond Simon: PR Educational Pioneer • Patricia Swann, Utica College • Raymond Simon, professor emeritus of public relations at Utica College, whose teaching career spanned nearly four decades, was among PRWeek’s 100 most influential 20th century people in public relations. Simon’s contributions to education include developing one of the first full-fledged public relations undergraduate curriculums; authoring the first public relations-specific classroom textbooks for writing and case studies, in addition to a textbook for the principles course; and developing student potential through national student organizations and mentoring.


Newspaper and Online 2017 Abstracts

News Dynamics, Frame Expansion and Salience: Boko Haram and the War against Terrorism • Ngozi Akinro, Texas Wesleyan University • This study considers frame salience and frame change in relation to terrorism coverage. Through content analysis of 807 news articles by Nigeria Vanguard and Punch and two US newspapers; New York Times and Washington Post on the coverage of the Boko Haram crisis over 16-month period, this study examines change patterns in the coverage of the Boko Haram crisis. The Boko Haram group is an Islamic fundamentalist group operating out of north-eastern Nigeria since 2002. The group claims international ties with other terrorist networks such as al-Qaeda and ISIS (Alkhshali & Almasy, 2015). The group is responsible for nearly half of all civilian deaths in African war zones in 2014. This study considers episodic and thematic framing through a two dimensional frame changing pattern and found frame movement from issue specific framing to thematic suggesting humanitarian and emotional appeal, to global perspective focused on the war on terrorism.

Mediated Policy Effects of Foreign Governments on Iraqi Independent Media During Elections • Mohammed Al-Azdee, University of Bridgeport (UB) • I use the term, mediated policy, to refer to messages sent to Iraq by foreign governments through their international news media during the 2010 Iraqi elections. I hypothesize that US Mediated Policy, Iranian Mediated Policy, and Saudi Mediated Policy are latent constructs interacting in a structural model, affecting a fourth latent variable, Iraqi Independent Media. The analysis shows in 2010 English was barrier to Iraqi independent media, and significant mediated policies influenced Iraqi independent media.

The Effects of Disclosure Format on Native Advertising Recognition and Audience Perceptions of Legacy and Online News Publishers • Michelle Amazeen, Boston University; Bartosz Wojdynski • This experimental study examines elements of native advertising disclosures that influence consumers’ ability to recognize content as paid advertising and contrasts subsequent evaluations of legacy and digital-first publishers with those exposed to online display advertising. Although fewer than 1 in 10 participants were able to recognize native advertising, our study shows that effectively designed disclosure labels facilitate recognition. However, participants who did recognize native advertising had lessened opinions of the publisher and the institution of advertising, overall.

“Alphabet soup”: Examining acronyms in newspaper headlines • Alyssa Appelman, Northern Kentucky University • American journalism is facing an uphill battle for respect and trust. Through a content analysis and survey, this project suggests acronyms as a potential explanation. Acronyms in a local newspaper were largely unknown to a sample of target readers, and one-third of participants specifically expressed negative emotions, including frustration and annoyance, when news outlets publish unknown acronyms. These findings suggest that focusing on reader comprehension over brevity can help journalists repair their public image.

Who Gets Vocal about Hyperlocal: The Role of Neighborhood Involvement and Status in the Sharing of Hyperlocal Website News • Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas; Liefu Jiang, University of Kansas; Laveda Peterlin, University of Kansas; Nathan Rodriguez, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point • To examine who shares hyperlocal news in person, over email, and through social media, a reader survey of seven hyperlocal news websites was conducted (n = 1,880). More readers share hyperlocal news in person than through email or social media. Higher neighborhood involvement and education tend to characterize readers who share hyperlocal news. Education moderates the relationship between neighborhood involvement and social media sharing. The study extends precepts of channel complementarity and communication infrastructure theories.

An Investigative Journalist and a Stand-Up Comic Walk Into a Bar: The Role of Comedy in Public Engagement with Environmental Journalism • Caty Borum Chattoo, American University School of Communication; Lindsay Green-Barber, The Impact Architects • An investigative journalism project focused on environmental contamination in New Jersey, Dirty Little Secrets, worked with stand-up comics to translate investigative content into stand-up comedy routines performed in front of a live audience. Through a quantitative survey administered after two live comedy shows, this study finds that the public learned factual information, perceived comedians as credible, and expressed willingness to get involved in the core issue. Implications for public engagement with investigative journalism are discussed.

Service at the intersection of journalism, language, and the global imaginary: Indonesia’s English language press • John Carpenter, University of Iowa; Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa • Drawing on interviews with journalists who work in Indonesia’s locally owned and operated English-language press (ELP), we argue English’s status as the language of global and regional imaginaries informs how ELP journalists negotiate their understandings of public service. This study contributes to research on the contextual negotiation of professional ideologies of journalism by considering how publication language—here, English in a country where it is a foreign language—shapes the ways journalists conceive service to their various publics.

Framing Drunken Driving as a Social Problem • Kuang-Kuo Chang, Shih Hsin University • This study content analyzed how drunken driving was framed in Taiwan’s local press in terms of the social determinants. Findings suggest that the coverage was highly negative and episodic substantiated largely by the predominant uses of convenient social actors. In contrast, public health advocates, academics and interest groups that can guide the reporting toward more thematic were barely used to present the causal factors and public policy as health determinants. Implications from the finding are elaborated.

Gaming the News: Examining the Effects of Online Political Quizzes on Interest in News and Politics • Gina Chen; Yee Man Margaret Ng, The University of Texas at Austin; Victoria Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Martin J. Riedl, The University of Texas at Austin • This study sought to understand whether people’s exposure to online quizzes about politics could pique people’s interest in news and politics. An online experiment (N = 585) showed that exposure to quiz questions about politics directly increased people’s perception of their own political knowledge. In addition, exposure to political quizzes indirectly lead to increased interest in politics and intention to get politically involved as well as boosted interest in political news.

Connectivity with a Newspaper and Knowledge of Its Investigatory Work Influence Civic Engagement • Esther Thorson, Michigan State University; Weiyue Chen, Michigan State University; Stephen Lacy, Michigan State University • A survey of residents in the Florida Times-Union (T-U) market showed that both digital and print exposure to the newspaper’s content predicted positive attitudes about civic engagement, as mediated through news interest and perceptions of personal connectivity with the T-U. These attitudes predicted civic engagement behaviors such as volunteering and talking to others about community issues. T-U readers showed higher knowledge of major investigative projects the newspaper had done than those exposed to television news.

Tripling the Price and Wondering Why Readership Declined? A Longitudinal Study of U.S. Newspapers’ Price Hikes, 2008-2016 • Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin; Ori Tenenboim, The University of Texas at Austin • Since the recession U.S. newspapers have increased the price of their print product substantially. While price is a major determinant of consumer demand, circulation trends are often reported out of context, leading to misinterpretations of reader preference. This longitudinal study examines 25 major newspapers’ print price and reveals that subscription rates nearly tripled since 2008, indicating readership declines are partly self-inflicted. Analysis of readership data suggests stronger-than-expected attachment to print. Managerial implications are discussed.

PolitiFact Coverage of Candidates for U.S. Senate and Governor 2010-2016 • Joan Conners, Randolph-Macon College • This study explores PolitiFact fact-checking coverage for potential patterns of ideological bias, the types of claims being examined, as well as where such claims originate in claims about political candidates for the U.S. Senate or Governor in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Republican candidate claims were judged to be less accurate than claims by Democratic candidates. Candidate claims that attacked one’s opponent were found to dominate PolitiFact coverage, and were frequently found to be inaccurate.

A movement of varying faces: How “Occupy Central” was framed in the news in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, the U.K., and the U.S. • Y. Roselyn Du, Hong Kong Baptist U; Fan Yang, UW – Madison; Lingzi Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist U • News stories concerning the “Hong Kong Occupy Central” crisis were analyzed to define how the events were framed in the U.K., the U.S., mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Framing was analyzed in terms of selection and description biases, including news perspective, favorability toward the protesters or the government, sourcing pattern, and attribution of responsibility. The results show significant differences among the five markets, not only between contrasting media systems, but also between comparable ones.

Fighting Facebook: Journalism’s discursive boundary work with the “trending,” “napalm girl,” and “fake news” stories of 2016 • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri; Kimberly Kelling • “Facebook is challenging professional journalism. These challenges were evident in three incidents from 2016: the allegation that Facebook privileged progressive-leaning news on its Trending feature; Facebook’s removal of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Napalm Girl” photo from the pages of prominent users; and the proliferation of fake news during the U.S. presidential election. Blending theoretical concepts from the field of boundary work and platform ethics, this paper examines how the Guardian, New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review and Poynter editorialized Facebook’s role in these three incidents to discursively construct the boundary between the value of professional journalism to democracy and Facebook’s ascendant role in facilitating essential democratic functions. Findings reveal that with all three stories, these publications attempted to define Facebook as a news organization (i.e. include it within the boundaries of journalism) so that they could then criticize the company for not following duties traditionally incumbent upon news organizations (i.e. place it outside the boundaries of journalism).

Misconception of Barack Obama’s religion: A content analysis of print news coverage of the president • Joseph Kasko, SUNY Buffalo State • This study examines the interaction between public opinion and media treatment of Barack Obama’s religious beliefs, which he is Christian. Yet, only 34 percent of Americans said that they believed Obama was a Christian in an August 2010 Pew Research poll. That was a 14 percent decline from a Pew poll the previous year. This study uses second-level agenda setting to explore if the media contributed to the misconception about his religion.

Fake News, Real Cues: Cues and Heuristics in Users’ Online News Credibility Judgments • Kate Keib, Oglethorpe University; Bartosz Wojdynski • Two experimental studies sought to identify cues and heuristics used by consumers to assess online news content from an unknown source, and what influence these factors have on credibility assessments. Results show that on-page design cues including writing style, pictures and advertisements influence credibility assessments, and these cues do garner attention and influence such assessments. Practitioners can use on-page cues to build credibility among customers. The cues and heuristics identified warrant future research by scholars.

Differences in the Network Agendas of #Immigration in the 2016 Election • Jisu Kim, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities; Mo Jang, University of South Carolina, Columbia • “As an application study of the network agenda-setting model, this study examines how the media and public network agendas can differ, based on which political candidate was mentioned along with with the immigration issue in news coverage and in public tweets. Through network analyses, this study shows that there were differences in the salient attributes of the immigration issue, and that the dominant narrative structure of the issue depended on which political candidate was mentioned.

The Imagined Audience for and Perceived Quality of News Comments • Jisu Kim, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities; Seth Lewis, University of Oregon; Brendan Watson, Michigan State University • “A survey of news commenters’ perceptions of the quality and potential audiences for comments on news websites and Facebook found similar perceptions of quality and civility across platforms. But Facebook commenters were more likely to imagine friends among their audience, compared to politicians and journalists on news websites. Based on the imagined audience for comments, Facebook is not an equivalent substitute for commenting on news websites. Implications for journalism and future research are discussed.

Does Working Memory Capacity Moderate the Effects of Regulatory Focus on News Headline Appraisal and Processing Speed? • Yu-Hao Lee, University of Florida • News consumers regularly scan news headlines before devoting more efforts to reading the content. During this stage, news consumers may use their intuitive responses to the headlines to determine if the news sounds interesting and is worth reading. This study examines how individuals’ regulatory focus orientations affect their appraisal of news headlines and the moderating role of working memory capacity on appraisal score and speed. One hundred and two undergraduate participants performed a news appraisal task in which they gave a score to headlines that used either a gain-frame or a loss-frame. The results showed that promotion-focused individuals gave higher scores to gain-framed headlines, and individuals with lower working memory capacity relied on their regulatory focus more during headline appraisal. However, there was no significant effect on loss-framed headlines. The study has theoretical contributions to understanding the psychological mechanism behind headline scanning and cognitive processing. It also has some practical implications for news editors on how to tailor headlines to individuals’ regulatory focus.

Contest over Authority: Navigating Native Advertising’s Impacts on Journalism Autonomy • You Li • This study analyzes the discourses of 10 U.S. news organizations’ integration of native advertising across five years. The findings map three stages of integration ranging from sharing editorial space, editorial resource to editorial staff, exemplifying the renegotiation of the business-journalism boundary at the structural, procedural and cultural levels. The pro-native advertising discourse legitimizes the integration as extending journalistic quality to advertising, while in fact impedes journalistic autonomy both internally and externally.

All Forest, No Trees? Data Journalism and the Construction of Abstract Categories • Wilson Lowrey; Jue Hou, Universtiy of Alabama • This study takes a sociology of quantification approach in exploring the impact of “commensurative” processes in data journalism, in which distinct incidents and events are aggregated into oversimplified abstract categories. This literature predicts heavy reliance on government data, use of national over local data, and a tendency to take data categories at face value, without scrutiny. Findings from a content analysis of data journalism projects at legacy and non-legacy outlets over time, reveals some support for predictions.

Picturing the solution? An analysis of visuals in solutions journalism • Jennifer Midberry; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • Solutions journalism, rigorous and fact-driven news stories of credible solutions to societal problems, is gaining a great deal of momentum. To date, research on this journalistic practice is scant and what little research there is has generally focused on text. Given the growing practice of solutions journalism and the dominant role of photographs in the news media, this research used content analysis and semiotic analysis to examine the use of visual reporting in solutions stories.

Looking at past and present Intermedia agenda-setting: A meta analysis • Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Yunjuan Luo, South China University of Technology • The purpose of this study was to explore one important phase of agenda-setting research that looks at who sets the media agenda using rigorous meta-analysis approaches. The researchers drew upon empirical intermedia agenda-setting studies from 1990 to 2015. A total of 17 qualified studies included in the final analysis produced homogeneity, and the weighted grand mean effect size for those studies was .713, indicating consistent and strong intermedia agenda-setting effects in the findings across a range of studies. The results also suggest a convergence of media agendas despite an increasing number of different media outlets with the development of new media technologies.

Social media echo chambers: Political journalists’ normalization of Twitter affordances • Logan Molyneux, Temple University; Rachel Mourao, Michigan State University • This study analyzes the content of tweets sent by 784 political journalists during the first 2016 U.S. presidential debate. It finds that journalists most often interacted with each other, almost to the exclusion of audience members. Newer affordances of Twitter including quote tweets and reply threading are not as normalized as older affordances, and journalists used them in differing ways. Also, journalists’s tweets mentioning policy issues tended to be retweeted, whereas those containing humor did not.

Disrupting traditional news routines through community engagement: Analysis of a media collaboration project • Jennifer Moore, University of Minnesota Duluth; John Hatcher, University of Minnesota Duluth • This research examines the impact of a community storytelling project designed to disrupt relationships between news organizations and their audiences. Informed by scholarship on the changing role of journalists as facilitators rather than gatekeepers of public discourse, community engagement methods were used to study this two-year storytelling project. Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) methods measured its impact. Findings reveal that traditional news media deviated little from established journalism routines while citizens participation was diverse and expansive.

The Small, Disloyal Fake News Audience: The Role of Audience Availability in Fake News Consumption • Jacob Nelson, Northwestern University; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri • Fears of fake news stem from two assumptions: that fake news consumption has grown widespread, and that it reaches an audience that spends little time with news and is thus more susceptible to false claims. However, prior audience behavior research suggests that light media users disproportionately gravitate towards established, popular brands, while heavy users visit both familiar and obscure fare. This paper examines online audience data in the months leading up to and following the 2016 presidential election to empirically analyze whether or not these long-observed patterns of audience behavior play out when it comes to fake news. We find a positive relationship between time spent online and fake news exposure, indicating that the fake news audience comprises a small group of heavy internet users. In doing so, we offer a more accurate portrait of the fake news audience, and contribute to the ongoing conversation about fake news’ reach, and its consequences.

Covering Pulse: Understanding the lived experience of journalists who covered a mass shooting • Theodore Petersen, Florida Institute of Technology; Shyla Soundararajan, Florida Institute of Technology • “The June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub near downtown Orlando, Florida, provided a real challenge to local media. This qualitative study includes in-depth interviews with Central Florida print, television, and radio journalists to understand what it was like to cover such a tragedy. These journalists talk about ethics, sourcing, violence, and mental health.

Gender Profiling in Local News • David Pritchard, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Emily Wright, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee • A content analysis of five weeks of staff-written stories in all sections of a large daily newspaper in the American Midwest (n=954 stories) tested a variety of hypotheses relating to patriarchal practices in journalism. The empirical results supported all hypotheses, documenting gendered practices both at the level of the individual journalist and at the level of the organization. Although gender profiling of the kind the research demonstrates are widely considered to be normal and natural in American journalism, the authors argue that such profiling not only reflects patriarchy, but reinforces it. By downplaying women’s contributions in social, economic, political, and cultural realms, patriarchal journalism diminishes democracy.

When journalists think colorful but their news coverage stays grey. Exploring the gap between journalists’ professional identity, their role enactment and output in newspapers. • Patric Raemy, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; Daniel Beck • The aim of this study is to explore the connection between professional identity of newspaper journalists, their perceived freedom of reporting and their role performance in a multi-language country and a Western European context. We combine a content analysis of news coverage with an online survey among the authors of these articles. It is an exploration of the gap between journalistic role perception, enactment and performance as well as of the methodology of analysis.

Whose tweets do you trust? Message and messenger credibility among mainstream and new media news organizations on Twitter • Anna Waters, University of Alabama; Chris Roberts, University of Alabama • Gauging message and messenger credibility has become even more complicated as more people consume media from social media instead of traditional channels. This experimental survey of young adults compared credibility of mainstream and new media, using the same messages on Twitter. Mainstream sources and their messages were considered more credible than new media sources. Media skepticism had a significant effect on perceived message and messenger credibility; political cynicism did not.

Listicles and the BuzzFeed Generation: Examining the Perceived Credibility of Listicles Among Millennials • Sean Sadri, Old Dominion University • Listicles are a new media phenomenon that have become a staple of virtually every news organization (articles that are simply lists or rankings and offer arguably less substance than a traditional article). This study sought to determine the perceived credibility of listicles among the age group most inclined to read them (millennials). Examining the appeal of listicles can provide insight into the direction that news may be going for the next generation of news readers. Using a sample population of millennials (N = 363), participants were randomly assigned to read an article in one of two formats: a listicle or a traditional article. Following the article, participants were given a questionnaire rating the credibility of the article and another asking participants to recall facts from the story. The experiment found that millennials rated the listicle as significantly more credible than the traditional article. The study also hypothesized that millennials may retain more information from a well-constructed listicle than a traditional article containing the same information, but this hypothesis was not supported. The study results and the implications of these findings are discussed.

Exploring the “wall,” Bible and Baphomet: Media coverage of church-state conflicts • Erica Salkin; Elizabeth Jacobs • This study seeks to build upon previous research on media coverage of law and faith by exploring newswork related specifically to church-state conflicts. Qualitative content analysis of coverage around two case studies reveals a broad assumption of audience familiarity with key constitutional and religious ideas. When scenarios venture into the unique, however, explication does emerge, suggesting that some lack of legal or religious depth may be attributed to a belief that audiences don’t need it.

Alienating Audiences: The Effect of Uncivil Online Discourse on Media Perceptions • Natalee Seely, UNC-Chapel Hill • Online discussion forums offer news consumers venues for expression and participation, but these forums have also been condemned for offensive and uncivil language. Some news outlets have required users to register with identifying information before commenting in an effort to keep conversation civil. Others have discontinued discussion forums altogether for fear of losing credibility or turning off readers. Previous literature has identified several forms of incivility within comment forums, including insulting language, stereotyping, and vulgar speech. This study used a one-way experimental design to determine the effects of uncivil language within online news comment forums on participants’ (n=198) perceptions of news credibility, their willingness to participate in the discussion, and their levels of media trust. Results indicate that those who read a news article accompanied by uncivil comments—which contained insulting language and stereotypes about various groups—were significantly less willing to participate in the discussion compared to those who viewed neutral comments. No significant differences in credibility perceptions or media trust were found. Findings demonstrate that offensive speech in online forums may have a chilling effect on participation in news discussion.

Anonymous Journalists: Bylines and Immigration Coverage in the Italian Press • Francesco Somaini, Central Washington University • This study investigated the relationship between news coverage of immigrants and refugees and identifiability of stories’ authors in the two daily newspapers with the largest circulation in Italy: Corriere della Sera and la Repubblica. The content of 400 news stories published in 2013 was examined. The data showed that the outlets produced comparable shares of “anonymous” and “signed” stories. Corriere della Sera, the more conservative outlet, provided consistently more negative representations of immigrants than la Repubblica, more liberal, did. However, in the left-leaning daily, articles that carried no byline—i.e., whose author was identifiable neither as a journalist nor as a wire service—tended to portray immigrants and refugees more negatively than stories carrying a byline did. Conversely, degree of antipathy for migrants expressed in online comments did not vary in relation to byline. However, readers of Corriere expressed more antipathy for immigrants than those of la Repubblica did. The findings suggest that anonymity might be associated with more frequent stereotypical representations of immigrants even in news outlets that are considered more liberal.

Knowledge-based Journalism in Science and Environmental Reporting: Opportunities and Obstacles • Anthony Van Witsen, Michigan State University; Bruno Takahashi, Department of Journalism, Michigan State University • Recent calls for knowledge-based journalism advocate a new level of scientific knowledge in news reporting as a way of meeting the professional challenges caused by rapid technological change in the news industry. Scientifically knowledgeable journalism has the potential to redefine the existing science-media relationship; however early criticisms called it naïve and unworkable in existing, rapidly changing newsroom practices. This study attempts to go beyond the initial enthusiasm and the skepticism to develop a better theoretical basis by which knowledge-based journalism could function, how reporters and editors could learn it, and what audience might exist for it. It examines the history of earlier professional reform efforts in journalism to discover why new practices have sometimes been adopted or abandoned. It finds that implementing knowledge based journalism requires knowing the actual benefits of improved scientific understanding for news consumers and poses research questions designed to lead to testable hypotheses for developing it and measuring its impact on audiences. Among its conclusions: that increased scientific training by reporters might increase journalists’ grasp of the traditional problem of managing scientific uncertainty, changing the information asymmetry between journalists and their scientist sources and altering the balance of power between them. Over time, this could affect the audience’s tolerance for uncertainty as well.

Coding the News: The Role of Computer Code in the Distribution of News Media • Matthew Weber, Rutgers University; Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Rohit Tikyani, Rutgers University • This article examines the role of code in the process of news distribution, and interrogates the degree to which code and algorithms are imbued with the ability to make decisions regarding the filtering and prioritizing of news, much as an editor would. Emphasis is placed specifically on the context of mobile news applications that filter news for consumers. In addressing calls to attend to the intersection of computer science and journalism, an additional goal of this article is to move the analytic lens away from the notion that code is replacing humans as producers of news and to shift towards an understanding of how code orders and communicates the news. Thus, the focus of this research is on algorithms as technological actants, filtering news based on decisions imbued into the code by human actors. An investigation of code contained in 64 open source mobile news apps is presented and the content of the code is analyzed. Findings highlight the journalistic decisions made in code and contribute to discussion surrounding the relationship between algorithmic and traditional news values.

Examining the Relationship Between Trust and Online Usage • Katie Yaeger, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri • This study tests the relationship between trust and online usage of 35 popular United States news sources. A series of regression models using pooled cross-sectional data of trust measures and usage measures from three months found a positive, statistically significant relationship between trust and direct traffic, but it found no association between trust and frequent usage. It also found overall that additional variables did not significantly impact the relationship between trust and direct traffic.

The Least Trusted Name in News: Exploring Why News Users Distrust BuzzFeed News • Jordon Brown, The University of Texas at Austin • “This experiment measured readers’ perceived sense of credibility when presented with three different news stories. Although all three news stories were actually from BuzzFeed, they were presented as though only one was, and one from Yahoo News, and one from The Wall Street Journal. This study found the perceived credibility was impacted by the news source, but not always by the individual article.

Framing EU borders in live-blogs: A multimodal approach • Ivana Cvetkovic, University of New Mexico; Mirjana Pantic, University of Tennessee • New media and 2.0 Web technologies affected the breaking news reporting forcing traditional media to embrace a new multimodal format of live-blogs. By acknowledging the importance of multiple modes in meaning making, this paper employs multimodal method to examine the similarities and differences in framing the European Union borders in live blogs in European media. Three frames emerged from the analysis: border management, borders as lived spaces, and borders as politically constructed spaces.

The mobile community: College students and the hometown sense of community through mobile news app use • Chris Etheridge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • “This project explores how mobile technology can impact the relationship between geography and news consumption. Findings indicate that college students who have installed a mobile news app focused on their hometown have a higher connection to that community than those who do not have apps and those who have apps with a national or global focus. In this case, this connection exists even when circumstances remove the person from that community.

Vapor and Mirrors: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of E-Cigarette Reporting in High-Circulation U.S. Newspapers • Vaughan James, University of Florida; Paul Simpson • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been gaining popularity in the United States since their introduction into the market in 2008. Use among teenagers and young adults has recently skyrocketed, tripling between 2013 and 2014. Given that these products are still unregulated at the federal level, they represent a major public health concern. News media can have substantial effects on public perception of technology and health issues, and so it is important to understand the ways that the U.S. media present e-cigarettes. This study examined the framing of e-cigarettes in three major high-circulation U.S. newspapers. A qualitative content analysis was performed on 92 e-cigarette-related news articles published between January 2008 and October 2014. Three major frames arose in newspaper reporting: Comparison/Contrast, Regulation, and Uncertainty. Understanding the frames presented in the media can help to both explain e-cigarettes’ rising popularity and highlight potential regulatory issues that will require attention from public health officials.

‘Engaging’ the Audience: Journalism in the Next Media Regime • Jacob Nelson, Northwestern University • As the journalism industry loses revenues and relevance, academics and professionals have pinned their hopes for salvation on increasing “audience engagement.” Yet few agree on what audience engagement means, why it will make journalism more successful, or what “success” in journalism should even look like. This paper uses Williams and Delli Carpini’s “media regimes” as a theoretical framework to argue that studying the current open-arms approach to the news audience – and the ambiguity surrounding it – is vital to understanding journalism’s transition from one rapidly disappearing model to one that is yet to fully emerge. In doing so, it offers a definition of audience engagement that synthesizes prior literature and contributes an important distinction between reception-oriented and production-oriented engagement. It concludes with a call for more research into audience engagement efforts to better understand what journalism is, and what it might become.

News Organizations’ Link Sharing on Twitter: Computational Text Analysis Approach • Chankyung Pak, Michigan State University • This study aims to analyze news organizations’ news link sharing on social media. Computational data collection and text analysis techniques in this study allow for a large scale comparison between shared and unshared news. I found that news organizations are more likely to share hard news than soft news on social media while the latter is more published on their websites. News organizations’ decision on what to share constrains news diversity available to news readers.

Way-finding and source blindness: How the loss of gatekeepers spread fake news in the 2016 Presidential election • George Pearson, The Ohio State University; Simon Lavis, The Ohio State University • Changing news patterns allows users to consume stories from multiple sources. This was hypothesized to lead to a disinterest in sources (source blindness) and reliance on curators for news. Additionally both variables were expected to lead to increased misinformation acceptance. A parallel mediation model on national survey data revealed that reliance on curators was not significant, however consuming news from multiple sources did increase source blindness which in turn increased misinformation acceptance.

Is the Robot Biased Against Me? An Investigation of Boundary Conditions for Reception of Robot as News Writer • Bingjie Liu; Lewen Wei, Pennsylvania State University • This study tested effects of robot as news writer on reducing hostile media effect. In a 2 (robot vs. human news writer) X 2 (hard news vs. feature story) online experiment, 212 participants read news representing one of the four conditions randomly and evaluated its quality. We found for feature story, only believers of machine intelligence evaluated that by robot as positive whereas hard news by robot was well received regardless of one’s belief.

Trustee Versus Market Model: A Journalistic Field Experiment • Douglas Wilbur, The University of Missouri at Columbia • This field experiment examines data gathered through a competition hosted by the Austin-American Statesman, the test their daily news via email delivery service the Midday Break, and a news aggregation service called the Statesman’s News For You, managed by the Reportory Company. The Midday Break represents the trustee model of journalism since stories are chosen by editors in a traditional manner. The Statesman’s News For You represents that market model of journalism since users select story preferences through a personalization function. Results of aggregate user data revealed that the Statesman’s News For You subscribers opened more of their services email and read more of their delivered news stories than those of Midday Break. A survey of both groups revealed that Statesman’s News For You subscribers gave their services higher ratings for crebibility, likelihood of recommending to a friend and perceived control than Midday Break subscribers. This field experiment lends some evidence that the market model of journalism might offer a better route for newspaper survivability and economic success.

Young vs Old: How Age Impacts Journalists’ Boundary Work Shift in Social Media Innovation (ACES and MacDougall awards) • Yanfang Wu • A cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire online national survey (N=1063) was administered to examine how older and younger newspaper journalists differ in adopting social media as an innovation. The study found no significant difference exists between younger journalists and older journalists’ rating of social media innovation friendly culture in their news organizations. However, younger journalists tend to view innovative instructions on using social media as more frequent, useful, and effective than older journalists. The more effective younger journalists rated their news organizations’ innovative instructions on social media, the less younger journalists interact with audiences on social than older journalists, which reflects a higher social media instructions expectation from younger journalists for journalistic work boundary shift.

The Syrian exodus: How The Globe and Mail, The New York Times and The Sun framed the crisis? • Zulfia Zaher, Ohio University • This study examined the cross-national coverage of the Syrian refugee crises in The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and The Sun newspapers. The study employed a quantitative content analysis to measure the attention paid to the Syrian refugee crisis and investigated the prevalence of the five generic frames (economic consequences, human interest, responsibility, conflict, and morality) (Semetko & Valkenburg, 2000). This study analyzed 204 articles from these three newspapers published between February 1st, 2015 to February 28th, 2016. This study found that The New York Times attached more importance measured by the length and the page position while The Sun attached the least importance to the coverage of Syrian refugee crisis. The result also demonstrated that the most salient generic frames were human-interest. This study found that three out of five generic frames — economic consequences, responsibility, and conflict — are significantly different across these newspapers. The results further revealed that various events influenced the way frames were presented in these three newspapers.


Media Management, Economics, and Entrepreneurship 2017 Abstracts

Do Similar Brands ‘Like’ Each Other? An Investigation of Homophily Among Brands’ Social Networks on Facebook • Mohammad Abuljadail, Bowling Green State University; Gi Woong Yun, University of Nevada, Reno • The advent of internet and communication technologies enabled marketers of brands to have more ways to communicate with their audience; one of which is connecting with other brands. One of the most popular outlets that allows brands to connect with other brands online is Facebook. Brands on Facebook can establish an official fan page where they can interact with their fans as well as network with other brands’ official Facebook pages through “liking” them. This paper seeks to investigate the “liking” behavior among local and global brands (brand to brand) on Facebook in Saudi Arabia and whether these brands’ “liking” network is based on homophilous relationships. The results showed that both status, (e.g., geography and gender), and value (e.g., family ties and religion) homophilous relationships are in play. However, value homophily was a strong factor in brands’ network in Saudi Arabia for some brands in the absence of status homophily network. Although status homophily in general played a role, geographical proximity was not a strong factor compared to previous reports on social network analysis. The data for this study was obtained from 40 brands marketed in Saudi Arabia. Using Netvizz and Gephi, network structures were mapped to explore the relationships among the brand’s’ Facebook pages.

Predictors of Success in Entering The Journalism And Mass Communication Labor Market • Lee Becker, University of Georgia; Tudor Vlad, University of Georgia; C. Ann Hollifield, University of Georgia • As a talent industry, media industries are highly dependent on the quality of the labor force available to be hired. The entry-level journalism and mass communication labor market has been the subject of analysis over the years, leading to the general conclusion that the characteristics of the students who graduates as well as what they did while at the university help to predict success in the media labor market. The research has been based on limited measures of job market success and small samples, sometimes of students only at one point in time. This study revisits the question of what predicts success in the media labor market with a data set spanning 27 years and with multiple measures of job market success. The findings indicate that what the students bring to the educational environment influences what they do while at the university but also continues to have impact after graduation. The decisions students make at the university also matter. Specifically, women have more success in the media labor market than men, but they get paid less. Minorities have more difficulty in the market than nonminorities, but they get paid better if they find work. Selecting public relations as a major is an advantage, as is completing an internship. These relationships hold even after controlling for other factors, including the performance of the labor market for all persons 20 to 24 years old. The findings suggest that media industries still have critical labor management issues to address.

Facebook and newspapers online: Competing beings or complimentary entities? • Victoria Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin • In an attempt to engage more readers online, newspapers, today are adopting Facebook as a distribution platform. Focused on understanding the value of Facebook as a distribution platform for newspapers, this study shows that news engagement, where news that attracts and holds readers’ attention, on Facebook, increases the brand loyalty of newspapers and Faebook. Brand wise both Facebook and newspapers benefit when news is distributed through Facebook. The study challenges popular beliefs about the influence of Facebook on the business of journalism and shows that Facebook and newspapers are mutually beneficial in helping build the brand loyalty of both. It also shows that tie strength and not homophily encourages the sharing of news on Facebook. While these results may seem optimistic, the study further suggests that leveraging Facebook as a news distribution platform to engage audiences should be treated more cautiously.

Management of Journalism Transparency: Journalists’ perceptions of organizational leaders’ management of an emerging professional norm • Peter Gade; Shugofa Dastgeer; Christina Childs DeWalt; Emmanuel-Lugard Nduka; Seunghyun Kim; Desiree Hill; Kevin Curran • This national survey of 524 journalists explores how journalists perceive transparency, a recent addition to the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association, has been managed as a normative innovation, and the impact of management on its adoption in journalism practices. Results indicate journalists perceive transparency as not been well managed, and that how it is managed has a significant effect on the extent it is practiced.

Brand Extension Strategies in the Film Industry: Factors behind Financial Performance of Adaptations and Sequels • Dam Hee Kim • In the film industry, which is notoriously high risk, sequels and adaptations stand out as successful films. Focusing on adaptations and sequels as extended brands, this paper analyzed 2,488 films released from 2010 to 2013 in the U.S. to investigate films’ box office performance. Results suggested that adaptations from comic books and toy lines were successful, and those produced in sequels were even more successful. Industry factors behind brand extension strategies are also examined.

Rapid Organizational Legitimacy: The Case of Mobile News Apps • Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Matthew Weber, Rutgers University • This article examines the importance of legitimacy for the performance of new ventures in the emerging space of mobile news apps, which consists of players from both traditional news and technology. This creates a distinct challenge for survival and performance, further compounded by the short timeframe deemed acceptable for apps to succeed. A multi-faceted model of legitimacy is proposed and tested; findings underscore the vital role of communication-based legitimacy in the struggle for rapid success.

Transformation of the Professional Newsroom Workforce: An Analysis of Newsworker Roles and Skill Sets, 2010-2015 • Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Matthew Weber, Rutgers University • Transformation continues to impact news media; news organizations are adapting accordingly through shifts in required skills and prescribed roles of newsworkers. This research uses online public databases to trace employment histories of NYC-area newsworkers and explore processes of institutional change related to the professional newsworker. This case study highlights the applicability of quantitative research methods in furthering understanding of professional media dynamics and management challenges related to the emergence of new job roles and skills.

The effects of a TV network strike on channel brand equity • Shin-Hye Kwon, Sungkyunkwan University; Lu Li, Sungkyunkwan University; Byeng Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University • This article has attempted to outline the effects of a television channel strike from both the user and the company sides. In the direct effect of strike analysis, viewer ratings(MBC) were higher before the strike than during it. In the indirect effect of strike analysis, strike awareness had a negative influence on brand image for news, entertainment, and information, with especially high influence for information and news. Brand image also had a meaningful influence of brand loyalty mediated by brand satisfaction and awareness of brand quality. Thus, loyalty to MBC decreased as viewers learned about the strike. This study has several implications that a specific channel’s brand equity does not decrease until viewers become aware of a strike at the channel. In addition, we suggest different possible effects of a media strike on the brand image of a channel or network. Third, we infer the changes in viewer ratings to be a direct effect of media strikes. Another theoretical implication of this study is its explanation of how a strike at a specific company strike can affect competing companies using the concept of media deprivation and dependency theory. Lastly, This study’s results offer practical information for media companies’ strike management.

Consumer choice of mobile service bundles: An application of the Technological Readiness Index • Miao Miao; Xi Zhu; Krishna Jayakar • This paper asks whether consumers are rational in choosing the most appropriate mobile service bundle (combining voice, text and data), given their actual levels of usage. It also investigates whether psychological or demographic factors can predict the likelihood that a user will choose optimally. Using the Technological Readiness Index as a theoretical framework, this study finds that customers who are optimistic about technology are more likely to choose the optimum bundle, while those who are insecure about technology are significantly less likely.

Assessing News Media Infrastructure: A State-Level Analysis • Philip Napoli; Ian Dunham; Jessica Mahone, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University • This paper develops and applies an approach to evaluating the robustness of the news media infrastructure of individual states. Drawing upon the Cision Media Database, and employing a detailed filtering methodology, this analysis provides indicators that facilitate comparative analysis across states, and that could be employed to facilitate analyses over time within and across individual states. This assessment approach is derived from multivariate analyses of the key geographic and demographic determinants of the robustness of the news media infrastructure in individual states.

High Brand Loyalty Video Game Play and Achieving Relationships with Virtual Worlds and Its Elements Through Presence • Anthony Palomba • Based on a uses and gratifications and presence conceptual framework, this study considers high brand loyalty video game players’ levels of presence, and evaluates how virtual relationships and perceptions of brand personalities may moderate the relationship between high brand loyalty video game players’ gratifications sought and media consumption experiences. A national survey of 25-year-old to 35-year-old high brand loyalty video game players (N=902)was conducted. Theoretical contributions surrounding the importance of presence during video game play to reach desired gratifications as well as industry implications are discussed.

Content Marketing Strategy on Branded YouTube Channels • Rang Wang, University of Florida; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • As YouTube becomes a viable competitor in the media ecosystem, this study assessed top brands’ content marketing strategy on branded YouTube channels via content analysis. Using a consumer engagement conceptual framework, the study examined brand strategies addressing the interactivity, attention, emotion, and cognition aspects of engagement and explored the role of firm characteristics, including YouTube capability, financial resources, ownership, and product category, in strategy differentiation. Implications of utilizing YouTube in branding and engaging were provided.

Exploring Cross-Platform Engagement in an Online-Offline Video Market • Lisa-Charlotte Wolter, Hamburg Media School; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • In an ever-increasing fragmented media environment, the need for comparable metrics across online and offline platforms is intensifying. This study introduces the concept of engagement in an audience setting; discusses its role in today’s video consumption process, and elaborates on the rationale and approach of assessing engagement in online-offline environments. We will present results from a qualitative study of globally conducted in-depth interviews with 73 experts. Research implications and a cross-platform engagement framework are presented.


Mass Communication and Society 2017 Abstracts

Beauty ideals and the media: Constructing the ideal beauty for Nigerian women through music videos • Aje-Ori Agbese • The research examined how Nigerian music videos objectify and define beauty for Nigerian women. The contents of 100 music videos with a love/romance theme were analyzed. The study found that Nigerian music videos defined beautiful women as thin/skinny, light-skinned and smiling. Several videos also featured white women as the ideal. The paper also discusses the impact of such messages on a country where women had the world’s highest rates for skin bleaching in 2012.

Framing Blame in Sexual Assault: An Analysis of Attribution in News Stories about Sexual Assault on College Campuses • Ashlie Andrew; Cassandra Alexopoulos • The current study is a quantitative content analysis examining media coverage of sexual assault on US college campuses. In particular, we focus on the language that journalists employ to tell these stories and assign attribution of sexual assault to the people involved. Drawing on two different theoretical perspectives, Attribution Theory and Media Framing, we analyze how frequently the language in news stories on sexual assault implicitly assign attribution (or minimize attribution) to either the victim or perpetrator in sexual assault cases.

The Social Dimensions of Political Participation • Soo Young Bae • This study investigates the social dimensions of political engagement, and explores the underlying mechanism of the relationship between social media use and political participation. Using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, this study reveals the growing significance of the source factor in the online information environment, and tests whether varying levels of trust that individuals have toward the information source can meaningfully relate to their engagement in politics.

The Role of Media Use and Family Media Use in Children’s Eating Behaviors, Food Preferences, and Health Literacy • Kimberly Bissell, University of Alabama; Kim Baker, University of Alabama; Xueying Zhang; Kailey E. Bissell, The University of the South (Sewanee); Sarah Pember, University of Alabama; Yiyi Yang, University of Alabama; Samantha Phillips, University of Alabama • The relationship between the individual and social factors that might predict a child’s health behaviors specific to food consumption and eating is quite complex. A growing body of literature suggests that external factors such as media use, use of media while eating, and the home eating environment certainly could predict factors such as a child’s preference for specific food, nutritional knowledge, and even the ability to identify food products in food advertisements. Using a survey of children in 2nd and 3rd grade, this study examined questions about how much or if general media use, media use while eating, and familial media use during mealtimes related to a child’s general understanding of health specific to nutritional knowledge, food preferences, understanding of food advertising, and self-perception. Results indicate that media use by each child and by the parent—in general and in the context of eating—were related to lower scores on the nutritional knowledge scale, a stronger preference for unhealthy foods, an inability to correctly identify food products in food advertisements, and self-perceptions. Further results indicate that children’s ability to correctly identify food products in food advertisements was especially low, especially in children who reported spending more time with different types of media. These and other findings are discussed.

Assimilation or Consternation? U.S. Latinos’ Perceptions of Trust in Relation to Media and Other Factors • Ginger Blackstone, Harding University; Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida • Among the U.S. Latino community, even documented workers are nervous about the future. What role might Internet news exposure, television news exposure, newspaper exposure, radio news exposure, age, whether one was born in the U.S., or–if not—length of time spent in the U.S. be relevant to feelings of trust in the government, trust in others, and U.S. immigration policies? How do Latinos’ feelings in these areas compare to non-Latinos? Using the most recent American National Election Survey data available, the authors conducted a series of regressions and other statistical tests in search of answers. It was found that Latino respondents were more likely than non-Latinos to trust that the U.S. government will do the right thing. Television news exposure was a positive factor. Non-Latino respondents were more likely than Latino respondents to trust others. Internet news exposure, radio news exposure, and newspaper exposure were positive factors, while television news exposure was a negative factor. Trust in the government did not correlate with trust in others for Latino respondents; however, it did for non-Latinos but the effect was weak. Regarding U.S. immigration policy, difference between Latino respondents and non-Latinos were significant; however, a majority of both groups indicated support for an immigration policy that allowed undocumented workers to remain in the U.S. under certain (non-specified) conditions. Internet news exposure and radio news exposure were factors in some comparisons. Overall, no clear patterns were found; however, the findings correspond to the literature and provide an opportunity for future research.

Toxic Peers in Online Support Groups for Suicidal Teens: Moderators Reducing Toxic Disinhibition Effects • Nicholas Boehm, Colorado State University; Jamie Switzer, Colorado State University • This paper describes the results of a study that examined if moderated online peer support groups for suicidal teens differ compared to non-moderated online peer support groups for suicidal teens in terms of the frequency of pro-suicide response and the frequency of uncivil and impolite response given by peers. Findings suggest pro-suicide, uncivil, and impolite responses are significantly more likely to occur in the non-moderated peer support group, as explained by the online disinhibition effect.

Exploring Third-Person Perception and Social Media • John Chapin, Penn State • Findings from a study of middle school and high school students (N = 1604) suggest most adolescents are using some form of social media, with texting, Instagram, and Snapchat currently the most popular. Most (67%) have some experience with cyberbullying, with 23% saying they have been victims of cyberbullying and 7% acknowledging they have cyberbullied others. Despite the heavy use of social media and experiences with cyberbullying, participants exhibited third-person perception, believing others are more influenced than they are by negative posts on social media. Third-person perception was predicted by optimistic bias, social media use, age, and experience with various forms of bullying. Third-person perception may provide a useful framework for understanding how adolescents use social media and how they are affected by it.

“Defensive Effect”: Uncivil Disagreement Upsets Me, So I Want to Speak Out Politically • Gina Chen • This study proposed and tested a mediation model called the “defensive effect” to explain the influence of uncivil disagreement online comments on emotions and intention to participate politically. An experiment (N = 953) showed uncivil disagreement – but not civil disagreement – triggered a chain reaction of first boosting negative emotion and then indirectly increasing intention to participate politically, mediated through that emotion burst. Findings are discussed in relation to affective intelligence theory.

Facts, Alternative Facts, and Politics: A Case Study of How a Concept Entered Mainstream and Social Media Discourse • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Giselle Auger, Rhode Island College; Sally McMillan, University of Tennessee • Adopting agenda setting as a theoretical framework, this study explored how the term ‘alternative facts’ was covered by both mainstream and social media. The authors used Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Studio and WordStat to analyze 58,383 total posts. The study follows the development of news story and examines some similarities and differences in top words and phrases used by mainstream and social media. The term ‘alternative facts’ had negative valence in both media types.

Television, emotion, and social integration: Testing the effect of media event with the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration • Xi Cui, College of Charleston; Qian Xu, Elon University • This study empirically tests the social integration effect of media event and its psychological mechanism in the context of the live broadcast of the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration. A national sample (N=420) was drawn to investigate the relationships among television viewing of the live broadcast, viewers’ emotion, and their perceived social solidarity measured by perceived entitativity. In general, viewing the inauguration live on television positively predicted viewers’ emotion. Emotion also interacted with viewers’ national identity fusion to influence perceived entitativity. A significant indirect effect of television viewing on perceived entitativity through emotion was discovered. The same effects were found among non-Trump voters. For Trump voters, television viewing did not have any significant influence on any variable. Through these findings, this study shed light on the psychological mechanisms of media event’s social integration effect at the individual level, explicated the visceral nature of social identification related to media event, and argued for the relevance of this mass media genre in contemporary media environment and social zeitgeist.

New media, new ways of getting informed? Examining public affairs knowledge acquisition by young people in China • Di Cui; Fang Wu • This study examined acquisition of public affairs knowledge as an effect of media use and interpersonal discussion in China, where there is a fast transforming media environment. This study examined public affairs knowledge in both mainstream and alternative forms. Findings showed that attention to traditional sources, exposure to new media sources and face-to-face discussion were correlated with public affairs knowledge. Use of new media sources was correlated with alternative public affairs knowledge. Implications were discussed.

Multi-Platform News Use and Political Participation across Age Groups • Trevor Diehl, University of Vienna; Matthew Barnidge, University of Vienna; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna • News consumption in today’s media environment is increasingly characterized by multi-platform news; people now consume news across several multi-media devices. Relying on a nationally representative survey from the U.S., this study develops an index of multi-platform news use, and tests its effects on age-group differences in the way people participate in politics. Results show that Millennials are more likely to rely on multi-platforms for news, which is positively related to alternative modes of public engagement.

Read All About It: The Politicization of “Fake News” on Twitter • John Brummette; Marcia DiStaso, University of Florida; MICHAIL VAFEIADIS, Auburn University; Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; Terry Flynn, McMaster University • This study explored the use of the term “fake news” in one of the top news sharing tools, Twitter. Using a social network analysis, characteristics of online networks that formed around discussions of “fake news” was examined. Through a systematic analysis of the members of those networks and their messages, this study found that “fake news” is a very politicized term where current conversations are overshadowing logical and important discussions of the term.

News, Entertainment, or Both? Exploring Audience Perceptions of Media Genre in a Hybrid Media Environment • Stephanie Edgerly, Northwestern; Emily Vraga, George Mason University • This study uses two experimental designs to examine how audiences make genre assessments when encountering media content that blends elements of news and entertainment. In Study 1, we explore how audiences characterize three different versions of a fictitious political talk show program. In Study 2, we consider whether audience perceptions of ‘news-ness’ are influenced by shifts in headline angle and source attribution. The implications of audience definitions of news and its social function are discussed.

A new generation of satire consumers? A socialization approach to youth exposure to news satire • Stephanie Edgerly, Northwestern • This study explores how adolescents—at the doorstep of adulthood—are developing the exposure habit of news satire exposure. Using national survey data consisting of U.S. youth and one associated parent, the paper specifically examines: 1) the prevalence of youth exposure to news satire across a range of media devices and compared to other forms of news, and 2) the socialization factors—parents, school curriculum, and peers—that predict news satire use among today’s youth.

Socially-shared children coming of age: Third-person effect, parental privacy stewardship, and parent monitoring • Betsy Emmons, Samford University; Nia Johnson, Samford University; Lee Farquhar, Samford University • There have been multiple discussions about Facebook’s privacy policies; discourse about parental privacy stewardship has been minimal. As the first generation of socially-shared children become social media users, the collision of privacy with what has already been shared by parents occurs. This study, grounded in third-person effect, asked parents about stewardship of their children’s privacy, and whether other parents were observant. Results affirmed third-person effect for both social media monitoring and privacy among parents.

Journalists primed: How professional identity affects moral decision making • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Erin Schauster • Utilizing identity priming, this study examines whether professional journalists apply ethics differently when primed with occupationally identity. This between-subjects experiment (N=171) administered both conditions the Defining Issues Test, a much-used instrument that measures moral development. The results show identity priming does not affect how journalists apply ethics. The study also found that journalists are potentially far less ethical than they were 13 years ago. These results are interpreted through the lens of social identity theory.

Hydraulic Fracturing on U.S. Cable News • Sherice Gearhart, Texas Tech University; Oluseyi Adegbola, Mr.; Jennifer Huemmer • Hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, is a drilling technique that accesses previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves. Although the process could aid U.S. energy independence, it is controversial and public opinion is divided. Guided by agenda-setting and framing, this study content analyses news coverage of fracking (N = 461) across cable networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC). Results show issues discussed and sources used vary ideologically, but all networks failed to provide factual information about the process.

Self-Presentation Strategies’ Effect on Facebook Users’ Subjective Well-being Depending on Self-Esteem Level • Wonseok (Eric) Jang, Texas Tech University; Erik Bucy, Texas Tech University; Janice Cho, Texas Tech University • The current study examined the consequences of different types of self-presentation strategies on Facebook users’ subjective well-being, depending on their level of self-esteem. The results indicated that people with low self-esteem became happier after updating their Facebook status using strategic self-presentation rather than true self-presentation. Meanwhile, people with high self-esteem exhibited similar levels of happiness after updating Facebook using both strategic and true self-presentation.

“Aging…The Great Challenge of This Century”: A Theory-Based Analysis of Retirement Communities’ Websites • Hong Ji; Anne Cooper • By 2040, the large over-65 population will change “religion…work…everything” according to an expert on aging. CCRCs are one health care/housing option for the final years of life. This study of 108 CCRC websites found a self-actualized photo population –smiling, wining/dining, and engaged in various fulfilling pursuits. The disconnect with reality — more males, minorities and healthy people than actually live at CCRCs — has implications for source credibility and the image of ideal aging.

The Role of Social Capital in the United States’s Country Brand • Jong Woo Jun, Dankook University; Jung Ryum Kim, City of Busan; Dong Whan Lee, Dankook University • This study explores antecedents and consequences of social capital. Using Korean college students as research samples, survey research was implemented measuring U.S. media consumptions such as TV drama, Hollywood movies, POP music, advertising, and magazine. As results, American media consumptions influenced social capital elements such as interpersonal trust, institutional trust, network, and norms. Also, interpersonal trust, network, and norms influenced attitudes toward the United States which in turn lead to strong beliefs about the United States. This study extended the usability of social capital to country branding settings, and could provide significant managerial implications to academicians and practitioners.

In the Crosshairs: The Tucson Shooting and the News Framing of Responsibility • Matthew Telleen, Elizabethtown College; Jack Karlis, Georgia College; Sei-Hill Kim • This research adds to the framing literature with a content analysis of media coverage following the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Analyzing 535 items from the month after the shooting, it was determined that coverage of the Tucson shooting focused more heavily on societal issues like political rhetoric than on individual issues like mental illness It was also discovered that coverage varied from medium to medium and along political associations.

Tweeting the Election: Comparative Uses of Twitter by Trump and Clinton in the 2016 Election • Flora Khoo, Regent University; William Brown, Regent University • “Social media are increasingly becoming important means of political communication and essential to implementing an effective national election campaign. The present study evaluates the use of Twitter by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Results indicate substantial framing differences in the tweets released by the two candidates. These differences are discussed along with implications for future research on the use of Twitter for political campaigns.

The Role of Reanctance Proneness in the Manifestation of Psychological Reactance against Newspaper Editorial • HYUNJUNG KIM • This study investigated the role of trait reactance proneness in the affective and cognitive reactance processes in the context of organ donation in South Korea. A web-based survey experiment using a sample of South Korean residents was conducted. Findings demonstrate that an editorial advocating organ donation from ideologically incongruent media is perceived as more biased than the same editorial from other media. The perceived bias is linked to perceived threat to freedom, which, in turn, is related to affective reactance, leading to unfavorable attitudes toward organ donation, particularly for high trait-reactant individuals. These findings suggest that trait reactance proneness may moderate a psychological reactance process in which affective and cognitive processes of reactance operate separately.

Pride versus Guilt: The Interplay between Emotional Appeals and Self-Construal Levels in Organ Donation Messages • Sining Kong; Jung Won Chun; Sriram Kalyanaraman • Existing research on organ donation has generally focused on message types but ignored how individual differences—and possible underlying mechanisms—affect the effectiveness of organ donation messages. To explore these issues, we conducted a 2 (type of appeal: pride vs guilt) X 2 (self construal: independent vs interdependent) between-subjects factorial experiment to examine how different self-construal levels affect emotional appeals in organ donation messages. The results revealed that regardless of self-construal levels, autonomy mediated the relationship between emotion and attitudes toward organ donation. Also, pride appeal messages generated more autonomy than guilt appeal messages, leading to more positive attitude toward organ donation. Furthermore, after controlling for autonomy, those participants primed with an independent self-construal preferred pride appeal messages more than they did guilt appeal messages. These findings offer important theoretical and applied implications and provide a robust avenue for future research.

“Feminazis,” “libtards,” “snowflakes,” and “racists”: Trolling and the Spiral of Silence • Victoria LaPoe; Candi Carter Olson, Utah State University • Using a mixed methods Qualtrics survey of 338 Twitter and Facebook users, the authors explore the impact that the 2016 election had on people’s political posts both before and after the election and whether or not people actually experienced harassment and threats during the election cycle. This article argues that the internet constitutes a digital public sphere. If trolling causes people—particularly women, LGBTQIA community members, and people who identify with a disability—to censor themselves because they feel their opinion is in the minority or that they will be attacked for stating their ideas, then it would follow that trolling is changing our public sphere, which is affecting our political conversations in a profound way.

Coverage of Physician-Assisted Death: Framing of Brittany Maynard • Sean Baker; Kimberly Lauffer • In 2014, Brittany Maynard, 29, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, moved from California to Oregon, one of only three U.S. states with legal physician-assisted death, so she could determine when she would die. This paper examines how mainstream U.S. media framed Brittany Maynard’s choice to use physician aid in dying, arguing that although frames initially focused on the event, they transformed into thematic coverage of issues underlying her choice.

Do Political Participation and Use of Information Sources Differ by Age? • Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas; An-Pang Lu; Yitsen Chiu, National Chengchi University • Most studies on the connection between offline and online political participation either focused on young citizens or treated age as a continuous variable. Many of them also used a limited local sample. This survey study employed a national sample to examine the effects of age and information sources on offline and online political participation. The relationship between age and offline/online participation does not appear to be linear, which has important implications for future studies.

Discussing HPV Vaccination: Ego-centric social networks and perceived norms among young men • Wan Chi Leung, University of Canterbury • This study examined the role of social norms in influencing young men’s support for the HPV vaccination. A survey of 656 young adult males in the United States indicated that the perceived injunctive norm was more powerful in predicting support for the HPV vaccination for males than the perceived descriptive norm. The average tie strength in their ego-centric discussion networks for sexual matters, and the heterogeneity of the discussants significantly predict the injunctive norm.

The effects of message desirability and first-person perception of anti-panhandling campaigns on prosocial behaviors • Joon Soo Lim, Syracuse University; Jiyoung Lee • The current research examined the third-person effect (TPE) of anti-panhandling campaign messages. It tested both perceptual and behavioral hypotheses of the TPE. A survey was administered to 660 participants recruited from Mechanical Turk’s Master Workers. The results demonstrate the robustness of third-person perceptions for persuasive campaign messages. We also learned that the magnitudes of TPP for anti-panhandling campaign messages could be moderated by message desirability. Analyzing the behavioral component of TPE, the current study adds empirical evidence that presumed influence of positive social campaign on oneself can make the audience engage in prosocial behaviors as well as promotional behaviors.

The third person effect on Twitter: How partisans view Donald Trump’s campaign messages • Aimee Meader, Winthrop University; Matthew Hayes, Winthrop University; Scott Huffmon, Winthrop University • A telephone poll of Southern respondents in the United States tested the third person effect by comparing partisan perceptions about Donald Trump’s tweets during the 2016 presidential election. Results show that the third person effect was strong for Democrats who viewed the tweets as unfavorable, but diminished for Republicans who viewed the tweets as favorable. Additionally, Republicans’ estimation of media influence on themselves was comparable to Democrats’ perceptions, but estimations of Democrats varied by Party.

‘Where are the children?’: The framing of adoption in national news coverage from 2014 through 2016 • Cynthia Morton; Summer Shelton, University of Florida • Pilot research explored three specific questions: 1) what frames are represented in print news stories about adoption?; 2) which frames are most prevalent in their representation?; and, 3) what implications can be made about the effect of combination of the news frames and their frequency on audience perceptions? A qualitative content analysis was conducted. The findings suggest that print news’s coverage of the child adoption issue leans toward legal/legality and child welfare/work frames. Implications on adoption perceptions and the potential impact on individuals influenced by adoption are discussed.

Exemplification of Child Abduction in U.S. News Media: Testing Media Effects on Parental Perceptions and Assessment of Risk • Jane Weatherred, University of South Carolina; Leigh Moscowitz, University of South Carolina • Despite decades of research, public misperceptions persist about the threat of child abductions in the U.S. Because prior research reveals that parental perceptions of child abduction are mediated by news coverage, this study offers one of the only experimental designs that found links between media coverage and parental perceptions of child abductions, advancing the literature on exemplification theory. This study advances our understanding of how media coverage can impact public perceptions of crime.

Sharing Values vs. Valuing Shares: A Communication Model a Social-Financial Capital • Paige Odegard; Thomas Gallegos; Chris DeRosier, Colorado State University; Jennifer Folsom, Colorado State University; Elizabeth Tilak, Colorado State University; Nicholas Boehm, Colorado State University; Chelsea Eddington, Colorado State University; Cindy Christen, Colorado State University • Emphasizing the shift in priority placed on social, financial, and professional capital in an era of technological growth, this paper proposes the Communication Model of Social-Financial Capital (CMSFC). The paper discusses the effects of innate and acquired identities, and values on preference for social, financial, and professional capital, which in turn affect preference for social media platforms. Finally, the paper discusses how the model is applicable in realistic settings and suggests next steps for empirical validation.

Understanding antecedents of civic engagement in the age of social media: from the perspective of efficacy beliefs • Siyoung Chung; KyuJin Shim; Soojin Kim, Singapore Management University • This study examines three efficacy beliefs— political self-efficacy, political collective efficacy and knowledge sharing efficacy—as antecedents of social media use and civic engagement. Employing more than one thousand samples in Singapore, we empirically test (a) a conceptual framework that can provide an understanding of the relationship between the three types of efficacy and civic engagement and (b) the underlying mechanism through which the three types of efficacy beliefs affect civic engagement via social media. The findings suggest that the current civic engagement is characterized by excessive use of social media. Also, the study implicates knowledge sharing efficacy was found to play an important role in mediating the relationships between social media and political self-efficacy, political collective efficacy, respectively.

Online Surveillance’s Effect on Support for Other Extraordinary Measures to Prevent Terrorism • Elizabeth Stoycheff; Kunto Wibowo, Wayne State University; Juan Liu, Wayne State University; Kai Xu, Wayne State University • The U.S. National Security Agency argues that online mass surveillance has played a pivotal role in preventing acts of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11. But journalists and academics have decried the practice, arguing that the implementation of such extraordinary provisions may lead to a slippery slope. As the first study to investigate empirically the relationship between online surveillance and support for other extraordinary measures to prevent terrorism, we find that perceptions of government monitoring lead to increased support for hawkish foreign policy through value-conflict associations in memory that prompt a suppression of others’ online and offline civil liberties, including rights to free speech and a fair trial. Implications for the privacy-security debate are discussed.

Audiences’ Acts of Authentication: A Conceptual Framework • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Richard Ling, Nanyang Technological University Singapore; Oscar Westlund; Andrew Duffy, Nanyang Technological University Singapore; Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University Singapore • Through an analysis of relevant literature and open-ended survey responses from 2,501 Singaporeans, this paper proposes a conceptual framework to understand how individuals authenticate the information they encounter on social media. In broad strokes, we find that individuals rely on both their own judgment of the source and the message, and when this does not adequately provide a definitive answer, they turn to external resources to authenticate news items.

Committed participation or flashes of action? Bursts of attention to climate change on Twitter • Kjerstin Thorson, Michigan State University; Luping Wang, Cornell University • We explore participation in bursts of attention to the climate issue on Twitter over a period of five years. Climate advocacy organizations are increasingly focused on mobilizations of issue publics as a route to pressure policy makers. A large Twitter data set shows that attention to climate on Twitter has been growing over time. However, we find little evidence of a “movement” on Twitter: there are few users who participate in online mobilizations over time.

Is the Tweet Mightier than the Quote? Testing the Relative Contribution of Crowd and Journalist Produced Exemplars on Exemplification Effects • Frank Waddell, University of Florida • What happens when journalist selected quotes conflict with the sentiment of online comments? An experiment (N = 276) was conducted to answer this question using a 3 (quote valence: positive vs. negative vs. no quote control) x 3 (comment valence: positive vs. negative vs. no comment control) design. Results revealed that online comments only affect news evaluations in the presence of positive rather than negative quotes. Implications for exemplification theory and online news are discussed.

Ideological Objectivity or Violated Expectations? Testing the Effects of Machine Attribution on News Evaluation • Frank Waddell, University of Florida • Automation now serves an unprecedented role in the production of news. Many readers possess high expectations of these “robot journalists” as objective and error free. However, does news attributed to machines actually meet these expectations? A one-factor experiment (human source vs. machine source) was conducted to answer this question. News attributed to robots was evaluated less positively than news attributed to humans. Attribution effects were invariant between individuals scoring low and high in anthropomorphic tendency.

Express Yourself during the Election Season: Study on Effects of Seeing Disagreement in Facebook News Feeds • Meredith Wang, Washington State University; Porismita Borah; Samuel Rhodes • The 2016 election was characterized by intense polarization and acrimony not only on the debate stage and television airwaves, but also on social media. Using panel data collected during 2016 U.S. Presidential election from a national sample of young adults, current study tests how opinion climate on social media affect ones’ political expression and participation. Result shows disagreement on Facebook encourages young adults to express themselves and further participate in politics. Implications are discussed.

Won’t you be my (Facebook) neighbor? Community communication effects and neighborhood social networks • Brendan Watson, Michigan State University • This paper examines the effect of neighborhood social context, specifically the degree of racial pluralism, on the number of residents who use Facebook to connect with their local neighborhood association to follow issues affecting their community. Analysis is based on a new “community communication effects” approach, replacing the city-wide analysis of prior studies with an analysis of neighborhood data more likely to influence users of newer, participatory communication platforms. Results suggest more complicated, non-linear effects than theorized by the existing literature. Some degree of neighborhood heterogeneity is necessary to create interest in neighborhood issues and spur mediated as opposed to interpersonal communication among neighbors. But too much heterogeneity is associated with a decline in following neighborhood associations on Facebook. The paper identifies where that tipping point occurs and discusses practical and theoretical implications.

The needle and the damage done: Framing the heroin epidemic in the Cincinnati Enquirer • Erin Willis, University of Colorado – Boulder; Chad Painter, University of Dayton • This case study focuses on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s coverage of the heroin epidemic. The Enquirer started the first heroin beat in 2015, and it could serve as a model for other news organizations. Reporters used combinations of episodic, thematic, public health, and crime and law enforcement frames in their coverage. These news frames are discussed in terms of how individualism-collectivism, geographic location, available resources, and social determinants inform journalistic and societal discussions of the heroin epidemic in terms of solutions instead of responsibility or blame.

Suicide and the Media: How Depictions Shape our Understanding of Why People Die by Suicide • Joyce Wolburg, Marquette University; Shiyu Yang; Daniel Erickson; Allysa Michaelsen • The contagion effect of the media upon suicide is well documented, given that suicide rates tend to increase following heavy news coverage of a death by suicide. However, much less is known about the influence that the media has upon attitudes and beliefs about suicide, particularly our understanding of why people choose to die by suicide and our tendency to lay blame for suicidal acts. Using text analysis, this study identifies and describes seven reoccurring themes across the entertainment media—in both drama and comedy—that address the reasons people die by suicide. Further analysis demonstrates how blame is assigned. Conclusions are drawn regarding the overall social impact, especially on the surviving friends, family, therapists, etc.

How U.S. Newspapers Frame Animal Rights Issue: A Content Analysis of News Coverage in U.S. • Minhee Choi; Nanlan Zhang • Analyzing newspaper articles, this study explores how American newspapers have framed the issue of animal rights. Results indicate that news stories were more likely to present animal rights as a legal and policy issue, rather than a political and an economic issue, talking primarily about illegality of animal mistreatment and radicalized animal rights activists. Based upon the notion of frame building, this study also examines some factors that may influence the media’s selective use of frames.

Moeller Student Competition • Framing the Taxpaying-Democratization Link: Evidence from Cross-National Newspaper Data • Volha Kananovich • This study explores the relationship between the nature of the political regime and the framing of the construct of a taxpayer in the national press. Based on a computer-assisted analysis of articles from 87 newspapers in 51 countries, it demonstrates that the less democratic a country is, the more likely it is for the press to frame a taxpayer as a subordinate to the state, by discussing taxpaying in enforcement rather than public spending terms.

Moeller Student Competition • Who is Responsible for Low-Fertility in South Korea? • Won-ki Moon, University of South Carolina; Joon Kim, University of South Carolina, Columbia • This study investigated how South Korean newspapers have presented low fertility, specifically focusing on how newspapers attribute responsibility to society or individuals. Through a content analysis of South Korean newspapers (N = 499), we found that the newspapers were focusing heavily on societal-level causes and solutions when talking about low fertility. Among potential causes of and solutions for low fertility, insufficient government aids and financial incentives were mentioned most often.

Online Conversations during an Emergent Health Threat: A Thematic Analysis of Tweets during Zika Virus Outbreak • Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Julie Gerdes, Texas Tech University; Joseph Provencher, Texas Tech University; Efren Gomez, Texas Tech University • “Days after the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of Zika in Brazil a global emergency on February 2, 2016, United States President Barack Obama responded by requesting over $1.8 billion in Zika research and prevention funds from Congress. This event put the under-researched disease on the radar of American citizens. The present study examines a set of over 70,000 public Tweets during the days surrounding Obama’s request to understand how Twitter users in the States made sense of the emerging infectious disease.

Understanding why American Christians are intolerant toward Muslims: Christian nationalism and partisan media selection • Kwansik Mun • This paper seeks to explain the formation of political intolerance by reviewing theoretical arguments on Christian nationalism and selective exposure theories. Our analysis confirms the significant relationship between Christian nationalism and ideological news selection, and the mediated effect of ideological news media on both perceived threats and political intolerance toward Muslims.

The “Primed” Third-Person Effect of Racial Minority Portrayals in Media • Jiyoun Suk, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study explores how priming of different levels of media effects (either strong or weak) influences the third-person effect of media portrayals of African Americans. Through an online posttest-only control group experiment, results show that priming strong media effects heightened perceived media effects on in-group and out-group others, but not on the self. Also, it was the perceptions of in-group others, after reading the strong media effects message, that led support for media literacy education.

Beyond Passive Audience Members: Online Public Opinions in Transitional Society • yafei Zhang, The University of Iowa; Chuqing Dong • This study examined audience members’ online comments of a popular TV news program featuring controversial social issues in the contemporary Chinese society. Findings suggested that audience members expressed more negative comments, substantial cognitive recognition, and constructive suggestions towards the government, elite class, and media. The pluralistic and legitimate public opinions expanded the literature on online public discourse in transitional societies. Audience members as citizens in the formation of public spheres were also discussed.


Law and Policy 2017 Abstracts

‘Famous in a Small Town’: Indeterminacy and Doctrinal Confusion in Micro Public Figure Doctrine • Matthew Bunker, University of Alabama • The determination of which defamation plaintiffs are public figures is frequently outcome-determinative in libel litigation. Yet courts are wildly inconsistent in their rulings on what this paper refers to as micro public figures – individuals who have achieved notoriety within a small geographic area or within a particular cultural niche. Should such plaintiffs be characterized as all-purpose public figures? This paper analyzes the case law and offers a more precise approach to this problem.

Gag Clauses and the Right to Gripe: The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • This paper examines new legislation, including the federal Consumer Review Fairness Act signed into law in December 2016, targeting non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts. Such “gag clauses” typically either prohibit or punish the posting of negative reviews of businesses on websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. The paper asserts that state and federal statutes provide the best means, from a pro-free expression perspective, of attacking such clauses, given the disturbingly real possibility that the First Amendment has no bearing on contractual obligations between private parties.

Social Media Under Watch: Privacy, Free Speech, and Self-Censorship in Public Universities • Shao Chengyuan • This study examines social media monitoring in the case of two large Southeast public universities. One university has been using a social media monitoring program for years; the other has not adopted this new form of monitoring technology. In this survey, students were asked about their perception and acceptance of monitoring from the university, their concern for online privacy, support for online free speech, and experience with cyberbullying. This study explores the relationships among attitude toward online privacy and online free speech, perception and acceptance of monitoring, and willingness to self-censor when speaking on social media. The correlation analysis showed that the more one is concerned about online privacy and supports online free speech, the less likely that person would regard social media monitoring as acceptable. While those who were more concerned about online privacy were more likely to self-censor, those who were more supportive of online free speech were less likely to self-censor. Most important, this survey found that perception of monitoring was not positively correlated with self-censorship, which goes against the assumption that awareness of surveillance from an authority would cause self-censorship. In addition, this study found that, while 85 percent of the surveyed students use social media on daily basis, more than 60 percent were not greatly concerned about social media monitoring from the university and the government. Implications for studies on social media monitoring and direction for future research are discussed.

Don’t Bother: How Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act Enables an Irrebuttable Presumption of Surveillance Secrecy • Benjamin W. Cramer, Pennsylvania State University • The Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA) gives American citizens a legally-protected procedure to request documents from federal agencies in the Executive Branch and to appeal denied requests. However, the Act acknowledges that some government-held information should remain undisclosed for purposes of safety or security, so the act has exemptions mandating that certain categories of information can be withheld. Exemption 3 states that a federal agency can withhold a document that has already been deemed non-disclosable in a different statute. Exemption 3 is often used by agencies that are involved in traditional national security practices and the controversial modern techniques of pervasive electronic surveillance, as justification for keeping information on those practices secret. This is possible because there are many other statutes in the security field that already allow those types of documents to be withheld in the event of a citizen request, and FOIA Exemption 3 does not allow flexibility in how those statutes are interpreted. This has allowed agencies to exercise greater discretion toward information that they do not wish to disclose to citizens, while the judiciary has almost uniformly deferred to agency discretion. This article will argue that Exemption 3 has inadvertently made the security and surveillance establishment more secretive, creating a nearly irrebuttable presumption that documents must not be disclosed to citizens or journalists.

Who Should Regulate? Testing the Influence of Policy Sources on Support for Regulations on Controversial Media • Kyla Garrett Wagner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Allison Lazard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Policy research has explored the relationship between perceived effects of controversial media exposure and support for regulations on controversial media, but it has yet to examine how the source of these regulations impacts support. Therefore, this study used a between-subjects experiment to explore how sources of media policies (government vs. industry) influence support for a media policy. Two policy were used: one on pornography and one on violent video games. Other potential predictors of policy support (source credibility, attitudes, and beliefs) were also assessed. We found that while the source of a media policy did not influence support for a media policy, perceived credibility of the policy source and personal beliefs and attitudes about the controversial media were significant predictors of support for a media policy. However, these variables influenced support for the two media policies differently. This study suggests 1) policymakers should assess regulations on controversial media individually to understand what will gain social support for a policy, and 2) future research is needed to explain the differences in these variables across media policies.

Depictions of Obscene Content: How Internet Culture and Art Communities Can Influence Federal Obscenity Law • Austin Linfante, Ohio University • A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, United States v. Handley (S.D. Iowa 2008), complicates how current obscenity law (notably the PROTECT Act of 2003) can prosecute depictions of obscene content. These would include any sort of artwork or simulation that simulates or uses fictional characters to depict otherwise obscene material without using or harming any real-life living beings. This paper will first look at previous court cases, laws and academic literature to determine how obscene content as well as depictions of obscene content have been ruled in the past in terms of whether or not they are protected speech. This will also include examining how online art communities such as DeviantArt and FurAffinity police themselves when it comes to this type of content. There will also be a discussion about how specific types of obscene content like child pornography and bestiality affect a viewer’s likelihood to commit sex crimes themselves. Afterwards, this paper will present the case behind expanding current federal law on obscene content to include depictions of this type of obscene behavior. These model laws will all be based on how large art communities currently police this kind of content. This should ultimately lead to preventing future sex crimes against children and animals as well as provide effective obscenity law.

A Gap in the Shield? Reporter’s Privilege in Civil Defamation Lawsuits 2005-2016 • Meghan Menard-McCune, LSU • The purpose of this study is to determine how state courts and legislatures have addressed reporter’s privilege in civil defamation cases. After an analysis of court cases in six states, the study found three issues relating to reporter’s privilege that the courts addressed: 1) The state shield law’s definitions of news and news media 2) The waiver of the shield law and the protection of unpublished material 3) The shield law’s defamation exception.

“Oligopoly of the Facts”? Media Ownership of News Images • Kathleen Olson, Lehigh University • This paper examines the use of the idea/expression dichotomy, the fair use doctrine and the First Amendment in cases involving news organizations suing for copyright infringement over the use of their news images, including photographs, film and video footage.

Voting Booth or Photo Booth?: Ballot Selfies and Newsgathering Protection for User-Generated Content • Kristen Patrow • This paper addresses whether ballot selfies qualify for First Amendment protection. The analysis includes both newsgathering and speech claims. Snapchat filed an amicus brief in the First Circuit case, Rideout v. Gardner. The work concentrates on Snapchat’s contention that user-generated work is newsgathering activity. The paper reviews cases on newsgathering during elections and the voting process. The analysis shows that ballot selfies are best understood as a hybrid of speech and access rights.

Say this, not that: government regulation and control of social media • Nina Brown, Syracuse University/Newhouse; jon peters • Internet law and policy discussions are converging on the problem of fake news and the idea that “the private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression.” They have also raised the possibility of federal government intervention. This article advances those discussions by exploring what Congress could do to enact legislation requiring social media platforms to remove fake news—and whether that would be prudent. It also explores the First Amendment’s role in the private sector.

The Heat is On: Thermal Sensing and Newsgathering – A Look at the Legal Implications of Modern Newsgathering • Roy Gutterman, Syracuse University; Angela Rulffes, Syracuse University • Thermal imaging technology, which was once used primarily by the military, has made its way into the civilian world. Journalists have already begun making use of the technology, and as that use becomes more prevalent concerns about legal issues also arise. This paper, relying on tort privacy cases, Fourth Amendment case law, and theoretical conceptualizations of privacy, provides an in-depth examination of the legal implications surrounding the use of thermal imaging devices for newsgathering.

Lock or Key: Does FOIA Sufficiently Open the Right to Information? • Tyler Prime, Arizona State University; Joseph Russomanno, Arizona State University • A year after the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Freedom of Information Act was observed, criticism of – and disappointment in – the law is significant. Though written with the strong guidance of journalists, FOIA, according to many, has failed to live up to its initial promise of peeling back the layers that too often shroud the federal government in secrecy, and allowing the news media and other citizens to contribute first-hand to the democracy. The United States was only the third nation to pass such a law, but during the half-century since then, the nation has slipped to 51st among world nations by one measure in right to information. FOIA is much to blame. Issues with response rates, unorganized systems and subjective interpretations of the act and its exemptions have combined to lock information from public access rather than acting as the key it was intended to be. This paper utilizes data from annual federal agency FOIA reports to the attorney general from 2008 to 2015. This information indicates that across multiple metrics, FOIA has increasingly struggled to fulfill and often failed to provide records to requesting parties. The trends revealed suggest that significant overhaul is necessary. Rather than prescribing another round of amendments that are little more than Band-Aids on a withering dinosaur, this paper concludes with a detailed set of recommendations – highlighted by a crowd-sourced request database – that move far from FOIA’s original paper-based model that still rests at its analog core.

The Protection of Privacy in the Middle East – A Complicated Landscape • Amy Kristin Sanders, Northwestern University in Qatar • “throughout the Middle East – erroneously viewed by many outsiders as a homogenous region steeped in conservative Islamic culture – the legal landscape varies dramatically with regard to privacy. This article discusses the many influences that have shaped the legal culture throughout the region, which has drawn inspiration from the British Common Law approach, the European Civil Law heritage and centuries of Islamic thought. The result is unique legal environment that blends together traditional religious values, the impact of decades of colonialism and the recent effects of global interconnectedness as a result of the Internet and social media. Not surprisingly then, the legal framework surrounding the protection of privacy is intricate. It would be much easier to allude to the Middle East in sweeping generalizations, dividing it simply into the Levant countries on the western side and the Gulf countries on the eastern shore. But, that approach fails to address the peculiarities that exist from country to country. Although space constraints require painting with a broad brush, this article endeavors to shed light whenever possible on the region’s similarities and differences by using specific examples from countries. Recognizing the enormous undertaking that would be necessary to catalog each and every law pertaining to privacy across 14 nations, this article instead lays out a comparative framework – highlighting the influences of the common law and civil law traditions on the legal framework throughout the Middle East. It provides a high-level overview of privacy law as it exists throughout the Middle East – comparing various sources of law from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In addition, a substantive case study highlights important recent developments and helps foreshadow coming trends in the region.”

Killer Apps: Vanishing messages, encrypted communications, and the challenges to freedom of information laws • Daxton Stewart, TCU • In the early weeks of the new presidential administration, White House staffers were communicating among themselves and leaking to journalists using apps such as Signal and Confide, which allow users to encrypt messages or to make them vanish after being received. By using these apps, government officials are “going dark” by avoiding detection of their communications in a way that undercuts freedom of information laws. In this paper, the author explores the challenges presented by encrypted and ephemeral messaging apps when used by government employees, examining three policy approaches — banning use of the apps, enhancing existing archiving and record-keeping practices, or legislatively expanding quasi-government body definitions — as potential ways to manage the threat to open records laws these “killer apps” present.

Knowledge Will Set You Free (from Censorship): Examining the Effects of Legal Knowledge and Other Editor Characteristics on Censorship and Compliance in College Media • Lindsie Trego, UNC-Chapel HIll • Issues of censorship in higher education have lately been common in the news, however it is unclear to what degree college newspapers experience external influences. This study uses an online survey of public college newspaper editors to examine specific censorship practices experienced by newspaper editors at public colleges, as well as editor compliance with these practices. Further, this study explores how personal characteristics of editors might influence perceptions of and compliance with censorship practices.

First Amendment Metaphors: From “Marketplace” to “Free Flow of Information” • Morgan Weiland, Stanford University • As cognitive linguist George Lakoff has shown, metaphors play a central role in structuring what humans understand as possible. In the First Amendment context, the central organizing metaphor for how judges, scholars, and the public understand the freedom of expression is as a “marketplace.” But little scholarly attention has been paid to a second metaphor that animates the Supreme Court’s thinking about expressive freedoms: the “free flow of information.” This paper’s project and contribution is to recover the free flow metaphor in the Court’s First Amendment doctrine, spanning over 40 opinions dating to the 1940s. This paper reviews every First Amendment opinion in which the Court used the metaphor, finding that the metaphor, by providing a new architecture that structures—and limits—how it is possible to think about who or what counts as a speaker, what qualifies as speech, what the proper role for the press is, and what role the state can play in the expressive environment, undergirds the Court’s development of libertarian theories of speech and the press. Understanding the free flow metaphor’s conceptual structure matters not only because it reveals a shift in the deeper logic of rights and responsibility undergirding the freedoms of expression, a perspective unavailable when looking at the doctrine through the marketplace metaphor’s lens. It also provides a better framework for understanding and fixing the contemporary expressive environment online because some of the most pressing social problems—cyberbullying and fake news—make more sense when assessed through the free flow metaphor’s framework.

Fake News and the First Amendment: Reconciling a Disconnect Between Theory and Doctrine • Sebastian Zarate, University of Florida; Austin Vining, University of Florida; Stephanie McNeff, University of Florida • This paper analyzes calls for regulating so-called “fake news” through the lens of both traditional theories of free expression – namely, the marketplace of ideas and democratic self-governance – and two well-established First Amendment doctrines, strict scrutiny and underinclusivity. The paper argues there is, at first glance, a seeming disconnect between theory and doctrine when it comes to either censoring or safeguarding fake news. The paper contends, however, that a structural-rights interpretation of the First Amendment offers a viable means of reconciling theory and doctrine. A structural-rights approach focuses on the dangers of collective power in defining the truth, rather than on the benefits that messages provide to society or individuals. Ultimately, a structural-rights interpretation illustrates why, at the level of free-speech theory, the government must not censor fake news.

Half the Spectrum: A Title IX Approach to Broadcast Ownership Regulation • Caitlin Carlson, Seattle University • Women make up half of the U.S. population yet own less than eight percent of commercial television and radio broadcast licenses. This is incredibly problematic given the important role women’s media production and ownership plays in the feminist movement. Mass media set the agenda for public debate, frames issues, and primes viewers with the frameworks they should use to evaluate those issues. Women’s greater participation at ownership levels would enable women to speak publicly about their experience, which could substantially alter the agenda set by mass media or shift the frames used to interpret current events. For its part, the FCC has been trying for the past 40 years to address the absence of women and people of color from media ownership. However, in 2016 the Commission rejected race- or gender-based considerations in favor of privileging independent media organizations as the most effective way to achieve viewpoint diversity. Given the failure of the FCC to fix the problem, I argue here that a radical new approach is needed. Using Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 a guide, I propose that legislation be developed that prohibits denying members of either sex the chance to participate in broadcast media organizations, which like educational institutions, receive financial benefits from the federal government. Here, I liken broadcast licenses to federal funds and propose that failure to comply with this anti-discrimination policy could result in license removal.

China’s personal information protection in a data-driven economy: A privacy policy study of Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent • Tao Fu • China’s Internet companies are expanding their businesses at home and abroad with huge consumer data at hand. However, in the global data-driven economic and technological competition, China’s personal information protection is behind that of the West. By content analyzing the online privacy policies of leading Chinese Internet and information service providers (IISPs) – Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, this study found their privacy policies to be generally compliant with China’s personal information protection provisions. The three IISPs used proper mechanisms showing their commitment, measures, and enforcement to data security but their Fair Information Practices need further improvement. The ecosystem of personal information protection in China is severe and users need privacy literacy. Privacy policies in this study offer more about ‘notice’ than they do ‘choice’. Chinese IISPs collect and use information extensively in the guise of providing value to the user. Societal mechanisms such as joining a third-party, seal-of-approval program and technological mechanisms such as using a standardized format for privacy policies have not been widely sought by Chinese IISPs. Lagging behind their global acquisition and operation, Chinese IISPs’ efforts in personal information protection have given insufficient consideration to transborder data flow, and to change of ownership. Recommendations were offered.

Reforming the Lifeline Program: Regulatory Federalism in Action? • Krishna Jayakar; EUN-A PARK, Institute for Information Policy at Pennsylvania State University • This paper considers whether common national standards for determining participants’ eligibility and designating service providers in the Lifeline program are preferable to a decentralized system where state utility commissions have greater influence over these program parameters. Two recent decisions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a 2016 Order and its reversal in March 2017, on the designation of Eligible Telecommunications Carriers to provide broadband Lifeline service, centered on this question. Statistical analysis of program data demonstrates that state-by-state variations in enrollment may be attributed to state-level policy actions, after controlling for alternative demographic and economic explanations. On the premise that state-by-state variations in participation rates in a federal program are unfair because they burden consumers solely based on their location, this paper concludes in favor of national standards.

The Medium is the Message: Digital Aesthetics and Publicity Interests in Interactive Media • Michael Park, Syracuse University • Recent application of the right of the publicity doctrine to interactive media has led to inconsistent rulings and uncertainty to the doctrine’s scope, when pitted against First Amendment considerations. These recent court decisions have inadequately explained the disparate application, and this uneven application of legal principles raises serious free speech concerns for expressive activities with other emerging interactive media platforms such as virtual reality. However, these recent decisions have unveiled discernible principles that help explain the disparate approach of the right of publicity doctrine to new interactive media. This article articulates the assumptions guiding the disparate application of the doctrine. This article begins with a historical overview of the right of publicity doctrine and the various approaches adopted by the courts. It will then focus its attention on the transformative work test and address the recent analytical pivot—from a holistic examination of the work to a myopic focus on the individual avatar—by employing a natural rights theory argument to explain the courts’ narrow approach to transformativity. Furthermore, this paper makes the case that the courts’ discordant doctrinal treatment of interactive games is premised in the misplaced notion that the medium lacks artistry and authorial signature (i.e. interactive games are not art, but rather craft). Finally, this work advances the argument that while today’s interactive games present rich historical and pedagogical content, courts have failed to adequately apply common law and statutory exemptions that include not only news, but works of fiction, entertainment, public affairs and sports accounts.

The Privilege That Never Was: The Curious Case of Texas’ Third-Party Allegation Rule • Kenneth Pybus, Abilene Christian University; Allison Brown, Abilene Christian University • Beginning in 1990, the year the Supreme Court of Texas decided McIlvain v. Jacobs, journalists and media lawyers alike operated under the belief that news outlets in Texas had a powerful protection against libel lawsuits when reporting third-party allegations about matters of public concern. Relying on McIlvain, appeals courts cited the “third-party allegation rule” time and again when finding in favor of media defendants. But, after more than two decades, the Supreme Court threw the state’s libel jurisprudence into discord by ruling in 2013 that the third-party allegation rule didn’t exist in common law and, in fact, never had existed. A corrected opinion withdrew some repudiatory language but introduced more ambiguity. The Texas Legislature responded to this abrupt about-face in the summer of 2015 by crafting and passing an apparently sweeping statutory third-party allegation privilege that restores the protections journalists believed they had in such cases. Little legal scholarship has examined the circuitous history of this privilege and its powerful potential for limiting libel claims against media.

Beyond “I Agree:” Users’ Understanding of Web Site Terms of Service • Eric Robinson, University of South Carolina; Yicheng Zhu, University of South Carolina • With the ubiquitous use of websites and social media, the terms of service of these sites have increasing influence on users’ legal rights and responsilibities when using these sites. But various studies have shown that users rarely review these terms of service, usually because they are too much trouble and are often are too complex for most users to understand; one proposed solution is simplification of the language of these documents. Our experiment took advantage of a major website’s revision of its terms of service to reduce legal jargon and make them more understandable to determine whether the changes resulted in language that more effectively conveyed the intended meanings. But our results show that such changes are likely to have minimal effect, and that users generally based on understanding of what is permitted and not permitted on websites with their preconceived notions. Based on this finding, we present some proposals to address this issue.

Revisiting copyright theories: Democratic culture and the resale of digital goods • Yoonmo Sang, Howard University • This study surveys theoretical justifications for copyright and considers the implications of the notion of cultural democracy for copyright law and policy. In doing so, the study focuses on the first sale doctrine and advocates the doctrine’s expansion to digital goods after discussing policy implications of the first sale doctrine. Arguments for and against a digital first sale doctrine are followed. The study argues that democratic copyright theories, in general, and the notion of cultural democracy, in particular, can and should guide copyright reforms in conjunction with a digital first sale doctrine. This study contributes to the growing discussion of democratic theories of copyright by demonstrating their applicability to copyright policy and doctrine.

A Secret Police: The Lasting Impact of the 1986 FOIA Amendments • A.Jay Wagner, Bradley University • The 1986 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act were a passed as a last-minute rider to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the Reagan era legislative contribution to the War on Drugs policies. The amendments though small in number and limited in congressional discussion have made a lasting impact on FOIA implementation. The three pieces – a broad restructuring of Exemption 7, the law enforcement exemption; the addition of exclusions for law enforcement and intelligence requests; and introduction of a new fee structure – were aimed at addressing concerns from the law enforcement and intelligence communities and in-line with the general aims of the Anti-Drug Abuse in providing law enforcement more tools and less scrutiny in combating illicit drug production, sale and use. The paper looks to consider the amendment along two tracks. In the tradition of legal scholarship, preceding legislative efforts, judicial decision and executive messaging are pursued in an effort to understand motives and purpose of the amendment. The second track uses a dataset of cabinet-level department FOIA annual reports figures from 1975 until 2016 in exploring the ways the FOIA has been used and administered. The dataset gleaned from more than 550 annual reports traces the ways the 1986 amendment altered civic access to information on policing and national security. Presently, Exemption 7 accounts for 57 percent of all exemption claims and “no records” responses – a direct outcome of exclusions – account for the closure of 15 percent of all records processed and demonstrate massive growth after the amendment. The study demonstrates how the 1986 FOIA Reform Act has undermined the public’s ability to provide oversight of law enforcement.

Essential or Extravagant: Considering FOIA Budgets, Costs & Fees • A.Jay Wagner, Bradley University • The budgets, costs and fees of the Freedom of Information Act represent the financial lifeblood of the access mechanism but are rarely considered in scholarship. This study considers these elements of FOIA administration through a combination of traditional legal scholarship and a database composed of more than 500 FOIA annual reports, compiling 93 percent of all cabinet-level department annual reports from 1975 until present. In exploring the legislative and judicial trajectory of the costs and fees of FOIA implementation, including the illustrative Open America decision and its recognition of a lack of resources as an acceptable rationale for delay, the study questions the sincerity of FOIA administration. Lack of resources has existed as a legal claim for delay since the 1976 Open America decision, yet no statutory progress has been made since. FOIA – a galling obligation for most federal agencies – is required to compete for funding with other agency priorities among the general agency budget. There is no legislative requirement nor guideline in how FOIA is funded, and as a result, FOIA funding is remarkably low (all while the federal government countenances resource excuses). Analysis of FOIA annual report data uncovers little in the way of consistent or coherent system in costs accrued, fees collected, staffing measures and general usage data. The study aims to take a small step in asking big questions about how and why FOIA is financed in the manner it is, and, further, whether such lack of funding and oversight demonstrates insincerity on the government’s part.

State-level Policies for Personal Financial Disclosure: Exploring the Potential for Public Engagement on Conflict-of-Interest Issues • John Wihbey, Northeastern University; Mike Beaudet, Northeastern University • This paper examines personal financial disclosure practices required for public officials across U.S. states and finds that more than 80 percent of states rate poorly when evaluated on a set of objective criteria. A “disclosure degree” score is calculated for each state; these scores are then brought together with a related set of measures to evaluate transparency more broadly for public officials in each state. Levels of public corruption in each state are also considered. For financial disclosure to be meaningful, we argue, three interconnected areas must be evaluated: First, the precision of the information required by law to be disclosed; second, the degree of openness and relevance of information toward the detection of conflicts of interest; third, the degree to which institutional monitors – prosecutors, news media, ethics commissions – can generate public knowledge.


Graduate Student 2017 Abstracts

Twitter Building the Agenda: How Journalists Use Twitter as a Source While Reporting • Kaitlin Bane, University of Oregon • With a U.S. president infamous for tweeting, it is becoming exceedingly important for scholars to study and understand how the medium is influencing news reporting. Using quantitative content analysis this paper examines the use of tweets as quotes in web-only news organizations compared to traditional print organizations. Findings show that while print outlets most often use Twitter to quote official sources and for opinion comments, web-only news organizations use the medium differently.

Yoga in Media! Using Theory of Planned Behavior to Examine Media Influences on Intention to Practice Yoga • Nandini Bhalla, University of South Carolina • Using theory of planned behavior as a conceptual framework, this paper analyzes the association between the portrayal of yoga in media with the intention to practice yoga, for both yoga practitioners and non-practitioners. A t-test showed that yoga practitioners have a more positive attitude towards yoga media content than non-yoga practitioners and that they internalize media content more strongly than non-practitioners. Hierarchal multiple regression was used to analyze the results. Implications are discussed.

How Activism and Ethics Intersect in Public Relations: A Pilot Study • Minhee Choi • This pilot study explored how public relations practitioners’ activism is associated with their ethics in the context of corporate social responsibility and communication. Although no correlation was found between activism and ethics, results showed that practitioners with high levels of relativist ethics are less likely to be ethical in their communication. Practitioners with more than 20 years of work experience have higher levels of ethics, and practitioners in PR agencies have the lowest ethical levels compared to other sectors. Theoretical and practical implications of the results are discussed.

Tie Strength and Privacy Concern in Social Context Advertising • Chuqing Dong; Alexander Pfeuffer • Social context advertising is a targeting approach using social relationships to promote brands on social media. Drawing upon the concept of social influence, this study examined how social context ads displaying contacts with varying tie strengths affected brand attitude and purchase intent of consumers with differing levels of privacy concern. Regardless of consumers’ privacy concern, social context ads displaying strong ties increased purchase intent while brand attitudes remained unaffected. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

“Sources Say … He May Have Been Depressed and Angry” • Jacqueline Fellows • An increase in mass shootings in the U.S. has amplified the reporting on mental illness despite weak evidence that links the two issues. A qualitative content analysis of local newspaper coverage of five mass shootings in 2015 shows that journalists ignore professional standards and rely on nonqualified sources in stories that include mental illness as a component of mass shooting coverage. Additionally, sources frame mental illness as dangerous and/or undesirable.

What’s in your school? A content analysis of school persona creation using online messages • Dakota Horn, Illinois State University • Message framing is a key part of designing a message to influence a potential buyer or even a potential citizen within a community system. This study examines “about us” pages on school district websites within the state of Illinois to gain incite as to how and why school districts craft messages to create a persona. The examinations will breakdown goal creation of the district and execution through message features: structure, content, style, as well as the potential efficacy of the audience member. A content analysis was performed to show a common theme of message design in comparison of several school districts. The content analysis developed a theme among content creation in online messages.

Why Social Media? Examining the Motivations of Chinese University Students to Gather Public Affairs News on Social Media Platforms • Liefu Jiang, University of Kansas • Through a survey with 568 participants, this paper employs uses-and-gratifications theory to investigate Chinese university students’ public affairs news consumption on WeChat and Sina Weibo, the two most popular Chinese social media platforms. The findings suggest that students’ news reading is driven by different motivations on the two platforms. Socializing and technological-convenience positively relate to WeChat users’ news reading, while information seeking negatively relates. For Sina Weibo users, only technological-convenience positively relates to news reading.

What Drives Facebook and Instagram Users’ Emotional Attachment and Continuing Use? A Comparative Analysis of Internal and Socio-Cultural Factors • Bumsoo Kim, University of Alabama • This study investigated whether and how the internal and socio-cultural factors that differently enhance the level of intensity toward Facebook or Instagram activities and intention to continue to use the platforms. In this study, I propose individual motivations and gratifications (social interaction, entertainment, passing time, peeking, and need for recognition) and socio-cultural factors (subjective norms and SNS culture), and an online survey with 606 adults was conducted. The results showed significant differences between motivations/gratifications for intention to continue to further use Facebook compared to Instagram. The degree to which individuals have willingness to continue to use both platforms can be different depending upon what motivations they have. Individuals’ perceptual level of differences between Facebook and Instagram are important assets for SNS practitioners in developing better SNS technologies as well as for scholars in developing theories about social media use.

Asian Television and Cultural Globalization: A Critical Analysis from 2000–2015 • Dieer Liao, School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University; Yueyue Liang, School of Journalism and Communication, Tsinghua University • This study examines 96 articles about Asian television and cultural globalization published in 19 major SSCI journals of communication studies from 2000–15, aiming to present a meta-analysis of relevant research in the context of international communications. It demonstrates the patterns and distribution of theoretical paradigms, flow trends, issues of concern, territory of focus, methodology, and authorship reflected in the studies surveyed through content analysis. The primary findings of this research are that the political economic framework remains the prevailing critical paradigm in this field; that the most-studied issue is structural control of the media sphere; that China-related studies amount to the largest proportion; and that the qualitative method is adopted most frequently. The highlight is that a gradual shift from in-flow to contra-flow and inter-Asia flow has been noticed, and that South Korea is found to have become the focal center of transnational studies in Asian television and cultural globalization.

Mobilizing the Umbrella Movement: An Alternative Framework of Protest in an Information Society • Zhongxuan LIN • This study takes the Umbrella Movement as a case study to investigate the media mobilizing structures of the protest in an information society. It proposes an alternative framework of “contextualized transmedia mobilization” to explore how protestors situated in a specific context employ, create, circulate, amplify, and converge various forms of media to continually mobilize themselves and the public, and, thus heighten participation levels, innovate contentious repertoires, and experiment with organizational transformation.

The Impact of Social Amplification and Attenuation of Risk: A national survey of Chinese Public Reactions Toward Middle East Respiratory Syndrome • Jiawei Liu; Zhaomeng Niu • Human beings are evolved to avoid threats to protect themselves. Threat caused by risk is a primary biological motivator in our environment and elicit automatic aversive responses. In general, people feel more aroused and pay more attention to the potential threat. Recent research studies call attention to how the public perceive the risk under the influences of multiple factors in individual and social amplification stations. This study developed a conceptual model and examined how media exposure, knowledge, as well as information seeking behavior affected lay understanding and risk perceptions toward MERS in China. In general, the results demonstrated that greater information seeking behavior could predict: 1) higher frequency of media exposure; 2) higher level of individual knowledge of MERS; 3) higher likelihood of amplifying the perceived threat of MERS.

Newspaper Coverage of Mars in the United States and the United Kingdom 2011-2016 • Mikayla Mace • A content analysis of three elite print newspapers in the United States and three in the United Kingdom found that the framing and tone of articles about Mars were deployed similarly despite the different objectives of each country’s space program. From the Apollo moon shots to human exploration of Mars, each successive era of spaceflight has been framed in a logical progression from concept to completion that resonates with the values of the times.

First Ladies: Policy Involvement, Public Approval Ratings, and Women in the Workforce • Nia Mason, Louisiana State University • Based on the theory of social influence, a mixed methods approach was used to understand the relationship between First Ladies’ policy involvement and their approval ratings, and between approval ratings and the number of women in the workforce. A textual analysis examined the first research question. A simple linear regression tested the second research question, showing a significant relationship. A Pearson correlation tested the third research question and showed a relationship of no significance.

Real or Ideal: Millennial Perceptions of Pornographic Media Realism and Influence on Relationship Assessments • Farnosh Mazandarani, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study examines pornography and whether content idealism, realism, or sexual explicitness of media genres may affect relationship assessments. Findings indicated greater consumption of pornography predicted lower sex satisfaction, perceived realism indicated higher content identification, and higher identification with pornography lead to greater pornography consumption. Participants who identified more with pornography reported higher sexual expectations. Idealization had no direct effect on relationship assessments yet showed a negative relationship on idealized media consumption on sexual expectations.

Debating What’s Natural: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of “Natural” Food Label News Coverage • Melissa McGinnis, University of Florida • The use of “natural” on food labels is a growing concern for the food industry and consumers. This qualitative framing study uses a literary approach analyzing 51 articles covering the “natural” food label debate in four U.S. nationally recognized newspapers. This study identifies stakeholders most frequently in conflict and the areas of contention in the “natural” food label debate. In addition, this study identifies the terms used to define “natural” foods.

“20 Years is Just the Other Day”: The role of genesis narrative in constructing journalism culture • Ruth Moon, University of Washington • There is evidence that political influences shape professional views, but that the specifics of local culture impact journalists’ actual practices. However, there is little research unpacking the particular ways culture impacts journalism. Using theoretical perspectives from journalism studies and organizational sociology and newsroom ethnographic data gathered in Kigali, Rwanda, I show how narratives constructed from elements of local culture and shared history function as myths that impact journalism culture on both ideological and practical levels.

Visual Framing of Dieselgate: A Content Analysis of Global News Coverage • David Morris II, University of Oregon • News coverage of an event traditionally attempts to provide the largest audience with the greatest information that would impact that audience. In their visual coverage of Volkswagen’s emission scandal commonly referred to as “Dieselgate,” newspapers from around the world seemed to fall short of this practice. This study investigates the type of visuals and themes used by more than 6,000 newspapers from news outlets across the globe in their coverage of Dieselgate. In a content analysis of newspapers’ front pages for one week following Volkswagen’s Clean Air Act of 1963 Notice of Violation, this study reveals that the dominate visual deployed by newspapers from around the world is a single photograph. The research also finds that a dominant visual theme in the newspaper coverage of Dieselgate around the world is financial in nature. Perhaps more concerning is the absence of visual representation of Dieselgate as a global environmental issue.

Effects of Brand Placement in Mobile Applications on Consumer Responses • Haseon Park, University of North Dakota • This study examined the effects of individual thinking style and ad congruency to explore the effects of native advertising on consumer responses in mobile applications. The experimental results revealed the interaction effects of nativity and thinking styles, nativity and congruency. This study findings contribute not only to the understanding of the effects of thinking styles and ad congruency in native advertising, but also to extending the scope of mobile native advertising research.

The UNC Academic Scandal: A Framing Analysis of Local Media Coverage • Matthew Stilwell, University of South Carolina • The purpose of this study is to examine how a local media outlet, The News & Observer, reported the University of North Carolina (UNC) academic scandal. This study used a framing analysis and constant-comparative methodology to analyze the dominant frames that were emphasized or resistant in local media coverage. Results indicated that multiple parties and players were the focus of the news stories. Factors including blame and athletics in higher education are discussed.

Sharing Cultural Goods on Facebook: Social Capital, Opinion Leadership, and Electronic Word-of-Mouth • Alec Tefertiller, University of Oregon • While the role of paid advertising in online environments has diminished, electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) has become increasingly valuable. This study sought to determine if consumers’ trust in their social media network, defined as social capital, or identification as an opinion leader better predicted social media eWOM related to cultural goods. The key finding was that perceived opinion leadership consistently best predicted Facebook eWOM.

Chinese Watchdogs: Journalistic Role Performance in Chinese Media • Emeka Umejei, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa • This paper examines the relationship between journalistic role conception and role performance within Chinese media organisations based in Africa (Xinhua News Agency, China Central Television and China Daily newspaper). It contributes a non-western perspective to the debate on the relationship between role conception and role performance. The paper demonstrates the ways in which the relationship between role conception and role performance within Chinese media is hinged upon conditional autonomy in relation to the typology of stories. Furthermore, it argues the dominant practice of using survey methods in examining the relationship between journalistic role conception and role performance is not suited to contexts outside Anglo-American sphere. It therefore proposes a qualitative approach that combines semi-structured interview and qualitative content analysis in examining this relationship within contexts of limited journalistic autonomy.

Twitter as a digital union: Exploring blogger reactions to corporate collapse • Mariah Wellman, The University of Iowa • This paper asks whether Twitter can afford the formation of digital unions during labor crises using a cast study of Mode Media, a lifestyle publishing and ad network that shut down without compensating its bloggers. Through a textual analysis of tweets containing the hashtag #ModeOwesBloggers, I argue bloggers used Twitter to create a sense of solidarity in a time of struggle by advocating for change, empathizing with other bloggers, and communicating feelings to Mode Media.

Meeting the New Players: A Study of Digital Native Journalists’ Professionalism • LU WU • Digital native journalists have brought new blood and challenges to journalistic professionalism. This paper surveyed digital native journalists and legacy journalists on their three dimensions of professionalism. Findings show that digital native journalists are both preservers and transformers of journalistic professionalism. Identifying how digital native journalists differentiate from legacy journalists on aspects of professionalism has afforded some clues of how journalistic professional values and practices will develop in the future.

Social News: Enhancing Media Richness by Connecting Virtuality with Reality in Cyberspace • Yanfang Wu • Utilizing a purposeful snow-ball rolling strategy, the investigator conducted semi-structured qualitative interviews from June to July 2014. Thirteen interviewees titled journalists, convergence journalists, editors, community editors, and engagement editors, from thirteen different newsrooms of multiple platforms, varied from newspaper, radio, television, magazine to online only news organizations were interviewed. Their affiliated news organizations vary in size, from large to small. Based on media richness theory, the study shed light on how journalists, using social cues, delve into the virtual world, build connections between the “virtuality” and “reality” through finding sources, interacting with audiences, constructing virtual communities in the cyberspace and integrating the “virtuality” with the “reality” into the news production process. With its rich multimedia function that allows immediate response between journalists and audiences, social media becomes a rich medium that connects the “virtuality” to the “reality” in news.

Creating Spaces Revisited: Students Perspectives on International and Multi(inter)cultural Public Relations Education • Kiaya Young • In a global market employees need the skills to be able to work in a multicultural market. International public relation skills are becoming a necessity. Public Relations practitioners are educated on various fundamental skills through their educational programs, but there has been a lack of international and multi(inter)cultural education. This paper is a restudy of Nilajana Bardhan 2003 study Creating Spaces for International and Multi(inter)cultural Perspectives in Undergraduate Public Reactions Education

Perceptions of Advertising with Interracial Couples: The Influence of Race and Attitudes Toward Interracial Dating • Taylor Young, Oklahoma State University • The present study analyzed how models’ race or ethnicity influences attitudes toward advertising that portrays interracial couples. A survey of college students (n=309) was conducted to examine whether the type of couple (interracial or same race) or the configuration of the interracial couple (Black female – White male or Black male – White female) influenced their response. Additionally, it explored how respondents’ race or ethnicity and preexisting attitudes toward interracial dating impacted their response to the ad.

Culture, Media, and Depression: A Focus Group Study in Understanding International Students’ Mental Health Literacy • Nanlan Zhang • This study employed qualitative, in-depth focus groups with international students and U.S. students to explore their perceived mental health literacy and perceptions of information portrayed in mass media regarding depression. The results found that American students showed openness and sufficiency in talking about depression. International students assigned stigma in the Asian and African cultural values as a major barrier to discussing personal experiences regarding depression in public. Both groups held negative attitudes toward media in conveying messages about depression but showed more trust on social support, which implied a need for improving public’s mental health literacy.


Cultural and Critical Studies 2017 Abstracts

Judging the Masses: The Hutchins Commission on the Press, the New York Intellectuals on Mass Culture • Stephen Bates, University of Nevada, Las Vegas • To qualify as an intellectual, according to Edmund Wilson, one must be “dissatisfied with the goods that the mass media are putting out.” This paper dissects and compares two prominent midcentury critiques of the mass media that have rarely been considered together: the critique of the news media by Robert Maynard Hutchins and the Commission on Freedom of the Press, and the critique of mass culture by Dwight Macdonald and other New York intellectuals.

Detecting Black: Urban African American Noir • Ralph Beliveau, University of Oklahoma • A critical and cultural perspective leads to the notion that Film Noir’s sense of location is tied to urban spaces. The context of post-WW II cities, depicted as an expressionist play of revealing light and disguising shadow, defines the cultural universe for these stories of crime and conflict. However less attention has been paid to the notion of race in relation to noir, though the varieties of stories that are discussed under noir (and neo-noir) include significant treatments of African American characters in these urban contexts. The relationship between cities and black culture(s), therefore, offers an opportunity to explore American cities at the intersection of race and the concerns of noir. A deeper noir context is presented in the Los Angeles of Carl Franklin’s Devil in a Blue Dress (1995), the Hughes Brothers’ neo-noir Brooklyn in the film Dead Presidents (1995), and the adaptation of a Chester Himes story in the “Tang” episode of the anthology pilot Cosmic Slop (1994), by Warrington and Reginald Hudlin. In these examples the noir setting is increasingly constrained, the urban landscapes, through racially inflected noir terms, are a shrinking labyrinth. The uncomfortable politics of race that are just beneath the surface of noir are brought to the forefront. Where mainstream (i.e., racially transparent) noir finds threats in how the system is perverted by evil men and femme fatales, by shifting attention to attitudes about race, these evil actions are matched by injustices and evil in the epistemology of ignorance in the systems themselves.

Athleticism or racism?: Identity formation of the (racialized) dual-threat quarterback through football recruiting websites. • Travis R. Bell, University of South Florida • This study uses racial formation theory to explain how football recruiting websites oppress high school quarterbacks of color through the “dual-threat” code word. Analysis of 125 top-rated quarterbacks from 2012-2016 is explicated as a sporting racial project. Inequality is embedded in the coded difference between predominately white “pro-style” quarterbacks and “dual-threats.” Racialization of the quarterback position reduces upward mobility and serves as a site of new struggle for quarterbacks of color to overcome as teenagers.

Faith and Reason: A Cultural Discourse Analysis of the Black & Blue Facebook Pages • Mary Angela Bock, University of Texas at Austin; Ever Figueroa, University of Texas at Austin • Highly publicized deaths of Black men during police encounters have inspired a renewed civil rights movement originating with a Twitter hashtag, “Black Lives Matter.” Supporters of the law enforcement community quickly countered with an intervention of their own, using the slogan, “Blue Lives Matter.” This project compared the discourses of their respective Facebook groups using Symbolic Convergence Theory. It found that the two groups’ symbol systems are homologous with America’s historic secular tension.

Deconstructing the communication researcher through the culture-centered approach • Abigail Borron, University of Georgia • The culture-centered approach (CCA) model, as a research methodology, critically examines the contested intersections among culture, structure, and agency, specifically as it relates to marginalized communities. This paper examines how CCA challenged the researcher to personally evaluate ethical and academic responsibility, recognize marginalizing practices on behalf of the dominant paradigm, and integrate elements of CCA into course design and student mentorship regarding future journalism and communication careers and scholarly work.

Differential Climate: Blacks and Whites in Super Bowl Commercials, 1989-2014 • Kenneth Campbell, University of South Carolina; Ernest Wiggins, University of South Carolina; Phillip Jeter • A content analysis of Super Bowl commercials from 1989 to 2014 finds that Blacks as primary characters exceed their proportion in U. S. population. However, they appear much more frequently in background roles and are associated with less prestigious products more than with higher-status products, which is consistent with the presence of Blacks in other TV commercials and findings of a climate of difference in commentary about Black athletes and White athletes during sporting events

“Trust me. I am not a racist”: Whiteness, Media and Millennials • chris campbell, u. of southern miss. • This paper examines “whiteness,” a contemporary form of racism identified by Critical Race Theorists, in media created by and/or designed for the Millennial generation. Partially through a textual analysis of white comedian-actress Amy Shumer’s peculiar take-off on superstar Beyonce’s “Transformation” video, the paper argues that even politically progressive Millennial media reflect similarities to racially problematic media produced by previous generations — especially the notion of post-racialism. The paper raises the possibility that post-racial whiteness will continue to haunt media texts and delay yet another generation of Americans from arriving at a more sophisticated understanding of racism and its impact on our culture.

“We’re nothing but the walking dead in Flint”: Framing and Social Pathology in News Coverage of the Flint Water Crisis • Michael Clay Carey, Samford; Jim Lichtenwalter, Georgia • This framing study uses news coverage of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis to examine representation of social pathology. Ettema and Peer wrote that the use of a “language of social pathology to describe lower-income urban neighborhoods” has led Americans to “understand those communities entirely in terms of their problems” (1996, p. 835). Urban pathology frames discussed in this study suggest a lack of agency among residents and may distract from broader questions of environmental justice.

Navigating Alma’s gang culture: Exploring testimono, identity and violence through an interactive documentary • Heather McIntosh; Kalen Churcher, Wilkes University • Testimonios bring oppressed voices to the masses, motivating them toward political engagement. Alma: A Tale of Violence is an interactive documentary that draws on this tradition. It tells the story of a Guatemalan woman who joined a gang and struggled with marianismo expectations within gang culture machismo. This paper argues that while Alma provides expansive information unavailable in other mediated testimonio forms, it offers a limited experience in terms of audience participation and interactivity.

Of “Tomatoes” and Men: A Continuing Analysis of Gender in Music Radio Formats • David Crider, SUNY Oswego • The 2015 radio controversy “SaladGate” revealed a lack of female music artists gaining airplay. This study expands a previous gender analysis of music radio into a longitudinal study. A content analysis of 192 stations revealed that airplay is increasing for females; however, it is mostly limited to the Top-40 format. The results suggest the existence of a gender order (Connell, 1987) in music radio, one that works hand-in-hand with the music industry to exclude women.

Considering the Corrective Action of Universities in Diversity Crises: A Critical Comparative Approach • George Daniels, The University of Alabama • Using both the theory of image restoration discourse and critical race theory, this study takes a critical comparative examination of the university responses to diversity crises in 2015 at The University of Missouri, The University of Oklahoma, and The University of Alabama. All three institutions took “corrective action” by appointing a “diversity czar” and a committee or council to investigate concerns of students protests.

Preserving the Cultural Memory with Tweets? A Critical Perspective On Digital Archiving, Agency and Symbolic Partnerships at the Library of Congress • Elisabeth Fondren, Louisiana State University – Manship School of Mass Communication; Meghan Menard-McCune, LSU • In recent years, the Library of Congress has announced plans to archive vast collections of digital communication, including the social media tool Twitter. A textual analysis of white papers and press briefings show the Library is trying to make born-digital media accessible by increasingly partnering with private vendors. This study attempts to narrow the gap in understanding why cultural organizations have an interest in preserving social media as part of our collective memory.

A Seven-Letter Word for Leaving People Out: E L I T I S M in The New York Times Crossword • Shane Graber • This study examines the discourse that The New York Times crossword puzzle uses to define, protect, and exclusively communicate with the culture elite, a privileged group of people who tend to be wealthy, male, and white. Using a critical discourse analysis to study clues and answers, findings show that puzzles in the world’s most important newspaper skew favorably toward the culture elite and often portray marginalized groups such as women, people of color, and the poor negatively—or ignore them altogether.

When Local is National: Analysis of Interacting Journalistic Communities in Coverage of Sea Level Rise • Robert Gutsche Jr, Florida International University; Moses Shumow, Florida International University • This study examines the interaction of journalistic communities from local and national levels by examining moments when local issue for local audiences was thrust onto a national stage by national press for wider audiences. Through this analysis, we argue that local press positioned themselves as authorities on local issue, ultimately positioning national press as “outsiders” so as to reaffirm local news boundaries, a process we refer to as boundary intersection.

Silly Meets Serious: Discursive Integration and the Stewart/Colbert Era • Amanda Martin, University of Tennessee; Mark Harmon, University of Tennessee; Barbara Kaye, University of Tennessee • This paper traces political satire on U. S. television. Using the theory of discursive integration, the paper examines the satire of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, and the scholarship about their respective programs, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Discursive integration explained well the look and sound, as well as societal function, of such programs. Each blurs lines between news and entertainment, and helps audiences decode meanings from the hubris often in the news.

Remote Control: Producing the Active Object • Matthew Corn; Kristen Heflin, Kennesaw State University • This study argues that remote control is not merely a human capability or feature of a device, but a type of human/device relation and agency with deep roots in broader attempts at control from a distance. This study discusses the concept of active objects and provides an historical account of the emergence of remote control as the means of producing active objects, thus revealing the insufficiency of Enlightenment/empiricist divisions between acting humans and acted-upon objects.

Social Identity Theory as the Backbone of Sports Media Research • Nicholas Hirshon, William Paterson University • The impacts of group memberships on self-image can be examined through social identity theory and the concepts of BIRGing (basking in reflected glory) and CORFing (cutting off reflected failure). Given the interaction between sports media narratives and identity variables, this paper charts the simultaneous developments of social identity theory and BIRGing and CORFing and examines how social identity can serve as the theoretical backbone for sports media scholarship.

Challenging the Narrative: The Colin Kaepernick National Anthem Protest in Mainstream and Alternative Media • David Wolfgang, Colorado State University; Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri • In 2016, NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick protested police brutality by kneeling during the national anthem, stirring debates in the media over appropriate methods of protest. This study used textual analysis to compare mainstream and black press coverage of Kaepernick’s protest and also analyzed forums on black press websites. The findings show how mainstream media focused on a protest narrative, while the black press struggled to promote racial uplift and to use forums for productive discourse.

National Security Culture: Gender, Race and Class in the Production of Imperial Citizenship • Deepa Kumar, Journalism and Media Studies, Rutgers University • This paper is about how national security culture sets out, in raced, gendered, and classed terms, to prepare the American public to take up their role as citizens of empire. The cultural imagination of national security, I argue, is shaped both by the national security state and the media industry. Drawing on archival material, I offer a contextual/historical analysis of key national security visual texts in two periods—the early Cold War era and the Obama phase of the War on Terror. A comparative analysis of the two periods shows that while Cold War practices inform the War on Terror, there are also discontinuities. A key difference is the inclusion of women and people of color within War on Terror imperial citizenship, inflected by the logic of a neoliberal form of feminism and multiculturalism. I argue that inclusion is not positive and urge scholars to combine an intersectional analysis of identity with a structural critique of neoliberal imperialism.

Searching for Citizen Engagement and City Hall: 200 Municipal Homepages and Their Rhetorical Outreach to Audiences • Jacqueline Lambiase, TCU • U.S. cities rely on their websites to enhance citizen engagement, and digital government portals have been promoted for decades as gateways to participatory democracy. This study, through rhetorical and qualitative content analyses, focuses on 200 municipal homepages and the ways they address audiences and invite participation. The findings reveal very few cities have: platforms for interactive discussions; representations of citizen activities; or ways to call citizens into being for the important work of shared governance.

California Newspapers’ Framing of the End-of-Life Option Act • Kimberly Lauffer; Sean Baker; Audrey Quinn • In 2014, Brittany Maynard, 29, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, moved from California to Oregon, one of only three U.S. states with legal physician-assisted death, so she could determine when she would die. Three months after her Nov. 1, 2014, death, California lawmakers introduced SB 128, the End-of-Life Option Act, to permit aid in dying in California. This paper uses qualitative methods to examine how California newspapers framed the End-of-Life Option Act.

When Cognition Engages Culture and Vice Versa: Conflict-Driven Media Events from Strategy to Ritual • Limin Liang • Amidst the recent turn towards power and conflict in media ritual studies, this article proposes a new media events typology building on Dayan and Katz’s (1992) classic functionalist model. Events are categorized according to how a society manages internal and external conflicts in ritualized/ritual-like ways, and at both formal and substantive levels. This leads to four scenarios: rationalized conflict, ritualized trauma, perpetuated conflict and transformed conflict, all of which can be subsumed under Victor Turner’s useful concept of “social drama”. Further, to bridge ritual and cognitive framing studies, the article compares the two fields’ central frames for studying social conflict – “social drama” vs. “social problem” – and their mechanisms of achieving effect, namely, salience-making and resonance-crafting. The article tries to move beyond the “media events vs. daily news” binary to study communication along a continuum from strategy to ritual.

Re-imagining Communities in Flux, in Cyberspace and beyond Nationalism: Community and Identity in Macau • Zhongxuan LIN • Based on four years of participant observation on 37 Macau Facebook communities and 12 in-depth interviews, this paper inquires the research question that how Macau Internet users resist legitimizing identity, reclaim resistance identity and restructure project identity thereby constructing re-imagined communities in cyberspace. This inquiry proposes a possible identity-focused approach for future community studies, especially studying re-imagined communities in flux, in cyberspace and beyond nationalism.

Clustering and Video Content Creators: Democratization at Work • Nadav Lipkin • Much has been written on the democratizing potential of YouTube and other video-sharing sites, but scholarship generally disregards professional independent video content creators. This article explores these content creators through the concept of clustering that suggests firms and workers benefit from co-location. Using a case study of video content creators, this study suggests these workers are less positively affected by clustering due to political-economic conditions and the digital nature of production.

“Kinda Like Making Coffee”: Exploring Twitter as a Legitimate Journalistic Form • Zhaoxi Liu, Trinity University; Dan Berkowitz, U of Iowa • Through an eight-week field research, the study provides an in-depth inquiry into journalists’ use of Twitter and what it means to their craft, foregrounding the issue of artifact boundary while exploring its deeper meaning from a cultural point of view. The study found journalists had contradicting views on the issue of artifact boundary, and faced contradictions and uncertainties regarding what Twitter meant for their craft. The paper also discusses the finding’s implications for democracy.

Editorial Influence Beyond Trending Topics: Facebook’s Algorithmic Censorship and Bearing Witness Problems • Jessica Maddox, University of Georgia • In 2016, Facebook found itself at the intersection of a controversy surrounding media ethics and censorship when it removed Nick Ut’s famous “Terror of War” photo for violating its community standards policy regarding child nudity. The social media giant defended its decision by decreeing its image scanning algorithms had functioned correctly in policing the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph. This contentious situation highlights many nebulous issues presently facing social media platforms, and in order to assess some of the dominant forms made available from press coverage of this issue, I conducted a textual analysis of the top ten international newspapers with the highest web rankings. This research shows that one, blurred boundaries of media, communication, and content are even more tenuous when considering social media, technology companies, and algorithms; two, that with great media power comes great media responsibility that Facebook does not seem to be living up to; and finally, that a fundamental flaw with algorithms, writ large, lies in their inability to bear witness to human suffering, as exemplified by international news coverage of the censorship of “Terror of War.” By regulating all human duties to computers, individuals absolve themselves over moral duties and compasses, thus presenting a perplexing ethical issue in the digital age.

Intellect and Journalism in Shared Space: Social Control in the Academic-Media Nexus • Michael McDevitt • This paper highlights interactions of journalists and academics as deserving more scrutiny with respect to both media sociology and normative theory on the circulation of ideas. Three sources of social control that impinge on the academic-media nexus are examined. A final section contemplates the implications of risk-aversive communication in higher education for public perceptions of intellect and its contributions to policy and politics.

Blending with Beckham: New Masculinity in Men’s Magazine Advertising in India • Suman Mishra • This study examines the representation of the “new man” in men’s lifestyle magazine advertising in India. Using textual analysis, the study explains how certain kinds of western masculine ideals and body aesthetics are being adopted and reworked into advertising to appeal and facilitate consumption among middle and upper class Indian men. The hybrid construction of masculinity shows a complex interplay between the global and the local which overall acts to homogenize the male body and masculine ideal while simultaneously creating a class and racial hierarchy in the glocal arena.

Digital Diaspora and Ethnic Identity Negotiation: An Examination of Ethnic Discourse about 2014 Sewol Ferry Disaster at a Korean-American Digital Diaspora • Chang Sup Park • This study examines how the members of a Korean-American online diaspora perceived a homeland disaster which took 304 lives and to what extent their perceptions relate to ethnic identity. To this end, it analyzes 1,000 comments posted in MissyUSA, the biggest online community for Korean Americans. This study also interviews 70 users of the ethnic online community. The findings demonstrate that the diasporic discourse about the disaster was fraught with discrete emotions, particularly guilt, anger, and shame among others. While guilt and anger contributed to reminding Korean Americans of their ethnic identity, shame has resulted in the disturbance of the ethnic identity of some Korean Americans. This study advances the ethnic identity negotiation theory by illuminating the nuanced interconnection between online ethnic communication, emotions, and ethnic identity.

Non-Representational News: An Intervention Against Pseudo-Events • Perry Parks • This paper introduces a journalistic intervention into routinized political “pseudo-events” that can lull reporters and citizens into stultified complacency about public affairs while facilitating highly disciplined politicians’ cynical messaging. The intervention draws on non-representational theory, a style of research that aims to disrupt automatic routines and encourage people to recognize possibilities for change from moment to moment. The paper details the author’s coverage of a routine political rally from a perspective untethered to normalized journalistic or political cues of importance, to generate affective and possibly unpredictable responses to the content.

Is Marriage a Must? Hegemonic Femininity and the Portrayal of “Leftover Women” in Chinese Television Drama • Anqi Peng • “Leftover women” is a Chinese expression referring to unmarried women over 30s who have high education and income levels. Through a textual analysis of the “leftover women” representation in the television drama We Get Married, this study explores how the wrestling of tradition and modernity exerting a great impact on the construction of the femininity of “leftover women.”

Every American Life: Understanding Serial as True Crime • Ian Punnett, Ohio Northern University • Serial (2014), a podcast in 12 episodes on the digital platform of the popular NPR radio show, This American Life, reached the 5 million downloads mark faster than any podcast in history. Although a few scholars identified the podcast as part of the true crime literary convention Neither the producers nor the host ever referred to Serial as true crime. Using textual criticism, this analysis proves that it was.

Journalist-Student Collaborations: Striking Newspaper Workers and University Students Publish the Peterborough Free Press, 1968-1969 • Errol Salamon • Building on the concept of alternative journalism, this paper presents the Peterborough Free Press as a case study of a strike-born newspaper that was published by striking Peterborough Examiner newsworkers and Ontario university students from 1968 to 1969. Drawing on labor union documents and newspapers reports, this paper critically examines how this alliance collaboratively launched the Free Press to fill a gap in local news coverage, competing with and providing an alternative to the Examiner.

“You better work, bitch!”: Disciplining the feminine consumer prototype in Britney Spears’s “Work Bitch” • Miles Sari, Washington State University • Using Baudrillard’s theory of consumption as a theoretical framework, in addition to support from Horkheimer & Adorno, Foucault, and Bartky, this paper examines how Britney Spears’s 2013 music video “Work Bitch” articulates a violent capitalist narrative of consumption. Specifically, the author argues that the clip advocates for a collective submission to the sadistic, social discipline of the female consumer body as a means of accessing the social and material luxuries of the bourgeoisie.

Color, Caste, and the Public Sphere: A study of black journalists who joined television networks from 1994-2014 • Indira Somani, Howard University; Natalie Hopkinson, Howard University • “Grounded in critical and cultural studies this study examined the attitudes and experiences of a group of Post-Civil Rights black journalists who face some of the same newsroom issues their predecessors faced, despite what was recommended in the Kerner Report in 1968.

Through in-depth interviews, the researchers uncovered the organizational and cultural practices of 23 black journalists aged 23-42 working in television network newsrooms, such as NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN and Fox. The participants included executives, anchors, reporters, producers, associate producers and assignment editors, who reveal how anti-black cultural norms are re-enforced by mentors, colleagues as well as superiors. Participants talked about culture, hair, skin color, grooming, and African American Identity and how conforming to white hegemonic norms were necessary for career advancement. This study also examined the degree to which color and caste continue to influence both the private workplace and the public sphere.”

Sights, Sounds and Stories of the Indian Diaspora: A New Browning of American Journalism • Radhika Parameswaran; Roshni Verghese • Using the concept of cultural citizenship, this paper explores the recent growth and visibility of the Indian diaspora in American journalism. We first begin with an analysis of the South Asian Journalists Association to understand the collective mobilization of this ethno-racial professional community. Gathering publicly available data on Indian Americans in journalism, we then present a numerical portrait of this minority community’s affiliations with journalism. Finally, we scrutinize the profiles of a select group of prominent diasporic Indian journalists to chart the professional terrain they occupy. In the end, we argue that Indian Americans may be a small minority, but they are poised to become a workforce whose creative and managerial labor will make a difference to journalism.

The securitization presidency: Evaluation, exception and the irreplaceable nation in campaign discourse • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • This discourse analysis uses securitization theory to examine the maintenance of the Other in the discourse of the 2016 US presidential campaign and the early stages of the Trump presidency. The taken-for-grantedness of American exceptionalism, combined with the general orientation of the press toward narratives of power, explains the maintenance of identity through the construction of Iran, Islam and the spectre of “political correctness” as existential threats. This paper advances the understanding of the specific mechanisms by which “security” is invoked; securitization is a fundamentally political move, though its goal is to move an issue like Iran beyond the realm of political debate and into the realm of security.

SNL and the Gendered Election: The Funny Thing About Liking Him and Hating Her • Wendy Weinhold, Coastal Carolina University; Alison Fisher Bodkin • Feminist theories of comedy guide this analysis of journalism in the New York Times and Washington Post dedicated to Saturday Night Live’s 2016 election coverage. The analysis reveals how SNL’s election sketches and news about them focused on the candidates’ celebrity, appeal, and style in lieu of substantive critique of their positions, policies, or platforms. The personality-based comedy and resulting news emphasized gender stereotypes and missed an opportunity to put real-life political drama in perspective.

Emotional News, Emotional Counterpublic: Unraveling the Mediated Construction of Fear in the Chinese Diasporic Community Online • Sheng Zou • Examining a popular news blog targeting Chinese diaspora living in the United States, this paper explores how emotionally-oriented digital news production sustains the Chinese diasporic community online as an emotional counterpublic sphere. This paper argues that the mediated construction of fear as a predominant emotion holds civic potentials, for it bridges the political life and everyday life, and connects a potentially more engaged diasporic counterpublic with the dominant public sphere of the receiving society.


Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk 2016 Abstracts

Using Visual Metaphors in Health Messages: A Strategy to Increase Effectiveness for Mental Illness Communication • Allison Lazard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Benita Bamgbade; Jennah Sontag, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Carolyn Brown • Depression is highly prevalent among college students. Although treatment is often available on university campuses, many stigma-based barriers prevent students from seeking help. Communication strategies, such as the use of metaphors, are needed to reduce barriers. Using a two-phase approach, this study identified how college students conceptualize mental illness, designed messages with conceptual and visual metaphors commonly used, and tested these message to determine their potential as an effective communication strategy to reduce stigma.

How Journalists Characterize Health Inequalities and Redefine Solutions for Native American Audiences • Amanda Hinnant, University of Missouri, School of Journalism; Roma Subramanian; Rokeshia Ashley, University of Missouri-Columbia; Mildred Perreault, University of Missouri/ Appalachian State University; Rachel Young; Ryan Thomas, University of Missouri-Columbia • This research investigates how journalists for Native American communities characterize health inequalities and the issues with covering determinants of health. In-depth interviews (n = 24) revealed a tension between “medical” and “cultural” models of health, contributing to the oversaturation of certain issues. Interviews also amplified the contexts that shape health inequalities, illuminating the roles of historical trauma and the destruction of indigenous health beliefs and behaviors. Failure to recognize the issues can stymie communication efforts.

Poison or Prevention? Unraveling the Linkages between Vaccine-Negative Individuals’ Knowledge Deficiency, Motivations, and Communication Behaviors • Arunima Krishna • The last few decades have seen growing concerns among parents regarding the safety of childhood vaccines, arguably leading to the rise of the anti-vaccine movement. This study is an effort to understand situational and cross-situational factors that influence individuals’ negative attitudes toward vaccines, referred to as vaccine negativity. In doing so, this study identified two categories of reasons for which individuals display vaccine negativity – liberty-related, and safety-related concerns – and elucidated how situational and cross-situational factors influenced each type of vaccine negativity differently. Specifically, this study tested how knowledge deficiency, or acceptance of scientifically inaccurate data about vaccines, and institutional trust influenced negative attitudes toward vaccines. Using the situational theory of problem solving as the theoretical framework, this also identified and tested a knowledge-attitude-motivation-behavior framework of vaccine negative individuals’ cognitions and behaviors about the issue.

Chronic pain: Sources’ framing of post-traumatic stress disorder in The New York Times • Barbara Barnett, University of Kansas; Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common reaction after witnessing a violent event. While nearly eight million Americans, including combat veterans, have PTSD, few studies have explored how the condition is represented in mass media. This content analysis examined sources’ characterization of PTSD in New York Times articles. Results show that news stories framed PTSD as a long-term problem, with little chance for recovery, a frame that could negatively affect public policy decisions.

This Is Not A Test: Investigating The Effects Of Cueing And Cognitive Load On Severe Weather Alerts • Carie Cunningham • Climate change is increasing and causing more severe weather events around the globe. Severe weather events require effective communication of incoming dangers and threats to different populations. The current study focuses on investigating ways in which severe weather alerts are attended to and remembered better by audience members. To this end, this study used a 2 (primary task cognitive load: low vs. high) x 2 (weather alert cueing technique: cued vs. non-cued) within-subject experiment to understand how television weather alerts evoke attention and memory from viewers. Participants were exposed to TV films that varied in cognitive load, through which they were exposed to both cued and non-cued weather alerts. The findings show that cognitive load changes viewers’ recognition and memory of the weather alerts, but not of the main content. Furthermore, the interaction of cueing and cognitive load influenced fixation and gaze in attention measures, but not the recall measures for the weather alerts. Results are discussed in the context of dependent variables: visual recognition, information recognition, cued recall, free recall, fixation, and gaze. The findings support some nuances to television viewing under different conditions.

A State-Level Analysis of the Social Media Climate of GMOs in the U.S. • Christopher Wirz, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Xuan Liang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Michael Xenos; Dominique Brossard, UW-Madison; Dietram Scheufele • This study is a state-level analysis of the relationship between the social media, news, and policy climates related to GMOs. We performed a systematic and exhaustive analysis of geographically-identified tweets related to GMOs from August 1, 2012 through November 30, 2014. We then created a model using a variety of state-level factors to predict pessimistic tweets about GMOs using states as the unit of analysis.

Psychological determinants of college students’ adoption of mobile health applications for personal health management • Chuqing Dong; Lauren Gray; Hao Xu, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities • “Mobile health has been studied for patient care and disease management in the clinical context, but less is known about factors contribute to consumers’ acceptance of mobile health apps for personal health and fitness management.

This study serves as one of the first attempts to understand the psychological determinants of mobile health acceptance among millenials – those most likely to use mobile apps. Built on an extended model combining the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) and the Reasoned Action approach, this multimethod study aimed to identify which proximal determinants and their underlying salient beliefs were most associated with intention to use mobile health apps in the next twelve months.

Results from the qualitative belief elicitation data analysis indicated 14 different positive and negative consequences (behavioral beliefs) of using mobile health apps, 11 social references (normative beliefs) important to the use of mobile health apps, and 9 behavioral circumstances (behavioral control beliefs) that would enable or make it more difficult to use mobile health apps. Results from the quantitative Reasoned action data indicated perceived ease of use and perceived usefulness of the app were positively correlated with attitude towards mobile health app use and perceived usefulness was also positively correlated with intention to use it in the next twelve months. Instrumental attitudes and perceived behavioral control (capacity), as well as several of their underlying beliefs, were the strongest predictors of intention to use mobile health apps in the next twelve months.”

Talkin’ smack: An analysis of news coverage of the heroin epidemic • Erin Willis; David Morris II, University of Oregon • The number of heroin users continues to rise in the United States, creating a public health epidemic that is cause for great concern. Recent heroin use has been linked to opiate abuse and national organizations have identified this issue as a serious public health challenge. The Obama administration recently directed more than $1 billion in funding to expand access to treatment and boost efforts to help those who seek treatment. Newspapers are seen as reliable and credible sources of information, and newspapers’ portrayals of public health problems influence readers’ perceptions about the severity of the problem and solutions to the problem. The current study examined national and city newspapers coverage of heroin. The results of this study inform health communication and public health education efforts and offer practical implications for combatting the heroin epidemic.

Exchanging social support online: A big-data analysis of IBS patients’ interactions on an online health forum from 2008 to 2012 • Fan Yang, Pennsylvania State University; Bu Zhong, Pennsylvania State University • This research conducts a big-data analysis to examine why IBS patients offered social support to peer patients on an online health forum. Social network analysis of 90,965 messages shared among 9,369 patients from 2008-2012 suggests that although having received support from others encourages individuals to offer support in the online community, being able to help others previously also emerges as a significant and long-lasting impetus for social support provision online. Reciprocating support with one another, however, prevents one from keeping offering support on the forum over time. Furthermore, based on sentiment analysis, it is indicated that the extent to which one could freely express emotions for support seeking also serves as a significant predictor for the amount of social support he/she could obtain from others. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

To entertain or to scare? A meta-analytic review on the persuasiveness of emotional appeals in health messages • Fan Yang, Pennsylvania State University; Jinyoung Kim, The Pennsylvania State University • This research conducts a meta-analytic review on the how appealing to positive vs. negative emotions in health messages could persuade. Emotional appeals significantly enhance the persuasiveness of health messages on cognition, attitude, and intention, but not on actual behavior. Appealing to negative rather than positive emotions appears to be more persuasive. Furthermore, richer formats of presentations of health messages are significantly more effective than plain texts. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

A Disagreement on Consensus: A Measured Critique of the Gateway Belief Model and Consensus Messaging Research • Graham Dixon, Washington State University • The newly developed Gateway Belief Model suggests the key to scientific beliefs is one’s perception of a scientific consensus. However, inconsistent findings question the explanatory power of the model and its application. This paper provides further depth to the explanatory power of the model, suggesting consensus messages affect audience segments in different ways. This nuanced perspective of the model can usher in future research seeking to close belief gaps between the lay public and experts.

Communicating inaction-framed risk: Reducing the omission bias via internal causal attribution • Graham Dixon, Washington State University • Despite identical outcomes derived from actions or inactions, people often experience more intense affective reactions toward action-framed outcomes. This “omission bias” presents challenges to communicating various risks. Reporting on two experiments, findings suggest that the omission bias occurs across various risk topics and message stimuli. Importantly, dimensions of causal attribution, such as locus of causality and stability, play a mediating role on the omission bias. Recommendations are made for more effective risk communication practices.

You Win or We Lose: A Conditional Indirect Effect Model of Message Framing in Communicating the Risks of Hydraulic Fracturing • Guanxiong Huang, Michigan State University; Kang Li; Hairong Li • This study explores the effects of message framing and reference frame on risk perception and associated behavior intent. Using an environmental hazard of hydraulic fracturing as an example, a 2 (message framing: gain vs. loss) × 2 (reference frame: self vs. group) between-subject experiment shows significant interaction effects between message framing and reference frame, in that gain-framed message paired with self-referencing frame is most effective in enhancing risk perception whereas the loss-framed message paired with group-referencing frame is most effective in increasing willingness to sign a petition to ban hydraulic fracturing. More theoretical and practical implications for environmental risk communication and persuasive message design are discussed.

Messages Promoting Genetically Modified Crops in the Context of Climate Change: Evidence for Psychological Reactance • Hang Lu, Cornell University; Katherine McComas; John Besley, Michigan State University • Genetic modification (GM) of crops and climate change are arguably two of today’s most challenging science communication issues. Increasingly, these two issues are connected in messages proposing GM as a viable option for ensuring global food security threatened by climate change. This study examines the effects of messages promoting the benefits of GM in the context of climate change. Further, it examines whether attributing the context to “climate change” vs. “global warming” vs. “no cue” leads to different effects. An online sample of U.S. participants (N=1,050) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: “climate change” cue, “global warming” cue, no cue, or control (no message). Compared to the control, all other conditions increased positive attitudes toward GM. However, the “no cue” condition led to liberals having more positive attitudes and behavioral intentions toward GM than the “climate change” cue condition, an effect mediated by message evaluations.

An Enhanced Theory of Planned Behaviour Perspective: Health Information Seeking on Smartphones Among Domestic Workers • Hattie Liew; Hiu Ying Christine Choy • This exploratory study investigates the antecedents of health information seeking via mobile smartphone (HISM) among migrant domestic workers. 320 Filipina workers in Hong Kong were surveyed. The Theory of Planned Behaviour (TPB) was extended with health literacy and external factors like needs of workers’ family as predictors of HISM intention. Findings support the TPB as a predictor of HISM and suggest the importance facilitating health information literacy and technical know-how among migrant domestic workers.

Need for Autonomy as a Motive for Valuing Fairness in Risk Communication • Hwanseok Song, Cornell University • Research shows that people strive to restore autonomy after experiencing its deprivation. An experiment was used to test whether people’s need for autonomy explains why they value non-outcome fairness (i.e., procedural, interpersonal, informational) in risk management contexts. Partial support was found for this effect, moderated by attitudes toward the risk itself. After experiencing autonomy-deprivation, participants who were more negative about the risk valued non-outcome fairness more and technical competence of the risk manager less.

Humor Effects in Advertising on Human Papillomavirus (HPV): The Role of Information Salience, Humor Level, and Objective Knowledge • Hye Jin Yoon; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, Southern Methodist University • As human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States, it is imperative that health communicators seek message strategies that educate the public on prevention and treatment. Guided by the elaboration likelihood model (ELM), an experimental study tested the effects of sexually transmitted disease (STD) information salience, humor level, and objective knowledge in HPV public service advertisements (PSAs). The findings show objective knowledge moderating responses to advertisements varying in STD information salience and humor levels. Theoretical implications for humor and knowledge effects in health communication and practical implications regarding the design and targeting of HPV campaigns are provided.

Media Use and Antimicrobial Resistance Misinformation and Misuse: Survey Evidence of Information Channels and Fatalism in Augmenting a Global Health Threat • Jacob Groshek, Boston University; James Katz; Chelsea Cutino; Qiankun Zhong • Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is giving rise to a global public health threat that is not reflected in public opinion of AMR. This study thus proceeds to examine which individuals among the general public are more likely to be misinformed about AMR and report misusing AMR-related products. Specifically, traditional media (newspaper, radio, television) consumption and social media use are modeled as factors which may not only reinforce but perpetuate AMR misinformation and misuse.

Who is Scared of the Ebola Outbreak? The Influence of Discrete Emotions on Risk Perception • Janet Yang; Haoran Chu • Utilizing the appraisal tendency framework, this study analyzed discrete emotion’s influence on the U.S. public’s risk perception and support for risk mitigation measures. An experimental survey based on a nationally representative sample showed that discrete emotions were significantly related to public risk perception. Further, fear exhibited an inhibitive effect on the relationship between systematic processing of risk information and institutional mitigation support. Systematic processing, in contrast, had the most consistent impact on mitigation support.

Sexual Health Intervention Messaging: Proof Positive that Sex Negative Messages are Less Persuasive • Jared Brickman • As comprehensive sexual health education programs are adopted by universities, there is a need to evaluate what messaging approaches might connect best with students. This study measured reactions to sex positive or negative messages, framed as a gain or loss. Participants evaluated 24 messages on their mobile phones. Gain framing was preferred over loss framing, and sex positive messages were rated as more believable and persuasive. An interaction between the two concepts was also found.

Examining the Differential Effects of Emotions: Anxiety, Despair, and Informed Futility   • Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Rebecca Donaway, Washington State University; Yiran Wang, Washington State University • Using survey data collected during the fall of 2015, we examine the role of different emotions in increasing and decreasing active information seeking and processing behaviors. We replicate results from the Risk Information Seeking and Processing (RISP) model focusing on anxiety as a key variable that triggers these active information seeking behaviors. We also test the informed futility hypothesis, which proposes that learning about an issue leads people to become disengaged with solving the problem.

Public Support for Energy Portfolios in Canada: How Cost and National Energy Portfolios Affect Public Perception of Energy Technologies • Jens Larson; Jiawei Liu, Washington State University; Zena Zena Edwards; Kayla Wakulich; Amanda Boyd, Washington State University • In this study, we examine current energy perceptions in Canada, exploring how regional differences of current electricity-producing energy portfolios and evaluable information affect support for energy sources. Our results show that individuals support electricity-producing energy portfolios that vary significantly by region. We demonstrate through the use of a portfolio approach that evaluable information could significantly change support for electricity-producing energy technologies.

The effects of gain vs. loss framed medical and religious breast cancer survivor testimonies on attitudes and behaviors of African-American female viewers • Jensen Moore, University of Oklahoma • African-American women are at elevated risk for the most advanced form of breast cancer due to late detection. This 2 (Message Type: Religious/Medical) X 2 (Message Frame: Loss/Gain) X 4 (Message Replication) experiment examined breast cancer narratives aimed at African-American women ages 35-55 who had not had breast cancer. Narratives contained medical/religious messages and gain/loss frames. Effects of the narratives on attitude, credibility, behavioral intent, arousal and emotions were examined. Results suggest medical, gain framed narratives were the most effective. Specifically, gain framed narratives increased attitudes, mammogram behavioral intentions, arousal, and positive emotions while medical narratives increased credibility, mammogram behavioral intentions, and arousal.

Gap in Scientific Knowledge and the Role of Science Communication in South Korea • Jeong-Heon Chang; Sei-Hill Kim; Myung-Hyun Kang; Jae Chul Shim; Dong Hoon Ma • Using data from a national survey of South Koreans, this study explores the role of science communication in enhancing three different forms of scientific knowledge (factual, procedural, and subjective). We first assess learning effects, looking at the extent to which citizens learn science from different channels of communication (interpersonal discussions, traditional newspapers, television, online newspapers, and social media). We then look closely into the knowledge gap hypothesis, investigating how different channels of communication can either widen or narrow the gap in scientific knowledge between social classes. Our data indicated that among the four mass media channels examined, television was the most heavily-used source for science information in South Korea. Also, television was found to function as a “knowledge leveler,” narrowing the gap between highly and less educated individuals. The role of online newspapers in science learning is pronounced in our research. Reading newspapers online indicated a positive relationship to all three measures of scientific knowledge. Contrary to the knowledge-leveling effect of television viewing, reading online newspapers was found to increase, rather than decrease, the gap in knowledge. Implications of our findings are discussed in detail.

Beyond the worried well: Emotional states and education levels predict online health information seeking • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Jessica Willoughby • This study combined conceptual frameworks from health and risk information seeking, appraisal theory of emotions, and social determinants of health literatures to examine how emotional states and socioeconomic status individually and jointly predict online health information seeking. Using nationally representative data from the Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS 4, Cycle 3), we found that different discrete emotions predicted information seeking in different ways. Moreover, education levels interacted with anxiety to predict online information seeking.

The Effect on Young Women of Public Figure Health Narratives regarding HPV: An Application of the Elaboration Likelihood Model • Jo-Yun Queenie Li • “The Genital Human Papillomavirus (also called HPV), the most common STD which causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer in the U.S, has been overlooked by society due to a lack of knowledge and stigma surrounding STDs. This study explores the effectiveness of public figure health narratives and different media platforms on young women’s awareness of HPV and their behavioral intentions to receive vaccination. An online between-groups experiment with 275 participants based on the Elaboration Likelihood Model revealed that the effectiveness of public figure health narratives on individuals’ awareness and behavioral intentions are maximized when the messages appear in newspapers rather than in social media, and when the message recipients are in high involvement conditions. The interaction among the three variables is discussed, along with implications for health communication and HPV promotion campaigns.”

“I believe what I see:” Students’ use of media, issue engagement, and the perceived responsibility regarding campus sexual assault • Jo-Yun Queenie Li; Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina; Sei-Hill Kim • The topic of campus sexual assault has received much news media attention recently, prompting scholars to examine media effects on students’ attitudes and behaviors regarding the issue. Our survey with 567 college students examines how students’ media use have influenced their engagement with the issue of campus sexual assault and their perceived responsibility regarding the issue, looking particularly at the question of who is responsible and the perceptions of rape myths. Results revealed that newspapers’ coverage regarding campus sexual assault may contribute to college students’ victim-blaming and enduring victim myths. However, these may be minimized by raising students’ perceived importance about the issue. And the most effective media channel in which to increase students’ perceived importance is social media. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Cultural Representations of Gender and Science: Portrayals of Female STEM Professionals in Popular Films 2002-2014 • Jocelyn Steinke, Western Michigan University; Paola Paniagua Tavarez, Western Michigan University • This study focused on a textual analysis that examined representations of female STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) characters in speaking roles and portrayals of female STEM characters in lead, co-lead, and secondary roles in popular films that featured STEM characters from 2002 to 2014. Findings indicated that female were outnumbered by male STEM characters in speaking roles by 2 to 1. Portrayals of female STEM characters were varied. Some portrayals revealed gender stereotypes although scientist stereotypes were rare. Most female STEM character were portrayed as equal members of research teams, almost all portrayals focused on their attractiveness, and about half of the portrayals highlighted their romantic relationships. The findings from this study were compared with those from previous research in order to trace changes in cinematic representation and portrayals of female STEM characters over time. A discussion of the implications for future research in this area and implications for broadening participation in STEM will be addressed.

“You Made Me Want to Smoke”: Adaptive and Maladaptive Responses to Tweets from an Anti-Smoking Campaign using Protection Motivation Theory • Jordan Alpert, Virginia Commonwealth University; Linda Desens • The F.D.A. developed the Real Cost campaign to prevent and reduce the number of teens who experiment with smoking and become lifelong tobacco users. The $115 multimedia campaign utilizes channels such as television, radio, print and online, including social media. Since social media allows for interaction and immediate feedback, this study analyzed how Twitter users responded to anti-smoking messages containing fear-appeals created by the Real Cost. Over 300 tweets exchanged between a Twitter user and @KnowtheRealCost were gathered between 2015 and 2016. Through the lens of Protection Motivation Theory, content analysis discovered that 67% (220) of responses were maladaptive and 33% (111) of tweets were adaptive (intercoder reliability, κ = .818). Iterative analysis was also performed to identify and categorize themes occuring within threat and coping appraisals. For threat appraisals, it was found that perceived vulnerability was lessened due to incidence of the boomerang effect, perceived severity was reduced by comparison to other dangerous activities, and rewards included relaxation and reduced anxiety. Coping appraisals included evidence of self-efficacy and social support. Results of the study indicated that although users reacted in a maladaptive manner, Twitter can be a powerful platform to test messages, interact with users and reinforce efficacious behavior.

“Pass the Ban!” An Examination of the Denton, Texas, Fracking Ban • Judson Meeks, Texas Tech University • This paper examines how groups on both sides of the fracking debate presented their cases to the public by conducting a visual and textual analysis to examine campaign materials. The study found that anti-fracking advocates presented the issue as one about local control and unity, whereas the pro-fracking advocates presented the issue as an economic threat the local community and the financial well-being of future generations.

Promoting Healthy Behavior through Social Support in Mobile Health Applications • Jung Won Chun, University of Florida; Jieun Cho; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • Mobile health applications serve as a venue for promoting personal well-being by allowing users to engage in health-promoting behavior, such as sharing health information and health status/activities with each other. Through social interactions enabled by mobile health apps, people are likely to engage in healthy behavior and well-being with support from others. The current study explored which factors of smartphone use and motives for using health applications influence the perceived social support from mobile health applications. It also investigated the effect of perceived control as a mediating variable on the relationship between perceived social support in the applications and healthy behavior and well-being. The results showed that perceived social interaction and technological convenience were the main predictors of perceived social support in mobile health apps, which have indirect effects on exercise and perception of well-being. Perceived control positively mediated the relationship between perceived social support in the applications of both exercise and well-being.

Are you talking to me? Testing the value of Asian-specific messages as benefits to donating healthy breast tissue • Kelly Kaufhold, Texas State University; Yunjuan Luo; Autumn Shafer, University of Oregon • The Komen Tissue Bank at the Indiana University collects breast tissue samples from volunteers but suffers from a dearth of donations from Asian women. This two-part study was devised to test messages targeting Asian women. Applying Health Belief Model to a survey and five focus groups, low perceived susceptibility and severity yielded increased barriers and lower benefits among Asian women. Asian-specific messages showed significantly higher benefits for Asian women who suggested even more Asian-specific messaging.

Sources of Information About Emergency Contraception: Associations with Women’s Knowledge and Intentions to Use • Kyla Garrett, University of North Carolina; Laura Widman; Jacqueline Nesi; Seth Noar • Emergency contraception (EC) is a highly effective form of birth control that may lower rates of unintended pregnancy among young women. Currently, lack of adequate information and misunderstandings about EC hamper efforts to disseminate EC to women who need it. The purpose of this study was to determine the sources from which women had learned about EC (including health care providers, friends or interpersonal sources, media sources, or no information sources), and to examine whether source credibility was associated with accuracy of knowledge about EC and intentions to use EC. Participants were 339 college women (M age = 18.4) who reported where they had received information about EC, if anywhere, along with their EC knowledge and behavioral intentions. In total, 97% of women had heard of EC from at least one source and 49% indicated they were highly likely to use EC in the future, if needed. Results demonstrated significant positive relationships among higher credibility of EC information sources, more accurate EC knowledge, and greater intentions to use EC. Moreover, EC knowledge mediated the relationship between source credibility and intentions to use EC. Future EC education efforts should capitalize on credible information sources to positively influence EC knowledge and increase uptake of EC in emergency situations. Additional research is needed to examine the content, quality, and frequency of messages young women receive about EC.

Stymied by a wealth of health information: How viewing conflicting information online diminishes efficacy • Laura Marshall, UNC Chapel Hill; Maria Leonora Comello, UNC Chapel Hill • Confusing information about cancer screening proliferates online, particularly around mammography and prostate antigen testing. Whereas some online content may highlight the effectiveness of these tests in preventing cancer, other sources warn these tests may be ineffective or may cause harm. Across two experiments, we found support for the notion that exposure to conflicting information decreases self-efficacy and response efficacy, potentially discouraging the likelihood of behavior change that could prevent cancer.

Thematic/Episodic and Gain/Loss Framing in Mental Health News: How Combined Frames Influences Support for Policy and Civic Engagement Intentions • Lesa Major • This current research tests whether changing the way online stories frame depression affects how audience members attribute responsibility for depression and their civic engagement intentions towards policy solutions for depression. This study uses two framing approaches: 1) emphasis on an individual diagnosed with and living with depression (individualizing the coverage or episodic framing) and 2) emphasis on depression in more general or broader context (thematic or societal framing).This research examines gain (emphasizes benefits – e.g. lives saved) and loss (emphasizes costs – lives lost) frames to measure the interaction effects of frames (e.g. thematic-loss coverage or episodic-gain coverage) in news stories .A significant contribution of this research is the construction of the episodic frame. Findings of this research indicated loss-framed stories increased support for mental health policy solutions for depression, but the episodic frame increased societal attribution of responsibility for causes associated with depression.

Obesity News: The Effects of Framing and Uncertainty on Policy Support and Civic Engagement Intentions • Lesa Major • This study examined the effects of episodic (individual) frames and thematic (societal) frames in news on the causes (causal attribution) of and treatments (treatment attribution) for obesity. Interactions are investigated in this research by including gain and loss frames. Gain and loss frames have been examined in health messages, but have not received as much scholarly attention in terms of framing effects in health news. Finally, this study explored the effects of uncertainty and certainty on responsibility attribution. Findings suggest combined frames could influence support for obesity related policies.

Examining Ad Appeals in Over-the-Counter Drug Advertising in Japan • Mariko Morimoto, Sophia University • A quantitative content analysis of Japanese OTC drug TV commercials broadcasted during prime time was conducted to provide an overview of pharmaceutical advertising in Japan. In the sample of 204 ads, nutritional supplement drinks were the most frequently advertised drug category. Ad appeals including effective, safe, and quick-acting were popular. Additionally, these ads predominantly used a product merit approach, and celebrity endorsers, particularly actors/actresses and “talents” (such as TV personnel and comedians), were frequently featured.

Effects of Persuasive Health Information on Attitude Change and Health Behavioral Intentions in Mobile Social Media • Miao Miao; Qiuxia Yang; Pei-Shan Hsieh • Previous research has shown that online health information suffers from low credibility. Drawing on the elaboration-likelihood model (ELM), the central and peripheral routes were operationalized in this study using the argument quality and source credibility constructs respectively. We further examined how these influence processes were moderated by receivers’ health expertise. A between-groups, 2 (argument quality) × 4 (source of credibility) factorial design was tested from WeChat which is the dominant mobile social media in China.

Health Literacy and Health Information Technology Adoption: The Potential for a New Digital Divide • Michael Mackert, The University of Texas at Austin; Amanda Mabry, The University of Texas at Austin; Sara Champlin, The University of North Texas; Erin Donovan, The University of Texas at Austin; Kathrynn Pounders, The University of Texas at Austin • Approximately one-half of American adults exhibit low health literacy. Health information technology (HIT) makes health information available directly to patients through electronic forms including patient portals, wearable technology, and mobile apps. In this study, patients with low health literacy were less likely to use HIT or perceive it as easy/useful, but perceived information on HIT as private. There is room to improve HIT so that health information can be managed among patients of all abilities.

Sharing Health-Related Information on Facebook: An Integrated Model • Ming-Ching Liang, Metropolitan State University • This study proposes a model that explains proactive and reactive information sharing behaviors. In the context of sharing influenza-related information on Facebook, a survey study (N=338) was conducted. Results confirmed the applicability of the proposed information sharing model in current research context. Perceived norms of information sharing, need for self-presentation on SNSs, and sense of virtual community were identified as predictors for proactive and reactive information sharing behaviors. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

The Impact of Fear Appeals in The Tailored Public Service Announcements Context • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University • In the context of an anti-binge drinking health campaign, this study particularly tested how the emotional content (i.e., fear appeals) in tailored messages influences people’s messages processing as well as their attitudinal/behavioral changes. Using a 2 (regulatory fit: fit vs. non-fit) X 2 (level of fear appeals: low vs. high) experimental design, the findings indicate that the influence of tailored messages should be discussed cautiously, because the tailored message’s effectiveness is reduced when combined with a high fear appeal. The findings have theoretical and practical implications on the use of emotional appeals in tailored communication.

Testing the effects of dialogic communication on attitudes and behavioral intentions related to polarized and non-polarized scientific issues • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University • Dialogue has been presented as an alternative to the deficit model. This online experiment tested the impact of dialogue on trust in science, relationship qualities, and behavioral intentions. In order to examine the influence of political polarization, the issues of climate change and space exploration were compared. Dialogue significantly affected relationship qualities and behavioral intentions for space exploration, but not climate change. Results serve to integrate public relations theory and science communication scholarship.

Science in the social media age: Profiles of science blog readers • Paige Jarreau, Louisiana State University; Lance Porter, Louisiana State University • Science blogs have become an increasingly important component of the ecosystem of science news on the Internet. Yet we know little about science blog users. The goal of this study was to investigate who reads science blogs and why. Through a survey of 2,955 readers of 40 randomly selected science blogs, we created profiles of science blog users based on demographic and science media use patterns. We identified three clusters of science blog readers. Super users indicated reading science blogs for a wide range of reasons, including for community seeking purposes. One-way entertainment users indicated reading blogs more for entertainment and ambiance. Unique information seeking users indicated reading blogs more for specific information not found elsewhere. But regardless of science blog users’ motivations to read, they are sophisticated consumers of science media possessing high levels of scientific knowledge.

Using Weight-of-Experts Messaging to Communicate Accurately about Contested Science • Patrice Kohl; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Research indicates that balanced news coverage of opposing scientific claims can result in heightened uncertainty among audiences about what is true. In this study, we test the ability of a weight-of-experts statement to enhance individuals’ ability to distinguish between more and less valid claims. An experiment found that the WOE narrative led participants to greater certainty about what scientists believed to be true, which made participants more likely to “buy in” to that belief.

Framing climate change: Competitive frames and the moderating effects of partisanship on environmental behavior • Porismita Borah • The present study conducted both focus groups and experiments to understand the influence of frames on environmental behavior intention. The focus groups and the first experiment were conducted with undergraduate students for pilot testing while the main experiment used an U.S. national sample. Findings show that a message with elements from both problem-solving and catastrophe frames increases individuals’ environmental behavior intention. This relationship is moderated by political ideology, such that only those participants who identified as Democrats and Independents showed more willingness to pro-environmental behavior. Over all, Republications were low on pro-environmental behavior intention compared to the Democrats. But within the Republicans, participants showed more likelihood for pro-environmental behavior intention in the catastrophe framed condition. Implications are discussed.

Abstract or Concrete? A Construal-level Perspective of Climate Change Images in U.S. Print Newspapers • Ran Duan, Michigan State University; Bruno Takahashi; Adam Zwickle; Kevin Duffy, Michigan State University; Jack Nissen, Michigan State University • Climate change is one of the most severe societal environmental risks that call for immediate actions in our age; however, the impacts of climate change are often perceived to be psychologically distant at a high level of construal. This research presents an initial exploration of newspapers’ visual representations of climate change using a construal-level perspective. Focusing on the recent years from 2012 to 2015, this study content analyzed a total of 635 news images with regards to image themes and nine other factors in relation to construal level (e.g., image formats, chromatic characteristics, etc.) Unexpectedly, the results show that overall, climate change has been visually portrayed as a relatively concrete rather than abstract issue and has mostly been portrayed with a high level of specificity. In particular, USA Today visually covered the issue as most concrete, followed by the New York Times, and Wall Street Journal. Human themed images were the most concrete images as compared to nature themed and industry themed images. Findings indicate that construal level aspects in the news images provide another way of understanding and interpreting climate change imagery in the media in the U.S.

“Standing up for science”: The blurring lines between biotechnology research, science communication, and advocacy • Rebecca Harrison, Cornell University • Targeted for their vocal support for genetic engineering and their work in science outreach, upwards of 50 academic agricultural biotechnologists have received Freedom of Information (FOIA) requests since February 2015. The U.S. Right to Know (US-RTK), a self-described watchdog organization who filed the requests, sought to uncover any conflicts of interest (COI) between industry and tax-payer-funded scientific research on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The action has been called a “witch hunt” and “bullying” by supporters of the scientists, and an October 2015 Nature Biotechnology Editorial challenges its audience to “stand up for science” in the wake of this “smear campaign.” The dominant view of science communication is rooted in the idealized assumption that the very act of communication is nothing more than an apolitical transfer of a simplified version of scientific knowledge. The conceptualization of general COI by the scientific community often reflects this outdated framework. But, as scientists become politically engaged as advocates for their own work, this framework is challenged. Using the 2015 case of biotechnology researchers and records requests, this paper explores the question: Why is “scientific outreach” often considered categorically different than “research” — both structurally at the university level, but also as a distinction internalized by these particular scientists — and therefore perceived as immune to charges of COI?

Effects of Heuristic-Systematic Information Processing about Flu and Flu Vaccination • SangHee Park, University of Michigan, Dearborn • This study applied the heuristic-systematic model (HSM) in order to explore risk perceptions of flu and the flu vaccination because the HSM explains individual’s information processing as an antecedent to attitude. Accordingly, this study examined how people process different types of risk information applying a 2 (Message framing: heuristic information message vs. systematic information message) by 2 (expert source vs. non-expert source) online experiment. The experiment found that risk perception of flu illness was positively related to benefit perception of the flu vaccination. The result also indicated that heuristic messages affected risk perception of the flu vaccination, but not flu illness perception. Implications and limitations of these findings were discussed.

Exploring the Multi-Faceted Interpersonal Communication Strategies Used By College Students to Discuss Stress • Sara Champlin, The University of North Texas; Gwendelyn Nisbett, University of North Texas • Mental health issues are a prevalent problem on college campuses yet stigma remains. We examine patterns of college students either seeking help for personal stress or providing help to a stressed friend. Textual analysis was used to extract themes of participant comments and identify common behaviors. Results suggest that students use direct, indirect, and avoidant approaches to addressing stress with friends. Distinctions are blurred in self help-seeking behavior. Implications for creating interpersonal campaigns are discussed.

“Warrior Moms”: Audience Engagement and Advocacy in Spreading Information About Maternal Mental Illness Online • Sarah Smith-Frigerio, University of Missouri • One in seven women will experience a maternal mental illness, yet little is known about why individuals seek information about maternal mental illness and treatments, or how they make use of messages they find. By employing a grounded theoretical approach, involving a close reading of Postpartum Progress, the world’s most read online site concerning maternal mental illness, as well as analysis of semi-structured audience interviews of 21 users of the site, this study contributes a more nuanced understanding of how participants use information and peer support on the site. In addition, the research explores how participants move beyond seeking information anonymously online about a stigmatized mental illness or use private support forums for peer support, to engage in online and offline advocacy efforts.

From Scientific Evidence to Art: Guidelines to Prevent Digital Manipulation in Cell Biology and Nanoscience Journals • Shiela Reaves, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Steven Nolan, University of Wisconsin-Madison • As technological advances have made it easier to digitally manipulate images, the scientific community faces a major issue regarding ethics of visual data. A content analysis of editorial guidelines for the scientific images in cell biology and nanoscience journals demonstrates differences between the two disciplines. Cell biology images in high impact journals receive detailed guidelines about digital manipulation. However, nanoscience journals and low-impact journals have less detailed instructions to prevent misleading visual data.

The Influence of Internal, External, and Response Efficacy on Climate Change-Related Political Participation • Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Lauren Feldman, Rutgers University • This study examined how changing the type and valence of efficacy information in climate change news stories may impact political participation through the mediators of perceived internal, external, and response efficacy. Stories including positive internal efficacy content increased perceived internal efficacy, while stories including negative external efficacy content lowered perceived external efficacy. Perceived internal, external, and response efficacy all offered unique, positive associations with intentions to engage in climate change-related political participation.

Recycling Intention Promotes Attitudinal and Procedural Information Seeking • Sonny Rosenthal; Leung Yan Wah • Information seeking is more likely to occur when the information has utility to the seeker. Prior scholarship discusses this property of information in terms of instrumental utility and, more recently, informational utility. Research on information seeking describes various factors that may motivate information search, but none has directly modeled behavioral intention as an antecedent. The current study examines the effect of recycling intention on intention to seek two kinds of information: attitudinal and procedural. Results show strong effects, which suggest that in the context of recycling, information seeking may serve functions of behavioral and defensive adaptation. Additional findings suggest that recycling personal norms and recycling-related negative affect influence information seeking, albeit indirectly, as forms of cognitive and affective adaptation. Results have implications for selective exposure theory and the practice of environmental communication.

The Effects of Environmental Risk Perception, and Beliefs in Genetic Determinism and Behavioral Action on Cancer Fatalism • Soo Jung Hong, Huntsman Cancer Institute • This study investigates the effects of environmental risk perception, and beliefs in genetic determinism and behavioral action regarding cancer development on cancer fatalism, as well as the moderation effect of education and the mediating role of environmental risk perception on those associations. Nationally representative data from the National Cancer Institute’s (NCI) 2013 Health Information National Trends Survey (HINTS) was employed. Findings reveal interesting and meaningful dynamics between those variables and suggest directions for future research.

Perceptions of Sexualized and Non-Sexualized Images of Women in Alcohol Advertisements: Exploring Factors Associated with Intentions to Sexually Coerce • Stacey Hust; Kathleen Rodgers; Stephanie Ebreo; Nicole O’Donnell, Washington State University • The purpose of this study was to identify factors associated with college students’ intentions to sexually coerce. An experiment was conducted with (N= 1,234) participants from a college sample. One condition was exposed to sexualized alcohol advertisements and a second condition to non-sexualized alcohol advertisements. Identifying as a man, adherence to traditional gender roles and heterosexual scripts, and exposure to alcohol advertisements with sexualized images of women were positively associated with intentions to sexually coerce.

Enabling Tailored Message Campaigns: Discovering and Targeting the Attitudes and Behaviors of Young Arab Male Drivers • Susan Dun, Northwestern University in Qatar; Syed Owais Ali, Northwestern University in Qatar; Rouda almeghaiseeb, Northwestern University in Qatar • Citing the preventable nature of traffic accidents and the unacceptably high number of causalities, the World Health Organization recently issued an international call for action to combat the needless loss of life and injuries (Nebehay, 2015). Because of dangerous driving behaviors 18-25 year old men are the highest the risk group for accidents, yet they are resistant to typical risk communications. Young Arab men are particularly at risk within this group. The study reported here discovered the driving attitudes and behavioral intentions of young Arab men to enable communication campaigns to specifically tailor persuasive messages for this high-risk yet understudied group in a bid to save lives and decrease the injuries from accidents. We suspected that they are high sensation seeking, fatalistic, and as members of a collectivistic, masculine culture, likely to engage in risking driving behaviors. Using a culturally contextualized focus group setting, we confirmed that they fatalistic, value assertive driving by equating good driving with high-risk behaviors, dislike fear appeals and blame other drivers for accidents. Suggestions for risk communication campaigns are provided. We discovered tensions in their belief systems that could provide an avenue for persuasive messaging, by exposing the contradictions and resolving them in a pro-attitudinal direction. Basic safety beliefs need to be targeted as well, such as the importance of seat belts and defensive driving. Finally, a novel campaign that is not recognizable as a dramatic or sad safe driving campaign is a must, especially initially, or the message is likely to be ignored.

MERS and the Social Media Impact Hypothesis: How Message Format and Style Affect TPE & Perceived Risk • T. Makana Chock, Syracuse University; Soojin Roh, Syracuse University • This study examined the effects of narrative transportation and message context on third person effects (TPE), perceived risk, and behavioral intentions. A 2 (Format: Narrative/Factual news) X 2 (Context: news site, news story on Facebook page) plus 1 (personal account on a Facebook page) between-subject experimental design (N=269) conducted in South Korea examined the differences between reading news stories about the risks of The Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in different media contexts – online news sites and Facebook pages – and different formats — narrative, factual, and personal accounts. TPE were found for factual news stories read on news sites, but not for the same story when it was read on a Facebook page. Narrative versions of the story elicited greater transportation and limited TPE regardless of whether the news stories were read on news sites or Facebook pages. TPE was found for personal accounts read on a Facebook page. Source credibility and identification were found to partially mediate the relationship between narrative transportation and perceived story effects on self. In turn, perceived effects on self contributed to personal risk perceptions and risk-prevention behaviors.

Tracking public attitudes toward climate change over time: The declining roles of risk perception and concern • Tsung-Jen Shih, National Chengchi University; Min-Hsin Su; Mei-Ling Hsu • Increasing public risk perception of and concern over climate change has long been regarded as an effective strategy to motivate environmental-friendly behaviors. However, the levels of risk perception and concern may be volatile. For one thing, people may deny the existence of climate change when they feel threatened and, at the same time, do not know what to do. Furthermore, the concept of “issue fatigue” may occur when people are chronically exposed to threatening information. Based on two nationally representative telephone surveys conducted in Taiwan (2013 and 2015), this study examines how people’s risk perception and concern may change over time and whether the impacts on the adoption of pro-environmental behaviors will be different. The results indicate that, although people were more likely to take actions aimed at mitigating climate change in 2015 than in 2013, the levels of risk perception and concern declined significantly. Regression analyses also showed that the effects of risk perception and concern were moderated by time. Implications of the findings will be discussed.

On the Ever-growing Number of Frames in Health Communication Research: A Coping Strategy • Viorela Dan; Juliana Raupp • Recent years have brought a large number of studies citing framing as a theoretical guide in science and health communication research. Keeping track of this literature has become increasingly difficult due to a “frustrating tendenc[y]… to generate a unique set of frames for every study” (Hertog & McLeod, 2001, p. 151). In this study, in an attempt to assist those intending to keep track of this literature, we report the results of a systematic review of literature on news frames in the media coverage of health risks. In the studies scrutinized (k = 35), we found forty-five frame-names for just fifteen frames. They were: attribution of responsibility, action, thematic, episodic, medical, consequences, human interest, health severity, economic consequences, gain, loss, conflict, uncertainty, alarmist, and reassurance. In the paper, we address the overlap between some of these frames and other concepts and frameworks. Also, as some frames entail others or intersect with others, we provide a visualization of how frames relate to each other (see Figure 1). We suggest that building framing theory is stalled by the use of various frame-names for the same frames; yet, we realize that scholars using framing in their studies may follow other goals than building framing theory. However, those new to the field may have difficulty coping with the ever-growing number of frames. In this regard, we hope that our systematic review can help towards reaching consistency, a characteristic indispensable to any theory.

Who Are Responsible for HPV Vaccination? Examination of Male Young Adults’ Perceptions • Wan Chi Leung • HPV vaccination is an important public health issue, but past research has mostly been done on the HPV vaccination for females. An online survey was conducted on Amazon Mechanical Turk, and responses from 656 males aged 18-26 in the United States were analyzed. Attributing the responsibilities for getting HPV-related diseases more to women and to the self were associated with weaker support for the HPV vaccination for males. Attributing the responsibilities for getting the HPV vaccine more to women and to the self were associated with stronger support for the HPV vaccination for males. Findings point to suggestions for future promotions of the HPV vaccination for males.

Media Use, Risk Perception and Precautionary Behavior toward Haze Issue in China • Xiaohua Wu; Xigen Li • The study examined to what degree people’s risk perception of the haze in China was affected by mass media exposure, social network sites involvement and direct experience towards haze. The risk perception was examined in two levels: social risk perception and personal risk perception. Impersonal Impact Hypothesis was tested in the digital media context. The study also explores the influencing factors of precautionary behaviors. The key findings include: 1) mass media exposure and SNS involvement regarding haze issue mediate the effect of direct experience on risk perception; 2) Impersonal Impact Hypothesis was not supported in the context of multi-channel and interactive communication; 3) vulnerability slightly moderates the effect of mass media exposure on personal risk perception; 4) mass media exposure and SNS involvement positively affect precautionary behavior mediated through personal risk perception.

Expanding the RISP Model: Examining the Conditional Indirect Effects of Cultural Cognitions • Yiran Wang, Washington State University; Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Rebecca Donaway, Washington State University • This paper attempts to connect literature from the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model with the cultural cognitions literature. We do this by assessing the relationship between cultural cognitions and risk perceptions, then examine whether these risk perceptions are associated with the three outcomes of interest relative to the RISP model: Information seeking, systematic processing, and heuristic processing, through a full serial mediation model using 2015 data collected from ten watersheds communities across the U.S.

Introducing benefit of smoking in anti-smoking messages: Comparing passive and interactive inoculation based on Elaboration Likelihood Model • Yuchen Ren • This study tested the effect of message interactivity in inoculation (interactive inoculation message versus passive inoculation message) on children’s attitude towards smoking based on elaboration likelihood model. Eighty-two primary school students were recruited from Shenzhen, China. Experiment results showed that compared with passive inoculation message, interactive inoculation message generated more negative attitude towards smoking and higher involvement in both central route and peripheral route. Moreover, mediation analysis showed that only the central route indicator mediates the effect of message interactivity on children’s attitude towards smoking. In conclusion, this study not only introduces message interactivity to inoculation theory in smoking prevention context, but also reveals the mechanism of the proposed persuasion effect.

Adolescents’ Perceptions of E-cigarettes and Marketing Messages: A Focus Group Study • Yvonnes Chen; Chris Tilden; Dee Vernberg • “Prior research about e-cigarettes has rarely focused on young adolescents exclusively and explored their perceptions of the industry’s marketing efforts. This focus group study with adolescents (n=39) found that factors that motivate them to experiment with e-cigarettes (e.g., looking cool, curiosity, flavors) are identical to traditional tobacco uptake among adolescents. E-cigarette advertising was memorable because of color contrast, sleek design, and promised benefits. Restricting flavors and advertising may reduce e-cigarette experimentation and future tobacco use.”

Is a Picture Worth a Thousand Texts? Investigating the Influence of Visuals on Text-Based Health Intervention Content • Zhaomeng Niu; Yujung Nam; QIAN YU, Washington State University; Jared Brickman; Shuang Liu • Healthy eating and exercise among young people could curb obesity. Strong messaging is needed for weight loss interventions. This study evaluated the usefulness of visual appeals in text messages. A 2 (gain vs. loss) X 2 (picture vs. no picture) design with pretest and posttest questionnaires (N=107) revealed text-only messages with loss frames had an influence on affective risk response, while text messages with pictures had a positive effect on attitudes, intentions, and self-efficacy.

2016 Abstracts