The Uses and Gratifications Theory and the Future of Print Magazines • Elizabeth Bonner, University of Alabama • In the midst of the persistent discussion that print journalism is dying, data suggests many magazines are still thriving, particularly with Millennial audiences. The uses and gratifications theory emerges as a pivotal tool for magazines hoping to make it through this time of technological transformation. If print magazines wish to survive, they must make efforts to understand how this instrumental Millennial demographic uses magazines and what gratifications its members seek in those uses.
Finding the Future of Magazines in the Past: Audience Engagement with the First 18th-Century Magazines • Elizabeth Bonner, University of Alabama • In the midst of the discussion that print journalism lacks value today because it cannot provide the interactive platform modern audiences desire, data suggests many magazines are thriving. Assessing this print versus digital debate in the context of historical magazines reveals readers’ desire for interactivity is actually age old. This study examines the audience engagement efforts of America’s first two magazines founded in 1741 and seeks to shed light on the future of print magazines.
Survivors and Dreamers: A Rhetorical Vision of Teen Voices magazine • Ellen Gerl, Ohio University • This study explores how Teen Voices, a magazine written and edited by teenage girls, created a rhetorical vision of empowerment through its text and photographs. Using social convergence theory and fantasy theme analysis, the researcher identified four fantasy types: 1) I am a survivor, 2) I am a dreamer, 3) I am an activist, and 4) I can do anything. Findings discussed within the framework of third wave feminism show the rhetorical community established within Teen Voices magazine valued individualism and personal strength.
App Assets: An Exploratory Analysis of Magazine Brands’ Digital Drive for Audience Attention • Elizabeth Hendrickson, Ohio University; Yun Li • This research examines the evolution of today’s consumer magazine content distribution and considers how a media organization’s digital developments might reflect a further tapering of consumer demographics. This study applies the diffusion of innovation framework to magazine media convergence trends and explores how the industry’s leading publishing organizations respond to the changing needs and expectations of its already-niche audiences.
The Ethics of Common Sense: Considering the Ethics Decision-Making Processes of Freelance Magazine Journalists • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri • Freelance journalists face many of the same ethical dilemmas as journalists working in newsrooms. Because they work independently for various organizations, they may develop different strategies for making ethical decisions. This study used in-depth interviews with freelance magazine journalists (N = 14) to explore how they define ethical dilemmas and the individual and organizational frameworks guiding their decision-making. The study sheds light on the forces shaping ethical decision-making, particularly in the context of magazine journalism.
Picturing Cities: A Semiotic Analysis of City and Regional Magazine Cover Images • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Keith Greenwood • City and regional magazines serve multiple functions in communities, providing ideas for how residents should spend their time and money and offering insight into the people and experiences that define urban life. The covers of these publications both promote this content and reveal the images of cities these magazines perpetuate. This study used content analysis to examine the covers of nine award-winning city and regional magazines. The study aimed to assess the philosophy of selection the magazines used when choosing cover content, particularly whether covers were created to accurately reflect the community and the challenges and opportunities it faces or to enhance sales through promoting a limited vision of urban life. The analysis indicated that city magazines focused on items to be consumed over depictions of people, but when people did appear, they reflected a narrow demographic slice of city’s populations. The magazines also emphasized lifestyle topics and more often represented generic backdrops than specific locations. Lastly, the covers relied on photographic approaches through which readers could establish social connections with the subjects presented. These findings suggest that city magazines emphasize depictions of affluent urban lifestyles over representing more diverse images of city life.
Looking Westwards: Men in Transnational Men’s Magazine Advertising in India • Suman Mishra • This study examines advertising content of four top-selling Indian editions of transnational men’s lifestyle magazines (Men’s Health India, GQ India, FHM India, Maxim India) to understand how it is constructing masculinity for urban Indian men. Through content analysis, the study finds greater presence of international brands and Caucasian models than domestic Indian brands and models in the advertisements. Male models often appear alone and in decorative roles as opposed to professional roles promoting clothing and accessories. Advertisements with sexual explicitness and physical contact are few, which is in line with global trends and local conservative Indian culture. The study discusses the emergence of class-based masculinity that helps to assimilate the upper class Indian men into global consumer base through shared ideals, goals and values.
A Boondoggle in Space: Themes in 1960s Era Space Exploration Journalism • Jennifer Scott, Regent University; Stephen Perry • The success of Sputnik I in 1957 both propelled Russia to the forefront of the Space Race and challenged the United States to invest more time, resources, manpower, and finances into space exploration. By the 1960s, skepticism grew concerning the United States’ objectives and ability to enter space and eventually reach the moon. This study examines articles published in The Saturday Evening Post that editorialize on the U.S. space program. A fantasy theme analysis shows exaggerated and negative language used to inflate the severity of the Space Race and criticize the United States’ failures and disorganization. Themes emerge in the articles that construct a rhetorical vision of the United States far behind Russia in the highly dangerous, overly expensive, and severely wasteful arena of space travel.
Sexuality and Relationships in Cosmopolitan for Latinas Online and Cosmopolitan Online • Chelsea Reynolds, University of Minnesota SJMC • Since 2012, leading publishers have launched magazines targeting Latina readers. This study positions those titles within the larger Latino marketing boom and problematizes their representations of Latina women. This qualitative framing analysis contrasts frames of sexuality and relationships in Sex & Love articles published on Cosmo For Latinas online with those from Cosmopolitan online. While CFL stereotyped Latinas’ bodies as caught up in political and family struggles, Cosmo focused on readers’ sexual and romantic autonomy.
The Right to be Forgotten and Global Googling: A More Private Exchange of Information? • Burton Bridges • The lack of privacy regulation remains a concern in the United States and abroad. With the European Union’s introduction of the Right to be Forgotten, people are requesting to hide data and search engines are being forced to comply. This paper will explore how the unregulated flow of information is being balanced with the innate desire for individual discretion. Additionally, the implications of the EU’s law will be contrasted and theoretically applied to the U.S.
Difficulties and Dilemmas Regarding Defamatory Meaning in Ethnic Micro-Communities: Accusations of Communism, Then and Now • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • This paper examines the complicated issues of community and defamatory meaning that arise in libel law when plaintiffs allege reputational harm within ethnic and geographically-bound micro-communities. The paper uses three recent cases involving false accusations of communism targeting Vietnamese war refugees residing in the United States as analytical springboards for tackling this issue. Although some scholars seemingly presumed libel-by-communism to be a relic of the Cold War era, the issue is very much alive and well in ethnic enclaves. The paper also contrasts the public policy concerns of libel-by-communism cases with the ones that animate the defamation-by-homosexuality disputes that are garnering significantly more scholarly attention.
Begging the Question of Content-Based Confusion: Examining Problems With a Key First Amendment Doctrine Through the Lens of Anti-Begging Statutes • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • This paper examines numerous problems now plaguing the fundamental dichotomy in First Amendment jurisprudence between content-based and content-neutral speech regulations. The troubles were highlighted by the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 divided decision in McCullen v. Coakley. Building from McCullen, this paper uses a quartet of federal court rulings from 2014 and 2013 involving anti-begging ordinances affecting the homeless as analytical springboards for examining these issues in depth. Ultimately, the paper proposes a three-step framework for mitigating the muddle and calls on the nation’s high court to take action to clarify the proper test for distinguishing between content-based and content-neutral regulations.
Calling Them Out: An Exploration of Whether Newsgathering May Be Punished As Criminal Harassment • Erin Coyle, Louisiana State University; Eric Robinson, Louisiana State University • Newsgathering requires repeated telephone calls, aggressive questions, and investigation of matters that can cause emotional distress. Some sources threaten to file or file harassment charges on the basis of such actions. This study explored whether state criminal harassment laws may be applied to punish newsgathering. This study found that the wording of most harassment laws should prevent their application to newsgathering. Nonetheless, journalists have been threatened to be charged or charged with harassment for newsgathering.
To Pray or Not to Pray: Sectarian Prayer in Legislative Meetings • Mallory Drummond, High Point University • The purpose of this research paper is to explore the Supreme Court’s seemingly inconsistent application of the First Amendment to sectarian prayer at legislative meetings. Recently, the Supreme Court reacted to prayer practices in Forsyth County, North Carolina and the Town of Greece, New York in what appears to be contradictory ways. This paper attempts to reconcile these decisions and offer suggestions to guide future decisions by local governments.
A First Amendment Right to Know For the Disabled: Internet Accessibility Under the ADA • Victoria Ekstrand, UNC – Chapel Hill • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2015. Enacted by Congress and signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, the ADA was designed to ensure that people with disabilities are given independence, freedom of choice, control of their lives, the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream. Title III of the ADA defines what kinds of public and private spaces must provide access and accommodations to the disabled. Missing from that list, because of the ADA’s timing, is the Internet, effectively shutting the disabled out of the rich marketplace of ideas online. This paper examines both the case law surrounding this omission and the foot-dragging of the executive and legislative branches in extending Title III to the Internet. It argues that extending Title III to the Internet may be bolstered by First Amendment right to know principles.
Network Neutrality and Consumer Demand for Better Than Best Efforts Traffic Management • Rob Frieden, Penn State University • This paper assesses whether and how Internet Service Providers (ISPs) can offer service enhancements for video traffic while still fully complying the new rules and regulations established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in March, 2015. The paper concludes that the FCC exacerbated regulatory uncertainty by failing to identify whether and how ISPs can provide higher quality of service treatment for high speed, bandwidth intensive video traffic. The paper concludes that the FCC should identify how ISPs can reduce the potential for degraded delivery of mission critical, must see video content. The Commission should permit better than best efforts traffic routing provided it does not degrade conventional best efforts routing and serve anticompetitive goals.
The Angry Pamphleteer: Borderline Political Speech on Twitter and the True Threats Distinction under Watts v. United States • Brooks Fuller, UNC-Chapel Hill • Since the 1969 Supreme Court case Watts v. United States, courts have consistently held that politically motivated speech to or about public figures if the speech may be punished if it qualifies as true threats rather than protected political hyperbole. Criticism of public officials lies at the core of First Amendment protection, even when that criticism is caustic or crude. Such caustic speech appears on Twitter with increasing frequency, often pushing the boundaries of the constitutional guarantees of free speech. This paper explores the borderlines of protected political expression on Twitter. Through an analysis of the political speech-true threats cases that interpret Watts, this paper identifies and assesses three modes of analysis that lower courts use to distinguish political speech from true threats: 1) criteria-based analysis; 2) pure First Amendment balancing; and 3) line-crossing analysis. This paper concludes that of these three tests, criteria-based analysis is the most restrictive of borderline political speech and demonstrates how First Amendment balancing and line-crossing analyses appropriately address the speech realities of new media and political participation.
Scrutinizing the Public Health Debates Regarding the Adult Film Industry: An In-Depth Case Analysis of the Health-Based Arguments in Vivid Entertainment, LLC v. Fielding • Kyla Garret • In an effort to curb the spreading of sexually transmitted infections from the adult film industry to the surrounding community, the citizens of Los Angeles County, California, home to where 80 percent of all pornographic films are produced, passed the Safer Sex in the Adult Film Industry Act in November of 2012. Also known as Measure B, the ordinance requires the use of condoms during the production of all vaginal and anal sex scenes in hardcore porn. Posing significant obstacles for adult film production, industry leader Vivid Entertainment, LLC, responded by filing suit against Los Angeles County’s Department of Public Health in January of 2013 to obtain an injunction against the ordinance, claiming that the measure unconstitutionally infringes on the industry’s and its actors’ First Amendment Rights to freedom of speech and expression. Much of the debate surrounding Vivid Entertainment, LLC v. Fielding concerns the constitutionality of the ordinance, but little discussion reviews the underlying health claims presented in the case and the ordinance itself. This is an important case to explore as it is a case of first impression and could set a key precedent regarding health policy and First Amendment protected expression. The case is also likely to set precedent for future regulations specific to the adult film industry. Therefore, this paper first identifies the health-based arguments presented in Vivid Entertainment, LLC v. Fielding and then, utilizing a public health and health communication lens, analyzes the validity of these arguments to ultimately consider the constitutionality of Measure B.
Native Advertising: Blurring Commercial and Noncommercial Speech Online • Nicholas Gross, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Journalism & Mass Communication • Mixing advertisement with art, entertainment, news, social commentary, and/or other content in the digital ecosystem, native advertising straddles the boundary between commercial and noncommercial speech. Similar forms of mixed-speech are examined through the lens of case law that has faced the task of separating commercial from noncommercial speech. This paper speculates on where native advertising might fall within this divide and what level of First Amendment protection this practice might merit under existing case precedent.
A Theory of Privacy and Trust • Woodrow Hartzog, Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law; Neil Richards, Washington University School of Law • The way we have talked about privacy has a pessimism problem. Privacy is conceptualized in negative terms, which leads us to mistakenly look for creepy new practices and focus excessively on privacy harms. This article argues that privacy should be thought of as enabling trust in information relationships. Privacy rules based on discretion, honesty, loyalty, and protection can promote trust in information relationships. There is a better path for privacy. Trust us.
Differential Reasonableness: A standard for evaluating deceptive privacy-promising technologies • Jasmine McNealy, University of Kentucky; Heather Shoenberger, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication • This paper reconsiders the Federal Trade Commission’s reasonable person standard with respect to deception in light of advances in technology, and the general lack of foundational understanding of how digital technologies work with respect to private information. We argue that the FTC should consider those technologies promising privacy to consumers under special analysis, much like the Commission examines those products and services targeting special groups like children, the elderly, and infirmed. Our argument is directed at what we call privacy-promising technologies. We define privacy-promising technologies as those mobile apps, software, online tools, etc., that claim privacy enhancement as part of their marketing strategies.
Access to Information About Lethal Injections: A First Amendment Theory Perspective • Emma Morehart, University of Florida; Kéran Billaud, University of Florida; Kevin Bruckenstein • This paper examines, through the lens of First Amendment theory, current judicial debate regarding the access rights of inmates and the public to detailed facts about lethal-injection drugs, personnel and procedures. The paper uses several 2014 appellate court disputes as analytical springboards, including the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s groundbreaking decision in Wood v. Ryan. The paper argues that the First Amendment doctrine developed in Press-Enterprise II too narrowly cabins and confines access rights in lethal-injection data cases. In contrast, three venerable theories of free expression – the marketplace of ideas, democratic self-governance and self-realization/human dignity – support the establishment of both an inmate’s and the public’s right to such information.
Cultural Variation on Commercial Speech Doctrine: India Exhibits Stronger Protections than the U.S. • Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina • India’s Constitution is younger than that of the United States, and this paper argues that it provides greater protections for commercial speech. This analysis reviews the major court decisions about commercial speech in both India and the United States, and compares the cultural distinctions of the two nations in defining its protections. Perhaps it is due to Americans’ sense of exceptionalism and their paternalistic government, but the U.S. Supreme Court has restricted commercial speech far more often than has the Supreme Court in India.
The Government Speech Doctrine & Specialty License Plates: A First Amendment Theory Perspective • Sarah Papadelias, University of Florida; Tershone Phillips, University of Florida; Rich Shumate, University of Florida • This paper examines, through the lens of First Amendment theory, the timely question of whether specialty license plates constitute private expression or government speech. In December 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to hear Walker v. Texas Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans to address this issue. Walker arises in the wake of substantial doctrinal disorder and confusion regarding the government speech standard since the Court’s 2009 ruling in Pleasant Grove City v. Summum. This paper argues that three venerable First Amendment theories – the marketplace of ideas, democratic self-governance and self-realization/human autonomy – pave a path for the Court to better understand the interests at stake in Walker and, in turn, to help resolve the doctrinal muddle.
Injunction Junction: A Theory- and Precedent-Based Argument for the Elimination of Speech Codes at American Public Universities • Barry Parks, University of Memphis • The issue of implementing speech codes on American public college campuses for the sake of regulating what should and should not be acceptable expression in the academic environment has been an intense legal debate for over 30 years. Arguments from the perspective of critical race theory—which calls for limits on expression for the sake of marginalized groups and voices—and First Amendment absolutism—which champions few limits on expression for the sake of a robust academic marketplace of ideas—have waged the two sides of the ongoing battle regarding speech on campus. However, in every instance where college speech codes have been challenged for constitutionality in the courts, free speech rights on campus have won. This study details the battle between opposing theoretical forces in the debate and chronologically surveys case law pertaining to American public college speech codes. Based on consistent legal precedent pointing to unconstitutionality on grounds of overbreadth, vagueness, and content-based restriction, this study argues that speech codes on college campuses should be eliminated.
First Amendment Protection or Right of Publicity Violation? Examining the Application of the Transformative Use Test in Keller and Hart • Sada Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and Third Circuit Court of Appeals administered the transformative use test in Keller v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (2013) and Hart v. Electronic Arts, Inc. (2013), respectively. This paper analyzes sports-related misappropriation cases before Keller and Hart, examining the tests used, the courts’ justification for the test, and how the use differs from Keller and Hart. Results suggest inconsistent application of this test, particularly in video game-related cases.
Examining the Theoretical Assumptions Found Within the Supreme Court’s Use of the Marketplace Metaphor • Jared Schroeder, Augustana College • Supreme Court justices have employed the marketplace-of-ideas metaphor to communicate how they understand freedom of speech for nearly a century. The meanings behind metaphors, however, are not static. This study examines whether justices’ references to the metaphor in twenty-first-century cases remain primarily tied to the original meaning, one related to the Enlightenment ideas at the heart of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes’s first use of the metaphor in 1919, or if the meaning has shifted to represent more discourse-based understandings of communication in democratic society, such as those put forth by John Dewey and Jürgen Habermas. The theoretical assumptions behind Enlightenment ideas and those of the discourse model differ substantially in regard to the nature of truth, the rationality of the individual, and the role of society. This study, through an analysis of recent Supreme Court decisions that referred to the marketplace metaphor, identifies evidence of a shift in the Court’s understanding of the foundational theoretical concepts behind the meaning of the metaphor. Importantly, the narrative that emerged from the analysis of the opinions suggested that when justices refer to the marketplace metaphor in contemporary decisions, they are commonly communicating meanings that relate with theoretical assumptions that differ from those that were at the heart of the metaphor as Justice Holmes introduced it into the Court’s vocabulary in 1919.
A Contextual Analysis of Neutrality: How Neutral is the Net? • Dong-Hee Shin; Hongseok Yoon; Jaeyeol Jung • This study compares and contrasts the U.S. and Korea in the context of network neutrality, focusing on debates among stakeholders and regulatory approaches. Similarities and differences are highlighted by comparisons within the broadband ecosystem framework: government functions, histories, people’s perceptions, regulatory approaches, legislative initiatives, and implementation. In Korea, a regulatory framework with suggested guidelines exists, and it can be used to address net neutrality in a case-by-case fashion. The U.S. follows a regulatory approach by creating enforceable non-discrimination rules. The findings in this study suggest that the issue is not only complicated because it is embedded contextually, but also because the respective parties’ diverse interests are multifaceted and vague. It is concluded, therefore, that a coherent and consistent approach is an effective way to govern neutrality.
Internet Governance Policy Framework, Networked Communities and Online Surveillance in Ethiopia • Tewodros Workneh, University of Oregon • The September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States unleashed an array of counter-terrorism initiatives across the world. Following the footsteps of the United States that adopted the Patriotic Act of 2001, many countries drafted and ratified anti-terrorism legal frameworks that targeted, among other things, communication systems and flows, on one hand, and journalistic reporting practices, on the other. In the past five years, traditionally democratic states like Australia, Great Britain, United States and New Zealand have come under attack for using these legal frameworks to undertake rampant online surveillance practices that significantly affected media freedoms. A more alarming trend, however, involves the broad and random interpretation of these laws in a number of states with authoritarian and quasi-authoritarian complexions. Anti-terrorism laws are increasingly used to tighten an already closed political space in many of these countries through criminalizing legitimate dissent and critical content. Under these anti-terrorism legal provisions, the most notable losers are journalists, bloggers and other media practitioners that have experienced attacks that range from verbal and physical abuses to torture and killings. This study attempts to discuss the chilling effect anti-terrorism laws brought to online communities in Ethiopia, and attempts to address (1) the metamorphosis of these laws in defining what an act of terrorism involves; (2) the ways the adoption of these laws condition networked communities and media freedoms.
The Digital Right to Be Forgotten in EU Law: Informational Privacy vs. Freedom of Expression • KYU YOUM; Ahran Park • The right to be forgotten allows an individual to demand that Google and other search engines erase links to information that he regards as prejudicial to him. In a landmark ruling, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) has read a right to be forgotten into the EU Data Protection Directive. Given that data protection as a global privacy vs. free speech issue deserves more systematic attention than ever, this paper examines the right to be forgotten in the European Union. Three questions provide the main focus: What’s the legal and theoretical framework of the right to be forgotten? How has the right to be forgotten evolved in EU law? What impact will the right to be forgotten exert on freedom of expression?
This is Just Not Wroking For Us: Why After Ten Years on the Job – It Is Time to Fire Garcetti • Jason Zenor • In Lane v. Franks, the U.S. Supreme Court held that public employees who give truthful testimony in court are protected so long as it was outside their ordinary job duties. This issue arose after ten years of the Garcetti rule which does not protect employee speech pursuant to their job duties- a nebulous topic in the digital era. In applying Garcetti, lower courts have extended it to include any speech that is a product of job duties. As a result, public employee speech that would serve the public interest is not protected as it is inherently a product of job duties. This paper applauds the new exception, but argues that the Court’s ruling was too narrow. Using the principles espoused in the case, this paper argues that the Court should have amended the Garcetti rule and refocused the test on the public trust rather than the employee-employer relationship
Debut Faculty Paper Competition
Feiner v. New York: How the Court Got it Wrong • Roy Gutterman, AEJMC member • When Irving Feiner was pulled off a soapbox while giving a speech, his disorderly conduct arrest would ultimately lead to a Supreme Court case and precedent which changed the law. The heckler’s veto, emerged and changed the law of free speech. The heckler’s veto is alive and kicking in contemporary cases today.
The value and limits of extreme speech in a networked society: Revitalizing tolerance theory • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri • This paper argues that Bollinger’s tolerance theory of freedom of expression should be revitalized as the core theory to guide analyses of issues of harmful or extreme speech in an era of networked communication. The paper first analyzes traditional negative First Amendment theories and legal doctrines that delineate the values and harms of speech, and then synthesizes these theories with tolerance theory. The paper then applies this synthesis to issues of extreme speech in networked communications.
Facebook’s Free Speech Growing Pains: A Case Study in Content Governance • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri • This paper examines the evolution of Facebook’s rules governing users’ speech on its platform, from its earliest terms of service to its most recent Community Standards (March 2015). The goal is to highlight Facebook’s ongoing identity conflict between being a platform that promotes speech and one that offers a safe community for its users. Ultimately, this paper argues that Facebook must be more transparent about the operations of its entire system of governing users’ speech.
A right to violence: Comparing child rights generally to child First Amendment freedoms • William Nevin, University of West Alabama • This paper argues that children should have the right to consume and produce violent speech for two reasons: because (1) children have restricted rights only where there are serious risks and consequences and that does not apply in the speech setting and (2) where child speech rights are limited, they have been done so only in the area of sexually explicit material.
Racial slurs and ‘fighting words’: The question of whether epithets should be unprotected speech • William Nevin, University of West Alabama • This paper seeks to answer two questions: first, whether racial slurs are considered fighting words under the law and second, whether they should be. In answering both questions in the affirmative, the paper traces the development of the fighting words doctrine before examining contemporary fighting words prosecutions and cases involving slurs. The paper also compares racial slurs as fighting words to race-based defamation in order to address whether slurs should be fighting words.
ISP Liability for Defamation: Is Absolute Immunity Still Fair? • Ahran Park • Since the mid-1990s, American Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have enjoyed immunity from liability for defamation under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. As Congress originally intended in 1996, Section 230 has strongly protected freedom of online speech and allowed ISPs to thrive with little fear of being sued for online users’ comments. Such extraordinary statutory immunity for ISPs reflects American free-speech tradition that freedom of speech is preferred to reputation. Although the Internet landscape has changed over the past 20 years, American courts have applied Section 230 to shield ISPs almost invariably. ISPs won in 83 of 85 cases in 1997 to 2014. Nearly all types of ISPs have been held to be eligible for immunity unless they are original online speakers. Even when ISPs have operated websites that have left digital scarlet letters on individuals, they have not been liable if the ISPs did not create or develop the defamatory contents. Bloggers, as website operators, could be immunized even when they exercised the traditional editorial functions unlike the traditional journalists. This paper suggest that CDA Section 230 of the United States should be revised to rebalance reputation with freedom of speech.
FoIA in the Age of Open. Gov: A Quantitative Analysis of the performance of the Freedom of Information Act under the Obama and Bush Administrations. • ben wasike • Using government transparency as the conceptual framework, this study used six standard FoIA parameters to quantitatively analyze and compare FoIA performance between the Obama and Bush administrations in terms of: Efficiency, disposition, type of exemptions, redress, staff workload and overall demand. Results indicate that while efficiency is higher under Obama, agencies are releasing information only in part. While appeals were processed faster under Bush,petitioners have had more success under Obama. Additionally, FoIA staff workload has dramatically reduced under Obama. Demand for public records was also higher under Bush. One notable finding was that contrary to popular outcry, neither administration emphasized the national security and law enforcement exemptions to deny information. Legacy and commonality were also findings indicating that certain trends transcend the incumbent. The implications to government transparency are discussed within.
Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition
The Promise to the Arab World: Attribute Agenda Setting and Diversity of Attributes about U.S. President Obama in Arabic-Language Tweets • Mariam Alkazemi; Shahira Fahmy; Wayne Wanta, University of Florida; Ahmedabad Abdelzaheer Mahmoud Farghali, University of Arizona • In 2009 U.S. President Barak Obama travelled to Cairo promising a new beginning between the US government and the Arab world that has been angry about the two US led wars in two Muslim nations and its perceived favoritism toward Israel (Kuttab, 2013; Wilson, 2012). Five years later, we analyzed Arabic-language twitter messages involving President Obama to examine cognitive and affective attributes. Results show that tweets by members of the media differed greatly from tweets by members of the public. The public was much more negative towards the U.S. President. Members of the public also were more likely to link the President to a wider range of countries, suggesting a greater diversity of attributes. The location of the source of the tweets showed a wide range, though dominated by the Middle East.
The New York Times and Washington Post: Misleading the Public about U.S. Drone Strikes • Jeff Bachman, American University’s School of International Service • This paper examines The New York Times’ and Washington Post’s coverage of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan to determine whether they have accurately reported on the number of civilians killed in drone strikes and the overall civilian impact, as well as whether they have placed drone strikes within their proper legal context. The author concludes that both newspapers have failed to accurately report the number of civilian casualties and have underemphasized the civilian impact of drone strikes, while also excluding international legal issues from their coverage.
Experiencing sexism: Responses by Indian women journalists to sexism and sexual harassment • Kalyani Chadha; Pallavi Guha; Linda Steiner, University of Maryland, College Park • This paper examines the everyday sexism and workplace sex discrimination experienced by women journalists in India. Nearly all attention to Indian women focuses on high profile cases of sexual assault. Our interviews with Indian women journalists, however, indicate that the problem is everyday sexism and workplace discrimination. Moreover, women say laws designed to protect women are ineffective and largely unenforced. We highlight the impact of the casualization of journalists labor, resulting from global market forces.
Integrating Self-Construal in Theory of Reasoned Action: Examining How Self-Construal, Social Norms, and Attitude Relate to Healthy Lifestyle Intention in Singapore • Soo Fei Chuah, Nanyang Technological University; Xiaodong Yang, Nanyang Technological University; Liang Chen, Nanyang Technological University; Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University • This study would like to investigate Singaporeans’ intention to adopt healthy lifestyle by integrating the concept of self-construal into the Theory of Reasoned Action. The results revealed that attitudes toward healthy lifestyle and subjective norms are associated with healthy lifestyle behavioral intentions. Besides, interdependent self-construal is associated with individuals’ attitude and subjective norm. The study also found that there is an indirect relationship between subjective norms and behavioral intention through individuals’ attitude.
We Choose to Tweet: Twitter Users’ Take on Rwanda Day 2014 • Sally Ann Cruikshank, Auburn University; Jeremy Saks, Ohio University • This study centers on the usage of Twitter related to Rwanda Day 2014 in Atlanta, Georgia. The event allowed Rwandan diaspora to gather to celebrate Rwandan culture and included a speech by President Paul Kagame. A content analysis of two hashtags related to the event, #RwandaDay and #Twahisemo, was performed. Utilizing social identity theory, the researchers explored how various groups tweeted about Rwanda Day 2014 and President Kagame. Findings and implications are discussed at length.
Testing the effect of message framing and valence on national image • Ming Dai, Southeastern Oklahoma State University • Using the episodic and thematic framing concepts, the study was designed to understand the influence of message format and its interaction with message valence in influencing perceptions of foreign countries, policy attitudes and policy choice. The experimental study examined young Americans’ responses to news articles about the US’s policy toward China to change the human rights conditions in the country. The findings indicated that episodically framed message was more interesting to read. The episodically framed positive article improved perceptions of China’s human rights conditions, but it did not worsen the perceptions. The episodically framed negative article was not the most powerful influence on the perceptions, policy attitudes and policy choice. Thematic frame was more powerful than episodic frame on policy attitude in both positive and negative stories. Implications for national image promotion through media are discussed.
Fighting for recognition: online abuse of political women bloggers in Germany, Switzerland, the UK and US • Stine Eckert • This study finds that women in Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States who blog about politics or are feminists face great risks of online abuse. In-depth interviews with 109 bloggers who write about women, family, and/or maternity politics revealed that 73.4 percent had negative experiences. Using theoretical approaches that emphasize how offline hierarchies migrate online, this study calls for more empirical work on and global recognition of online harassment as punishable crimes.
Ironic Encounters: Constructing Humanitarianism through Slum Tourist Media • Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa; David Tuwei, University of Iowa • Following Steeves (2008) and Chouliaraki (2013), we argue that slum tourist media signify an ironic encounter, one in which tourists construct a humanitarian Self in contrast to an impoverished Other. Our analysis focuses on three-high profile texts produced by tourists of Kibera, a densely populated low-income community in Nairobi, Kenya: the BBC’s reality television special Famous, Rich and in the Slums, the book Megaslumming: A Journey Through sub-Saharan Africa’s Largest Shantytown, and a White House slideshow about Jill Biden’s tour of Kibera. In these ironic encounters, slum tourism is justified as necessary for coveted experiential knowledge, as a platform for tourists to share their newfound expertise on global poverty, and as a source of encouragement and enlightenment for slum residents.
The Signs of Sisi Mania: A Semiotic and Discourse Analysis of Abdelfattah Al-Sisi’s Egyptian Presidential Campaign • Mohammed el-Nawawy; Mohamad Elmasry • This study employed semiotic analysis to examine the sign system in two of Abdelfattah Al-Sisi’s 2014 Egyptian presidential campaign posters, and discourse analysis to uncover dominant discourses in Al-Sisi’s most prominent campaign video. The semiotic analysis showed that the campaign presented Al-Sisi as a familiar, yet transcendent, figure, while the discourse analysis suggested that the video producers discursively constructed Al-Sisi as the ultimate patriot and a strongman with immense leadership abilities.
Exploring the relationship between Myanmar consumers’ social identity, attitudes towards globalization, and consumer preferences • Alana Rudkin, American University; Joseph Erba, University of Kansas • Myanmar is transitioning to an open market economy, but very little is known about Myanmar consumers and their attitudes towards globalization. Using Hofstede’s cultural dimensions and social identity theory, this exploratory study aimed to shed light on the role Myanmar consumers’ cultural values and social identity play in consumer preferences. Results from a cross-sectional survey of Myanmar consumers (N = 268) provide insights into Myanmar culture and how to effectively communicate with Myanmar consumers.
Food and Society: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Food Advertising Claims in the U.S. and China • Yang Feng, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise; Lingda Li, Communication University of China • This study explored the socio-economic (food safety issues and regulations) and cultural factors affecting the use of advertising claims across two countries: the U.S. and China. Results from the content analyses of 324 U.S. and 81 Chinese food advertisements indicated that quality claims, health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claims were more often used in Chinese food advertisements than in the U.S. food advertisements, whereas taste claims were more frequently adopted in the U.S. food advertisements than their Chinese counterparts. Moreover, while Chinese food advertisements tended to include more healthy foods than their U.S. counterparts, the U.S. food advertisements were inclined to contain more unhealthy foods than their Chinese counterparts. Overall, results suggested that the use of food advertising claims reflected the local market’s socio-economic situations and cultural values. Implications and limitations were discussed.
To Share or Not to Share: The Influence of News Values and Topics on Popular Social Media Content in the U.S., Brazil, and Argentina • Victor Garcia, University of Texas at Austin; Ramón Salaverría, School of Communication, University of Navarra; Danielle Kilgo; Summer Harlow, Florida State University • As news organizations strive to create news for the digital environment, audiences play an increasingly important role in evaluating content. This comparative study of the U.S., Argentina, and Brazil explores values and topics present in news content and the variances in audience interaction on social media. Findings suggest values of timeliness and conflict/controversy and government/politics topics trigger more audience responses. Articles in the Brazilian media prompted more interactivity than those in the U.S. or Argentina.
Journalists in peril: In-depth interviews with Iraqi journalists covering everyday violence • Goran Ghafour, The university of Kansas; Barbara Barnett, The University of Kansas • After the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in 2003, Iraqi journalists enjoyed an unprecedented free press—albeit short-lived. With the emergence of ISIS, Iraqi journalists have witnessed a harsher wave of violence. Based on in-depth interviews with nine Iraqi journalists, this study found that journalists not only covered violence but perceived violence as a government tool used to control them. In spite of threats to their lives, journalists said they were committed to their jobs.
Advocating Social Stability and Territorial Integrity: The China Daily’s Framing of the Arab Spring • Jae Sik Ha, Univ Of Illinois-Springfield; Dong-Hee Shin • This study examines how The China Daily, China’s authoritative English newspaper, framed the Arab Spring, a social movement in the Middle East. Specifically, it compares news stories appearing in The China Daily from Chinese reporters with those obtained from Western wire services. The study found that the Chinese journalists attempted to accuse the West, including the U.S. government, of being responsible for the chaos and violence occurring in the Arab world. The Chinese journalists also stressed China’s national interests and concerns (i.e. social stability, national unity, and territorial integrity) in their coverage. They relied on Chinese government officials and experts as news sources, whereas Western journalists quoted those involved in the protests more often. China’s national interests primarily shaped the news within The China Daily; the paper has served as a useful tool for the Chinese government in its public diplomacy efforts, which seek to present China as a harmonious, stable, and reliable nation.
Depiction of Chinese in New Zealand journalism • Grant Hannis • Media depictions of Chinese in Western countries often rely on the Yellow Peril and model minority stereotypes. This paper considers the nature of coverage of Chinese in New Zealand print journalism to determine whether it uses these stereotypes. Although the rampant Yellow Peril hysteria of early 20th-century coverage had largely disappeared 100 years later, there continued to be a significant amount of negatively toned coverage – primarily crime – rather than use of the model minority stereotype.
Liberation Technology? Understanding a Community Radio Station’s Social Media Use in El Salvador • Summer Harlow, Florida State University • This ethnographic study of the Salvadoran community station Radio Victoria explores how the radio used Facebook to encourage citizen participation and action, despite the digital divide. Analysis showed who participated and how they participated changed because of Facebook. This study contributes to scholarship by including technology as fundamental to the study of alternative media and by expanding our conceptualization of the digital divide to include whether social media are used in frivolous or liberating ways.
Predicting international news flow from Reuters: Money makes the world go round • Beverly Horvit, University of Missouri; Peter Gade, University of Oklahoma; Yulia Medvedeva, University of Missouri; Anthony Roth, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Michael Phinney, University of Missouri • This content analysis surveyed more than 13,000 news stories to identify the factors that predict the amount of business and non-business coverage allocated to world countries by Reuters newswire in 2006 and 2014. Findings revealed that country’s world-system status ratio suggested by Gunaratne serves as the most reliable predictor of the volume of coverage. U.S. firms’ investments in a country and the number of significant events serve as additional reliable predictors of country’s news visibility.
Learning how to do things right: Lessons from the digital transition in Bulgaria • Elza Ibroscheva, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Maria Raicheva-Stover, Washburn University • The paper examines the latest developments in the digital switchover in Bulgaria, focusing on the specific the challenges that this new EU member faces. Exploring the digitization efforts of a novice EU policy actor such as Bulgaria is critical as it demonstrates the complex processes that nations in transition undergo as they build a Western-type democracy and navigate the complexities of media policies attached to such transitional adjustments. By offering an in-depth media analysis of the current developments, the players in the process of digital conversion in Bulgaria and its political prominence, might reveal the obstacles and challenges that other transitional democracies might face when media developments are caught at a crossroad— at the international level, the EU call for a free market competition and transparency of capital, and at the local level, continuous attempts to obscure the source of capital and thus, protect powerful local players that wield enormous power and control over public opinion, thus, single-highhandedly steering the processes of democratization and media transformation they foster.
Determining the Factors Influencing the News Values of International Disasters in the U.S. News Media • YONGICK JEONG, Louisiana State University; Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University • We explore various factors that influence the news value of international disasters in 10 representative U.S. news outlets over a four-week period. Our findings suggest that internal disaster factors are most consistent and significant in covering international disasters in the U.S. When disaster coverage is extended over a longer period, other external factors, such as trade relations with the U.S., distance from the U.S., GDP, military expenditure, and political rights, come into play as well.
Military Intervention or Not?: A Textual Analysis of the Coverage on Syria in Foreign Affairs and China Daily • Cristina Mislan; Haiyan Jia, The Pennsylvania State University • A growing public conversation about the United States’ pivot toward the Asian continent has highlighted the tense relations between the United States and China. While convergence of each country’s foreign policy interests has become of great concern for the United, US influence throughout the Middle East demonstrates the United States’ inability to disengage from the Middle East. This paper contributes to historical conversations about the lifespan of foreign policy by comparing US and Chinese foreign policy through an analysis of both countries’ national media coverage. The authors conducted a discourse analysis of the coverage on intervention in the Syrian civil war in Foreign Affairs and China Daily between April and September 2013. Findings illustrate three themes addressing the intervention strategies and underlying approaches adopted in each media source, their representations of the international structure, and the perceptions of each country regarding China’s international presence in the twenty-first century.
Social Network Discussion, Life Satisfaction and Quality of life • Chang Won Jung; Hernando Rojas • The study explores the relationship between the cross-cutting discussion and two aspects of satisfaction: life satisfaction (individual) and quality of life (societal). This research suggests how individuals’ media use, SNSs, social network discussion, heterogeneous discussion, and associational membership contribute to satisfaction based on a Colombia national sample, N=1031 (2012). The finding suggests that heterogeneous discussion negatively predicts life satisfaction, yet positively predicts quality of life. The use of SNSs only positively predicts quality of life.
Influence of Facebook on Body Image and Disordered Eating in Kazakhstan and USA • Karlyga N. Myssayeva, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University; Stephanie Smith, Ohio University; Yusuf Kalyango Jr., Ohio University; Ayupova Zaure Karimovna, Al-Farabi Kazakh National University • Women in the United States of America (USA) are ranked fourth heaviest in the world, while women in Kazakhstan are generally thin. This difference in average female weight leads to interesting questions regarding perceptions of beauty. Is there less negative body image in Kazakhstan given that, on average, Kazakh women are slimmer compared to American women? The thin ideal is pervasive in all genres of mass media and has been linked to negative body image, which in turn is a risk factor for eating disorders, and a significant predictor of low self-esteem, depression, and obesity. Young women spend an increasing amount of time with social media both in Kazakhstan and the USA, but the relationship between this growing exposure and body image is not fully understood. This study uses objectification to examine the relationship between time spent on Facebook and body image among Kazakh and American college women. Time on Facebook predicted BSQ and EAT-26© scores in Kazakhstan but did not in the USA, suggesting Facebook may have a more subtle effect in the USA. Time on Facebook predicted attention to appearance and negative feelings in both countries. Practical and theoretical implications are detailed.
Dirty Politics in New Zealand: How newspaper reporters and online bloggers constructed the professional values of journalism at a time of crisis • Linda Jean Kenix • This research explores how different facets of the New Zealand media system conceptualized journalism and their own perceived role within journalistic practice at a particular moment of crisis. This study found a recurrent reflexive protectionism displayed by journalists while bloggers readily explored the extent of journalism doxa, albeit through a politicized lens. If journalism is measured, in part, by the values on display in written text, then bloggers emerged from this controversy as professional journalists.
A Theoretical Approach to Understanding China’s Consumption of the Korean Wave • Sojung Kim, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Qijun He, the Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study investigates how globalism, proximity, and modernity influence China’s motivation to consume the Korean wave and its subsequent consumption of Korean TV programs. The findings suggest that the motivation to consume the Korean wave is positively related to globalism and proximity. Modernity, however, is found to have a negative influence on the motivation. The study also finds that the motivation to consume the Korean wave has a significant impact on the consumption of Korean TV programs. In the revised model, the study suggests that proximity, followed by globalism, has the strongest positive relationship with the motivation. Such a finding suggests that proximity approach could serve as a better theoretical perspective to explain the phenomenon of the Korean wave in China.
Soft Power and Development Efforts: An Analysis of Foreign Development Efforts As Covered in 28 Senegalese Dailies • Jeslyn Lemke, University of Oregon, School of Journalism and Communication • This study is a quantitative content analysis that explores the connection between foreign development initiatives in Senegal and the rate of coverage these foreign initiatives receive, using a sample of 28 editions of five major Senegalese daily newspapers. The purpose of this study is to explore the connection between J. Nye’s soft power, Western imperialism and the related influence of Western organizations intervening into the Senegalese economy and civilian life, as measured in these newspapers.
Migrant Worker of News vs. Superman: Why Local Journalists in China and the U.S. Perceive Different Self-Image • Zhaoxi Liu, Trinity University • Conversations with local journalists in China and the U.S. reveal quite different self-image as journalists. Whereas Chinese journalists label themselves migrant workers of news, American journalists generally hold the notion that journalists inform the public to maintain democracy and even act like superman to make a change. To better understand such differences, the article argues, one has to examine journalists as interpretive communities situated in specific social environment.
Beyond Cultural Imperialism to Postcolonial Global Discourses: Korean Wave (Hallyu) and its Fans in Qatar • Saadia Malik, Qarar University • This paper aims to understand K-pop culture and its fans in Qatar through asking the question: How audiences/fans of K-pop culture in Qatar interact, negotiate and define themselves as audiences/fans of Korean pop-culture. To answer this question, the papers adopts postcolonial discourses on globalization as a theoretical approach that advocates multi-flow of culture and globalization and places fans of K-pop culture in Qatar within the framework of transnational fandom of non-western hybrid popular culture. Moreover, the theoretical framework advocates audience’s (fans) agency in negotiating and consuming K-pop cultural products. Group interviews were conducted with some young Arab women who define themselves as fans of K-pop culture in order to bring their views and opinions as K-pop fans to the center of analysis in this paper. The Young Arab women I interacted with through this research have created their own non-institutionalized voluntary fan ‘community’ (subculture) as K-pop fans. This ‘community’ or cultural ‘ecumene’ stands as an ‘identity space’ through which they can express their cultural identity as fans of K-pop culture bonded by Korean language and by shared expressed cultural symbols from K-pop culture itself.
He is a Looker Not a Doer: New Masculinity in Men’s Magazine In India • Suman Mishra • After 2005, several transnational men’s magazines have been introduced in India because of changes in Indian government’s policy. However, little is known about how these magazines are shaping masculine ideals of urban Indian men. Through an examination of magazine advertising content, this study finds a focus on aesthetic metrosexuality. This form of masculinity sits comfortably at the global-local nexus and serves to assimilate upper class Indian men into a global consumer class.
Asian Crisis Communications: Perspectives from the MH370 Disappearance and Sewol Ferry Disaster • Jeremy Chan; Bohoon Choi; Adrian Seah; Wan Ling Tan; Fernando Paragas • This paper examines two national addresses by the leaders of South Korea and Malaysia in response to pivotal crises in their respective countries. Using Critical Discourse Analysis, our findings show both speeches employed crisis communication strategies aligned with the Situational Crisis Communications Theory. However, key differences in how these strategies have been used in either speech precludes a prescription of a uniform Asian crisis communication response given the diversity of national cultures in the continent.
Idiocentrism versus Allocentrism and Illegal Downloading Intention between the United States and South Korea • 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 employed the personality dimension of idiocentrism and allocentrism to examine the difference in illegal downloading intention between the U.S college students and South Korean ones. The study uncovered that South Korean students had a higher intention of illegal downloading than the U.S. counterparts. The study also found that, for the U.S. students, idiocentrics exhibited a higher intention of illegal downloading than allocentrics. For South Korean students, allocentrics showed a higher intention than idiocentrics.
Cultural Capital at its Best: Factors Influencing Consumption of American Television Programs among Young Croatians • Ivanka Pjesivac, University of Georgia; Iveta Imre, Western Carolina University • This study examined factors that influence the consumption of American television programs among young Croatians, by conducting a paper and pencil survey (N=487). The results indicate that young Croatians are avid consumers of American dramas and sitcoms, and that a set of cultural capital variables is a significant predictor of the consumption of American TV. Knowledge of English language, of U.S. lifestyle, consumption of American movies and American press all had a significant unique contribution to the model.
Do Demographics Matter? Individual Differences in Perceived News Media Corruption in Serbia • Ivanka Pjesivac, University of Georgia • This study examined individual differences in perceived news media corruption (PNMC), by conducting a face-to-face survey on a representative sample of the Serbian population (N=544). Extremely high levels of PNMC were found, as well as significant differences in PNMC scores for gender, education level, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, and membership in majority ethnic and religious groups. Corruption perception persona types are created and results are discussed in terms of importance of societal integration for PNMC.
Charities in Chile: Trust and Commitment in the Formation of Donor’s Behavioral Loyalty • Cristobal Barra; Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Eduardo Torres-Moraga • This study explores the ways in which trust and commitment lead to loyalty in the Latin American organization-donor context. Findings support a multi-dimension sequentially ordered conceptualization of loyalty that starts with cognitive loyalty, followed by affective loyalty and with behavioral loyalty as the penultimate outcome. Further, findings indicate that neither trust nor commitment affects behavioral loyalty directly; rather, the effects of these variables are present in earlier stages of the formation of loyalty
Thatcherism and the Eurozone crisis: A social systems-level analysis of British, Greek, and German news coverage of Margaret Thatcher’s death • Sada Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Yioryos Nardis, Unaffiliated; Emily Ogilvie; Daniel Riffe • The following study examines British, Greek, and German newspapers’ coverage of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher’s death in order to argue that proximity as a news value is not limited to media routines, but is part of nations’ social systems. Results suggest that journalists interpreted the meaning of Thatcher’s legacy and death more in proximity to their respective nation’s weathering of the European economic storm than through the lens of their newspaper’s political leaning.
An Exploratory Study on Journalistic Professionalism and Journalism Education in Contemporary China • Baohui Shao; qingwenn dong Dong, university of the pacific • Journalism education plays an important role to cultivate future professional journalists. Chinese journalism education has boomed up in recent decades, however, journalism graduates are not welcomed by media organizations. Through in-depth interviews with professional journalists and journalism educationalists, this paper finds that their perception of journalistic professionalism is focusing on journalistic expertise, commitment, and responsibility but eschewing journalistic autonomy deliberately and Chinese journalism education concentrates on rigid journalism knowledge without profession or practical ability.
Sex Trafficking in Thai Media: A content analysis of issue framing • Meghan Sobel, Regis University • Understanding how news media frame sex trafficking in Thailand, a country with high levels of trafficking and an understudied media landscape, has strong implications for how the public and policymakers understand and respond to the issue. This quantitative content analysis analyzed 15 years of trafficking coverage in five English-language Thai newspapers and found a focus on female victims, international aspects of trafficking and official sources with a lack of discussion of risk factors and solutions.
Reimagining Internet Geographies: A User-Centric Ethnological Mapping of the World Wide Web • Angela Xiao Wu, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri, School of Journalism • Existing imageries of the WWW prioritize media infrastructure and content dissemination. We propose a new imagery foregrounding local usage and it’s shaping by local cultural identity and political economy. We develop granular measures and construct ethnological maps of WWW usage through a network analysis of shared global traffic between top 1000 websites in 2009, 2011 and 2013. Our results reveal the significant growth and thickening of online regional cultures associated with the global South.
Producing Communities and Commodities: Safaricom and Commercial Nationalism in Kenya • David Tuwei, University of Iowa; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa • This research analyzes Safaricom, one of the most established mobile operators in Kenya. Alongside the provision of mobile services, Safaricom has closely engaged with the government of Kenya, even getting involved in the nation’s politics. This study specifically examines Safaricom’s marketing, which reflects a commitment to promoting the country and its products through discourses of commercial nationalism. These discourses link Kenyan identity, pride, and distinctiveness to commercial success, profit, upward mobility, and development.
The dependency gap: Story types and source selection in coverage of an international health crisis • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University; Fatima Barakji, Wayne State University; Lee Wilkins • The growing interactivity of news, and the growing number of ways in which it can get around traditional barriers of news practice or social/legal constraint, underscores the value of revisiting theory as a guide to analysis and practice. This paper adds to media systems dependency theory by reinterpreting its emphasis on the individual actor to incorporate both audience members and journalists themselves as well as the political context in which news accounts are created and recounted. It then tests these revised theoretical notions in a cross-national content analysis of coverage of an emerging disease in the Arabian Gulf. Results suggest that predictable patterns of sourcing and topic selection hold in some circumstances and are challenged in others.
Africa rising: An analysis of emergent mass communication scholarship in Africa from 2004 – 2014. • ben wasike • In the first comprehensive and longitudinal analysis of Africa-based mass communication research since David Edeani’s (1995) study of the same, this study analyzed a census of Africa-based mass communication research published worldwide between years 2004 – 2014. Results show that Africa-based scholarship uniquely differs from mainstream and other emergent research in terms of analyzing newspapers content over television and the heavy use of case studies. Confluence with other research spheres includes being atheoretical, qualitative and non-empirical.
Examining global journalism: how global news networks frame the ISIS threat • Xu Zhang, Texas Tech University; lea hellmueller, Texas Tech University • The results of a quantitative content analysis of 393 news reports on the ISIS threat from CNN and Al-Jazeera English suggests that in time of globalization different transnational news outlets share common features in their news coverage of global challenges, while important differences still co-exist. On the contrary to the concept of global journalism, reporting the global event from a global perspective is far from conclusion, even for those transnational news outlets.
Markham Student Paper Competition
Source Nationality, Authority and Credibility: A Multi-National Experiment using the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island Dispute • Krystin Anderson, University of Florida; Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida; Shintaro Sato, University of Florida; Hideo Matsumoto, Tokai University • This study investigates the relationship between source authority type and source nationality on credibility and peace message reception in context of the Diaoyu/Senkaku Island dispute. Through three separate experiments conducted in the U.S., China and Japan, it finds a significant relationship between source nationality and credibility and an interaction between nationality and authority type. The study offers implications for peace journalism, suggesting that source choice is an important factor in reporting peace initiatives.
What’s in a name? The renewal of development journalism in the 21st century • Kendal Blust • Development journalism has been dismissed as a form of government controlled media but continues to interest scholars and practitioners alike. A new form of development journalism is being used in which international development issues are reported from the outside in. The Guardian’s Global Development site is explored through ethnographic content analysis as a model for development journalism from the outside and a comparison with previous definitions.
Young wife from Sikkim allegedly raped: Understanding the framing of rape reportage in Indian media • DHIMAN CHATTOPADHYAY, Bowling Green State University • This paper explores the framing of rape reportage in India’s English language media, conducting a mixed method content analysis of how 25 Indian newspapers, magazines and television channels reported the same incident of rape on their respective websites. The results showed that the victim’s credibility was often doubted and both victim and accused were otherized. Also attributes such as marital status, age, profession and ethnicity were considered vital information to be conveyed to audiences. This study hopes to contribute to the nascent but growing body of academic work that has started to look at the growing incidents of rape in India and how the media frames and communicates incidents of rapes and rape culture in general to its audiences
Permission to Narrate? Palestinian Perspectives in U.S. Media Coverage of Operation Cast Lead • Britain Eakin, University of Arizona • This study explores the presence of Palestinian narratives in U.S. media coverage in the New York Times and the Los Angeles Times during Operation Cast Lead, the 22-day long Israeli military operation in Gaza, which lasted from late December 2008 through January 22, 2009. Utilizing a postcolonial framework this study examines the coverage as part of the Orientalist legacy that shapes American perceptions of Palestinians, and how those perceptions might manifest themselves in relation to the presence of or lack of Palestinian narratives in media coverage of Operation Cast Lead. This study finds that to a limited extent, Palestinian narratives are present in the reporting, however lack of context overshadowed their legitimacy.
MH17 Tragedy: An Analysis of Cold War and Post-Cold War Media Framing of Airline Disasters • Abu Daud Isa, West Virginia University • This paper builds on similar studies that examined newspaper coverage of airline disasters during the Cold War in the 1980s. It explores new Cold War frames in The New York Times and The Moscow Times coverage of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17, which was shot down over Ukraine in 2014. The research reveals an absence of hostile Cold War assertions, but found frames were consistent with the respective U.S. and Russian diplomatic positions.
Journalists Jailed and Muzzled: Government and Government-inspired Censorship in Turkey during AKP Rule • Duygu Kanver, Michigan State University • During Justice and Development Party (AKP) rule, politics have been overly influential on news media in Turkey. The AKP government’s connections with highly politicized media owners have led to a politically-oriented, polarized media landscape where journalists cannot report freely and objectively. This study explores limitations on freedom of the press, which include ongoing censorship due to direct and indirect involvement of the government, and hundreds of journalist imprisonments between 2008 and 2013.
Burma/Myanmar’s Exile Media in Transition: Exploring the Relationship between Alternative Media, Market Forces & Public Sphere Formation • Brett Labbe, Bowling Green State University • This study examines the historical development of Myanmar/Burma’s independent exile media alongside their recent integration into the country and ongoing financial reconfigurations. Employing documentary research, observation of Burma/Myanmar’s current media landscape, and interviews with senior editors of the country’s former exile media, this investigation explores these organizations’ changing institutional practices and relationships to the nation’s political and public spheres in order to examine reigning conceptualizations of ‘alternative media’ and its relationship to market forces and public sphere formation. This study found that the country’s exile media’s transition into the country has provided new avenues of journalistic ‘space,’ yet not necessarily conductive to these organizations’ traditional alternative media values.
Spotlight on Qatar: A framing analysis of labor rights issues in the news blog Doha News • Elizabeth Lance, Northwestern University in Qatar; Ivana Vasic, Independent; Rhytha Zahid Hejaze • This study examines coverage of labor rights issues in the online-only news blog Doha News (Qatar) to identify the prominent frames used. Additionally, this study compares those prominent frames with those found in the English-language daily Gulf Times (Qatar), identifying several differences. This study is useful in understanding how an online-only news blog covers a controversial issue in a restrictive press environment.
Digitally enabled citizen empowerment in East and Southeast Asia • SHIN HAENG LEE, University of Washington • This study assessed the impact of new information technologies on citizen empowerment in Asian political communication systems as the emerging digital network market. The World Values Survey provided cross-national data, gathered during the two periods: 2005–2007 (Wave 5) and 2010–2013 (Wave 6). The results showed that online information seeking had mobilizing effects on political participation in both WVS waves. This relationship was nevertheless conditional on the existing information gap.
Linguistic Abstractness as a Discursive Microframe: LCM Framing in International Reporting by American News • Josephine Lukito, Syracuse University • This study examined whether American news coverage of a country would be framed differently based on the country’s proximity or interactions with the United States. The Linguistic Category Model was used to code for language abstractness. Seven proximity and interaction variables were studied. Results suggest that countries with little proximity or with weak ties to the U.S. were framed abstractly. Implications are discussed, and the LCM frame is identified as a discursive microframe (DMF).
Online networking and protest behaviors in Latin America • Rachel Mourao, The University of Texas at Austin; Shannon McGregor, University of Texas – Austin; Magdalena Saldana, The University of Texas at Austin • The relationship between online networking and protest participation is a focal point of scholarly attention, yet few studies address it in the context of Latin American democracies. Using data from the 2012 Americas-Barometer public opinion survey, we assess how online networking affects protest behavior in the region. Findings suggest that online networking leads to moderate protest behaviors. Results indicate protest participation has been normalized in the region, a sign of the strength of democratic states.
Twitter Diplomacy between India and the United States: A Qualitative Content Analysis of Tweets during Presidential State Visits • Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina • India’s economic and political influence is growing, and its expansion of Twitter users provides more opportunity for international agenda-building. This qualitative analysis studies Twitter comments from the U.S. and India (N=11,532) during reciprocal state visits by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Barack Obama, when the most retweets in both countries were from the White House and Times of India, reflecting agenda-building effects. American comments were more negative about Obama than about Modi. Analysis addresses implications for agenda-building global public diplomacy.
Jokes in Public: The Ethical Implications of Radio Prank Calls • Subin Paul, University of Iowa; John C Carpenter • The use of prank calls is becoming increasingly common among radio hosts in the international arena. This study examines the ethics behind the practice of radio prank calls and their implications for mainstream journalism through Systematic Moral Analysis and Kantianism. It shows that while radio prank calls can contribute to the public sphere, they can also have unintended negative consequences that reflect badly not only on radio hosts, but also on mainstream journalists.
Reporting in Latin America: Issues and perspectives on investigative journalism in the region • Magdalena Saldana, The University of Texas at Austin; Rachel Mourao, The University of Texas at Austin • Despite its importance in fostering transparent democracies, watchdog journalism is not exempt from external influences. This study investigates the challenges faced by investigative journalism in Latin America. Guided by the Hierarchy of Influences model, we analyzed answers from 1,453 journalists in the region. Results reveal that more than two decades after the liberalization of media systems, journalists still face constraints related to clientelistic practices and personal security as the main challenges to investigative reporting.
Protesting the Paradigm: A Comparative Study of News Coverage of Protests in Brazil, China, and India • Saif Shahin, The University of Texas at Austin; Pei Zheng, The University of Texas at Austin; Heloisa Aruth Sturm, University of Texas at Austin; Deepa Fadnis • This study examines the coverage of Brazilian, Chinese, and Indian protests in their domestic news media to clarify the scope and applicability of the protest paradigm—a theory based primarily on U.S. media coverage of social movements. Using comparative analysis, it shows that the paradigm does not squarely apply in foreign contexts, but also identifies those aspects of it which are relevant for international research. Broader implications and ideas for future studies are discussed.
Trust in the media and its predictors in three Latin American countries • Vinicio Sinta, University of Texas at Austin; Victor Garcia, University of Texas at Austin; Ji won Kim • Declining public trust in the news media continues to be a matter of concern for scholars of mass communication and politics. In Latin America, the historically close links between media and political elites present an opportunity to obtain new insights about how trust in the news media relates to trust in other social institutions. In addition to these relationships, this study explores how demographic variables, media use and perceptions of public issues shape confidence in the news media in three Latin American countries: Chile, Colombia and Mexico. The results support previous findings about how the consumption of online news relates to a decline in trust in legacy news media. Additionally, favorable perceptions of economic performance and increased trust in other social institutions were also positive predictors of media trust in certain contexts.
Seeking Cultural Relevance : Use of Culture Peg and Culture Link in International Newsreporting • Miki Tanikawa, University of Texas • This study describes the prevalence of culturally oriented writing techniques found in international news coverage of major American newspapers, through a concept explication and content analysis. These techniques, which I call culture peg and culture link, are content choices that journalists make to enhance the material’s appeal to their home audience. A content analysis found that such cultural strategies were employed in 72 percent of international news articles in the New York Times.
Reporting War in 140 Characters: How Journalists Used Twitter during the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict • Ori Tenenboim, School of Journalism, the University of Texas at Austin • This study examines how journalists used Twitter during the 2014 Gaza war, while comparing Israeli journalists with reporters who work for international news outlets. The results show that the two groups differed in their choice of topics, the sources they cited, and the use of Twitter affordances – retweeting and replying. The study contributes to a better understanding of gatekeeping on social media in a time of war, which poses unique dilemmas and concerns for journalists.
How Do They Think Differently? A Social Media Advertising Attitude Survey on Chinese Students in China and Chinese Students in America • Anan Wan, University of South Carolina • This study explored whether Chinese students in both China and in America had different attitudes toward social media advertising, and how those attitudes were different, through a survey (N=300) of Chinese students in these two countries. The survey determined how they used social media, their attitudes and whether they trust social media advertising. It also tested the relationships between the students’ the Social Media Diets (amount, frequency, and duration) and attitude toward social media advertising.
Marketing of Separatist Groups: Classification on Separatist Movement Categories • Dwiyatna Widinugraha • Many articles and studies discussed ISIS as a separatist group from its home country. However when we looked at other separatist cases, such as the Scottish Independence (SI) case, problems occurred when we tried to classified ISIS and SI in the same groups of separatists. This study uses comparative analysis on separatist groups marketing activities to draw classifications on the 21st century separatist groups categories: the ethnic group, the political group and the terrorist group.
Riot Bias: A Textual Analysis of Pussy Riot’s Coverage in Russian and American Media • Kari Williams, SIUE/TH Media • This study uses framing theory and textual analysis to investigate how American and Russian media portrayed Russian punk band Pussy Riot’s 2012 protest act in a Moscow cathedral, the trial and sentencing and subsequent newsworthy events. Coverage from Russia’s Pravda and the United States’ The New York Times – beginning with this particular protest act (February 2012) and ending with the protest at the Sochi Olympics (February 2014) –shows how each country’s media portrayed the band.
Inter-media agenda-setting across borders: Examining newspaper coverage of MH370 incident by media in the U.S., China, and Hong Kong • Fang Wu, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Di Cui, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • Focusing on the media coverage of the mysterious disappearance of Flight MH370 by major newspapers in the U.S., China, and Hong Kong, this study explored the inter-media agenda-setting effect in transnational settings. A content analysis of related news articles revealed a two-step agenda-setting effect among the selected news media. The findings suggested the national power (under which news media operate) played an important role in shaping the agenda of the coverage of global media events.
Point-Counterpoint: The Debate that Embodied a Decade • Elizabeth Atwood, Hood College • Point-Counterpoint, 60 Minutes’ much-parodied debate between Shana Alexander and James Jackson Kilpatrick, became a cultural icon, not because of the arguments presented but because the two commentators embodied the battle of the sexes that was at the forefront of social thought in the 1970s. The unlikely creative force behind the segment was Kilpatrick, the print journalism veteran, who possessed an innate understanding of the entertainment quality of television news.
Assault on the Ivory Tower: Anti-Intellectualism in Coverage of the Hutchins Commission • Stephen Bates • When thirteen intellectuals criticized its performance in 1947, the American press on the whole responded ungraciously. Journalists derided the Commission on Freedom of the Press, commonly called the Hutchins Commission, as an assemblage of professors whose analysis was tainted by self-dealing, irresponsibility, elitism, and impracticality. At a broad level, critics charged that the Commission’s work was shaped by its members’ status as professors. By weighing the news coverage against the Commission’s unpublished documents, this paper finds significant validity in the media’s broad contention: An ivory tower world view ran through the Commission’s proceedings and recommendations.
Yabba Dabba Don’t Forget Your Audience: What The Simpsons Learned from The Flintstones’ Third Season • Jared Browsh, University of Colorado-Boulder • The Simpsons and The Flintstones are irrevocably linked in television history as two of the first successful primetime animated programs. However, after their initial successes, both programs reached a crossroads after the second season concerning the direction of each series. This paper examines the third season of each program to better understand how decisions made by creators, and the networks broadcasting the shows, led to very different outcomes for these two historically significant programs.
Bubbling Motor of Money: Calvin Jacox, the Norfolk Pilot & Guide, and the integration of Tidewater baseball • Brian Carroll, Berry College • This paper seeks to reveal, examine, and understand the role of black sportswriter Cal Jacox in chronicling and promoting baseball’s integration in the Tidewater (Va.) region in the 1950s. For a quarter-century the sports editor for the Norfolk Journal & Guide, Jacox proved a crusader in the fight against discrimination, writing about and helping to foster Black sports and athletes before, during and after integration, to quote his plaque at the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame & Museum.
Frances Buss, Television’s Playgirl: The Groundbreaking Career and Divergent Receptions of Television’s First Female Director • Mike Conway, Indiana University; Alexandra B. Hitchcock • American television’s first female director, Frances Buss, received considerable attention during the medium’s chaotic early years. First portrayed as the pretty girl behind the camera, Buss later became a symbol for pushing through failure and forging her own path in the male dominated world of television technology. Buss’s career provides texture and illumination into the overall image of Rosie the Riveter and the changing work environment for women before, during, and after World War II.
El Gringo, Travel Writing, and Colonization of the Southwest: W. W. H. Davis’ Journalism in New Mexico • Michael Fuhlhage, Wayne State University • This paper reveals the ways Doylestown Democrat correspondent W. W. H. Davis portrayed the newly conquered people of New Mexico for readers in the Eastern United States in his newspaper correspondence and book El Gringo. The study juxtaposes published journalistic travel writing in the early 1850s with his private, confidential writing in letters and journals to assess the interaction between Davis’ social identity, intentions, and journalistic products.
Framing Mexicans in Great Depression Editorials: Riff-Raff to Heroes • Melita Garza, Texas Christian University, Bob Schieffer College of Communication, School of Journalism • This research explores the way three competing daily newspapers in San Antonio, Texas, opined about immigrants during the deep financial crisis of the early Depression years. San Antonio’s independent English-language Express; the Hearst-owned, Light; and the immigrant-owned Spanish-language La Prensa, offered widely divergent conceptions of the American newcomer. Using framing theory, the author identified how early 1930s San Antonio newspapers defined immigration in ways that persist in the national imagination.
Being the Newspaper: Ontological Metaphors and Metonymy at the End of the Newspaper, 1974-1998 • Nicholas Gilewicz, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania • This article analyzes final editions of ten newspapers that closed between 1974 and 1998, during the early phase of ongoing crises facing the newspaper industry. Journalists at these newspapers used the same set of nested metaphors and symbolic metonymy to discuss social and historical roles of their newspapers. Such consistency reinforced newspaper journalists’ tight discursive community and highlighted journalists’ self-proclaimed role as courageous representatives of their communities while hiding the industrial apparatus of the newspaper.
The defeat is a total one!: East German Press Coverage of America’s Space Setbacks • Kevin Grieves, Whitworth University • The Cold War found dramatic expression in the U.S.-Soviet Space Race. The Cold War ideological struggle also played out primarily via the mass media, in particular when journalists covered the successes and setbacks of space missions. This study examines East German press coverage of prominent American space failures from 1957 to 1986, drawing on newly digitized archival holdings. Citing specific cases, the analysis illuminates patterns of propaganda approaches and journalistic techniques.
A short history of the journalistic profile • Grant Hannis • Despite profiles’ contemporary popularity, there has been little scholarly analysis of their historical development. This paper seeks to address this, offering a critical review of a selection of profiles beginning from the earliest days of print journalism. Many of the early profiles give us no sense of actually meeting the person profiled, but throughout history nearly all profiles judge those profiled. We can see in many profiles how reporters create a reality to serve their journalistic needs.
Now We Move to Further Action: The Story of the Notre Dame Sunday Morning Replays • Daniel Haygood, Elon University • From 1959 through 1984, Notre Dame football enjoyed a unique national television presence in college sports. The NCAA limited the amount of games broadcast live and had exclusive rights to negotiations with the television networks. But Notre Dame found a loophole for delayed broadcasts. This research reveals the story behind these Sunday morning replays, the key individuals involved, the elaborate production process, and why they were eventually were taken off the air after 26 years.
The Fish Sticks Logo: The Doomed Rebranding of the New York Islanders • Nicholas Hirshon, Ohio University • Sophisticated conversations about sports logos began in the 1990s. A notable example is the ill-fated rebranding of the National Hockey League’s New York Islanders in 1995. The Islanders unveiled one of the most vilified logos in sports history, depicting a cartoon fisherman clutching a hockey stick. This paper reveals the thought process behind the rebranding campaign through a review of period newspaper articles and oral history interviews with the logo’s designers and former Islanders executives.
Illinois Governor Otto Kerner: A Well-liked, Respected Media Critic • Thomas Hrach, University of Memphis • Illinois Governor Otto Kerner is best known in history as chair of the 1968 National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, which was better known as the Kerner Commission. The commission’s report focused on the riots of the mid-1960s, but it was an important document in journalism history for its pointed criticism of the news media. While much of the recommendations in the Kerner Report were dismissed and never implemented, the chapter on the news media was the exception. It became a catalyst for change in journalism by encouraging the increased coverage of African-Americans in the news media and prodding the news business to hire more minorities to report the news. The Kerner Reports media criticism was taken seriously by the journalism community because Kerner was such a well-liked and respected person with the news media. Kerner actively cultivated the news media and kept them informed about his activities and the activities of the commission. Even after his conviction and prison sentence on corruption charges while governor, Kerner remained a respected person with the news media until the day he died.
Editor, Booster, Citizen, Socialist: Victor L. Berger and His Milwaukee Leader • James Kates, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater • From 1911 to 1929, Victor Berger edited the Milwaukee Leader, a Socialist daily newspaper. Berger advocated a peaceful transition to socialism via the ballot box. When the Leader opposed World War I, it lost its mailing privileges and Berger faced prison. This paper examines the daily operations of the Leader and Berger’s belief that a free press was crucial in fostering socialism. It argues that Berger’s temperament and his booster ethos were unsuited to the capital-intensive world of daily newspapering in the 1920s.
Clearing a Path for Television News: The First Long-Form Newscast at Sacramento’s KCRA • Madeleine Liseblad, Arizona State University • The advent of long-form television news was a turning point for television. Starting in the 1970s, scholars have associated long-form television news with the first half-hour network newscasts. However, long-format news was driven by local television stations, not the networks. This paper examines in-depth the previously virtually ignored first long-form newscast in the nation – KCRA’s Channel 3 Reports – launched in Sacramento on February 20, 1961 at 6 p.m
Exploring The Hero Archetype and Frontier Myth in the Ad Council’s Peace Corps Campaign, 1961 – 1970 • Wendy Melillo, American University • The hero archetype and frontier myth are embedded in the Ad Council’s Peace Corps Campaign. Advertisers use stories with universal appeal to sell products and services. The Ad Council, under the guise of public service, helped the U.S. government fight Communism with messages that encouraged Americans to join the Foreign Service and defend America’s democratic values in a glorious adventure in the Third World.
The Lee Family and Freedom of the Press in Virginia • Roger Mellen, New Mexico State University • The free press clause in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is considered a unique and important part of our American democracy. While the origins of this right are a key to current legal interpretations, there is much misunderstanding about its genesis. This research uses eighteenth-century personal correspondence, published articles, and other archival evidence to demonstrate new connections between the Lee family of Virginia and the constitutional right to a free press.
Saving the Republic: An Editor’s Crusade against Integration • Gwyneth Mellinger, Xavier University • Abstract: Thomas Waring Jr., editor of The News and Courier in Charleston, S.C., offers a case study for segregationist fears of integration and communism in the late 1950s. This paper explores Waring’s campaign, in both editorials and news reporting, against Highlander Folk School and his alma mater, the University of the South, and in defense of a segregationist conception of white democracy.
The Artist as Reporter: Drawing National Identity During the U.S. Civil War • Jennifer Moore, University of Maine • The illustrated press reached a highpoint during the U.S. Civil War. Artists hired as illustrators sketched battles scenes and other war-related imagery for a public eager for news and information. In doing so, pictorial news communicated information that words alone could not. This study interprets pictorials reports on the war vis-à-vis a paradigm shift that reflected more realistic reporting practices. Findings describe how illustrations communicated certain ideologies about nationalism and national identity through flag iconography.
Charles Siepmann: A Forgotten Pioneer of Critical Media Policy Research • Victor Pickard • The contributions of Charles Siepmann (1899-1985), a British-born, American-naturalized media scholar and progressive policy advocate should figure centrally within any revisionist history of the field of communication. Siepmann is a prime example of an early critical thread of communication research: overtly political in his scholarship and frequently engaged with media policy interventions. He was a seminal figure in the early days of the BBC, the primary author of the controversial FCC Blue Book, and also the founding director of one of the United States’ first graduate-level communication programs in 1946 where he taught for over two decades. Siepmann mentored a number of leading broadcast historians and practitioners and authored several influential books, but he was first and foremost a public intellectual of a social democratic orientation, engaging with important policy debates across three countries. Given his historical significance, Siepmann’s legacy deserves closer scholarly attention—as does his continued relevance, particularly within debates about the future of public media. Drawing from Siepmann’s writings, archival materials, and interviews with his former students, this paper situates his scholarship within historical and contemporary contexts by examining his role during the early years of communication scholarship and his participation in significant media policy debates.
The Platform: How Pullman Porters Used Railways to Engage in Networked Journalism • Allissa Richardson, Graduate Student & Lecturer • This essay re-frames the early 20th-century news partnerships of Pullman porters and African-American newspapers as an example of networked journalism that functioned efficiently for decades, well before the Information Age. The Pullman porters and African-American newspapers used the railways as an antecedent to computerized social networks to achieve modern notions of information crowdsourcing and collaborative news editing, which helped shape and convey black political thought after World War I.
Nineteenth Century Women’s Dress Reform: Representations of the Bloomer Costume in North Carolina Newspaper Coverage • Natalee Seely • The bloomer costume came to represent the women’s rights movement in the nineteenth century. Despite claims from North Carolina newspapers that the state was open to dress reform, a textual analysis of North Carolina newspaper coverage found the bloomer dress was typically portrayed negatively for a variety of reasons. Some voices endorsed the bloomer dress for its practicality and comfort, and the outfit was sometimes explicitly linked to the principles of the women’s rights movement.
Here we go again: Seven Decades of Debate But Still No Agreement Over How to Define Violence • Margot Susca, American University • Over the last seven decades, researchers, politicians, and parents have struggled with how to study, regulate, and monitor media violence. Thousands of articles devoted to media violence have been published, the Supreme Court has heard arguments on the constitutionality of laws banning violent material, and legislators and government regulatory agencies have attempted to quantify media effects while weighing how—if at all—to regulate media violence. But what is media violence? The lack of a standard definition leaves in its wake major contemporary issues related to media ratings, local governance, and regulatory policy yet little academic research has studied the history of the debate or its implications for policymakers, parents, researchers. This paper provides a historical analysis of social science and governmental definitions of media violence to help better understand the current issues impacting regulators attempting to find a standardized definition.
A Riot ‘Never Out of Control’: World War II Press, Bamber Bridge, and Collective Memory • Pamela Walck, Ohio University • What began with American GIs trying to get more drinks at Ye Olde Hob Inn, escalated into a racial firefight between white and African American troops on the streets of Bamber Bridge, a small British village in Northwest England. The incident, just a few days after the race riots in Detroit, made headlines in the British and American press, while U.S. military officials attempted to control the story narrative. Along the way, the Battle for Bamber Bridge has forged itself into the collective memory of the village and the region’s citizens even decades later. This paper examines media reports of the riot, government documents, and oral histories to understand how media influence collective memory.
A Strong Sense of Outrage: Stan Strachan, The National Thrift News and The Savings and Loan Crisis • Rob Wells, University of Maryland • This paper examines how a small mortgage industry newspaper, the National Thrift News, defied the trade press norms and served as an aggressive industry watchdog. It first reported on the 1987 Keating Five scandal, an iconic political money story where five U.S. Senators pressured regulators to go easy on a wealthy campaign contributor. The National Thrift News excelled at a time when mainstream media offered lackluster coverage of the savings and loan financial crisis.
“Erosion” of Television City Hall Reporting? Perceptions of Reporters on the 2014 Beat • Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill; Jesse Abdenour, University of Oregon • Mail survey (N=112) of lead city government reporters at randomly selected stations in the 210 local DMAs replicates a 1997 study. The 2014 reporters had a more pessimistic view of station commitment to and valuing of city government reporting than in 1997 study. Among 2014 respondents, older reporters were more pessimistic while smaller market reporters were more optimistic, and a majority believes media commitment to covering city government remains generally strong.
A Survey of Social Media Policies in U.S. Television Newsrooms • Anthony Adornato, Ithaca College; Suzanne Lysak • The use of social media by journalists raises new ethical and professional dilemmas. As a result, news outlets are implementing policies addressing what is and what is not permitted on social media platforms. Through a nationwide survey of local television news directors, this study examines the prevalence of social media policies in TV newsrooms, the source of those policies, and how they are implemented. This study also investigates if and how the policies address emerging matters related to five specific areas: personal and professional social media activity of reporters, social media sourcing and content, audience complaints on social media, use of social media while reporting in the field, and ownership of social media accounts.
User-generated Content and Television News Stations • Eva Buchman; Rita Colistra; Kevin Duvall • With the technological growth our society has experienced over the last several years, user-generated content has become a popular way for television stations to gather news. This relationship was investigated through a national online survey of news directors/executive producers at television stations. This study explores news directors’ perceptions of user-generated content, and how those perceptions shape policies regarding this type of content. By understanding if, or how, television stations incorporate user-generated content into their newscasts, it will help to define and to understand how perceptions shape newsroom policies regarding this type of content’s use. This study investigates how user-generated content is integrated into a television broadcast as well as what types are most often used. This research also seeks to learn if there is a standard policy that is used by television stations, and how and why this type of content is integrated into television news broadcasts.
Medium Matters – Examining Television, Newspaper and Online News Definitions on Facebook and Twitter • Jennifer Cox • More news organizations have begun to emphasize social media as a means of distributing news. Television, newspaper, and online-only organizations have traditionally defined news differently from one another, yet little research has addressed whether those differences have carried over to their social media offerings. A content analysis of 1,232 Facebook and Twitter posts revealed differences among the three organization types, indicating those publications are continuing to differ their content from one another on social media.
Microblogging the news: Who sets the agenda? • Dmitri Diakov, Graduate Student; Valerie Barker, SDSU • A content analysis was conducted on a sample (N = 600) of reddit front-page posts; in an attempt to determine how frequently mainstream news media uses it as a source. Reddit’s unique voting structure and abundance of UGC and citizen journalism, makes it a great starting point for a glimpse at the reverse agenda setting concept. The findings indicate that there is indeed a relationship between reddit news and mainstream media news.
Media personality Projection in the Digital Age: Revisiting Parasocial Interaction and Local Television News • Ashley Gimbal, Arizona State University • “Parasocial interaction has been widely studied since its development in the 1950s, but little has been investigated in recent years. With the immense changes local television news has gone through in recent years, there is a vital importance to understanding the role of the on-camera persona (anchor) in relation to the impact they may have on viewers. Here, a telephone survey in the Phoenix Metropolitan area was conducted to measure parasocial interactions among local television news viewers. The parasocial framework developed by Rubin (1985) was used to measure viewer responses. Findings of the study indicate a decrease in measurable levels of parasocial interaction from previous studies, but also found strong correlation between news ratings and parasocial interaction.”
“Good B-Roll for the Scissor Makers Museum” • Desiree Hill, University of Oklahoma • In a time when anyone with a camera phone can become a video content creator, the concept of storytelling takes on a meaning that goes beyond the purview of professional video workers. This study is a textual analysis of how professional videographers in a Facebook group discuss the meaning of story. The videographers use a widely-viewed video as a common element for their discussion. Bormann’s (1972) symbolic convergence theory is used to understand how individuals create and share stories together. Common themes emerge from the video workers about what is required for video storytelling: character, feeling/emotion, and story construction. The storytellers reveal that story is not about the quality of the video, nor the quality of the topic at hand. It is what occurs by the hand of the storyteller.
Citizen Journalists’ Views on Traditional Notions of Journalism, Story Sourcing, and Relationship Building • Kirsten Johnson, Elizabethtown College; Burton St. John, Old Dominion University • This study examines whether citizen journalists adhere to traditional journalistic norms when reporting. A nationwide survey of U.S. citizen journalists showed they do consider norms such as objectivity, gatekeeping, and balance to be important. This study also found that citizen journalists who have previous traditional newsroom experience don’t adhere any more tightly to traditional journalistic norms when reporting, than those citizen journalists who have no prior traditional newsroom experience.
How Arousing Features Affect TV News Preferences and Recognition among Young Viewers • Mariska Kleemans; Paul Hendriks Vettehen; Rob Eisinga; Hans Beentjes; Luuk Janssen • This study experimentally investigates whether content (arousing versus non-arousing) and packaging (tabloid versus standard) of television news stories influence preferences for and recognition of these stories among young viewers, varying in educational level. Results showed that the use of arousing news features may help news producers to provide young viewers with news. However, this holds for content but not for packaging. In addition, arousing content improved recognition, but only among higher educated young viewers.
Polarized or parallel? Partisan news, cable news, and broadcast news agendas • Patrick Meirick, University of Oklahoma; Jill A. Edy, University of Oklahoma; Jacqueline Eckstein • Data on news content collected by Pew (2007-2012) reveals the issue agendas of broadcast news networks are indistinguishable from each other. While cable news agendas are more distinctive, their overlap with broadcast news agendas and each other is considerable, although cable news is less diverse and does not increase the television news agenda’s overall diversity. Results suggest political polarization occurs within a broadly shared issue agenda and thus is less fundamental than it might be.
Second Screen Outcomes: Social Capital Affinity and Flow as Knowledge Gain Predictors Among Multiscreening Audiences • Rebecca Nee, San Diego State University; Valerie Barker, SDSU; David Dozier • Complementary simultaneous media use occurs when television viewers use another screen to seek information or communicate about television content. This online survey (N = 645) assessed social capital affinity and flow as potential mediators in the relationships between social vs. information-seeking motives for second screen use and focused and incidental knowledge gain. Findings confirm that social capital affinity and flow act as mediators, with flow being the more potent of the two in this multiplatform context.
Local Television Newsgathering Models: Are Two Heads Better than One? • Simon Perez; Michael Cremedas • This research focuses on whether the trend toward using one person (MMJ) to report, shoot and edit the news versus the traditional method using a two-person crew affects the quality of television journalism. The study’s results suggest, in some instances, two-person crews are far superior to MMJs; in other areas, MMJs seem capable of approximating the quality of the work done by two-person crews.
Evaluating Issue-Oriented Video Journalism Techniques • Richard Schaefer, Univ. of New Mexico; Natalia Jácquez, Univ. of New Mexico • Measures of cognitive retention and evoked empathy were tested across three video journalism stories dealing with trend data conveyed by continuity, thematic montage, and infographic visual treatments. The infographic and montage techniques proved more effective for communicating the complex dimensions of the trend data, with infographics creating the most self-reported empathy in viewers. The results suggest that graphic visualizations, which are easily produced with digital programs, could best communicate complex social trends.
Staying Alive: T.V. News Facebook Posts, Perceived Credibility and Engagement Intent • Kate Keib, University of Georgia; Bartosz Wojdynski, University of Georgia • The public’s perceptions of media credibility have long been rooted in notions of trust, believability and expertise. With news coming at audiences not only through intentional browsing, but also via social media, and with the array of digital news sources growing ever broader, understanding how users make decisions about the credibility of media sources is relevant to both academic researchers and media organizations. This study examines how characteristics of Facebook posts promoting television news stories trigger heuristic cues previously shown to help online content consumers make decisions about credibility. A 2 (likes, shares and comments: low vs. high) x 2 (sponsorship: liked brand vs suggested post) x 3 (post source: peer vs. brand vs. journalist) online experiment was conducted to see how participants judged the credibility of Facebook posts with various manipulations of cues. Participants were US adults (mean age 35.7) who use Facebook. Results indicate that user’s actions do not always match the assumed actions traditional heuristic cues would predict. Results can be used by scholars studying credibility and by news brands and journalists to increase credibility and engage audiences on Facebook.
Desiring Biracial Whites: Daniel Henney and Cosmopolitan Whiteness in Contemporary Korean Media • Ji-Hyun Ahn, University of Washington Tacoma • Contextualizing the rise of white mixed-race celebrities and foreign entertainers from the perspective of the globalization of Korean popular culture, this article aims to look at how Korean media appropriates whiteness as a marker of global Koreanness. Specifically, the article utilizes Daniel Henney, a white mixed-race actor and celebrity who was born to a Korean adoptee mother and an Irish-American father, as an anchoring text. Analyzing how Henney’s image as upper-class, intelligent, and cosmopolitan constructs what whiteness means to Koreans, the study asserts that Henney’s (cosmopolitan) whiteness is not a mere marker of race, but a neoliberal articulation of a particular mode of Koreanness. This study not only participates in a dialogue with the current scholarship of mixed-race studies in media/communication but also links the recent racial politics in contemporary Korean media to the much larger historical and ideological implications of racial globalization.
Academic Revanchism at Century’s End: Communication Studies at the Ohio State University, 1990 – 1996 • Vicente Berdayes, Barry University; Linda Berdayes, Barry University • This paper describes the dissolution of Ohio State University’s Department of Communication in the mid-1990s, which ended an ambitious attempt to define a distinctive presence for critical communication research at the end of the 20th century. This episode is analyzed in terms of the confluence of changes forced upon communication studies in light of the neoliberal reorganization of higher education and the episteme of empiricist social science, which redefined inquiry across the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences.
The Role of the Producer in Unboxing Videos • Christopher Bingham, University of Oklahoma • On YouTube exist thousands of unboxing videos (UBVs), in which a producer opens a product for the first time and critiques the package’s contents. Due to their prevalence, UBVs require more scholarly attention. This paper presents a multimodal content analysis of UBVs in order to define the role of the UBV producer. Data suggest that producers seek to emulate sensory experiences, provide helpful expertise, establish community with audience members, and share a sense of exploration.
Filmic Narrative and Authority in the Cop Watching Movement • Mary Angela Bock, University of Texas at Austin • Police accountability groups in the U.S are proliferating thanks to smartphone penetration and online social networks. This qualitative project theoretically situates cop-watching and its videos. Using the basic foundation of Foucault’s ideas about the negotiation of truth, it examines the discursive struggles over the evidentiary value of police accountability activism and its challenges to conventional narratives about police work. This exploration finds that police accountability activists employ the technical but not discursive routines of journalism.
Good Gay, Bad Queer: Heteronormtive Shaming and Homonormative Love in Network Television Situational Comedies • Robert Byrd, University of Memphis • This analysis of primetime situational comedies that feature LGBTQ characters argues that through heteronormative and homonormative constructions of sexuality many LGBTQ people are rendered invisible in the mainstream. Through discourse analysis, the study examines how these television programs work to normalize gay and lesbian identity, which then resembles the dominant heterosexuality, by shaming queer sexual practices and excluding all alternatives to the prescribed homonormative construct of love. This research is important in understanding the Americans’ most recent shifts in public opinion on issues of marriage equality and moral acceptance, but also in understanding what groups of LGBTQ people may be further marginalized from the mainstream. Further, it is important to examine the underlying ideology of these programs to extract meanings that have the potential to further subvert queer notions of sex and sexual politics, which only work to advance the marginalization of those who do not fit the dominant mold.
#IfTheyGunnedMeDown: Postmodern Media Criticism in a “Post-Racial” World • Christopher P. Campbell, The University of Southern Mississippi, School of Mass Communication and Journalism • Abstract: This paper examines social media postings that surfaced in the wake of the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown, an African American, by a white Ferguson, Missouri police officer. It argues that the postings reflect keen insight into the notion of media representation; that is, the young African Americans who posted the photos perceptively and concisely identified the problems with journalistic representations of black people as pathological criminals, representations that have been identified as enormously problematic by cultural studies scholars. The paper asks if the social media postings and other elements of contemporary media could significantly advance the discussion about race in America.
Telling Us What We Already Know: Decoding the Absence of Poverty News in Appalachian Community Media • Michael Clay Carey, Samford University • This study examines the ways audiences in rural Appalachian communities can interpret a lack of local news coverage about local poverty and related issues. Community media in the communities under study provided little coverage of local poverty. Using Stuart Hall’s encoding/decoding model as a theoretical framework, this study examines readers’ notions about the motives for that lack of coverage, and how those ideas influenced their views of local news outlets as voices for the community.
Framing English: The reproduction of linguistic power in Korea’s locally-based English language press • John C Carpenter; Frank Durham • This study analyzes the framing process generated by Korea’s English language press about the implementation of an English-only instruction policy at the elite Korean science university, KAIST, in 2007. It focuses on Korean language ideology to conceptualize the adoption of English in Korea. In its textual analysis of related news coverage, the study shows that the English-language press employed frames of “necessitation”, “externalization”, and “self-deprecation” to variously position English as hegemonic in Korea.
“It’s Biology, Bitch!”: Hit Girl, the Kick-Ass Franchise, and the Hollywood Superheroine • Phil Chidester, Illinois State University • The general critical response to Kick-Ass (2010), the widely popular comic-book send-up, has been a condemnation of the film for its abusive representations of its core female protagonist, 11-year-old Hit Girl. Yet as I argue in this essay, the film and its sequel, 2013’s Kick-Ass 2, are better understood as a broader treatise on gender and difference in a contemporary America. Through their depictions of Hit Girl’s struggle to choose between an essential femininity and an essential heroism, the texts embody Americans’ blunt refusal to embrace what is perhaps the most radical and threatening of all depictions of the feminine: that of woman as true superhero. In doing so, the films also serve as touchstone moments in the culture’s ongoing politics of gender.
Televisuality, Movement, and the Market on CNBC’s The Closing Bell • Diane Cormany, University of Minnesota • The Closing Bell communicates affect through cable news’ endemic graphic style and television’s characteristic motion and liveness. Real-time graphic updates show the second by second change in stock prices, usually accompanied by line graphs that are designed to indicate movement over time. Likewise a digital clock displayed in the lower right of the screen counts down the seconds until the market close and calls viewers to action. Movement is both literal, through the changing second count, and figurative by communicating that action is required. This article demonstrates how The Closing Bell goes beyond representation to actually embody market movement through the affective impact of its aesthetics. The ups and downs of the securities market are actually tied to perceptions of its movement, which are communicated through financial news media. The Closing Bell therefore participates in market movement by mobilizing affect through its use of televisuality–the graphics and movement-intensive style that characterizes cable news.
The New Columbia Heights: How Gentrification Has Transformed a Local Washington, D.C. Community • Christian Dotson-Pierson; Ashley Lewis • “In 2012, the Fordham Institute cited Columbia Heights, a historic neighborhood in Ward 1 of Washington, D.C., as 14 out of 25 of the fastest gentrifying neighborhoods in the United States. Gentrification or “revitalization” is a phenomenon in urban planning which often displaces poorer residents while also transforming neighborhoods demographically and socially. This study includes interviews from 15 Columbia Heights residents about their preferred news sources for obtaining information about gentrification in their neighborhood.”
The “Public” and the Press: Lippmann, the Interchurch World Movement, and the 1919-20 Steel Strike • Frank Durham • This historically situated rhetorical analysis examines Walter Lippmann’s understanding of the Interchurch World Movement (hereafter, “Interchurch”), which was a short-lived, but prominent, Progressive ecumenical organization that investigated the Great Steel Strike from 1919-1920. The Interchurch’s Progressive, social science-based study of anti-labor coverage by the Pittsburgh press informed Lippmann’s concept of such organizations, because he felt they could monitor journalistic practices from their positions outside of the field.
Citizens of the Margin: Youth and resistance in a Moroccan YouTube web-series • Mohamed El Marzouki, Indiana University • This paper examines a user-generated YouTube web-series, Tales of Bouzebal, as a performance of marginality and a social critique of state hegemonic institutions in the post-Arab Spring Morocco. Using a combined method of textual and discourse analyses, the paper argues that the new media practices of producing and consuming user-generated content among North African youth are best understood as practices of cultural citizenship that facilitate change through the production counter-discursive political subjectivities among youth in MENA.
Print vs. digital: How medium matters on House of Cards • Patrick Ferrucci, University of Colorado-Boulder; Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico University • This study utilizes textual analysis to analyze how journalists are depicted on the Netflix drama House of Cards. Through the lens of orientalism and cultivation, researchers examine how depictions of print and digital journalism would lead viewers to see digital journalists as less ethical and driven by self gain, while also viewing technology as an impediment to quality journalism. These findings are then discussed as a means for understanding how these depictions could affect society.
Pornography, Feminist Questions, and New Conceptualizations of “Serious Value” in Sexual Media • Brooks Fuller, UNC-Chapel Hill • During the 1980s, anti-pornography advocates waged a litigious, regulatory war against perceived social ills caused by pornography. A cultural dialogue persisted, questioning the social value of pornography. Proposed criminal regulations of pornography ultimately stalled in American Booksellers v. Hudnut (1985). This paper analyzes post-Hudnut cases under legal and qualitative methodological frameworks and finds that although courts generally assume pornography’s direct media effects, several recent cases reflect pro-pornography feminist conceptualizations of social value.
Image Control: The Visual Rhetoric of President Obama • Timothy Roy Gleason, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh; Sara Hansen, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • President Barack Obama was elected upon a wave of change he described as “hope.” Journalists have found the Obama administration offers little hope in providing greater access to information than that offered by the previous administration, exemplified by the exclusion of photojournalists from a number of events. Using Althusser’s Ideological State Apparatus and branding, this critical analysis examines the process of image control and interprets the resulting photographs to argue against current White House practices.
Digital Exclusion in an Information Society: How ISP Competition Affects the American (information) Consumer • Jenna Grzeslo, Penn State University • Using political economy, this paper explores competition amongst the largest Internet Service Providers (ISPs) in the United States. Specifically, this analysis asks how do the conditions created by ISP competition affect digital exclusion? The goal of this paper is to illustrate the state of digital exclusion in the United States providing evidence of a racial, cultural, and class divide between those who have home Internet access and those who do not.
Behold the Monster: Mythical explanations of deviance and evil in news of the Amish school shooting • Erica Salkin, Whitworth University; Robert Gutsche, Jr, Florida International University • In October 2006, Charles Carl Roberts IV walked into an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania and killed five female students. Through an analysis of 215 news articles published in 10 local, regional, and national newspapers in 2006 and 2007, this paper examines news characterizations of Roberts that cast him as a ‘Monster,’ an archetype missing in studies on ‘news myth.’ This paper expands how to examine the nature of evil in loss in news myth scholarship.
How the American News Media Address the n-Word • Frank Harris, Southern Connecticut State University • This study surveyed American newspapers, television and radio stations on how they address the word “nigger” or “nigga” in today’s news stories. It found the overwhelming majority have encountered the words in some part of the news process. While most do not have a formal policy for addressing the words, they nearly all apply euphemistic words, phrases and editorial approaches to keep the explicit words from being seen, read or heard by the public.
Digital Mobilities as Dispersed Agencies: An Analysis of Google Glass, Microsoft Kinect and Siri • Matthew Corn; Kristen Heflin, Kennesaw State University • This study proposes a conception of digital mobility as a contemporary assemblage of forms and practices that pose contradictions for ideas about agency. By doing so, the focus of scholarly inquiry moves from individuals, particular devices or institutions, to the assemblages through which they are constituted and practiced. This study presents analyses of digital mobility exerted across three discernible assemblages enabled by Google Glass, Microsoft Kinect and Siri as part of various Apple products.
Speaking Out: Networked Authoritarianism and the Virtual Testimonios of Chinese Cyberpetitioners • Vincent Guangsheng Huang • In this study, the online narratives created by Chinese cyberpetitioners were identified as “virtual testimonios.” Critical narrative analysis was used to explore the ways in which virtual testimonios both challenge and are shaped by networked authoritarianism. The cyberpetitioners were found to construct “local testimonios” to expose the institutional root causes of social injustice and mobilize the public against injustice. To evade censorship, they structured their plots and characters according to a central-local binary opposition that allowed them to criticize local government authority without compromising their expression of loyalty to the central government. The cyberpetitioners were also shown to use the narrative strategy of “central intertextuality” to construct and occupy the collective subject positions of “citizens” and “the people,” thereby justifying their cyberpetitioning activities.
The Gendered Frames of the Sexy Revolutionary: U.S. Media Coverage of Camila Vallejo • Bimbisar Irom, Edward R. Murrow College of Communication • The paper analyzes news stories pertaining to Camila Vallejo, the Chilean student leader famously dubbed as “the world’s most glamorous revolutionary”, to examine the kind of frames used to represent female activists. What role does cultural distance play in media frames? How are female activists outside of the electoral process framed differently than female politicians who practice a more ‘legitimate’ form of politics? What media frames for representing female radicals persist over historical time?
The 90s, the Most Stunning Days of Our Lives: Cultural Politics of Retro Music in Contemporary Neoliberal Korea • Gooyong Kim, Temple University • This paper critically interrogates socio-cultural implications of the recent resurgence of 90s popular music in Korea, which was epitomized by the unprecedented success of MBC’s Infinite Challenge: “Saturday, Saturday is Singers.” The program staged special reunion performances of the decade’s most iconic popular musicians. Focusing on how the program re-constitutes a cultural memory of the decade, this paper examines the cultural politics of retro music in contemporary neoliberal Korea.
Dialectics of book burning: Technological reproducibility, aura and rebirth in Fahrenheit 451. • Shannon Mish; Jin Kim • Ray Bradbury’s novel Fahrenheit 451 provides productive debating points in media studies, such as memory, information and technological reproduction. This paper aims to examine such repetitive motifs as library, book and phoenix from Bradbury’s book through Benjamin’s theoretical lenses of aura, technological reproducibility and collection. We found dialectics of media in the Bradbury’s book: technologies threaten but embrace aura, which is unique but historical, and phoenix symbolizes death as well as birth of knowledge.
Authorship, Performance and Narrative: A Framework for Studying Cultural Production on YouTube • Mark Lashley, La Salle University • This paper presents a framework for textual analysis of YouTube videos. First, it conceptualizes the collective output of video bloggers (“vloggers”) as forms of cultural production. Second, it breaks these cultural productions/cultural practices into three component parts that can be used for analysis: the role of authorship in the YouTube space, the nature of the performances that can be read as textual analysis, and the narrative that is presented through an individual’s YouTube creations.
Friday Night Disability: The Portrayal of Parent-Child Interactions on Television’s Friday Night Lights • Ewa McGrail, Georgia State University; J. Patrick McGrail, Jacksonville State University; Alicja Rieger, Valdosta State University; Amy Fraser, Georgia State University • Studies of television portrayals of parent/child relationships where the child has a disability are rare. Using the social relational theory perspective, this study examines interactions between parents and a young man with a disability as portrayed in the acclaimed contemporary television series, Friday Night Lights. We found a nuanced relationship between the portrayed teen and his parents and a powerful influence of the community on the parent-child relations and family life.
Journosplaining: A case of “Linsanity” • Carolyn Nielsen, Western Washington University • This study explores the idea of “journosplaining” using the case of news coverage about pro-basketball star Jeremy Lin’s meteoric rise to fame. Journosplaining is the way in which journalists use their privilege as mass communicators to report the issues of the day by relying on stereotypes as shorthand explanations, thus perpetuating them. News coverage of Lin focused on his Asian-Americaness as primary to his identity as an athlete. “Linsanity” coverage drew on Asian-related puns and “jokes” about Asian Americans, conveying that this type of humor was acceptable. This essay connects Asian American studies scholarship with mass media scholarship to show how journosplaining perpetuates racialized stereotypes.
Transnational and domestic networks and institutional change: A study investigating the collective action response to violence against journalists in Mexico • Jeannine Relly, The University of Arizona; Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante, The University of Arizona • As the number of journalists killed and disappeared in Mexico has climbed past 125 lives lost and the culture of impunity has persisted in a period anticipated as the country’s democratic transition, a host of organizations have worked together to press the Mexican government toward institutional change. Utilizing the framework of collective action in its broadest sense, we applied Risse and Sikkink’s spiral model of institutional change in this exploratory qualitative study. Our interviews with 33 organization representatives examined the activity related to organizational mobilization, funding, transnational and domestic engagement, normative appeals, information dissemination, coordination, lobbying, and institutional change in governmental response to violence against journalists in Mexico.
David Foster Wallace: Testing the Commencement Speech Genre • Nathan Rodriguez, University of Kansas • David Foster Wallace delivered the commencement address at Kenyon College in 2005, in what would be his only public speech. The writer’s 23-minute speech, which went through nine distinct drafts, eschewed the standard offering of vague platitudes. Rather, Wallace discusses the “boredom, routine, and petty frustration” that await the graduates, and in doing so, tests and reaffirms both the value of a liberal arts education and the commencement speech genre itself.
“The Best Minute and a Half of Audio”: Boundary Disputes and the Palin Family Brawl • David Schwartz, University of Iowa; Dan Berkowitz, University of Iowa • In an introduction to an audio recording of Bristol Palin describing her family’s involvement in an Alaska house-party brawl, CNN anchor Carol Costello commented: “This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we’ve ever come across.” Through textual analysis of news items and blogs, this situation illustrates the challenge of conducting media boundary work—and the role strain that results—when the subject occupies space within both entertainment and news.
Buyer Beware: Stigma and the online murderabilia market • Karen Sichler • When eBay issues value-laden judgment on what may or may not be sold on the site, it sends a very definite and definitive message as to what is and what is not a culturally acceptable product for the site. Using Erving Goffman’s theory of stigma, this work traces the virtual migration of murderabilia, collectables which have their value due to their connection with violent criminals, from eBay to stand alone, specialized virtual storefronts
Public Relations and Sense-Making; the Standard Oiler and the Affirmation of Self-Government, 1950-52 • Burton St. John, Old Dominion University • Corporations may attempt to co-create meaning by pursuing what Heath (2006, p. 87) calls a “courtship of identification.” However, exploring the Standard Oiler through the lens of the concept of self-government, this work offers that public relations sense-making may strike a more nuanced mode by offering a courtship of affirmation—an approach that attempts to leverage apparent existing areas of consonance between a public relations client and particular audiences.
Knowledge Workers, Identities, and Communication Practices: Understanding Code Farmers in China • Ping Sun, School of Journalism and Communication, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Michelangelo Magasic, Curtin University • Extending the concept of “knowledge workers”, this paper studies the identity dynamics of IT programmers in China. Through the discursive analysis of programmer’s personal memoirs (collected via personal interview and online ethnography), four themes of identity dynamics emerge: IT programmers demonstrate identification to professionalism and technology; they naturalize the high mobility and internal precarity of their work via discourses of self, and social, improvement; the term “manong” (“coding monkeys” or “code farmers” in English) is used to support a sense of selfhood amidst high pressure schedules and “panopticon control”; the disparaging term “diaosi” (“loser” in English) is appropriated in order to activate a sense of self expression and collective resistance regarding the programmers’ working and living conditions. These four themes are integrated into: 1) hegemonic discourses of economic development and technical innovation in modern China; and 2) the processes of individualization among IT programmers on a global scale. Our findings suggest that being a knowledge worker means not only providing professional expertise like communication, creativity and knowledge, it also interrogates questions of survival, struggle, and solidarity.
A Critical Legal Study of Minors’ Sex and Violence Media Access Rights Five Decades After Ginsberg v. New York • Margot Susca, American University • In the United States, it would be illegal for a merchant to sell “girlie” magazines to a minor, according to the landmark 1968 Supreme Court Ginsberg v. New York case that ruled laws limiting minors’ access to sexual media do nothing to impact adult access to the same material. Although California lawmakers in 2005 applied that legal philosophy—known as “variable obscenity” as a framework for controlling minors’ access to violent video game content, the law never took effect. The Supreme Court in the 2011 Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association ruled that California law unconstitutional, stating the government overstepped its authority in trying to control minors’ access to violent games. This paper hopes to add to the literature on violent video game law through a critical legal studies analysis of the Ginsberg and Brown cases. Conclusions address the continued power of industry over parents in media decision making and access, and societal concerns about sex outweighing those about violence despite medical warnings.
The Misinterpreted Grin: The Development of Discursive Knowledge About Race Through Public Memory of Louis Armstrong • Carrie Teresa • This project explores how expressions of public memory that engage with Louis Armstrong reflect the “tensions and contestations” (Zelizer, 1995, p. 217) in the study of memory generally and consideration of his legacy specifically. Expressions of public memory as they relate to Armstrong reflect a lack of understanding of the black community’s struggle for freedom. Armstrong has been posited as a “racial figure” and as such race itself has been diluted to understanding only binary conceptions of “Tomming” and militant activism. Where public memory has missed the mark in properly commemorating Armstrong’s legacy has been its reticence to engage with the dynamic nature of Armstrong’s life as reflective of the plurality of the black community itself over the course of the 20th century.
Pleasantly Deceptive: The Myth of Main Street and Reverse Mortgage Lending • Willie Tubbs, University of Southern Mississippi • Reverse mortgage commercials appear throughout local and cable television programming. Multiple companies use various commercial appeals in an attempt to convince citizens aged 62 and older who own their homes to accept a loan based on the equity in their homes. Among the more common appeals, both verbal and visual, is a connection between accepting this type of often-costly debt and the sanctity of small-town or suburban living. Yet, the Main Street of the American psyche exists primarily in myth, making this advertising tactic particularly troubling. In this paper, an American Advisors Group (AAG) commercial is unpacked and examined via a critical cultural lens of lifespan studies. Using Hall’s three levels of reading, the author suggests multiple interpretations of this commercial, which is titled “Too Good to Be True.” This commercial, indeed many of the shows during which it has been broadcast, bolsters the myth of Main Street and suggests unrealistic and potentially damaging misrepresentations of reality.
Media Representations in Travel Programming: Satire, Self, and Other in An Idiot Abroad • Zachary Vaughn, Indiana University • This paper focuses on two episodes from the first season of An Idiot Abroad to explore media representations of the self and the other. The principal focus of An Idiot Abroad is between the host’s conceptions and interactions of other cultures and people with his own British cultural framework. Deploying humor, Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant, and Karl Pilkington satirize traditional English and Western concepts of often exoticized cultures in order to critique dominant Western ideology.
The Discursive Construction of Journalistic Transparency • Tim Vos, University of Missouri; Stephanie Craft, University of Illinois • This study culls references to journalistic transparency from a broad range of journalism trade publications from more than a decade in order to examine the discursive construction of transparency within the journalistic field, paying. Drawing on Bourdieu’s field theory, the study explores how journalistic doxa and cultural capital come to be discursively formed. The analysis focuses on how transparency is defined by members of the journalistic field and how transparency is or is not legitimized.
Neo-Nazi Celebration and Fascist Critique in the Mainstream Music of the Former Yugoslavia • Christian Vukasovich, Oregon Tech • Following the Balkan civil wars ethno-nationalism continues to impact identity both in the former Yugoslav republics and abroad among the diaspora. In this paper the author examines how two popular rock groups (Thompson and Laibach) rearticulate fascist symbolism through their polarizing concert events. More specifically, the author conducts a rhetorical analysis of both groups’ music, images, pageantry and lyrics in order to interrogate the celebrations of fascism in their performances. The author examines the tensions reproduction and representation, as well as how the concerts discursively construct history, culture, nationhood, religion and belonging in two radically divergent ways – on the one hand endorsing and reproducing a violence-endorsing neo Nazi fascist identity, and on the other hand undermining contemporary ideologies of fascism through extreme performance and deconstruction.
Sabotage in Palestine, terrorists busy: Historical roots of securitization framing in the press • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • The role of mass media in securitization – broadly, the public construction of a state of existential threat to a cherished political or cultural institution, requiring the imposition of extraordinary measures for an indefinite time – has drawn increasing attention in security studies from both normative and empirical perspectives. Little attention has yet been paid, though, to security discourse earlier in the era of mass media. This paper tries to close that gap by looking at press accounts of the anti-British revolt in the late days of the Palestine mandate. In the light of the heavily securitized political response to the rise of the Islamic State organization in 2014, this paper addresses how and whether anti-British political violence was cast as an existential threat or as a political challenge to be addressed by existing political and security institutions.
The Naked Truth: Post-Feminism in Media Discourse in Response to the Kardashians’ Nude Magazine Images • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; David Wolfgang, University of Missouri • In November 2014, Kim Kardashian appeared nude on the cover of Paper magazine. The next month, a pregnant Kourtney Kardashian posed for a partially nude photo shoot in online magazine DuJour. Media outlets quickly responded to both, publishing articles critiquing the photos and Kim and Kourtney’s motivations. This study assessed the presence of typical media gender representations in these articles as well as facets of post-feminism, including more nuanced representations of power and feminist solutions.
Open Call Competition
Fear of Social Isolation, Perceived Opinion Congruence, and Opinion Expression: Toward an Implicit Cognition Approach • Florian Arendt, Universität München (LMU) • This paper presents a test of the spiral of silence theory using an implicit cognition approach. Opinion expression is conceptualized as the correlation between inner (i.e., implicit) and overtly expressed (i.e., explicit) attitudes. It was hypothesized that fear of social isolation predicts opinion expression, but only in individuals who perceive public opinion to be hostile. A study using a cross-sectional survey with a quota-based sample (N = 832) supports this hypothesis. An implicit cognition approach can be seen as a supplement to traditional approaches because it does not rely on self-reported behavioral intentions or hypothetical scenarios to measure opinion expression.
Attitude-Based Selective Exposure: Implicit and Explicit Attitudes as Predictors of Media Choice • Florian Arendt, Universität München (LMU) • The attitude-based selective exposure hypothesis predicts that media users craft a message diet that tends to reflect their attitudinal predispositions. Previous research has relied almost exclusively on overtly expressed evaluations (explicit attitudes) as predictors of media choice. We present a web-based study (N = 519) testing whether automatically activated evaluations (implicit attitudes) can add predictive value. The use of implicit attitudes as a supplement to explicit attitudes was based on the assumption that media users are typically not aware of processes governing media choice decisions and that very little cognitive elaboration takes place most of the time. The explanatory power of implicit attitudes is assumed to be stronger in such low-cost situations compared to high-cost situations. The present study revealed that both implicit and explicit attitudes displayed incremental validity, with each attitudinal construct predicting media choice variance beyond that predicted by the other.
Connective Social Media: A Catalyst for LGBT Political Consumerism Among Members of a Networked Public • Amy Becker, Loyola University Maryland; Lauren Copeland, John Carroll University • Although research shows that social media use is associated with political consumerism, it is not clear which online activities encourage boycotting and buycotting. In this paper, we theorize that when people use social media to meet other people or discuss politics, social media use has the potential to create networked publics or imagined communities that can mobilize people to action. This means that how people use social media matters more than whether they use social media at all. To test our expectation, we analyze data from a 2013 nationally representative survey of LGBT adults (N = 1,197). We find that those who use social media for connective activities such as meeting new LGBT friends or discussing LGBT issues are significantly more likely to engage in boycotts or buycotts to promote equal rights. We also find significant interactions between connective media use and political interest. Specifically, connective forms of social media use mobilizes people with low levels of political interest to participate, and reinforces the likelihood that people with high levels of political interest will participate. These findings increase our understanding of how specific types of digital media use have the potential to mobilize issue publics. They also demonstrate that the relationship between social media use and political interest is more complex than previously assumed.
Making Them Count: Socializing on Facebook to Optimize the Accumulation of Social Capital • Brandon Bouchillon, UNC Asheville; Melissa R. Gotlieb, Texas Tech University • This study uses national survey data from U.S. adults to explore social media’s role in revitalizing social capital for a rapidly diversifying society. Results support our contention that individuals who use Facebook to expand and diversify their personal networks experience greater gains from weak-tie interactions for diversifying civic engagements and generalizing trust to the average person. Findings suggest the potential for social media to reduce perceived threat from diversity and combat the “hunker down” effect.
The scale development practices in communication research journals: 2003-2013 • Serena Carpenter, MSU • Previous content analyses of journal articles show that authors use inappropriate statistics when creating scales. This study’s purpose was to replicate previous research examining the scale development and reporting practices of scholars. The results of the quantitative content analysis of four journalism and mass communication journals indicate that scholars primarily used principal components analysis, orthogonal rotation, and the eigenvalues greater than one rule to assess their theoretical models. In addition, this research adds to the literature by summarizing how scholars created and gauged items for their new measures. The findings reveal that they rarely used qualitative research to generate items.
When everyone’s watching. A motivations-based account of selective expression and exposure • David Coppini, University of Wisconsin Madison; Megan Duncan, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Wise, UW-Madison; Douglas McLeod; Kristen Bialik, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yin Wu • This study integrates theories of selective exposure with an updated version of uses and gratifications to account for partisans’ motivations for consuming and sharing ideologically consistent information. Manipulating the visibility of an individual’s media choices, we investigate differences between selection of news choices when these are public and when they are private. Based on a sample of college students (N=192), our results yield two important insights. First, our findings suggest that conservatives are more likely to engage in political motivated selectivity in the public condition. Second, motivations related to identity and opinion management are more likely to be activated when news choices are public.
Extending the RISP model in online contexts: Online comments and novel methodological approaches • Graham Dixon, WSU; Kit Kaiser • This paper introduces theoretical propositions aimed at extending the prominent, but methodologically under-researched, risk information seeking and processing (RISP) model within the context of a timely issue, online comment effects. In particular, we offer propositions that expand the RISP model by (1) incorporating a specific information seeking behavior (e.g., online comment reading), (2) operationalizing antecedent variables as manipulated, momentary reactions to stimuli, rather than long term traits, and (3) examining how manipulated RISP model variables indirectly influence the effect of online user comments. Doing so not only fills theoretical gaps in mass media and information seeking, but also can prompt informed discussions regarding the ethics of using (and banning) online comment sections.
Over-Friended: Facebook Intensity, Social Anxiety, and Role Conflict • Lee Farquhar, Samford University; Theresa Davidson, Samford University • This study examines the potential for a social structure – the polyopticon – to occur on Facebook. Individuals in vast networks must perform amongst several social subgroups. The polyopticon recognizes that multiple sets of rules govern Facebook (based on social norms). Individual musts follow all of the rules simultaneously. Our survey of college students supports the concept of the polyopticon in that increased Facebook friends and involvement relate to higher levels of role conflict and anxiety.
Blowing Embers: An Exploration of the Agenda-Setting Role of Books • Michael Fuhlhage, Wayne State University; Don Shaw, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Lynette Holman, Appalachian State University; Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Jason Moldoff • Books have long been credited with social and cultural influence, but the evidence for this is largely anecdotal and fragmentary. This study proposes a model for testing the influence of books by wedding the methods of cultural studies, communication studies, and book history with the theoretical frameworks of media agenda setting to assess the relationship between four best sellers and policy and cultural changes that previously had been uncritically attributed to them: The Jungle, Fast Food Nation, Backlash, and All the King’s Men.
Testing Links Among Uncertainty, Affect and Attitude Toward a Health Behavior in a Risky Setting • Timothy Fung, Hong Kong Baptist University; Robert Griffin, Marquette University; Sharon Dunwoody, University of Wisconsin-Madison • The relationship between uncertainty and emotional reactions to risk has been explored in only a cursory fashion to date. This study seeks to remedy that by examining linkages between uncertainty judgment and such affective reactions as worry and anger within the context of an environmental health risk. It uses data from a longitudinal study of people’s reactions to the risks of eating contaminated fish from the Great Lakes, which employed the Risk Information Seeking and Processing model proposed by Griffin, Dunwoody and Neuwirth (1999) and, in the process, seeks to test the expanded model, which includes behavioral intentions. Findings supported the expanded model and indicated both that uncertainty judgment has a strong influence on worry and anger and that anger has a positive impact on attitude toward fish avoidance.
Advancing distinctive effects of political discussion and expression on political participation: The moderating role of online and social media privacy concerns • Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Brian Weeks, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Trevor Diehl, University of Vienna • Online and social media engagement, such as news use and political discussion, have been found to bolster political participation. However, the idea that online political expression is a precursor to other pro-democratic behaviors is underdeveloped. This study first addresses this gap in the literature by introducing a model in which political discussion mediates the relationship between online political expression and offline participation. This paper next explores the possible moderating effect of citizens’ online privacy concerns on this process. The study empirically addresses whether, and if so how, fears of government surveillance and other privacy concerns might have an adverse effect on offline political activity. Based on two-wave-panel US data, results indicate political discussion mediates the positive relationship between online and social media political expression and participation. Furthermore, individuals’ privacy concerns moderate the relationship between political discussion and participation, while it has no effect on the connection between expression and participation.
The “News Finds Me” Effect in Communication • Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Brian Weeks, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu, University of Vienna • With social media at the forefront of today’s media context, citizens may believe they do not need to actively seek the news because they will eventually be exposed to such important information through their peers and social networks: the “news finds me effect.” This effect may carry significant implications for communication and social behaviors. First, it may alter individuals’ news consumption patterns. Second, it may also relate to people’s levels of political knowledge. Based on two-wave panel survey data collected in the United States (W¹=1,816; W2=1,024), we find that individuals who believe the news will find them are less likely to use traditional sources of news like television news and newspapers and are less knowledgeable about political and civic affairs. Although the news finds me belief is positively associated with exposure to news on social media, news from these sites does not directly or indirectly facilitate political learning. Our findings illustrate that news continues to enhance political knowledge best when it is actively sought.
Media Dependency and Parental Mediation • August Grant, University of South Carolina; Larry Webster, University of South Carolina; Yicheng Zhu, University of South Carolina • A national survey of 398 parents explored relationships among parental mediation of television viewing and individual media dependency. Two new dimensions of individual media dependency are proposed: reliance of the individual upon the media system to control an individual’s environment (personal control) and the environment of others (social control). These measures proved to be significantly related to both level of parental mediation and usage of V-Chip technology, as well as to traditional television dependency measures.
The Role of Political Homophily of News Reception and Political Discussion via Social Media for Political Participation • Ki Deuk Hyun • This study investigates mobilizing function of political homophily in SNS-mediated communication. Survey data analyses found that reception of news consistent with one’s political orientations through social media was positively associated with political participation whereas reception of counter-attitudinal news was not related. Similarly, SNS-based discussion with politically likeminded others predicted political participation while discussion with non-likeminded people did not contribute to participation. Moreover, homogenous news reception and homogenous discussion had an interactive influence on political participation.
“I’m a news junkie. … I like being informed…” Uses & Gratifications and Mobile News Users • Jacqueline Incollingo, Rider University • A mixed methods research project combining quantitative survey results (n=632) with semi-structured interview data (n=30) explored how digital subscribers engage with mobile news, under the uses and gratifications framework. Themes of continuity indicate that motivations in traditional newspaper use remain salient in mobile news: information-seeking, the pleasure of reading, and powerful daily habits surrounding news use. Additional gratification concepts specific to tablet and smartphone news use, including mobility and the value of scaffolding, are suggested.
The community of practice model: A new approach to social media use in crisis communication • Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis • Building community in a crisis situation offers individuals a chance to not just survive, but potentially thrive through a disaster. This project applies the community of practice model to understand online communities’ crisis communication. Two qualitative case studies of crises (a natural disaster and a violent act, as discussed on Facebook and Twitter) are offered as exemplars of the model, and as support for the expansion of the model to improve crisis communication and recovery.
Boundary Expansion of a Threatened Self: Entertainment as Relief • Benjamin Johnson, VU University Amsterdam; Michael Slater, The Ohio State University; Nathan Silver, The Ohio State University; David Ewoldsen, The Ohio State University • The temporarily expanding boundaries of the self (TEBOTS) model identifies challenges faced by the self as an impetus for engagement with narratives. To test how everyday threats to the self-concept drive enjoyment, appreciation, and immersion into narrative worlds, self-affirmation was used to experimentally alleviate those threats. Self-affirmed people experienced less narrative entertainment and immersion. Additionally, a scale was developed to measure boundary expansion processes. Furthermore, search for meaning in life was found to moderate effects.
The perception of media community among NPR listeners • Joseph Kasko, University of South Carolina • This research examines the role of community in generating support for public radio. NPR listeners were surveyed to learn if they perceive they are part of a community of listeners and if that perception influences support. This work introduces the concept of the “media community” and the scales used to measure it. It also concludes that a sense of media community can positively influence support through listening and donating financially.
Replicating and Extending Cognitive Bridging: Connecting the Action of Recycling to the Goal of Environmental Conservation • Sherri Jean Katz, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities • Cognitive bridging refers to the connection between abstract goals and the means to achieve them – high and low construal level concerns, respectively. A 2 (bridging message/ non-bridging message) x 2 (action cue/ no action cue) experiment (n = 209), extends previous research on cognitive bridging by adding a predictor (action cue) and two dependent variables (complexity and positive affect) into the experimental design. Findings replicate previous research on cognitive bridging and offer theoretical extensions.
Theoretical and Methodological Trends of Agenda Setting Theory: A Thematic Meta-Analysis of the Last Four Decades • Yeojin Kim; Youngju Kim, The University of Alabama; Shuhua Zhou, University of Alabama • Through a thematic meta-analysis, the current study examined theoretical, topical, and methodological trends of agenda setting research over time from 1972 through 2012. Research trends, topics, media, methods, and utilization of other theories in agenda setting studies were discussed along with the evolution of the theoretical map of agenda setting studies. Findings indicated that the number of agenda setting research has been increasing over time, along with the expansion of research topics, media, methods, and use of other theories. This study provided a general overview of agenda setting studies as well as new insights for future research trends and directions.
An Attention-Cycle Analysis of the Media and Twitter Agendas of Attributes of the Nuclear Issue • Jisu Kim; Young Min • “This study examined the effect of network agenda-setting (NAS) along Downs’ issue attention cycle. To overcome limitations of traditional agenda-setting research that typically explored the hierarchical prominence among issues or attributes, this study primarily examined the transfer of relations among attributes from the media to the public network agenda using diverse social network concepts such as degree centrality and cliques. In this study “degree centrality” represented the salience of each attribute while the number and size of “cliques” showed the extent to which the network agenda contains different subgroups of attributes. As a case study we examined the nuclear issue in South Korea from March 28, 2014, to April 28, 2014. We divided the above period into three stages based on Downs’ issue attention cycle: Developing interest, Declining interest, and an Equilibrium level. Although there were not many differences among attributes that show a high degree centrality across the stages, the sum of degrees changed according to the media and the public’s interest in the issue. The degree of fragmentation was higher on the public network agendas compared to the media network agendas, which was the highest when the public’s interest was increasing. In terms of the media network agenda, the degree of fragmentation was the highest at an equilibrium level stage. Several Quadratic Assignment Procedure (QAP) analyses revealed that the network agenda-setting effect existed consistently across the stages.”
Talking about School Bullying • Sei-Hill Kim; Matthew Telleen, Elizabethtown College; Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina • Analyzing newspaper articles and television news transcripts, this study offers a comprehensive examination of how American news media presented the issue of school bullying. More specifically, we analyze how the media presented the questions of who is responsible for causing and solving the problem and why school of bullying is a significant social problem. We identified the presence of considerable victim blaming in news coverage of the causes. Among potential causes examined, victims and their families were mentioned most often as a cause of school bullying. When talking about how to solve the problem, the media were focusing heavily on schools and teachers, while bullies and their families – the direct source of the bullying problem – were mentioned least often as the primary target to which problem-solving effort should be applied. Finally, findings indicate that suicide was the most frequently-mentioned negative consequence of school bullying in news coverage. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.
Disentangling Confirmation Biases in Selective Exposure to Political Online Information • Axel Westerwick; Benjamin Johnson, VU University Amsterdam; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University • An experiment presented online messages on four controversial political topics as associated with neutral or slanted sources to 120 participants while software tracked selective exposure. Attitude measures were collected before and after the selective exposure task and 2 days later. Further, information processing styles were assessed. Results yielded a confirmation bias and a preference for neutral sources. These patterns depended on processing styles. Selective exposure reinforced attitudes even days later.
Confirmation Bias, Ingroup Bias, and Negativity Bias in Selective Exposure to Political Information • Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University; Cornelia Mothes; Nick Polavin • Selective reading of political online information was examined based on cognitive dissonance, social identity, and news values frameworks. Online reports, varied by political stance and either positive or negative regarding American policies, were displayed to 156 Americans while selective exposure was tracked. Results revealed confirmation and negativity biases, per cognitive dissonance and news values. Greater cognitive reflection, greater need-for-cognition, and worse mood fostered the confirmation bias; stronger social comparison tendency reduced the negativity bias.
The Impact of Suspense in Political News • Kristen Landreville, University of Wyoming; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University • The current study applies entertainment concepts (i.e., suspense) and interpersonal communication concepts (i.e., uncertainty reduction) to examine the consumption of news stories that feature politicians as protagonists. This study takes advantage of the political context, with its innate affective orientations toward liked-groups, disliked-groups, and uncertainty, in order to determine how suspense impacts the behavioral outcome of discursive activities (e.g., communicating about politics, information-seeking about politics). In doing so, the current study blends multiple concepts from different subfields of communication. Additionally, political party identification is examined as a predictor of feelings of suspense and discursive activities in stories that feature politicians of the same and opposite political party. Results show that more suspense is aroused when there is a political party match between the reader and the politician the news story. Moreover, suspense produced a desire to communicate about the news stories.
Media Framing of Same-Sex Marriage and Attitude Change: A Time-Series Analysis • Dominic Lasorsa; Jiyoun Suk; Deepa Fadnis • In an attempt to advance understanding of media framing effects, this paper examined how two ideologically different New York daily newspapers framed the issue of same-sex marriage over 17 years. Changes in media framing then were compared to changes in public attitudes toward same-sex marriage over the same time as reported by Pew, Gallup and Time/CNN national polls. A random sample of articles about same-sex marriage published in the years 1998-2014 in the ideologically conservative New York Post and the ideologically liberal New York Times were analyzed (N = 474 articles). Time-series analyses revealed that changes in media framing of same-sex marriage in terms of equality and morality preceded subsequent changes in support for and opposition to same-sex marriage. These correlation and time-order findings support the argument that media frames have the potential to influence public attitudes. The implications of these findings for the advancement of media framing theory are discussed.
How User-Generated Comments Prime News Processing: Activation and Refutation of Regional Stereotypes • Eun-Ju Lee, Seoul National University; Hyun Suk Kim, University of Pennsylvania; Jaeho Cho, University of California, Davis • This study examined how user-generated comments on a crime news article, which attribute the crime to local residents’ predispositions, affect individuals’ news processing. Stereotype-activating comments heightened perceived crime prevalence in the featured region, compared to stereotype-irrelevant and stereotype-counterbalancing comments, especially for participants with a stronger regional self-identity. Participants better recalled the regions in both the focal and unrelated articles and attributed greater responsibility to news coverage for regionalism, after reading stereotype-related (vs. stereotype-irrelevant) comments.
Is the Protest Paradigm Relevant? Nuisance in the Age of Occupy and the Tea Party • Kyle Lorenzano • Protest is ubiquitous in American, yet the Protest Paradigm alleges that the news portrays protestors as radical and deviant. The Public Nuisance Paradigm argues that protest movements are portrayed in the media as inherently bothersome and ineffective. Using newspaper coverage of Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party protests, this study compares these paradigms to determine which is more relevant today. The results of a content analysis ultimately show that neither paradigm is entirely irrelevant.
Being More Attractive or Outgoing on Facebook?: Modeling How Self-presentation and Personality on Facebook Affect Social Capital • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Kang Li • Technological affordances in the computer-medicated-communication enable people to promote more favorable online self-presentations on social network sites (SNSs). This survey-based study (N=300) examined how Facebook users’ self-images and personalities on Facebook may predict their bridging and bonding social capital. The results showed that more attractive self-images on Facebook did not contribute to any increase in either bridging or bonding capital, but being more extroverted on Facebook facilitated an increase in bridging capital. Facebook use intensity and Facebook friend number are also important predictors of bridging capital. However, none of those variables predict bonding capital. Findings not only vetoed propositions of some current Computer-Mediated-Communication (CMC) theories, such as the hyperpersonal model and self-enhancement theory in the social media context, but also provided meaningful evidence and implications to future theory building and testing.
Political talks on social networking sites: Investigating the effects of SNS discussion disagreement and internal efficacy on political participation • Yanqin Lu, Indiana University; Kyle Heatherly; Jae Kook Lee • Drawing on a national probability survey, this study explores the relationship between SNS discussion and political participation by focusing on the intervening effects of discussion disagreement on SNSs and internal efficacy. The results revealed that political discussion on SNSs contributes to off- and online political participation, and this relationship is partially mediated by SNS discussion disagreement. Furthermore, internal efficacy is found to moderate the association between discussion disagreement and political participation. The implications are discussed.
Cognition under Simultaneous Exposure to Competing Heuristic Cues • Tao Ma, University of Connecticut • Integrating theory of limited capacity of message processing and the heuristic view of persuasion, this paper examined the influence of competing heuristic cues on the cognitive and affective information process and behavior intention. The competing heuristic cues conditions were tested by the interaction of two major types of heuristics cues–consensus cue and credibility cue. Participants in an online survey were randomly assigned to one of four competing heuristic cue conditions in the context of online movie review. The conditions were displayed by the combinations of either high or low consensus cues of a movie review from the movie critics and peers audiences. Participants’ perception (i.e. trust of the movie), affective response (i.e. anxiety), and behavior intention (i.e. watch the movie in the future) were measured after the exposure. Path modeling and multiple regressions were used to analyze the hypotheses and research questions. The results of the investigation showed that high consensuses from both movie critics and peers reviewers led to increased trust of the movie from the participants. The crossed condition, where the critics’ consensus was high while peer’s consensus was low, led to high trust to the move. Both trust to the movie and anxiety led to the intention of watching the movie in the future. The findings implied a persuasion effect through processing of the competing heuristic cues– credibility and consensus.
The ghosts in the machine: Toward a theory of social media mourning • Jensen Moore, Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU; Sara Magee, Loyola University-Maryland; Ellada Gamreklidze • This article uses grounded theory methodology to analyze in-depth interviews conducted with mourners who used social networking sites (SNS) during bereavement. The social media mourning model outlines how SNS are used to grieve using one or more of the following: 1) one-way communication, 2) two-way communication, and/or 3) immortality communication. The model indicates causal conditions of social media mourning: 1) sharing information with family/friends and (sometimes) begin a dialogue, 2) discussing death with others mourning, 3) discussing death with a broader mourning community, and 4) commemorating and continuing connection to the deceased. The article includes actions and consequences associated with social media mourning and suggests several ways in which social media mourning changes or influences the bereavement process.
Who Actually Expresses Opinions Online, and When? : Comparing Evidence from Scenario-based and Website-based Experiments • Yu Won Oh, University of Michigan • This study examined the structural conditions as well as individual characteristics that facilitate opinion expression online. Two experimental methods – thought and true experiments – were implemented to measure individuals’ actual behavior of speaking out on a discussion forum. Findings from both experiments consistently revealed that race, issue involvement, issue knowledge, and the revelation of identity were crucial factors in predicting speaking out online. Yet, age and trait fear of isolation worked differently in thought and true experiments.
Perceived News Media Importance: Developing and Validating a Tool for Clarifying Dynamics of Media Trust • Jason Peifer, The Ohio State University • This study features the development and validation of a multidimensional scale for Perceived News Media Importance (PNMI). The explication and operationalization of the PNMI concept is designed, in part, to provide a tool for bringing greater clarity to patterns of public trust in the news media, as based on individual valuations of various normative news media functions. Employing survey data provided by a convenience sample (N=403) and a nationally representative sample (N=510), a Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) indicates that the theorized PNMI measurement model fits the data well. Moreover, the proposed 12-item scale also exhibits appropriate convergent (political interest) and discriminant (negative content media image; ideology) validity. Finally, while demonstrated to be distinct from media trust, PNMI is also shown to meaningfully predict perceptions of the news media’s trustworthiness, above and beyond all other variables in a hierarchical multiple regression model. Implications and research directions are discussed.
The Reciprocal Relationship Between Hostile Media Perception and Presumed Media Influence • Mallory Perryman, University of Wisconsin • Is media perceived as biased when it could influence others? Or is it considered influential when it’s perceived as biased? This experimental study (n=80) suggests the answer to both questions is — yes. Respondents told a story was undesirably biased saw more influence on others, and those who were told a story was unfavorably influential saw more hostile bias. The reciprocal relationship between two media phenomena, the hostile media perception and presumed media influence, is revealed.
Media’s influence on judgments of truth. Why people trust in bad rather than good news • Christina Peter, University of Munich; Thomas Koch, University of Munich • Valence framing affects message credibility: Negatively framed statements receive higher truth ratings than positively framed statements that are formally equivalent. The current work examines this negativity credibility bias (NCB) in the contexts of news coverage and persuasion. By conducting three experiments, we discovered that the NCB also affects source trustworthiness and examined possible reasons for this. The results indicate that one reason the NCB occurs is that recipients have learned connections between negativity and news, and between positivity and persuasive communication. Consequently, we find that a positive framing of statements can lead readers to feel that the source is trying to persuade them, which triggers reactance and consequently reduces the perceived credibility of both the message and the source.
Agenda Sharing is Caring: Relationship between Shared Agendas of Traditional and Digital Native Media • Magdalena Saldana, The University of Texas at Austin; Tom Johnson; Maxwell McCombs, The University of Texas at Austin • By comparing the agendas of traditional and digital native publications, this study provides an empirical analysis of how online news content is being shared on Facebook and Twitter. We empirically examine a new concept, agenda sharing, which poses the audience and the media work together to shape the news agenda in online contexts. Results found a significant match between the agendas of traditional and digital native media, while traditional media agenda is setting the public agenda on both Facebook and Twitter.
Getting the Facts from Journalistic Adjudication: Polarization and Partisanship Don’t Matter • Rosanne Scholl, Louisiana State University; Raymond J. Pingree; Kathleen Searles • This experiment demonstrated that journalistic adjudication works: consumers adopt correct factual beliefs, even when their party’s leaders are declared wrong. No backfire effect existed in tests on two issue contexts. Democrats are more react more strongly than Republicans to adjudication in favor of their own side. Neither the presence of agenda reasons nor the presence of bipartisanship cues enhances the effects of adjudication on partisan’s adoption of adjudicated facts.
Comparing Flow and Narrative Engagement Scales in the Context of a Casual Health Game • Brett Sherrick, Penn State • The psychological states of flow and transportation or narrative engagement are conceptually similar. Both are described as immersive, emotional states that lead to enjoyment, persuasion, and loss of self-awareness. Despite similarities between flow and narrative engagement, limited research examines their empirical relationship. This project evaluated the viability of measuring flow and narrative engagement simultaneously, with results suggesting that the concepts may not be statistically distinct, as they were nearly perfectly correlated in two game-based experiments.
Better Environment for Better Quality? In Search of Reason-centered Discussion on Social Media in China • Mingxiao Sui; Raymond J. Pingree; Rosanne Scholl, Louisiana State University; Boni Cui • Reason-centered discussion of politics is an important route toward improving the quality of public opinion. New media have created new spaces for political discussion and not only in established democracies. Political discussion, whether in old or new spaces, may not always be reason-centered. This study examines predictors of reason-centered online political discussion in China. It explored the effects of the use of a debate format with two sides displayed as opposing columns, and the effects of various characteristics of the post used to initiate the discussion. A content analysis was conducted to examine 6360 reply posts within 291 threaded discussions on Sina Weibo, one of China’s most popular venues for online discussion. Results showed that the debate format would greatly improve the overall reasoning level, with opinion presence and multiple viewpoints included in the initiating post playing a role as well. Moreover, the debate format can elicit differences in the effects of initiating post on the overall reasoning level of a threaded discussion.
Eyes Don’t Lie: Validating Self-Reported Measures of Attention on Social Media • Emily Vraga, George Mason University; Leticia Bode, Georgetown University; Sonya Troller-Renfree • Scholars often rely on self-reported behaviors to gauge interest in Facebook content, but we have reason to be skeptical of these self-reports. Using an eye-tracking study design, we demonstrate that young adults’ self-reported topic engagement for social, news, and political posts is driven more by general interest and favorability towards the topic than actual attention, with a possible exception for political posts. Implications for theory building and methodological choices regarding social media are discussed.
Bandwagon Effects of Social Media Commentary during TV Viewing: Do Valence, Viewer Traits and Contextual Factors Make a Difference? • T. Franklin Waddell, Penn State University; S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • Are we influenced by the social media commentary that accompanies TV programs? Does it matter if these comments appear at the beginning or toward the end of the show? We conducted a 2 (positive vs. negative tweets) x 2 (beginning vs. end of program) factorial experiment with an additional control condition (N = 186) to answer these questions. Results show the powerful effect of negative bandwagon cues, which appears to override contextual and trait moderators.
Toward a theory of modality interactivity and online consumer behavior • Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University • A model named Modality interactivity and online consumer behavior has been constructed to depict the relationship between online consumer behavior and modality interactivity. The model was constructed based on technology acceptance model and interactivity effects model. The model contains four phases: modality interactivity, interface assessment, user engagement, and attitude and behavioral outcomes. Interface assessment contains four criteria: perceived vividness, perceived coolness, perceived ease of use, and perceived usefulness. Process of constructing the model was presented throughout the paper. Limitations and potential empirical study based on the model were also discussed.
The significant other: A longitudinal analysis of significant samples in journalism research, 2000 – 2014 • ben wasike • This study examined the methodological and research patterns journalism scholars have used when studying significant samples, or “those persons who have attained an unusually pervasive and lasting reputation, regardless of whether that reputation be great or small, positive or negative” (Simonton, 1999, p. 426 – 427). Using Dean K. Simonton’s work as the theoretical guide, the study content analyzed a census of all articles published in 10 major journalism-oriented journals from 2000 – 2014. A total of 248 articles examined these subjects. The results show that the typical journalism study examining significant samples is psychometric and will also be quantitative, nomothetic, longitudinal, singularly focused and exploratory. Additionally, it will use macro-units and will observe the subject indirectly. The study also found similarities between the study of significant samples and extant work in terms of the preponderance of quantitative methods and the use of content analysis as a data collection method. The ramifications for future research are discussed within
Effects of Media Exemplars on the Perception of Social Issues with Pre-existing Beliefs • Yan Yan; Liu Jun • Exemplification studies usually reported the significant influence of media exemplars on people’s perceptions of fictional or controversial issues, but neglected the fact that people often have a certain degree of established beliefs toward social events in real life. The present research used a 3X3 experimental design to examine the effects of media exemplars on people’s perceptions of Chengguan-vendor conflicts, a social issue with established strong prior beliefs in China. The typical between-group exemplification effects were not evident in the present study. Instead, a relative, within-group exemplification effect was found, that is, the degree of change between the immediate and the initial perception was strongly influenced by the media exemplars, and the direction of change was consistent with the exemplar distribution. In addition, an on-going decaying of exemplification effects was found. Perceptions toward different variables showed an overall pattern consisting of a prolonged exemplification effect, an on-going decaying effected, and a completed delay effect.
What Comes After First Click?: A New Way to Look at Selective Exposure • JungHwan Yang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Wise, UW-Madison; Albert Gunther, University of Wisconsin-Madison • In this study we experimentally test the effects of news exposure to pro-attitudinal, counter-attitudinal and mixed news content on subsequent information seeking behaviors in the context of the relationship between science and religion. Using a sample drawn from two large organizations that focus on issues of religion and science, and a nationally representative sample from an online panel, we tested and compared different measure of selective exposure. Our research aims to advance knowledge in the area of selective exposure by further examining factors that may encourage or reduce selective exposure, by extending research about it into a new topical domain, and by examining measurement issues within this line of research. Our findings suggest that there is a tendency of attitude-consistent exposure when people select the first article to read, but people also search for counter-attitudinal information in subsequent information seeking. Our novel use of graphical measure of selective exposure questions the robustness of selective exposure phenomenon.
Deciphering ‘Most Viewed’ Lists: An analysis of the comparability of the lists of popular items • Rodrigo Zamith, University of Massachusetts Amherst • This study focuses on deciphering what data are represented by ‘most viewed’ lists and how comparable those lists are across news organizations. The homepages of the 50 largest U.S. newspapers were analyzed to assess the prevalence of those lists and the lists of 21 organizations were then analyzed over two months. The findings point to potential sampling biases and indicate that it is unwise to assume the lists are comparable just because they appear similar.
The Affective Dimension of the Network Agenda-Setting Model (NAS) • XIAOQUN ZHANG, University of North Texas • Based on the second level of agenda-setting theory and the network agenda-setting model (NAS), this study proposed a new model called the affective dimension of the NAS model. This model argues that the valence of an attribute of an object in the media coverage influences the public’s emotional perceptions of its corresponding attribute and those of other attributes of that object, and the valences of multiple attributes of an object in the media coverage influence the public’s emotional perceptions of one attribute of that object. The empirical examination of this model was conducted in the business news setting.
The Social Correlates of Attitudes toward Online Emotional and Sexual Satisfaction • Cassandra Alexopoulos, University of California Davis; Bernard Schissel • This study examines gender, age, and relationship-status differences in online infidelity within romantic relationships. Previous research of this nature has rather narrowly focused on jealousy, particularly of offline behaviors. Online infidelity deserves more research attention because of the ubiquity of online interaction, because Internet dating has become so popular, and because cultural conceptions of infidelity in relation to online communication are largely unexplored. The study uses Young et al.’s (2000) ACE Model of anonymity, convenience, and escape to determine which aspects of online relationships are most appealing to men and women and the degree to which such acts are considered acceptable. Three hundred and ninety-eight students completed an online survey to define cheating behaviors and reasons for seeking an online partner. The results indicate that there is a significant difference between how men and women define cheating and how they evaluate the morality of online infidelity although there is a general appreciation for the Internet as a vehicle for developing a relationship.
How much is your Facebook account worth? The monetary value of Facebook as a function of its uses and gratifications using the second-price auction technique • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Sean Cash; Carie Cunningham, Michigan State University; Chen Lou, Michigan State University • With 1.32 billion users, Facebook is the most popular social networking site (SNS, Facebook.com, 2014). The exponential growth in the number of users, time spent on the site, and functionality make it important to investigate its value to its users. This is also important in light of Facebook’s holding of its initial public offering (IPO) in mid 2012. The current study applies the second-price auction approach to determine the monetary value of Facebook. Three cross-sectional surveys were conducted using a student sample, a community sample, and a sample of U.S.-based Amazon Mechanical Turk (MTurk) workers was conducted to explore the way individuals attach monetary value to non-materialistic telecommunication goods; namely their Facebook account. The study also explored the ways in which the motivations to use Facebook and its uses can predict the monetary value respondents attached to their Facebook accounts. Results showed that none of the Facebook motivations predicted Facebook monetary value, while information sharing, self-expression, medium appeal, and convenience predicted the value of Facebook for the community sample, and entertainment and passing time significantly predicted the Facebook value for the MTurk sample. As for the Facebook use measures, Findings showed that for students, the number of actual friends that they have on Facebook mattered in terms of predicting the value of Facebook, while the intensity of using Facebook was a significant predictor of Facebook’s value for the MTurk sample respondents.
Private Searchers: Factors that Affect Search Engine Privacy Concerns • Nicole Schwegman; Valerie Barker, SDSU; David Dozier • An online survey (N = 816) investigated antecedents to privacy concerns among search engine users: search engine credibility, search engine self-efficacy, and key demographics. Findings indicated that search engine credibility negatively predicted privacy concerns. Search engine credibility also acted as a moderator — when perceived credibility is low, self-efficacy predicts higher privacy concerns. These findings are discussed in light of other research that emphasizes users’ privacy concerns, but also simultaneous acceptance of endemic privacy invasions.
Increasing Individualism in Youth Created Music Videos on YouTube (2007-2013) • Steven Kendrat; Charisse L’Pree Corsbie-Massay, Syracuse University • Since its launch in 2005, YouTube has provided a unique venue for anyone to share content and comment on the content of others, resulting in more user generated content (UGC), especially among teens. The current longitudinal trend study analyzes demographic, production, and narrative trends in the emerging genre of youth created music videos using a sample of 100 videos uploaded to YouTube in 2007 and 2013. Compared to videos posted in 2007, youth created music videos posted in 2013 featured younger and less diverse casts, and more complicated editing techniques; they were also more likely to feature single actors and celebrate the self, mimicking the recent emergence of selfie culture. These findings are discussed with respect to YouTube’s role in reducing barriers to entry and providing a virtual space for youth oriented content communities that thrive on engagement and social networking as strategies of identity development.
Big Data and Political Social Networks: Introducing Audience Diversity and Communication Connector Bridging Measures in Social Network Theory • Axel Maireder; Brian Weeks, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; Stephan Schlögl • Social media have changed the way citizens, journalists, institutions, and activists communicate about social and political issues. However, questions remain about how information is diffused through these networks and the degree to which each of these actors are influential in communicating information. In this study we introduce two novel social network measures of connection and information diffusion that help shed light on patterns of political communication online. The Audience Diversity Score assesses the diversity of a particular actor’s followers and identifies which actors reach different publics with their messages. The Communication Connector Bridging Score highlights the most influential actors in the network who are potentially able to connect different spheres of communication through their information diffusion. We apply and discuss these measures using Twitter data from the discussion regarding The Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership (TTIP) in Europe. Our results provide unique insights into the role various actors play in diffusing political information in online social networks.
Reliable Recommenders and Untrustworthy Authors? The Varying Effects of Crowd as Source on Perceptions of Online Health Information • Yan Huang, The Pennsylvania State University; Haiyan Jia, The Pennsylvania State University • Users may play two distinct roles as the source of a crowdsourcing website: recommenders and authors. Correspondingly, number of voters and co-authors as two interface cues highlight the different ways and levels of user participation in content generation. In a health context, this study aims to understand the varying effects of the two interface cues on users’ content and website perceptions. Findings from a 2 (Number of voters: low vs. high) × 2 (Number of co- authors: low vs. high) × 2 (scientific vs. non-scientific message) between-subjects online experiment (N = 177) showed that while number of voters elicited perception of content credibility and behavioral intentions toward the message, the effect of number of co-authors was moderated by message style. Moreover, while the effect of number of voters was explained by bandwagon perception, the interaction effect between number of co-authors and message style was mediated by perceived controversy. In addition, number of voters predicted website perceptions, whereas number of co-authors did not.
Digital Subscribers’ Engagement with a Legacy Newspaper Company’s Mobile Content • Jacqueline Incollingo, Rider University • Online survey results (n=632) demonstrate a critical nexus between mobility and enhanced user engagement and enjoyment: digital news subscribers who rely on tablets or smartphones for news had statistically significant higher levels of both engagement and enjoyment, in comparison to digital subscribers who primarily use desktop or laptops computers for news. In addition, participants most at ease with technology tended to prefer mobile devices for news, and reported statistically significant higher levels of both engagement and enjoyment. Opportunities for interactivity, on the other hand, did not increase engagement with the digital news content offered by a metropolitan, legacy media organization.
Generational Differences in Online Safety Perceptions, Knowledge and Practices • Mengtian Jiang, Michigan State University; Hsin-yi Sandy Tsai; Shelia R. Cotten, Michigan State University; Nora Rifon; Robert LaRose, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • The percentage of adults going online has stabilized around 87%. Greater attention is needed as to how different generational groups perceive and maintain their online safety and privacy. Using data from generation specific focus groups, we compare and contrast how three generational groups perceive and practice online safety and privacy protections: SGI (born 1945 or earlier), older baby boomers (1946 – 1954), and Millennials (1977 – 1992). Results and tailored approaches are discussed to reach different generations.
It’s all about Relatedness: Social Media Engagement— A Self Determination Framework • M. Laeeq Khan, American University of Ras al Khaimah • Individuals are likely to engage on social media when they feel self-determined to do so based on three key factors: autonomy, competence, and relatedness. Through a survey of students at a large Midwestern university (n=745) this study found that: social media self-efficacy positively predicts customer engagement in the form of sharing on Facebook brand pages, and customer relationship with the brand and community predict symbolic customer engagement in terms of liking, commenting and sharing.
Editing the self on Facebook: Relationship motivation, network characteristics, and perception of others’ self-presentations • Cheonsoo Kim; Emily Metzgar • Although many people use social networking services (SNS) for relationship management, little is known about the role of user’s relationship motivation in self-presentation on SNS. This study aims to fill the gap in our knowledge about online self-presentation with particular attention to relationship motivation for SNS use. Drawing on original national survey data from the United States, this study investigated reasons for the difference between online and offline self on Facebook, using relationship motivation, network characteristics, and perception of others’ self-presentations as predictors. Findings showed that the larger the size of a Facebook user’s network, the less difference there was between online and offline self. The number of close friends in users’ networks was positively, albeit marginally, related to the difference between selves. The stronger one’s belief in the honesty of others’ self-presentations, the greater the difference between one’s online and offline self. Interestingly, users’ belief in the honesty of others’ self-presentations led to a greater difference between selves for Facebook users without relationship motivation, but it had almost no effects for those with relationship motivation. The implications of the study are discussed.
Engaging users in online news participation: The role of normative social cues in social media • Jiyoun Kim • Using the controversial issue of nuclear energy as a case study, this study demonstrates what motivates media users to participate in the process of engagement with news content (i.e., sharing and endorsing online news about a specific issue) in online space. Based on my findings, normative social cues play a significant role in online news content engagement intention, but that this influence can differ depending on personal traits.
Media Substitution or Complementarity between TV and the Internet: A Comparison of Niche Breadth, Overlap, and Superiority Using Metered Data • Su Jung Kim, Iowa State University; Lijing Gao; Jay Newell, Iowa State University • Previous research on media substitution between television and the Internet has produced inconsistent results. This study examines this topic from the functional displacement approach and the niche theory. Using Nielsen Korea’s TV-Internet Convergence Panel data that provide electronically recorded media use measures and the same respondents’ information from a survey, this study analyzes the perceptions of niche breadth, niche overlap, and superiority between television and the Internet and their influence on Internet’s substation of television. The findings reveal that television and the Internet are seen as a functional equivalent, but the Internet has not become a complete substitute of television. This study also touches upon the issue of simultaneous media use, which provides an alternative explanation to media substitution.
Facebook Paradox: A Social Network Service That Reduces Perceived Social Support? • Eun-Ju Lee, Seoul National University; Eugene Cho • A web-based survey (N = 316) examined how other-directed Facebook use, characterized by the sensitivity to external evaluations as well as the desire for social validation, affects users’ perceived social support. As predicted, those with higher fear of isolation were more likely to engage in other-directed Facebook use, regulating their self-expression to garner social approval (i.e., impression management) and closely monitoring others’ activities for self-evaluation (i.e., social comparison). Impression management, in turn, lowered perceived social support among heavy Facebook users, with no corresponding effect for light users. By contrast, social comparison had no significant effect on social support, highlighting the difference between message construction and message consumption. Results suggest that other-centered self-presentation on a friend-making site driven by the desire for social connection may paradoxically diminish perceived social support among intense Facebook users.
@JunckerEU vs. @MartinSchulz: How leading candidates in the 2014 European Parliament Elections campaigned on Twitter • Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Shana Meganck; Vivian Medina-Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University • Twitter has become a valuable tool both for politicians trying to monitor conversations and communicate with constituents as well as for publics interested in discussing and engaging on political matters. This is the first study to research Twitter use during the 2014 European Parliament Elections. Twitter posts by the two main candidates in the elections, Jean-Claude Juncker and Martin Schulz, were comparatively analyzed with specific emphasis on frequency of Twitter use, content of tweets and interaction levels. Results showed that unlike previous research studies on Twitter use by politicians, the candidate that used Twitter less often and used the interactive characteristics of Twitter less frequently won the election. However, the winning candidate focused significantly more on specific topics and functions of relevance to European voters, such as immigration and the targeting of specific EU countries.
User Ratings of Yelp Reviews: A Big Data Analysis Approach • Hyunjin Seo, University of Kansas; Fengjun Li; Jeongsub Lim; Roseann Pluretti, The University of Kansas; Sreenivas Vekapu; Hao Xue • Online customer review platforms are among the most significant examples illustrating how peer-to-peer generated online information affects consumer behaviors and purchasing decisions in this networked information age. To examine effects of review content and reviewer characteristics on consumer evaluations of online reviews, this study analyzed 29,199 reviews of restaurants on Yelp.com collected through our specialized web crawler. Theories of information processing and attribution provided conceptual frameworks for our analysis. Results show that content specificity and content engagement influence consumer assessment of reviews even after controlling for measured reviewer characteristics. In addition, reviewer activeness was strongly associated with content specificity, content engagement, and consumer evaluation of the review. Our findings suggest that consumers may focus more on peripheral cues than central cues in assessing usefulness of online reviews. The current study suggests scholarly and policy implications related to social review systems by providing theoretically informed empirical analyses of consumer perceptions of online reviews.
Understanding Online Safety Behavior: The Influence of Prior Experience on Online Safety Motivation • Ruth Shillair, Michigan State University; Robert LaRose, Michigan State University; Mengtian Jiang, Michigan State University; Nora Rifon; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Shelia R. Cotten, Michigan State University • Protecting computers and their users from attack is a growing problem that requires action on the part of the average user. Extending Protection Motivation Theory (PMT), the effects of previous experience with online security threats and the role of habitual protections were incorporated into a causal model that included both protection motivation intentions and current safety behaviors. A survey of 988 MTurk workers found that previous experience with moderate security threats increased threat vulnerability and response efficacy but reduced threat severity. Habits were stronger predictors of both intentions and protective behaviors than conventional PMT variables. These findings contribute to an understanding of the motivations of average users to protect themselves online as well as communication principles for PMT based solutions in the computer safety domain.
Drawing the Line: Effects Theories and Journalism Studies in a Digital Era • Jane B. Singer, City University London • In a digital age, the nature of mediated communication challenges the explanatory power of media effects theories. As essentially linear conceptualizations that rely on identification and measurement of discrete communication components, these 20th century theories are not inherently well-suited to contemporary journalistic structures and forms. This essay adds to a growing call for a more richly theorized concept of relationship effects suitable to an immersive, iterative, and interconnected environment of news producers and products.
Hashtags and Information Virality in Networked Social Movement: Examining Hashtag Co-Occurrence Patterns during the OWS • Rong Wang, University of Southern California; Wenlin Liu, University of Southern California; Shuyang Gao • The ability to disseminate information through networked social media platforms has become increasingly central as evidenced by recent social movements. Using the virality framework, this paper conceptualizes Twitter hashtags as a mechanism to enhance the visibility and symbolic power of a social movement and analyzes hashtag use patterns based on data from the Occupy Wall Street Movement. By identifying popular hashtag types and examining the hashtag co-occurrence networks during two movement days (a regular day versus a day with the outbreak of the UC Davis Pepper Spray event), this study examines how characteristics of hashtag drive information virality during OWS. It also provides a comparative analysis of how major types of viral hashtags may play different roles in influencing the structure of the movement across different movement cycles. Implications on how event dynamics may shape hashtags’ co-occurrence patterns were provided (words: 140).
Privacy Concerns and Impacts on Collegiate Student-Athletes’ Usage Behaviors on Twitter: A Communication Privacy Management Perspective • Amanda Jo Pulido, NCAA; KENNETH C.C. YANG, THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO; YOWEI KANG, KAINAN UNIVERISITY • This study examined collegiate student-athletes’ privacy concerns and impacts on their Twitter usage. The study empirically tested the predictive power of privacy management variables on Twitter usage behaviors. This study employed an online questionnaire method to survey student-athletes from a large public university in the U.S. Regression analyses concluded that perceived control, permeability rules, and linkage rules of private information on Twitter significantly predict the frequency of checking Twitter accounts. However, only perceived control of privacy information on Twitter was found to predict student-athletes’ daily usage. This study expands Communication Privacy Management (CPM) theory to the collegiate sports context.
Sexual Intensity of Adolescents’ Online Self-Presentations: Joint Contribution of Identity and Media Consumption • Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas; Autumn Shafer, Texas Tech University; Rebecca Ortiz, Texas Tech University • Adolescents produce and distribute a vast quantity of digital media content, and some of this content is sexual. Within the context of a fictitious social media platform, an online survey (N = 265) of 13- to 15-year-olds found that the sexual intensity of self-presentation is a product sexual self-concept, partially mediated by sexual media diet, and moderated by extraversion. This study bridges emerging research on sexual self-presentation with established literature on adolescents’ sexual media uses and effects.
Social Television Engagement: An Integrated Model of Social-Relational and Content-Relational Factors • Jiyoung Cha, San Francisco State University • This study aims to understand how to boost viewers’ intention to engage in social TV by detecting antecedents influencing social TV engagement. Thus, this study develops a conceptual model that integrates social-relational factors and content-relational factors to predict intention to engage in social TV. Results suggest that individuals’ relations with the contacts on a SNS, relations with the SNS, and relations with television programs predict engagement in social TV.
Effects of content type in a company’s Social Networking Site on users’ willingness to subscribe the page and Word-of-Mouth intentions • Jung Won Chun, University of Florida; Moon Lee • In this study, we explored the effect of content type (utilitarian vs. hedonic) in SNSs on situational involvement with a company’s Facebook page and intentions to subscribe and promote the Facebook page in accordance with enduring involvement with a company. For highly involved people, the effect of utilitarian content is greater than hedonic content, as expected. Hedonic content increased individuals’ situational involvement with a company’s Facebook page more than utilitarian content among low-involved people. Both situational and enduring involvements influenced intention to subscribe to and continuously promote the company’s Facebook page.
Show Me the Money!: Importance of Crowdfunding Factors on Decisions to Financially Support Kickstarter Campaigns • Kevin Duvall; Rita Colistra • This research explores which factors are most influential in backers’ decisions to financially support Kickstarter projects, using an online survey. Findings suggest that Kickstarter has several distinct benefits for those who support its projects and offers them an experience that traditional production channels cannot. This study improves our understanding of the attitudes that drive Kickstarter, and it helps project creators know what aspects of their campaigns prospective supporters find most important.
Gamification of Rock the Vote: Effects on Perceived Modality, Agency, Interactivity, Navigability, And Political Participation • Francis Dalisay, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Patricia Buskirk, University of Hawaii-Manoa; Chamil Rathnayake, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Joanne Loos; Wayne Buente, University of Hawaii-Manoa • This experiment analyzed the effects of the gamification of a Rock the Vote PSA. Results revealed a gamified video version of the PSA triggered higher perceived modality, agency, interactivity, and navigability than a text version. While the gamified video’s perceived coolness, novelty, and enhancement did not differ from those of the non-gamified video, the game was perceived as more active and playful/fun than the non-gamified video. The three versions’ effects on political participation did not differ.
Exploring the uses and gratifications of Hispanic and White Facebook and Twitter users • Michael Radlick, American University; Joseph Erba, University of Kansas • Very little is known about the uses and gratifications of Hispanic Facebook and Twitter users. This manuscript presents the results of a pilot cross-sectional survey of Hispanic and White participants (N = 255). Findings address the different gratifications Hispanic and White users seek from Facebook and Twitter, and explore two types of gratifications that have been overlooked in previous studies, advocacy and identity exploration. Implications for communicating to Hispanic audiences and future research are discussed.
The role of cues in perceptions of online discussion • Joseph Erba, University of Kansas; Joseph Graf, American University; Ren-Whei Harn • An experiment was conducted (N = 528) to determine the role of a variety of cues on participants’ perceptions of online comments and commenters, and their interest in the online discussion. The experiment relied on theories of social presence, social information processing, and social identity. Findings revealed that politeness of comments, participants’ ethnicity and, to a lesser extent, gender and ethnicity of commenters, affected participants’ overall perceptions of the content of the online discussion.
Perpetuating Online Sexism Offline: Anonymity, Interactivity, and the Effects of Sexist Hashtags on Social Media • Jesse Fox, The Ohio State University; Carlos Cruz, The Ohio State University; Ji Young Lee, The Ohio State University • This study examined effects of online sexism. In this experiment, participants (N = 172) used an anonymous or personally identifying Twitter account. They shared (i.e., retweeted) or wrote posts incorporating a sexist hashtag and then evaluated male and female job candidates. Anonymous participants reported more sexism after tweeting than identified participants. Participants who composed sexist tweets reported more hostile sexism and ranked female candidates as less competent than those who retweeted.
Social Media, Selective Exposure & the Spiral of Silence, Oh my! • Sherice Gearhart, UNO; Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University • Social media and selective exposure brought forth fundamental challenges to mass communication theories such as the spiral of silence. Despite these changes it has been theorized that the spiral of silence theory may still be alive and well in the social media environment. An Internet survey using a nationwide sample tests Facebook users’ willingness to opine. Results support the influence of online selective exposure and psychological factors on speaking out.
Classifying Twitter Topic-Networks Using Social Network Analysis • Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Marc Smith, Connected Action Consulting Group; Lee Rainie, Pew Internet and American Life; Ben Shneiderman, University of Maryland; Camila Espina, University of Georgia • As users interact in social media systems like Twitter they form connections that emerge into complex social network structures, forming channels of information flow. Social media networks can be characterized by metrics including density, modularity, centralization and the fraction of isolated users. These network measures can usefully categorize social media networks based on their pattern of connections, revealing six distinct structures of information flow. Divided, unified, fragmented, clustered, in and out hub-and-spoke networks are common structures in these social media networks. We demonstrate the value of these network structures by segmenting Twitter social media network datasets to illustrate six distinct patterns of collective connections. We discuss conceptual and practical implications for each structure in terms of patterns of information flow.
A Social Networks Approach to Political Discourse • Taisik Hwang, University of Georgia; Itai Himelboim, University of Georgia; Soo Young Shin • This study examined how Twitter users engaged in the political discourse on the Sewol ferry accident that took place in April 2014 in South Korea by combining a social networks approach with content analysis. A comparison of the number of links across politically homogeneous clusters with the number of links across heterogeneous clusters revealed that selective exposure occurred on the Twitter topic network. Findings also showed the influence of independent journalists in disseminating information on the social network site as well as the dependence of public sentiment on political orientations. The implications of these findings for the relevant research communities were discussed.
Predictors of Smartphone Addiction • Se-Hoon Jeong, Korea University; Yoori Hwang, Myongji University • This research examined the user characteristics and media content types that can lead to addiction to smartphones. With regard to user characteristics, results showed that self-control was a negative predictor, whereas stress was a positive predictor of smartphone addiction. For media content types, SNS use, game use, and entertainment-related use were positive predictors of smartphone addiction, whereas study-related use was not. More importantly, SNS use was a stronger predictor of smartphone addiction than game use.
Conceptualizing private governance in a networked society: An analysis of scholarship on content governance • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri • This paper reviews scholarship on the ability of digital intermediaries (such as Facebook and Twitter) to enhance individual communicative agency, as well as the power of those intermediaries to control individuals’ speech. The paper incorporates so-called affirmative theories of the First Amendment into the analysis to connect the concepts discussed in this paper to a major scholarly tradition that addresses the implications of private institutions controlling public discourse through their control over communication technologies.
Do smartphone ‘power users’ protect mobile privacy better than non-power users? Exploring power usage as a factor in mobile privacy protection • Hyunjin Kang, George Washington University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University • This study examines how smartphone users’ competency of usage (i.e., power usage) impacts their privacy protection behaviors. An online survey of 1,133 smartphone users in Singapore finds that both privacy concerns and trust in mobile marketers mediate the relationship between power usage and privacy protection. When privacy concerns are included, power usage has a positive indirect effect on protection behaviors, yet when trust is included, power usage has an adverse effect on efforts to protect one’s online privacy.
An APPetite for Political Information? Characteristics and Media Habits of Mobile News App Users • Barbara Kaye, University of Tennessee – Knoxville; Tom Johnson • The ubiquity of mobile devices has triggered questions about who uses them, and whether their presence affects political participation and time spent with traditional media. Individuals who rely heavily on mobile news apps for political information are more politically active and heavier users of broadcast and cable television, newspapers, news magazines and radio news than those who rarely/never rely on apps. Moreover, reliance on news apps complements the amount of time spent using traditional media.
College Students’ Digital Media Use and Social Engagement: How Social Media Use and Smartphone Use Influence College Students’ Social Activities • Yonghwan Kim, University of Alabama; Yuan Wang, University of Alabama; Jeyoung Oh • Social media and mobile phones have emerged as important platforms for college students’ social engagement. This study examined whether and how college students’ use of social media and smartphones influence their social engagement motivated by need to belong. A survey was administered to 446 college students. Findings revealed that students’ need to belong was positively related with their use of social media and smartphones, which could further facilitate their social engagement. Moreover, the relationship between the need to belong and social engagement was mediated by college students’ digital media use. This study offers empirical evidence of the positive effects of digital media on social behaviors and contributed to further understanding about the mechanisms by which need to belong leads to social engagement through digital media use.
Why Do People Post Selfies? Investigating Psychological Predictors of Selfie Behaviors • Ji Won Kim; Tamara Makana Chock • This study examined the psychological predictors of selfie behaviors. An online survey (N = 260) explored the associations between personality traits and needs and selfie posting and editing. Results showed that extraversion, narcissism, and need for popularity were positively correlated with selfie posting and editing. Controlling for age and social media use, narcissism and need for popularity predicted selfie posting, but not editing behavior.
A Functional and Structural Diagnosis of Online Health Communities for Sustainability with a Focus on Resource Richness and Site Design Features • Hyang-Sook Kim, Towson University; Amy Mrotek, St. Norbert College; Quincy Kissack • The reality of online communities’ under-contribution issues has often been clouded with theoretical rather than real-world insight. The present study aims to neutralize this disparity, focusing through content analysis on 196 health websites and communities to systematically evaluate their functional and structural interfaces–the ingredients for a thriving online environment. Particularly attention will be paid to what variables equate to successful site traffic and impressions, ultimately providing suggestions to facilitate and optimize user contribution.
The effects of argument quality, multitasking with Facebook, and polychronicity on health-protective behavioral intentions • Anastasia Kononova; Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Eunsin Joo; Sangji Rhee • As people increasingly seek medical information and advice online, studying factors that affect health information processing and health-protective behaviors becomes especially important. The present research explored the effects of argument quality, media multitasking, and polychronicity on health-protective behavioral intentions. Participants (N=121) read an online article about influenza that included suggestions to engage in flu-preventive behaviors in the form of strong and weak arguments. In one condition, participants read the article and checked Facebook, while in another condition they were only exposed to the article. Polychronicity, or preference for multitasking, was included in the study as a moderator. Strong arguments were found to elicit more positive behavioral intentions than weak arguments. Participants also expressed greater health-protective behavioral intentions in the media multitasking condition compared with the control condition. Compared with low polychronics, moderate and high polychronics showed greater behavioral intentions when they read the article in the multitasking condition. The difference in intentions to follow suggestions presented as strong and weak arguments decreased for moderate and high polychronics. The results are discussed with the application of Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion.
Swearing Effects on Audience Comments Online: A Large-Scale Comparison of Political vs. Non-Political News Topics • K. Hazel Kwon, Arizona State University; Daegon Cho, POSTECH – South Korea • Swearing, the use of taboo languages tagged with a high level of emotional arousal, has become commonplace in contemporary media culture. The current study attempts to understand the ways in which swearing influences news audience commenting culture online. Based on a large corpus of the two-month audience comments from 26 news websites in South Korea, the study examines swearing effects as well as its interplay with anonymity on garnering public attention and shaping other audiences’ perceptions of the comments. Findings suggest that swearing generally has a positive effect on increasing public attention to the comments as well as gaining other audiences’ approvals. Comparisons between political and non-political news topics further suggest that swearing effect on gaining public attention is particularly prominent for political news comments. In contrast, the magnitude of change towards positive valence in public perception to comments is much greater for non-political topics than for politics. From the findings, we conclude that an acceptable degree of swearing norms in news audiences’ commenting culture online vary across news topical arenas. The results also lead to discussions about the possibility of likeminded exposure to political comments as a default condition for online news discussions. Finally, the study highlights the role of high-arousal emotions in shaping audience participation in contemporary networked socio-digital environment.
Online collective action as group identity performance: Extending the strategic side of SIDE • Yu-Hao Lee, University of Florida; Robert Wells, University of Florida • Low-cost online collective action facilitated by social media has been both praised as empowering to groups with less power to mobilize, but also criticized as feel-good slacktivism that has no actual impact. Based on the social identity model of deindividuation effects (SIDE), we examined online collective action as a group identity performance to one’s in-group and towards the target out-group. A 2 (visibility) x 2 (out-group strength) experiment was conducted to investigate when people will strategically partake in an initial online action and a subsequent action. The findings indicated that group identity predicted participating in online collective action. While the actual cost of performing the initial action was low. Visibility and out-group strength communicated different symbolic weight and affected people’s efforts in a subsequent action. The findings has theoretical implication by expanding the strategic side of SIDE. The study also has practical implications for organizations or campaigns that seek to take advantage of social media platforms.
Hooked on Facebook: The Role of Social Anxiety and Need for Social Assurance in Facebook Addiction • Roselyn J. Lee-Won, The Ohio State University; Sung Gwan Park, Seoul National University • Building on the social skill deficits model of problematic Internet use, this research examined the role of need for social assurance as a possible moderator for the relationship between social anxiety and Facebook addiction. A cross-sectional online survey, conducted with a college-student Facebook users in the United States (N=243), showed that the positive association between social anxiety and Facebook addiction was significant only among those with high levels of need for social assurance.
Contextual and Normative Influence on Willingness to Express Minority Views Online and in Offline Settings • Xigen Li, City University of Hong Kong • This study explores contextual and normative factors influencing willingness to express minority views on the Internet and in offline settings. The findings show that perceived receptiveness to diverse opinions positively predicts the willingness to express minority views both online and offline. The effect of fear of isolation on willingness to express minority views do not differ significantly from that of perceived risk of expressing minority views. Perceived social norm has no effect on the willingness to express minority views on the Internet and in offline settings, while deviance to social norm positively predicts the willingness to express minority views in both settings. Belief strength is found to be a positive predictor of the willingness to express minority views on the Internet, but not in offline settings.
Backchannel Communication Motives for Viewing Televised Olympic Games: Implications for the Future of Sports Broadcasting • Joon Soo Lim, Syracuse University; YoungChan Hwang • We conducted an online survey with 500 randomly selected social TV users in South Korea right after the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Employing structural equation modeling, each motivational factor of backchannel communication was used to predict respondents’ social presence and sports channel commitment. The results showed that social interaction, information and excitement motives of social TV positively related to social presence, while it was convenience and information motives that predicted sports channel commitment.
Determinants of SNS discussion disagreement: The effects of political interest, SNS news use, and weak ties • Yanqin Lu, Indiana University; Jae Kook Lee • Drawing on a national probability survey, this study explores the predictors of discussion disagreement on SNSs. The results reveal that both political interest and news-related activities on SNSs are negatively associated with discussion disagreement. Both of these two negative relationships are particularly stronger among those who have a small proportion of weak ties in their social media networks. Implications are discussed for the impacts of SNS use on deliberative democracy.
A study of audience reactions to a celebrity’s announcement of cancer via social media: The roles of audience involvement, emotion, and gender • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Rachelle Pavelko, Indiana University; Roshni Verghese, Indiana University; Joe Bob Hester • The present study employed a content analysis of users’ Facebook responses (N = 3,953) to actor Hugh Jackman’s 2013 post announcing his skin cancer diagnosis. The aim of the study was to explore connections between audience involvement, emotional reactions to cancer news, gender of social media users, and the resulting social-media based public discussions of cancer-related prevention and detection. Findings highlight how the affordances of social media can foster close mediated relationships with public figures.
Upvotes Guarding the Gate: Analyzing thematic clues and news element in Reddit’s role as a social link aggregation site • Jeffrey Riley, Florida Gulf Coast University • This study was a quantitative content analysis looking at Reddit, a popular social link sharing website. Specifically, it looked at the /r/news subpage, which boasts 4 million subscribers. Reddit allows all users to submit links to content and then democratically vote up or down on the content. The order content appears in on the page itself is determined partially by that democratic voting process. The study, using gatekeeping theory, examines ownership, topic, theme, and elements of newsworthiness in the top submissions to /r/news over a 20-day period. The study found that Reddit, despite being an open-ended system that allows submissions from all types content, relies heavily on both legacy media and traditional media frames. The results of the study suggests that Reddit acts almost more as a perpetuation of legacy ideals within the news media as opposed to a revolutionary force in and of itself.
Always Connected or Always Distracted? ADHD and Social Assurance Explain Problematic Use of Mobile Phone and Multicommunicating • mihye seo; Junghyun Kim; Prabu David • Multicommunicating with mobile phone during face-to-face encounters with family and friends was examined with data from an online survey of 432 adults in the U.S. Multicommunicating was positively associated with problematic use of mobile phone (PUMP) and explained by two different processes, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and a social need to belong. We found that those with ADHD symptoms were more likely to engage in PUMP and frequent multicommunicating. In addition, strong need for social assurance, which involves an always-on and connected lifestyle, explained PUMP and multicommunicating. Further, the role of social connectedness was more salient in females than males. The implications of these findings for future research are discussed.
TV Becomes Social Again : An Analysis of Motivations, Psychological Traits and Social-Interaction Behaviors of Two-screen Viewing • Hongjin Shim; Euikyung Shin; Sohei Lim • This study investigates the moderation effect of peer-group pressure in the context of groups chat on mobile instant messengers (MIMs). Why do adolescents engage in bullying behaviors on MIMs in opposition to their attitude toward bullying? Generally, previous research has explored modest associations between attitude toward cyberbullying and cyberbullying behaviors. However, this study focuses on the moderating role played by peer-group pressure in MIM group chats. An interaction effect between peer-group pressure and negative attitude toward MIM bullying is hypothesized and demonstrated based on data (N = 424) gathered via a survey conducted in July 2014 of randomly selected students from South Korean high schools and junior high schools in South Korea. The findings support the effect of interaction between the attitude and peer-group pressure. Adolescents with a highly negative attitude toward MIM bullying tended not to engage in MIM bullying regardless of the level of peer-group pressure to which they perceived themselves to be subject. However, adolescents with a neutral or positive attitude toward MIM bullying who perceived a high level of peer-group pressure engaged more in MIM bulling behaviors than did those with a similarly neutral or positive attitude who perceived a low level of PGP. It was concluded that self-justification or self-persuasion on the part of adolescents possibly resulting from the logic of cognitive dissonance can bring about engagement in MIM bullying behaviors even against adolescents’ attitudes toward MIM bullying.
Up, Periscope: Live streaming apps, the right to record, and the gaps in privacy law • Daxton Stewart, TCU; Jeremy Littau, Lehigh University • Meerkat and Periscope, mobile applications that allow users to provide live streaming video to their followers, quickly became popular among citizens and journalists upon their launch earlier this year. As the next wave of communication technologies permitting the instantaneous sharing of information, these live-streaming apps have the potential to reshape the way people think about any right to privacy they may have in public places, as well as the rights of people to record in public places under the First Amendment. Additionally, journalists are already using these tools in ways that may have a significant impact on coverage of politics and culture in the very near future. Using legal research methodology, this article examines the privacy law implications of mobile, live-streaming apps, uncovering a gap in traditional conceptualizations of privacy law that may need to be resolved to ensure a balance between a person’s reasonable expectation of privacy and a person’s right to record in public.
Social Media Brands: Toward a More Generalizable Field • Elizabeth Stoycheff; Juan Liu; Kunto Wibowo; Dominic Nanni • Social media are evolving pervasively. And scholars have noticed. This study explores interdisciplinary social media research over the past decade and identifies trends in language, types of social media sites, thematic content areas, and geographic contexts in which this research is situated. Gaps in the literature and areas of study worthy of future examination are discussed.
This News is brought to you by a Drone: User Reactions to Machine Agency in News Gathering • Akshaya Sreenivasan, The Pennsylvania State University; S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • A seven-condition, between-subjects experiment (N=274) was conducted to explore the relative effects of three human (reporter, citizen journalist, crowd) and three machine sources (drone, robot, webcam) used in newsgathering, against a control. While viewers perceive news attributed to machines like drones and robots as entertaining and enjoyable, machine sources tended to undermine the perceived credibility of the story. Traditional sources scored highest on trust, a critical mediator of credibility. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Using an Eye Tracker to Investigate Attentional Capture of Animated Display Advertisements: A Cognitive Control Account • Chen-Chao Tao, Department of Communication and Technology, National Chiao Tung University • Whether animated display ads can capture attention and enhance memory are still contentious. This study redefines animation in terms of dynamic structural features and argues that animation appearing as a unique event will capture attention (unique event hypothesis). An eye-tracking experiment using authentic news webpages with one ad on the right was conducted to compare the effects of 2D animated ads (oscillation, movement, or flash) and static ads. Generalized estimating equations showed that animation grabbed the eyes, suggesting the occurrence of implicit attentional capture. Memory for ads is determined by the joint influence of the amount of attention allocated to ads and the structural complexity of ads. Oscillation ads had the highest score, followed by movement ads. It is concluded that animation as a unique event in the visual field will capture attention, and banner blindness is a phenomenon of inattentional blindness.
Feeling Happy or Being Immersed? Advertising Effects of Game-Product Congruity in Different Game App Environments • Shaojung Sharon Wang, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan; Hsuan-Yi Chou, National Sun Yat-sen University, Taiwan • Mobile games have become one of the most profitable digital platforms for game publishers and developers alike, driven by the widespread adoption of smart devices. Among three important sources of mobile game revenues (downloads of games, in-game purchases, and advertising), ad revenues have experienced the fastest growth. This study explored the effects of congruity between the products in the interstitial ads and game app environment on consumers’ responses to the ads. The moderation of happiness types experienced during gameplay and game immersion of the consumers on advertising effects of game-product congruity was also examined. Experimental results revealed that (1) as game-product congruity increased, advertising effects were improved; (2) happiness types of gameplay environments had a direct impact on consumers’ responses toward embedded ads. When playing the calm-happiness game (vs. excited-happiness), consumers were more favorable toward embedded ads and had higher click and purchase intentions; (3) game happiness types moderated the effects of game-product congruity. When consumers played the calm-happiness game, game-product congruity positively affected advertising effects. However, when consumers played the excited-happiness game, moderate congruity generated higher purchase intention than high and low congruity; (4) the positive advertising effects resulting from game-product congruity were more salient when consumers were less immersed in the game. Theoretical implications on app advertising research, schema theory, happiness, and immersion, as well as practical suggestions are discussed.
How does Parallax Scrolling influence User Experience? A Test of TIME (Theory of Interactive Media Effects) • Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University; S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • Parallax scrolling is a popular technique used widely in website design. Depth (or dimension) and scrolling come together to create a 3D effect, but it is unclear how this technique affects user experience. A controlled experiment (N = 133) deploying parallax scrolling in the context of product presentation reveals that perceived vividness and perceived coolness of this technique serve to engage users, with positive effects on attitude and behavior toward the website as well as the featured product. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Effects of Online Consumer Reviews on Brand Evaluation, Attitude and Purchase Intent • Tai-Yee Wu, University of Connecticut; Carolyn Lin, University of Connecticut • This study proposes an integrated conceptual model to investigate how user-generated online consumer product reviews (or eWOM) influence reader attitude and purchase intent toward an electronic product. The results generated by 508 participants suggest that perceived trustworthiness, usefulness and message valence of online product reviews as well as user experience with eWOM and gender play either a direct or indirect role in influencing reader attitude toward the product and product purchase intent.
Skepticism as a Political Orientation Factor: A Moderated Mediation Model of Online Opinion Expression • Masahiro Yamamoto, University of Wisconsin-La crosse; Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Michael Beam, Kent State University; Myiah Hutchens, Washington State University • This study examines skepticism as an orienting factor that fosters active news media use and online opinion expression. Data from a national online panel of participants matching national population characteristics show that skepticism is related to increases in news media use, which in turn positively predicts online opinion expression. Data further indicate that this indirect link between skepticism and online opinion expression via news media use differed by age, such that this mediation effect is stronger for younger respondents in the current sample. Implications are discussed for the role of skepticism in producing an engaged citizen.
Examining Users’ Continued Intention Toward Facebook Use: An Integrated Model • Chen-Wei Chang, University of Southern Mississippi • This study applies three theories (i.e., the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology 2, social contract theory, and technology continuance theory) to develop a new model for users’ continued intention toward Facebook use. An online survey based on random sampling (N = 450) was conducted in 2014. Data analysis employing structural equation modeling shows that the proposed model explains 65% of the variance for users’ continued intention. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Influence of News Overload on News Consumption • Victoria Chen, University of Texas at Austin • This exploratory study examined how news overload influences news consumption behavior and how news consumption behavior influences news overload. The results revealed that the more people felt news overloaded by the news, the less likely they were to watch TV. In contrast, the more people experience news overloaded, the more likely they were to use a search engine for news. The results also reveal that online news consumption does not contribute to a feeling of news overload.
Wikipedia: Remembering in the digital age • Michelle Chen • Collective memories are usually sanctioned by ruling elites, who determine the types of memory that should be remembered along with how they should be remembered. As an open-source website, Wikipedia has the potential to broaden the range of memories accessible on a global platform, memories that may or may not be sanctioned by elites. This paper examined the ways Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989 was remembered on a global platform such as Wikipedia, and the implications of having that borderless public space for the representation and remembrance of events. Using textual analysis, this paper first examined the ways in which the New York Times and Xinhua News Agency reported on and interpreted the Tiananmen Square Protests of 1989, and how the protests were subsequently remembered in both presses in the 21st century. This paper then compared the official memory of the protests in the two presses with its public memory, as represented by the ways in which contributors on Wikipedia remembered the protests. Findings point to Wikipedia as a site of struggle over the hierarchy of memories. The dynamics between alternative and opposing memories on Wikipedia both reveal and are affected by the differences in how the protests were framed and made meaningful only to those who belong to certain cultural groups. Findings call into question the possibility of having a wider range of memories that encompasses the un-reported and under-reported collective memory of an iconic event in the digital age.
Who do you trust? Social endorsements effects on news evaluation • Myojung Chung, Syracuse University • Using a 2 x 3 between-subjects experiment (N = 297), this study examines how media source credibility and the level of social endorsements affect news evaluation. Results suggest that (a) there are main effects of media source credibility and social endorsements level on the way people perceive and evaluate online news content, and (b) other readers’ endorsements moderates the impact of media source credibility on news evaluation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Does Social Media Usage Reduce Information Asymmetry Among Investors? Evidence From Consumer Product Recall • Soo Jeong Hong, Michigan State University; Kwangjin Lee, Michigan State University; Hyunsang Son, The University of Texas at Austin • This study examines the impact of social media usage on the capital market consequences of firms’ disclosure. The study has the following findings: (a) the additional dissemination of recall information via social media is associated with more negative abnormal stock return; (b) social media usage tend to exacerbate negative market reactions only in the case of passive recall announcements; and (c) comprehensive social media usage data may provide more accurate results.
Do We Trust Crowd or System? Effects of Personalization and Bandwagon Cues on User Perception • Jinyoung Kim, Pennsylvania State University; Andrew Gambino; Xiaoye Zhou • This study examined the effects of personalization and bandwagon cues (e.g., star ratings, reviews) in a restaurant recommendation web site. An online experiment was conducted measuring participants’ perceptions and intentions towards the restaurants and the web site. Results showed that personalization and bandwagon cues increased positive perceptions and intentions toward both restaurant and web site. Theoretical and practical implications for future research on the effect of web site interface cues on user’ perceptions are provided.
Elderly’s uses and gratifications of social media: Key to improving social support and social involvement • Gordon Lee, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Jessica Fuk Yin KONG • This study attempts to build a bridge between the existing factor and impact research on senior citizens’ use of social media. A random sample of 392 senior citizens was surveyed to understanding their reasons for and the potential effects of using social media on one’s perceived social support and social involvement. The result demonstrates that social media help senior citizens gain more social support and social involvement.
Seen but No Reply. Hmmm? Messaging Platforms’ Message Read Receipts and their Psychological Impact on Users • Yee Man (Margaret) Ng, The University of Texas at Austin School of Journalism • Message read receipts have become a common feature on messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, but they are not always welcome. In many instances, these receipts create social pressure. This study explores negative psychosocial impacts of message read receipts on users. Results of a national online survey (N = 247) reveal a discrepancy between senders’ and receivers’ perceptions towards message read receipts. In addition, the responsiveness to reply messages and the level of negative emotions of not replying depend on (1) receivers’ social distance with senders, and (2) whether the message is sent to an individual or a group of receivers. This study contributes to the growing body of literature on the use and psychological effects of instant messaging platforms.
The Allure of Self-Expression or the Desire for Privacy? Exploring Users’ Motivations for Temporary, Photograph-Based Communication • T. Franklin Waddell, Penn State University • Although visually-mediated short message applications are increasingly popular, the gratifications that users obtain from the visual affordances these services provide has been relatively underexplored. Informed by the MAIN model, the current study conducted interviews with 21 young adults to explore the motivations associated with the visually-mediated mobile application, Snapchat. Findings reveal that privacy maintenance and enhanced self-expression are common gratifications that users derive from temporary, photograph-based communication services. The implications of these results for theory and practice are discussed.
Smartphones as Social Actors? Dispositional factors that make anthropomorphism in communication technology different • Wenhuan Wang, University of Oregon • Smartphones are the most personalized communication technology and in the meantime the most personified in our society. Existing studies on anthropomorphism in computing technology focus on how to implement and elicit positive anthropomorphic effects but fail to address the motivations and dispositional factors. Through an online survey that incorporates well-tested psychological scales, this study provides empirical evidences that smartphone users’ social dispositions including chronic loneliness and attachment style are associated with their acceptance and awareness of anthropomorphism. Findings in this study suggest that Computers as Social Actors studies are limited to method of choice and overlooked how people adapt to communication technologies differently in real life settings. Anthropomorphic design in communication technology and anthropomorphized message in advertising strategies need further examination when targeting a diversified or specified demographic.
Understanding the Appeal of Social Q&A Sites: Gratifications, Personality Traits, and Quality Judgment as Predictors • Renwen Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Chen Gan • This study examines the roles of gratifications, personalities, and quality judgment in predicting social Q&A sites use. Results from a sample of 426 college students indicate that gratifications, including social/affection needs, cognitive needs, fashion-status, and entertainment, were the most salient predictors of social Q&A sites use. However, although personalities and quality judgment were strong predictors of gratifications, they had no direct predictive power toward social Q&A sites use.
Patients like me: Exploring Empathetic Interactions about Pain in an Online Health Community • Xuan Zhu • This study explored empathetic interactions within an online health community PatientsLikeMe. Texture analysis of 200 discussion postings from group forums related to chronic pain was used to determine how empathetic interactions are constructed in a virtual social setting through textual communication. The results revealed six components of online empathy concerning two roles within empathetic communication: the empathizer and the empathy receiver. Commonalities and differences between components of online and offline empathy were discussed.
Embodying Nature’s Experiences: Taking the Perspective of Nature with Immersive Virtual Environments to Promote Connectedness With Nature • Sun Joo (Grace) Ahn, University of Georgia; Jeremy Bailenson, Stanford University; Elise Ogle, Stanford University; Joshua Bostick, Stanford University • Immersive virtual environments (IVEs) use digital devices to simulate experiential sensory information, producing simulations that closely mimic real-life. Two experiments tested the efficacy of IVEs in promoting feelings of connectedness with nature by virtually taking the perspective of animals threatened by climate change. Experiment 1 found that embodying the sensory rich experiences of a cow in IVE led to greater spatial presence, body transfer, and ultimately more connectedness with nature than watching the experience on video. Experiment 2 extended these findings and confirmed that embodying the experiences of coral in an acidifying virtual ocean led to greater spatial presence than watching it on video, increasing the perceived imminence of the risk immediately following experimental treatments. The heightened imminence of risk resulted in greater connectedness with nature one week following experimental treatments. Theoretical implications on extending the concept of perspective taking from interpersonal to human-animal relationships with IVEs are discussed.
How Advertising Taught Us How to Consume Fruits and Vegetables in the Early Twentieth Century • Michelle Nelson, UIUC; Susmita Das, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Regina Ahn, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • Fruit and vegetable consumption helps prevent diseases, and the World Health Organization recommends increased daily intakes; 100+ years ago advertisers begin selling these healthier foods. Analysis of print advertisements from the early twentieth century reveals the ways that advertisers informed the public about how and why to consume fruits and vegetables. National advertisers presented them as ‘tonics’ while prescribing daily doses. Competition among fruits and vegetables resulted in mixed messages for consumers about fresh produce.
Public Attitudes on Synthetic Biology: Mapping Landscapes and Processes • Heather Akin; Kathleen M. Rose; Dietram Scheufele; Molly J. Simis; Dominique Brossard; Michael A. Xenos; Elizabeth A. Corley • This research provides one of the first representative overviews to date of U.S. public attitudes towards synthetic biology. We first outline descriptive results from a 2014 survey of U.S. adults to contextualize individuals’ awareness, personal importance, and knowledge of synthetic biology and compare these to responses about other science issues. We assess respondents’ attitudes toward relevant policies, risk-benefit perceptions, and overall support for synthetic biology. We then analyze how these characteristics impact individuals’ support for the use of this emerging science and assess how values and predispositions, including religiosity, deference to scientific authority, and trust in scientists, might interact to influence support. Our descriptive results suggest that many respondents do not feel informed about synthetic biology or believe it is personally important, which is comparable to responses about nanotechnology. However, on average, individuals express more reservations and more concern for the moral downside of synthetic biology than other issues. Our multivariate analyses show that education, religiosity, deference to science, knowledge, net risk-benefit perceptions, and trust in scientists affect support for synthetic biology. We also find significant interactions between deference to science and trust in scientists and deference to science and religiosity. We argue that deference may be more instrumental in influencing attitudes about scientific issues than other dispositions, so we should be less concerned with the impacts of short-term political or event-based influences, and more concerned with building longer-term deference and belief in the scientific enterprise.
Biological Imperatives and Food Marketing: Food Cues Alter Trajectories of Processing, Behavior and Choice • Rachel Bailey, Washington State University • This study examines how food presentation and packaging alters the time course of information processing, response and food choice. Participants were asked to categorize images of food that varied in the directness of their food cues (information about taste in terms of color, glossiness, texture, etc) before and after being exposed to a set of advertisements that also varied in the directness of their available food cues. Heart rate data also were used to access the motivational value of food cues. In general, direct food cue products enhanced motivational processes, especially if they were also advertised with direct food cues. Food products that had the least direct food cues did the opposite. Individuals also chose to eat products that were packaged with more direct food cues available compared to opaque packages. Implications and future research are discussed.
‘We just can’t talk about mental health:’ Analysis of African American urban community leader interviews • Jeannette Porter; Tim Bajkiewicz, Virginia Commonwealth University • This study conducts in-depth interviews with eleven female African American community leaders in a low-income area of a medium-sized US southeastern city asked about their perceptions of African American patterns of communication on mental health issues in their community. Findings include terms like crazy and hustle, when rarely discussed. Participants say more training is needed for professionals (including law enforcement) and children, as well as a reduction in medication use to treat mental illness.
Framing climate change: Understanding behavior intention using a moderated-mediation model • porismita borah, Washington State University • The study conducted an experiment of a national sample of adults to understand the influence of four frames on environmental behavior intention. The study uses a moderated mediated model to test the moderating role of political ideology and mediating role of self-efficacy. Findings show that positive frames such as progress and problem-solving frames increase individuals’ environmental behavior intention. The positive frames increase individuals’ self-efficacy, which leads to increased environmental behavior intention, moderated by political ideology.
The Changing Opinion Dynamics Around Global Climate Change: Exploring Shifts in Framing Effects on Public Attitudes • Michael Cacciatore and LaShonda Eaddy, ADPR • In light of recent shifts in attitudes concerning global climate change, we assess several key predictors of American attitudes toward the subject. We begin by exploring the demographic characteristics that predict attitudes toward the causes and timing of the phenomenon before investigating the role that subtle terminology differences have on perceptions of the phenomenon. While this is not the first paper to explore how question wording impacts public response to global warming/climate change, the results that we report here represent a substantial departure from previous investigations of the topic and suggest large-scale shifts in how the American public makes sense of this politically contentious issue. Most notably, we found that terminology impacts differed based on a respondent’s political party affiliation, although in a manner that was somewhat unexpected given previous work on this issue. Unlike previous work, we found there was no statistically significant difference in how Republicans responded to the terms global warming and climate change. Rather, it was the Democrats who varied in their perceptions based on the wording manipulation with use of the term global warming prompting Democrats to respond much more strongly that the phenomenon was being caused by human activity and use of the term climate change resulting in an overall lower probability of believing that to be the case.
Third-person effect, message framing and drunken driving: Examining the causes and preventions of drunken-driving behavior • Kuang-Kuo Chang, Shih Hsin University • This study applies the third-person effect hypothesis and messages framing to examine the drunken-driving issue that has plagued Taiwan society. Statistical analyses support all (12) but three hypotheses. News attentiveness and campaign messages lead to a first-person effect at both perceptual and behavioral levels; drinking capacity and risk create a perceptual third-person effect. Gain-framed messages are more appealing than loss-framed messages. Findings provide valuable strategies for policymaking, coverage and campaigns in preventing this anti-social behavior.
Examining the impact of a health literacy and media literacy intervention on adults’ sugar-sweetened beverage media literacy skills • Yvonnes Chen; Kathleen Porter; Jamie Zoellner; Paul Estabrooks • Overconsumption of sugar-sweetened beverages (SSB) has led to a number of adverse health consequences. Interventions for adults, however, rarely incorporate media and health literacy education. We evaluated a single, SSB-focused media literacy (ML) lesson embedded in a large randomized-controlled trial in rural Southwest Virginia. We found that low and high health literacy participants benefited differently from the intervention. Also, adults’ overall SSB ML skills and understanding of the representation nature of SSB messages were improved.
A Smoking Cessation Campaign on Twitter: Understanding the Use of Twitter and Identifying Major Players in a Health Campaign • Jae Eun Chung, Communication • The current study examined the usage of online social media for a health campaign. Collecting tweets (N = 1,790) about the most recent Former Smoker’s Campaign, a smoking cessation promotion by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current study investigated the dissemination of health campaign messages on Twitter, paying particular attention to answering questions from the process evaluation of health campaigns: who tweets about the campaign, who plays central roles in disseminating health campaign messages, and how various features of Twitter are used for sharing of campaign messages. Results show that individuals and nonprofit organizations posted frequently about the campaign: Individuals and nonprofit organizations posted about 40% and 30% of campaign-related tweets, respectively. The culture of retweeting demonstrated its particular usefulness for the dissemination of campaign messages. Despite the expectation that the use of social media would expand opportunities for engagement, actual two-way interactions were few or minimal. In the current study the data analysis tool NodeXL showed its utility in collecting data and identifying major influencers in health campaigns. Drawn from the results, practical suggestions on how to strategize the use of Twitter for future health campaigns are discussed.
Weight-of-Evidence Risk Messages about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods: Persuasive Effects and Motivated Reasoning • Beatriz Vianna; Chris Clarke, George Mason University • This article extends research on conveying weight-of-evidence in risk contexts. We focus on a contentious risk topic; novel persuasive outcomes; and political ideology as a moderator of message effects. A news message experiment revealed that weight-of-evidence information emphasizing the safety of genetically modified foods for human consumption heightened participants’ perceptions of safety and affected strength of conviction, depending on prior safety beliefs. Political ideology did not moderate these effects. We discuss risk communication implications.
Environmental documentaries: How Gasland and Fracknation shape risk perceptions and policy preferences about hydraulic fracturing • Kathryn Cooper, The Ohio State University • Mass media messages are a powerful means by which to influence risk perceptions and policy preferences about controversial environmental issues. This paper presents the results of a study designed to test how the impact of the documentaries Gasland and Fracknation (which present anti- and pro-hydraulic fracturing viewpoints, respectively) varies by viewer ideology. Results indicate that Fracknation was effective across ideological groups while Gasland had limited effectiveness and only influence risk perceptions for liberals and moderates.
Compulsive Creativity: Virtual Worlds, Disability, and New Selfhoods Online • Donna Davis, University of Oregon; Tom Boellstorff • This study examines the intersection of disability and the digital through an ethnographic exploration of compulsive creativity experienced by persons living with Parkinson’s (PD) disease engaged in the virtual world, Second Life. Among this community of individuals with PD, a number of them report experiencing new forms of identity, place and making, simultaneous to alleviating symptoms of the disease. This raises questions central to current debates in media studies, health communication, anthropology and beyond.
How Caregivers Cope: The Effect of Media Appraisals and Information Behaviors on Coping Efficacy • Jae Seon Jeong; Lindsey DiTirro; Jeong-Nam Kim • This article contributes to the study of communication and coping in health contexts by exploring information appraisal and information behaviors. Drawing on theoretical perspectives, we argue that information behaviors are communicative responses that can serve as a means to increase, decrease, or maintain the efficiency of coping. Therefore, the current study examines the appraisals of health information found in the media and how they relate to caregivers’ information behaviors and coping efficacy.
The Twitter Network of the Top 50 Scientists • Elliot Fenech, University of Utah • As main stream media moves away from traditional outlets, such as television and newspaper, online social media outlets are growing in popularity. Twitter is one social media outlet where users post messages for others to read and review. This paper examines the top 50 scientists on Twitter in order to gain an understanding of how the community of scientists are using Twitter to communicate with each other beyond geographical and disciplinary divides. We examine the structure of the mention network among these scientists in terms of whether they form a Twitter community, how connected they are, and what subgroups, if any, there may be. Our data showed that a majority of these scientists formed a conversational community, in which there were a few more cohesive clusters but these clusters were not due to homophily based on areas of expertise. Future research should expand on our findings and establish a clearer understanding of how the scientific community is using Twitter to collaborate with each other and communicate with the public.
Framing News Coverage of National Parks: The Environment, Social Issues, and Recreation • Bruce Garrison, University of Miami; Zongchao Li, University of Miami • This study investigated coverage of America’s national parks, based on an analysis of 1,456 stories in 15 daily newspapers during 2000-12. Amusements, such as recreation, were the leading news frame, but social issues and environment were also commonly used. While there were no significant differences in framing approaches over time, the study found differences in how stories were framed by region and stories using amusements frames were longer, more positive, and used images more often.
Exploring the Mediating Roles of Fatalistic Beliefs and Self-Efficacy on the Relation Between Cancer Information-seeking on the Internet and Cancer-Preventative Behaviors • Eun Go; Kyung Han You, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies • This study explores the relationship between cancer-related information seeking on the Internet and cancer-preventative behaviors, with a focus on the mediating effects of fatalistic beliefs and self-efficacy. Using the structural equation modeling method (N=2,896), the present study demonstrates that while information seeking about cancer on the Internet does not exert a decrease of users’ levels of fatalistic beliefs, it does elevate users’ levels of self-efficacy. Moreover, the findings show that although information seeking about cancer on the Internet does not directly enhance users’ engagement in cancer-preventative behaviors, it has indirect effect on cancer-preventive behaviors via health-related self-efficacy. The findings also indicate that individuals’ levels of self-efficacy significantly mediate the association between fatalistic beliefs and cancer-preventative behaviors. This result demonstrates the need for consideration of such cognitive mediators in explaining the influence of cancer-related information-seeking on the Internet on cancer-preventative behaviors. Further implications of the study are also discussed.
The Framing of Marcellus Shale Drilling in Pennsylvania Newspapers • Elise Brown; Michel Haigh, Penn State; John Ewing, Penn State • This study examined how print media in Pennsylvania framed the discussion about Marcellus Shale gas drilling and development from 2008 – 2012. A content analysis (N = 783) found the most common frame employed was the environmental concerns frame, followed by the political strategy frame, scientific background frame, and public engagement frame. The scientific background frame was included more often in articles published by the agricultural media. The political strategies frame was used more often in mainstream media articles. Frames also varied over the four-year period, as well as the topics discussed.
Public Attention to Science and Political News and Support for Climate Change Mitigation • P. Sol Hart, University of Michigan; Erik Nisbet, The Ohio State University; Teresa Myers, George Mason University • We examine how attention to science and political news may influence public knowledge, perceived harm, and support for climate mitigation policies. Previous research examining these relationships has not fully accounted for how political ideology shapes the mental processes through which the public interprets media discourses about climate change. We incorporate political ideology and the concept of motivated cognition into our analysis to compare and contrast two prominent models of opinion formation, the scientific literacy model, which posits that disseminating scientific information will move public opinion towards the scientific consensus, and the motivated reasoning model, which posits that individuals will interpret information in a biased manner. Our analysis finds support for both models of opinion formation with key differences across ideological groups. Attention to science news was associated with greater perceptions of harm and knowledge for conservatives, but only additional knowledge for liberals. Supporting the literacy model, greater knowledge was associated with more support for climate mitigation for liberals. In contrast, consistent with motivated reasoning, more knowledgeable conservatives were less supportive of mitigation policy. In addition, attention to political news had a negative association with perceived harm for conservatives but not for liberals.
Consent is Sexy: An evaluation of a campus mass media campaign to increase sexual communication • Nathan Silver, The Ohio State University; Shelly Hovick, The Ohio State University; Michelle Bangen, The Ohio State University • Increased national focus on campus sexual violence has intensified the need for applied interventions. This study employed a cross-sectional online survey to evaluate a mass-mediated campus sexual violence campaign using provocative messages and images to persuade students that consent is sexy. Results show those exposed to the campaign had more positive attitudes towards consent, greater consent-related perceived behavioral control (PBC) and decreased rape myth acceptance (p<.05). PBC was also associated with increased dyadic sexual communication.
Emotional Appeals and the Environment: A Content Analysis of Greenpeace China’s Weibo Posts and Audience Responses • Qihao Ji, Florida State University; Summer Harlow, Florida State University; Di Cui, Florida State University; Zihan Wang, Florida State University • Previous studies show emotional reactions to be a precursor to behavioral change. Thus, drawing on environmental psychology and framing scholarship, this content analysis of a year’s worth of Greenpeace China’s Weibo posts and user comments explores how a post’s topic and frame influenced users’ likes, reposts, and emotional reactions via the creation of a social media emotional reaction index. Consequence, conflict, and morality frames generated the strongest emotional reactions for posts about food and agriculture.
The Effects of Framing and Attribution on Individuals’ Responses to Depression Coverage • Yan Jin, University of Georgia; Yuan Zhang; YEN-I LEE, University of Georgia; Ernest Martin; Joshua Smith • Through a 2 (episodic vs. thematic framing) x 2 (individual vs. societal attribution) between-subjects experiment of 125 college students, this study provides insights that can inform future depression news coverage aimed at addressing barriers in communicating with young adults about the risk of depression and the importance of providing social support to depressed individuals: 1) Significant main effects of news framing and attribution were detected, with episodic framing and societal responsibility attribution evoking more sympathy among participants; 2) Regardless of the type of framing and attribution, participants’ sympathy toward depressed individuals were found to be significantly associated with health issue involvement and self-efficacy in detecting depression symptoms; and 3) Male participants reported higher expectations of the social support outcomes. These findings also call for further health news framing theories by integrating the key role supportive public sentiment and positive emotions play in mediating the effects of framing and attribution on cognitive and behavior outcomes.
The National Science Foundation’s Science and Technology Survey Module and Support for Science, 2006-2012 • Besley John • The current study investigates how well the main science and technology-focused variables included in the General Social Survey (2006-2012) by the National Science Foundation do in predicting support for science funding. These questions form the primary basis of part of a biannual report to federal lawmakers and it is therefore important to consider whether the appropriate variables are included in the survey. The results suggest that, while there are some bivariate relationships between funding support and demographics, use of science communication channels, science knowledge, and attitudes about science and scientists, the overall predictive ability of the available variables appear to be relatively small. Suggestions for a potential path forward are made.
I am Willing to Pay More for Green Products: An Application of Extended Norm Activation Model • Ilwoo Ju, Saint Louis University; Jinhee Lee • With the ever-increasing attention to the environment, the current study examines the influences of consumers’ perceived environmental norms regarding major social agents (individuals, companies, and governments) on their willingness to pay more for green products. The analysis of the Simmons National Consumer Study data provides insight by revealing the path in which such effects are shaped through consumers’ general green purchase intention. Theoretical, managerial, and social implications are discussed.
The impact of message framing and evidence type in anti-binge drinking messages • Hannah Kang, University of Kansas; Moon Lee • We examined the impacts of message framing and evidence type in anti-binge drinking messages, based on Prospect Theory and Exemplification Theory. The experiment was a 2 (message framing: loss-framed message/gain-framed message) X 2 (evidence type: statistical/narrative) between-subjects factorial design with a control group. A total of 156 undergraduates participated. We found the participants in the loss-framed message condition exhibited a higher level of intention to avoid binge drinking in the near future than those who did not see any persuasive messages in the control group. We also found, regardless of evidence type, those who were exposed to the messages exhibited a higher level of intention to avoid binge drinking than those in the control group. In addition, the main effects of message framing and evidence type on attitude toward the message and the main effect of message framing on attitude toward drinking were found.
Cognitive Motivations and the Evaluation of Risk: The Role of Need for Affect and Cognition in How Individuals Act on Electronic Cigarettes • Se-Jin Kim, Colorado State University • This paper introduces a hybrid theoretical model of risk-based behavioral attitudes and intentions using the Theory of Reasoned Action, Dual Processing Risk Perception, the Heuristic Systematic Model, and Need for Affect and Need for Cognition. The model proposes that personality attributes, such as need for affect and need for cognition, information processing styles, and affective and cognitive risk perceptions are antecedents to attitudes and intentions. This study examines this model in the context of electronic cigarette consumption, and finds support for the overall model. Specifically, need for cognition, the need for thinking deeply, positively predicts systematic processing – a more effortful cognitive processing style, attitudes toward consuming electronic cigarettes, and behavioral intention toward consuming electronic cigarettes. Need for affect, the need for either adopting or avoiding strong emotions, negatively predicts heuristic processing – a more peripheral cognitive processing style, and subsequently social norms, attitudes about consuming and behavioral intentions toward electronic cigarettes.
Ties to the Local Community and South Carolinian Newspapers’ Coverage of Smoke-Free Policies • Sei-Hill Kim; James Thrasher, University of South Carolina; India Rose, ICF International – Public Health and Survey Research Division; Mary-Kathryn Craft, SC Tobacco-Free Collaborative Board of Directors; Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina • In this quantitative content analysis, we assess how smoke-free policies are presented in the South Carolinian newspapers. In particular, this study examines the extent to which newspapers’ coverage of smoke free-policies has represented the interests of their local communities. We compare newspapers in the communities whose economy relies heavily on the tourism and hospitality industry (The Post & Courier in Charleston and The Sun News in Myrtle Beach) and newspapers elsewhere (The State in Columbia and The Greenville News in Greenville), and see if there are meaningful differences between the newspapers in the way they portray smoke-free policies, particularly in terms of their selective uses of news sources and key arguments. Our findings indicated that South Carolinian newspapers portrayed smoke-free policies largely as a political issue. Many political reasons to either support or oppose the policies were found in almost two out of three articles. We also found that The Post & Courier and The Sun News were more likely than The State and The Greenville News to make arguments against smoke-free policies, and this was particularly so when they were talking about economic impacts of the policies. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.
Does Stigma against Smokers Really Motivate Cessation? A Moderated Mediation Effect of Anti-smoking Campaign • Jinyoung Kim, Pennsylvania State University; Xiaoxia Cao, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Eric Meczkowski • Anti-smoking campaigns frequently use stigmatizing messages to promote cessation. Qualitative researchers have raised concerns over the unintended consequences of broadcasting stigmatizing messages to low socioeconomic status populations. Our study seeks to empirically test this concern through an experiment that examines socioeconomic and emotional determinants of stigmatizing message effectiveness. Results indicate that stigmatizing messages are less effective for low SES populations and SES moderates the relationship between exposure to stigmatizing messages, shame, and cessation intention.
Segmenting Exergame Users Based on Perceptions on Playing Exergames Among College Students • Youjeong Kim, new york institute of technology; Hyang-Sook Kim, Towson University • To promote physical fitness by means of exergames and maintain adherence of exergame effects, it is imperative to understand when and why exergame users (dis)continue to play. Given two separate conceptualizations tied to exergames—as a type of video game or an exercise tool—a self-instructed online survey with 158 college students showed that non-regular exercisers perceived exergames as an exercise tool more strongly and showed more positive attitudes toward exergames as an exercise tool and intention to play than regular exercisers. No difference was found among any of the group specifications (regular vs. non-regular exercisers and exergame players vs. non-players) for the perception of exergames as a type of video game. However, the exergame player group showed a more positive attitude toward exergames as video games and greater intention to play than the non-player group. Implications for exergame business and health professionals were further discussed.
Who is Responsible for Climate Change? • Sei-Hill Kim; Jeong-Heon Chang, Korea University; Jea Chul Shim, Korea University; Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina • Analyzing data from a survey of South Koreans’ perceptions of climate change, this study examines whether the way people attribute responsibility can affect their perceived risks. We hypothesize that those who believe that the government or large corporations – as opposed to average citizens like themselves – are highly responsible for the negative consequences of climate change will perceive a greater risk because the risk is perceived to be beyond their own control and determined largely by another entity (i.e., the government or corporations). This study then examines the role of the media in shaping the audiences’ perceptions of who is responsible. More specifically, we investigate whether individuals’ use of news media for science information is associated with the extent to which they attribute responsibility for climate change. Attributing greater responsibility to the government was positively and significantly associated with perceptions of greater risks to self, to others, and to the next generation. Attributing responsibility to large corporations also had positive associations with perceived risks. Television news viewing was negatively and significantly associated with attributing responsibility to the government and to large corporations. On the contrary, uses of online bulletin boards and blogs were positively associated with blaming the government and corporations. Implications of the findings are discussed in detail.
Cultural Effects on Cancer Prevention Behaviors: Fatalistic Cancer Beliefs and Optimism Among East Asians • HyeKyung Kay Kim; May Lwin • Culture has been recognized as an important factor that influences health beliefs and health-related behaviors. This study examines culturally influenced beliefs about cancer risk and prevention, and their impact on the performance of four cancer prevention behaviors including regular exercise, avoid smoking, fruit and vegetable intake, and sunscreen use. To make cross-cultural comparisons, we used data from national surveys of European American (HINTS 4, Cycle3; N = 1,139) and East Asians in Singapore (N = 1,200). Compared to European Americans, East Asians were significantly less likely to engage in prevention behaviors, except avoiding smoking. East Asians appear to be more optimistic about their cancer risk and to hold stronger fatalistic beliefs about cancer prevention, which in turn partially explained cultural disparities in adherence to cancer prevention behaviors. Our findings underscore the need for developing culturally tailored interventions in communicating cancer causes and prevention. We discuss practical and theoretical implications of our findings.
Crowdfunding: Engaging the public in scientific research • Eun Jeong Koh, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Linda Pfeiffer, UW-Madison • Recent studies increasingly find that the medialization phenomenon is at work among scientists. We explore scientists’ medialization behaviors that attempt to increase public visibility in new media environments. Through content analysis of an online platform for crowdfunding, we observed medialization behaviors among the scientists who seek research funding through crowdfunding. Some of their strategies were positively associated with the amount of funding they received as pledges and the number of donors who supported their projects.
Healthy Concern for the Environment: How health framing can better engage audiences with news coverage of environmental issues. • Patrice Kohl • Social scientists suggest framing environmental stories to emphasize human health consequences could help build support for addressing environmental issues by eliciting attitudes and emotions favorable toward addressing environmental issues. Early empirical evidence supports this conclusion. This study contributes to this research with the finding that health framing can also increase reader interest in environmental stories. It also extends this body of research, which has so far focused on climate change, to an alternative environmental issue.
The Effects of Message Framing and Anthropomorphism on Empathy, Implicit and Explicit Green Attitudes • Sushma Kumble; Lee Ahern; Jose Aviles; Minhee Lee • Anthropomorphizing nature is common in many cultures–Earth is often and fondly referred to as ‘Mother Earth’ and nature as ‘Mother nature’. But does making nature more ‘human’ change perceptions and attitudes toward it? The current work examined the extent to which anthropomorphism and message framing help in formation of pro-environmental attitudes and behaviors by employing a 2×2 between subject factorial design. One novel aspect of the study was that it measures impacts on implicit, automatic green attitudes, as well as on explicit attitudes. Results indicated that while anthropomorphism did not have a significant main effect, gain-framed messages led to more positive green implicit and explicit attitude. Along with that, it was also seen that empathy mediated this relationship.
Window Dressing or Public Education? How Oil Companies’ Websites Address Public Concerns About Hydraulic Fracturing • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Hyo Jin Kim; Kristi Gilmore, Texas Tech University • We examined the petroleum industry’s communication efforts in regard to water issues surrounding the controversial process of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. Using textual analysis, we examined the websites of the top 10 U.S. oil and gas companies to see whether and how the corporations addressed the issues that the public are concerned about. Results showed that all eight companies that have adopted fracking addressed water issues relating to fracking, but the way they presented the information was not friendly to the public. We discuss the implications of the findings and suggest directions for future study.
Communal Risk Information Sharing: Motivations Behind Voluntary Information Sharing of Late Blight Infection in U.S. Agricultural Communities • Wang Liao, Cornell University; Connie Yuan, Cornell University; Katherine McComas, Cornell University • The paper presents a study of a national sample of tomato and potato growers in the United States (N = 452). This study focused on motivations behind voluntary information sharing of late blight, a devastating communal risk for agricultural economics. We examined three categories of motivations, ranging from personal concerns for immediate, extrinsic payoffs (i.e., economic costs and spending time/effort), to concerns for long-term or intrinsic benefits (i.e., reciprocity and altruistic enjoyment), and to community-based concerns (i.e., shared responsibility and community cohesiveness). The trustworthiness of risk information receiver was also examined. We found growers were motivated to share or not share information of late blight infection in their own farms by (a) economic concerns for business loss, (b) cooperative concerns for reciprocation and information receiver’s trustworthiness, and (c) normative concerns derived from a sense of shared responsibility, reciprocity, and community cohesiveness. We argued that more attention should be paid to risk information sharing, especially for communal risks, in addition to risk information seeking and processing.
Frame and Seek? Do Media Frame Combinations of Celebrity Health Disclosures Effect Health Information Seeking? • Susan LoRusso, University of Minnesota; Weijia Shi, University of Minnesota • This framing effects experimental study tests whether news stories reporting on a celebrity public health disclosure using disparate media frame combinations impact online health information seeking behavior and participant’s queried search terms. Nearly half of all participants participated in online information seeking, but there were no differences between conditions. Further results show a large effect size between media frame conditions and participants’ queried search terms when seeking online information.
The Effectiveness of Anti-drug Public Service Announcements on Cognitive Processing and Behavioral Intention: A Systematic Review of Current Research • Chen Lou, Michigan State University • This systematic review examined anti-drug public service announcements (PSAs)’ effectiveness among target audience. Six databases (PsychInfo, Pubmed, EMBASE, Cochrane Library, Communication and Mass Media Complete, and Web of Science) and forward citation lists were used to locate peer-reviewed published journal articles in English through September 2014. Studies that used randomized controlled trials (RCT) to examine anti-drug PSAs persuasive effects or mediators/moderators of their effects were included. Fifteen studies were identified after two rounds of search. Included studies’ characteristics (such as, sample size, sample age, gender, intervention type, intensity of intervention, mediator/moderators), key measures, and main results were extracted. All of the included studies were appraised based on the risk of bias criteria. Only three studies claimed PSAs’ effectiveness compared to the control messages. Four studies provided evidence that some anti-drug PSAs presented in certain contexts may have deleterious effects on their target populations. There were no conclusive arguments made on the mediators/moderators’ (e.g., gender, ethnicity, prior drug use, sensation seeking, message sensation value) effects on PSAs’ effectiveness.
Moms and media: Exploring the effects of online communication on infant feeding practices • Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Brooke McKeever, University of South Carolina • Using a survey of mothers with young children (N = 455), this study applies Fishbein and Ajzen’s (2011) Reasoned Action Approach (RAA) to examine the relationship between online communication and infant feeding practices. Contrary to expectations, attitudes, perceived normative pressure, and perceived behavioral control did not fully mediate the relationship between time spent online and behavioral intentions. Our findings indicate a significant, direct, negative association between time online and breastfeeding intentions.
The silent majority: Childhood vaccinations and antecedents for communicative action • Brooke McKeever, University of South Carolina; Robert McKeever, University of South Carolina; Avery Holton, University of Utah; Jo-Yun Queenie Li • The topic of childhood vaccinations has received much media attention recently, prompting scholars to examine how the public has responded. This study examines why individuals may involve themselves in communication about vaccinations. Drawing on several communication theories and using a survey of mothers (N = 455) this study finds that while affective and cognitive involvement may help drive communicative action, individuals who personally support vaccinations may be less likely to voice their opinions. Implications are discussed.
The Mediating Role of Media Use in an Elementary School Health Intervention Program • Dylan McLemore, Univ of Alabama; Lindsey Conlin, The University of Southern Mississippi; Xueying Zhang; Bijie Bie; Kim Bissell, University of Alabama; Scott Parrott • Media use – television in particular – has long been considered a risk factor for obesity in children. This study considered whether children’s media use mediated the success of an elementary school obesity intervention program. The intervention significantly increased children’s nutritional knowledge. Existing media use had no effect on the intervention, nor did it correlate with BMI or pre-existing knowledge or attitudes about exercise and nutrition. Findings are discussed within the context of media effects theory and health intervention practice.
Disease outbreaks on Twitter: An analysis of tweets during the #Ebola and #measles crises • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Shana Meganck; Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; EunHae (Grace) Park, Virginia Commonwealth University; Kellie Carlyle, Virginia Commonwealth University; Osita Iroegbu, Virginia Commonwealth University; Jerome Niyirora, SUNY Polytechnic Institute • Recent Ebola and measles outbreaks have brought both diseases to the forefront of public debate, and social media is one of the main places people are turning to learn more about the diseases, find like-minded individuals, and express opinions. Yet little is known about these conversations, and what can be learned from them. The goal of this study was to analyze the public’s engagement on social media as the two disease outbreaks turned into online crises. This study analyzed 2,000 tweets – 1,000 Ebola-focused tweets and 1,000 measles-focused tweets – with each sample collected at the height of each disease outbreak. Tweets were analyzed using the Risk Perception Model and the Health Belief Model. The results indicate that while Ebola-focused tweets elicited significantly more engagement than measles-focused tweets, both conversations displayed a high level of perceived severity of the diseases as well as a significant presence of risk perception variables. While Ebola tweets more often refer to identifiable victims, measles tweets, and especially those that already mention a fear of the MMR vaccine, more often speak of concern and fear and of peceived deception by medical authorities.
Physician Use and Policy Awareness of Open Access to Research and Their Views on Journalists’ Reporting of Research • Laura Moorhead, Stanford University • Through funding agency and publisher policies, an increasing proportion of the health sciences literature is being made open access. Such access raises questions about the awareness and utilization of this literature by physicians, as well as the role journalists may play in physicians’ need of journal articles. A sample of physicians (N=336) was provided with access to the research for one year; a subset of physicians (n=38) was interviewed about research use and perceived impact of journalists in creating a need for immediate access to embargoed research. The physicians in this study reported mixed feelings about the work of journalists. On one hand, they relied on journalists for publicly shared information, as they often had access to press releases from academic publishers. On the other hand, physicians were regularly frustrated by what they perceived as journalists’ inadequate or flawed coverage of health and medical matters through the misreporting of research. An opportunity exists for a partnership between physicians and journalists, particularly on the local level. Additionally, physicians and journalists face a similar need for immediate access to research as a way to better inform the public about issues of health care.
College Students’ Beverage Consumption Behaviors and the Path to Obesity • Cynthia Morton, University of Floridq; Naa Amponsah Dodoo, University of Florida • Research has established that high soft drink consumption, including carbonated beverages, fruit juices, and other sugar-based beverages are correlated with increased risk of obesity. College students are an urgent priority to curbing the path toward obesity since research suggests the college stage of life is where habits are solidified and weight gain occurs most quickly. The purpose of this research is to build on previous studies that have also explored college students’ food consumption habits by providing a closer examination of college students’ knowledge, beliefs, and behaviors. Survey research examined three the relationship between knowledge, beliefs, and beverage consumption behaviors. The findings and implications for health communication practitioners present an opportunity to identify message directions that speak to the college student segment in terms important to them.
No Pain, Lotta Gain: Risk-benefit information on cosmetic surgeons’ websites • SangHee Park, Bowling Green State University; Sung-Yeon Park, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University • This study analyzed the website homepages of 250 cosmetic surgeons to investigate how cosmetic surgeons’ websites provide information about the risks and benefits of cosmetic surgery. This study found that although cosmetic surgeons’ website homages emphasized psychological benefits of having the cosmetic surgery, they minimized psychological and physical risks of the surgery. They also addresses time and cost to increase perceived control over cosmetic surgery. Implications of these findings are discussed.
What Health Risk? Constructions of Definitional Power and Complex Science in Policy News • Linda Pfeiffer, UW-Madison • This research explores whether news constructions of complex science meet the critical information needs of the public when powerful actors work vigorously to define the dominant policy narrative. A mixed-methods frame analysis reveals that NGOs appear to be emergent as key health communicators. NGOs and citizen journalists prioritize issues of health, sustainability, and procedural justice. Comparatively, traditional media constructions predominantly reflect diversionary economic and deregulatory frames, with public-relations science confusion counter-framing overshadowing health risk narratives.
Gender and Race Representations of Scientists in Highlights for Children: A Content Analysis • Kathy Previs, Eastern Kentucky University • Researchers have found that girls lose interest in science by age nine (Steinke 2005; Rosser and Potter 1990) and have attributed this finding to misrepresentations of female scientists in the media (McIntosh 2014). While television, film, the Internet and textbooks have been analyzed for such representations, this study examines the extent to which females and minorities are portrayed over time in areas of science in a popular children’s magazine, Highlights for Children. The results indicate that, while males and whites have outnumbered females and minorities in depictions of science, Highlights has consistently exceeded the number of females and minorities actually employed in scientific fields.
The Effectiveness of Entertainment Education in Obesity Prevention • Weina Ran • The purpose of the study is to investigate the effectiveness of entertainment education (EE) and explicate its underlying persuasive mechanisms. Data from a longitudinal experiment show that compared to an explicit persuasive appeal, EE is more effective in preventing junk food consumption. Results also show that identification with media characters predicts less junk food consumption indirectly through self-efficacy. Implications are discussed for EE-oriented health interventions.
Message Frames on How Individuals Contract HIV and How Individuals Live with HIV in Combination Have Different Impacts on HIV Stigma • Chunbo Ren, Central Michigan University; Ming Lei, Cameron University • HIV stigma has become one of the most pressing concerns in global HIV response, and media are a key factor in HIV stigmatization. Given the salience of media framing of how individuals contract HIV and the framing of how individuals live with HIV, the current study explored the effects of the two media frames in tandem on HIV stigma to help inform the practice of reducing stigma toward people living with HIV (PLHIV). The study was a two (pretest-posttest) by two (HIV onset controllability framing) by two (living with HIV framing) mixed model experiment with a control group. The results of the current study suggest that HIV onset controllability remains a significant factor in HIV stigma. Media framing on how individuals live with HIV can influence people’s stigmatizing attitudes toward PLHIV, intentions of social distancing from PLHIV, and intentions to support coercive measures against PLHIV. The influence, however, must be interpreted with media framing on the onset controllability of HIV. Positive portrayals of living with HIV can reduce people’s intentions of social distancing from PLHIV but only when the positive portrayals are in combination with portrayals that PLHIV have contracted HIV due to less controllable behaviors. When the negative portrayals of living with HIV are combined with the portrayals that PLHIV have contracted HIV via controllable behaviors, the results can be drastic, as they increase people’s intentions to support coercive measures against PLHIV.
Vaccine-hesitant Justifications: From Narrative Transportation to the Conflation of Expertise • Nathan Rodriguez, University of Kansas • Vaccine-preventable diseases have re-emerged as more individuals have strayed from the recommended inoculation schedule. Previous work on vaccine hesitancy is generally limited to content analyses. Using grounded theory, this project examines vaccine debates on a prominent discussion board over a period of five years. Individuals tended to justify opposition or hesitancy toward vaccines through personal experience and/or research, and narrative transportation and the conflation of expertise help describe the most prominent characteristics of such discourse.
Framing the problem of childhood obesity in White House press releases: 2010 to 2014 • Jennifer Schwartz • This article outlines how the White House framed childhood obesity as a problem in White House press releases and official documents after First Lady Michelle Obama launched Feb. 9, 2010, the Let’s Move campaign, which was a federal campaign to define childhood obesity as a public health problem and offer solutions for reducing childhood obesity. This study found a decrease in attention to childhood obesity over time and an emphasis on defining childhood obesity as a problem and suggesting system-level solutions, such as changes to the food served in schools and improving the information environment in communities.
Seeking Treatment, Helping Others: Thematic Differences in Media Narratives between Traditional and New Media Content • Sarah Smith-Frigerio, University of Missouri; Cynthia Frisby, University of Missouri; Joseph Moore, University of Missouri; Abigail Gray; Miranda Craig, University of Missouri • One in five Americans deal with mental illness (NIMH, 2010), yet misrepresentation and stigma prevail in traditional media narratives. While scholars have called for changes in media narratives concerning mental illness, traditional media have been slow to adapt, and research of narratives in new media is limited. This study demonstrates thematic differences in narratives of mental illness in new media, and discusses how future research may further understanding about the construction of mental illness narratives.
Escapism in Exergames: Presence, enjoyment, and mood experience in predicting children’s attitudes towards Exergames • Shirley Ho, Nanyang Technological University; Jeremy Sng, Nanyang Technological University; Andrew Z. H. Yee; Woan Shin Tan; Ai Sian Ng; Victor Y. C. Yen; May Lwin • Obesity is a problem faced by countries all over the world today. Unhealthy eating habits and sedentary lifestyles have contributed to the growth in obesity among children in particular. Exergaming has been discussed as a possible way to encourage children to engage in physical activity. In this paper, we report on a survey which explores presence as a mechanism through which exergames may be associated with positive mood experiences and game enjoyment. The results (n = 345) revealed that presence was positively associated with mood experience and game enjoyment, game enjoyment and mood experience were positively correlated with attitudes towards exergaming, and attitudes towards exergaming were positively correlated with preference for future gameplay. In addition, mood experience was found to be a partial mediator of the relationship between presence and game enjoyment. Conclusions regarding the impact of exergames on adolescents, and practical implications for digital health interventions and exergame design are discussed.
Information and engagement: How scientific organizations are using social media in science public relations • Leona Yi-Fan Su; Dietram Scheufele; Dominique Brossard; Michael A. Xenos • This study examines the public relations practice of 250 scientific organizations through looking into their social media uses between 2010 and 2014. We found that they have increased the use of Twitter but decreased the use of Facebook. In particular, a majority of the messages comprises public information was shared in a one-way manner. A closer examination reveals that 92% of the discussions originated from the scientific organizations, suggesting a low level of public engagement.
Revisiting environmental citizenship: The role of information capital and media use • Bruno Takahashi, Michigan State University School of Journalism; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Anthony Van Witsen, Michigan State University; Ran Duan, Michigan State University • We propose, from an across-national perspective, a model of environmental citizenship that includes predictors at the individual and contextual levels. The model is based on multiple theoretical considerations from environmental sociology, media studies and economics. The study found that at the individual level, media use, environmental concern, and post-materialism positively predict environmental citizenship. However, the data also allowed us to test whether the effects of these variables vary depending on social and environmental contexts.
Aware, yet ignorant: The influences of funding and conflicts of interests in research among early career researchers • Meghnaa Tallapragada, Cornell University; Gina Eosco, Eastern Research Group; Katherine McComas, Cornell University • This study investigates the level of awareness about funding influences and potential conflicts of interests (COI) in research among early career researchers. The sample for this study included early career researchers who used one or more of the 14 U.S. laboratories associated with the National Nanotechnology Infrastructure Network. Results indicate that while early career researchers are aware of potential funding and COI influences, they remain ignorant on their role in addressing or managing these issues.
Toward a nuanced typology of media discourse of climate change, impact, and adaptation: An analysis of West African online news and social media • Jiun-Yi (Jenny) Tsai, Arizona State University • This study develops a nuanced typology to investigate how online news and social media (twitter) in West Africa frame climate change as a collective action problem, its impacts, and adaption efforts. Specifically, we distinguish four classes of framing discourse – cause, threat, solution and motivation. Content analysis of 1,344 English news articles shows dominance of threat frame and solution frame. Threats of climate change to food security, human health conditions, and environmental systems are prevalent. Within the solution frame, discourse largely emphasizes creation and implementation of policy and programs proposed by international governments or NGOs to tackle climate challenge, build local farmers’ capacity, and thereby enhance resilience. In stark contrast to discourse in the West, few articles debate its causes, focusing more on blaming human activity than on scientific uncertainty. Motivational frames are very uncommon. Theoretical contribution and implication are discussed.
The Entanglement of Sex, Culture, and Media in Genderizing Disease • Irene van Driel; Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Rachelle Pavelko, Indiana University; Maria Grabe; Paul Hendriks Vettehen; Mariska Kleemans; Gabi Schaap • This cross-national survey tested how biological sex, culture, and media factors cultivate gender-based susceptibility to diseases. Data were collected from 1,299 Millennials in two countries (US and the Netherlands), shown to differ in gender role socialization. Sex, national and individual gender role perceptions, and media use variables were entered into hierarchical regression models to predict genderization of 48 diseases. Results indicate that aside from sex and culture, medical media contribute to genderization of diseases.
How to Promote Green Social Capital?: Investigating Communication Influences on Environmental Issue Participation • Matthew S. VanDyke, Texas Tech University; Weiwu Zhang, Texas Tech University • The study proposes issue-specific measures of participation, which have been lacking from previous social capital scholarship. It examines how reliance on various communication channels influences environmental issue participation. Findings from an Internet survey suggest that perceived importance of environmental issues, reliance on print media, websites, and weblogs positively predict environmental civic and political participation. Reliance on social networking sites predicts civic but not political participation.
A Missed Opportunity?: NOAA’s Use of Social Media to Communicate Climate Science • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University; Matthew S. VanDyke, Texas Tech University; R. Glenn Cummins, Texas Tech University • The current study examined how the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA) utilizes social media to engage publics. Results suggest NOAA doesn’t fully utilize the dialogic potential of social media and seems to be missing an opportunity to enhance science literacy and trust in science regarding climate change specifically. This study informs how public relations theory may complement science communication theory and practice as deficit model-thinking transitions to contemporary approaches for public engagement with science.
The porn effect (?): Links between college men’s exposure to sexually explicit online materials and risky sexual health behaviors & attitudes • Ashley McLain; Kim Walsh-Childers, residential • A sample of 85 undergraduate males completed an online survey to determine if their use of sexually explicit Internet material (SEIM) was associated with sexual health behaviors and attitudes toward pornography and condom use. The study, based on Social Cognitive Theory, investigated whether frequency of exposure to SEIM was associated with more negative attitudes toward condom use, decreased condom use, less partner communication about sex and greater likelihood of engaging in sexual risk behaviors. SEIM exposure was a statistically significant predictor of risky sexual health behaviors for men of all racial groups and of condom use among men who listed their race as other. SEIM was not a predictor of partner communication. For black males, a positive attitude toward pornography was a predictor of less positive condom use attitudes. Post-hoc analyses revealed that, controlling for race, sexual risk behavior increased as positive attitudes toward pornography increased. Further research is needed to determine if the associations exist among other populations and to further investigate the role that race and sensation seeking may have on these associations.
Health narratives effectiveness: Examining the moderating role of persuasive intention • Weirui Wang, Florida International University; Fuyuan Shen • Prior research has indicated that narratives are more effective than non-narrative messages. One of the reasons is that narratives’ intention to persuade is often not explicit, and as a result, stories are less likely to be disputed. The goal of the present research is to examine the moderating role of persuasive intention in narrative persuasion. To do so, a 2 (Message format: narrative vs. non-narrative message) X 2 (Persuasive intention: intention vs. no intention) experiment with a factorial design was conducted among a total of 205 participants on the effects of health narrative messages. Results indicated that persuasive intention undermined the effects of narratives on persuasion through reducing believability and increasing reactance. Both believability and reactance were found to partially mediate the effects of narrative messages on attitudes and behavioral intention.
Motivated Processing of Fear Appeal Messages in Obesity Prevention Videos • Tianjiao Wang, Washington State University; Rachel Bailey, Washington State University • This study examined young adults’ physiological and cognitive responses to fear appeal obesity prevention messages that vary in emotional valence and intensity. Results suggested that valence of these messages impacted individuals’ attention and memory as a function of intensity. Coactive high intensity messages received the most attention, though visual recognition suggests these messages were more difficult to encode.
Zombie Fiction as Narrative Persuasion: Comparing Narrative Engagement in Text-Only and Visual Entertainment Education • Amanda J. Weed, Ohio University • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) launched a multimedia awareness campaign in 2011 to promote emergency preparedness to young audiences. At the heart of the campaign was Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, an example of narrative persuasion implemented as a comic book. The core persuasive message of the campaign was preparation for a zombie apocalypse through development of a personal emergency plan and creation of an emergency preparedness kit. As a form of narrative persuasion, comic books possibly go a step further than text-only stories by providing rich storytelling combined with vivid visual images. The purpose of this research was to examine the effect of presentation mode (text-only or comic book) on key outcomes of narrative persuasion and engagement including: a) strength of belief for the persuasive messages embedded in Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse, b) participant’s perceived relevance of the story, c) character identification and experience taking, and d) counter-arguments to the persuasive messages.
Communicating to Young Chinese about HPV Vaccination: Examining the Impact of Message Framing and Temporal Distance • Nainan Wen; Fuyuan Shen • This research investigated the influence of message framing (gain or loss) and temporal distance (present or future) on the intention of HPV vaccination. A total of 156 Chinese undergraduates participated in a controlled experiment in Macau, a Special Administrative Region of China. Results showed that message framing and temporal distance interacted to impact the intention of HPV vaccination. Particularly, among participants who had no prior knowledge of HPV vaccine, the gain-present and loss-future framed messages resulted in more positive attitudes toward the message, higher degree of perceived severity of HPV infection, and more likelihood to get HPV vaccination. Implications of the findings were discussed.
Up in vapor: Exploring the health messages of e-cigarette advertisements • Erin Willis, University of Memphis; Matthew Haught, University of Memphis; David Morris II, University of Memphis • Electronic cigarettes have gained popularity in the United States, and marketers are using advertising to recruit new users to their products. Despite outright bans on traditional cigarette advertisements, electronic cigarettes have no specific regulations. This study uses framing theory to explore the themes in e-cigarette advertisements. Practical implications are discussed for both public health practitioners and health communicators.
The case of Ebola: Risk information communicated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention using Twitter • Erin Willis, University of Memphis; Rosie Jahng, Hope College • The outbreak of Ebola in West Africa last year caused the U.S. to be on high alert. Tweets disseminated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during this time are examined with a focus on health literacy and health frames used to inform publics about the spread of Ebola. While the CDC has social media guidelines specifically for Twitter, the current research discusses practical implications when communicating risk information about a public health issue.
Climate Change in the Changing Climate of News Media: How Newspapers and Blogs Portray Climate Change in the United States • Lei Xie, Fairfield University • This study examines how major U.S. newspapers and grass-root blogs portrayed climate change by analyzing a combination of issue-independent and issue-specific frames: skepticism toward climate change, micro-issue salience, audience-based frames, and attribution of responsibility. Results from 372 stories show contrasting cross-media representation in terms of skepticism and other frames that inform public perception of the issue. Moreover, they provide important clues to understanding the discrepancy between the less skeptical news media and the indifferent American public and offer insights into the intricate relationship between mainstream media and grass-root blogs. Theoretical and methodological implications of this study call for a more systematic approach to frame analysis of climate change communication.
Mapping Science Communication Scholarship in China: Content Analysis on Breadth, Depth and Agenda of Published Research • Linjia Xu; Biaowen Huang; YUANYUAN DONG • This study presents data from a content analysis of published research with the keyword science communication (科学传播) in title or in key words, including academic paper published on journals and dissertations from the database China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI). 572 articles were coded using categories that identified science topics, theory, authorship and methods used in each study to examine the breadth and depth that Science Communication has achieved since its inception in China. We could see the history and scope of science communication, and juxtapose this historical overview in the backdrop of the current scholarship that appears. The depth and width of Chinese Science Communication researches are developing rapidly in the past 30 years. The focus of research topics are changing from the concepts and theories to sources and contents of communication. HPS (History and Philosophy of Science) scholars are the originator and dominance of this field rather than communication scholars. We also identified some notable trends and issues in research for the future development.
Chipping away the Stigma toward People Living with HIV: New Insights from Matching Frames of HIV Onset Controllability with Attitudinal Ambivalence • Changmin Yan, West Virginia University; Chunbo Ren, Central Michigan University • In a pre-post 2 (controllability framing: high or low) by 2 (attitudinal ambivalence: high or low) experimental design, this study investigated if stigma toward people living with HIV (PLHIV) can be reduced by matching HIV onset controllability framed stories with people’s levels of attitudinal ambivalence toward PLHIV. First, a controllability framing main effect was reported in a just-world attribution bias such that individuals in the low HIV onset controllability framing condition expressed less stigma toward PLHIV than those in the high HIV onset controllability condition. Second, an attitudinal ambivalence main effect was also observed such that people with a high level of ambivalence toward PLHIV reported less stigma toward PLHIV than the low-ambivalence individuals. Third, results also supported controllability framing by attitudinal ambivalence interaction effects. Specifically, a significant reduction in stigma toward PLHIV was recorded among people with a high level of ambivalence toward PLHIV when they read high HIV onset controllability-framed stories. Moreover, among the two high HIV onset controllability framing conditions, high-ambivalence individuals reported a significantly smaller increase of stigma than their low-ambivalence counterparts. In sum, the current study has demonstrated that stigma toward PLHIV could be temporarily reduced by matching low onset controllability stories with individuals who feel highly ambivalent toward PLHIV and that even the hard-to-change bias toward high onset controllability PLHIV can be situationally softened among the high-ambivalence individuals.
The Framing of GMOs in China’s Online Media After Golden Rice Scandal • Jinjie Yang • This study examines the framing of GMOs in Chinese news reports after the golden rice scandal using quantitative and qualitative approaches. Ninety news reports selected from related news articles published in 2013 showed five major frames: GMOs as a market issue, as a mature and reliable technology, as scientific progress, as technology that should be regulated, and as a disastrous invention. Analysis of the social factors behind each frame revealed gaps that pose challenges to risk communication.
Altruism during Ebola: Risk perception, issue salience, cultural cognition, and information processing • Zheng Yang, University at Buffalo • This study investigates how risk perception, issue salience, cultural cognition, and dual-process information processing influence individuals’ altruistic behavioral intentions. Data were collected through a nationally representative sample of 1,046 U.S. adults, who were randomly assigned to two experimental conditions that triggered different degrees of risk perception related to the Ebola outbreak. Results indicate that only in the high-risk condition, issue salience and deliberate processing increased individuals’ intentions to support families and friends to go to West Africa as Ebola responders. However, cultural cognition worldview and negative emotions such as sadness and anger were significantly related to altruistic behavioral intentions regardless of the experimental conditions. These findings suggest that affective responses diverge from cognitive processes in influencing risk-related decisions. Practically, as the U.S. continues to send experts to the affected countries in West Africa, results from this study suggest meaningful pathways to improve risk communication intended to encourage more altruistic and pro-social behaviors.
Motives and Underlying Desires of Hookup Apps Use and Risky Sexual Behaviors among Young Men who have Sex with Men in Hong Kong • Tien Ee Dominic Yeo, Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University; Yu Leung Ng, School of Communication, Hong Kong Baptist University • This study examines the role of motivation in the association between gay hookup apps use and risky sexual behaviors among young men who have sex with men (YMSM) in Hong Kong. Results indicate five motives for using gay hookup apps: surveillance, relationship, diversion, sex, and identity. Sexual sensation seeking moderated the relationship between sex motive and sexual encounters via apps. Romantic motivations moderated the relationship between surveillance motive and sexual encounters via apps.
Predicting Changes in Giving and Receiving Emotional Support within a Smartphone-Based Alcoholism Support Group • Woohyun Yoo, Dongguk University; Ming-Yuan Chih; Dhavan Shah; David Gustafson • This study explores how giving and receiving emotional support in a smartphone-based alcoholism support group change over time, and what factors predict the changing patterns. Data were collected as part of a randomized clinical trial of testing a smartphone-based relapse prevention system for people with alcohol use disorder. Giving and receiving emotional support were assessed by tracking and coding the 2,746 messages that 153 patients either wrote or read in a smartphone-based alcoholism support group during the 12-month study period. The final data used in the analysis were created by merging (1) computer-aided content analysis of emotional support messages, (2) action log data analysis of group usage, and (3) multiple waves of survey data. Findings suggest that giving and receiving emotional support in a smartphone-based alcoholism support group tend to decline over time. In addition, the initial value and growth rate of giving and receiving emotional support vary depending on the group participants’ characteristics. These features should be considered in building strategies for the design and implementation of smartphone-based support groups for people with alcohol use disorder.
Using Humor to Increase Persuasion of Shameful Health Issue Advertising: Testing the Effects of Individual’s Health Worry Levels • Hye Jin Yoon • Some health issues are strongly associated with shame, prompting individuals to withdraw from and avoid the issue. Using humor to communicate such issues can help buffer negative emotions and help reframe negative assessments. In testing the humor effects in shameful health issue advertising, an audience factor, a person’s general health worry level, is considered as a potential moderating variable. Three experiments found humor to benefit low health worry individuals in low shame conditions and high health worry individuals in high shame conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are given.
Social Representation of Cyberbullying and Adolescent Suicide: A Mixed-Method Analysis of News Stories • Rachel Young; Roma Subramanian; Stephanie Miles; Amanda Hinnant, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Julie Andsager, University of Tennessee • Cyberbullying has provoked public concern after well-publicized suicides of adolescents. This mixed-methods study investigates the social representation of these suicides. A content analysis of 189 U.S. newspaper articles found that nearly all articles suggest that bullying led to suicide. Few adhere to guidelines shown to protect against behavioral contagion. Thematic analysis found that individual suicides were used as cautionary tales to prompt attention to cyberbullying.
Facts, Not Fear: Negotiating Uncertainty on Social Media During the 2014 Ebola Crisis • Rachel Young; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa; Kajsa Dalrymple, University of Iowa • The recent Ebola outbreak posed communication challenges for the CDC. In a thematic analysis of more than 1,000 tweets as well as engagement with the public in Twitter chats, we found that the CDC emphasized organizational competence, extant protocol, and facts about transmission to manage public fear. An emphasis on certainty in a situation defined by uncertainty left the CDC vulnerable to charges of unpreparedness or obfuscation. Implications for future research are discussed.
Attitudes toward Antismoking Public Service Announcements: • Jay Hyunjae Yu; Changhyun Han, Sogang University • The smoking rate of younger adults (aged 18–24 years) has not changed much since 1997, even though much effort has been made by a range of organizations to encourage this group either to not initiate or to quit smoking. Among such efforts, public service announcements have been one of the major tools used to accomplish this goal. This experimental study (3 × 3 design) investigated the possible effects of using different types of endorsers (celebrities, professionals, peer groups) and different message framing styles (gain framing, loss framing, and neutral) to create better content for antismoking public service announcements. The results showed that there were not only main effects of different message framing styles, but also interaction effects of different endorsers and different message framing styles. More specifically, an antismoking public service announcement using celebrities and positively framed messages (i.e., talking about the positive consequences of quitting smoking) caused participants to show a better attitude toward the advertisement. The implications are provided for communication researchers and practitioners responsible for planning specific content for antismoking public service announcements.
The Effects of Self-Efficacy and Message Framing on Flu Vaccination Message Persuasiveness among College Students • Xuan Zhu; Jiyoon Lee; Lauren Duffy • In the present study, the authors investigated the potential interaction between self-efficacy and gain and loss message framing on the effectiveness of flu vaccination health messages in the college setting. Results from an experiment with 149 college student subjects showed that individuals with high self-efficacy exhibited greater intention to receive flu vaccination regardless of framing condition. In addition, an interaction between self-efficacy and perceived threat was evident on attitude. Implications for health intervention were discussed.
The Role of Efficacy Appraisal and Emotions on the Health Message Framing Effects • Xuan Zhu; Heewon Im, University of Minnesota • This study investigated the moderating role of efficacy appraisal (i.e., self-efficacy and response efficacy) on the message framing effects. Emotions were proposed to mediate message framing effects and the interaction between message framing and efficacy appraisal. Results from an experiment showed that efficacy appraisal moderated the message framing effects on attitude toward performing disease prevention behaviors. Happy and anger mediated message framing effects, but no supporting evidence was found for the mediated moderation effects.
On Facebook, sex does not sell! Effects of sex appeal and model gender on effectiveness of Facebook ads for healthy and unhealthy food products • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Mengyan Ma, Michigan State University; Wan Wang, Michigan State University • The current study uses a 2 (sex appeal) x 2 (model gender) x 2 (product healthfulness) x 3 (message repetition) mixed factorial design to investigate the effects of sex appeal and model gender on attitudes toward the ads, attitudes toward the brand, viral behavioral intentions, and purchase intentions for healthy and unhealthy food products. Participants (N = 316) were randomly assigned to see Facebook ads for healthy and unhealthy products featuring male or female models with low or high sex appeal. Findings showed that ads and brands in ads with low sex appeal were rated more favorably than those with high sex appeal. Results also showed that the effects of two-way interaction between sex appeal and model gender on attitudes toward the ad and the brand were significant. Additionally, the study used Hayes (2013) PROCESS to test for a series of serial mediation models with regard to the effect of sex appeal on purchase intention through the serial ordering of attitudes toward the ad, attitude toward the brand, and viral behavioral intentions. Findings are discussed in relation to health-related policy, advertising effectiveness models, and persuasion models.
Opening the Advertising Crayon Box: Applying Kobayashi’s Color Theory to Advertising Effectiveness • Nasser Almutairi, Michigan State University; Carie Cunningham, Michigan State University; Kirstyn Shiner, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • While advertising creativity remains largely a subjective practice of art directors and graphic designers, the current study systematically tested the effectiveness of different color combinations as they pertain to ad and brand evaluations, as well as online and offline behavioral intentions. Using a 13 (color combinations) x 3 (message repetition) mixed factorial design, participants (N = 322) were exposed to three ads that varied in the color combinations used in the ad design in accordance with Kobayashi’s (1990) color theory. Findings showed that the effect of color combinations was significant only for attitudes toward the ads and brands, yet did not affect viral behavioral intentions and purchase intentions. The study’s findings are discussed within the context of extending traditional advertising models to bring about a systematic understanding of the psychological effects of color in relation to attitude and behavior change.
Children’s Understanding of Social Media Advergames • Soontae An, Ewha Womans University • This study examined children’s understanding of social media advergames and the effects of cognitive and attitudinal advertising literacy on children’s susceptibility to advertising. Results of a survey of 556 children aged 7 to 11 showed that half of the children could correctly identify the social media advergame as a type of advertising, while the other half could not. Comparisons revealed that older students were more capable of identifying advertising. Regression results showed that grade, gender, and Internet usage were factors positively associated with children’s intention of visiting the site featured in the advergame. Students that were of a lower grade, female, or had high Internet usage were more likely to want to visit the store advertised. After controlling for demographics and media usage, children’s cognitive and attitudinal advertising literacy and the interaction term were all statistically significant. The significant interaction effect demonstrated that those who were able to identify advertising and possessed positive views towards ads showed the highest inclination of visiting the featured site, while those who identified advertising with negative views toward ads displayed the lowest intention. The moderating role of attitudinal literacy indicates the importance of combining both cognitive and attitudinal advertising literacy.
Effects of Various Cause-Related Marketing (CRM) Campaign Types on Consumers’ Visual Attention, Perceptions, and Purchase Intentions • Mikyeung Bae, Michigan State University; Patricia Huddleston, Michigan State University • The goal of this study was to identify whether types of cause-related marketing (CRM) campaign appeal (functional/ emotional/ a combination of the two) influenced consumer visual attention and perceptions of the campaign, thus leading to purchase intention. Guided by the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM), this study investigated which components of CRM campaign appeals contributed most to effectiveness in capturing consumers’ visual attention under high versus low involvement with a social cause. The results showed that participants who were more involved with social causes paid more attention to the body text that provided an overview of the company’s socially responsible behavior as demonstrated through total visit duration (TVD). The results of the partial least squares structural modeling analysis revealed that perceived corporate credibility played an important role in influencing attitude toward a CRM campaign regardless of the type of appeal. The findings demonstrated here allow marketers to evaluate which type of appeal is more appropriate for a given CRM campaign and product.
The Effect of Message Valence on Recall and Recognition of Prescription Drug Ad Information • Jennifer Ball, University of Minnesota; Taemin Kim, University of Minnesota • Consumer-directed prescription drug ads (DTCA) are required to present drug benefits and risks in a balanced manner. There is concern, though, that benefits are often conveyed through emotional appeals that interfere with comprehension of risk information in the message. However, there remains a lack of empirical work investigating this claim. Applying limited capacity theory, results of an experiment indicated recall and recognition of ad information was best for an ad with a neutral tone and weakest for a negative tone while the positive tone results differed between recognition and recall.
Advertising LGBT-themed films to mainstream and niche audiences: variations in portrayal of intimacy and stereotypes • Joseph Cabosky, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Research of LGBT-content in advertisements remains limited. While most products are not inherently queer in nature, this content analysis analyzed advertisements for LGBT-themed films to explore whether there was variation in the portrayal of LGBT-content in ads depending on the distribution width of the product and its date of release. Findings indicated that ad content varied greatly based on the width of release but not when measuring time, countering findings from other media forms.
Adolescents’ responses to food and beverage advertising in China • Kara Chan, Hong Kong Baptist University; Tommy Tse, University of Hong Kong; Daisy Tam, Hong Kong Baptist University; Anqi Huang, Hong Kong Baptist University • Both global and local food marketers have been marketing actively with children and youths in China. Adolescents are important targets for healthy eating as they are being more independent in making food decisions. Social marketers and health educators need to learn from food marketers effective strategies that can communicate creatively with this target segment. Four focus-group interviews were conducted with twenty-four grade 7 students aged 12 to 13 in Changsha, a second-tier city in China. Participants were asked to report their favorite food and beverage commercials, and explain why they liked the advertisements. Altogether 21 commercials were reported as favorite commercials. Results indicated that entertainment value, presenting food as tasty, adopting celebrities as endorsers, memorable jingles/slogans, as well as aesthetically pleasing were main attributes of the advertisements that won the participants’ hearts. Comparison of the results with attributes of likable commercials among Hong Kong adolescents was made.
Taste and Nutrition: The Uses and Effectiveness of Different Advertising Claims in Women’s Magazine Food Advertisements • Yang Feng, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise; Jiwoo Park, Northwood University • A multi-method study was conducted to examine the use of different advertising claims in current food advertising and then determine the effectiveness of different advertising claims on females’ evaluative judgments of food advertisement. Content analysis results of 678 women’s magazine food ads indicated a substantial use of taste and nutrient content claims paired with specific nutrition appeals. Functional food ads appeared to adopt nutrition appeals or a combined use of nutrition appeals and taste claims, whereas hedonic food ads tended to use taste claims without nutrition appeals. Nevertheless, these current practices of food advertising were called into question by the results of two experiments and one focus group, which showed the combined use of nutrition appeals and taste claims was the most effective strategy for both hedonic and functional foods. However, for hedonic foods, each single nutrition appeal should neither be extremely incongruent to the nature of hedonic food product nor extremely contradictory to the taste claims in the same ad.
A Content Analysis of Green Advertising: What Has Changed in Twenty Years • Sigal Segev, Florida International University; Juliana Fernandes, University of Miami; Cheng Hong, University of Miami • This paper reassesses the changes in green advertising since the first content analysis on the topic was conducted. A total of 433 unique ads from 18 magazines published in 2009 and 2010 was employed. Results show that greenwashing is still prevalent 20 years later compared to Carlson et al.’s (1993) study. However, the change lies on the type of claims: product-oriented claims were more misleading while image-enhancing claims were deemed more acceptable, opposite to previous findings.
Still funny? The effect of humor in ethically violating advertising • Kati Foerster, U of Vienna; Cornelia Brantner, U of Vienna • This study aims to better understand the masking effect of humor in advertising. The paper focuses on the question: Are ethically violating advertisements perceived as less unethically by advertising councilors if they contain humor? Our results indicate that humor and decision are only spuriously associated and that the masking effect disappears when depicted sexism is included. Moreover, gender affects the decisions, but does not moderate the effects of humor and sexism.
Factors Influencing Intention to Use Location-Based Mobile Advertising among Young Mobile User Segments • Jun Heo, Louisiana State University; Chen-Wei Chang, University of Southern Mississippi • The purpose of this study is twofold: 1) to examine determinants of intention to use location-based advertising (LBA) and 2) to explore possible mobile user segments among college students. The results suggest that the determinants may differently influence two mobile user segments: innovative believers and conventional skeptics and that marketers need to approach them differently in order to increase the opt-in intention of LBA. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.
The activation of social identities through advertising: How brand loyalty is influenced by out-group perceptions related to political identity • Jennifer Hoewe, University of Alabama; Peter K. Hatemi, Penn State University • This study merges literatures utilizing social identity theory in reference to brand loyalty and political identity to determine how advertisements can activate these identities and influence product selection. Using an experimental design, it tests the inclusion of a perceived out-group in an advertisement for a well-established brand to determine if political identity interacts with the advertisement’s content to predict consumption of that product. The results indicate that an advertisement’s activation of one’s political identity can either change or reinforce brand loyalty. Specifically, more conservative individuals responded to the presence of Muslim and Arab individuals in a Coca-Cola advertisement by selecting Pepsi products; whereas, more liberal individuals responded to this advertisement by maintaining their initial brand loyalty for Coca-Cola products.
Skepticism toward Over-the-Counter Drug Advertising (OTCA): A Comparison of Older and Younger Consumers • Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota; Denise DeLorme, University of Central Florida; Leonard Reid, University of Georgia / Virginia Commonwealth University • This study examined age-related differences in consumers’ skepticism toward over-the-counter drug advertising (OTCA) as a type of consumer persuasion knowledge. The results from a U.S. nationally-representative survey indicate that older consumers are less skeptical of OTCA than are younger consumers. This study also shows some interesting differences between the two age groups in terms of predictors of ad skepticism and the relationship between ad skepticism and ad outcomes.
The Effects of Mixed Emotional Appeals: Construal Level Theory Perspective • Wonseok (Eric) Jang, University of Florida; Jon D. Morris, University of Florida; Yong Jae Ko, University of Florida; Robyn J Goodman, University of Florida • By using construal level theory as a theoretical framework, the current study proposes that the psychological distance that people create toward advertised products would determine the effectiveness of mixed emotional appeal. The results of experiment 1 indicated that, when people formed a close psychological distance toward an advertised product, the mixed emotion appeal decreased the effectiveness of the advertisements. Meanwhile, when people formed a far psychological distance toward an advertised product, the effect of mixed emotional appeal was significantly enhanced compared to a close psychological distance condition. Furthermore, the results of experiment 2 indicated that the effects of different sequences of mixed emotion appeals (improving vs. declining view) are also moderated by the psychological distance people formed with the advertised object. When people formed a close psychological distance, an improving sequence was more effective in creating overall perceptions than a declining sequence. In contrast, when people formed a far psychological distance, both improving and declining sequences were equally effective in creating overall positive perceptions of mixed emotional appeals and advertised events.
The Effectiveness of Warning Labels and Ecolabels in Different Contexts • YONGICK JEONG, Louisiana State University • This research conducted two studies to investigate the effectiveness of different label messages in different context formats (Ad/PSA, study 1) and in different context-induced moods (Positive/Negative, Study 2). The findings indicate that attitude toward labels and behavioral change intention are higher in PSAs than ads, and health warning labels are generally more effective than ecolabels. The interactions between label types and context formats as well as label types and context-induced moods are also discussed.
Factors Influencing OOH Advertising Effects: A Prediction Model for Billboard Advertising • Yong Seok CHEON; Jong Woo JUN, Dankook University; Hyun PARK, Dankook University • This study was conducted to develop indicators for out-of-home (OOH) fundraising advertising and establish a prediction model accordingly. Fundraising OOH advertising has a special purpose and is run by the government to support international events. These advertisements are installed around expressways in Korea in spots not legally available to other advertisements. The fact these are the only advertisements that can be legally installed and managed in these locations makes this advertising distinct. Moreover, this advertising has standardized specifications, format, installation spots, and methods, and thus the advertising effects are easier to measure compared to other OOH advertising. Variables that influenced these advertising effects included form, design, and text size among the visual characteristics, and driving speed, visual clutter, visibility range, separation distance, installation height, and installation position among physical characteristics. These results were used to present the attention rate prediction model. Moreover, this study verified variables that influenced the attention rate according to individuals in the vehicle. For drivers, the influential variables were the same as those affecting total attention rate, whereas for passengers, the influence of driving speed was not statistically significant; however, the amount of text turned out to influence the attention rate of passengers.
Differential Responses of Loyal versus Habitual Consumers Towards Mobile Site Personalization on Privacy Management • Hyunjin Kang, George Washington University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University; Leona Tam, University of Wollongong • We examine how two different underlying mechanisms of behavioral loyalty to a brand—attitudinal loyalty and habit—impact smartphone users’ privacy management when they browse personalized vs. non-personalized mobile websites. The study finds different responses of attitudinal loyalty and habit towards personalization in significant three-way interactions between personalization, attitudinal loyalty, and habit on privacy disclosure and protection behaviors. When interacting with a personalized website, highly habitual consumers without high level of attitudinal loyalty disclosed the most personal information on a personalized mobile site, and displayed the least intention of protecting their privacy on their smartphones, whereas consumers with high levels of both habit and attitudinal loyalty reported the highest tendency of privacy protection behavior. However, habit and personalization do not have a significant effect on disclosure behaviors when users have high attitudinal loyalty to a brand. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
A Mutualist Theory of Processing PSAs and Ethically Problematic Commercials • Esther Thorson, Missouri School of Journalism; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, Southern Methodist University; Heesook Choi; Tatsiana Karaliova, Missouri School of Journalism; Eunseon (Penny) Kwon • The paper combines qualitative descriptions of people’s response to PSAs and ethically problematic commercials (dangerous and sexual appeals), with their quantitative scoring of attitudes toward the commercials, and their experience affect and arousal while watching. The qualitative responses are coded into five categories of dominant meaning: Descriptive/Neutral, Deconstructing/Rejecting, Positive/Connect, Positive/Aspiration/Identify, and Persuasion Identification. The dominant meanings predict the quantitative responses well. The perceived meanings demonstrate that some respondents are sensitive to the ethical problems in dangerous and sexual appeals.
Effects of Online Video Advertising Message and Placement Strategies on Ad Avoidance and Attitudinal Outcomes • Soojung Kim, University of Minnesota; Jisu Huh, University of Minnesota • This study examined effects of ad-video similarity and ad location on online video ad avoidance and attitudinal outcomes, and tested the mediating roles of perceived relevance and psychological reactance. Experimental results showed a similar (vs. dissimilar) ad was perceived more relevant and generated more positive attitudes and lower ad avoidance, while the effect of ad-location was more limited. Perceived relevance mediated the effects of ad-video similarity on attitudinal outcomes. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
The Effect of Time Restriction and Explicit Deadline on Purchase Intention: Moderating Role of Construal Level • Hyuksoo Kim, Ball State University; Jee Young Chung; Michael Lee • Applying construal level theory as a theoretical framework, this study investigated how consumers process the time restricted promotional offer. Also, the study employed the type of deadline of the promotional offer (explicit vs. implicit). The conditions include time restriction (Yes vs. No), construal level (high vs. low), and types of deadline (implicit vs. explicit). Online experimental data from 217 college students revealed that time restriction and explicit deadline influenced purchase intention positively. The findings also found the moderating effects of individual differences in construal level in explaining the effect of time restriction and types of deadline on purchase intention. Theoretical and managerial implications were discussed for researchers and practitioners.
The Effect of Advertisement Customization on Internet Users’ Perceptions of Forced Exposure and Persuasion • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University (SHSU); S. Shyam Sundar, Penn State University • In the context of forced ad interruption during Internet use, this research tested how ad customization influences users’ perceptions of the ad as well as attitudes toward the ad and the website in different advertising loading sequences. A 2 (ad customization vs. non-ad customization) X 3 (pre-rolls vs. middle-rolls vs. post-rolls) factorial experiment revealed that offering ad self-selection through customization tends to induce users’ positive attitudes toward forced exposure to the ad as well as toward the website that hosts the ad. Moreover, users’ perceived control plays an important underlying mechanism in this relationship, particularly in regard to the impact of ad customization on persuasion. The findings have theoretical and practical implications on the use of online advertising interruptions.
Examining Gender Stereotypes in Advertisements Broadcast During the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games • Lance Kinney, University of Alabama; Brittany Galloway; Sara Lavender; Se Na Lim, University of Alabama • Olympics telecasts are scrutinized for stereotypical portrayals of male and female competitors, but ads broadcast during the Olympics are seldom analyzed. This research details content analysis of 270 ads from NBC’s coverage of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. The ads were less stereotypical than ads in other types of programming. Primary characters are likely to be male or female, most of the advertised products are for suitable for use by males or females, and female athletes are frequently observed in the ads. Some stereotypes, including male voiceovers and males dominance of electronic/communication categories were observed.
Creating Brand Personality through Brand Placement and Media Characters –The Role of Parasocial Interaction and Brand Familiarity • Johannes Knoll; Holger Schramm; Christiana Schallhorn • Brand placements seem to be an especially effective way of communicating brand personality as they are frequently associated with media characters encouraging consumers to make direct connections between a brand and a character’s personality. Following theoretical developments in research on parasocial interactions (PSI), consumers are assumed to derive brand personalities from their PSI with associated media characters and not directly from the characters’ personalities themselves. In addition, brand familiarity is assumed to moderate this mediating influence of PSI since information pertaining to media characters can be connected more easily to preexisting brand schemas following schema theory. Testing this assumptions a 1 x 2 between-subject experiment was conducted. Results confirmed the mediating role of PSI and the moderating role of brand familiarity. Theoretical as well as practical implications for creating brand personality through brand placements are discussed.
Advertising in Social Media: A Review of Empirical Evidence • Johannes Knoll • This article presents an up-to-date review of academic and empirical research on advertising in social media. Two international databases from business and communication studies were searched, identifying 43 relevant studies. The findings of the identified studies were organized by seven emerging themes: advertising occurrence, attitudes about and exposure to advertising, targeting, user-generated content in advertising, electronic word-of-mouth in advertising, consumer-generated advertising, and further advertising effects. Although many studies have investigated attitudes toward advertising in social media and consumer-generated advertising, few have explored targeting and advertising effects in general. In addition, advertisers and researchers are missing a general overview of what is advertised in social media and how advertising is done in this context. Seven avenues for future research are discussed.
Do Ethnicity of Consumers and Featured Models Matter in CSR Messages? A Comparison of Asian and White Americans • Yoon-Joo Lee, Washington State University; Sora Kim • This study explains, based on motivated reasoning and self-referencing information processing mechanisms, why a mismatch between target consumers and featured model race might work better among some ethnic groups, especially Asian Americans, in the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR) ads. Through an experiment design, the study revealed that for both Asian and white Americans, perception toward money as status can have a significant effect on consumers’ perceptions toward an advertiser’s motive as genuine, purchase intention, and attitude toward the CSR ads through a moderated mediator, self-referencing. Further, Asian Americans who have a high level of perception toward money as status were more likely to evaluate corporate social responsibility ad messages featuring a white model positively than the ads with an Asian model. However, white Americans did not vary their perception of CSR ads based on model’s race. The managerial implications are discussed further.
The Effectiveness of Consumer Characteristics in Cause-related Marketing: The Role of Involvement in a Extended Theory of Planned Behavior Model • Jaejin Lee, Florida State University • The purpose of this study is to explore the effectiveness of consumer characteristics (attitudes, social norms, perceived consumer characteristics, and cause involvement) in cause-related marketing by employing a Revised Theory of Planned Behavior Model. The results shows a statistically significant effect of attitude toward the cause-related product consumption, social norms (injunctive, descriptive, and moral norms), perceived consumer effectiveness on purchase intentions. Especially, moral norms shows a strongest effect among these variables while injunctive and descriptive norms were negatively affect. Also, there is an effectiveness of level of cause involvement in the extended TPB model. Implications and limitations are discussed.
The Effects of Message Framing and Reference Points of PSAs on Bystander Intervention in Binge-Drinking • Kang Li; Nora Rifon • This study investigates the effectiveness of anti-binge-drinking PSAs from the angle of encouraging bystander intervention behaviors among college students through an online experiment. The results indicate that loss framing is more effective than gain framing in leading to a stronger intervention intention in binge drinking; and self-other referencing is more effective than other referencing. Moreover, involvement with ads mediates the interaction effects between message framing and reference points on ad attitudes, which in turn influences intervention intentions. In addition, women have higher involvement with ads and stronger intention to intervene in binge drinking situations than men.
Following Brands on Social Media Apps: The Effect of Intent to Continue Receiving Branded Posts on Attitudes toward Brands that Post • Kelty Logan, University of Colorado Boulder • This study proposes a direct, causal relationship among beliefs, attitudes and satisfaction regarding receiving branded posts on mobile social media. Furthermore, in accordance with the expectation-confirmation theoretical framework, satisfaction with the experience of receiving branded posts is causally related to the decision to continue following brands on mobile social media. This study extends the ECT model to explain how continuance generates positive brand attitudes, providing a theoretically based rationale to support the notion that branded posts on mobile social media can, in fact, build brand equity.
How Product Type and Sexual Orientation Schema Affect Consumer Response to Gay and Lesbian Imagery • Kathrynn Pounders, The University of Texas at Austin; Amanda Mabry, The University of Texas at Austin • Gay and lesbian consumers are increasingly recognized as a lucrative target market. Advertisements more frequently incorporate images of people who are gay and lesbian; however, more research is needed to understand mainstream (heterosexual) consumer response to these ads. Two studies were conducted to explore how sexual orientation, product type, and model-product fit influence consumer reactions to ads with gay and lesbian imagery. Findings suggest product type moderates the effect of sexual orientation on attitude toward the ad and word-of-mouth and that positive evaluations of an ad may occur when gay and lesbian imagery “fits” within a consumers’ existing schemas. This work offers implications for advertisers and brand managers.
Tablets and TV advertising: Understanding the viewing experience • Stephen McCreery, Appalachian State University; Dean Krugman, University of Georgia, The Grady College • A paucity of work exists regarding how advertising fares on the growing technology of tablets. This study examines the processes and attitudes toward advertising while streaming TV and movie content on tablets, using the predictors of advertising avoidance, irritation, and skepticism. A survey of adult iPad users in the U.S. reveals that while ad avoidance did not differ between the iPad and television, ad irritation was significantly higher on the iPad. Further, whereas both ad skepticism and irritation were correlated with avoidance, it was irritation that was the predictor, not skepticism. Implications for the future of TV advertising on the iPad are discussed.
Personalized Advertising on Smartphones • Saraphine Pang, SK Planet; Sejung Marina Choi • Smartphones have changed our lifestyles in many ways, allowing us to live ‘smarter’ lives. Smart devices lead to smart content, through which, smart advertising – personalized ads that are tailored to the consumer – have also found their place in the ‘smart’ world. The main idea of smart ads is the ability to personalize advertising content to the consumer. In other words, smart ads are personalized ads on smartphones. Personalized ads make use of consumer data to target ads according to individual preferences. However, while personalization could lead to favorable responses due to its relevancy to the consumer, privacy issues may lead to avoidance as personal information is used to target specific ads to the consumer. Past studies on personalized ads have mostly been conducted in non-mobile environments and focused only on one type of personalization. The increasing reliance on smartphones calls for research on this highly personalized medium. Therefore, the aim of this study was to look at the three facets of personalization – time, location and identity – and their combined effects on perceived personalization. Implications and future studies are discussed.
Effects of Platform Credibility in Political Advertising • Chang Sup Park, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania • This research examined how partisan media as a campaign ad platform affect voters, focusing on the presence of partisanship and perceived platform credibility. In a 3 (conservative party supporters, liberal party supporters, nonpartisans) x 2 (contrasting platforms) x 2 (platform credibility) factorial design, participants saw a campaign ad surrounded by either a conserva-tive medium or a liberal medium. The results illustrate the contrasting ad platforms exerted different influence depending on the presence of partisanship. An additional analysis finds that nonpartisan voters’ perceived credibility for an ad platform makes a measurable differ-ence in the evaluation of the ad and the recall of the ad messages. The findings suggest that nonpartisans process political ad messages along the central route when they perceive the ad platform to be credible.
The Impact of Distraction on Spotting Deceptive Reviews • Sann Ryu, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Patrick Vargas, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • We investigated how individual differences, such as personality traits and media multitasking habits, interact with distraction to affect people’s ability to detect deceptive product (hotel) reviews. The results showed no main effect of musical distraction on people’s deception detection ability. However, we found interactive effects of musical distraction with personality traits on, and positive correlations of media multitasking level with the ability to spot fake reviews.
Gender and the effectiveness of using sexual appeals in advertising • Lelia Samson • This study empirically investigates the effectiveness of using sexual appeals in advertising on men and women. It examines memory for the commercials activated by sexual versus nonsexual appeals. A mixed-factorial experiment was conducted. Recognition and free recall measures were recorded in 151 participants. The results indicate that sexual appeals enhance memory for the ads themselves. But they distract from processing brand-related information. Male participants encoded and recalled less brand-related information from ads with sexual appeals.
#AirbrushingREJECTED: Testing millennials’ perceptions of retouched and unretouched images in advertising campaigns • Heather Shoenberger, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • While digital retouching of images has become the relative norm in the context of advertising, we are beginning to see a shift in that trend. The millennial generation is calling for “truth” in images, and brands are taking note. This study uses a between subjects quasi experimental design with two levels of the manipulated independent variable to provide empirical evidence regarding the perceptions of image manipulation on perceptions of truth in advertising, the alignment with peer and self-ethical values, and social media and peer-to-peer engagement.
Narratives in Political Advertising: An Analysis of the Ads in the 2014 Midterm Elections • Michail Vafeiadis; Ruobing Li; Fuyuan Shen • This study examined the use of narratives in the political advertisements during the 2014 midterm American elections. A content analysis of 243 ads indicates that generally issue-related narratives are preferred to character ones. However, differences exist in relation to their use by party affiliation since Democrats prefer character testimonials, whereas Republicans issue testimonials. The results reveal that attack ads are mostly used by candidates who lost the election. Our findings also shed light on the nonverbal cues contained in narrative ads as winners more frequently employed autobiographical spots and had family members as primary speakers as opposed to losers who mostly relied on anonymous announcers. Overall, these findings suggest that narratives in political ads are playing an increasingly important role during elections. Implications for the effective use of narratives in political campaigns are discussed.
Information Source Evaluation Strategies that Individuals use in eWOM on Social Media • Veranika Varabyova; Michelle Nelson, UIUC • The abundance of information sources in the online environment forces individuals to choose sources they trust. Previously, researchers mostly examined sources of information separately in experimental settings. Using in-depth interviews, we examine how individuals gauge trustworthiness of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) information sources in social media. Findings show that individuals use five distinct strategies (popularity, source expertise on the subject, opinion multiplicity, likable group influence and unbiased opinion) to evaluate sources. Consequences for advertising are discussed.
Empowerment: The Overlooked Dimension of Emotional Response • Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Jon D. Morris, University of Florida • Emotional responses toward advertising have substantial effects on consumers’ attitudinal evaluation and behavioral intentions. These responses were organized in three distinctive dimensions, Appeal, Engagement, and Empowerment. Previous research either failed to find the independent effect of Empowerment or only focused on the other two dimensions. This study manipulated the level of Empowerment (high vs. low) and controlled for Appeal and Engagement to examine the effects of Empowerment on behavioral intentions. Results showed that subjects perceived a significantly higher level Empowerment when exposed to anger appeals verses to fear appeals. Further, high Empowerment triggers stronger behavioral intentions to approach the issues than low Empowerment. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.
Emotional responses to cause-related advertisements • Jay Hyunjae Yu; Gapyeon Jeong • Purpose – This study aims to investigate consumers’ multi-level information processing of cause-related advertisements that are representative of corporate cause-related marketing. In particular, this study considers consumers’ information processing as a unidirectional linear process. It examines the course of the effects of consumers’ empathy and sympathy generated during the process on each step of the process, ranging from advertisement attitudes, corporate social responsibility activity, and corporate image, to brand attitude. Design/methodology/approach – The main survey was conducted with consumers who resided in Seoul between November 1 and 14, 2013. A total of 250 questionnaires were distributed and 246 were collected. Following the exclusion of six incomplete or unanswered questionnaires, a total of 240 questionnaires were used in the final analysis. Data processing was performed using the SPSS ver. 15.0 and AMOS 7.0 programs. Findings – The results showed that there were positive relationships between all of the variables involved in the processing. Consumers’ emotional response to cause-related advertisement is the best starting point for consumers’ information processing regarding brand attitude. Research limitations/implications – The results of this study confirm that a positive relationship exists among every variable in consumers’ information processing. Originality/value – This study informs researchers and companies that caused-related advertisements can improve the consumer’s emotional response and can be an effective alternative to high cost, but low efficiency, brand advertisements.
Forget the brand mentioned by actor: The attention and memory effect of product placement in TV episodes. • Wan-Yun Yu, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University; Jie-Li Tsai, Department of Psychology, National Chengchi University; Chen-Chao Tao, Department of Communication and Technology, National Chiao Tung University • There is no consensus regarding the effectiveness of product placement in TV episodes. Our study aims to reconcile this discrepancy by examining the audio utterance with the view of situated comprehension. An experiment was conducted to investigate the influence of utterance and plot on attention and memory. Results showed that mentioning the object of product placement within the scene attracted more attention while had worse memory after exposure. Theoretical and practical implications will be discussed.
Trumping Mood: Transportation and its Effects on Brand Outcomes • Lu Zheng, University of Florida; Shuhua Zhou, University of Alabama • This study examines narrative transportation effects in an adverting context by also considering mood and modality. A 2 (mood) X 2 (modality) experiment was conducted to isolate the effects of transportation on brand outcomes. Results indicate that transportation trumped mood to affect all outcome variables, regardless of modality, further confirming that transported individuals may not follow the scripted path of central/peripheral in ELM or the systematic/heuristic routes in HSM in persuasion. Implications are discussed.
The Effects of Integrating Advertising Ethics into Course Instruction • Michelle Amazeen, Rider University • Ambivalence toward incorporating ethics instruction into advertising curricula has been linked to concerns that ethical discussions will discourage student entry into the profession (Drumwright & Murphy, 2009). Contrary to this assertion, this study offers experimental evidence that students who received systematic ethics instruction were more likely to want to work in advertising than those who only received limited ethics instruction. Thus, failure to educate students in the ethical practice of advertising is not only a disservice to students, but a disservice to the profession overall.
An examination of the impact of faculty mentorship in a student-run advertising agency • Dustin Supa, Boston University; Tobe Berkovitz, Boston University • This study examines the impact of faculty adviser mentoring in a student-run advertising agency, and the long-term implications for that mentoring on student leaders as they enter the professional field. It finds that a high level of mentoring at the undergraduate level did lead to an increased likelihood of mentoring early in the alumni careers. The implications for faculty advisers of student agencies are discussed, as well as ideas for future research.
A systematic analysis of peer-reviewed research about advertising teaching effectiveness and pedagogy • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Thais Menezes Zimbres, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Eun Kyoung Lee, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This paper presents a systematic analysis of articles (N = 147) published in the Journal of Advertising Education between 2004 and 2014. Findings include that the most common study design was case study (39%). More than half of research articles (59%) did not provide a research question or hypothesis, and only 10% tested a hypothesis. The results indicate a range of topics were researched but also an over-reliance on small samples and case studies.
Professional Freedom & Responsibility (PF&R) Papers
Seeing Unwanted Appetizers: The Impact of Long-term and Short-term Physiological States on Webpage Ads Processing • Shili Xiong, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Jiachen Yao; Zongyuan Wang, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign; Brittany Duff, University of Illinois- Urbana Champaign • Many nutrition researchers believe that the flooding of food-related cues (e.g. food ads) in today’s food-rich environment is one of the origins of obesity issue. There have been calls for reducing the food ad exposure in the hope that it will help lower obesity rates. While it seems unlikely to completely stop food ad exposure, it is also in question whether the decrease of food ad exposure would truly work to successfully reduce obesity. The current study examines how physiological factors influenced affective and cognitive processing of food and nonfood webpage ads. In particular, we were interested in assessing how body weight (BMI) and hunger level interacts with motivational relevance (food vs. nonfood) and medium task-orientation (webpage task vs. browse). An experiment was conducted online via Amazon M-Turk. We found that individual body mass index (BMI) was negatively associated with food ad evaluation and positively associated with food ad recognition. Hunger level was positively associated with food ad recognition, and indirectly influenced non-food ad evaluation. Implications for researchers are also discussed.
Female Representation In The Communication Arts Advertising Annual • Karen Mallia, University of South Carolina; Kasey Windels, Louisiana State University • Females are underrepresented in advertising agencies by a ratio of 2.3 to 1. This study examined issues of the Communication Arts Advertising Annual in 1984, 1994, 2004 and 2014 to determine whether women have made increases in representation among the upper echelons of the field, award winners. Findings showed that while women have made some gains as creative directors since 1984, women represent only 9 percent of those credited for creative work, and their presence has declined since 1994. Overall, the results suggest women have not made much progress toward equity in the past 40 years. This has implications for the types of advertisements that get made, the culture of the agency creative department, and the career prospects of advertising students.
Advertising’s Responsibility to the Future: A proposal to address our role in climate change • Deborah Morrison, University of Oregon • This essay proposes that the advertising industry helped cause the tragedy of climate change, while also recognizing the industry’s creative leadership and ability to solve problems. Connections are suggested between increased advertising expenditures over the last fifty years and increased scientific findings that human behaviors such as consumption directly affect the rate of climate change the planet is experiencing. Six strategies to leverage the creative and innovative talents of the advertising industry and its ecosystem of educational programs, professional organizations, and trade publications are offered with the purpose of suggesting a professional movement to address and mitigate climate change realities.
Special Topics Papers
Would I go? US citizens react to a Cuban tourism campaign • Alice Kendrick, Southern Methodist University; Sheri Broyles, University of North Texas; Jami Fullerton, Oklahoma State University • Before the announcement of the easing of a decades-long US embargo, this study captured US citizen interest in traveling to Cuba before and after exposure to a Cuban tourism television commercial. Online measures of attitudes toward travel to Cuba and toward the Cuban government and people were taken. Results showed Americans’ travel interest improved significantly and also showed improved attitudes toward both the Cuban government and its people, demonstrating the “bleedover effect” of tourism advertising.
The Effect of Ad Self-Selection on Different Levels of Forced Exposure to Advertising • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University (SHSU) • What aspects of online advertising induce Internet users ad avoidance tendency? Is it because of a degree of forced exposure or because of users’ limited power to filter personally irrelevant content? With advances in new technology, various formats of online advertising (e.g., in-stream video advertising) often force Internet users to watch the advertisement before their choice of media content plays, and this often makes them feel intruded upon and irritated. To reduce such negative reactions toward involuntary advertising exposures, this study examines whether offering users the ability to select advertising content can influence their attitudes toward the ad as well as the website in the different degrees of forced exposure circumstance. A 2 (advertising–customization: customization option vs. non-customization option) X 2 (level of forced exposure–a pre-roll vs. a rich media banner) factorial experiment reveals that advertising choice features tend to induce users’ positive attitudes toward the advertising regardless of the degree of forced advertising exposure. Particularly, the findings show that the function of customization tends to generate a greater sense of relevance and increased advertising memory, which in turn lead to more positive attitudes toward the ads.
Fierce Competition While Playing Nice in the Sandbox: Trends in Advertising & Public Relations Agencies • Marlene Neill, Baylor University; Erin Schauster, University of Colorado Boulder • Advertising and public relations agencies have never been more in direct competition as public relations agencies begin offering paid media strategies and advertising agencies begin assuming roles in online community management and social listening. Through in-depth interviews with 28 advertising and public relations agency executives, this study provides new insights on the trends impacting both professions. Executives defined paid, earned, owned and social media strategies and discussed how these areas are blurring, how responsibilities are being mandated by clients, and how the associated financial challenges affect an agency’s ability to retain employees. Finally, the executives discussed how clients and agencies are pursuing collaborative work that draws from the strengths of both professions.
“Wow! I want to share this with my twitter followers”: Influencing Factors on Intention to Retweet of Branded Tweet • Nazmul Rony, University of Oklahoma; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma; Seunghyun Kim, University of Oklahoma; Rahnuma Ahmed, University of Oklahoma • Currently, marketers are using Twitter as a strong advertising platform. Retweeting is a powerful method of spreading the brand message to a large group of potential customers with a minimum effort. However, brand followers’ underlying motivation for retweeting a brand message is still unclear to the advertisers. An experimental study revealed that brand familiarity has strong influence on users’ retweet motivation. It has been also found that intrinsic motivation has mediating effect on retweet intention.
Corporate advertising and crises: Understanding the effects of advertisements before and after crises on stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization • Benjamin Ho, Nanyang Technological University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University; Augustine Pang • While corporate advertising has been widely studied as a promotional tool, few studies examine its effects in a corporate crisis. By integrating insights from both advertising and crisis management literature, this study develops a crisis corporate advertising (CCA) framework examining the comprehensive use of corporate advertising in crises. The CCA framework discusses inoculation, reactance, and halo effects of pre-crisis advertising and how post-crisis advertising can be evaluated based on the image repair theory.
A Large Scale Analysis of Primetime Diets in USA, China and Singapore • Su Lin Yeo, Singapore Management University; Wonsun Shin, Nanyang Technological University; May Lwin; Jerome Williams, Rutgers Business School – Newark and New Brunswick • Given the prevalence of obesity and chronic diseases in developed and developing countries, this study examined the types of food advertised on primetime television in the US, China and Singapore and their congruence with dietary guidelines offered by health authorities. Three popular television channels in each country were selected and four hours of primetime television per channel were recorded daily over 28 days, resulting in the collection of 1008 television hours. Findings from content analyses found that food promoted across the three countries do not correspond to the types recommended for a healthy diet. The majority of the food belonged to the unhealthy categories. The study also found that national development seems to negatively parallel the exposure to healthy food advertisements on television. Implications on government regulations and recommendations for communication initiatives to better balance the interests of commercial advertisers and at the same time, safeguard the health of the public are discussed.
Examining Receptiveness to Personalized Advertising Through Perceived Utility and Privacy Concerns • Nancy Brinson, University of Texas at Austin • As advertisers increasingly rely on “big data” to target their promotional messages to consumers, perceptions regarding the collection and use of such data becomes of great interest to scholars and practitioners. Consumers choosing to ignore or avoid messages intended to inform or persuade them could have potentially negative implications not only for marketers, but also for public policy, education, health care, and public safety advocates. Rooted in a cross-disciplinary theoretical approach of uses & gratifications and communication privacy management, the present study utilized a qualitative survey to examine the circumstances by which personalized advertising is perceived to be “helpful” or “uncomfortable” in a variety of contexts. Findings indicate that concerns about trust, perceived control and unauthorized access to personal information have a negative influence on consumers’ attitudes about personalized advertising. As such, the present study broadens understanding of the gratifications sought by today’s online media consumers as well as accounts for interpersonal considerations that drive users’ attitudes about information sharing and processing.
What’s in the Ad? A Content Analysis of Holistic-Analytic Cognitive Processes Found in Television Commercials • Christina Jimenez Najera • Culture has been studied to discover how its presence influences the realm of communications in countries around the world. This study focuses on exploring manifestations of cultural values and tendencies in the domain of advertising. Using Nisbett’s and Hall and Hall’s research as benchmark, the study hypothesized that advertisements would reflect Western and Eastern cultural manifestations respectively. The results showed evidence that point to manifestations of holistic-analytic cognitive orientation in television commercial advertisements.
Do Sex Appeals Matter on News Website? Effect of Sexual Web Advertisements on News Perception • Jinyoung Kim, Pennsylvania State University • We observe an increasing number of sexual web advertising on various web sites, including online news pages. However, little is known about how sexually suggestive web advertisements influence readers’ perception of serious social issues, such as sexual assault. This study examined whether sexual advertisements on news web site exerted any negative effects on perception of and attitudes toward rape. Results showed that sexual web advertising significantly perverted readers’ attitudes toward the sexual assault that excuses the actions of rapists and justify the plight upon victim.
Social Motives to Interact with a Brand on Social Networking sites: Focus on Social Identify and Network Externality • Okhyun Kim, University of Minnesota; Taemin Kim, University of Minnesota • This study investigated the effects of social motivations on brand engagement on social networking sites. Social motivations are based on social identity theory and network externality perspective. The method included two hierarchical levels: social identity as individual traits and perceived network externality as channel characteristics. The result showed the powerful impact of network externality. Social identity has explanatory power to predict behaviors following brand fan-pages on social media.
Friend’s Tagging You on Facebook: Examining How Individual Traits Affect Consumers’ Reaction to Electronic-Word-of-Mouth and Social Media Metrics • Wonkyung Kim; Chen Lou, Michigan State University • This paper investigates how consumers’ individual characteristics affect their evaluation of product reviews on social media. In particular, this experimental study explored the effects of the consumer’s ‘need for cognition’ and ‘need for belonging’ on their responses (i.e., attitude toward the review, attitude toward the product, and purchase intention) to product review posts on a Facebook review page. Results of two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) showed that: 1) Subjects with low need for cognition showed more favorable attitude and purchase intention to a Facebook review post with high number of likes/comments than subject with high need for cognition and 2) Subjects with low need for belonging showed less favorable attitude and purchase intention to a Facebook review post which had commenters’ referral to their friends via tagging. On the managerial front, findings of this study explicated the mechanism of how consumer characteristics could play a role in electronic-Word-Of-Mouth (eWOM) contents’ effect on social media, which provided useful strategic insights to both marketers and researchers.
The Moderating Role of Sport Involvement between Sponsor-event Congruence and Consumer Responses • Jakeun Koo, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; Soyoung Joo, University of Massachusetts, Amherst • The current study examines the moderating effect of sport involvement between sponsor-event congruence and consumer responses. The experiment results indicate sport involvement moderates the effectiveness of sponsor-event congruence on sponsor credibility, subsequently influencing sponsor attitudes and purchase intention. The moderating effects were supported in both functional- and image-based congruence settings. The research findings imply sponsor-event congruence may improve sponsorship campaigns’ abilities to deliver product-relevant messages to consumers highly involved in sports via a central cue.
Do you see what I see? Exploring the effects of sponsorship of a sporting event on the image of the sponsoring brand. • Eunseon (Penny) Kwon; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, Southern Methodist University • Does brand sponsorship of sporting events lead to congruence in consumers’ images of sponsoring brands and sponsored sporting events? If so, what factors affect the degree of image congruence? Statistics show that sponsorship of sporting events is one of the fastest growing business around the globe. However, the importance of this marketing strategy is not reflected in the amount attention it has received in the advertising literature. This study focuses on the effects of sponsorship of a sporting event on the image of the sponsoring brand. Specially, drawing on the literature on the match-up effects of celebrity endorsement, the results from a non-student population confirm that brand sponsorship leads to image congruence.
Advertising message strategies on automobile brands’ Facebook fan page • Joong Suk Lee, University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa; Tie Nie • Recognizing the rising value that social media provides for consumer engagement on brand, this study specifically explored the advertising strategies employed among four car brands’ (i.e., Ford, Chevrolet, Toyota and Honda) Facebook fan pages to persuade consumers on social media networks. By applying Taylor’s (1999) six-segment message strategy wheel and combining the eWOM engagement of these advertisements, this study demonstrated that those ads with both informational and emotional appealing elements attracted the most attention, providing further evidence to better understand the marketing effectiveness adopted by these respective companies. Implications and future research suggestions are also offered, considering the wide range of content (e.g., photos, videos, anecdotes) produced on brand groups, which sheds light on the marketers’ efforts to heighten involvement between brands and customers.
Communicating ALS to the Public: The Message Effectiveness of Social-Media-Based Health Campaign • Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Linwan Wu, University of Florida • Celebrity endorsement has been proved to be a very powerful tool in health campaigns. This study examined how celebrity-issue matchup presented in utilitarian and hedonic appeals influences evaluation of video, issue attitude and behavioral intentions in the context of ALS communication. The findings showed that celebrity-issue matchup condition outperformed non-matchup condition in generating positive issue attitude and behavioral intentions. The results also indicated that utilitarian appeal with matchup condition triggered significantly greater information sharing intention than that with non-matchup condition. However, no difference was found in hedonic appeal between matchup and non-matchup conditions. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.