How do ads mean? A mutualist theory of advertising ethics. • Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Esther Thorson, Missouri School of Journalism; Tatsiana Karaliova, Missouri School of Journalism; Heesook Choi • This gathered qualitative data about people’s responses to ads identified as ethically problematic based on guidelines and conventions established by advertising ethics critics and the FTC. It analyzed people’s responses to the ads using social constructionist, rhetorical, and dramatistic theoretical lenses. Applying Symbolic Convergence Theory, the study found significantly different communities of meaning as individuals interpreted video commercials. It suggests a new approach to studying advertising ethics.
The Press Complaints Commission is Dead; Long Live the IPSO? • Mark Harmon, University of Tennessee; Abhijit Mazumdar, University of Tennessee • The authors tally 57 monthly Press Complaint Commission complaint resolution reports, dating from January 2010 to September 2014. The sums from each category were expressed as a percentage of all 28,457 complaints. The data show that PCC was something of a paper tiger. This quantitive analysis led to a qualitative review of the ethical need for, potential best practices of, and opportunities facing the United Kingdom’s new Independent Press Standards Organization, the PCC successor organization.
Journalism Under Attack: The Charlie Hebdo Covers and Reconsiderations of Journalistic Norms • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • The terrorist attack on the satirical French newspaper Charlie Hebdo created an ethical dilemma for U.S. news organizations. In reporting on the attacks, news organizations had to decide whether to republish examples of the magazine’s controversial cartoons. This decision highlighted an otherwise taken-for-granted assumption — that the journalistic field is governed by a set of norms, but these norms may, at times, be at odds. This study used qualitative textual analysis to shed light on the journalistic norms involved in American journalists’ own discourses explaining their respective editorial decisions to republish or not to republish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. The resulting analysis demonstrates how a shock to the journalistic profession can challenge existing norms as well as bring new norms to light.
The Death of Corporal Miller: Omission, Transparency and the Ethics of Embedded Journalism • Miles Maguire, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • The New York Times won acclaim for its coverage of the second battle of Falluja in November 2014. But its initial articles left out a crucial detail, that a Marine corporal was killed while aiding two of the paper’s journalists. Over four years the Times published four different versions of the death of the Marine without ever fully explaining the circumstances that surrounded the incident or attempting to reconcile the differences in its accounts. On the contrary the newspaper has refused to articulate what factors led to the withholding of information about Miller’s death, a position that is clearly at odds with its own code of conduct as well as with the growing emphasis on transparency as a cornerstone of journalism ethics. This study, based on a review of the written record and interviews with key participants, sheds new light on the ethical challenges of embedded journalism and shows how the embedding process can work to shape news accounts to support military objectives at the expense of traditional journalistic values. The paper includes an examination of the way that the military has adopted transparency as a key element of what it calls inform and influence activities, which are now identified as part of combat power. The conclusion suggests that a commitment to transparency on the part of news organizations would be a way to regain independence in battlefield reporting by embedded journalists.
Examining Intention of Illegal Downloading: An Integration of Social Norms and Ethical Ideologies • Namkee Park, Yonsei University, South Korea; Hyun Sook Oh, Pyeongtaek University, South Korea; Naewon Kang, Dankook University, South Korea; Seohee Sohn, Yonsei University, South Korea • This study investigated applicability of ethical ideologies reflected by moral idealism and relativism, together with social norms, to the context of illegal downloading. The study found that intention of illegal downloading was dissimilar among four groups of ethical ideologies; situationists, absolutists, subjectivists, and exceptionists. Injunctive norm was a critical factor that affected illegal downloading intention, yet only for situationists and absolutists. For subjectivists and exceptionists, ego-involvement played a critical role in explaining the intention.
Media Ethics Theorizing, Reoriented: A Shift in Focus for Individual-Level Analyses • Patrick Plaisance, Colorado State University • This project argues that multidisciplinary methods and work to reconsider key concepts are critical if media ethics scholarship is to continue to mature. It identifies three dimensions of a reoriented framework for media ethics theory: one that reconceptualizes inquiry at the individual level; another that situates media technology in assessments of autonomous agency and organizational affiliation; and a third that applies formalist virtue ethics as the best framework for normative claims arising from the first two.
NGOs as newsmakers: boon or bane? A normative evaluation • Matthew Powers, University of Washington – Seattle • In recent years, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have assumed a growing role in shaping – and in some cases directly producing – news. What are the normative implications of this development? Drawing on normative traditions of public communication, this paper identifies four roles NGOs are tasked with performing: expert, advocate, facilitator and critic. To date, research suggests NGOs align most closely with representative liberal and democratic participatory ideals of journalism, while marginalizing deliberative and radical traditions.
When White Reporters Cover Race: The news media, objectivity and community (dis-)trust • SUE ROBINSON, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Kathleen Culver, University of Wisconsin-Madison • When white reporters cover issues involving race, they often fall back on traditional, passive practices of objectivity, such as deferring to official sources and remaining separate from communities. Using in-depth interviews combined with textual analysis in a case study of one mid-western city struggling with race, we explore the ethical tensions between the commitment to neutrality and the need for trust building. This essay argues for an active objectivity focused on loyalty to all citizens.
An update on advertising ethics: an organization’s perspectives • Erin Schauster, Bradley University • Ethical problems in advertising continue to exist but an update on these problems from an organizational approach is needed (Drumwright, 2007; Drumwright & Murphy, 2009). Forty-five one-on-one interviews were conducted regarding perceptions of advertising ethics. Findings suggest that ethical problems exist such as treating others fairly, behaving honestly, respecting consumers’ privacy and maintaining creative integrity. The implications of creative integrity and an organizational approach as ethical relativism are presented.
Carol Burnett Award
Ethics in Design: The Public Sphere and Value Considerations in Online Commenting Development • Kristen Bialik, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Drawing on the work of Habermas’ public sphere and discourse ethics, as well as user-interface design and Value Sensitive Design theory in technology, this paper examines whether improved online comment system policies and design can help foster a more robust form of the public sphere. The study raises larger questions of how values within traditional journalism, as well as values underpinning democratic societies, can be emphasized in the structural spaces of online public forums.
The many faces of television’s public moral discourse? Exploring genre differences in the representation of morality in prime time television • Serena Daalmans, Radboud University • This study is focused on differences between TV genres (news, entertainment & fiction) in the representation of morality on television. We conducted a quantitative content analysis, based on a sample of prime-time television programs (2012) (N = 485). The results reveal distinct differences between the genres concerning the representation of moral domains, moral themes, types of morality and moral complexity, and striking similarities regarding moral communities as beacons of moral accountability.
Moderating Marius: Ethical Language and Representation of Animal Advocacy in Mass Media Coverage of the Copenhagen Zoo Saga • Christina DeWalt, The University of Oklahoma • Ethical theory is used in this study to assess news coverage of the Copenhagen Zoo’s decision to euthanize a healthy giraffe and the subsequent public outcry regarding the animal’s death. This paper examines twenty-six print, broadcast, and radio news pieces utilizing ethical frameworks derived from the widely used philosophies of Kant and Bentham. The types of news frames deployed as well as the willingness of mainstream media outlets to expand public exposure to broader social issues related to animal captivity and welfare, and their willingness to include non-traditional sourcing in meaningful and balanced ways was examined through in-depth, textual analysis. Findings indicate that while the mass media did extend moral considerations to the nonhuman subject through implicit means, news production norms, practices, and routines continued to hinder advancement of alternative voices and expansion of social exposure to broader ethical issues inherent in the story.
Aggregation and Virtue Ethics • Stan Diel, University of Alabama • As consumers increasingly look to the Internet to find news and traditional news organizations shed jobs, the demand for original news content online has come to exceed supply. To fill the void, websites, both digital-native and those associated with legacy news media, have turned to aggregation so quickly that the practice has developed faster than both legal and ethical standards that might moderate it. While deontological systems of ethics often guide traditional media, such rule-based codes are not easily applied to digital news practices. A system of virtue-based ethics grounded in an arch-virtue of truthfulness and moderated by the virtues of fairness, non- malevolence and temperance, and a standardized definition of terms, are proposed to help guide aggregation practices.
Analysis of moral argumentation in newspaper editorial contents with Kohlberg’s moral development model • Yayu Feng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This study evaluates moral reasoning stages addressed in editorial pieces regarding rape culture from two newspapers in Athens, Ohio, with Kohlberg’s Moral Development Model. An analytical system was developed based on Critical Discourse Analysis and Moral Development Theory, which contributes a new approach to investigating media moral messages. The study details the different patterns of moral reasoning stages represented in the newspapers and offers a case study of editorials’ performance as moral educators.
Peace Journalism and Radical Media Ethics • Marta Lukacovic, Wayne State University • The radical characteristics of peace journalism position it as a model that expands the current understandings of normative media theory. Hence, peace journalism echoes the most innovative calls of media ethicists such as Ward’s proposition of radical media ethics. Peace journalists and citizens have to face constraints that are posed by cultural and structural violence when attempting to reflect on international conflicts and crises in peace journalistic/conflict sensitive manner.
The point of debating ethics in journalism: consensus or compromise and the rehabilitation of common sense as a way toward solidarit • Laura Moorhead, Stanford University • Philosopher and media gadfly Habermas in the newsroom? This paper — through the frame of Habermas’s discourse ethics — highlights a path for debating ethics in journalism using rational-critical discussion, which can lead to consensus or compromise through a move from individual to collective community interests. The paper considers the rehabilitation of common sense, through emerging technology and an interdisciplinary approach. The point of debating ethics in journalism surfaces as the hope for solidarity despite increasing pluralism.
Weekly Newsmagazines’ Framing of Obesity, Responsibility Attribution, and Moral Discourses • Lok Pokhrel, Washington State University • This paper presents a study of how obesity-related health issues in the United States are represented in four American weekly magazines: Newsweek, Time, The Weekly Standard, and National Review. The paper particularly examined the media’s attribution of responsibility for the problem of obesity, that is, whether the issue constitutes an individual or collective responsibility. The paper also argues that the news media’s framing of obesity-related health issues, through the use of various discursive and framing tactics, raises ethical concerns. Through analysis of weekly news magazine discourses, the study finds two themes that raise ethical concern: the weekly publications (a) primarily discussed the problem of obesity in terms of either individual or societal responsibility; (b) highlighted the ethical concerns from appeals to both personal responsibility and a sense of obligation to promote the health of others and fulfill the duty to avoid becoming an unfair burden to others.
Toward an ethic of personal technologies: Moral implications found in the fruition of man-computer symbiosis • Rhema Zlaten, Colorado State University • The impending fruition of man-computer symbiosis suggests a shift towards society’s acceptance of human partnership with technology. Increased intimacy between humans and machines creates a need for understanding individual rights in modern society’s transmedia paradigm. This paper calls for the creation of an ethic of personal technologies; a partnership of understanding how society grew to accept the full integration of technology into daily life and the rights of each digital footprint in a computer-mediated society.
Special Call For New Horizons in Media Ethics
A Duty to Freedom: Conceptualizing Platform Ethics • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri • This paper makes two arguments. First, the field of media ethics should incorporate ethical analyses of the relationship between digital communication intermediaries (e.g. Facebook and Twitter) and their users. Second, these intermediaries should abide by a primary duty to protect the users’ freedom to speak via their platforms, followed by a secondary duty to mitigate potential harms caused by users’ speech. The paper synthesizes theories of intermediary liability and corporate media ethics to make this argument.
The Ethical Implications of Participatory Culture in a New Media Environment: A Critical Case Study of Veronica Mars • Murray Meetze, University of Colorado Boulder • In a fast-paced media landscape where producer and consumer relationships are constantly being renegotiated, the ethical implications of this participatory culture must be addressed. This article explores current literature on participatory culture through the lens of a case study of the Veronica Mars 2013 Kickstarted film. The Veronica Mars Kickstarter provides a unique view of the strengths of audience involvement in media content production. The Belmont Report social science principles for human subject research will be utilized in this case study examination along with the ethical framework of W.D. Ross’ duty-based ethics. This analysis aims to establish tangible ethical guidelines for media industry production in an unstable media environment.
What Constitutes Good Work in Journalism Education • Caryn Winters, University of Louisiana at Lafayette • What is the good work educators –especially journalism educators –are obliged to do in consideration of their simultaneous roles as members of a democratic community and members of professional communities?Rather than focus on specific professional practices, I have chosen to emphasize the necessity for professionals –and especially those professionals who play key roles in building the democratic capacity –to understand the core principles of their professional realms. When journalists and journalism educators engage in professional activity that is informed by these principles, they have the potential to transform their professional realms and democracy.
Building Social Capital. The Role of News and Political Discussion Tie Strength in Fostering Reciprocity • Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu, University of Vienna; Trevor Diehl, University of Vienna; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna • This study explores the role of news and discussion network tie strength in developing the social and civic norm of reciprocity. It argues that interactions of mutual benefit and exchange are an outcome of media use and political discussion, which in turn, directly leads to an increase in community connectedness and social capital. Informational uses of media directly predicted attitudes of reciprocity and social capital, though only conversation with weak ties led to reciprocity.
News Media Literacy and Political Engagement: What’s the Connection? • Seth Ashley, Boise State University; Adam Maksl, Indiana University Southeast; Stephanie Craft, University of Illinois • Scholars and educators have long hoped and assumed that media education is positively related to pro-social goals such as political and civic engagement. Others worry about the possibility of alienation and disengagement. With a focus on news, this study surveyed 537 college students and found positive relationships between news media literacy and current events knowledge, political activity and internal political efficacy. News media education should be deployed widely to mitigate a news media literacy gap that limits democratic citizenship.
Reducing stigmatization associated with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency • Michelle Baker, Juniata College • Differences in response to three written narratives designed to reduce stigmatization associated with the genetic condition alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) were examined. Three protagonists were depicted: positive, transitional, and transformational. Positive protagonists, who did not stigmatize a person diagnosed with AATD, showed greater stigmatization reduction than transitional and transformational protagonists. Positive protagonists showed reduced advocacy for individuals to maintain secrecy about their diagnosis or withdraw from others and increased advocacy to educate others about AATD.
Beyond Empathy: The Role of Positive Character Appraisal in Narrative Messages Designed to Reduce Stigmatization • Michelle Baker, Juniata College • The psychological processes guiding the effect that protagonists in narrative health messages have on genetic stigmatization reduction has not been fully explored. This study (N = 170) empirically tests these processes in relation to positive, transitional, and transformational protagonists in messages designed to reduce stigmatization associated with alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. Findings reveal that positive character appraisal rather than empathy with the protagonist led to greater self-efficacy, transportation, and decreased desire for social distance.
Let Go of My iPad: Testing the Effectiveness of New Media Technologies to Measure Children’s Food Intake and Health Behaviors • Kim Bissell, University of Alabama; Lindsey Conlin, The University of Southern Mississippi; Bijie Bie; Xueying Zhang; Scott Parrott • This field experiment with just under 100 children at a school in the Southeast examined children’s use of an iPad app as a means of improving the measurement of their food consumption. Secondarily, external factors related to children’s food preferences and food consumption were also examined to determine how the iPad app could be further developed to help them become more aware of the foods they ate and also how they could become more proactive in their health and well-being. Results indicate that the app has enabled children to have more precision in recording the foods they ate, and children, across the board, expressed great appeal for the app. The foods reported in the app were compared to attitudes toward eating and nutritional knowledge; in both cases, more positive attitudes toward eating and stronger nutritional knowledge meant that a child was more likely to report eating healthy foods. Findings from this exploratory study contribute to knowledge in several areas because the findings represent the first of its kind in the discipline. No study, to our knowledge, has examined the usefulness of iPad app in recording children’s food intake, and no study, to our knowledge, has compared the recording of food consumption using traditional measures and the newer measures found on the app. Additionally, we learned a good bit about external factors that could be related to low-income children’s consumption of healthy or unhealthy foods.
Looking for the Truth in the Noise: Epistemic Political Efficacy, Cynicism and Support for Super PACs • Justin Blankenship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe; Martin Kifer, High Point University • Using a statewide cell and landline telephone survey (N=594) this study examines relationships among political efficacy, epistemic political efficacy (EPE), cynicism and North Carolina voter attitudes toward super PACS that have emerged as key players in political campaigns since the Citizens United decision. While older, higher-income, conservative voters support allowing super PACs to play a role in political campaigning, results also indicate that cynicism and EPE are related to support for super PACs.
Sensation Seeking, Motives, and Media Multitasking Behaviors • Yuhmiin Chang • This study examines the motives behind media multitasking, along with the relationships among sensation seeking, motives, onset timing behaviors, and frequency of media multitasking. An online survey recruited a total of 938 valid respondents across three regions and four universities. The results showed that the motives for media multitasking are different from other types of multitasking. The motives either perfectly or partially mediate the effect of sensation seeking on two types of media multitasking behaviors.
The effects of race cue and emotional content on processing news • Heesook Choi; Sungkyoung Lee, University of Missouri; Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This experimental study with 2 (race cue) x 2 (emotional content) mixed design examined the effects of race and emotional content in news stories on discrete emotions, transportation, intention to share the story, and policy support. The results showed that stories with race cues elicited greater anger compared to those with no cues, and presence of emotional content led to greater anger and fear, and greater intention to share than those with no emotional content.
Underestimated Effect on Self but Overestimated Effect on Other: The Actual and Perceived Effects of Election Poll Coverage on Candidate Evaluations • Sungeun Chung, Sungkyunkwan University; Yu-Jin Heo, Sungkyunkwan University; Jung-Hyun Moon, Sungkyunkwan University • The present study investigated biases in the perceived effect of election polls by comparing it with the actual effect of election polls for those who experienced a bandwagon effect and those who experienced an underdog effect respectively. An online survey with a manipulated poll result (N = 308) showed that voters tended to underestimate the level of change in their evaluation and voters tended to overestimate the level of change in others’ evaluation.
The Effects of News Exposure, Amount of Knowledge, and Perceived Power of Large Corporations on Citizens’ Self-Censorship in SNS • Sangho Byeon, Dankook University; Sungeun Chung, Sungkyunkwan University • The present study investigated whether self-censorship regarding large corporations in SNS is affected by media exposure, the amount of knowledge, and perceived power of large corporations. A nationwide survey was conducted in South Korea (N = 455). As exposure to the news about large corporations increased, self-censorship regarding large corporations increased. The effect of media exposure was mediated by the amount of knowledge about large corporations and perceived power about large corporations.
There Goes the Weekend: Binge-Watching, Fear of Missing Out, Transportation, and Enjoyment of Television Content • Lindsey Conlin, The University of Southern Mississippi; Andrew Billings, University of Alabama • Binge-watching—the act of consuming multiple episodes of a TV show in a single sitting—has become increasingly popular among TV audiences. The current study sought to define and investigate binge-watching in terms of transportation theory and the outcomes associated with entertainment consumption (transportation and enjoyment). Additionally, the personality traits of transportability and fear-of-missing-out (FoMO) were analyzed. Results indicated that personality traits were strong predictors of the pace at which a person would choose to watch a TV show, while transportability and FoMO both predicted that a person would choose to binge-watch existing episodes of a TV show in order to catch up to live episodes. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Romance and Sex on TV: A Content Analysis of Sexual and Romantic Cues on Television • Elise Stevens, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Lu Wu, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; NATALEE SEELY, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Francesca Dillman Dillman Carpentier, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Content analyses of sexualized content have been done with television shows, movies, and music videos. However, little research has analyzed content in ways that specifically differentiate between sex and romance. Therefore, using a content analysis with popular television programs, we examine sexual and romantic depictions, as well as whether or how sexual risk and responsibility depictions appear alongside other depictions of sex and romance. Twelve programs were analyzed by a total of three coders. The most prevalent sexual or romantic talk dealt with harming/ending a romantic relationships and liking/loving a person romantically. The most prevalent sexual or romantic behavior was light romantic kissing or touching. The dominant category in risk and responsibility was a show of an unwanted pregnancy; mentions of STIs or contraceptives were notably absent. Interesting, most scenes depicting risk and responsibility involved sexual talk or behavior, whereas risk/responsibility was hardly mentioned within the context of romance.
Seeking out & avoiding the news media: Young adults’ strategies for finding current events information • Stephanie Edgerly • This study uses in-depth interview data from 21 young adults to identify their strategies for locating current events information in the high-choice media age. During the interviews, participants responded to six hypothetical vignettes by articulating the steps they would take to find current events information. The data revealed two strategy patterns—one set of strategies that directly involved the news media, and another set that avoided the news media in favor of functional information alternatives.
NGOs, hybrid connective action, and the People’s Climate March • Suzannah Evans; Daniel Riffe; Joe Bob Hester • Studies of civic engagement through social media have often focused on horizontal, leaderless, and spontaneous demonstrations. Formal NGOs, however, have also moved into this space and combined their knowledge of classic collective action with the affordances of digital media to create a hybrid approach to civic engagement. Using Twitter data from the 2014 People’s Climate March, this study examines how successful NGOs were in penetrating the digital public sphere with their chosen messages.
Are You Connected? Evaluating Information Cascades in Online Discussion about the #RaceTogether Campaign • Yang Feng, The University of Virginia’s College at Wise • In the context of online discussion about the recent Starbucks’ Race Together cup campaign, this study aims to explore the central users in the online discussion network on Twitter and the factors contributing to a user’s central status in the network. A social network analysis of 18,000 unique tweets comprising 26,539 edges and 14,343 Twitter users indicated five types of central users: conversation starter, influencer, active engager, network builder, and information bridge. Moreover, path analysis revealed that the number of people a Twitter user follows, the number of followers a user has, and the number of tweets a user generates within a time period helped a user increase his/her in-degree connections in the network, which, together with one’s out-degree connections in the network, propelled a user to become a central figure in the network.
Expanding the RISP Model to Politics: Skepticism, Information Sufficiency, and News Use • Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Michael Beam, Kent State University; Myiah Hutchens, Washington State University • This study extends the research on skepticism and information insufficiency in several ways. First, this study tests the assumption that skepticism correlates with needing additional information about an issue. Second, it examines the relationship between insufficiency and news use by looking at the relationships between insufficiency and use of four media variables. Third, it examines whether the relationship between information sufficiency and use of these four outlets varies by political ideology. Lastly, this study puts these variables into a mediated-moderated model to understand whether there is an indirect effect of skepticism through information sufficiency, and whether this indirect effect varies by political ideology. We test these models using survey data from a quota sample collected during the 2014 US midterm elections.
Ambivalence and Information Processing: Potential Ambivalence, Felt Ambivalence, and Information Sufficiency • Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Myiah Hutchens, Washington State University; Michael Beam, Kent State University • Using cross-sectional data from the 2014-midterm elections in the US, this paper proposes a serial mediation model looking at the relationship between ambivalence and information processing. Results show that ambivalence is associated with higher levels of systematic processing of information and lower levels of heuristic processing of information. However, the benefits of ambivalence only occur when people feel the psychological discomfort associated with ambivalence (i.e., felt ambivalence) and people perceiving that they do not have enough information to competently participate in the election. In essence, there is a positive relationship between potential ambivalence and systematic processing of information through felt ambivalence and information sufficiency. We found a negative relationship for potential ambivalence on heuristic processing through the same two intervening variables.
The Effect of Partisanship on Changes in Newspaper Consumption: A Longitudinal Study (2008 – 2012) • Toby Hopp; Chris Vargo, University of Alabama • This study used three waves of General Social Survey panel data and a latent change score modeling approach to explore the relationship between partisanship and newspaper consumption across time. The results suggested that prior levels of partisanship were negatively and significantly related to newspaper consumption. Further analyses failed to identify a relationship between changes in partisanship and changes in newspaper consumption.
Narratives and Exemplars: A Comparison of Their Effects in Health Promotions • Zhiyao Ye; Fuyuan Shen; Yan Huang, The Pennsylvania State University • The study aims to compare the effects of narrative and exemplars in health promotions. A between-subjects online experiment (N =253) showed that although narratives were perceived as more convincing than exemplars, both message types had significant effects on issue attitude and behavioral intentions. However, the mechanisms underlying their persuasive effects were distinct. While identification and transportation mediated narrative effects, they did not mediate the influence of the exemplar message.
Diverting media attention at a time of national crisis: Examining the zero-sum issue competition in the emerging media environment • S. Mo Jang, University of South Carolina; Yong Jin Park, Howard University • Although scholars theorized that news topics compete against one another and are subject to the zero-sum dynamics in the traditional media, little research tested this with social media content. Analyzing datasets of Twitter, blogs, and online news, we found that media attention to the government related negatively to attention to another target for blame. This zero-sum principle prevailed in mainstream and social media. Time-series analyses hinted at the intermedia influence from mainstream to social media.
Erasing the scarlet letter: How media messages about sex can lead to better sexual health • Erika Johnson, University of Missouri; Heather Shoenberger, University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication • This study explores how positive media messages about sex could lead to better sexual health in young adults. Participants were students at a large university (N = 228). The research found that young women have higher stigma, lower sensation seeking, and higher condom embarrassment than young men and media exposure could lessen negative sexual behavior. The conclusion is that positive mediated messages could lead to better sexual health for young women in particular.
Life Satisfaction and Political Participation • Chang Won Jung; Hernando Rojas • This study examines people’s happiness and satisfaction both as an individual assessment of one’s own life and relates them to communication antecedents and political outcomes. Relying on a national representative sample of Colombia (N= 1031), our results suggest life satisfaction and quality of life are positively related to civic participation, but not to protest activities. Furthermore, only quality of life predicts voting and material satisfaction is negatively related to civic engagement.
Sexualizing Pop Music Videos, Self-Objectification, and Selective Exposure: A Moderated Mediation Model • Kathrin Karsay, University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Joerg Matthes, U of Vienna • This article presents an experimental study in which young women were either exposed to pop music videos high in sexualization or to pop music videos low in sexualization. Women’s self-objectification and their subsequent media selection behavior was measured. The results indicate that exposure to sexually objectifying media content increased self-objectification, which in turn increased the preference for sexually objectifying media content. Self-esteem, the internalization of appearance ideals, and BMI did not influence these relationships.
The State of Sustainability Communication Research: Analysis of Published Studies in the Mass Communication Disciplines • Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama; Sumin Shin, University of Alabama; Jeyoung Oh • This study examined the state of organization sustainability communication research in the mass communication disciplines between 1975 and 2014. Several main findings evolve from this analysis: (1) exponential growth of sustainability studies in recent years (2) contributions of a wide range of scholars and institutions (3) prevalence of environmental issues as a topic of research (4) under-development of definitions, conceptualization, and theoretical foundations (5) the growth of the methodological and statistical rigors.
A Reliable and Valid Measure of Strategic Decision • Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama; Hanna Park; Jwa Kim, Middle Tennessee State University • The goal of this investigation was to construct a comprehensive instrument for measuring strategic decision. Based on a literature review, eight dimensions—decision quality, decision routines, procedural rationality, understanding, decision commitment, procedural justice, affective conflict, and cognitive conflict—were developed to measure strategic decision by applying the development of multiple-item measurement procedures suggested by Churchill (1979) and Spector (1992) as a guideline and philosophy. Confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) validated the constructed measures.
Predicting Time Spent With News Via Legacy and Digital Media • Esther Thorson, Missouri School of Journalism; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri; Roger Fidler, University of Missouri • A model of is proposed to help explain how much time people will spend with legacy and digital media for news, and mobile media for non-news use. The model is tested with a national U.S. telephone sample of more than 1000 adults. News Affinity predicts news use across the media. Incumbent Media Habit Strength, instead of influencing digital media negatively, increases it. The more digital devices people own, the more they use smartphones and tablets for news, but not Web news. A new variable, Professional Journalist Importance is correlated with news use, but when demographics are controlled, its effect disappears.
The Impact of Political Identity Salience on the Third-Person Perception and Political Participation Intention • Hyunjung Kim, Sungkyunkwan University • This study investigates the influence of political identity salience on the third-person perception of polling reports and political participation intention. Results of two studies demonstrate that partisans in the political identity salience condition show greater third-person perception differentials between the in- and out-groups than those in the control group. Findings also show that political identity salience is indirectly linked to voting intention through the third-person perception particularly for the supporters of a losing candidate.
Factors and Consequences of Perceived Impacts of Polling News • Hyunjung Kim, Sungkyunkwan University • This study investigates how third-person perception of polling news is linked to behavioral intention change directly and indirectly through emotions by employing a survey experiment. Findings demonstrate that the third-person perception of polling news is associated with behavioral intention in two opposite directions depending on participants’ predisposition, and the association may be partially mediated by pride particularly for those who support the majority opinion. Implications of the findings are discussed.
Investigating Individuals’ Perceptions of Anti-Binge Drinking Message Effects on Self versus on Others: The Theoretical Implications for the Third-Person Perceptions • Nam Young Kim, Sam Houston State University (SHSU); Masudul Biswas, Loyola University Maryland; Kiwon Seo, SHSU • What makes people undervalue the impact of health campaign messages that promote positive behavioral changes? In the context of anti-binge drinking Public Service Announcement (PSAs), this study explores what happens if people’s prior alcohol consumption control beliefs and message attributes interactively cause dissonance, which make them feel uncomfortable and cognitively disagree with the PSAs. A 2 (Fear Appeal: High vs. Low) X 2 (Controlled-Drinking Belief: High vs. Low) experiment revealed that participants who experienced dissonance tended to estimate a greater PSA effect on others than on themselves (i.e., third-person effects) because of psychological defensiveness. The findings have partial and theoretical implications for future studies on third-person perceptions and persuasion.
Beauty or Business Queen– How Young Women Select Media to Reinforce Possible Future Selves • Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University; Melissa Kaminski, Ohio State University; Laura E. Willis; Kate T. Luong, The Ohio State University • Young women (N = 181, 18-25 years) completed a baseline session, four sessions with selective magazine browsing (beauty, parenting, business, and current affairs magazines), and three days later a follow-up online. Their possible future selves as romantic partner, parent, and professional at baseline affected the extent to which beauty, parenting, and business pages were viewed. In turn, possible future selves as romantic partner and professional were reinforced through selective exposure to beauty and business magazines.
Memory Mobilization and Communication Effects on Collective Memory About Tiananmen in Hong Kong • Francis L. F. Lee, Chinese University of Hong Kong; Joseph Chan • People in a society share collective memories about numerous historical events simultaneously, but not every historical event is equally salient in the minds of individuals, and social processes may influence the salience of specific historical events over time. This study examines the implications of memory mobilization, defined as the organized efforts to bring the collective memory about the past or specific past events to the fore for the purposes of social mobilization, on recall of historical events. Memory mobilization is treated as a process involving communication activities via a wide range of platforms, creating an atmosphere of remembering for the historical event. Focusing on the case of Hong Kong people’s memory of the 1989 Tiananmen incident in Beijing, this study finds that more people indeed recall Tiananmen as an important historical event during the period of memory mobilization. Recall of Tiananmen is related to age cohorts and political attitudes. But during memory mobilization, communication activities, especially those involving interpersonal interactions, also significantly lead to recall of the event.
Predicting Tablet Use: A Study of Gratifications-sought, Leisure Boredom and Multitasking • Louis Leung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Renwen Zhang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • Using a probability sample of 348 tablet users, this study found that relaxation, information seeking, fashion/status, and work management were instrumental reasons for tablet use, while social connection anytime/anywhere, large screen, and ease-of-use were intrinsic motives. Contrary to what was hypothesized, leisure boredom was not significantly linked to tablet use. Relaxation was the strongest motivation to predict multitasking with the tablet; however, people tend not to engage in cognitively unproductive multitasking.
What’s in a Name? A Reexamination of Personalized Communication Effects • Cong Li, Univ. of Miami; Jiangmeng Liu, Univ. of Miami • Personalized information has become ubiquitous on the Internet. However, the conclusion on whether such information is more effective than standardized information looks somewhat confusing in the literature. Some prior studies showed that a personalized message could generate more favorable outcomes than a standardized one, but others did not (sometimes with an almost identical study design). To provide a possible explanation why there existed such conflicting findings and conclusions in the personalized communication literature, the current study tested the moderating effect of involvement on personalization in an advertising context. Through a 2 × 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment, it was found that the superiority of a personalized message over a standardized message was much more salient when the message recipient was highly involved with the focal subject of the message than lowly involved.
The Link Between Affect and Behavioral Intention: How Emotions Elicited by Social Marketing Messages of Anti-drunk Driving on Social media Influence Cognition and Conation • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • This study used a 3 (emotional tone: positive vs. negative vs. coactive) x 3 (message repetition) within-subject experimental design to investigate how affect elicited from persuasive messages may influence cognitive processing and behavioral intention. This study explicated the mechanism underneath the affect-attitude-behavioral intention relationship, and identified the process of how and in what circumstance emotional responses to persuasive messages could affect behavioral intentions via its effect on people’s attitude. Specifically, this study showed that people’s emotional responses elicited by negative emotional anti-drunk driving social marketing messages was effective in persuading them to refrain from driving while tipsy or drunk via affecting their attitude toward drunk driving.
The information exchangers: Social media motivations and news • Timothy Macafee • Individuals visit social media for a variety of reasons, and one motivation involves information exchange. The current study explores the relationship between individuals’ demographics, their information exchange motivations on social media and the extent to which they attend to different news media. Using a United States representative survey sample, the results suggest a strong, positive relationship between information exchange motivations and attention to news.
Media and Policy Agenda Building in Investigative Reporting • Gerry Lanosga, Indiana University Media School; Jason Martin, DePaul University • This examination of American investigative journalism from 1979 to 2012 analyzes a random sample (N=757) of 22,163 questionnaires completed by journalists for annual investigative reporting contest entries. This novel data source uncovers aspects of journalistic process rather than static product, resulting in methodological and empirical advances that better explain journalist/source relationships, policy outcomes, and agenda-building interdependence. A model for predicting policy agenda-building results based on attributes of investigative reporting is proposed and tested.
News framing and moral panics: Blaming media for school shootings • Michael McCluskey, University of Tennessee-Chattanooga; Hayden Seay • School shootings have triggered moral panics responses that blame popular media for real-world violence. Analysis of news coverage following 11 school shootings identified five frames, of which four reflect a moral panics perspective identifying popular media as a threat to society. Frames of media affect society, media help us understand the shooter, media are full of odd material and media behaved irresponsibly fit a moral panics approach, while media behaved responsibly provided an alternative perspective.
Closing of the Journalism Mind: Anti-Intellectualism in the Professional Development of College Students • Michael McDevitt; Jesse Benn • This paper represents the first attempt to measure anti-intellectualism in journalistic attitudes, and the first to document developmental influences on student anti-intellectualism. We propose reflexivity as a conceptual foundation to anticipate how students evaluate intellect and intellectuals in relation to an imagined public. While transparency in public reflexivity appears to sanction anti-intellectualism, craft reflexivity offers a resistant orientation conducive to critical thinking.
Identifying with a Stereotype: The Divergent Effects of Exposure to Homosexual Television Characters • Bryan McLaughlin, Texas Tech University; Nathian Rodriguez, Texas Tech University • Scholars examining homosexual television characters have typically come to one of two conclusions, either exposure to homosexual characters leads to increased acceptance, or homosexual characters serve to reaffirm negative stereotypes. We resolve these differences by introducing the concept of stereotyped identification – the idea that cognitively identifying with fictional characters can increase acceptance of minorities, while reinforcing stereotypes about how they look, act, and talk. Results from our national survey provide support for this hypothesis.
Processing Entertainment vs. Hard News: Cognitive and Emotional Responses to Different News Formats • Sara Magee, Loyola University-Maryland; Jensen Moore, Manship School of Mass Communication, LSU • How millennials process news is crucial to determining the growth of future news audiences. This 2 (message content: entertainment news/hard news) X 12 (message replication) experimental study found millennials not only encode and store entertainment news better, it is also more arousing, credible, and positive than hard news. Results are interpreted using Lang’s Limited Capacity Model of Mediated Motivated Message Processing. Our results suggest new ways of thinking about the Hardwired for News Hypothesis.
Effects of Embedding Social Causes in Programming • Pamela Nevar, Central Washington University; Jacqueline Hitchon, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign • Cause placement is a recent extension of the advertising strategy, product placement. This research examined the roles of cause involvement and message sidedness on the persuasiveness of cause placement in primetime entertainment programming. Two experiments found that high cause involvement (vs. low) tended to produce more favorable attitudinal responses and behavioral intentions. When cause involvement was high, one-sided messages triumphed over multi-sided messages; when cause involvement was low, multi-sided messages tended to be more persuasive.
The They in Cyberbullying: Examining Empathy and Third Person Effects in Cyberbullying of Young Adults • Cynthia Nichols, Oklahoma State University; Bobbi Kay Lewis, Oklahoma State University • The 21st century has seen rapid technological advances. Although these advances bring a multitude of benefits, there are also drawbacks from the technology that has become an integral part of daily life—such as cyberbullying. Although online bullying has becoming as common as in-person bullying, cyberbullying is not understood nearly as much as its counterpart. Due to its characteristics, it can be hard to recognize, prevent, or stop online bullying. Certain characteristics have emerged in cyberbullying research as indicators of bullies—lack of empathy toward cyberbullying, lack of parental mediation, high social media use, and third person effects toward the impact of media. The following paper looks to explore the relationships between these variables. Data (N=436) indicated that young adults believe other people are more susceptible to bullying than themselves, empathy influences attitudes toward cyberbullying, and athletes are more empathetic toward others being cyberbullied.
Commercialization of Medicine: An Analysis of Cosmetic Surgeons’ Websites • Sung-Yeon Park, School of Media and Communication, Bowling Green State University; SangHee Park, Bowling Green State University • This study examined the homepages of 250 cosmetic surgeons’ websites. Common elements on the webpages were pre-identified as indicators of medicalization or commercialization and their presence and salience were examined by focusing on the service provider, service recipients, and the practice. Overall, the providers were highly medicalized and moderately commercialized. The recipients were moderately medicalized and commercialized. The practice was moderately medicalized and highly commercialized. Implications for doctors, regulators, and consumer advocates were discussed.
Women with disability: Sex object and Supercrip stereotyping on reality television’s Push Girls • Krystan Lenhard; Donnalyn Pompper, Temple University • We respond to critical neglect of disability representation across mass media by evaluating characterizations of women who use wheelchairs on the U.S.-based reality show, Push Girls. Content analysis and a hermeneutic phenomenological theme analysis revealed findings which suggest that Sex object and Supercrip stereotypes enable producers to create programming for audiences otherwise repelled by images of women using wheelchairs. Implications of stereotype use for audiences and the disabilities community are offered.
Disclosure or Deception?: Social Media Literacy, Use, and Identification of Native Advertising • Lance Porter; Kasey Windels, Louisiana State University; Jun Heo, Louisiana State University; Rui Wang, Louisiana State University; YONGICK JEONG, Louisiana State University; A-Reum Jung • The rise of native advertising presents a number of ethical issues for today’s audiences. Do social media audiences recognize native advertising as paid messaging? Does media literacy make a difference in this ability to distinguish editorial and user generated from paid advertisements? An eye-tracking experiment found that while most can identify native advertising, certain types of native advertising are more difficult than others to identify and that Facebook is not fully disclosing paid content.
Impact of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and active mediation on preschoolers’ social and emotional development • Eric Rasmussen, Texas Tech University; Autumn Shafer, Texas Tech University; Malinda Colwell, Texas Tech University; Narissra Punyanunt-Carter, Texas Tech University; Shawna White, Texas Tech University; Rebecca Densley, Texas Tech University; Holly Wright, Texas Tech University • 127 children ages 2-6 either watched or did not watch 10 episodes of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood over a two-week period. Those in the viewing condition exhibited higher levels of empathy, self-efficacy, and emotion recognition, under certain conditions. Without exception, children benefitted from watching the show only when their viewing experiences were frequently accompanied by active mediation. Preschoolers’ age, income, and home media environment also influenced children’s reactions to exposure to the show.
Probing the role of exemplars in third-person perceptions: Further evidence of a novel hypothesis • Mike Schmierbach, Pennsylvania State University; Michael Boyle • Despite strong evidence of its existence, the third-person perception remains incompletely understood. This paper expands previous research that added an important variable to models explaining perceived influence: availability of exemplars. Employing a 2 x 2 experiment and a diverse U.S. sample (N = 523), the study confirms that this variable is a robust predictor regardless of thought-listing procedures or primes shown to reduce the heuristic reliance on media examples.
Portable Social Networks: Interactive Mobile Facebook Use Explaining Perceived Social Support and Loneliness Using Crawled and Self-Reported Data • mihye seo; Jinhee Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology; Hyeseung Yang • The present study examines if Facebooking using mobile devices could generate gratifying social relationships and contribute psychological well-being. Matching crawling data with self-reported data from mobile Facebook users, this study found that more social interactions mobile Facebook users had with their friends and faster friends’ reactions to users’ postings increased mobile Facebook users’ perceived social support and ultimately alleviate their loneliness. Implications of living in always on and connected mobile society are discussed.
Keeping up with the audiences: Journalistic role expectations in Singapore • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Andrew Duffy, Nanyang Technological University • Scholarly work on journalistic role conceptions is growing, but the assumption that what journalists conceive of as their roles depend in part on what they believe audiences expect from them remains underexplored. Through a nationally representative survey (N=1,200), this study sought to understand journalistic role expectations in Singapore. The study found that Singaporeans, in general, expect their journalists to serve the public, the nation, and the government—and in that order.
What did you expect? What roles audiences expect from their journalists in Singapore • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Zse Yin How • This study seeks to understand the role expectations Singaporeans have for their journalists. Ten categories of role expectations emerged from the analysis of open-ended responses from a nationally representative survey of Singaporeans (N= 1,200). Some role expectations, such as the disseminator and interpreter, were conceptually similar to earlier typologies of journalists’ own role conceptions. But two new roles emerged: protector of the people, and being a good citizen. The role of cultural context is discussed.
And they lived happily ever after: Associations between watching Disney movies and Romantic beliefs of children • Merel van Ommen; Madelon Willems; Nikki Duijkers; Serena Daalmans, Radboud University; Rebecca de leeuw • Disney movies are popular among children and depict a world that is very romantic. The question is what role popular Disney movies play, as a cultivating resource. This survey study (N=315) aimed to explore if Disney’s depictions of romance are related to children’s romantic beliefs, as assessed by the Romantic Beliefs Scale. Findings fromregression analyses are the first to show that the more children watched Disney movies the stronger they endorsed the ideology of romanticism.
Issue publics, need for orientation, and obtrusiveness: A model on contingent conditions in agenda-setting • Ramona Vonbun, University of Vienna; Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw, University of Zurich; Hajo Boomgaarden, University of Vienna • This study investigates the role of contingent conditions in the agenda-setting process introducing issue public membership as a mediating factor in opinion formation. The model is tested on five issues, based on a content analysis of 28 media outlets and a panel study in the context of a national election. The findings hint to a stable public agenda, NFO as an important antecedent in the agenda-setting process, and a mediating role of issue public membership.
Turned off by Media Violence: The Effect of Sanitized Violence Portrayals on Selective Exposure to Violent Media • T. Franklin Waddell, Penn State University; Erica Bailey; James D. Ivory, Virginia Tech University; Morgan Tear; Kevin Lee; Winston Wu; Sarah Franis; Bradi Heaberlin • The current study examined whether prior exposure to non-sanitized media violence affects viewers’ subsequent preference for violent media. Exposure to traditional, sanitized media violence increased the likelihood of selecting a clip that featured the prevention of violence and decreased the likelihood of selecting a clip that featured retributive violence. Our study thus offers the novel finding that exposure to some forms of media violence can actually inhibit, rather than foster, additional exposure to violent media.
Minnie Mouse, Modern Women: Anthropomorphism and Gender in Children’s Animated Television • Stephen Warren, Syracuse University; YUXI ZHOU, YUXI ZHOU; Dan Brown; Casby Bias, Syracuse University • This study examines the extent to which anthropomorphism influences gender representation of characters in children’s television programs. Results revealed that anthropomorphic characters were presented more physically gender-neutral than humans, and observed female characters were underrepresented. No significant differences were found between anthropomorphic and human characters in terms of personalities and behavior. The researchers propose that because physical appearance is more ambiguous, anthropomorphic characters’ personalities and behaviors may be overcompensated to make their gender clearer.
Social Media, Social Integration and Subjective Well-being among Urban Migrants in China • Lu Wei; Fangfang Gao, Zhejiang Univesity • As Chinese urban migrants are increasingly dependent on new media, particularly social media for news, entertainment, and social interaction, it is important to know how social media use contributes to their social integration and subjective well-being. Based on an online survey, this study revealed that social media use can indeed contribute to urban migrants’ social integration, particularly their perceived social identity and weak social ties, but helps little with strong social support and real-world social participation. While social media use can indeed influence urban migrants’ subjective well-being, different types of use may have different effects. Finally, urban migrants’ social integration, particularly their level of social identity, is significantly associated with their subjective well-being.
Blogging the brand: Meaning transfer and the case of Weight Watchers • Erin Willis, University of Memphis; Ye Wang, University of Missouri – Kansas City • Brand communities are becoming increasingly more popular online. The current study examined the Weight Watchers online brand community to understand the role consumer engagement plays in shaping brand meaning and how brand meaning is transferred through consumer-generated content. Social and cultural meanings are discussed. Practical implications for online brand strategy are included and also how to engage consumers with content delivered through brand communities.
Exemplification in Online Slideshows: The Role of Visual Attention on Availability Effects • Bartosz Wojdynski, University of Georgia; Camila Espina, University of Georgia; Temple Northup, University of Houston; Hyejin Bang, University of Georgia; YEN-I LEE, University of Georgia; Nandita Sridhar, University of Georgia • Although research has shown that human examples in news stories wield a high level of influence on the way users perceive story content, the role of attention in these effects has not been tested. Furthermore, it is not clear if exemplification effects identified in traditional linear story forms extend to newer news formats that are more list-based. An eye-tracking experiment (N=87) examined the effects of content type (human exemplar/ no exemplar) and exemplar distribution (early / late / evenly distributed) in online health news slideshow stories on visual attention, exemplar availability, issue perceptions, and behavioral intent. Results showed that the presence of exemplars early in a slideshow significantly increased visual attention throughout the slideshow. Furthermore, availability of slide topic was highly significantly correlated with perceived persuasiveness of slide topic. Implications of the findings for the extension of exemplification theory and the production of list-based informational content are discussed.
Credibility Judgments of Health Social Q&A: Effects of Reputation, External Source, and Social Rating • Qian Xu, Elon university • Social Q&A websites have gained increasing popularity for health information seeking and sharing. This study employs a 2×2×2 between-participants experiment to explore the effects of three interface cues in health social Q&A – reputation, external source, and social rating – on credibility judgments of the answerer and the answer. The study discovered that different cues contributed to different dimensions of perceived answerer credibility. The three cues also complemented each other in influencing perceived answer credibility.
A Multilevel Analysis of Individual- and Community-Level Sources of Local Newspaper Credibility in the United States • Masahiro Yamamoto, University of Wisconsin-La crosse; Seungahn Nah • Existing research has identified salient individual- and community-level factors that systematically account for variations in audience credibility of news media, including an audience’s political orientation, media use, social and political trust, community structural pluralism, and political heterogeneity. The purpose of this study is to test whether audiences’ perceptions of local newspaper credibility are explained by these theoretical variables, using a multilevel framework. Data from a community survey in the United States show that structural pluralism is negatively related to local newspaper credibility. Data also reveal that conservative ideology, social trust, and political trust significantly predict local newspaper credibility. Implications are discussed for the production of news content.
The Need for Surveillance: A Scale to Assess Individual Differences in Attention to the Information Environment • Chance York, Kent State University • Individuals vary with regard to their need to psychologically attend to the information environment, including the information provided by immediate surroundings, interpersonal relationships, and news media. After I outline theoretical explanations—both biological and cultural—for individual differences in environmental attention, I develop a unidimensional scale called Need for Surveillance (NSF) to measure this construct. I show that NSF predicts news use and adhering to the correct news agenda. Implications for media effects are discussed.
Social Pressure for Social Good? Motivations for Completing the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge • Jared Brickman, Washington State University • The incredibly successful ALS Ice Bucket Challenge dominated social media in summer 2014. This study, guided by the ideas of diffusion, peer pressure, and concertive control systems, explores the motivations for participating in the challenge using interviews and a survey of more than 300 undergraduates. Logistic regression revealed that peer pressure, charitable intent, and a lack of perceptions of negativity surrounding the event were all significant predictors of participation.
A New Look at Agenda-Setting Effects: Exploring the Second- and Third-level Agenda Setting in Contemporary China • Yang Cheng, University of Missouri • Through two separate studies in a Chinese context, this research tests and compares the second- and third-level agenda setting effects, examines the differences between the explicit and implicit public agendas. A total of 1,667 news media coverage and 680 effective public surveys are collected and analyzed. Evidence from both studies shows strong attribute agenda setting effects at the second- and third-level, no matter the focus of issue is obtrusive or unobtrusive. Results also demonstrates that the media agenda is positively associated at a higher level with the implicit public agenda than the explicit one.
The silencing of the watchdogs: newspaper decline in state politics • Juanita Clogston • This paper analyzes the pattern in newspaper closures in state capitals to help assess the impact on democracy from the declining watchdog role of the media over state politics. Findings reveal papers in state capitals are at 1.7 times greater risk of failure than papers not in state capitals from 1955 to 2010. Based on analysis of 46 failed papers, risk factors included PM circulation and being one of two papers in the capital.
Sourcing health care reform: Exploring network partisanship in coverage of Obamacare • Bethany Conway, University of Arizona; Jennifer Ervin • Social network analysis was used to examine source use in coverage of the health care reform by CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC. While 72% of sources were unique to a particular news organization, findings indicate that in the three months prior to the bill’s passage similarities existed across networks. Further, MSNBC was much more varied in their source use. Correlations amongst sources and networks change in magnitude and significance over time.
Above the Scroll: Visual Hierarchy in Online News • Holly Cowart, University of Florida • This study considered the usefulness of hierarchical presentation of news content. It compared the news content presented as the top story on five major news website homepages three times a day for one month. Results indicate some level of agreement on what to present as the top story as well the use of conventional visual cues to identify those stories.
Outpouring of success: How the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge engaged Millennials’ narcissism toward digital activism • Andrea Hall, University of Florida; Lauren Furey, University of Florida • Jumping off the popularity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, a survey of 500 Milliennials explores how social media use could lead to narcissistically induced activism. Results revealed a strong correlation between social media use and narcissism, and motives for participating were supported by social comparison theory. Results also revealed that participating in the ALS campaign was perceived as activism, which suggests it behaved as a bridge between traditional and digital activism.
Visual gender stereotyping and political image perception • Tatsiana Karaliova, Missouri School of Journalism; Valerie Guglielmi; Sangeeta Shastry; Jennifer Travers; Nathan Hurst • This online experiment aimed to explore the impact of visual stereotypical and non-stereotypical representations of political candidates on young voters’ political image perception and voting intention. It confirmed the existence of predispositions about male and female political candidates in the evaluation of their practical and emotional traits. Gender had a significant effect on how the candidates were evaluated for practical traits and type of representation had a significant effect on how they were evaluated for emotional traits.
Selfies: True self or Better Self?: A qualitative exploration of selfie uses on social media • Joon Kyoung Kim, Syracuse University • Despite of increased popularity of selfies on social media, little is known about media users’ uses of selfies. Understanding social media users’ uses of selfies in terms of self-presentation is fundamental because use of individuals’ own pictures on social media can be an important mode of self-expression. Use of selfies on social media can be useful for examining individuals’ self-presentation because an individual’s picture on his or her profile is most frequently exposed to other users on social media, it can be used to examine how individual users express themselves. The purpose of this research is to explore how social media users use selfies and perceive them. In-depth interviews were conducted to collect data from social media users in a university in the Northeastern United States. A snowball sampling strategy was used to recruit eleven participants because this study aimed to research certain users who post or share their selfies on social media. In addition, because most social media users who frequently use selfies belong to younger generation such as teenagers, this study focused on young college students who aged 19 to 22 from different majors. Four themes emerged from analysis of in-depth interview data. Selective exposure, frequency, extraversion/introversion, and feedback management emerged under the major theme of impression management. These themes explain how social media users use their selfies to give favorable impression to others and to avoid conveying unfavorable impression to others.
Cultivating gender stereotypes: Pinterest and the user-generated housewife? • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University; Shawna White, Texas Tech University • Through a survey of 315 women, this study explored the relationship between Pinterest use, gender stereotypes and self-perceptions. Results indicate a link between Pinterest use and stereotyped views of gender roles in a relational context. The same link was not found between Pinterest use and self-esteem or body image. Open-ended questions explored cognitive and emotional effects of Pinterest use. A mix of motivation, inspiration, guilt and jealousy were reported. Directions for further research are discussed.
HPV Vaccination in US Media: Gender and regional differences • Wan Chi Leung, University of South Carolina • This study examines newspaper articles and television news transcripts about the HPV vaccine in the U.S. from 2006 to 2014. Findings reveals that media presented HPV vaccine as more beneficial to women’s health instead of men. In the South of the U.S. where the vaccination rate was the lowest among all regions, newspapers tended to talk less about HPV vaccination, and presented less benefits of vaccination, and fewer positive direct quotes.
Putnam’s Clarion Call: An Examination of Civic Engagement and the Internet • Lindsay McCluskey, Louisiana State University; Young Kim, Louisiana State University • The purpose of this research is to develop and test models of civic engagement. We examined various dimensions of civic engagement for antecedents and determinant factors related to the Internet, controlling for effects of a wide range of other variables. Using 2010 national survey data, this study found that significant and different factors (e.g., trust, satisfaction, the location of Internet use, and perceived Internet impact) for dimensions of civic engagement in full multivariate logit models.
The Audience Brand: The Clash Between Public Dialogue and Brand Preservation in News Comment Sections • Meredith Metzler • The tensions between news organizations operating in the public interest and as a business operation have not changed online, and, in fact have become more complicated. In this paper, I examine how comment sections architecture is modified to encourage a particular type of dialogue from the now visible audience. The findings in this paper indicate that the news organizations shape conversational environments occurring within the boundaries of its site.
Let’s Keep This Quiet: Media Framing of Campus Sexual Assault, Its Causes, and Proposed Solutions • Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina; Jo-Yun Queenie Li • This study analyzes ten American newspapers across the country (N = 500) to examine how they present stories about sexual assault on college campuses. We explore attributions for causes and which entities are framed most responsible for creating solutions to the problem: individuals, universities, fraternities, sports teams, or society. Findings indicate media attribute causes to individuals such as victims and perpetrators, but solutions to universities. Liberal newspapers framed the victim as most responsible for causes, and were overall favorable toward universities.
The Discourse of Sacrifice in Natural Disaster: The Case Study of Thailand’s 2011 Floods • Penchan Phoborisut, University of Utah • This paper investigates how the discourse of a natural disaster such as a flood is formed and featured in the Thai media. The paper adopts a textual analysis of news about the floods in 2011, reported in two major Thai mainstream newspapers during the three- month long floods. The emerging theme is sacrifice and repeated coverage on being good citizens. Meanwhile, the issues of environment and social justice were absent. I argue that the articulation of sacrifice can perpetuate social injustice imposed on the vulnerable population.
#JeSuisCharlie: Examining the Power of Hashtags to Frame Civic Discourse in the Twitterverse • Miles Sari, Washington State University; Chan Chen, Washington State University • Using the Charlie Hebdo shooting as a case study for exploratory analysis, this paper bridges the link between framing theory and the power of hashtags to frame civic discourse in the Twitterverse. Through an inductive qualitative content analysis and a critical discourse analysis, we argue that the hashtag Je Suis Charlie constructed a dichotomy of opposition that symbolically placed the massacre in the context of a rhetorical war between free expression and global terrorism.
The Third-Person Perception and Priming: The Case of Ideal Female Body Image • Jiyoun Suk • This paper explores how priming affects the third-person perception in the case of ideal female body image. Through a posttest-only control group experiment, this study reveals that after reading an article about media’s effect on shaping women’s view about their body, the third-person perception was weakened among women. This is because the perceived media effect on self has increased after the priming. It implies how the third-person effect can be easily manipulated through priming.
Is Social Viewing the New Laugh Track? Examining the Effect of Traditional and Digital Forms of Audience Response on Comedy Enjoyment • T. Franklin Waddell, Penn State University • Participants watched a comedy program that randomly varied the presence of social media comments (positive vs. negative vs. no comment control) and the sound of a laugh track (present vs. absent) during programming. Results find that negative social media comments lead to lower levels of program enjoyment through the mediating pathways of lower bandwagon perceptions and lower humor. Surprisingly, canned laughter also had an inhibitory effect on enjoyment via the mechanism of lower narrative involvement.
Heaven, Hell, and Physical Viral Media: An Analysis of the Work of Jack T. Chick • Philip Williams, Regent University • This paper advances the concept of physical viral media: that virality is not limited to digital media, and that examples of media virality predate the digital era. The work under analysis is that of Jack T. Chick, the controversial tract publisher. The paper uses media characteristics and behavior analysis to establish the viral nature of Chick’s work and demonstrate the possibility of virality with the physical form.
The Effects of Media Consumption and Interpersonal Contacts on stereotypes towards Hong Kong people in China • Chuanli XIA, City University of Hong Kong • This study examines the effects of both media consumption and interpersonal contacts on Chinese mainlanders’ stereotypes towards Hong Kong people. The framework was tested with a survey data of 314 mainlanders. Results reveal that media consumption is negatively associated with mainlanders’ positive stereotypes about Hong Kong people, while interpersonal contacts with Hong Kong people result in positive stereotypes about Hong Kong people. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
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.