Public Relations 2016 Abstracts

Open Competition
I Thought They’d Do More: Conflicting Expectations, Constraints and Communication in a University Crowdfunding Program • Abbey Levenshus, University of Tennessee; Laura Lemon, University of Tennessee; MoonHee Cho, University of Tennessee; Courtney Carpenter Childers, University of Tennessee • This study of a university crowdfunding program adds scholarly and practical depth to knowledge of enterprise crowdfunding, a new phenomenon in the higher education fundraising context. The case study identified that development representatives use crowdfunding for donor acquisition, micro-fundraising, and awareness-building. However, the new program struggles due to influences such as limited project leader commitment and lack of urgency. Internal communication and conflicting expectations, ignored in current crowdfunding research, emerged as critical to program success.

Co-branded Diplomacy: A Case Study of the British Council’s Branding of “Darwin Now” in Egypt • Amal Bakry, Coastal Carolina University • In the wake of September 11, cultural diplomacy has become a key element of public diplomacy and dialogue-based initiatives have been used to improve understandings between the Muslim world and the West (Report of the Advisory Committee on Cultural Diplomacy, 2005, p. 4; Bubalo & Fealy, 2005). In 2009, the British Council implemented the “Darwin Now” initiative in Egypt in partnership with the Bibliotheca Alexandrina. Although evolutionary theory is considered controversial in the Islamic world, “Darwin Now” generated mostly positive media coverage. This study utilizes a co-branding theoretical framework in order to examine how the British Council was able to avoid negative spillover effects. In this research, a single case study of the British Council Darwin Now 2009 campaign in Egypt was conducted to examine how the British Council was able to brand the Darwin Now project and to avoid negative spillover effects. The case study consisted of a content analysis of news stories, press releases, and participants’ feedback surveys. In addition, 36 in-depth interviews with informants from the partner organizations, the media, and the general public were conducted. The findings of this study conclude that it was possible to overcome negative spillover effects as a result of partnering with a high-profile national organization such as the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Fundraising on Social Media: How Message Concreteness and Framing Influence Donation Outcomes • Anli Xiao, Penn State University; Yan Huang, The Pennsylvania State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study examined the effect of concreteness and framing of a fundraising message on donation intention and behavioral intentions on social media. A 2 (Message concreteness: abstract vs. concrete) × 2 (Message framing: gain vs. loss) between-subjects experiment (N = 213) revealed that a message with concrete details about donation outcomes elicited greater intention to donate compared to a message with only a general description of the donation outcomes. Message concreteness had indirect effects on donation intention, donation amount, and intentions to act on the fundraising post through heightened cognitive elaboration, perception of message credibility, transparency, message vividness, and empathy. Framing the donation outcomes in terms of gains due to donors’ action or loss as a result of inaction, however, did not result in significant differences on donation intention, donation amount and social media intentions. The theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Communicating effectively about social causes: Congruence between prosocial motives and CSR attributions • Baobao Song; Mary Ann Ferguson, University of Florida • Through the lens of applicable social psychology theories, this study gives practical direction to strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication that encourages stakeholder’s donations to corporate-sponsored social causes and creates positive stakeholder-corporation relationships. An experiment with 373 adults studied two types of individual prosocial motives (intrinsic and extrinsic) and two different messages about the corporation’s intrinsic or extrinsic motives for its CSR programs. The theory tested here predicted and found that, through prosocial sense-making, a stakeholder’s intrinsic prosocial motivation followed by CSR communication about the corporation’s intrinsic prosocial motives led to not only strengthened perceptions of self and organizational prosocial identities, but also created stakeholder-company identification (S-C Identification), plus positive affective attitudes, and behavioral intentions towards the corporation. In addition, the monetary benefit for the social cause, significantly increased by three times when stakeholder’s intrinsic personal prosocial motives matched the perception that the CSR motives were intrinsic.

Organizational Authenticity and Stakeholder Advocacy: Testing the Arthur W. Page Society’s Building Belief Model • Callie Wilkes, University of Florida; Kathleen Kelly, University of Florida • Authenticity and advocacy are concepts that hold great interest for both public relations scholars and practitioners. The study reported in this paper surveyed employees about their perceptions of their organization’s communication and authenticity, as well as the degree to which the employees advocate on behalf of their organization. Results showed a strong relationship between two-way symmetrical communication and perceived organizational authenticity, and, together, the two variables explained 53% of the variance in employee advocacy.

Beyond Structural Encroachment: An Examination of the Relationship Dynamics between Public Relations and Fundraising in Higher Education • Christopher Wilson, Brigham Young University; Mark Callister, BYU; Melissa Seipel, BYU; Meghan Graff, Brigham Young University • While previous research has examined the extent of fundraising encroachment on public relations in colleges and universities, most of the research conducted to understand the impact of encroachment on public relations, as well as the factors that underlie encroachment, has focused on for-profit organizations or charitable non-profits generally. This study examines the relationships between public relations and fundraising departments, as well as the factors that influence that relationship, through in-depth interviews with 23 senior public relations officers at public and private colleges and universities listed on the Philanthropy 400.

Credibility and deception in native advertising: Examining awareness, persuasion, and source credibility in sponsored content • Denise Bortree, Penn State University; Anli Xiao, Penn State University; Fan Yang, Pennsylvania State University; Ruoxu Wang, Penn State University; Mu Wu, Penn State University; Yan Huang, The Pennsylvania State University; Ruobing Li, Penn State University • This study examined the impact of awareness of native advertising, level of promotional content, and media credibility on the evaluation of sponsored content such as perceived credibility, perceived deception and future reading intention. Results from the 2x2x2 experiment (N = 500) found that awareness of native advertising leads to lower perceived credibility and higher perceived deception. However, native advertising with high promotional content is judged as more credible than messages with low promotional content.

Stakeholder Theory and World Consumer Rights Day as Indicator of China’s Growing Corporate Social Responsibility Commitment • Donnalyn Pompper; Chiaoning Su, Temple University; Yifang Tang • This study was designed to expand stakeholder theory building beyond capitalist-democratic system contexts as a means for assessing corporate social responsibility (CSR) commitment. We focused on The People’s Republic of China and stakeholders engaged with World Consumer Rights Day by scrutinizing a full-week of 2015 coverage produced by 21 Chinese newspapers (N=685 news items) and conducting a hermeneutic phenomenological theme analysis. In addition to identifying ways stakeholder groups were represented among the World Consumer Rights Day reportage, findings suggested three emergent themes providing clues as to how CSR may be evolving in China: 1) Empowering consumers to pressure business into being responsible, 2) Making government policy to support consumers, and 3) Encouraging a consumer-corporation relationship philosophy. China may be moving away from a primarily philanthropic approach to CSR since supporting consumer-stakeholders is one means by which this is accomplished.

Public Relations Channel “Repertoires”: Exploring Patterns of Channel Use in Practice • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland; Aimei Yang, University of Southern California; Maureen Taylor, University of Tennessee, Knoxville • There are more communication channels available to public relations practitioners today than ever before. While practitioners may use any number of channels to accomplish public relations objectives, public relations research has tended to focus on the use of single communication channel in isolation from other available channels. This study asked senior public relations practitioners in the United States, Brazil, South Africa, New Zealand, and Australia (N = 504) how they employ combinations of media channels or “channel repertoires” to reach their publics. Exploratory analyses revealed four distinct patterns or repertoires of channels. Results of regression analyses revealed that many public relations functions predict the use of certain channel repertoires, and which functions of public relations use more channels than others. The findings have implications for public relations theory building, practice, and pedagogy on media planning and engagement with publics.

Predictors of Members’ Supportive Behaviors Towards Nonprofit Membership Associations • Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama; MoonHee Cho, University of Tennessee • This study investigated determinants of members’ supportive behavioral intentions—to donate and to recommend the membership to others in the context of professional membership associations. Using empirically collected data from more than 5,000 members across six professional membership associations, this study found professional benefits, personal benefits, past donation experience, gender and age for significant factors on the two intentions. However, lengths in the field and solicitation were not significant factors for the members’ supportive future behaviors.

Stewardship and Credibility Strategies in Political Websites • Geah Pressgrove, WVU; Carolyn Kim, Biola University • In today’s digital environment, online stakeholders are more important than ever for political candidates. This study uses a quantitative content analysis of the website home pages of all presidential, senate and congressional candidates in the 2016 election in order to identify stewardship and credibility strategies used. Findings provide valuable insight into the future of online political communication.

Generation 3: Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility in the Age of the Integrated Corporate Citizen • Heidi Hatfield Edwards, Florida Institute of Technology • Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is multi-disciplinary. The literature contains a variety of approaches to and definitions of CSR. CSR communication scholarship has extended beyond the traditional transmission conceptualization of communication to explore CSR through a “communication constitutes organizations” (CCO) lens. This theoretical shift coupled with the increasing practice of strategically planned CSR encourages scholars and practitioners to rethink the role of CSR as an integral part of the organizational narrative. This construction fits with the concept of the corporate global citizen in which a corporation’s activities as a whole embody CSR. This paper examines award-winning corporate/cause partnerships over a ten year period to determine if and how industry standards and expectations of CSR have shifted. Applying the concept of generational CSR, CECP Directors’ Award recipients from 2004 to 2014 are analyzed to better understand if and how communication about such partnerships have evolved to third-generation, integrated CSR. Findings support a trending shift toward communicating more integrated partnerships. Implications for public relations practitioners who must develop corporate narratives and scholars negotiating the interdisciplinary conceptualizations are discussed.

Defining Publics Through CSR Communication: Testing an Integrated Theoretical Model for Examining the Impact of Companies’ Environmental Responsibility Messaging Strategies • Holly Ott, University of South Carolina • This study aims to apply the situational theory of publics and framing theory to corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication research. Specifically, the purpose of the study is to apply and test the theories in this realm to determine how different environmental issues and the manner in which information about each issue impacts publics’ behaviors and, ultimately, their perceptions of a Fortune 500 company and of a given environmental issue. Using a 3 (message frame: diagnostic, prognostic, or motivational) x 2 (environmental issue: general vs. specific) plus control between subjects experimental design, the study examines the attitudes, cognitions, and behavioral intentions different publics may form about different environmental responsibility issues. Furthermore, the study aims to examine how different types of message frames (diagnostic, prognostic, or motivational) and topics may impact how a company can move a public toward information seeking behaviors. Structural equation modeling was used to examine significant paths between variables, thus creating a proposed new theoretical model that can be applied to CSR literature. The present study adds to existing CSR communication research by applying a new theory to CSR literature and offering an integrated model that can assist companies with addressing questions that could enable organizations to enhance their CSR communication efforts.

Crafting Employee Trust: From Authenticity, Transparency to Engagement • Hua Jiang, Syracuse University; Yi Luo, Montclair State University • Based on a random sample of employees (n=391) working across different industry sectors in the US, we proposed and tested a model that investigated how authentic leadership, transparent organizational communication, and employee engagement, as three influential organizational factors, were linked to employee trust. We also examined the interrelationships among these key factors closely associated with long-term business success and organizational development. Results of the study supported our conceptual model, except for the direct effect of authentic leadership upon employee engagement. Theoretical contributions and managerial ramifications of the study were discussed.

The Evidence of Expectancy Violation Induced by Inconsistent CSR Information • Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota; Young Eun Park, Indiana University • Applying expectancy violation theory, the study examines how a company’s commitment to CSR interacts with the timing of receiving public relations messages (i.e., presentation order), and how they affect the public’s evaluation of the CSR campaign. The results reveal that presentation order influences the public’s attitudes and the WOM intentions when a company showed a low commitment, but the order effects disappeared when a company perceived to be dedicated to the CSR campaign. The public’s attribution to altruism, however, can differ by the presentation order even though the company showed high commitment. The result suggests potential backfire affects that associated with inconsistent CSR information, especially when public expectations are negatively violated. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Empowering Consumers Through Participatory CSR Programs: The Effect of Participatory CSR on Company Admiration and WOM Communications • Hyojung Park, Louisiana State University; Soo-Yeon Kim, Sogang University • This study conceptualized participatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a consumer empowerment strategy, which allows for public participation in CSR development and implementation. To test positive effects from participatory CSR, a 2 (type of CSR program) × 4 (tone of consumer comments) experiment was conducted in a social media context. The participatory CSR program led participants to have higher levels of perceived self-efficacy and social worth, and these subsequently resulted in stronger intentions to speak positively about the company’s CSR efforts.

Effects of Organization Sustainability Communication: The Influence of Interactivity, Message Framing, and Type of Medium • Jeyoung Oh; Eyun-Jung Ki, The University of Alabama • To understand how interactivity, message framing, and type of medium affects public perceptions and reactions to an organization in organization sustainability communication, this study conducted a 2 (interactivity: high vs. low) x 2 (message framing: gain-focused vs. loss-focused) x 2 (medium type: Facebook vs. organizational blog) experimental survey (N = 394). Results show that the level of interactivity and type of message framing appears significantly influences social presence of the message and public positive word-of-mouth intention. Public intention to generate positive word-of-mouth was highest when the message had high interactivity with gain-focused message conveyed in the organization’s Facebook page.

Holy Guacamole! A social network and framing analysis of the Chipotle E. coli contamination issue • John Brummette, Radford University; Hilary Fussell Sisco, Quinnipiac University • Active social media users can develop narratives and frames that, regardless of their accuracy, influence the trajectory of an issue or crisis. As a result, public relations practitioners must continually scan and monitor the dialogue that occurs on social media. Through the use of an agenda-setting and social network analysis framework, this study analyzed the Twitter network and frames that formed around the Chipotle E. coli issue.

Examining the Intersection of Strategic Communications Planning and Social Media Strategy: A Multi-Method Approach • Kenneth Plowman, Brigham Young University; Christopher Wilson, Brigham Young University • While public relations industry leaders have proposed a strategic approach to social media that follows traditional public relations process models, industry research has found that social media practices do not necessarily incorporate these strategic planning principles. Meanwhile, scholarly research on the organizational use of social media has largely focused on message- and channel-level strategy. The purpose of this study is to examine the integration of strategic communication planning with current organizational social media practice at the program level through in-depth interviews and a national survey of public relations practitioners.

Understanding Peer Communication about Companies on Social Media: Evidence from China and the United States • Linjuan Rita Men; Sid Muralidharan • This study proposed and tested a social media peer communication model that links tie strength, social media dependency, and public–organization social media engagement to the peer communication process and organization–public relationship outcomes. Results of a cross-cultural survey of 328 American and 304 Chinese social media users showed that tie strength and public–organization social media engagement are positive predictors of peer communication about companies on social media that leads to quality organization–public relationship outcomes.

Volkswagen mea culpa: Messages, media coverage, and audience responses to the 2015 emission scandal • Melody Fisher; Leslie Rodriguez Rasmussen; Riva Brown, University of Central Arkansas Department of Communication • The body of crisis communication research primarily focuses on one aspect of the communication process: internal and external factors surrounding a company’s response, the discourse of company literature, or audience reception. This study examines the entire communication process of a corporation’s response to crisis — the sender, message, and receiver. Specifically, this study analyzes Volkswagen’s crisis communication strategies and tactics while focusing on the interplay of its messages, media coverage, and audience response.

Facebook, Instagram, and Message Frames • Michel Haigh, Penn State; Kristen Laubscher • This study conducted a 2 (social media messages posted on Facebook and Instagram) by 3 frames – corporate social responsibility, corporate ability, and hybrid) experiment with stakeholders (N = 519). Results indicate Instagram messages significantly increased stakeholders’ purchase intent compared to Facebook messages. In addition, corporate social responsibility frames had a positive influence on stakeholders’ perceptions of the organization’s corporate social responsibility and organization-public relationship.

The Roles of Distrust and Media Use on Risk-Associated Affects, Efficacy, and Activism: The 2015 Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) Outbreak Crisis in South Korea • MInjeong Kang, The Media School, Indiana University; Jangyul Kim, Colorado State University; Heewon Cha, Division of Communication & Media, Ewha Womans University • The scale of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) outbreaks has been global. The 2015 South Korean MERS case is unique in that public distrust of the government and inaccurate, unreliable news media coverage of the outbreak unprecedentedly elevated and amplified public risk perceptions. The current study addressed how ineffective government communication, distrust, media use, and negative emotions can lead to public activism intentions and activism behaviors against the government. An online survey with 400 representative samples of South Korean citizens was conducted to assess these links. The study’s findings demonstrated that poor dialogic communication by the government during the crisis exerted a strong effect on public distrust toward the government and public distrust toward the government subsequently led to the arousal of negative emotions (anger and anxiety) among the public. Individuals’ media frame perceptions were also found to influence the arousal of anger and anxiety, mediated by their media uses for information about the crisis. The findings of the study expanded Turner’s Anger Activism Model by identifying critical factors affecting the levels of negative emotions during the MERS crisis, which ultimately led to an increase in activism intentions and behaviors among the public.

Relational Conciliation Effects on Hot-Issue Publics in a Crisis: • Myoung-Gi Chon; Jeong-Nam Kim • The purpose of this study is to explore models for monitoring and predicting active publics and their communicative action regarding organization reputation in a crisis. This study used panel data with 347 participants using social media, conducting the survey twice to track changing publics and evaluate the effectiveness of organizational efforts to cool down publics on the given issue. This study presents two conceptual models based on the Situational Theory of Problem Solving (STOPS) and the theory of Organization-Public Relationships (OPR) to explain changing active publics and illuminate how communicative behaviors change over the course of time in an organizational crisis.

Cyber-security breach and crisis response: An analysis of organizations’ official statements in the U.S. and South Korea • Nahyun Kim; Suman Lee, Iowa State University • The purpose of this study is to investigate characteristics of crisis responses (responsibility admittance, sympathetic expression, compensation, reassurance, spokesperson, victimization, unavoidability) appearing in official statements when a cyber-security breach threatens organizational reputation. It analyzed 108 official statements issued by U.S. and South Korean organizations. The study found that (1) organizations are hesitant to actively admit responsibility, highly express sympathy, and clearly mention compensation. Instead, they vigorously promise that a data breach will not happen again (reassurance); (2) employees are frequent perpetrators of cyber-breaches, as are outside hackers, and (3) individual spokespeople such as CEOs, presidents, and other managers (PR, HR, and IT) are more visible in the U.S. In contrast, in the statements issued by the Korean organizations, collectively referred group identities such as all members of organization and name of organization are more visible.

The State of Peer Review in the Public Relations Division: A Survey • Pat Curtin; John Russial, University of Oregon; Alec Tefertiller, University of Oregon • This study reports the findings from a survey of AEJMC conference paper reviewers, with particular emphasis paid to the 90 respondents who have reviewed for the Public Relations Division, to determine how they characterize the state of peer review both as reviewers themselves and as recipients of reviews. Significant differences exist between how they approach reviewing conference papers versus journal submissions, and how satisfied PRD reviewers are with the process compared to other AEJMC reviewers.

How Organizations Built and Framed the National News Media Agenda for Postmenopausal Hormone Therapy • Paula Weissman, American University • This content analysis explored how health and medical organizations influenced national news media coverage about postmenopausal hormone therapy from 1995 to 2011. A positive, significant relationship was found between the quantity of press releases (N=675) and news stories (N=429) over time (r = .55, p<.001). Findings supported the transference of attribute frames (benefits and risks) from the PR to the news agenda. Press releases and news stories communicate different benefits and risks than FDA-regulated channels.

Communicating Social Responsibility Efforts: A Success Strategy for Nonprofits or a Shift from Stakeholders’ Priorities? • Richard D. Waters, University of San Francisco; Holly Ott, University of South Carolina • Through a 2×5 experiment that tested the message believability and source credibility of corporate social responsibility (CSR) messaging by nonprofit organizations, this study sought to determine whether CSR messaging that is unrelated to a nonprofit organization’s mission and area of programmatic service could boost its reputation. Much of the CSR literature has documented benefits of CSR communication for corporations, but recent research has shown that nonprofit leaders are skeptical of CSR messaging because of its potential to make the nonprofit appear that it is focusing on aspects other than its mission. The results of this study highlight that CSR messaging does provide a reputational boost to the nonprofit, but the organization should be cautious as to how they incorporate the CSR messaging into their communication efforts.

The Invisible Moderators: Homophily Thesis and Agenda-Building Role of State-Owned media in the 2014 Hong Kong Protest • Tianduo Zhang, University of Florida; Ji Young Kim; Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Barbara Myslik, University of Florida; Liudmila Khalitova, University of Florida; Jordan Neil; Craig Carroll, New York University; Guy Golan, Syracuse University; spiro kiousis • This study aims to advance theoretical and practical knowledge of political public relations and mediated public diplomacy through analyzing the agenda-building effects of state-own media in 2014 Hong Kong Protest, and testing whether social system homophily predicts the strength such agenda-building effects. Our results present strong correlations between Chinese state-own media agenda and foreign media agenda of 11 countries across. The democratic, cultural, and press freedom proximity does not impact state-own media’s agenda-building effect.

Buffer or Backfire: How Pre-Crisis Associations and Attitude Certainty Impact Consumer Crisis Responses • Weiting Tao, University of Miami • This experiment examines how consumers with positive associations in corporate ability versus social responsibility respond to associated-based crises differently. It also tests how consumers further adjust their responses based on the perceived certainty in their pre-crisis company attitudes. Results reveal that attitude certainty determines when positive pre-crisis associations buffer a company against crises or backfire. Additionally, the buffering and backfiring effects vary in magnitude dependent on the relevance of the crisis to these associations.

Understanding Publics’ Post-Crisis Social Media Engagement • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University; Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University • Through an online survey, this study examines publics’ post-crisis social media engagement behavioral intentions including information seeking, support seeking, as well as negative and positive word-of-mouth in Chipotle’s E. coli crisis. Results indicate that uncertainty avoidance and relational trust may affect perceived severity, perceived susceptibility (i.e., likelihood of being affected by the crisis threat), and negative emotions (i.e., anger, contempt, disgust and fear), which lead to subsequent social media communication behavioral intentions.

Looking for Motivational Routes for Employee-Generated Innovation: The Effect of Individual, Managerial, and Compensatory System Factors on Employees’ Work Creativity and Scouting • Yeunjae Lee; Alessandra Mazzei; Alessandro Lovari; Jeong-Nam Kim • The purpose of this study is to (1) develop an integrated model of employees’ scouting behavior, (2) investigate how individual, managerial, and compensatory system factors affect employee empowerment and creativity, and (3) examine how employee empowerment and creative process engagement influence on communicative action, scouting behavior. A web-based survey of 306 current employees who are working full-time in a semi-conductor company in Italy explored the antecedents of a newly introduced employees’ communicative behavior, scouting. It refers to employees’ voluntary communication efforts to bring relevant information to the organization. Results suggest that the employees’ empowerment and creative work engagement are positively related to their scouting behavior. Moreover, we examined how employees’ intrinsic motivation, leader’s empowering leadership, and compensatory system factors affect employees’ empowerment and work creativity. Theoretical and practical implications for future research are discussed.

Student
Bridging the Gap: Testing the Mediating Effects of Relationship Quality and Type in the CSR Communication Process • Alan Abitbol, Texas Tech University • Utilizing the stakeholder and relationship management theories as framework, this study examined the mediating effects of perceived relationship quality and type on the CSR communication process. The results of an online survey of consumers (N = 847) showed that relationship quality and communal relationships mediated the relationship between exposure to CSR messages and attitude. This suggests the impact of a company’s CSR communication can be more effective on positive outcomes if they prioritize company-stakeholder relationships.

Motivation with Misinformation: Conceptualizing Lacuna Individuals and Publics as Knowledge Deficient, Vaccine-Negative Issue-Specific Activists • Arunima Krishna • This study sought to propose and test a new sub-type of individual activism – lacuna individuals. Lacuna individuals are those who hold high levels of negative attitudes about an issue, have deficient issue-specific knowledge, and yet are highly motivated in their information behaviors about the issue. The evaluation and acceptance of scientifically non-legitimate data, referred to as knowledge deficiency, and negative attitudes about the respective issues, form the focal points of the conceptualization of lacuna individuals. In this study, the context vaccine negativity in the US was investigated to identify lacuna individuals about vaccine safety. Results revealed that knowledge deficient, vaccine-negative individuals displayed higher levels of issue-specific perceptions, motivations, and communication behaviors about vaccines as a social issue than did non-knowledge deficient, non-vaccine negative individuals. Results, therefore, support the conceptualization of lacuna individuals, and publics, as knowledge deficient activists holding high levels of negative attitudes, and contribute to public relations scholarship by bringing knowledge and attitudes in conversation with issue-specific activism.

Testing the Integrated Crisis Mapping (ICM) Model as a Predictive Tool for the NFL’s Concussion Crisis • Danielle Myers, THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI SCHOOL OF JOURNALISM; Douglas Wilbur, The University of Missouri School of Journalism • This study repurposes the integrated crisis-mapping (ICM) model as a public relations (PR) tool for practitioners to choose an optimal response message frame in anticipation of an emotional reaction from publics. The context used for this study National Football League’s (NFL) issue of player concussions, which is a significant PR threat. Quadrants two and four of the model were tested using two hypothetical crisis response frames: accident and an equipment failure. A web-based experiment was conducted using a 2 (response condition) x 2 (involvement: high vs. low) x 2 (exposure to the NFL concussion issue) between subjects factorial design. Findings suggest that the message frames are not significant predictors of the emotions posited by the ICM model. Feelings of schadenfreude and sympathy were present; participants were more sympathetic toward NFL players than to the NFL. The accident condition was a predictor of perceived high organizational engagement, increased message credibility, and more positive perceptions of corporate reputation in comparison to the equipment failure condition. Those indicating higher involvement toward the NFL also indicated more favorable perceptions of corporate reputation, while those who were more exposed to the NFL concussion issue prior to the study indicated less favorable perceptions of corporate reputation.

The NFL and Its Concussion Crisis: Adapting the Contingency Theory to Examine Shifts in Publics’ Stances • Douglas Wilbur, The University of Missouri School of Journalism; Danielle Myers, University of Missouri • The National Football League is immersed in a serious conflict involving a disease called Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy (CTE). The conflict appears to have manifested into a crisis with the release of Sony Motion Picture’s film Concussion, which is highly critical of the league. The movie has the potential to influence various publics in a manner that is harmful to the league. This study uses the contingency theory of conflict management, specifically stance adoption along the contingency continuum, as the theoretical framework. Past studies have used the contingency continuum to evaluate the shifting stances of organizations during crisis communication. However, the purpose of this study is to determine if various unorganized publics can develop stances in the same manner in which an organization may adopt a stance. A quantitative content analysis of tweets using the hashtag “#ConcussionMovie” or the words “NFL” and “concussion within the same tweet was used to gather data. Non-parametric tests revealed statistically significant findings that indicate most publics have adopted a positive advocative stance towards the movie. The findings also indicate that four of the six publics adopted an advocacy stance against the league, while two indicate a mildly accommodative stance. This study provides some evidence that contingency theory can be expanded to include not only the organization involved in the crisis, but also unorganized publics, although further research is required. The study also has implications for public relations practitioners who must account for the multitude of reactions of various publics during a crisis situation.

Public relations education in an emerging democracy: The case of Ghana • Esi Thompson, University of Oregon • A lot of studies have paid attention to public relations education in different countries. But, there is a dearth of studies on public relations education in emerging democracies in Africa. This is in spite of calls by scholars (e.g., Sriramesh 2002) for evidence of non US experiences and perspectives to enrich the profession. The current study responds to this call by investigating public relations education in Ghana. Through interviews, this study unearths how public relations lecturers in Ghana are preparing students for the industry in an emerging democracy. The findings show that lecturers perceive a reluctance on the part of professionals to accept students for internships and jobs. Furthermore, although there are curriculum inconsistencies across the diploma, bachelors and masters level, under resourced lecturers find ways to appropriate and provide the students with skills needed for industry.

Do local news side with a local organization? The impact of boosterism and information subsidies on local and national news about the crisis of Ray Rice and the Baltimore Ravens • Eunyoung Kim, University of Alabama • The study examines how local news tends to support local organizations differently from national news. Three reasons of differentiation between local and national news were suggested: organizations’ boost to the city’s economic growth, journalists’ personal/professional values, and information subsidy of local news from local organizations. Content analyses on news about the Ravens’ crisis show positive relationships between dependency on organizational sources and supportive coverage on local news. Theoretical and practical implications are presented in conclusion.

Does Public Segmentation Matter in Crisis Communication? The Interplay between Public Segmentation and Crisis Response Strategies • Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Jo-Yun Queenie Li; Baobao Song • The Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) provides guidelines for understanding the effectiveness of different crisis response strategies. The current study showcases the importance of public segmentation in the SCCT model. A 3 (crisis response strategy: deny, diminish, rebuild) × 4 (public segment: advocate, dormant, adversarial, apathetic) factorial experiment was conducted. The findings suggest that advocate public expressed more positive evaluation about the company when exposed to rebuild and deny strategies. Both dormant and adversarial stakeholders reported positive responses on rebuild and diminish strategies. However, no difference was found among apathetic public. Theoretical and managerial implications are also discussed.

Relationship cultivation strategies on global art museums’ Facebook fan pages • Joongsuk Lee, University of Alabama; Woojin Kim, University of Texas • This study examined types and indicators of relationship cultivation strategies on Facebook fan pages of 168 global art museums by using a content analysis. Findings showed that the networking strategy was most often used, followed by access, positivity, openness, assurance, and sharing of tasks. Other findings reported that nearly half of all 18 indicators were less used than one-half of the total sample. The indicators less used than half are links to other online entertainment media, histories, mission statements, exhibitions, responses to user reviews, membership fees, e-stores, and donations. Implications of the results are discussed.

Message Framing Effects on Increasing Donation for Nonprofit Organizations • Jung Won Chun, University of Florida • Message framing has been considered as an important theoretical framework to understand publics’ perception of nonprofit organizations’ charitable giving campaigns and their subsequent behavior intentions. By adopting appropriate message strategies, particularly framing, charitable giving campaigns can overcome apathy toward a group of unidentified victims and increase donors’ participation. The current study explored the effects of message framing focusing on regulatory fit (promotion vs. prevention), and donation target (episodic vs. thematic) by employing a 2 × 2 experimental design. The results revealed that people who read a promotion-focused message were more willing to donate than those who read a prevention-focused message when the message targeted several unidentified victims. A moderated mediation effect of feeling of hope showed the underlying mechanism to explain the effects of message framing.

The 2015 China Cruise Ship Disaster: An Extended Analysis of Image Restoration Strategies • Lijie Zhou, The University of Southern Mississippi • This mixed-analysis study examined the Chinese government’s crisis communication efforts across three stages of 2015 China cruise ship disaster. Though a quantitative analysis, this study compared the major image restoration strategies used at each stage. Beyond statistical comparisons, though a textual analysis, the study discussed the culture influence on usage of image restoration strategy and what cultural dimensions should be considered when designing crisis communication strategies so as to be culturally sensitive and relevant.

Seeing a Crisis through Colored Glasses: Exploring Partisan Media and Attribution of Crisis Responsibility on Government Trust in a National Crisis • Myoung-Gi Chon; Elisabeth Fondren, Louisiana State University • The goal of this study is to explore how partisan media influence publics’ attribution of crisis responsibility and government trust in a national crisis. Using a real disaster, the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster of South Korea, this study examined that how partisan media influence attribution of crisis responsibility to government. Further, attribution of crisis responsibility as a mediator was tested in the study. The results revealed that publics accessing liberal media are more likely to attribute crisis responsibility to the government; whereas publics reading conservative media are less likely to attribute crisis responsibility to the government. However, attribution of crisis responsibility appeared to mediate the effect of partisan media on government trust in a crisis.

Please Share Your Voice: Examining the Effect of Two-way Communication Approach in Crisis Response Messages • Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Tsuyoshi Oshita, Michigan State University • The current study employed an experiment (N=250) to investigate the effects of two-way communication approach in crisis communication on individual’s attitude toward the crisis response message and the company. We also considered perceived fairness as the mediator to explain the effect of two-way communication. The results showed two-way communication approach has positive influence on participants’ attitude, which suggest that excellence theory is still valid in the context of crisis communication. Moreover, as predicted, individual’s perceived fairness from the organization explains why two-way communication works. The findings provided both scholarly and practical implications for crisis communication.

Expanding the Integrated Crisis Mapping Model: Publics’ Emotions, Coping, and Organizational Engagement Following the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing • Sylvia Guo • Guided by the Integrated Crisis Mapping (ICM) model and coping literature, this study qualitatively examined online publics’ crisis emotions, especially positive ones, coping methods, and a focal organization’s (Boston Athletic Association, or BAA) engagement as discursively enacted on the Boston Marathon Facebook (BMF) page during one month following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. Results from qualitative content analysis showed that positive public emotions existed and stemmed from online publics’ identity, coping, and BAA’s engagement. Publics engaged in cognitive, emotional, action-based, and discursive coping; they formed a rhetorical digital community where a renewal discourse fostered positive emotions, aided coping, and guided BAA’s engagement. By detailing the connections among publics’ positive emotions, coping, BAA’s engagement, and community discourse, this study offers suggestions to (1) refine and expand the ICM model, and (2) develop a community-based, organization-decentered renewal discourse, which reflects the social media landscape and can be integrated in the ICM model.

Fortune 100 Companies’ Overall Social Media Presence and Dialogic Engagement at Facebook • Tae Ho Lee • Based on the dialogic theory, this content analysis explored the overall usage of social media platforms by Fortune 100 companies, and the actual dynamics of communication on Facebook, by investigating 261 profiles found on various social media platforms, together with 400 posts and 268 responses on Facebook. The findings suggested the widespread adoption of diverse platforms, a meaningful presence of special purpose accounts, and the lack of realization of dialogic potential. Practical implications are discussed.

The Voice of the Public: Twitter’s Role in Crisis Communication • Terri Manley, Texas Tech University; Mary Norman, Texas Tech University • On August 18, 2015, 37 million private Ashley Madison accounts were leaked onto the dark web. Using a content analysis to analyze the Twitter comments to understand the reactions, focus of interest, and emotional elements regarding the hack and the company, the results indicated that the public’s attention focused more on who was on the website, and what exactly the website stood for versus the negligence of the company’s security and business practices.

Mismatch vs. Magnitude: Defining and Testing Overresponse and Overreaction • Tyler G Page, University of Maryland • Situational Crisis Communication Theory suggests reputation repair strategies for organizations facing crises, however, it does not explain the impact of magnitude of response or what constitutes an overreaction. This study defines two different types of overreaction: overreaction and overresponse. It experimentally tests both with a sample of 487 participants and finds that magnitude of response can impact crisis outcomes. Implications for theory and practitioners are discussed.

Can We Trust Government Again? An Experimental Test of Government Reputation Repair and Kategoria • Tyler G Page, University of Maryland • This study is the first to compare how effective Situational Crisis Communication Theory response strategies are in repairing the reputation of governments compared to businesses. Using an experiment of 232 participants, it shows that a government in crisis will experience better outcomes than a business. This research also compares strategies within the denial posture for effectiveness and is the first to examine kategoria and its effects. Implications for theory and practitioners are discussed.

Crowdsourcing Corporate Social Responsibility • Young Eun Park, Indiana University • A growing number of corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices are utilizing online consumer participation (i.e., crowdsourcing). As opposed to traditional CSR communication, the crowdsourcing approach invites the public to generate and decide on companies’ CSR initiatives. The current research examined the effects of crowdsourcing in the context of CSR through experiments using an actual company (Starbucks). A pretest and posttest between subject experiments with three conditions (no crowdsourcing CSR, one-way crowdsourcing CSR, and two-way crowdsourcing CSR) were performed among 108 participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. The results indicate that one-way crowdsourcing was significantly higher than a no-crowdsourcing condition in terms of affective commitment. Also, this study examined crowdsourcing in relation to negative corporate issues covered in the media. The findings indicate that presenting CSR regardless of its format (e.g., CSR report, one-way, or two-way crowdsourcing) generated a positive attitude while crisis significantly decreased attitude.

Constructing Corporate Responsibility and Relationships: Analyzing CEO Letters in Annual Reports by ExxonMobil and Chevron • Zifei (Fay) Chen, University of Miami • Through a qualitative content analysis of CEO letters in ExxonMobil and Chevron’s annual reports from 2005 to 2014, this study explored how corporate responsibility and stakeholder relationships were constructed in the corporate communication process for the two U.S. oil companies. Findings showed financial and economic dominated construction of responsibility and hierarchized stakeholder relationships, revealing the discrepancies between the companies’ social reporting and normative standards of responsible conduct. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Teaching
The State of Social Media Curriculum: Exploring Professional Expectations of Pedagogy and Practices to Equip the Next Generation of Professionals • Carolyn Kim, Biola University; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville • With the rise of social media, university programs are searching for effective ways to prepare students to use social media (Fratti, 2013). This challenge is mirrored by professionals who are also seeking to better equip themselves (Brown, 2014). This study explored key elements that should be included in social media education through interviews with over 20 social media industry leaders. Findings provided extensive guidance for faculty who teach social media courses.

I Love Tweeting in Class, But … A Mixed-Method Study of Student Perceptions of the Impact of Twitter in Large Lecture Classes • Jenny Tatone; Tiffany Gallicano, University of Oregon; Alec Tefertiller, University of Oregon • In this study, we explored how students think the use of Twitter as a pedagogical tool in the large lecture classroom affects their sense of class community (if it has any impact). We also explored students’ opinions about the ways (if any) that Twitter affects their learning experience in a large lecture classroom. We then compared survey data between two classes to identify differences resulting from Twitter use.

Teaching Media Relationships: What’s in the Textbooks? • Justin Pettigrew, Kennesaw State University; Kristen Heflin, Kennesaw State University • Media relations is still an extremely important part of a public relation’s students education. This study examined 6 introductory texts and 6 PR writing texts from a media relations standpoint. The study found that while textbooks provide basic information for reaching the media through tactical means, few go beyond that to discuss initiating and maintain long-lasting relationships with media professionals that are necessary for long-term success in navigating the changing nature of both fields.

A Dam(n) Failure: Exploring Interdisciplinary, Cross-Course Group Projects on STEM-Translation in Crisis Communication • Laura Willis, Quinnipiac University • This exploratory, quasi-experimental study examines whether incorporating an interdisciplinary, cross-course aspect to a group project on the Teton Dam failure in a crisis communication management course would impact public relations students’ ability to translate technical aspects of the crisis for media and public audiences. Results suggest the inclusion of an engineering student as a technical ‘expert’ negatively impacted project grades and increased student frustration. Possible improvements and lessons for future interdisciplinary, cross-course projects are presented.

Empowering the Future Practitioner: Postmodernism in the Undergraduate Public Relations Classroom • Stephanie Madden, University of Maryland; Katie Brown, University of Maryland; Sifan Xu, University of Maryland • Although academics have worked to bring postmodernism approaches into public relations scholarship, there has been little to no attempt to date to integrate postmodern principles into the undergraduate public relations classroom. This study explored how public relations educators can teach postmodern concepts to undergraduate students, as well as the main lessons learned about public relations from a postmodern lens by students. Results of this study indicated students were forced to questions their underlying assumptions about organizational structures for the first time and gained a deeper appreciation for the complexity of public relations.

2016 Abstracts

Newspaper and Online News 2016 Abstracts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 Abstracts

Minorities and Communication 2016 Abstracts

Faculty Research Competition
Mediating the President’s American Otherness from ‘Birthers’ to bin Laden: Television-news representations of Barack Obama, false balance, and power • Angie Chuang, American University School of Communication; Anwulika Ngene • Studies on the racial and religious identity of President Barack Obama, and news media coverage related to the topic, have revealed complex, but consistent, patterns of Othering amid complex news-media messages. While some of these messages, including those from Obama itself, appear to subvert blackness, consistent news-media-fueled attacks on his religion, patriotism, and his citizenship by U.S. birth have driven a dominant culture vs. outsider binary consistent with Stuart Hall’s theories of representation. In one extraordinary week in 2011, these cultural codes were tested in the news media as billionaire Donald Trump publicly demanded Obama’s original birth certificate, fueling an existing “birther” controversy. Later the same week, Obama announced that Osama bin Laden had been killed in a U.S.-led raid, and in this act of reauthorizing his Americanness, effectively silenced Trump and news-media coverage of “birthers.” This study of U.S. television-news coverage during and around that time period finds that journalists contextualized the foreign vs. American aspects of Obama’s identity to construct a mediated form of Americanness afforded to Other out-groups in previous studies. Furthermore, television news networks displayed false balance in positioning Trump’s claims as more or less equal to Obama’s assertion that he was born in the United States.

Priming Black Lives Matter Support: Interaction Effects in the Black and Mainstream Presses • Benjamin LaPoe, Western Kentucky University; Victoria LaPoe, WKU; Jocelyn Porter; Hope Bradford • This study examined three independent variables (online newspaper type, photo demographics, and language) priming support for Black Lives Matter protests and perceptions of story credibility. The inclusion of language characteristic of black press stories and a photo of black protestors primed support for Black Lives Matter protests. Being a black newspaper did not prime perceived credibility of the story and did not prime an increase or decrease in support for Black Lives Matter.

Latino is the New Black: Racial Disparities in Network Television Coverage of Major League Baseball Games. • James Rada, Ithaca College; K. Tim Wulfemeyer, San Diego State University • This research sought to determine whether racially biased commentary is present in televised coverage of professional baseball. Results showed that racial biases that were directed toward African American players in the past still exist, but are now directed toward Latino players. Given baseball’s demographics, which include a significant number of Latino players, this research fills an existing gap in the research while at the same time expanding the discussion beyond the historical Black/White dichotomy.

Using media literacy to counter stereotypical images of Blacks and Latinos • Joseph Erba, University of Kansas; Yvonnes Chen; Hannah Kang, University of Kansas • Critical analysis and deconstruction of media messages have the potential to promote favorable attitudes toward racial minorities. This study tested two types of media literacy interventions (critical and stereotype) aimed at enhancing college students’ attitudes towards Blacks and Latinos. Both interventions enhanced participants’ attitudes but the stereotype intervention was more effective than the critical one, both for short- and long- term effects. Implications address how to use media literacy to enhance conversation about race relations.

Racial Congruence Effect in Candidate Coverage: How Race Affects News Coverage of In- and Out-group Candidates • Mingxiao Sui; Newly Paul; Paru Shah, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Political Science Department; Johanna Dunaway, Department of Communication, Texas A&M University; Brooksie Chastant, Louisiana State University • This paper examines how the race of a journalist, the race of a legislator, and the race of the audience may intersect to influence news coverage of legislative candidates. Data for analysis are from the 2012 state legislative races, corresponding news coverage data, and 2012 ASNE Newsroom Census data. Our findings suggest two intriguing and important patterns. First, candidate coverage is largely driven by the news media’s racial considerations, such that minority reporters cover white and minority candidates in different ways. Second, when the race of reporters, candidates, and audiences intersect, reporters tend to provide more positive coverage of their in-group candidates while creating more negative coverage of the other out-group candidates.

Do Black Lives Matter?: A Content Analysis of New York Times and St. Louis Post Dispatch Coverage of Michael Brown Protests • Mohamad Elmasry, University of North Alabama; Mohammed el-Nawawy, Queens University of Charlotte • This study employed content analysis to examine how the New York Times and St. Louis Post Dispatch framed ‘Black Lives Matters’ protests in the aftermath of the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown. The researchers examined all Times and Dispatch articles dealing centrally with the Michel Brown protests during three separate time periods corresponding to heavy protest activity. The coding scheme measured dominant frame direction, article length, sourcing and mention of protester crimes. Contrary to expectations, the papers provided overwhelmingly sympathetic coverage of ‘Black Lives Matters’ protests. In describing the protests, both newspapers were much more likely to employ a ‘positive’ frame suggesting peacefulness and order than a ‘negative’ frame suggesting lawlessness and deviance. Neither newspaper over-emphasized protester-perpetrated crimes, with both papers making relatively infrequent mention of looting, arson, assault, and gunfire, respectively. Importantly, both newspapers directly quoted protesters much more often than they quoted police officers and other government officials.

More than Just a Tweet: Understanding Black Americans’ Instrumental Use of Twitter • Roselyn J. Lee-Won, The Ohio State University; Tiffany White, The Ohio State University; Bridget Potocki, The Ohio State University; Sung Gwan Park, Seoul National University • The strong presence of Black Americans on Twitter has attracted scholarly attention. Drawing on the uses and gratifications framework on identity-related needs and goal-directed media use, social identity theory, and the rejection-identification model, we examined how discrimination experience, group identification, and racial agency shape Black Americans’ instrumental use of Twitter. An online survey conducted with 323 Black Twitter users living in the United States revealed that the experience of racial discrimination indirectly predicted three types of instrumental use of Twitter (information seeking, opinion expression, and socializing) only through serial mediation of group identification and racial agency. In line with the key postulates of the theoretical frameworks that guided our hypotheses, the results demonstrated that group identification and identity-related needs played a mediating role in the relationship between the socio-structural conditions and the patterns of social media use that are goal-directed and purposeful in nature among Black Twitter users.

Trust and credibility: Race and its effects on audience perceptions of news information from broadcast news and anchors • Sadaf Ali, Eastern Michigan University; Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • This study follows previous research in race and identity that defines “Brown” as a body that is perceived as a threat to the American government and the social values of the country, deemed as being un-American. Conversations post-9/11 have divided “browned” groups as threats or as “model minorities.” This research sees “Brown” and “browned bodies” defined as those from the Orient, while “White” is viewed as the Occident. The research will also further the conversation on the amplifying effects of media securitization on prevalent “othered” frames by examining how audiences respond to potential “threats.” The experiment asks audiences to determine whether the information they are viewing is trustworthy and authentic based on the racial makeup of the news presenter and the way the threat is presented. It uses framing theory to examine how meaning is made and shared in media accounts.

Finding the impact zone: Testing health news for the Native American audience • Sherice Gearhart, Texas Tech University; Teresa Trumbly-Lamsam, University of Nebraska at Omaha; Casey Riesberg, University of Nebraska at Omaha • News media are key sources of health information for the public. Using a 2x2x2 between-subjects design, participants (N = 209) at a powwow responded to questions assessing knowledge and intent to read stories. Results revealed thematically framed stories encouraged knowledge acquisition among non-Natives. An interaction between diabetes news with thematic framing enhanced knowledge among Natives and the general population. Results suggest message strategies can effectively convey health information to Native Americans and non-Native populations alike.

Ethnic media as communities of practice: The cultural and institutional identities • Sherry Yu • In an increasingly multicultural, multiethnic, and multilingual media environment, ethnic media are an important part of the public sphere, and the process in which ethnic discourse is produced deserves attention. This paper advances Husband’s work on ethnic media as communities of practice by exploring ethnic media of young diaspora. Just as ethnic communities are heterogeneous across ethnic groups, depending on immigration history, demographics, and communication infrastructure, among other factors, ethnic media as communities of practice are never homogeneous and lineal practices. The case of Korean media in Vancouver and Los Angeles, one of the most rapidly growing ethnic media sectors in North America, suggests two new identities—cultural identity and institutional identity—in addition to the journalists’ subjective identities which Husband discussed. These two identities that are specific to Korean media confirm diversity within communities of practice and suggest the variations to be considered in the broader discussion of ethnic media as communities of practice.

We talk of what we care about: Understanding climate change perceptions and attitudes across Hispanic, African American, and Anglo racial/ethnic groups • Troy Elias, University of Oregon; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; Daniel Morrison, University of Oregon; Deborah Morrison, University of Oregon; David Morris II, University of Oregon • This research uses survey data from 923 individuals with an equal distribution of Hispanic, African-American, and Anglo participants. With the goal of understanding ethnic populations’ perceptions of climate change, the study examined five factors: (1) knowledge, (2) perceived behavioral control and self-efficacy, (3) social comparison, (4) ideologies, and (5) risk perception, through the theoretical lens of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Study findings show differences in knowledge, attitudes, and intentions to adopt ameliorative, pro-environment behaviors.

Student Paper Competition
Obsessing Over the White: The Effects of Fairness Cream Commercials on Pakistani-American Women. • Aqsa Bashir, University of Florida • This study examines the effects of two types of message appeals (emotional Vs. cognitive) in conjunction with two cultures influencing Pakistani-American women’s ideal skin color. Asian society holds fair skin equivalent to female beauty and cosmetic companies have benefited the most from this by developing a number of fairness creams. A growth in this industry shows Eastern women still conform to ‘white beauty’ while Western women are striving for a sun kissed tan skin. Pakistani-American women are likely to be influenced by both the Pakistani and the Western environment they grew up in, thereby causing changes in their ideologies. The current study found that the hegemonic American culture played a significant role in shifting the Pakistani woman’s ideal skin color toward a darker spectrum. Also Pakistani-American women did not conform to their Asian preference of fair skinned beauty and indicated a satisfaction with their skin color on the whole.

Comparative newspaper coverage of the twentieth century African American freedom struggle • Christopher Frear, University of South Carolina • This systematic literature review examines comparative studies of newspaper coverage of the twentieth century African American freedom struggle. Media historian Michael Schudson wrote that the language used by the media influences collective memory about those people and events. Whether in digital, microfilm, or print archives, newspapers continue to shape the discourse about historical events. Increasing digital access to historical African American newspapers should be an important goal for media archivists for a robust, multi-perspective memory.

When video becomes salient: how ethnic and mainstream newspapers framed the Sandra Bland controversy • Earlesha Butler, University of Florida • “This study analyzed ethnic and mainstream newspaper coverage to determine how each framed the arrest and death of Sandra Bland after the releasing of public video of Bland’s controversial arrest. The study attempted to find if ethic and mainstream newspapers shifted from their traditional news frames. Ethnic newspapers less frequently provided thematic coverage, while mainstream newspapers more frequently framed the story as a conflict. The conflict frame also was more often linked to public video of Bland’s arrest. However, both mainstream and ethnic publications used the attribution of responsibility frame equally, suggesting that the video may have led to a shift in news coverage as both ethnic and mainstream newspapers alike provided news and editorial coverage that addressed social factors illustrated in the video footage.

Black Lives Matter 5280: Bridging Love and Disruptions With Community, Meetings and Social Media • Gino Canella, University of Colorado Boulder • This paper complicates the radical pluralistic politics of social movements through an ethnographic case study of Black Lives Matter 5280 in Denver, Colorado. I examine the organization’s social media activities and public community meeting practices to show how activists challenge negative representations of social movements portrayed by the news media; educate and inform its members; and build bridges between the movement and community organizers, journalists, elected officials, and the public. These strategies build a cohesive movement based on shared struggles.

Media Politics of Belonging • Miriam Hernandez • The present project explores and compares the reporting trends of the cultural aspect of immigration in the 1982-2012 timeframe in the Los Angeles Times. Drawing from assimilation and framing theories, a content analysis was conducted on cultural frames (“immigrant as other” and “inclusion of immigrants”) to examine their background, their evolution in the last decades and the journalistic devices of their reporting. A total of 364 news stories were collected, and 112 had explicit references to cultural arguments. The findings indicate that although progress has been made towards a fairer and more personal representation of the immigrants’ lives in the United States; the exclusion arguments have moved away from just the cultural characteristics, into broader and more abstract subjects, such as the discussion of their political importance to political parties and the passing of legislation to regulate their residence in the country.

At the Border: A comparative examination of U.S. newspaper coverage about unaccompanied immigrant minors • Ricardo Valencia, University of Oregon • In 2014, the U.S. media extensively covered the arrival of thousands of unaccompanied children from Central American to the southern borders. This research attempted to examine if newspapers in cities with high concentrations of Central Americans (Los Angeles Times and The New York Times) and newspapers in cities with low concentrations of Central Americans (The Oregonian and The Seattle Times) covered the issue in a different fashion. The goal was to analyze if the concentration of foreign-born Central Americans could influence the journalistic routines of the newspapers. Using a quantitative analysis of over 150 articles and 900 sources of information, this study examines the pattern of source selection and the articles’ relevance. It finds that the patterns of source selection between the two types of newspapers are similar; a tendency that places Latino sources as peripheral actors. However, newspapers in cities with high concentration of Central American give significantly more relevance to the articles related to the flow of immigrant children. The research concludes by suggesting that a concentration of immigrants may play an important role in the presentation of information in English-speaking newspapers.

2016 Abstracts

Media Management and Economics 2016 Abstracts

Starting up the news: The impact of venture capital on the digital news media ecosystem • Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Matthew Weber • Startup digital news media organizations continue to gain traction in the wake of the turbulence and rapid evolution that marked the news industry over the past few decades. The disruption of the news industry helped to generate a need for innovation and for new business models. In turn, venture capital funding proved critical to the growth of new entrants seeking to gain a foothold in the news media industry. This research explores the interaction between legacy and startup news media organizations as they struggle for scarce resources and seek to grow in the face of a changing marketplace. A rich dataset tracking key legacy and startup news media organizations in the news media industry is used to map funding activity in an effort to analyze resource allocation within the digital news media space. The insights gleaned from the analyses further understanding of the potential consequences of competition by organizations, especially regarding key questions for the business of journalism, such as factors that impact organization founding and potential triggers of organizational failure.

Expanding TV’s Measurement Monopoly: Nielsen’s Inclusion of New Media Subfields • Andrew Yost; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri • Audience measurement markets tend to be monopolies. With audiences migrating to digital platforms conventional television audience measurement is under pressure to change. Such situations, which could lead to new niches emerging in audience measurement markets, challenge their monopolistic structure. We examine Nielsen’s response to recent development in US television through a historical institutional analysis of the trade press. We find that despite changes in audience measurement, Nielsen actually enhanced its monopoly in the digital space.

Why Are News Media on Social Media?: Explaining News Engagement on Tumblr and Digital Traffic to News Websites • Dam Hee Kim, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Meera Desai, University of Michigan • In a digital era, news organizations, despite their financial sufferings, have been quick to embrace social media with dual purposes: to engage users with their content and to drive traffic to websites. By analyzing digital traffic of top 50 news organizations and 230,375 Tumblr posts made by these organizations, this paper examines the relationships between features of news posts and users’ engagement with news posts, and between news organizations’ activities on Tumblr and digital traffic.

Why do journalists resist change? Sense-making and change-communication in managing organizational crises • DHIMAN CHATTOPADHYAY, Bowling Green State University • “Resistance to change and innovation at the workplace is not a new phenomenon. Scholars however, have traditionally studied such developments from a top-down perspective, where resistance is presumed to be a negative force that needs to be eliminated. This study attempts instead to understand why employees, specifically journalists resist change at the workplace, how they use sense-making as a tool to negotiate meanings and resolve conflicts and the role that change-communication plays in the process. Findings indicate sense-making is used as a tool to both heighten a crisis and resolve a conflict. Further, quality of change communication (QCC) and participation in decision making (PDM) has a positive impact on reducing strategic, structural and job-related uncertainties during change processes. Implications for the field are indicated.

Integrating Data Journalism into the Newsroom: Four Phases of Organizational Restructuring • Jan Lauren Boyles, Iowa State University; Eric Meyer, Iowa State University • Similar to prior cycles of professional specialization, news organizations are encountering challenges in managing the talents and expertise of data journalists. Based upon in-depth interviews, this study identifies four phases of organizational restructuring related to the infusion of data newswork. This research finds that as practitioner specialization and task uncertainty increases, news organizations grow in structural complexity. The research also highlights the challenges and best practices related to restructuring newsrooms to promote data journalism.

Innovators or Entrepreneurs? How Students and Instructors View Entrepreneurial Journalism • Jane B. Singer, City University London; Marcel Broersma, University of Groningen • Efforts to prepare students for contemporary media work have led a growing number of universities to add entrepreneurial journalism to the curriculum. This study explores how journalism students and educators in two European countries think about entrepreneurialism. Findings suggest that while “innovation” is a more broadly palatable term, neither students nor staff are resistant to such fundamental entrepreneurial concepts as focusing on the audience, knowing about competitors, or even being savvy about business matters.

Video Game Entrepreneurship: Success Factors in Crowdfunding Campaigns for Video Games • Jiyoung Cha, San Francisco State University • Crowdfunding has become an important funding method for video game developments in the U.S. Interestingly, video game crowdfunding projects have significantly lower success rates compared to other product categories. Recognizing this challenge, this study examines factors influencing the success of crowdfunding campaigns for video games. The analysis of 447 crowdfunding campaigns suggests that human capital, geography, media choice, and the intensity of media use influence the success of crowdfunding for video games.

The Attitudinal Model of Media Firm CSR:A Focus on Additional Values, Emotional Responses to a Parent Brand, Extended Brands Attitude, and Content use Intention • Jong Woo Jun; Jungyun Won, University of Florida; Il Young Ju, University of Florida • This study investigates roles of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) images and perceptions on additional values and emotional responses to Disney and Disney Media Company. Relationships among beliefs (additional values), emotional response to the parent brand of Disney, attitudes toward extended brands of Disney, and behavioral intention related to the parent brand (content use intention) were also explored. By using four dimensions of CSR, this study tries to model the relationship with attitudinal variables of audience.

Pledge Now (To Benefit Yourself)! A Content Analysis of Pubic Radio Fundraising • Joshua Bentley, Texas Christian University • Public radio management involves fundraising management. This study uses a content analysis of a public radio pledge on two statewide networks to analyze the way public radio stations appeal to different donor motivations. The study finds that appeals to self-interest are the most common, and appeals to altruism are the least common. Also, when the programming content is news or talk, appeals tend to be more rational than when the programming content is music.

The Labor Market for University Journalism and Mass Communication Graduates: The Role of the Media Industries • Lee Becker, University of Georgia; C. Ann Hollifield, University of Georgia; Tudor Vlad, University of Georgia • The value of news content is determined by the knowledge, experience and talent of the individuals producing it. This paper examines changes in the labor market for journalists across a crucial period and concludes that the labor market from which media industries draw is largely a reflection of the overall economy. Changes in the size of the workforce, the revenue media organizations receive, and the supply of workers by educational institutions also are important forces.

A cross-country analysis of tablet PC diffusion • Sangwon Lee, Kyung Hee University; Seonmi Lee, KT Corporation; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • Employing the Gompertz model, this study examines macro-level factors influencing tablet PC diffusion in 43 countries. The results suggest that tablet PC is a complement to smartphone in early diffusion of smart device; lower tablet PC price contributes to tablet PC diffusion; and high levels of social network penetration and income are drivers of initial tablet PC diffusion. The country-level study also found that tablets and smartphones are likely substitutes for traditional PCs.

The Effects of Native Advertising on Journalism Values • Seunghyun Kim, University of Oklahoma; Jocelyn Pedersen, Swansea University; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma; Nazmul Rony, University of Oklahoma; Rahnuma Ahmed, University of Oklahoma • This study examined the effects of native advertising on new and traditional online news sites in terms of audience perceptions of journalism values. In addition, this study examined the moderating effects of tone of negativity on journalism values. This study found native advertising has a greater negative influence on news credibility and online news site evaluation than banner advertising when native advertising is presented adjacent to negative editorial content about sponsored brands in the new-online-news-sites condition.

2016 Abstracts

Media Ethics 2016 Abstracts

Carol Burnett Award
Framing Ferguson: Duty-Based Ethical Discourse in the Editorial Pages of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch • Christina DeWalt, The University of Oklahoma • This paper utilizes in-depth textual analysis to examine the editorial content published in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after the shooting of Michael Brown and throughout the subsequent civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri. The moral philosophy of W.D. Ross’ and his conceptualization of prima facie duties is employed as an ethical framework in this study.

Information policy as a force at the gate • Matt Bird-Meyer, University of Missouri • This case study serves as an exploratory piece utilizing an interdisciplinary perspective in applying theories from journalism and library and information science to understand the nature of information policies at online-only, nonprofit newsrooms. By using information policy as a guide to evaluating the newsgathering process, the goal of this paper is to build insight into the gatekeeping forces these reporters encounter.

Open Competition
Bias against bias: How Fox News covered Pope Francis’ climate change stance • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Bruno Takahashi; Ryan Thomas, University of Missouri-Columbia • When Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church, released his encyclical on climate change in June 2015, the Fox News Channel faced a dilemma. Fox News, the most watched cable news network in the United States, has a positive bias for the Pope. But the network is also known for its bias against man-made climate change. Guided by articulation and cognitive dissonance theories, this study analyzed how Fox News covered Pope Francis’ stance on climate change. The analysis found a clear ambivalence in Fox News’ coverage and identified four discursive strategies that the network news used to navigate discursive dissonance.

Moral Exemplars in Advertising: A Rhetorical Criticism of WPP Websites • Erin Schauster, University of Colorado Boulder; Tara Walker; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism • To encourage a sustainable, ethical marketing communications (marcom) industry, ethical exemplars are needed. Wire and Plastic Products (WPP) is a British multinational advertising and public relations company, which holds approximately 350 marcom companies worldwide. WPP’s website states that all WPP companies behave under the “values of honesty, integrity and respect for people.” This rhetorical analysis examines the extent to which these codes and the rhetoric on subsidiaries’ websites call upon Kantian ethics and standards for moral reasoning and whether they should be seen as moral exemplars for the industry.

Analyzing the Intersection of Transparency, Issues Management and Ethics: The Case of Big Soda • Kati Berg; Sarah Feldner • As stakeholders demand more transparency from corporations, corporations must continually engage in practices of issues management and legitimacy building. In an increasingly saturated and technology-driven communication environment, issues management has never been as salient for public relations practitioners and communication managers. Coombs and Holladay highlight the reality that what might be considered good public relations practices relative to organizational aims, might not be considered to be good ethical practice. This tension is one that public relations scholars and practitioners must examine. This paper analyzes Coca-Cola’s reaction to public criticism of its products and their connection to obesity rates and type 2 diabetes. This case is illustrative because it brings to light a particular framework for understanding corporate issue management within an ethical frame. The public commentary and media critique made it clear that the tactics of Coca-Cola were not fitting with broader social expectations. We argue here that the problem with Coca-Cola’s public relations efforts were not simply because the public did not approve nor should the problem be understood as an inherent lack of ethicality in issues management and legitimacy building efforts. The root of the problem comes to light when this is considered in the way in the approach to issues management and legitimacy building.

Nazila Fathi’s 2009 Expulsion from Iran: The Ethical Implications of Partnering with “Local” Journalists in Foreign Correspondence • Lindsay Palmer • This article examines the ethical complexity of the partnership between mainstream, Anglophone news organizations and the “local” or “native’ journalists who help them cover politically precarious stories. I take Iranian-Canadian journalist Nazila Fathi’s 2009 persecution in Iran as a case study. Drawing upon an interview with Fathi, as well as 42 other qualitative, semi-structured interviews with locally-based journalists who work with Anglophone news outlets, I address two ethical issues: 1) the safety of the locally-based journalists, who are often targeted by their own governments for working with westerners, and 2) the ways in which western news outlets problematically represent or ignore the challenges faced by their locally-based employees.

Dueling Ethics Scandals: Rolling Stone, Brian Williams, and a Damaged Paradigm. • Raymond McCaffrey • This study examined how journalists defended their profession in the face of simultaneous ethics scandals involving Rolling Stone magazine and NBC news anchor Brian Williams. An analysis of more than 2000 stories for both cases revealed that in response to Rolling Stone’s disputed rape story, journalists responded in a manner consistent with traditional paradigm repair, but failed to develop a discursive strategy to contextualize Williams’ false statements about being on helicopter that crashed in Iraq.

The Royal Family, The British Press, and a Hoax: Evaluating Journalistic and Public Responses • Teri Finneman, South Dakota State University; Ryan Thomas, University of Missouri-Columbia • This study contributes to an ongoing discussion regarding the relationship between the British press and the royal family of that country, specifically pertaining to issues of privacy. We examine opinion columns and letters to the editor in response to a hoaxing incident perpetrated by Australian deejays that was attributed as a factor in the death of a nurse at the hospital where Kate Middleton was receiving care. We found that while some journalists condemned the hoax in strong terms, attacking the deejays and the station for their conduct, others used consequentialist reasoning to suggest the hoax was an innocent “prank” that went wrong. Some moved beyond the immediate case to consider broader cultural factors that led to the hoax, including the demand for stories about the royal family. We found that readers were deeply critical of the hoax, expressing sympathy for Middleton. Some letter writers broadened the scope of their commentary beyond the immediate hoax to scrutiny of “media” personnel writ large. It is noteworthy that members of the public were apt to blame the media, while members of the press were apt to blame the public, or the culture at large, for lapses in ethical behavior. Our findings indicate tentative evidence of ongoing consideration of ethical boundaries as they pertain to royal privacy issues.

On the Unfortunate Divide Between Media Ethics and Media Law • Theodore L. Glasser, Stanford University; Morgan Weiland, Stanford University • A conceptual merger between media ethics and media law creates opportunities for intellectually and pedagogically richer accounts of media norms than either area of study can achieve on its own. Bridging the divide between media ethics and media law— understanding ethics and law as functionally complementary domains of inquiry — improves the prospects for developing an overarching normative framework that cultivates the principles that clarify the rights and responsibilities of an independent and democratic press.

2016 Abstracts

Mass Communication and Society 2016 Abstracts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2016 Abstracts

Magazine 2016 Abstracts

Digital Excellence in U.S. Magazines: An Analysis of National Magazine Award Categories and Calls • Aileen Gallagher, Syracuse University • This study examines the categories and calls for entry for the digital National Magazine Awards from 1998 to 2016. Researchers tracked the addition and subtraction of digital categories, and analyzed calls for entries to determine how definitions of excellence in magazine journalism have changed. Researchers found new technology and media platforms create different standards of excellence than traditional print editorial content. The Magazine of the Year award further alters the way prizes assess a publication’s caliber.

Towards a Typology of Magazine Digital Longform: How Is Online Literary Journalism Different from Print? • Aleksandr Gorbachev, University of Missouri, Missouri School of Journalism; Berkley Hudson, University of Missouri • To better understand how magazine journalism works in the digital environment of the twenty-first century, it seems valuable to look at the Internet profile of one of the most praised and established genres: longform, narrative or literary journalism. To explore this, a qualitative typology was devised to determine the specific characteristics of digital longform content as a way to compare with print magazine stories. Four different digital longform outlets—The Atavist Magazine, Narratively, The Big Roundtable and Matter—were compared to those produced by two legacy magazines, The Atlantic and GQ. A total of 295 stories were analyzed: 199 published by digital longform publications and 96 in print. The analysis yielded a number of insights, including that narrative still stands on its own, whether in print or online, and that many opportunities remain for enhancing digital longform journalism with multimedia elements.

The New Yorker’s Lillian Ross: The Literary Journalism Canon’s Neglected Eavesdropper • Annie Rees, University of Missouri-Columbia • When Tom Wolfe codified the term “New Journalism,” he left out many established writers including The New Yorker’s Lillian Ross. Critics were frustrated by Wolfe’s insistence on a burgeoning field of “new” journalism when many felt that the four tenets of New Journalism—scenes, dialogue, the third person, and status details—were variations on themes that had been in practice by skilled writers for decades. This paper argues that Lillian Ross has been left out of the nonfiction canon too often, and in her absence from anthologies of “new” journalism, not enough study has been made in way she innovated literary journalism. Although within her body of work there has been some focus on “Portrait of Hemingway” (1950) and Picture (1952), less attention has been paid to other features, particularly the continuing “Talk of the Town” pieces she wrote through the 2000s.

Millennials and the Future of Magazines: How the Generation of Digital Natives Will Determine Whether Print Magazines Survive • Elizabeth Bonner; Chris Roberts, University of Alabama • Through a mixed-methods study utilizing a preliminary survey and focus groups, this qualitative work seeks to reveal how Millennials feel about print magazines in the Internet age. Participants reported reading magazines for reasons pertaining to content, aesthetics, entertainment, escape, habit, and ease of use. Findings revealed instrumental themes, reported as recommendations to the magazine industry, as these digital natives will inevitably dictate the fate of print media in the coming years.

Repairing the Gamer Community: Paradigm Repair in Early Gaming Magazines Nintendo Power and Sega Visions • Gregory Perreault, Appalachian State University; Malik Rahili • Video game journalism began amidst widespread negativity surrounding gaming (Williams, 2003). Gaming journalism began its existence under attack because of the audience to whom they appealed. Paradigm maintenance is process by which journalists reaffirm why they do what they do. In this case, gaming journalists had to repair the paradigm of the gamer identity, in order to defend the motivation behind their work. This study argues that early gaming magazines Nintendo Power and Sega Visions repaired the gaming paradigm during the development of gaming’s mainstream acceptance from 1991-1995 by challenging stereotypes of gamers as anti-social, anti-intellectual and generally childish.

Uprising to Proxy War: How Time Inc. and Newsweek framed the Syrian conflict (2011-2016) from War versus Peace Journalism Perspective • Nisha Garud • Based on the theoretical framework of Johan Galtung’s war and peace journalism perspective, this study examines framing of the Syrian conflict in Time Inc. and Newsweek. A total of 255 stories published during the five years of the conflict were analyzed for the dominant conflict frame (war versus peace frame), salient indicators of war and peace journalism and variations in framing during three significant stages of the conflict. A quantitative content analysis revealed war journalism dominated the U.S news magazine coverage of the Syrian conflict. Analysis also showed significant differences in Time Inc. and Newsweek’s coverage; Time Inc. employed more war journalism indicators whereas Newsweek employed more peace journalism indicators. The study suggests that scholars should consider the type of news media and its associated characteristics such as style of writing, space for coverage, and production time as factors that are likely to influence the preference of journalists to frame stories from a war over peace journalism perspective.

Magazines and Social Media Platforms: Strategies for Enhancing User Engagement and Implications for Publishers • Parul Jain, Ohio University; Zulfia Zaher; Enakshi Roy • Using theoretical perspective of Uses and Gratification and Big Five personality traits, the current research examines magazine readers’ social media behavior by exploring users’ preferred social media platforms for connecting with magazines, genre of magazines most likely to be accessed via social media sites, and motivations behind doing so. In addition, we also examine engagement strategies that are most likely to attract more readers and retain the interest of current users. Finally, we explore the relationship between accessing magazines via social media platforms and personality types. To answer the above questions, we employ two studies utilizing focus group discussions and survey methods. The findings indicate that most people expect a magazine to have a presence on major social media platforms and indicate varying motivations for accessing magazine’s social sites such as opportunity to get targeted and relevant messaging. In addition, users suggest various engagement and content strategies that may be relevant to publishers such as inclusion of visual and video content. Theoretical and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Home computing’s halcyon days: Discourse frames in computer magazines in the mid-1980s • Terry Britt, University of Missouri • This study examines the computer magazine market in the mid-1980s with regard to prevalent topics in articles in presenting discursive frames about home computing to readers, and how the content provided insight to actual and potential uses of computers. Looking at articles published from 1984-1985 in three large-circulation general computer magazines, the study finds three discursive frameworks – advisory, instructive, and social/cultural – routinely present within both the topics and the content of the magazines.

2016 Abstracts

Law and Policy 2016 Abstracts

Debut Faculty Paper Competition
Not the Publisher, Still the Proprietor: Bypassing a Website’s Immunity Under Section 230 in Sex Trafficking Cases • Andrew Pritchard; Elaina Conrad • Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act shields websites from liability for user-submitted content, including content that perpetrates sex trafficking. However, this immunity is avoided when a website’s liability does not stem from its role as publisher. Courts’ treatment of websites as real property, combined with well-established principles of landowner liability, should allow websites to be held liable for their role in sex trafficking: not for third-party content, but for crimes resulting from it.

Unmasking The Anonymous Cyberbully: A New Approach • Ben Holden, University’ of Illinois • Americans have the right under the U.S. Constitution to speak anonymously. However, this right is not absolute and is subject to laws of general applicability, including the civil law of defamation. Courts frequently find that the First Amendment’s implied anonymity right yields to the procedural rights of civil defamation plaintiffs when the plaintiff is not a public figure and the speech is not a matter of public concern. But it is generally very difficult, if not impossible, to prove each element of civil defamation and related torts – plus the absence of privilege – without the identity of the speaker. The growing and potentially deadly problem of teen bullying by electronic communication lies at the intersection of these lofty constitutional principles and the practical imperative of parents to keep their kids safe. This Conference Paper suggests a standard for unmasking the Anonymous Teen Cyberbully.

EU v. U.S. Data Protection: An Unsafe Harbor? • Holly Hall, Arkansas State University • A recent ruling by the Court of Justice of the European Union declared the mechanism for data transfer known as Safe Harbor invalid. Many were critical of Safe Harbor for poor enforcement and confusing terminology. The revelations of former CIA employee, Edward Snowden, of United States government agencies’ mass surveillance programs added to the doubts of the functionality of Safe Harbor. The case leading to Safe Harbor’s downfall, Schrems v. Data Protection Commission, led to a new data transfer agreement called Privacy Shield. This paper will examine the evolution of data privacy protection law in the United States and European Union, the Safe Harbor provisions, the decision of the Schrems case, and the implications of Schrems on the newly announced Privacy Shield, shaping the data protection frameworks of the future.

Fight Terror, Not Twitter: Why Section 230 Should Insulate Social Media from Material Support Claims • Nina Brown • Twitter promotes itself as a global communications platform of free expression. ISIS and other terrorist organizations promote themselves via Twitter. A recent lawsuit by a widow of a government contractor killed in a terrorist attack argues that the proliferation of terrorists on Twitter, and Twitter’s reluctance to stop it, violates the Antiterrorism Act. This article explores the dangers associated with holding social media companies responsible for such attacks, and offers a solution to avoid liability.

Open Competition
Cyber Breach: Where privacy ends and data security begins • Angela Rulffes, Syracuse University • This article proposes that data security and privacy are distinguishable concepts that have different harms. Privacy violations, with some exceptions, involve the publication of personal information without permission. A data breach, however, is the loss of data. Data breaches should be treated as a breach of a duty of care, and states should implement laws that create a fiduciary relationship between companies and consumers and provide for civil liability if personal data is not protected.

Crash and Learn: The Inability of Transparency Laws to Penetrate American Monetary Policy • Benjamin W. Cramer, Pennsylvania State University; Martin E. Halstuk, Pennsylvania State University • The article will argue that the Federal Reserve System, thanks to its legislative structure, place within the American government, and court precedents regarding transparency statutes, is insulated from public oversight of almost all of its operations. The second section introduces the Fed’s history and structure. The following section will discuss the role of transparency and secrecy in the 2007-2008 financial crisis. The fourth section will consider whether two potentially powerful transparency statutes, the Freedom of Information Act and the Federal Advisory Committee Act, can be used to reveal documents from the banking sector and its regulators, along with the relevant statutory and case histories of those acts. The article will conclude with a discussion of the factors that have made the Federal Reserve System, and its internal decision-making processes, particularly impenetrable to citizens, journalists, and politicians who seek information on crucial matters of monetary policy.

Student Data in Danger: What Happens When School Districts Rely on the Cloud • Chanda Marlowe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • According to Fordham Law School’s Center on Law and Information Policy’s report “Privacy and Cloud Computing in Public Schools,” 95% of public school districts rely on cloud services for a diverse range of functions. The use of cloud services raises serious privacy concerns. For example, in March of 2014, Google admitted to scanning students’ emails and gathering data that were used to target ads to those students. Under the threat of lawsuits, Google promised to stop; however, in December 2015, Google was accused of collecting and using student data for non-education purposes again, this time in violation of the Student Privacy Pledge that it signed January 2015. Yet, schools continue to contract with private sector corporations to obtain cloud services, leaving parents to wonder what information is collected on their children, how that information is being used, and how, if at all, that information is being protected. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the major privacy problems that school districts face when they rely on cloud services offered by private corporations, to analyze how FERPA and state privacy laws are addressing these problems, and to offer possible solutions that go beyond FERPA and state privacy laws. This topic is important because legislation must strike the right balance between protecting students’ personal information and meeting the technological needs of schools.

Underinclusivity and the First Amendment: The Legislative Right to Nibble at Problems After Williams-Yulee • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • Using the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2015 opinions in Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar and Reed v. Town of Gilbert as analytical springboards, this paper examines the slipperiness – and sometimes fatalness – of the underinclusiveness doctrine in First Amendment free-speech jurisprudence. The doctrine allows lawmakers, at least in some instances, to take incremental, step-by-step measures to address harms caused by speech, rather than requiring an all-out, blanket-coverage approach. Yet, if the legislative tack taken is too small to ameliorate the harm that animates a state’s alleged regulatory interest, it could doom the statute for failing to directly advance it. In brief, the doctrine of underinclusivity requires lawmakers to thread a very fine needle’s eye between too little and too much regulation when drafting statutes. To wit, underinclusivity was tolerated and permitted by the majority in Williams-Yulee, but it proved fatal in Reed. This paper suggests that while Williams-Yulee attempts to better define underinclusivity, its subjectivity remains problematic.

Counterspeech, Cosby and Libel Law: Some Lessons About “Pure Opinion” & Resuscitating the Self-Defense Privilege • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • Using the recent federal district court opinions in Hill v. Cosby and Green v. Cosby as analytical springboards, this paper explores problems with the concept of pure opinion in libel law. Specifically, Hill and Green pivoted on the same allegedly defamatory statement made by attorney Martin Singer on behalf of comedian Bill Cosby, yet the judges involved reached opposite conclusions regarding whether it was protected as pure opinion. Furthermore, the paper analyzes notions of counterspeech and the conditional self-defense privilege in libel law in arguing for shielding Singer’s statement from liability. Although the self-defense privilege was flatly rejected in Green because it was not recognized under the relevant state law, it merits renewed consideration in similar cases where attorneys verbally punch back against their clients’ accusers in the court of public opinion.

The Right to Record Images of Police in Public Places: Should Intent, Viewpoint or Journalistic Status Determine First Amendment Protection? • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • Using the February 2016 federal district court ruling in Fields v. City of Philadelphia as an analytical springboard, this paper examines growing judicial recognition of a qualified First Amendment right to record images of police working in public places. The paper argues that Judge Mark Kearney erred in Fields by requiring that citizens must intend to challenge or criticize police, via either spoken words or expressive conduct, in order for the act of recording to constitute “speech” under the First Amendment. The paper asserts that a mere intent to observe police – not to challenge or criticize them – suffices. The paper also explores how recording falls within the scope of what some scholars call “speech-facilitating conduct.” Additionally, the paper criticizes Kearney’s view, as well as that of a federal judge in the Southern District of New York in 2015, suggesting that the right to record is possessed only by journalists, not by all citizens.

Holding Higher Education Accountable: Three Decades of Public Records Litigation Involving the University of Wisconsin • David Pritchard, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Jonathan Anderson, USA TODAY NETWORK – Wisconsin • Analysis of a comprehensive set of trial-court public records cases involving the University of Wisconsin over a 30-year period showed that news organizations constitute a strong majority of plaintiffs, that issues involving administrative searches and academic freedom are relatively rare, that news organizations and activist groups seeking records always prevail, and that the university has begun to ask the legislature to provide via statute the confidentiality that the university has not been able to get from the courts. The research is distinctive in that it focuses on trial court cases over an extended period of time. The generalizability of research from a single state is discussed.

Libel by the Numbers: The Use of Public Opinion Polls in Defamation Lawsuits • Eric Robinson, Louisiana State University • Libel plaintiffs must show that the defendant made a defamatory statement which lowered esteem of the plaintiff in the community. Polls can show this, but courts were initially reluctant to allow polling evidence. While courts have become increasingly receptive, use of polls in defamation cases remains rare. This article reviews libel cases in which polls have been used, and recommends that more defamation plaintiffs consider using polls and that courts be receptive to such evidence.

Mobile Broadband: A Cross Country Comparison • Hsin-yi Sandy Tsai • There are significant differences among countries with regard to their mobile broadband penetration rates. This study aims to understand whether public policies influence these differences and what kind of policies/regulations, if any, are necessary and/or sufficient conditions for higher mobile broadband (high speed mobile Internet) penetration rates. Although many studies have probed the factors influencing fixed broadband penetration, few studies have focused on mobile broadband. In order to capture the complicated interactions among factors related to mobile broadband penetration, in this study, in addition to using econometric approaches, a different approach—Qualitative Comparative Analysis (QCA)—was utilized to analyze the policy and economic factors that affect mobile broadband penetration in 34 OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development ) countries. By using both econometric approaches and QCA, this study found six necessary conditions for higher mobile broadband penetration: 1) technology neutrality, 2) higher quality of regulation, 3) higher fixed broadband penetration rates, 4) higher mobile competitive intensity, 5) higher urban population, and 6) higher education. The results of econometric analyses were largely consistent with these findings and also found income, education, and competition to be important determinants of mobile broadband penetration.

The Holmes Truth: Toward a Pragmatic, Holmes-influenced Conceptualization of the Nature of Truth • Jared Schroeder, Southern Methodist University • This paper examines how the Supreme Court has conceptualized truth in freedom-of-expression cases and draws from pragmatic approaches to philosophy, the so called “pragmatic method” put forth by American philosopher William James and the judicial philosophy of Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, to propose a unifying conceptualization of truth that could be employed to help the Court provide consistency within its precedents regarding the meaning of a concept that has been central to the Court’s interpretation of the First Amendment but has never been explicitly defined by the Court.

Congress Shall Make No Law…Unless? The Expansion of Government Speech and the Narrowing of Viewpoint Neutrality • Jason Zenor, SUNY-Oswego • In Walker v. Sons of Confederate Veterans, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the State of Texas’ denial of a private organization’s request to place a confederate flag on specialty license plates. The Court upheld that denial as a form of government speech, a doctrine that has only recently developed but gives the government absolute immunity to make decision based upon viewpoints. This paper argues that the government speech doctrine has granted the government the right to coerce the free marketplace of ideas. Thus, the paper proposes a new legal test that would limit when speech is considered governmental and place further checks on the government’s ability to endorse political ideas when communicating administrative policy.

Proxies and Proximate Cause: The Future of Immersive Entertainment and Tort Liability • Jason Zenor, SUNY-Oswego • In June of 2014, two teenage girls lured their friend into the woods and stabbed her 19 times. The heinousness of the crime itself was enough to make it a national news story. But what really caught the attention of the nation was the motive for the crime. The girls wanted to appease the Slender Man, a murderous apparition who had visited them in their sleep and compelled them to be his proxies. Many people had never heard of the Slender Man, a fictional internet meme with a sizeable following of adolescents fascinated with the macabre. Soon the debate raged as to the power and responsibility of such memes. As for legal remedies, media defendant are rarely held liable for third parties crimes. Thus, the producers of violent memes are free from liability. But this law developed in an era of passive media where there was disconnect between media and audience. The paper examines how media liability may change as entertainment becomes more immersive. First, this paper examines the Slender Man phenomenon and other online memes. Then it outlines negligence and incitement law as it has been applied to traditional entertainment products. Finally, the paper posits how negligence and incitement law may be applied differently in future cases against immersive media products which inspire real-life crimes.

Escaping the “Bondage of Irrational Fears”: Brandeis, Free Speech and the Politics of Fear • Joseph Russomanno, Arizona State University • The war of words typically inherent in presidential campaigns seemed to reach unprecedented levels in late 2015. Calls to silence some of the rhetoric brings to mind the free speech doctrine of Louis Brandeis, including his belief that the proper remedy to “bad” speech is not enforced silence, but instead more speech. This paper examines political developments of this period through the lens of Justice Brandeis’ doctrine and its major elements: fear, courage, education and democracy.

Dismissed: Removal of College Media Advisers & Student Journalists’ First Amendment Rights • Lindsie Trego, UNC-Chapel Hill • Cases of indirect censorship of collegiate media have recently made news headlines. In many of these cases, advisers have been administratively removed in response to disputes between student editors and administrators. These cases call into question whether student journalists can successfully seek legal redress for indirect acts against their First Amendment rights. This paper examines whether removal of college media advisers constitutes an injury to student journalists in the context of First Amendment litigation.

A Doctrine at Risk: Content-Neutrality in a Post-Reed Landscape • Minch Minchin • This paper analyzes the lack of cohesion within the U.S. Supreme Court regarding the distinction between content-neutral and content-based regulations of expression. Highlighting two recent cases that illustrate a high degree of fracturing among the justices—McCullen v. Coakley and Reed v. Town of Gilbert—this paper suggests that without further clarification about the doctrine’s nature, purpose and application, the venerable First Amendment canon may soon disintegrate into constitutional oblivion.

Indecency Four Years After Fox Television Stations: From Big Papi to a Porn Star, an Egregious Mess at the FCC Continues • Minch Minchin; Keran Billaud; Kevin Bruckenstein; Tershone Phillips • In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court in Federal Communications Commission v. Fox Television Stations, Inc. failed to address critical First Amendment questions concerning the FCC’s broadcast indecency policy. More than three years later, this paper examines how the Commission has filled the void left by the Supreme Court with a series of erratic and disjointed moves. These include its March 2015 proposal to fine a television station the maximum $325,000 for airing a tiny, fleeting sexual image during a newscast. That action, somewhat stunningly, came just two-and-half years after the FCC claimed it would target only the most “egregious” instances of indecency. This paper analyzes, among other issues, the troubling implications of the record-setting fine, including arguments against it made by the National Association of Broadcasters. The paper also reviews the FCC’s call for public comment on its fleeting expletive policy, as well as it decision to jettison hundreds of thousands of indecency complaints following Fox Television Stations.

Influencing copyright policymaking: An examination of information subsidy in Congressional copyright hearings from 1997 through 2014 • Minjeong Kim, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies • Assuming that the scope and extent of protection embedded in copyright law is a policy choice resulting from a contestable policymaking process, this study traces the copyright policy debate from 1997 through 2014 by focusing on information subsidy to lawmakers at the Capitol. This study reports the findings from a content analysis of 341 testimonies at 60 Congressional hearings that dealt with the issue of copyright.

An Examination of Ag-Gag and Data Trespass Statutes • Ray Whitehouse, UNC Chapel Hill • Since 1990, nine states have passed legislation that aims to limit undercover investigations of agricultural operations. These “ag-gag” laws attempt to limit investigations in three ways: by criminalizing recording and reporting on operations, criminalizing deceptive entry into operations, and by mandating that anyone recording abuse report it within a short time period. In 2015, two major events related to ag-gag laws took place. First, a federal judge ruled that Idaho’s ag-gag law was unconstitutional. This case decision, the first examining ag-gag laws, cast doubt on the constitutionality of other state ag-gag laws. Second, Wyoming passed a “data trespass” law that criminalized collecting information on “open land” with the intent to give that information to government agencies. Agricultural activists filed suit, claiming that it was an unconstitutional ag-gag law aimed at stopping citizen activists from reporting Clean Water Act violations by ranchers who lease public land from the state. Lawmakers disagreed, arguing that the bill simply strengthened existing trespass laws. This paper compares Wyoming’s data trespass law with all existing ag-gag laws and Idaho’s recently overturned law to examine its constitutionality. This examination is important because it incorporates recent legal outcomes that before now have not been incorporated into analysis of ag-gag laws. It suggests that because both the Idaho and Wyoming laws are similar in their construction and the legal questions in their respective cases are similar, the Idaho decision is very applicable to Wyoming’s data trespass law and casts serious doubts upon the constitutionality of Wyoming’s data trespass statute.

Speech v. Conduct, Surcharges v. Discounts: Testing the Limits of the First Amendment and Statutory Construction in the Growing Credit Card Quagmire • Rich Shumate, University of Florida; Stephanie McNeff, University of Florida; Stephenson Waters, University of Florida • This paper examines First Amendment speech concerns and related issues of statutory construction raised by so-called dual-pricing or anti-surcharge statutes that prohibit merchants from imposing “surcharges” on credit card purchases, but allow them to offer “discounts” to cash-paying customers. The paper uses the recent split of authority created by the November 2015 opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Dana’s Railroad Supply v. Florida and the September 2015 decision by the Second Circuit in Expressions Hair Design v. Schneiderman as a timely analytical springboard for analyzing these issues. These cases not only test the fundamental dichotomy in First Amendment jurisprudence between speech and conduct, but also the length to which courts should go to provide narrowing constructions to rescue otherwise unconstitutional statutes. Furthermore, the paper argues that dual-pricing laws detrimentally affect not only the right of merchants to speak, but also the unenumerated First Amendment right of consumers to receive speech directly affecting their pocketbooks. Finally, the paper concludes that dual-pricing laws smack of the worst kind of governmental paternalism – a form protecting corporate interests of credit card companies at the expense of consumers.

A ‘Net’ Gain for Society?: Examining the Legal Challenge to the FCC’s Net Neutrality Order • Sarah Papadelias, University of Florida • This paper analyzes the FCC’s 2015 net neutrality order and the pending legal challenges against the order. Net neutrality has risen as a prominent social and political issue with many different interests at stake. Initially, this paper discusses the history of net neutrality as a complex regulatory topic. The paper then examines the structure and substance of the 2015 order and explains the three major rules proffered by the order. Next, the paper outlines the legal arguments on each side of the lawsuit, tracking the many briefs submitted in the case. Ultimately, the paper concludes with a proposed judicial opinion predicting the D.C. Circuit’s ruling on the pending proceeding. It appears the FCC has bolstered its new net neutrality rules with the appropriate legal authority and the court likely will uphold the rules.

Free Speech v. Fair Disclosure: Does Citizens United Create a Constitutional Challenge for the SEC? • Sonia Bovio, Arizona State University • The U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission ruling may have unexpected bearing on aspects of corporate speech currently regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This paper outlines the First Amendment issues related to one SEC disclosure regulation in particular: Regulation Fair Disclosure (Reg FD), as they relate to Citizens United. It demonstrates how Reg FD could withstand constitutional challenges by reviewing elements of Citizens United that may favor the regulation, and by examining the intentions of the Framers of the First Amendment with regard to corporate speech, in particular James Madison’s perspective.

2016 Abstracts

International Communication 2016 Abstracts

Markham Student Paper Competition
Framing the 2014 Indonesian Presidential Candidates in Newspapers and on Twitter • Ary Hermawan, University of Arizona School of Journalism • The 2014 Indonesian presidential election was the first election in the world’s largest Muslim democracy where social media played a significant role. Social media became a public forum where Indonesians framed the presidential candidates in the most polarizing election in the nation’s history. A content analysis of four national newspapers and tweets showed that both legacy media and social media framed the candidates in terms of personality but differed in how they did it.

Surveying television drama in China Central Television’s foreign language channels • Dani Madrid-Morales • This paper surveys over one hundred and seventy drama series (dianshiju) broadcast in four of China Central Television’s (CCTV) foreign language channels between 2004 and 2015. By analyzing the genre, theme, time of action and location it seeks to understand how, through the narrative of fiction, China’s public broadcaster contributes to constructing a global narrative on contemporary Chinese society. It also highlights the seemingly uncoordinated logic behind China’s efforts to internationalize its television drama.

Dolphins and Deviants: News Framing and the Birth of a Global Prohibition Regime • Jay Alabaster • This exploratory study bridges this gap by examining the birth and widespread adoption of a global prohibition regime. The Cove, a U.S. documentary highly critical of annual dolphin hunts in the small Japanese town of Taiji, was released to high acclaim in 2009. It won an Academy Award the following year and was screened around the world. This triggered a surge of global activism aimed at pressuring local Taiji fishermen and the Japanese government to stop the town’s hunts. The resulting moral standoff between Western activists campaigning to save Taiji’s dolphins and various actors within Japan steadily backing the long-running hunts in Taiji was closely covered by international media. This study uses a content analysis to examine framing and sources in articles from the three main Western news agencies, the Associated Press (AP), Agence France Press (AFP), and Reuters, as well as the main Japanese news agency, Kyodo News (Kyodo). The study reveals significant evidence for the emergence of a global prohibition regime.

The journalistic construction of English as a global lingua franca of news • John Carpenter • This study examined the journalistic coverage surrounding the launch of Al Jazeera’s English language news service in 2006 to uncover the dominant, socially-constructed meanings for the English language as it relates to news in a global context. Using theories of language ideology, media counter-flow, and journalistic interpretive communities, analysis showed that that the journalistic interpretive community created ideologies of English as a global lingua franca that would allow news providers to reach a global audience. Furthermore, journalists created ideological meanings for English as the language of news counter-flow, capable of balancing the influence of CNN and BBC by introducing a developing world perspective into global news flows. The study concluded that journalists should reflexively consider the universality of English as a language of the developing world.

Professionalizing the Indigenous: Kabaddi as an Indian Object of Global Media Diaspora • Jordan Stalker, University of Wisconsin • This paper contributes to the field of global media by introducing the concept of “diasporic media objects.” Using Arjun Appadurai’s hard and soft cultural form framework, I show how the once-indigenous Indian sport of kabaddi has been received by the Western press throughout the past and how it has used digital media platforms to professionalize itself and bolster India’s global media presence. The modern Indian diaspora involves objects rather than individuals.

Understanding Entman’s Frame Functions in American International News • Josephine Lukito • The purpose of this article is to examine which countries are covered most in American international news and to apply Entman’s (1993) frame functions to an international news frame analysis. Important here is the understanding of generic framing analyses, such as coding for generic frames or for parts of a frame. Results of a content analysis suggest that Entman’s interpretation of frame functions is too narrow to capture all possible frames in American international news.

War Advertising: Themes in Argentine Print Advertising During the Malvinas / Falklands War • Juan Mundel, Michigan State University; Yadira Nieves-Pizarro, Michigan State University • This study explores the extension of discursive war strategies to print advertisements in 1981 and 1982. A content analysis on newspaper advertising before and after the war supports the notion that advertisements reflect changes in market conditions. With the advancement of the war efforts, there was a change in (1) the tactical intent of the ads, (2) the nature of advertiser, and (3) products advertised. Additionally, our study show that the discursive strategies employed by advertisers were consistent with those emphasized by other media, such as television and print journalism.

Securitization: An approach to the framing of the “Western hostile force” in Chinese media • Kai Xu • This study content analyzes a well-known frame “Western hostile force” in Chinese media from the perspective of securitization. Results suggest that “Western hostile force” is a securitizing move that encompasses an array of different threats. The results also suggest evidence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) maintaining that China is constantly under these threats, even if in some cases, it never identifies the identities of those threats.

Cross National Newspaper Coverage of Transit Migration: A Community Structure Approach • Kevin O’Brien; Madison Ouellette; Maria Gottfried; Petra Kovacs; John Pollock, The College of New Jersey • A cross-national community structure analysis compared national characteristics/demographic differences with variations in coverage of transit migration in sixteen leading papers worldwide, yielding combined article “prominence” and “direction” “Media Vector” newspaper scores emphasizing “government” or “society” responsibility for transit migration. The findings illuminate two distinct types of “vulnerability”: “economic” vulnerability (crop production index, 27.4% variance) linked to coverage emphasizing government responsibility; and “political” vulnerability (global instability index, 11.9% variance) connected to coverage emphasizing society responsibility.

Do large countries hunger for information less? Country’s size and strengths as determinants of foreign news volume • Miki Tanikawa, University of Texas • This study hypothesized that the size of the GDP, population, geography and the military strengths of the country are inversely related to the volume of international news reporting in the news media of the countries in question, reflecting different perceptions of the needs to monitor the international environment. Data analyses in this study found that these variables broadly predicted the size (smallness) of foreign news volume of the countries under study.

Effectiveness of Global and Local Brands’ Facebook Strategies in Engaging the Saudi Consumer • Mohammad Abuljadail • This paper seeks to investigate the “posting” behavior of global and local brands ’Facebook pages and the effectiveness of these strategies in engaging the Saudi consumer. Specifically, the author examines whether the “posting” behaviors differ between local and global brands in Saudi Arabia and whether the different posting strategies used by local and global brands are more effective than others in generating engagement (likes, comments and shares). Findings and implications are discussed.

Does Paris matter more than Beirut and Ankara? A Content Analysis of Frames Employed in Terrorism Coverage. • Mustafa oz, The University of Texas at Austin • The main purpose of this study is to examine the coverage of Beirut, Ankara and Paris terrorist attacks to see whether there was a western bias in terms of the coverage of these three terrorist attacks. While these three terrorist attacks were similar, they did not have the same amount of attention from the western media outlets. The results suggested that while the attacks were equally shocking, the US media failed to cover the Beirut and Ankara attacks as much as they covered the Paris attacks.Keywords: Framing, Terrorism, Media, Coverage, Content Analysis

A Network Agenda-Setting Study: Opinion Leaders in Crisis and Non-Crisis News on Weibo • Qian Wang • Within the theoretical frame of agenda setting, this study utilized network analysis to compare the interrelationships of the networked agendas in crisis and non-crisis news. It also explores patterns of the relationships between the media outlets and opinion leaders during these crisis and non-crisis news. The results show that business elites rather than Chinese media outlets set the agendas of both crisis and non-crisis news on Weibo. Furthermore, the agenda-setting process among these opinion leaders changed in these two cases.The agendas of these opinion leaders were highly correlated with each other in the Tianjin explosion, while they were much less correlated in Tu Youyou’case. The findings prove that the agenda-setting effect on social media platforms is not a linear process directly from one direction to another. It is a diversified and dynamic process where different parties interact and influence each other, and each party has the potential to set other agendas in certain issue topics.

Framing and Agenda Interaction of Epidemics under the Globalization Era: A cross-national study of news coverage on Ebola virus disease in China, U.S, Japan, and UK • QIAN YU, Washington State University • This study analyzes news coverage of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in China, U.S, Japan, and UK to examine variations in framing and agenda interactions. A content analysis was conducted on 730 news articles from highly circulated and prestigious newspapers in these four countries during the period of March, 24 to December 31, 2014. The findings revealed that common characteristics shown in news frames, sources, and predominant tones used by the four countries’ coverage on portraying the EVD; agenda interactions with different extents were identified among the four newspapers. This study enriches understanding of how journalists with variations in media systems, cultural values, political systems, and social ideologies construct a global health risk. Limitations and future directions are also discussed in the ending part.

One newspaper, double faces? A cross-platform content analysis of People’s Daily on Twitter and Weibo • Shuning Lu, The University of Texas at Austin • News organizations have increasingly adopted social network sites in news production, however, not many studies have probed into the content produced by media organizations across different social media platforms. By situating itself in the intersection of media globalization and technological innovation in journalism, the study systematically examined the characteristics of content posted by People’s Daily, the official press in China, on two social media platforms, Weibo and Twitter. It revealed that there was a Weibo-versus-Twitter difference in the volume, topic and style of online news in People’s Daily. The study also discussed the implications of the findings how different ecologies of Weibo and Twitter help to shape the variation in both content and news style of People’s Daily on the two social media platforms.

Mediated public diplomacy: Foreign media coverage of Sochi Olympics • Yanqin Lu, Indiana University • This study employs content analysis to examine the differences between American and Chinese media coverage on the opening ceremony of the Sochi Winter Olympics. The findings indicated that media coverage in both countries did not present substantial differences in the salience of each event theme. However, American media covered these themes in a more negative tone than Chinese media did. Implications are discussed in terms of the effectiveness of mediated public diplomacy.

National Outlook on Transnational News Event: Comparative Audience Framing on Malaysian’s MH370 Plane Incident • Yearry Setianto, Ohio University; Qianni Luo • This study compares how Malaysian and Chinese audiences framed the news report of their respective national media on the Malaysian’s MH370 plane incident. Using audience framing, we explored similarities and differences of the frames. While Chinese audiences framed that the Malaysian government should take the responsibility, Malaysian audiences defended their government’s effort in dealing with the incident. Researchers found audiences’ nationalism, preexisting knowledge and cultural values to be important factors in understanding the audience frames.

Cultural Influences on Product Placement in American and Chinese TV Situation Comedies • Yiran Zhang, University of Minnesota Twin Cities • Through a textual analysis, this study explored how individualism, power distance and long-term orientation were presented in American and Chinese product placements in situation comedies. The results demonstrated that individualism was mostly presented as positive self-images in Chinese product placements, but as self-independence in American ones. The presentation of short-term orientation in Chinese product placements focused on completing a task under time pressure, while that of American ones concentrated on temporary entertainment.

Journalism and the Fight for Democracy: Framing the 2015 Myanmar Election • Zin Mar Myint, Kedzie Hall – Kansas State University; Bondy Kaye, Kansas State University • The 2015 elections in Myanmar represented a turning point in the country and a major leap toward establishing a democracy. Informed by framing theory, this study analyzed coverage of the Myanmar election by state-owned and privately-owned media firms in Myanmar and major media firms in the U.S. through a content analysis of 732 news articles. Results indicate that U.S. media and privately-owned media in Myanmar converged in coverage of democracy and the opposition NLD party. Their frames lean towards the push for change.

Robert L. Stevenson Open Paper Competition
U.S. Foreign Policy Interests and Press Coverage of the Kashmir Dispute between India and Pakistan • Abhijit Mazumdar, University of Tennessee, Knoxville; Catherine Luther, University of Tennessee • This paper researches U.S. press portrayals of the Kashmir dispute between India and Pakistan before and after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and explores if the portrayals were in line with shifting U.S. foreign policy interests. Findings indicated no significant differences between the two timeframes in the portrayal of the cause of the dispute and its solutions. The stories gave a balanced account of the dispute. Significant differences, however, were found in source usage.

Impact of Economic Hardships on Kyrgyzstan Journalism: Results from In-Depth Interview with Journalists • Bahtiyar Kurambayev • In-depth qualitative semi-structured interviews with 27 journalists based in capital Bishkek city reveal that revenue starving Kyrgyz news outlets employ a variety of unusual tactics to generate some income including financially punishing journalists for failing to meet the set normative, imposes obligations to locate cash-paying news story clients. This study also reveals that news outlets have introduced barter as a system of payment. The author employed a snowball sampling to locate initial several research participants and seek their suggestions of other journalists. The interviews were held during the period of January 4-January 23, 2016. They were held primarily in Russian language. The practical implications are also discussed.

Characteristics of Exemplary Conflict Coverage: War and peace frames in Pulitzer Prize-winning international reporting • Beverly Horvit, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Kimberly Foster • Amid the current state of global conflicts, scholars urge journalists to provide rich detail and depth in conflict coverage that enhance foreign reporting, and other scholars focus on the theoretical and practical challenges of such detailed reporting. One such way for journalists to report on detail is Galtung’s (2000) method of peace journalism. This qualitative study explores the prevalence of peace journalism frames in Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting and finds evidence crucial to peace journalism advocates.

Beyond Hybridity: Intralocal Frictions in Music Video Production, Distribution, and Reception in Kenya • Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa • While the hybridity framework has inspired many valuable studies, global media research has hit a period of theoretical stasis. Drawing on the concepts of critical transculturalism (Kraidy, 2005) and global friction (Tsing, 2005), this paper introduces intralocalism as a way to study the entanglement of global cultural flows in grounded social practices. This paper demonstrates the analytic utility of intralocalism through an examination of music video production, distribution, and reception in Kenya.

News Media Uses During War and Conflict: The Case of the Syrian Civil War • Claudia Kozman, Lebanese American University; Jad Melki, Lebanese American University • Using the Syrian conflict as a case study, this survey of displaced Syrian nationals in four countries revealed that the major uses and gratifications of traditional and new media is receiving and understanding information, ahead of entertainment and overcoming loneliness. Among all media, TV consumption showed the highest correlation with people’s perception of TV as useful for providing information about Syria. Among digital media, social media were the most important in receiving information about Syria.

A New Sensation? Exploring Sensationalism, Online Journalism and Social Media Audiences across the Americas • Danielle Kilgo, University of Texas at Austin; Summer Harlow, Florida State University; Victor Garcia-Perdomo, University of Texas at Austin/Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia; Ramón Salaverría, University of Navarra • Sensationalism is a term without complete consensus among scholars, and its meaning and implications have not been reconsidered for a digital environment. This study analyzes 500 articles from digitally native news organizations across the Americas, evaluating the sensational treatment of news categories and values, and their associated social media interactions on Facebook and Twitter. Findings suggest that characteristics of sensationalism have shifted, and audiences are not necessarily more likely to respond to sensational treatments.

Collectivism Appeal and Message Frames in Environmental Advertising – A Comparison between China and the U.S. • Fei Xue • The current study examined the effects of appeal types (self vs. group) and message framing (positive vs. negative) on American and Chinese consumers’ responses to environmental advertising. It was found that group appeal generated higher level of green trust and purchase intention in both countries. However, positive message frames seemed to work better for American consumers while negative message frames were more effective among Chinese consumers.

Sourcing International News: A comparative Study of Five Western Newspapers’ Reporting on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands Dispute • Guofeng Wang, School of Foreign Language Studies, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University • This study examines the sources of information used by five Western newspapers from 2011 through 2013 to report on the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands territorial dispute between China and Japan. A quantitative analysis of sources and a qualitative approach to news frame analysis in the selected U.S., U.K., Australian, French and German newspapers reveals many similarities in their reporting on this ongoing conflict. This study also shows that while the selection of one source or another does not ultimately determine how a news article is framed, identifiable sourcing patterns do exert a significant influence on the overall balance or bias of the reporting.

Discursive Construction of Territorial Disputes: Foreign Newspaper Reporting • Guofeng Wang, School of Foreign Language Studies, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University • This study examines how five foreign newspapers in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France and Australia discursively construct the Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands dispute through a quantitative analysis. The findings reveal that they share a similar intergroup conflict schema based on competition and the pursuit of respective national interests, and that noticeable differences between the editorial position of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and that of the others may be due to current public opinion of Germany’s socio-historical context.

What Moves Young People to Journalism in a Transitional Country?: Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations for Working in Journalism in Serbia • Ivanka Pjesivac, University of Georgia • This study examined the motivations among journalism students in Serbia, through a national survey at four major journalism programs in the country. Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations had a significant impact on willingness to work in journalism, with the moderating effect of experience. The study is the first one conducted in a transitional country of Eastern Europe. The results are discussed in the context of the Self-Determination Theory of motivations applied to international journalism.

Perspectives of journalists, educators, trainers and experts on news media reporting of Islam and Muslims • Jacqui Ewart, Griffith University; Mark Pearson, Griffith University; Guy Healy, Griffith University • This paper uses data from an Australian study to ascertain issues associated with news media coverage of Islam and Muslims from the perspectives of journalists, journalism educators and media trainers. We draw on data from interviews with 37 journalists, editors, educators, media trainers, Muslim community leaders and other experts located in Australia and New Zealand to explore their understandings of the ways stories about Islam and Muslims are reported and why.

Attitude change among U.S. adults after the Castro-Obama announcement: The role of agenda-setting • Jami Fullerton; alice kendrick, smu; Sheri Broyles, 1155University of North Texas • The United States and Cuba made history in late 2014 by announcing the resumption of diplomatic relations. Using the media coverage and social media content related to the announcements as a quasi-experimental stimulus, this pre-post-study noted increases in U.S. adults’ levels of perceived knowledge, salience of attributes as well as attitudes toward Cuba after the joint proclamations. Results suggest that media coverage and social media content played major roles in influencing both public knowledge and attitudes toward Cuba as a country. These first- and second-level agenda-setting effects are positioned within the Model of Country Concept as an example of how a powerful byproduct of international media can factor in both cognitive and affective evaluations among the citizens of one country about the government and citizenry of another.

New Digital Dialogue? A Content Analysis of Chinese Political Elites’ Use of Sina Weibo • Jiawei Liu, Washington State University; Wenjie Yan • This study aims to add current understanding of what Chinese politicians use Sina Weibo for, as well as whether and to what extent they use Sina Weibo to communicate with the public. We content analyzed 69 Chinese politicians’ Sina Weibo posts between January 1 and March 31, 2015. Our results showed that Chinese political elites actively read and repost Weibo. However, they still communicate with the public in a predominantly top-down manner on Sina Weibo.

The Networks of Global Journalism: Global news construction through the collaboration of global news startups with freelancers • lea hellmueller; Sadia Cheema; Xu Zhang • This study explored the way global news startups connect freelancers with traditional news organizations. Through ten interviews with founders and editors the results reveal a networked marketplace of global journalism: The startups build on new technologies as well as on-the-ground evidence as their business model and de-localize the distribution of news within a digital marketplace. Through a content analysis of their edited stories (N=226), global journalism as an outcome of this marketplace is discussed.

Disentangling and priming the perceived media credibility in Singapore: Declared/theoretical versus tacit/applied definitions • Lelia Samson, Nanyang Technological University • The purpose of this paper is twofold: First, it explores what audiences associate with the notion of media credibility in Singapore. It thus investigates to what extent do Singaporean audiences associate the notion of media credibility with standard journalistic practices, with issues of press independence, and with dimensions of social consensus and popularity. These associations are examined within the context of the Singaporean audiences’ responses to declared/theoretical versus the tacit/applied definitions of credibility. Second, the current study examines whether dominant and alternative news sources can prime different meanings in audiences. 112 volunteers participated in a mixed factorial experiment and their open ended responses were content analyzed. Results indicate that media credibility was least associated with notions of press independence. Interesting findings were found between the declared/theoretical versus the tacit/applied definitions. Singaporean audiences associated the journalistic practices for the declared/theoretical definition of media credibility up to 78% of the cases – but their tacit/applied definition of credibility are associated with journalistic practices for only 36% of the cases; and they only associated the dimensions of readership and popularity for the declared/theoretical definition for 5% of the cases. But their associations with the dimensions of readership and popularity for the tacit/applied definition of credibility reach over 52% of the cases. Priming of dominant versus alternative news sources indeed influenced the perceived credibility and the meaning activation as expected.

At A Crossroads or Caught in the Crossfire? Crime Coverage Concerns for Democracy in Portugal, Spain, and Italy • Maggie Patterson, Duquesne University; Romayne Smith Fullerton, Western University of Ontario; Jorge Tunon, Carlos III University of Madrid • This study of crime reporting shows that keeping crime records secret hurts democratic consolidation. While many reporters and journalism experts interviewed claimed to value the presumption of innocence, many skirted restrictions by getting leaks from police and prosecutors. This porous secrecy leads to publication of rumors and unreliable eye-witness accounts. Four exacerbating factors affect this reporting method: widespread “clientelism;” a partisan news media; an alternative definition of “public interest”; and weak professionalism.

Localness and Orientalism in The New York Times • Marcus Funk, Sam Houston State University • Computerized content analysis of New York Times coverage demonstrates that orientalist language is used significantly more frequently when covering Middle Eastern nations and the American South than the Tri-State Area. This analysis of 15 years of Times coverage also finds that unifying language is more common concerning the Middle East and American South than Tri-State Area, but argues such positive language is othering and orientalizing. It further postulates that orientalism is rooted in cultural distance.

Covering Argentine Media Reform: Framing the Conversation to Keep Control • Mariana De Maio, San Diego State University • Using second-level agenda-setting and framing theories and content analysis, this paper examines the coverage of the Argentina’s 2009 media reform. To investigate the attributes media used in framing the law, data were collected from three national newspapers’ online publications (Clarín, La Nación, and Página/12). Results from the analysis suggest that the three newspapers framed the media reform debate using different attributes and tone.

Explaining the formation of online news startup in France and the US: A field analysis • Matthew Powers, University of Washington, Seattle • This paper explores the differential formation of online news startups in France and the US. Drawing on interviews with journalists and Bourdieu’s field theory, we argue that while journalists in both countries created startups as a way to enter into the journalistic field, the volume of capital they held varied as a result of journalism’s structural position vis-à-vis the field of power. These differences shaped the extent and style of online startups in both places.

The International News Hole: Still Shrinking and Linking? 25 Years of New York Times Foreign News Coverage • Meghan Sobel, Regis University; Seoyeon Kim; Daniel Riffe • This study uses quantitative content analysis of 25 years of New York Times international news coverage to extend the exploration of how nations’ economic status impacts the amount and topic of coverage received and how coverage is linked to American interests. Data suggest an increase in the percentage of foreign news items, with growing attention given to low- and middle-income countries. However, U.S. links are prevalent and developing country coverage remains largely negative.

Everything’s Negative About Nigeria: A Study of U.S. Media Reporting on Nigeria • Oluseyi Adegbola; Sherice Gearhart, Texas Tech University; Jacqueline Mitchell, University of Nebraska at Omaha • U.S. television coverage of other countries can be misrepresented or go under-reported. Utilizing media framing theory, the current study content analyzes 10 years of U.S. television media coverage of Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. Reports broadcast by the big three networks were coded for issues, sources, valence, and frames (N = 643). Results corroborate existing research regarding the predominance of episodic frames and negative coverage and present new findings pertinent to coverage of foreign nations.

Social Media As A Marketing Tool: Why Kuwaiti Women Entrepreneurs Prefer Instagram To Sell Their Fashions, Food, And Other Products • Shaikhah Alghaith, Colorado State University — Department of Journalism & Media Communication; Kris Kodrich, Colorado State University — Department of Journalism & Media Communication • The purpose of this study is to identify the preferred types of social media adopted by Kuwaiti women entrepreneurs. Instagram was found to be the most adopted among women entrepreneurs to utilize as a marketing tool. Rogers’ (2003) Diffusion of Innovations theory was applied to explore the attributes of Instagram. The attributes of Instagram that influenced Kuwaiti women entrepreneurs’ decision to adopt it include photo-sharing nature (relative advantage), ease of use (complexity), and popularity (observability).

Visual Dissent: Examining Framing, Multimedia, and Social Media Recommendations in Protest Coverage of Ayotzinapa, Mexico • Summer Harlow, Florida State University; Ramón Salaverría, University of Navarra; Danielle Kilgo, University of Texas at Austin; Victor Garcia-Perdomo, University of Texas at Austin/Universidad de La Sabana, Colombia • The 2014 forced disappearance of 43 college students from Ayotzinapa, Mexico prompted protests throughout Mexico and the world. This bilingual, cross-national study of multimedia features in stories related to the Ayotzinapa protests examines how social media users responded to news coverage of the protests. This study sheds light on differences in mainstream, alternative, and online media outlets’ coverage of protesters, indicating whether the protest paradigm remains a problem in this digital era of information choice.

Factoring media use into media system theory — An examination of 14 European nations (2002-2010) • Xabier Meilan, University of Girona; Denis Wu • This study incorporates media use pattern into examining three distinct media systems proposed by Hallin and Mancini (2004). The uses of newspapers, radio, television, and Internet in European Social Surveys were included. North-Central European nations, particularly the Nordic countries, demonstrate more widespread media use than other European nations. Media-use Gini indexes support Hallin and Mancini’s original demarcation. Cluster analysis, however, indicates that the European nations of the three groups slightly differ from the original typology.

The Third-Person Effect of Offensive Advertisements: An Examination in the Chinese Cultural Context • Xiuqin Zeng, Xia’men University; Shanshan Lou; Hong Cheng • This study examined the third-person effect hypothesis (Davison, 1983) in offensive advertising in the Chinese cultural context. Based on a survey of 1,539 Chinese Internet users about the third- and first-person effects among offensive ads, neutral ads, and public service ads, the study inquires into the relationship between the TPE and respondents’ levels of acceptance toward advertising. Besides confirming the TPE existence in an Eastern cultural context, the results suggest that the TPE predict WOM spreading for both offensive and neutral product ads, but not for PSAs. Theoretical contributions and managerial implications of these findings were discussed.

Social Media, Public Discourse and Civic Engagement in Modern China • Yinjiao Ye; Ping Xu; Mingxin Zhang • The current study investigates the relationship between social media use and public discourse and civic engagement in mainland China. A survey of 1, 202 Chinese show that social media use significantly relates to both public discourse and civic engagement. Moreover, political interest modifies the role of social media use in public discourse and civic engagement. Both general trust in people and life satisfaction moderate some of the relationships examined but not all of them.

A cross-cultural comparison of an extended Planned Risk Information Seeking Model • Zhaomeng Niu; Jessica Willoughby • This study tests the Planned Risk Information Seeking Model (PRISM) in China and the United States with a personal risk, and two additional factors: media use and cultural identity. Both additional variables predicted health information seeking intentions and were valuable additions to PRISM. Based on our findings, cultural identity and media use should be considered when designing interventions to address mental health information seeking or evaluating the process of mental health information seeking.

2016 Abstracts

History 2016 Abstracts

Labor’s Rejection: How the National Basketball Players Association blocked management before Congress • Bill Anderson • “Labor’s Slam Dunk” Highlights • Examines how basketball players’ union stopped two leagues from merging. • Explores public relations history from a non-corporate perspective. • Success depended on union efforts and outside factors. • Situates public relations as one of many constructors of meaning.

Two Seminal Events in Motion Picture Public Relations History: How U.S. Court Decisions Twice Changed the Way Movies Are Publicized • Carol Ames, California State University, Fullerton • This qualitative historical study finds that two seminal U.S. court decisions changed entertainment public relations by changing the motion picture industry’s business model. U.S. v. Motion Picture Patents Company (225 F. 800 D.C. Pa. 1915) ended monopoly control of the film business and transformed film public relations from a retail model to the big-business, centralized model of the studio era. U.S. v. Paramount Pictures, Inc. (334 U.S. 131 1948) forced the Hollywood studios to divest their theater chains and ushered in the modern era of specialized PR agencies and independent consultants.

Write on: An analysis of the role of the underground press in three cities • Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico University • This analysis traced the radical, monitorial, facilitative, and collaborative roles of the underground press in three U.S. cities. Articles were analyzed in 81 underground newspapers published between 1956 and 1983. Publications were analyzed for content and story selection, objectivity, tone, efforts at community building, and relationships to mainstream media. The findings suggest both politics and culture are components of community and democracy. Further, the findings suggest that normative theory previously has been too narrowly conceived.

The Struggle to Describe South Carolina’s Leading Civil Rights Lawyer • Christopher Frear, University of South Carolina • Three events help show how newspaper coverage of the career of South Carolina’s leading civil rights lawyer, Matthew J. Perry, helped create and shape narratives about South Carolina’s African American freedom struggle. The three events significant legally and socially for South Carolina and personally for Perry: the 1963 desegregation of Clemson, Perry’s 1974 campaign for Congress, and his 1979 appointment to the federal bench in Columbia.

Tel Ra Productions & TeleSports Digest: The Unknown Story of American Television’s Early Chronicler and Archivist of US Sports • Daniel Haygood, Elon University • During commercial televisions’ early era, the four television networks featured an extensive offering of sports programming on their prime time schedules. Once the networks began to replace sports programs with entertainment shows, other entities attempted to fill this sports gap. Tel Ra Productions emerged as the leading syndicated producer of television sports programming, beginning in the late 1940s. Its primary program was TeleSports Digest, a thirty-minute show, featuring a wide range of sporting events. Tel Ra also had the rights to some of the most valuable US sports properties, including NFL football, college basketball, Notre Dame football, and others. This research tells the story of Tel Ra Productions, TeleSports Digest, and the portfolio of sports shows created by this Pennsylvania production company. Further, Tel Ra’s role and its significance to sports broadcasting history is explored.

George G. Foster’s Urban Journalism as an Antecedent to Muckraking • Denitsa Yotova, University of Maryland, College Park • This paper examines the writings of George G. Foster in antebellum New York. It analyzes his particular style of social commentary and press criticism as early forms of alternative journalism and muckraking. A review of primary and secondary sources determines that although presented in a more literary, non-fiction style, Foster’s writings demonstrate an analytical and expository approach to journalism that existed long before the most famous muckrakers changed American print culture. By focusing on the work of the largely understudied journalist and litterateur George G. Foster in the context of society, culture, and the press during the mid-nineteenth century, this study demonstrates that such early alternative forms of reporting should be viewed as a compelling journalistic endeavor that engaged both society and the press. Ultimately, Foster’s exposés, as printed in the New York Tribune and later in his books, were aimed at raising the public’s consciousness about the need for moral and social change, and served as a precursor to muckraking.

Full-Court Press: How Segregationist Newspapers Covered an Integrated Virginia High School Basketball Team • Elizabeth Atwood, Hood College; Sara Pietrzak, Hood College • This study explores how newspapers that had opposed school desegregation and supported Virginia’s massive resistance policies covered a local high school basketball team that won the state championship three years after the school was desegregated. Uniquely situated at a nexus of research into community newspapers and studies of sports coverage of racial minorities, this study finds that hometown boosterism trumps racial politics with the newspapers praising the integrated team as a model of cooperation.

Missing the story • James Mueller, University of North Texas • This paper examines coverage of a cavalry fight that blunted a Confederate attack aimed at the Union rear during the decisive third day of the battle of Gettysburg. It studies a sample of major newspapers from both the North and South and suggests that reporters ignored that part of the battle, contributing to a possible misunderstanding of the battle today.

Witness to War: Newsreel Photographer Arthur Menken • Joe Hayden, University of Memphis • In the heyday of American newsreels, Arthur Menken stood at the top of his field. He made a name for himself covering some of the most important events of the 1930s and 1940s. Yet that reputation seems to have slipped into the past. Using contemporary news accounts and many previously unpublished photographs, this study reconstructs the career of an intrepid war correspondent who for a time was the most distinguished documentarian capturing history on film.

The Espionage Conviction of Kansas City Editor Jacob Frohwerk: “A Clear and Present Danger” to the United States • Ken Ward, Ohio University; Aimee Edmondson • In 1918, German-language newspaper editor Jacob Frohwerk was convicted under the Espionage Act for editorials critical of World War I. He appealed to the Supreme Court, where his case was considered alongside landmark First Amendment cases like Schenk. Despite the impact of the case, Frohwerk has been overlooked by historians. This historical analysis utilizes archival documents, newspaper articles, and court and prison records, providing the first thorough consideration of Frohwerk’s career, trial, and lasting impact.

Cowboy Songs from the Cold War Adversary: Listening to RIAS as portrayed in the East German Press • Kevin Grieves, Whitworth University • For much of the Cold War, East Germany attempted to block Western media. This study analyzed East German press’ treatment of East Germans listening to the U.S. Government-run station RIAS Berlin during the period 1946-1953. The analysis points to ambiguity and the conflicted nature of East German attitudes towards outside propaganda messages. These attitudes – competing with enemy media, engaging in counterpropaganda, educating citizens about propaganda, or blocking messages seen as threatening – remain relevant today.

A Genuine Sense of Helplessness: Newsroom Ethnography and Resistance to Management Change at The New York Times in 1974 • Kevin Lerner, Marist College • “In 1974, the management scholar Chris Argyris published an ethnography of the New York Times, though the paper was ineffectively disguised as “”The Daily Planet”” and its editors and business executives each identified only by a single letter. Argyris had unprecedented access to the 40 top editors and executives at the paper, and his book, once decoded by a journalism review called (MORE), provides insight into the un-self critical nature of newsrooms and a reluctance to respond to outside press criticism.

This paper draws on Argyris’s book, cross-referenced with the article from (MORE) that identified major publishing and editorial staff at The Times, as well as the institutional archives of The New York Times, particularly those of its top editor at the time, Abe Rosenthal. Argyris secured access to the Times via its publisher, Arthur “Punch” Sulzberger, but Rosenthal’s papers provide the most thorough portrait of the editorial staff’s oppositional stance toward Argyris. It places Argyris’s failure to effect change at the Times in the context of Wendy Wyatt’s discursive theory of press criticism as well as theories of anti-intellectualism developed by sociologist Daniel Rigney out of the work of historian Richard Hofstadter.”

War of Words: A Comparative Contextual Analysis of newspaper coverage of the Battle of Kontum • Kris Boyle, Brigham Young University • This study compares newspaper coverage of the Battle of Kontum in the Stars and Stripes and The New York Times. The textual analysis revealed the Times appeared more skeptical of the U.S and South Vietnamese success in the battle. The Stars and Stripes was more optimistic and favorable in its coverage. Additionally, the approach used by the Stars and Stripes in reporting the conflict – usually based on first-person accounts – differed from the Times’ big-picture approach.

The Aesthetics of Historiophoty: Ken Burns and the Origins of Visual Effects in the Historical Documentary • Kyle McDaniel, University of Oregon • This study examines the origins of visual effects in the historical documentary film, and investigates how such aesthetic practices and tools engage with historiophoty. Here, historiophoty was explored through visual analyses for archival photographs in the early films of historical documentarian Ken Burns. As such, the significance of this research is to understand how visual effects have the ability to subvert or reinforce aspects of historiophoty and therefore, affect photography’s indexical ties to the past.

Saving Face: How The University of Georgia Survived the Integration Crisis and Maintained Its Image through Stakeholder Management • LaShonda Eaddy, The University of Georgia • Few studies have explored higher education desegregation in the nation’s first state to charter a state-supported university, Georgia. The present study documents the University of Georgia’s integration communication with various groups based on Freeman’s stakeholder theory as well as the University’s public relations response and strategy. The study examines the University’s public relations function and the analysis shows how the public relations strategy was to save face when addressing issues raised by its stakeholder groups.

News Ecosystem During the Birth of the Confederacy: South Carolina Secession in Southern Newspapers • Michael Fuhlhage, Wayne State University; Sarah Walker; Nicholas Prephan; Jade Metzger • This study uses content assessment to examine 822 newspaper articles covering secession in the weeks before, during, and after South Carolina’s secession convention in four Southern newspapers: the Charleston Mercury, New Orleans Picayune, Alexandria Gazette, and Macon Telegraph. The study examines the role of four media of dissemination — telegraphic reports, exchange newspapers, letters, and staff correspondence — in the creation of emergent Confederate nationalism, coverage of disunion, and the spread of secessionist ideas and symbols.

“Russian Journalists and the Great Patriotic War” • Owen V Johnson; Rashad Mammadov • The paper focuses on the role of Russian journalists and their reporting during World War II. We argue that, generally, the historical trajectory of journalism and the press in Russia significantly diverges from the often cited “norm” of the West. We look at the press in Great Patriotic War, and judge them on the basis of institutional culture and on how journalists themselves understand the role of journalists in a particular time and place.

Silent Spring, Loud Legacy: How Elite Media Helped Establish an Environmentalist Icon • Perry Parks, Michigan State University • Rachel Carson’s 1962 book Silent Spring is widely credited with altering Americans’ environmental consciousness and changing people’s relationship with nature, science, and government. One means by which the book, which chronicled the dangers of pesticides, attained and reinforced its symbolic status in collective memory is through newspaper coverage, which remained persistent through five decades. This study of fifty years of Silent Spring in two elite newspapers traces how news media can help elevate a situated artifact into an enduring icon with contemporary power.

Framing Barry Goldwater: The Extreme Reaction to His 1964 “Extremism” Speech • Rich Shumate, University of Florida • This study examines the extreme reaction by political and media elites to one of the most noteworthy political speeches of the 20th century—Barry Goldwater’s acceptance speech at the 1964 Republican National Convention, in which he said, “Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.” Using a textual analysis of coverage of the convention, this paper posits that frames employed by elite media triggered a negative response to Goldwater’s speech, irrespective of its actual content.

The Social Awakening and The Soul of News • Ronald Rodgers, University of Florida • The long conversation about the role and responsibility of the newspaper a century ago was often hinged to a commonplace conceit of the age – the “social awakening.” A derivative of that conceit was the notion of the “soul of news,” which was at the center of an argument about the newspaper as a public utility whose role as society’s servant trumped the demands of the market and its constraints on journalistic conduct and content.

Ada Patterson: “The Nellie Bly of the West” • Samantha Peko, Ohio University • In 1896, Ada Patterson was making headlines as the St. Louis Republic’s “Nellie Bly.” From climbing the St. Louis City Tower to riding with the St. Louis Fire Chief for a story, Patterson took on any challenge. She was one of many “stunt girls” who used the Bly formula as an opportunity to transition from the society pages to the front pages. This paper explores Patterson’s life, and how her “stunts” helped progress her career.

Is This the Best Philosophy Can Do? Henry R. Luce and the Commission on Freedom of the Press • Stephen Bates, University of Nevada, Las Vegas • After spending $200,000 on it, Time Inc. editor in chief Henry R. Luce renounced the Commission on Freedom of the Press. Many accounts ascribe his stance to financial self-interest: the Commission’s report, A Free and Responsible Press (1947), castigated American journalism. Based on previously unavailable documents, including Luce’s handwritten notes, this paper argues that much of his disenchantment stemmed from Christian metaphysics blended with personal pique.

The Sponsor’s Fight for Audience: A 1930s Radio Case Study • Stephen Perry, Regent University • This study examines the practices of General Foods in areas of stunting, gimmickry, and the use of celebrities to attract, keep, and rebuild an audience for the Byrd Expedition broadcasts, aired on CBS, between 1933 and 1935. The exploration finds evidence that the sponsor was very aware of the need to attract the largest audience possible in order to maximize the positive image of the sponsor’s product through its association with a program. Understanding the purposes and manner in which a sponsor undertook promotion of its program suggests a re-consideration of where rivalry existed in the sponsorship era of broadcasting. Understanding how the mediated representation of exploration was promoted for the benefit of Byrd’s expedition and the program sponsor also sheds light on how future areas of exploration might benefit from well-planned media promotion and programming. The study finds that, when nothing exciting was happening in the process of exploration, hype was used through stunts and gimmicks to attract and maintain the audience. Celebrities were also used, but seem to have been included in the program when other events made it convenient rather than specifically during times of low levels of adventure.

Decade of Deceit: English-Language Press Coverage of the Katyn Massacre in the 1940s • Timothy Roy Gleason, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • The Katyn Massacre of Polish officers and intelligentsia by the Soviet Union was one of the worst military atrocities of modern European warfare. Often overlooked because of the vicious Nazi genocide of Jews during World War II, Katyn deserves more attention from scholars. This paper uses original sources—English-language press reports and intelligence documents—to better understand what the public was told and what the Allied governments knew about Katyn.

‘They Couldn’t Bring Me Down’: Gender and Agency in the Careers of Midwestern Women Broadcasters • Tracy Lucht, Iowa State University; Kelsey Batschelet, Iowa State University • This study uses in-depth interviews and historical analysis to uncover common threads of experience in the careers of Midwestern women who worked in broadcasting before and after feminist activism of the 1970s. The findings illustrate how gender influenced women’s careers at a regional level and show how these women exercised agency to make their way in an industry that did not always welcome their full participation.

Who Has Authority? The Construction of Collective Memory in Hong Kong Protest • Yin Wu, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Over 1,000 people gathered recently in memory of Occupy Central movement in Hong Kong a year ago. The one-year anniversary of Occupy Central movement is of particular interest for this study.Using theoretical framework of collective memory, this study compared three types of local press in Hong Kong: the pro-government press, the pro-democracy press, and the local-based press. The results reflect a competing sets of cultural values on pro-government and pro-democracy press, and a local-interest-focused coverage on the local newspapers in the construction of collective memory.

2016 Abstracts