Clarifying Journalism’s Quantitative Turn: A Typology for Evaluating Data Journalism, Computational Journalism, and Computer-Assisted Reporting • Mark Coddington, University of Texas at Austin • As quantitative forms have become more prevalent in professional journalism, it has become increasingly important to classify and distinguish between them. This paper defines and compares three quantitative forms of journalism — computer-assisted reporting, data journalism, and computational journalism — and introduces a four-part typology to evaluate their epistemological and professional dimensions. The three practices are characterized as related but distinct approaches to integrating the values of open-source culture and social science with those of professional journalism.
Gender, social cue and interactivity in social media: Investigation of journalists’ social media use and credibility • Rosie Jahng, Hope College; Jeremy Littau, Lehigh University • This study examined the effect of social cues and interactivity in social media on journalists’ credibility based on literature of journalists’ credibility, social information processing theory (SIPT) and social presence theory. Results from a mixed-design experiment showed participants rated highly interactive journalists to be more credible than those who are less interactive in social media. Also, participants showed higher intention to engage and more positive attitude toward highly interactive journalists than less interactive journalists. Results are discussed in terms of theoretical implications for journalists’ credibility in social media, and practical applications for journalists seeking to utilize social media to engage with their audiences.
Exploring the Role of Political Discussion in Political Participation: Online versus Offline • Soo Yun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Widespread use of the Internet have lead to new forms of interpersonal communication, with a vast potential to reach young and geographically dispersed citizens; expanding earlier citizen communication habits that may not be reflected in the traditional media; and create new opportunities for citizens to form networks and take action to address many issues directly. Citizens now indeed have the advantage of technical proficiency in the online environments to facilitate their engagements with online political discussion and civic activities. Given that the dynamic nature of interpersonal political discussion as mobilizing force in politics is explicitly demonstrated in previous studies, this study takes a step further by exploring each of political participation activities one by one instead of using political participation as a single index. In addition, this study explores which of political discussion setting (i.e., offline vs. online) strongly predict political participation (i.e., offline and SNS). This study found that both online and offline political discussion was significant predictor for offline political participation and SNS political participation respectively.
Working together: Sharing as an emergent newsroom norm • Magda Konieczna • The economic crisis in news media has deepened and the internet has enabled greater interaction between producers of information. At the same time, the United States in particular has experienced dramatic growth of nonprofit news organizations, many of which base their newsroom processes on collaboration. This article uses participant observation to examine collaborative behaviors at three nonprofit news organizations. I use the data to illustrate three observations: 1) Collaboration actually breaks into four different types of behavior. 2) Collaborative behaviors, while differentiating nonprofits from commercial journalism from which they arose, also tie them into that same commercial structure. 3) Finally, I show how the type of collaboration imprints the collaborating organization. These results suggest that collaborative behaviors between nonprofits and the commercial media are an extension of past but frequently unacknowledged collaborative behaviors between traditional news organizations. And, finally, they suggest that editors have become increasingly comfortable with news coming from a broad range of sources.
Reciprocity and the News: The role of personal and social media reciprocity in news creation and consumption • Avery Holton, University of Utah; Mark Coddington, University of Texas at Austin; Seth Lewis, University of Minnesota; Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Vienna • This study asks: As journalists and audiences increasingly interact via social spaces online, what role might reciprocity, as a key driver within online communities, play in stimulating audiences’ consumption and creation of content, including news content? A national survey finds that, while personal beliefs in reciprocity predict news consumption, it is reciprocity on social media that is associated not only with news consumption, but also with content creation, both for news and in general.
What’s in a Name? Making a Case for Collaborative Journalism • Shawn McIntosh, Columbia University • Definitions of terms such as participatory journalism and other variants reflect a need to clarify conceptually what some of the underlying transformational dynamics are in journalism today. I argue that the term collaborative journalism is best equipped to reframe the debate, avoiding the conceptual blind spots shared by these other terms, and will help us better understand changing journalistic norms and practices that can lead to a more active citizenry in the networked public sphere.
Democratic Mobilization through #Gosnell: Twitter as Public Sphere and Realm of the FIfth Estate • Michael Jezewak, Loyola Marymount University; Gwyneth Mellinger, Xavier University • The national news media’s initial failure to cover the criminal case of Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell triggered an activist response on Twitter. Using the hashtag #Gosnell, pro-life and pro-choice advocates debated the newsworthiness of the case and drew the national media’s attention to the trial. In addition to resetting the media agenda, #Gosnell constructed a Habermasian public sphere and, per Hallin’s theory, redefined an issue of deviance as a matter of legitimate controversy.
The Social News System: Examining the Relationship between Psychological Sense of Community, Social Network Site Use, and News Sharing Behaviors • Natalie Olsen, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities • News has long been understood as central to community functioning and a healthy democratic society. As community and news engagement transition to online venues, research must examine this relationship within social media. This study proposes and tests a new theoretical model that enables us to identify the roles that overall news consumption, SNS perceptions and behaviors, and PSOC play (both directly and indirectly) in encouraging audience members to share news stories on social network sites.
Framing citizen activism: A comparative study of the CGNET Swara and Mobile Voices projects • Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin • The CGNET Swara (India) and Mobile Voices (United States) demonstrate that dedicated citizen journalism outlets can effectively combine journalism and activism to mobilize communities for positive social impact. Few studies have compared citizen journalism effects in the area of mobilization across countries, in multi-cultural settings, especially in the developed and developing world. This paper compares and contrasts conceptual frames employed and approaches pursued in fundamentally different settings to examine how citizen media works for progressive change.
reddit and the Boston Bombings: The Entextualization of a Witch-Hunt • Noah Springer, University of Colorado, Boulder • The social news website www.reddit.com played an instrumental role in the release of the suspects of the bombings during the Boston Marathon in April, 2012. This paper provides a linguistic analysis of how reddit identified the wrong suspects in the case, and examines how redditors “entextualized” this content in order to determine the meaning of how reddit users identified and prosecuted an innocent man. Specifically, this paper first examines various understandings of digital media, including Marshall McLuhan’s “global village,” Donna Haraway’s “cyborg,” and Jürgen Habermas’s “public sphere.” I then explore the various “entextualizations” of the Boston bombing case within reddit, specifically looking at how the decontextualization and recontextualization of the tragedy created room for a performative self-critique within the site. I conclude with a brief discussion of how the discourse surrounding the events in Boston show how reddit functions and fails to function as a global village, cyborg and public sphere.
Hyperlocal with a mission; Motivation, strategy, and civic function • Marco Van Kerkhoven, Utrecht, School of Journalism; Klaus Schoenbach; Piet Bakker, Utrecht School of Journalism • Independent online news start-ups seem to gain ground in local news ecosystems. To what extend they demonstrate to be a sustainable asset remains to be seen. Based on content analyses of 123 local news websites and 74 interviews with owners of these so-called hyperlocals in the Netherlands, we explored their motivation, their editorial and organisational strategy, and how hyperlocals effectuate their civic function in the community. Results indicate that the motivation to start a local online news website is for the better part grounded in the perception of a local news gap. But we also found sites predominantly motivated by commercial objectives. In all cases a common business strategy, however, is owners operating the service on a “no-staff, no-budget” basis. Most sites rely on banner advertising. Crowd funding has been tried on a small scale. In terms of strategy and claimed civic role there are only few differences between ideologically non-profit hyperlocals and commercial chains. But many sites underperform in terms of efficient use of resources, attracting readers and advertisers and the way they connect with sources and audiences. The sustainability of local news websites, therefore, is far from secured.
Self-Governance on Trial: A Public Sphere Analysis of News Website Forum Comments • David Wolfgang, University of Missouri • The online public sphere offers an opportunity to pursue self-governance through rational-critical discourse. This article studies two online news forums and the types of content produced based on the structure of the forum. Ultimately, forums allowing pseudonyms led to comments with more reasoned positions and use of supporting facts. However, neither the pseudonymous nor identified forums included constructive dialogue. News forums might need to restructure in order to promote consensus building and constructive dialogue.
Good Green Mothers: First Time Expectant Mothers’ Views on Environmental Consumption Pre- and Post- Partum • Niveen AbiGhannam, University of Texas at Austin; Lucy Atkinson • Our interest in this study is exploring the experience of women who opt for environmentally conscious approaches to pregnancy. The study will focus on how these non-conforming mothers navigate environmental risk, and how they balance dominant mothering discourses with their own sense of what it means to be a mother and the kind of pregnancy and delivery they seek. These relationships are examined in the context of information seeking and sharing communication theories.
Victimized on plain sites: Social and alternative media’s impact on the Steubenville rape case • Cory Armstrong; Kevin Hull, University of Florida; Lynsey Saunders, University of Florida • This study employs a content analysis of the Steubenville (Ohio) sexual assault case to explore the mainstream media characterization of the victim and perpetrators. Researchers examined articles from local news agencies (n= 422) and national news agencies (n= 156) to answer the overall research question centering on how new technology is being employed as sources by traditional media sources. The results outline implications for scholars and practitioners as it relates social media sources shaping the narrative characterizing the victim and perpetrators.
No Woman, No Cry: Gender and Emotional Management in U.S. Electoral Politics • Ingrid Bachmann, Catholic University of Chile • The role of a political leader often is associated with the emotional attributes of a man. This discourse analysis examines the media constructions of Hillary Clinton’s emotionality during her bid for the 2008 Democratic nomination. Clinton was described mainly as a cold and unsympathetic contender, an unwomanly woman with too much ambition, and either as fake or frail when being more emotionally open. The media thus favored determined understandings regarding women, politics and emotions.
The Everlasting Damsel in Distress?: Analyzing the evolution of the female Disney character over time • Lisa van Kessel, Radboud University Nijmegen; Serena Daalmans, Radboud University Nijmegen • The current study analyzes the evolution of female Disney characters over time, from Disney’s Snow White from 1937 to Disney/Pixar’s Brave from 2012. Gender role representations of the characters from twenty-three features (that included a human female lead or secondary character) were examined in a qualitative content analysis focused on the manifest level (representation of behaviors, goals) as well as a latent level (gender related norms and values). Results suggest that on a manifest level significant changes have occurred in how female characters have been presented over time, i.e. female characters have grown to have more agency and are less preoccupied with love as a primary goal, though these changes are not linear. Results on a latent level suggest that more stereotyped gendered norms and values have not disappeared but are now incorporated in the narrative in secondary rather than primary characters. Overall, results do seem to indicate that Disney’s representation of female (lead) characters are slowly becoming less stereotyped, most prominently so in the case of Brave’s Merida.
“Wendy and the Boys:” Having it All on the Texas Campaign Trail • Shugofa Dastgeer, Graduate student at the University of Oklahoma; Desiree Hill, University of Oklahoma • This study content analyzed news headlines on the Texas female candidate for governor, Wendy Davis, in the 2014 elections. The results demonstrate more than half of the news headlines had a neutral tone toward Davis, and less than one-fourth of the headlines were negative and positive each. While a large number of neutral headlines shows progress for female candidates, a significant number of the headlines treat Davis as a celebrity.
Creative women in Swedish advertising and the case for systemic scarcity • Jean Grow, Marquette University • This research explores the experiences of ten Swedish advertising creative directors. In-depth interviews are framed by Csikszentmihalyi’s systems model of creativity. Findings suggest that gender-neutral Swedish cultural norms and values have limited influence on the culture within advertising creative. Data highlight provocative insights about systemic power and constraints women face, suggesting that female creatives across the world most likely face roadblocks to advancement that are far more systemically embedded than may have been previously understood.
Walk like a man: A content analysis of anti-sexual assault websites for men • Leslie Howerton, University of Oregon • This study examines four websites that target men with anti-sexual assault messages. The theoretical framework used for this research is rape myth acceptance theory and the Acceptance of Modern Myths about Sexual Aggression scale (AMMSA). Content analysis was conducted on two websites that use traditionally masculine approaches and two websites that use androgyny advocacy approaches. All four websites contained gender stereotypes, rape myths and sexual concepts consistent with rape myth acceptance theory. The messages on these sites may explicitly endorse an anti-sexual assault agenda, but the text and images contain gender stereotypes and rape myth functions that undermine the websites’ purpose and perpetuate rape myth acceptance.
Attention to Heterosexual Scripts in Magazines: Factors associated with Intentions to Sexually Coerce or Intervene • Stacey J.T. Hust, The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication, Washington State University; Kathleen Rodgers, Human Development, Washington State University; Stephanie Ebreo, Washington State University; Whitney Stefani, Washington State University • Sexual coercion has gained researchers’ attention as an underreported form of sexual abuse or harm (Adams-Curtis & Forbes, 2004). The percentage of male and female college students who reported engaging in sexual coercion was as high as 82% for verbally coercive behaviors over the course of a year (Shook, Gerrity, Jurich, & Segrist, 2000). Guided by heterosexual scripting theory and the Integrated Model of Behavioral Prediction, we examine young college students’ beliefs about rape myth acceptance, perceived norms related to perpetration and intervention of sexual coercion, dating violence efficacy, and then exposure to men’s and women’s magazines in relation to intention to use coercive tactics in dating relationships, and intentions to intervene with friends who use coercive tactics in dating relationships. Results indicate rape myth acceptance, as predicted, was positively associated with intentions to sexually coerce, and negatively associated with intentions to intervene. Dating violence efficacy was negatively associated with intentions to sexually coerce, and positively associated with intentions to intervene. Exposure to the heterosexual scripts in men’s magazines, which connect sexual prowess to masculinity, was associated with intentions to sexually coerce. Overall, an understanding of the independent contribution of these factors toward sexual coercion has implications for dating violence prevention programming.
Beyond ‘the Bump’: How media portrayals of celebrity pregnancies perpetuate fertility goddess cultural norms • Nicki Karimipour, University of Florida • Modern-day pregnant celebrities share many similarities to fertility goddesses of prehistoric and ancient times: they occupy a powerful place in society; they are revered and even worshipped; average women view them as role models; and they possess comparable physical traits. The way in which the media represents pregnant celebrities (and by explicitly or implicitly portraying them as fertility goddesses) can result in the establishment of social and cultural norms. The purpose of this study is to introduce a conceptual model for evaluating the way in which media portrayals of pregnant celebrities perpetuate fertility goddess cultural norms. Variables and antecedent conditions associated with the conceptual model have been outlined within.
#ThighGap and #BikiniBridge: The New ‘Thinspo’(s)?: Examining the role of social media and dissemination of new body shape thin ideals • Nicki Karimipour, University of Florida; Kéran Billaud, University of Florida • Mass-mediated thin ideals have been a media staple for many years, but recently, two body shape trends have gone viral in mainstream and social media. The purpose of this study is to examine content being disseminated on Twitter about the thigh gap and the bikini bridge from December 1, 2013 to March 1, 2014 using a quantitative content analysis. Applications of social comparison and identity demarginalization theory are used to explain the online behavior of these users. Feminist theory is used to buttress the argument that social media interactions about the thigh gap and bikini bridge perpetuate potentially harmful aspirations and behaviors among young women.
Domestic violence as entertainment: Gender, role congruity and reality television • Carol Liebler, Syracuse University; Azeta Hatef, Syracuse University; Greg Munno, Syracuse University • This study examines how young adults react to domestic violence in reality TV, with particular attention to how gender factors into perceptions of acceptability. Data were collected via eight sessions that included pre and post-viewing questionnaires, rating an edited 24-minute video of content from three reality TV programs, and focus group discussions. Findings indicate that consistent with role congruity theory, acceptability of televised domestic violence varies contextually and with gender.
Television’s “Mean World” for Women: The Portrayal of Gender and Race on American Crime Dramas • M. Scott Parrott, The University of Alabama; Caroline Titcomb Parrott, The University of Alabama • A quantitative content analysis examined gender and racial stereotypes in fictional crime-based television programs that aired in the United States during a three-year period. Women were underrepresented. While black women were relatively non-existent, white women were victimized more often than male characters. Compared to men, white women stood a greater chance of being raped or sexually assaulted, suffering serious harm at the hands of an assailant, and being attacked by strangers.
Effects of Women’s Social Media Use in fostering Social Capital and Civic Participation • Maria Gomez y Patino, Universidad de Zaragoza; Magdalena Saldaña, The University of Texas at Austin; Trevor Diehl, The University of Texas at Austin; Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Vienna • Observing women as benchmark, this article examined how social media activities impact social capital and civic participation. Scholars concerned with the role of women in democracies have long noted a gender gap in participatory behaviors. However, social media might offer an alternative route to community engagement for women. Analyzing original US-survey-data, results (n=831) found strong statistical evidence that social media use for community involvement and news is associated with social capital and civic participation offline.
The Disney Princess Films: 72 Years of Idealized Beauty and Love • Jennifer Hecht, San Jose State University; Diana Stover Tillinghast, San Jose State University • Portrayals of dependency, confidence, rescue, and romantic love have slowly changed in the past seven decades in the nine Disney princess films examined in this study. However, the depiction of beauty has remained much the same although many of the princesses are no longer only Caucasian. Princesses have become less dependent and more confident. Love has become more realistic with fewer romantic illusions. Suitors rescued princesses and, in the newer films, princesses rescued their suitors.
Black Womanhood, Desire, and Single-doom in Television News • Timeka Tounsel, University of Michigan • Amidst shifting tides in America’s ethnic landscape, racial uplift ideology urges black women to pursue marriage as a means of demonstrating African American’s adherence to hegemonic social values. Yet, data from Hannah Brueckner at the Yale Center for Research on Inequalities and the Life Course and the U.S. Census Bureau (2010) suggest that 45 percent of black women over 15-years-old have never been married, and that this rate is even higher for women with post-graduate degrees. Thus, professional black women are perceived as having failed to fulfill dominant gender expectations. The consequential construction of a crisis focused on increased academic achievement, and low marriage rates offers an example of how American culture manages this supposed gender deviance. In this essay, I point to salient examples—specifically in traditional news outlets such as ABC Nightline and CNN—within a contemporary cultural environment that restrict professional black women to a distinct narrative arc. Beginning at the professional peak of black women, the arc climaxes in a black gender war, and ends with a disciplining of black women’s life desires. By burdening black women with racial uplift, this narrative neglects a rational discussion of black men, evades the impact of structural inequality, and elevates independence and autonomy as inappropriate desires for black women.
Empowerment messages with women from underserved communities: Expanding a theory of women’s communication about health • Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, University of Houston • As women’s health has received significant political and media attention recently, I proposed an expanded theory of women’s communication about health. Public relations and community health work literature framed this study. I interviewed 15 communicators and community health workers from grassroots organizations focused on women’s health. Findings suggest that women face structural, cognitive, cultural, political, and emotional/spiritual barriers to communicating about health. Participants also discussed the importance of messages of empowerment and resilience with women.
An Indian Abroad: Postulating post-colonial feminisms via Priyanka Chopra’s globality • Roshni Verghese • Priyanka Chopra’s prolific career has taken her from being the belle of Bollywood to a global celebrity as she enters Western popular culture, symbolically representing India and Indians. This paper uses visual analysis of her English music videos, select interviews with American and Indian media and other print media texts to identify how she invokes themes of globality; using sexual exoticism, racial ambiguity and cultural hybridity to successfully promote a new prototype of Indian women.
Stigmatized Presentation of Single Women: A Content Analysis of News Coverage on Single Women and Single Men in China • Gong Wanqi, City University of Hong Kong; Caixie Tu; Jiang Li • This study explored the stigmatize presentation of single women in news reports by content analyzing the news coverage of Chinese single women and single men from 2008 to 2013 in Mainland China. Among the three prevalent news frames (conflict, attribution of responsibility, and human interest), results showed that the news reports commonly employ human interest frame and concentrate on the single women’s family conflicts . News stories also unduly attributed the responsibility of the ‘single’ issue to the single women themselves. Moreover, the media tend to utilize positive tone to portray single men rather than single women. The biased standpoint in reporting single women reflect and further shape the stereotype of single women. As an exploratory study, our research shed light on the public perception of single women. Theoretical and practical implications were provided.
Mitigating the Engendered Digital Divide: Women as Active Learners in Developing Countries • Jessica Wendorf, University of Miami • Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has become part of modern life, but sadly developing countries are unable to benefit from this technological advancement. Consequently, the knowledge gap between information-rich and information-poor has intensified. Today, it is not the lack of physical access, but in fact, the intellectual access limitations confounded by the omitting of ethnic, racial, and cultural individualism that most affect ICT interventions focused on minority females.
Are Men from Mars and Women from Venus in Terms of Twitter and Facebook Use? And How about Whites and Non-Whites – Are They on Different Planets? • Geri Alumit Zeldes, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Elizabeth Quilliam, Michigan State University • Indeed. Men are from Mars, and Women are from Venus, when it comes to the intensity in which they used Facebook and Twitter. Using Uses and Gratifications theory and Liu, Cheng & Lee’s (2010) 19-item scale to measure motivations, this study found that women are significantly more intense in their use of the two social media platforms especially when it comes to several motivations – entertainment, escapism, and medium appeal. In terms of race, Whites and Non-Whites are also on different planets. The study indicated a greater intensity to use Facebook and Twitter than their Non-White counterparts, out intensifying their Non-White counterparts in their use of Facebook except in the motivations of self-documentation and commercial interaction. The researchers recommend a replication of this study using a much more diverse population than that of students in a mass communication school at a large Midwestern university.
Sports Draped in the American Flag: Impact of the 2014 Winter Olympic Telecast on Nationalized Attitudes • Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Kenon Brown, The University of Alabama; Natalie Brown, University of Alabama • A total of 525 U.S. respondents participated in a survey of nationalized attitudes surrounding four qualities (patriotism, nationalism, internationalism, and smugness) and their relationship to Olympic media consumption. Four data collection points were used: three months prior to the Sochi Games, immediately before the Opening Ceremonies, immediately after the Closing Ceremonies, and one month after the Sochi Games. Results indicated that the amount of Olympic media consumption significantly heightened responses on all four qualities, but that these qualities were higher before the Sochi Olympics than after. Conclusions are offered regarding the potential mitigating role of Olympic success as it relates to the bolstering of national pride through consumption of international mediated sporting events.
I know you, therefore I share: Parasocial disclosures and sharing of sport news on Twitter • Jan Boehmer, Michigan State University • The present study investigates the effects of sports journalists’ self-disclosures on Twitter. More specifically, an online experiment was conducted examining whether being exposed to self disclosures posted on Twitter influenced the audiences’ perceptions of likability and credibility, as well as the desire to interact with the sports journalist. Results of Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) show that self-disclosure had a positive effect on a personal dimension of likability, as predicted by Uncertainty Reduction Theory (URT). Contrary to predictions, however, self-disclosure did not affect the professional dimension of likability or credibility. In addition, the results of the present study show that the development of a stronger parasocial relationship between the sports journalist and his audience, as well as professional likability are the best predictors of participants’ intentions to share the encountered content.
Making Sports Exciting: Moment-to-Moment Analysis of Crowd Noise on Audience Perception of Play • Glenn Cummins, Texas Tech University; Zijian Gong, Texas Tech University • Despite its ubiquitous presence in mediated sports, the influence of mediated crowd response on at-home spectators has escaped inquiry. Considerable evidence from both within and beyond the context of sports suggests that a co-spectator’s behavior can generate “intra-audience effects.” In this experiment, mediated spectator response was systematically altered across game play while participants provided moment-to-moment evaluations of game play. Results demonstrate mediated intra-audience effects that yield inflated perceptions of the exiting nature of play as well as a sense of spatial immersion in the mediated environment. The effect was most pronounced when game events were not intrinsically exciting.
Opening the sports closet: Media coverage of the self-outings of Jason Collins and Britney Griner • Tracy Everbach, University of North Texas; Lori Dann, Eastfield College • This study examines coverage of the coming-out revelations of two professional athletes in major sports media. When Brittney Griner of the WNBA and Jason Collins of the NBA made their announcements within two weeks of each other in April 2013, sports media embraced both athletes by praising their courage and calling for tolerance. However, the media coverage adhered to the theory of masculine hegemony by treating Collins’ revelation as big news and Griner’s as routine. Other findings are that Collins’ announcement, which was a first for an active athlete in men’s professional team sports, was controversial to some who oppose homosexuality. Griner joined several high-profile female athletes who had come out as lesbian since the 1970s, and her announcement was given minimal coverage. Griner went on to a promising career in the WNBA while Collins went unsigned for the first four months of the NBA season before being picked up by the Brooklyn Nets on Feb. 23, 2014 and retained for the remainder of the season. Despite these gender-based differences, the study found there has been a significant shift in recent years in the amount and type of media coverage given to gay athletes.
Foul Ball: Audience-held stereotypes of baseball players • Patrick Ferrucci, Bradley University; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico University; David Wolfgang, University of Missouri • This study experimentally tested whether participants held and/or applied stereotypes of baseball players. Participants were asked to rate White, Black and Latino baseball players based on stereotypes consistently identified in previous literature. Participants saw a photo of a player and an anonymous paragraph from a newspaper that highlighted a particular stereotype. They were then asked to rate the author’s credibility. Black players were rated as higher in physical strength and natural ability, consistent with previous literature concerning how athletes were described. However, White and Latin players were not stereotyped. But, participants rated White-consistent descriptions as credible and Latin-consistent descriptions as less credible. These results are interpreted through the prism of social identity theory.
“The Ghost of Len Bias”: Race, Memory, Narrative, and Basketball • Justin Hudson, University of Maryland, College Park • The death of Maryland basketball star Len Bias in June 1986 from a cocaine overdose would quickly become a seminal moment both in the war on drugs and the fight to reform college athletics. This paper demonstrates that even two decades after his death, Bias was deployed in the media as an obstacle on the road to Maryland’s first national championship and as a cautionary tale to justify the continued policing of black athletes.
Marketing a Lemon: Student-Fan Attendance at Home Games of a Losing College Basketball Team • L. Paul Husselbee, Southern Utah University; Whitney Baum, Southern Utah University • Research has identified winning as the most significant factor motivating attendance at collegiate and professional sports events. This study employed factor analysis to identify four significant components — Optimistic Leisure, Shared Experience with Friends, Basketball Enthusiasm, and Team Spirit — that contribute to student-fans’ decisions to attend home games of a college basketball team that had lost 26 consecutive games and was widely considered the worst NCAA Division I team in the nation during the 2013-14 season. It recommends an integrated-marketing campaign using a “Big Idea” with emphasis on social media to reach the target audience.
Promoting sports networks’ interests through hybrid messages: A study of Sportscenter and Fox Sports Live • Richard Johnson, Arizona State University; Miles Romney • In sports broadcasting, a dichotomy exists between a network’s financial interests and its journalism responsibilities. Many sports networks spend billions of dollars for the rights to broadcast live sporting events as part of their network programming. Typically, these live events produce high ratings and generate significant profit for the networks. However, this conflict between a sports network’s business and journalistic affairs raises a compelling ethical debate. Working under the theoretical model of hybrid messages—the assumption that news networks include promotional themes in their journalism programming that aren’t easily recognizable to the viewer—this introductory study analyzed 2,015 news packages from the two most prominent nightly sports news programs, SportsCenter and FOX Sports Live, to examine whether sports networks more heavily promote leagues with which they are contractually affiliated. The study found that sports networks self-promote by showing more in-depth coverage of games and leagues with which they have a financial interest while also filling a significant portion of the news program’s most prominent block with programming that serves their interests. However, the relationship that exists between sports networks and sports leagues makes it difficult to ascertain whether the sports networks are employing hybrid messages in their journalism programming or simply following journalistic practices.
The Use of Twitter in Sports Image Repair: A Case Study of Ex-Heisman Reggie Bush • Hannah Mason; Mia Moody-Ramirez, Baylor University • Broadening the application of Benoit’s image repair theory, this case study looks at the image repair tactics of NFL athlete Reggie Bush in three phases following the NCAA sanctions in which he lost the Heisman Trophy. This textual analysis adds a new perspective to IRT literature by analyzing how the athlete presented himself through his Twitter feed and how traditional newspaper articles framed the case. Findings indicate Bush used a variety of image repair tactics in his Twitter posts; however, his scatter-shot approach was ineffective as he rallied back and forth between positive and negative content and perhaps waited too long to demonstrate mortification. Newspaper articles did not mention Bush’s Twitter content. However, self-presentation through social media eliminated the need for a mainstream outlet to cover his preferred themes as he was able disseminate his own messages. Findings indicate Twitter provides a viable platform for athletes to repair a tarnished image; however, they must use positive image repair tactics in a consistent manner.
Going to WAR: Online Sports Media’s Treatment of the Sabermetric Argument in the Race for 2012 American League Most Valuable Player • Joshua Murphy, The University of Iowa • Sabermetric analysis has existed since the 1970s but has recently gained widespread attention in baseball. Despite the empirical process of sabermetrics, several media sources ignore it in favor of traditional methods. This paper uses the Gramscian model of hegemony and Barthes’ work on myth to analyze sports media discussion of the 2012 American League Most Valuable Player race to evaluate the process by which new methods gain media attention and legitimacy against the status quo.
Who is to blame? An examination of American sports journalists’ Lance Armstrong Hero narrative and post-doping confession paradigm repair • Sada Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • When journalism routines, like the practice of covering subjects “objectively” and not becoming personally involved with sources, result in erroneous reporting, journalists often engage in paradigm repair (Berkowitz, 1997). This is done by demonstrating that the written and unwritten rules of the paradigm really are reliable, but because of a particular reason or person, the paradigm’s rules were violated (Berkowitz, 1997). But does paradigm repair happen in the same way in sports journalism, a genre of journalism that traditionally has dual roles as watchdogs and “myth-makers”? This study examines this question in two parts: A content analysis was conducted in order to gather descriptive statistics confirming sports journalists’ reluctance to interrupt Armstrong’s Hero narrative. This analysis was done by examining the number of stories about Armstrong, published in the United States between July 25, 1999, when Armstrong first won the Tour de France, and Jan. 17, 2013, when Armstrong’s televised interview with Oprah aired, that also mention doping. The second part of this study explores the presence or absence of paradigm repair. Ethnographic content analysis was used to examine American sports journalists’ columns and editorials from Oct. 9, 2012, to Jan. 31, 2013, in order to assess how sports journalists responded to Armstrong’s “fall from grace.”
Twitter in the press box: How a new technology affects the gameday routines of print-focused sports journalists • Chris Roberts, University of Alabama; Betsy Emmons, Samford University • Sports journalists’ use of Twitter to cover live events raises questions related to institutional practices, branding of journalists, and the work patterns and work products of journalists on a gameday. Researchers analyzed 2,600 tweets sent by 51 print-focused journalists covering 11 college football games, and interviewed 10 journalists, to discern how beat writers and columnists use Twitter for gameday coverage. Results include a more opinion-based use of Twitter during live reporting.
“I hate you man!”: Exploring Maladaptive Parasocial Interaction Expressions to College Athletes via Twitter • Jimmy Sanderson, Clemson University; Carrie Truax, Clemson University • There has been an increasing trend of fans attacking college athletes via Twitter after athletic contests. These messages from fans often encompass hostile and vitriolic language that in many cases makes news headlines. The present study explored this behavior through the lens of maladaptive parasocial interaction (Kassing & Sanderson, in press) by investigating tweets sent to University of Alabama placekicker Cade Foster after Alabama lost their rivalry game against Auburn University on November 30, 2013. Using Radian6 software, a total of 939 tweets sent to Foster were analyzed. Analysis revealed that maladaptive parasocial interaction manifested in the following ways: (a) belittling; (b) blaming; (c) mocking; (d) sarcasm; and (e) threats. Interestingly and unexpectedly, a host of supportive comments were expressed to Foster as well. The results suggest that athletic department personnel must provide resources and education for college athletes on coping with these messages to mitigate potentially negative psychological effects. Additionally, the results also reveal that Twitter functions as a venue where fans discuss what it means to be a “true” fan with respect to directing abrasive comments at college athletes.
“Shit got cray cray #mybad”: An Examination of the Image Repair Discourse of Richie Incognito during the Miami Dolphins’ Bullying Scandal • Annelie Schmittel, University of Florida; Kevin Hull, University of Florida • This study examines the image repair discourse of Richie Incognito during the Miami Dolphins’ bullying scandal. Incognito conducted image repair utilizing Twitter and a traditional media outlet. Incognito’s tweets sent throughout the crisis, along with his television interview, were examined using mixed methods content analysis guided by Benoit’s image repair theory. Findings suggest Incognito used competing image repair strategies on the two platforms. We propose three new image repair strategies: blasting critics, context and self-deprecation.
Ignored by Traditional Media, Women Seek Sports Information via Social Media: A Uses and Gratification Analysis • Mary Sheffer, University of Southern Mississippi; Brad Schultz, University of Mississippi • As a follow-up to previous research, this study took a uses and gratification approach to more clearly define sports media consumption patterns among women. Based on survey data from more than 2,500 respondents nationwide, it was found that women use social media differently than men in regards to sports. Specifically, women more often use social media for information-seeking, personal/social reasons, and to access content not available in traditional media. Implications include the need for new approaches to reach a traditionally underserved audience.
Enjoyment in 140 Characters: Examining the Impact of Twitter on the Enjoyment of Football • Lauren Smith, Auburn University; Sally Ann Cruikshank, Auburn University • As sports fans increasingly turn to Twitter to experience events and receive commentary, it is imperative to understand not only why they do, but the effects that come from using social media. Using the theoretical grounding of disposition theory, this study employed a survey of sports fans who use Twitter to measure how the microblogging site influenced their enjoyment of viewing college and professional football, both on television and in person. Results found that the use of Twitter had more of an impact on fans’ enjoyment when watching a game on television than when watching in person. Additionally, variables such as age, gender, and level of Twitter use were found to have an impact on enjoyment levels. Practical and theoretical implications of the study are discussed at length.
I’m going to Instagram it!: An analysis of athlete self-presentation on Instagram • Lauren Smith, Auburn University; Jimmy Sanderson, Clemson University • Using Goffman’s notions of self-presentation and gender displays, the following study examines the Instagram feeds of 27 professional athletes to determine how athletes are using the visual social media site for self-presentation. A mixed methods approach examined the photographs and captions to determine what behaviors and themes emerged. Through content analysis, the self-presentation styles of athletes of both genders, as well as the main differences between them were examined, and significant differences emerged that confirmed the previously established gender norms. Through textual analysis, findings with respect to captions align with previous research on athlete self-presentation on social media. Theoretical and practical implications, as well as directions for future research are discussed.
Tensions in the Press Box: Understanding Relationships between Journalists and Communications Professionals in Intercollegiate Athletics • Welch Suggs, University of Georgia • Recent events suggest that relationships between media organizations and the entities they cover are changing, particularly in the context of sports. This study proposes a neoinstitutional framework for understanding these relationships and tests resulting hypotheses among reporters and communications professionals in American intercollegiate athletics.
Media Industries and the Sport Scandal: Deadspin, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and the Manti Te’o Hoax • Travis Vogan, University of Iowa; Benjamin Burroughs, University of Iowa • The increasing body of scholarship on the sport scandal focuses principally on how media cover these incidents, how scandalized parties disrupt constructed expectations and work to repair their images, and the circumstances under which punishment and forgiveness are doled out. Building upon this work, this essay uses the hoax surrounding former Notre Dame University football player Manti Te’o to consider the institutional and industrial priorities that inform media coverage of sport scandals. Focusing on the website Deadspin, the legacy magazine Sports Illustrated, and the multiplatform sports media outlet ESPN, it argues that media outlets use sport scandals to craft their institutional identities, critique their competition, and to vie for market share. This approach to analyzing media coverage of the sport scandal, we argue, demonstrates the intimate relationship between the cultural meanings media representations of sport create and the institutional and industrial factors that govern the organizations that manufacture these powerful depictions.
Building Relationships with Fans: How Sports Organizations Use Social Media • Yuan Wang, University of Alabama; Shuhua Zhou; Yonghwan Kim, University of Alabama • Social media have been increasingly used by sports organizations to establish relationships with the public. This study explored the Twitter using practices of NBA clubs (N = 30) in the United States in building relationships with their publics. Specifically, it focused on how these clubs used Twitter as a communication tool to build professional, personal, and community relationships through a content analysis of 5561 tweets on their official Twitter sites. The results demonstrated that sports organizations tended to use social media to develop professional relationships with fans via sharing information and promoting products. They utilized several communication tools such as retweets, public messages, hyperlinks, and hashtags, among which hashtags were most frequently used. There was a significant relationship between relationship dimensions and the use of communication tools.
The Star-Ledger vs. Julie Hermann? Examining the Power of Media Campaigning • Amy Wu, University of Maryland; Pallavi Guha, Philip Merrill College of Journalism, University of Maryland; Jenny Glick, University of Maryland; Carole Lee, University of Maryland; Linda Steiner, University of Maryland • This study examines the impact of coverage by a major newspaper of Rutgers University’s hiring of Julie Hermann as athletic director in the spring of 2013. After the bullying charges surfaced against Julie Hermann, the prospective Athletic Director of Rutgers, The Star-Ledger took the initiative to lead the coverage demanding Hermann’s dismissal. A textual analysis of print and online news articles, editorials and columns, placed in the theoretical context of framing, suggested that the newspaper’s editorial team shifted its target from Hermann at initial stages to the university and the power brokers within the university. A time-analysis revealed that Hermann was only part of the larger target in the later stages of coverage.
The Not-So Neutral Zone: ESPN, Agenda Setting, and the National Hockey League • Jeremy Saks, Ohio University; Molly Yanity, Quinnipiac University • Given the lucrative partnerships involved with securing the rights to televise live events, ESPN is ripe for conflicts of interest as it has the potential to set the news agenda by showcasing highlights and reporting to emphasize the events for which it has exclusive deals. This is important because ESPN can determine what are considered the “most important games, athletes, and highlights for ESPN viewers” and it can use “its gate-keeping function to codify what historic achievements, displays of brilliance, and athletic renown are worthy of consideration” (Gamache, 2010, p. 166). This study will use the agenda-setting theory to explore ESPN’s gate-keeping measures in regards to the National Hockey League. A content analysis will be performed to explore if and how ESPN ranks highlights from the NHL within the “Top 10 Plays” segment in comparison to other major sports leagues.
Pedagogical Approaches to Student Run Firms Using Experiential Learning: A Case Study for Small Programs • Carolyn Kim, Biola University • Experiential learning in public relations programs often come through the launching of a public relations student-run agency. This study focuses on a strong example of a student-run PR agency that was launched in a small program on a private university campus in Southern California. Findings from this case study suggest that student-run agencies can effectively be launched, even with limited resources, to strategically meet program learning outcomes. Additionally, benefits of student-run agencies include increased prominence of the program within the community, which can provide more internship and networking opportunities for students, as well as strong pre-professional preparation for students who participate in student-run agencies.
Us and Them: A meta-analysis of research on media representation of Muslims and Islam from 2000 to 2013 • Saifuddin Ahmed, Nanyang Technological University; Joerg Matthes • This meta-analytical study provides an overview of the academic research on the portrayals of Muslims and Islam in the media worldwide from 2000 – 2013. Through an analysis of 207 studies we identify research patterns involving geographical focus, methods, theories, authorship, citations, media types, and time frame of studies. Based on our systematic evaluation we classify and discuss eight common themes explored when this topic is researched. Findings point to key directions for future research.
Just Add a Verse from the Quran: Effects of Religious Rhetoric in Gain- and Loss-Framed Anti-Alcohol Messages with a Palestinian Sample • Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University; Nasser Almutairi, Michigan State University; Mohammed Abu Rub, Birzeit University • An experiment investigated the effects of message frame (gain vs. loss) and religious rhetoric (religious vs. non-religious) on the expression of anti-alcohol civic intentions with a sample (N = 80) of Palestinian young adults. Results showed that the main effects of message frame (gain > loss) and religious rhetoric (non-religious > religious) on anti-alcohol civic intentions were significant. Furthermore, the study showed that viral behavioral intentions were strongly and significantly associated with expressing anti-alcohol civic intentions, with larger explanatory power for gain-framed messages that used a religious rhetoric. Findings are discussed within the framework of persuasion models.
Does Inner Peace Correlate with Giving a Piece of Your Mind? Religiosity, Media Exposure and Tolerance for Disagreement about Religion • Mariam Alkazemi, University of Florida • The current study applies the spiral of silence effect to explore the role of media exposure on tolerance for disagreement about religion. Survey data were collected from students at a large Southeastern university in February 2014. Participants self-reported data that were used to measure religiosity, media exposure and tolerance for disagreement about religion. The results show there are three underlying measures in the tolerance for disagreement about religion scale, which relate to comfort, escalation and intellect. Further, the results suggest that exposure to internet correlates negatively with the intellectual component of tolerance for disagreement about religion, while exposure to radio correlates positively with the escalation component of tolerance for disagreement about religion.
Night and day: An illustration of framing using moral foundations to examine public opinion about the 2010 Oklahoma sharia ban • Brian J. Bowe, Michigan State University; Jennifer Hoewe, The Pennsylvania State University • This study examines the moral foundations identifiable through the lens of framing theory with particular regard to illustrations of public opinion in the news media. Using Moral Foundations Theory (MFT) to discern one component of the framing process – moral evaluations – this paper examines the discourse present in letters to the editor in two Oklahoma newspapers during the 2010 debate over a constitutional amendment to ban the Islamic moral code often called “sharia law” in the state constitution. This study used cluster and content analysis to identify three frames in the discourse, which emphasized themes of patriotism, heritage, and the golden rule. Each of these frames was related to the moral foundations identified by MFT, particularly as they are predicted to align with political ideology. Moreover, an examination of the moral foundations as 10 distinct items rather than as five continuums based on semantic differential pairs revealed the individual items function differently when allowed to independently vary.
Facebook and revival in Appalachia: Some quantitative analyses of attitudes toward serpent-handling • Julia Duin, University of Memphis • Serpent-handling among Appalachian Pentecostals has undergone a media blitz. From The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post to Buzzfeed.com, reporters have dissected the movement more than any other time in its 104-year-old history. This paper researches how the use of Facebook, with its many personal anecdotes, posts and photos of serpent handlers, has humanized the practice. The author’s recent surveys show how Facebook has led to much softening of public attitudes towards snake handling.
Newspaper Coverage of Christianity in South Korea, 1996-2005 • Taisik Hwang, University of Georgia • This study content analyzes a sample of 2,614 news articles dealing with religions published in Chosun Ilbo from 1996 to 2005, focusing on how this major newspaper covered Christianity in terms of its tone and frames. The results show that this religion was portrayed in a neutral or positive manner, and that both Protestants and megachurches were mostly considered providers of social work services. These findings have implications for academic, media, and religious sectors.
Magazine Iconography: Portrayals of Religion on Magazine Covers • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri; Mimi Perreault, University of Missouri; Gregory Perreault • Religious themes have continually been popular topics for magazines. These topics are occasionally referenced explicitly on magazine covers, but more often, they are depicted implicitly through the use of religious imagery. Imagery may take the form of well-known narratives from religious texts or the use of religious symbols or icons. This study applied narrative theory to assess religious imagery present on magazine covers from the last 48 years as selected and recognized by the American Society of Magazine Editors. Using fantasy theme analysis, the study revealed three themes evident among the covers: the use of religious symbols to address technological anxiety, particularly the influence of Apple products; ironic or subverted presentations of female religious figures to address contemporary lifestyle topics; and the use of religion to make meaning from crises or disasters. The findings showed that religious imagery fulfilled strategic aims for magazines, highlighting implicit and explicit religious narratives through which magazines could sell products or enhance the salience of topics.
These Will Not Inherit the Kingdom of Reality TV: Media Elites’ Views on Religion and the Paradigm of Corporate Media • Rick Moore, Boise State University • This study examines the controversy surrounding religious comments made by Phil Robertson, a key figure in the reality television show Duck Dynasty. Scholars have long argued that journalism has a paradigm for determining how the profession should operate . Given the conflict resulting from Robertson’s views, the intent was to understand how journalists proposed this newer genre might deal with issues related to religion and tolerance. In studying how editorial writers and columnists wrestled with the issues of the imbroglio, I found that the elites from the papers had several complaints about Robertson and reality TV, and only a few recommendations on how the genre might deal with similar clashes in the future.
Bishop Richard R. Wright Jr., The Christian Recorder and Social Responsibility • Robbie Morganfield, University of Maryland • Many of America’s first black newspapers were edited by Christian ministers who practiced principles that came to be associated with social responsibility theory. However, their work is overlooked in histories and discussions about the theory’s development. This paper questions that pattern and examines some of the work of the African Methodist Episcopal Church’s Christian Recorder, the nation’s oldest continuously published black newspaper, and Bishop Richard Robert Wright Jr., its longest serving editor.
Pop Music and the Search for the Numinous: Exploring The Emergence of the “Secular Hymn” In Post-Modern Culture • Steve Thomsen; Quint Randle, BYU; Matthew J. Lewis, Brigham Young University • A growing body of research suggests traditional religious institutions are failing to meet the spiritual needs of their adherents, who are now in search of new gods and new religious myths. This paper defines and explores the phenomenon of the “secular hymn.” While non-religious in nature or intent, the secular hymn is a pop song that allows the listener to experience the numinous by creating an affective state that parallels a spiritual or religious state of mind. This paper outlines the phenomenon of the secular hymn in pop culture, defines its characteristics and then tests several pop songs against these criteria. And while some secular hymns may be used in some church settings, the overall trend may exemplify the continuing erosion of traditional religion and the use of explicitly religious music in both public and private settings.
The New Scroll: Digital Devices in Bible Study and Worship • Kathy Richardson, Berry College; Carol Pardun, University of South Carolina • This study, using data collected from an online survey of 234 respondents, investigated the prevalence of digital tools for Bible study, religious reading and corporate and individual worship among those who described themselves as “religious” or “very religious.” Respondents were older than previous studies (59.4% over the age of 50). They were also more new technology savvy than previous research has indicated. Nearly two-thirds of the respondents used newer technology to read their Bibles at home and while traveling. Bible study and Sunday school teachers were more inclined to use newer technologies to study and for corporate church worship than were non-teachers.
Mediatization of Religion: How the Indonesian Muslim Diasporas Mediatized Islamic Practices • Yearry Setianto, Ohio University • This study explores the process of mediatization of religion in the context of how Indonesian Muslim diasporas in the United States are using media to mediatize Islamic practices. Using ethnographic observation of the Indonesia Muslim Society in America (IMSA) and their media activities, this study found Islamic practices are mediatized to deal with physical boundaries. Dependency on media for religious practice does not turn this community into secular, but makes them more religious.
The Religious and Moral Beliefs of University Leaders and the Beginnings of American Journalism Education • Jeffery Smith, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee • Journalism education programs began appearing in the United States from the Gilded Age through the Progressive Era. Administrators who launched formal instruction in the field were responding to criticism of the press and, in many cases, were evidently motivated by personal religious and moral convictions. They sought to improve the profession with spiritual perspectives at both private and public institutions.
Do You Want to Feel the Love of Christ? There’s an App For That: Understanding Tablet Media as the New Electronic Church • Jim Trammell, High Point University • As mass media evolves from broadcasting to digital media, so is the electronic church evolving from religious programs to religious apps. This manuscript addresses how mass media technologies affect Christian programming. Informed by technological determinist and mediatization frameworks, it analyzes how broadcast technologies influenced Christian broadcasting in the 1970s and 1980s, and explores how tablet medium generates new themes in the electronic church. The manuscript also considers how these themes influence twentieth-century American Christianity.
The moderating role of discussion in the relationship between SNS network heterogeneity and political participation • Hyon Jin Ahn, Indiana University; Jae Kook Lee, Indiana University • This study explores the links between network heterogeneity in Social Network Services (SNSs), types of discussion (in SNSs and offline), and political participation (in SNSs and offline). The study focuses on whether network heterogeneity in SNSs has a positive relationship with both online and offline political participation, and whether there is any interaction between network heterogeneity in SNSs and political discussion in both online and face-to-face settings. The data are collected using an online survey of 1,032 respondents in the United States in May, 2012. Findings suggest that network heterogeneity in SNSs affects only offline political participation. In addition, political discussion in SNSs and offline are significantly related to both online and offline political participation. When it comes to the moderating role of political discussion, only offline political discussion moderates the relationship between network heterogeneity in SNSs and offline political participation. That is, the relationship between network heterogeneity in SNSs and offline political participation is stronger for people who talk to a variety of others more frequently about politics than for people who do not. The current study provides meaningful findings for understanding the role of offline political discussion could act as a facilitator in order to connect to the offline political participatory behaviors in a heterogeneous SNS environment.
Who Leaks Unauthorized Information to the Press in Washington? • Kara Alaimo, Hofstra University as of September 2014 and The Graduate Center, CUNY • Who leaks unauthorized information to reporters in Washington? Presidents of the United States have accused civil servants of attempting to undermine them. However, journalists have suggested that the president’s own political appointees leak more. This study reports on the results of interviews conducted in 2013 with political appointees and civil servants who served as spokespeople in the administrations of Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, to determine which group leaked more. For independent corroboration, reporters who interacted with the officials frequently were also interviewed.
Can we all just get along?: incivility, impoliteness and inappropriateness in (anti)Tea Party pages • Danielle Brown, University of Texas-Austin • Political discussion within social media conversations include varying amounts of incivility and impoliteness characteristics. Sometimes this language is a characteristic of heated debate, while other times it demonstrates destructive language. Using content analysis, this study examines comments within the Tea Party Facebook Page and an oppositional Tea Party page for variations of uncivil, impolite and inappropriate language. Results find both pages use inappropriate language, but target their aggressions at varying subjects.
Framing Themselves Out of Relevance? An Analysis of Newspapers withdrawing from Presidential Endorsements • Kenneth Campbell, University of South Carolina; Ernest L. Wiggins, University of South Carolina • The study conducts a qualitative analysis of frames used by newspaper editorialists to justify the increasing trend of withdrawing from making presidential endorsements. It is found that editorialists use three Professional Values Frames (Civic Responsibility, Consequence, and Credibility) expressed through two Professional Practice Frames (Informing and Influencing) to explain their function, but fail to see the need to continue political endorsements at the presidential level. The study interprets these results in the context of journalistic and advocacy frames, suggesting why the practice of withdrawing from presidential endorsements might need to be reconsidered by the newspapers. The question is raised whether editorialists who have chosen not to endorse would make the same decision if they understood the practice of endorsing through the lens of advocacy frames rather than journalistic frames.
Beyond the echo chamber? Media platforms, selective exposure and the mode of political participation among young citizens • Wenhong Chen; Kye-Hyoung Lee; Kang Hui Baek • This paper breaks new ground by offering a layered analysis of the patterns of multiplatform and selective news exposures and their implications for political participation within and across the virtual and real space: online, offline, and hybrid. Result shows that the relationship varied by media platform and participation mode. The overall news exposure was only positively related to the hybrid mode of political participation. Print, online news sites, and social media news exposure were positively but mobile news exposure was negatively associated with the hybrid mode of political participation. There is no evidence that partisan news exposure increased political participation. Indeed, liberals with greater partisan news exposure had lower levels of offline political participation. Thus, it is possible that the implications of partisan selective exposure would be different for the types and modes of political participation.
Social Networking Sites and Offline Political Communication Inequality • Jaeho Cho, University of California, Davis; Heejo Keum, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sungkyunkwan University; Eun Young Choi, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, Sungkyukwan University • Building on a resource theory, this study investigates (a) how individuals’ socio-economic status is related to political communication in offline face-to-face situations and on social networking sites and (b) whether political expression on SNS improves socio-economic stratification in face-to-face political discussion. Analyses of a national survey demonstrate that the impact of individuals’ socio-economic status is much weaker on political expression via SNS than on face-to-face political discussion. It is also found that the political use of SNS reduces the strength of the link between individuals’ SES, especially education, and face-to-face political discussion. That is, using SNS for political expression helps narrow the education-based gap in offline political discussion. Implications of these findings for the Internet and political inequality are discussed.
Fiddling While the Fiscal Fire Burns: An Analysis of Agenda Building and the Partisan Framing of the Fiscal Cliff • Asya Cooley, Mississippi State University; Skye Cooley, Mississippi State University • As an important player in a political process, news media is often the main source for public to learn about legislative debates. Specifically, this investigation explores one U.S. budgetary situation, the fiscal cliff. A comparison of legislative hearings and news media coverage was completed. In examining legislative discourse and news media coverage of the fiscal cliff, the paper found key findings that support the agenda building theory, but within a larger context of partisan-ism.
The Politically Demoblizing and Disaffecting Potential of Conflict Avoidance: Online Political Participation, Cynicism, Apathy, and Skepticism • Francis Dalisay, University of Hawaii at Manoa; Matthew Kushin, Shepherd University; Masahiro Yamamoto • Data from a survey of young adult college students conducted prior to the 2012 U.S. presidential election indicated that higher levels of conflict avoidance were related to lower levels of traditional online political participation, online political expression, and mobile political expression. Findings were mixed regarding the disaffecting potential of conflict avoidance. While conflict avoidance was associated with lower levels of skepticism, it was not associated with apathy and cynicism. Implications are discussed.
It Might Not Help, but it (Probably) Won’t Hurt: When Viewers Choose Infotainment over News • Morgan Ellithorpe, Ohio State University; Lance Holbert • The present study examines infotainment use as it compares to traditional TV news and non-political entertainment. Results suggest that the level of choice available within a media environment plays a huge role in media selection. In addition, news and entertainment both have direct effects on successful completion of a democratically-relevant task, with news helping and entertainment hindering. Infotainment affects outcomes only when people perceive high surveillance gratifications or a mix of surveillance and entertainment gratifications.
Exercising Soft Power: Cosmopolitanism, Western Media, and Anti-Americanism in Arab Nations • Emma Fete, The Ohio State University; Golnoosh Behrouzian, The Ohio State University • In the global game of soft power, we examine the relationship between entertainment media on the theoretically most persuadable audience of the young and cosmopolitan. Testing our model against anti-Americanism in six Arab nations, our findings suggest that cosmopolitan western entertainment viewers are predictive of a low anti-American sentiment, but age may have a more complex relationship. Theoretical implications for soft power influence and cosmopolitan orientation are discussed.
Tracking Inappropriate Leader Displays: A Visual Analysis of the 2012 Presidential Debates • Zijian Gong, Texas Tech University; Erik Bucy • This study employs an experimental design to examine the consequence of inappropriate leader displays. First, we discuss the importance of nonverbal presentation style in political competition. Theoretical explanations about the evaluative consequences of inappropriate leader displays are described in light of expectancy violations theory. Extending this line of inquiry, an eye-tracking experiment is conducted to examine whether inappropriate displays increase attention on the source of violation and result in critical scrutiny and negative evaluation.
For Values, Community, or Show: Connecting Motivations for “Going Green” to Media Use and Participation • Melissa R. Gotlieb, Texas Tech University; Kjerstin Thorson, University of Southern California • This study uses national survey data collected from U.S. adults 18-29 to explore the processes by which motivations to “go green” shape the participation repertoires of young citizens. Particular attention is paid to the intervening role of media behaviors in the construction of paths from values, social-identification, and social-approval needs to online and offline forms of participation. Results suggest the conditions under which political consumerism may complement or “crowd out” participation in conventional activities.
A Cross-Cultural Comparison of Campaign Tweets in the 2012 U.S. and South Korean Presidential Elections • Yeojin Kim, University of Alabama; Dylan McLemore, University of Alabama; Jennifer Greer, The University of Alabama; Justin Blankenship, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; AH RAM LEE, University of Alabama • In light of relaxed election laws and a prediction that political campaigns in South Korea might become more Americanized, this study compares the Twitter discourse of candidates in the 2012 U.S. and South Korean presidential elections. Through a content analysis of 4,531 tweets by four leading candidates in each country, the study examines message topics, including the issue/image dichotomy, engagement in negative campaigning, and use of individualistic and collective language. The U.S. feeds were more likely to be focused on issue-oriented topics whereas South Korean feeds focused more on campaign events. U.S. candidates were more likely to use tweets to build image than were South Korean candidates. Attack language was present in about 1 in 5 tweets overall, with the U.S. feeds more likely to use attack than South Korean feeds. Attacks were most common in issue-oriented tweets in both countries. Finally, U.S. feeds used more first- and second-person address than did the South Korean feeds, which used third-person messages more than three-fourths of the time. The analyses indicate clear differences but also show surprising similarities in the communication patterns from candidates in two democratic countries with very different campaign traditions, laws, and cultures. These findings lend some support to those predicting the Americanization of South Korean campaign discourse in the Twitterverse.
Social Pressure on Social Media: Increasing Voter Turnout Using Facebook and Email • Katherine Haenschen, University of Texas • Research has demonstrated the ability of “social pressure” experiments to increase voter turnout. This project applies social pressure on Facebook through direct communication to friends, and also via email messages and Facebook advertisements. Social pressure increased turnout substantially when applied peer-to-peer. Reminder emails and Facebook advertisements also produced increased voter turnout. This research demonstrates that digital media can be effectively harnessed to increase voter participation when the messages contain a social pressure component.
Developing a System for the Automated Coding of Protest Event Data • Alexander Hanna, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Scholars and policy makers recognize the need for better and timelier data about contentious collective action, both the peaceful protests that are understood as part of democracy and the violent events that are threats to it. News media provide the only consistent source of information available outside government intelligence agencies and are thus the focus of all scholarly efforts to improve collective action data. Human coding of news sources is time-consuming and thus can never be timely and is necessarily limited to a small number of sources, a small time interval, or a limited set of protest “issues” as captured by particular keywords. There have been a number of attempts to address this need through machine coding of electronic versions of news media, but approaches so far remain less than optimal. The goal of this paper is to outline the steps needed build, test and validate an open-source system for coding protest events from any electronically available news source using advances from natural language processing and machine learning. Such a system should have the effect of increasing the speed and reducing the labor costs associated with identifying and coding collective actions in news sources, thus increasing the timeliness of protest data and reducing biases due to excessive reliance on too few news sources. The system will also be open, available for replication, and extendable by future social movement researchers, and social and computational scientists.
Engaged or Disengaged? Examining the Relationship between Ambivalence and Indicators of Political Engagement • Jay Hmielowski; Sungsu Kim, University of Arizona; Myiah Hutchens; Michael Beam, Kent State University • Scholars have become interested in going beyond the traditional measures of attitudes to assess the extent to which people hold both positive and negative attitudes toward objects. With this expansion has come a focus on whether complex attitudes are indicative of an engaged or disengaged citizenry. This study adds to this line of inquiry by examining the relationship between ambivalence and four political belief variables: efficacy, skepticism, apathy, and cynicism. We propose that if ambivalence is a characteristic of an engaged citizenry it should be associated with higher levels of efficacy and skepticism, and lower levels of apathy and cynicism. By contrast, if ambivalence is a characteristic of a disengaged citizenry, then it should be associated with lower levels of efficacy and skepticism, and higher levels of apathy and cynicism. Our results suggest that ambivalence is characteristic of a disengaged citizenry. Indeed, ambivalence correlates with lower levels of efficacy and higher levels of apathy. Moreover, we found indirect effects of ambivalence on information-seeking through efficacy. Specifically, ambivalence led to lower levels of information-seeking through lower levels of efficacy.
The news about public opinion: Using political journalists’ definitions of public opinion and journalistic roles to predict perceived importance of source use • Jennifer Hoewe, The Pennsylvania State University • This study examined political journalists’ intended use of public opinion and its influence on the structure of political news stories. After considering prior conceptualizations, a scale of two distinct public opinion definitions was formed. Using a survey of U.S. political journalists, these definitions were found unrelated to journalistic roles. However, public opinion definitions and journalistic roles predicted the perceived importance of using particular sources in political new stories. Importantly, the two definitions of public opinion had opposite influences on the perceived importance of using opinion polls, shedding light on the discrepancy in the use of poll results in political news.
Spatial Effects in Determining the Banning of the Publication of Pre-election Poll Results • Seong Choul Hong, Kyonggi University; Jeong Take Kim, SungKyunKwan University; Sang Hee Kweon, SungKyunKwan University • This article primarily explores whether the banning of the publication of pre-election poll results is affected by spatial dependence. It also attempts to examine other social and political contexts as determinants of the regulation of the publication of election polls during election campaigns. The main finding of the study is that a country’s regulation of the publication of polls is strongly associated with practices of neighboring countries. Consideration of spatial dependence tends to decrease the contribution of other social and political variables. The implication of these findings is that banning the pre-election publication of poll results may be understood as a matter of policy diffusion. That is, policies in geographically and culturally neighboring countries become important references.
Does political advertising lead to online information seeking? A real-world test using Google search data. • Elizabeth Housholder, University of Minnesota; Brendan Watson, University of Minnesota; Susan LoRusso, University of Minnesota; Jordan Dolbin, University of Minnesota; Shaurav Raj Adhikari, University of Minnesota • Though the political advertising literature has documented the effects of political advertising on political attitudes and voting behavior, less attention has been paid to the role of political advertising in stimulating information search. This study seeks to examine the impact of political advertising on real world information-seeking using CMAG data from the Wisconsin Ad Project combined with Google Trends search data. Results suggest that increased advertising volume is associated with increased online information-seeking by voters.
When a Gaffe is not a Gaffe: Media Coverage of Political Gaffes in Presidential Campaigns • Lindsey Conlin, The University of Alabama; Yeojin Kim, University of Alabama; Shuhua Zhou • Political gaffes are covered and scrutinized more and more in today’s omnipresent media. This paper explicates what constitutes a gaffe and its ramifications in the political process from the perspectives of deviance, political image and expectancy violation. A content analysis was conducted on newspaper articles covering the last four presidential elections in the U.S. to look at the prevalence of gaffe types in media coverage and how they correlate with party affiliations and candidate status. Results indicated that narrative gaffes and Kinsley gaffes were the most common. However, media type, candidate status, party affiliation and congruency had interesting correlations with media coverage. Implications are discussed.
Partisan Consequences of Partisan News Media • Minchul Kim, Indiana University • This study found that participants’ interpretation of political news was affected by ideological (in)congruency between news sources and newsreaders. Specifically, when reading news from a like-minded source, newsreaders exhibited in-group favoring attribution bias. Perceived ideological slant of news media, not the actual tone of news, substantially color newsreaders’ interpretation of political news. Partisan news media and their imagined bias may widen partisan gap across the party lines, and harden the establishment of common grounds.
North Korea’s Image Depicted in Political Cartoons: South Korea vs. the U.S. • Joonil Kim, University of Oklahoma; Sang Chon Kim, University of Oklahoma; Seunghyun Kim, University of Oklahoma; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma • The current study examined how U.S and South Korean political cartoons have recently portrayed the nature of North Korea. In particular, this study evaluated how differently North Korea’s image is represented in both countries’ cartoons. A content analysis of visual artifacts and main theme comprised the major elements of this study. A total of 361political cartoons (165 of South Korea and 196 of the U.S) were analyzed. The result showed that U.S political cartoons overwhelmingly used negative frames in depicting North Korea and the leader Kim Jong-Un, while those of South Korea portrayed it as neutral more often than the U.S. cartoons. Kim Jong-Un was mainly depicted as a baby or kid who likes to play with military weapon, and as a lunatic who wants to be paid attention by the world. In terms of cartoon’s agenda, while the U.S cartoons concentrated on the character of Kim Jong-Un, South Korea cartoons focused on his dictatorship and the relationship with South Korea. South Korea cartoons’ depiction of North Korea showed the polarized pattern according to their own ideological stand. They also utilized North Korean image to criticize the absurdity of South Korea.
The Social Cognitive Approach to Understanding the link between Social Media and Political Participation • Hyuksoo Kim; Yeojin Kim, University of Alabama • This study aimed to extend research on social cognitive theory (SCT) to explain the link between the use of social media and citizens’ political participation. In the current study, the SCT framework assumed that citizens’ political participation was a socio-cognitive process that involves major cognitive factors such as self-efficacy and outcome expectation. This study argued that the use of social media plays a role of vicarious experience and verbal persuasion of SCT. Overall, the results supported the proposed model. First, the use of social media positively influenced self-efficacy. Second, self-efficacy was shown to directly and indirectly influence citizens’ political participation. Third, outcome expectations were found to be important predictors for political participation. Thus, the current results verified that SCT can contribute to understanding the link between the use of social media and political participation. Theoretical implications were further discussed.
Willingness to Communicate About Politics (WTCAP): A Novel Measure of Interpersonal Political Discussion • Steven Kleinman, Indiana University of Pennsylvania • This paper lays out a theoretical argument for a novel survey measure; willingness to communicate about politics (WTCAP). WTCAP is defined as a state-based variable referring to a person’s likelihood or propensity to actively engage in an informal political discussion in a specific situation. This measure captures unique variation in interpersonal political discussion not currently explored in the literature. Complete data from 291 participants were used to test and validate this novel measure. Ultimately a six-item survey measure was found to load on a single factor.
Can Social Media Change Your Mind? SNS Use, Cross-cutting Exposure and Discussion, and Political View Change • Jayeon Lee, Lehigh University • With deliberation theories as a framework, the present study proposes the multiple-mediation model in which SNS use is significantly related to political view change or more issue involvement through users’ information-seeking needs, cross-cutting exposure, and cross-cutting discussion. Analysis of a national data indicates that the frequent use of social media has significant implications for deliberative democracy only if users have information-seeking needs and willingly engages in discussion with others across lines of difference.
President 2.0: A Content Analysis of Barack Obama’s Use of Twitter During His Reelection Campaign • Megan Mallicoat, University of Florida; Mariana De Maio, University of Florida; Erica Newport, University of Florida • Social media networks have evolved into influential communication vehicles, and this study examines how President Barack Obama used Twitter to present himself as a presidential candidate in the 2012 election. Moreover, a considerable shift in political communication has resulted from social media, challenging the role of traditional mainstream press and demonstrating that even short media messages have the ability to drive campaign agendas between communication platforms. Thus, through a content analysis of tweets and newspaper articles, this study explores the presence of first- and second-level agenda-setting effects from Obama’s Twitter posts to the coverage of four newspapers published in Florida and Ohio. It expands current mass communication research to broaden the understanding of how campaign issues and cognitive attributes, or personal characteristics, develop within Twitter posts and, ultimately, influence other mass media vehicles.
Campaigning Subtle Exclusionism: The Effects of Right-Wing Populist Positive Ads on Attitudes toward Foreigners • Franziska Marquart, University of Vienna; Joerg Matthes • While most right-wing populist parties use negative ads openly attacking foreigners, some have begun to frame their campaigns more positively. This study examines the positive “love your neighbor” campaign by the Austrian FPÖ, which preaches love only to fellow countrymen, excluding foreign citizens. A quota-based experiment reveals that this campaign does not yield the intended effects: Party opponents reacted with more negative campaign evaluations and less patriotic feelings. This, in turn, strengthened positive attitudes toward foreigners.
The Effects of Right Wing Populist Ads on Implicit and Explicit Attitudes: A Moderated Mediation Model • Joerg Matthes; Desirée Schmuck, U of Vienna • Across Europe, the use of negative portrayals of immigrants in populist political advertising has dramatically increased. An experimental study tested the underlying mechanisms and boundary conditions for the effects of such ads on explicit and implicit attitudes toward foreigners. Findings revealed that populist ads strengthened intergroup anxiety and negative stereotypes for voters with lower educational degrees. This, in turn, led to more negative explicit attitudes. However, we observed stronger effects of populist ads on implicit attitudes for individuals with higher educational degrees. The necessity of including explicit as well as implicit measures in political communication research is discussed.
Political discourse, framing and source usage: Evaluation of gun issues in the news • Michael McCluskey, Tennessee-Chattanooga • School shootings have triggered news attention into ongoing U.S. political debate over firearms. Analysis of news coverage following 11 school shootings that identified guns as a major focus were analyzed for voice, tone and framing. Dominant voices were pro-gun advocacy groups and Democratic presidents. The tone of the coverage was anti-gun, although pro-gun advocacy groups and Republicans were pro-gun. Qualitative analysis revealed 11 dominant frames in the news coverage, four invoking rights and values language.
Press and Public on Twitter: Shared Space, Disparate Discussion • Shannon McGregor, University of Texas at Austin • Few communication scholars have compared the ways in which journalists and the public use Twitter. This study compares the frames utilized by the press and the public and uses computerized content analysis to categorize tweets about Wendy Davis’ filibuster of a restrictive abortion bill in the Texas State Senate. This paper also contributes to framing literature by demonstrating a disconnect between frames used by journalists and the public within a shared computer-mediated space.
Paradise Lost: Using Political Polarization to Uphold American Exceptionalism • Bryan McLaughlin, University of Wisconsin-Madison • In this paper I examine political polarization as a discursive phenomenon. Specifically, I analyze how political actors compete to define the boundaries of partisan and American identity by performing a grounded theory analysis of political speeches. The results led to the following hypothesis: when American exceptionalism is threatened by real life circumstances, politicians attempt to protect an idealized image of America by blaming the other party for failing to uphold the true essence of America.
Heuristic-Systematic processing and politics: Investigating the effects of verbal vs. visual characteristics in gubernatorial debates • Nicole Racadag, West Virginia University; Jensen Moore, Louisiana State University • This study investigated the effects of the verbal and visual characteristics of gubernatorial on attitudes and voting intentions. Guided by the Heuristic-Systematic Model, the hypotheses predicted effects of participants’ involvement with the topics discussed, the attractiveness of the speaker (visual) and their speaking abilities (verbal) with their attitudes (positive or negative) toward the candidates, as well as their intentions to vote for them. A 2 (Topic Involvement: Low/High) x 2 (Visual; Low/High) x 2 (Verbal: Low/High) x 4 (repetition) experimental design was used. Findings indicated that both low and high involvement with the topic resulted in participants stating they would vote for low verbal (poor speaking) high visual (physically attractive) candidates. However, participants with low topic involvement noted more positive attitudes toward high verbal/low visual candidates while participants with high topic involvement noted more positive attitudes toward low visual/low verbal candidates. This may suggest that overall attitudes may not influence voting behaviors. In addition, it suggests that when it comes to voting intentions participants relied heavily upon heuristic cues.
Come a Little Closer: Examining Spillover Media Effects from a Priming Perspective • David Morin, Utah Valley University • The political priming hypothesis has received ample empirical support. Few researchers, however, have attempted to explore indirect or “spillover” priming effects using tie strength as a variable. This study examined spillover priming effects related to the perceived link between a fictional and little-known political official and his link to President Obama. Limited spillover priming effects were found; however, tie strength was a significant factor when participants judged the relatively unknown political actor.
Examining How Ideological Homogeneity, Importance of SNSs for News and Political Discussions Influence Political Involvement • Rachel Neo, The Ohio State University • Given the rapid proliferation of social networking sites (SNSs) as channels for political activity, this paper evaluates competing theoretical perspectives on whether importance of SNS political discussions and ideological agreement mediate or moderate the relationship between importance of SNSs for news and political participation. Findings show that the perceived importance of SNSs as a platform for having political discussions partially mediates the relationship between SNS news use and political participation. Also, the relationship between SNS news use and political participation was strongest among those who were in online discussion networks consisting of others with whom they share a high level of political agreement. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Of Encountering and Dealing With Disagreement on SNSs: Selective Avoidance or Withholding One’s Opinions? • Rachel Neo, The Ohio State University • With the rapid proliferation of social media and scholars contending that online platforms facilitate the avoidance of political disagreement, this study uses nationally representative population survey data from the Pew Research Center to examine how encountering disagreement on social media (SNSs) influences the likelihood of avoidance of politically disagreeable sources, and tests perceived importance of SNSs and ideological strength as moderators of the relationship between encountering disagreement and avoidance of politically disagreeable sources. Results showed that people use SNSs to avoid politically disagreeable sources by blocking political disagreeable others and withholding frank political opinions when the opinion climate is hostile. People who regarded SNSs as unimportant political news sources were most likely to block politically disagreeable sources in hostile opinion climates. Those with no ideological leanings were most likely to withhold frank political opinions on SNSs when faced with a hostile opinion climate. Implications of these findings are discussed.
Super PAC vs. Candidate Ads: The Influence of Sponsorship and Involvement on Candidate Affect • David Painter, Full Sail University • This investigation uses a two- (candidate vs. super PAC sponsorship) by three- (Republicans, Democrats, Independents) experimental design (n = 554) to parse the influence of ad sponsorship and enduring involvement on viewers’ changes in affect toward Obama and Romney. The results suggest Independents’ changes in affect toward both candidates were greater after viewing the Super PAC ads, but partisans’ changes in affect toward the opposition party’s nominee were greater after viewing the candidate sponsored ads.
Ad Tone and Political Talk in Campaign 2012: Information Efficacy and the Election’s Salience • David Painter, Full Sail University • This investigation uses a three- (positive, negative, or combination) by two- (surveillance vs. expression) experimental design (n = 436) to parse the influence of ad tone and political talk on information efficacy and the salience of the 2012 election. The findings indicate the greatest gains in information efficacy and the election’ salience occur among those viewing a combination of positive and negative ads who engage in political expression after viewing the ads.
There to ‘say no’?: A study of collective action in real-time at Singapore’s Speakers’ Corner • Natalie Pang; Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University • Building on studies examining the role of social media in contemporary forms of social movements, we report a study of 220 participants at a protest against overpopulation in Singapore. Social media was instrumental for disseminating information about the protest, and reflecting perceived personal relevance for specific issues. We found mixed motivations for attending the protest, significantly shaped by factors such as social proximity to organizers, education, personal relevance and sharing behaviour before the protest.
I approve this message: An examination of endorsements in political advertisements • Newly Paul, Louisiana State University; Chance York, Louisiana State University • Antecedent contextual and strategic factors that influence endorsements in political advertisements represent an underexplored area of the scholarly literature, resulting in a gap between the art and science of campaigning and the advertising effects literature. This paper uses a “big dataset” from the 2008 Wisconsin Ad Project and analyzes ads aired during the 2008 election cycle. Findings indicate that endorsements are primarily used in competitive races, are used more often by women candidates, and appear early in the campaign.
Setting a Non-Agenda: Effects of Empty Agendas in News or Social Media on Political Complacency • Ray Pingree, Louisiana State University; Elizabeth Stoycheff, Wayne State University; Mingxiao Sui, Louisiana State University; Jason Peifer, The Ohio State University • An experiment tested effects of a media agenda lacking in substantive problems on political complacency, the belief that problems facing the nation aren’t very important. The perceived media agenda was manipulated using reports said to summarize the previous week’s most-covered topics in the news or on twitter. A superficial news agenda increased complacency, but the same agenda on twitter decreased complacency. Complacency was also among the strongest predictors of two indicators of political participation.
I love Big Bird: How Journalists Tweeted Humor during the 2012 Presidential Debates • Rachel Reis Mourao, The University of Texas at Austin; Trevor Diehl, The University of Texas at Austin; Krishnan Vasudevan, The University of Texas at Austin • This paper examined how political journalists used humor on Twitter during the first 2012 presidential election debate. This study found evidence of widespread use of humor by journalists on the platform. Results suggest that journalists target political figures in their jokes, whereas satirical comments tended to target debate processes and the media at large. The paper discusses the role of humor in politics, the nature of reporting on Twitter, and areas of potential future research.
News You Can’t Use: A Content Analysis of the Daily Show’s Media Criticism • Edo Steinberg, Department of Telecommunications, Indiana University; Julia Fox • Against the backdrop of dramatic continuing decreases in public trust of media, this content analysis examines changes in The Daily Show with Jon Stewart’s critiques of the media during the 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012 presidential elections. Findings show an increase in the number of critiques, consistent characterizations of Fox News as biased, as well as an emphasis on cable news and a shift from character flaws to criticism of professional practices. Implications are discussed.
Connecting Facebook content flows to political knowledge and participation • Chris Wells; Kjerstin Thorson, University of Southern California • This paper employs a novel methodology—combining a collection of the content of individuals’ Facebook news feeds with a more traditional survey approach—to explore the antecedents and effects of exposure to news and politics content on the site. We compare intentional exposure to such content (via pages “liked” by respondents) to incidental exposure (which occurs when friends post about the news).
Some of My Best Friends are Poor? Income Misperceptions and Policy Attitudes • Emily Thorson, George Washington University • Many Americans condemn inequality in general but oppose specific redistributive policies. This paper presents evidence that this disconnect is driven partly by misperceptions: Americans systematically overestimate the salaries of people in low-wage jobs. Experimental results show that when people learn accurate information and connect it to people they know, support for redistributive policies increases—especially among conservatives. These findings have implications for (1) interpersonal discussion of earnings and (2) media coverage of inequality.
How (Not) to Talk on Twitter: Effects of Politicians’ Tweets on the Whole Twitter Environment • Aaron Veenstra, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Benjamin Lyons, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • The ways in which politicians use Twitter can vary considerably. While Twitter presents the possibility for interaction and discussion among users, it does not require it, and it can easily be used as a one-way broadcast platform not unlike a web site’s RSS feed. The nature of Twitter as a series of short-burst messages, which any given reader may not see all of, adds more variety when considering potential effects of Twitter messages on evaluation of candidates and political issues. A politician seen by one Twitter user as interacting and engaged with the public through their tweets may be seen by another user as using the platform only to post links to press releases, potentially leading to different evaluations of the politician, the ongoing discussion, or even Twitter itself. This study uses an experiment to test the effects of different engagement and framing styles in politician tweets on evaluations of the politician, other discussants, and Twitter itself. Findings suggest that politicians who use Twitter to broadcast, rather than engage with other users, not only receive worse evaluations themselves, but that the negative evaluation carries over to other users discussing the same topics, as well as to evaluations of the utility of Twitter as an information source.
Cognitive Benefits for Senders: Antecedents and Effects of Political Expression on Social Media • Sung Woo Yoo, University of Texas at Austin; Jiwon Kim, University of Texas at Austin; Homero Gil de Zuniga, University of Vienna • Using panel data, this article examines the democratic benefits of expressing political messages on social media, by looking into the sender effect of information processing. Results based on U.S. survey data suggest people who post textual and visual contents on social media tend to elaborate upon political information before or during that activity. Political expression on social media was significantly associated with persuasive discussion motivation. Furthermore, the relationship between persuasive discussion motivation and political expression on social media was mediated by information seeking behaviors through traditional and social media platforms. Combining these findings, this study proposes a theoretical model that depicts a virtuous cycle for information flow on social media sphere.
Punctuation professionals: A historical analysis of newsroom copy editing • Alyssa Appelman, The Pennsylvania State University • This analysis explores the profession of newsroom copy editing. Through historical descriptive analysis, it presents an overview of the 120-year history of the profession of newsroom copy editing in the context of four themes: changes in newsroom technologies, changes in newsroom business models, changes in attitudes toward the profession, and changes in advice for future copy editors. It concludes with a discussion of the profession’s current struggles.
BP in ICIG: Three levels of assessment • John Chapin, Pennsylvania State University • The internship should be among the most valuable experiences of a college career. In addition to proper advising and guidance in finding, selecting, and procuring the right internship, assessment plays a key role in maintaining quality control within the program and gauging student success. This poster illustrates three levels of assessment (evaluation of the student, evaluation of the site, and evaluation of the program).
Using Klout to Teach Online Influence and Social Networking Skills to PR, Advertising and New Media Majors • Mia Moody-Ramirez, Baylor University; Sydney Garcia, Baylor • This essay uses a constructivist approach to offer suggestions for using the social media aggregator, Klout, to help PR, advertising and new media majors build their online influence. First, it explains the social media platform, and then it offers strategies for incorporating Klout into course curriculum, student resumes and digital portfolios. With the rise of Web 2.0, a multitude of new possibilities for how to use online technologies for active learning has interested academics. Evolving technologies and high employer expectations in a narrowing job market require innovation and adaptation of journalism/public relations and advertising teaching materials. Professors may use applications such as Klout to enliven and augment college curriculum and to help prepare students for the tightening job market.
A career in journalism or just a job: An examination of job satisfaction and professionalism • Greg Pitts, University of North Alabama; Blythe Steelman, University of North Alabama • We are living in a world of digital content but journalists still have jobs and they like what they do. This quantitative survey found job satisfaction and professionalism among the news workers in Chicago. Students (and faculty) may wonder about the suitability of a journalism career but journalists are satisfied with the freedom afforded by the job, the satisfaction they are doing something worthwhile and even the treatment they receive in the workplace.
Taking it one game at a time: Prevalence of temporary work in North Carolinian newspapers’ sports departments • Sada Reed, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Shrinking newsrooms have led to a variety of concerns for industry professionals and academics. Though a shrinking full-time staff and a growing temporary, freelance workforce has been blamed for slipping journalistic standards, little research has been done on the actual prevalence of precarious work in local sports departments. The following paper is a pilot study that explores the prevalence of precarious work in sports departments at North Carolinian newspapers. In this study, 25 department heads hailing from North Carolinian newspapers participated in a survey that examined whether North Carolinian sports departments have lost full-time employees in the last year; if they have gained unpaid or temporary workers to “replace” these full-time employees; and for sports departments that have lost employees, how many departments plan to replace the full-time employees they lost with “new” full-time employees.
The Value of the College Internship: Acquiring Cultural Capital through a well-managed collegiate program • Mary Beth Ray, Temple University; Dana Saewitz, Temple University • In response to the recent flurry of lawsuits regarding the exploitation of interns and the negative press regarding internships, this mixed method study addresses a number of timely questions: Are undergraduate internships valuable or exploitive? Do they actually lead to jobs and careers? Are they essential to break in to certain fields? Do they adhere to current labor laws? Are they illegal? Our key findings indicate that most college graduates who engaged in undergraduate internships, even if they were unpaid, felt that the internship was valuable. Internships inherently help students develop necessary cultural capital such as mode of dress, professional speech and language patterns, posture and personal grooming, appropriate eye contact, behavior in meetings, and written behaviors, which are all part of the professional code that students must learn. In addition, our findings indicate that most internships do not lead directly to employment at the internship site, although they are widely perceived by college graduates as helpful in career preparation. Finally, almost half of internships violate current labor laws and many students feel exploited by unpaid internships. To address these issues, this study presents recommendations for internship program best practices and recommends that universities band together and follow the lead of Conde Nast publications, which has banned all unpaid internships.
Perceptions, Experiences, and News Routines of Entry-level Journalists in Local Television News • Andrea Tanner, University of South Carolina; Elena Faria; Jenni Knight; Yue Zheng, University of South Carolina • This study qualitatively explores the perceptions, experiences, and news routines of entry-level journalists working in local television news in the United States. Seventeen in-depth telephone interviews were conducted with entry-level journalists from varying geographical regions and media markets. Journalists were often influenced by their news managers and the need to cover stories that could be produced under deadline across multiple media. Findings have implications for students, journalism educators, and news managers who work alongside millennials.
Connecting Theory with Practice: Strategies for Improving Academic Rigor in Internships • Bob Trumpbour, Penn State Altoona • This poster will attempt to convey successful strategies for enhancing the academic rigor as it relates to the college internship experience. The poster will explore ways that XXXX University faculty have connected classroom work and assigned readings to an internship experience as a mechanism to improve the degree of professional exhibited by internship applicants. The poster will offer strategies for implementing academic rigor into the overall planning process, while offering tangible strategies that have worked for us at XXXXX University. Our program has had numerous students working in locations such as New York City, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Nashville, and Pittsburgh, with some settings sufficiently impractical to allow for face-to-face meetings as the internship process unfolds. As a result, the poster will also offer ideas for implementing these strategies for internship recipients who may be working at distant locations. We will attempt to tease out tangible examples, while pointing out ways that our strategies have worked. We will also lay out potential challenges and possible issues that may be faced when implementing our strategies and ideas.
Evaluating Stakeholders’ Interpretations of Corporate Sustainability Communications • Lauren Bayliss, University of Florida • As organizations turn their attention to improving sustainable practices, it becomes increasingly important to communicate those practices with stakeholders. However, in a diverse society, stakeholder perceptions of corporate sustainability communications may vary widely. Therefore, this study explores how stakeholders’ personal values influence their assessments of organizational values and reputation in the context of corporate sustainability communications. Using literature regarding corporate reputation, selective perception, and values theory, a framework is proposed for understanding the relationship among these constructs. It is proposed that stakeholder evaluations of reputation are influenced by the similarity or dissimilarity of organizational values to stakeholder values. Furthermore, in the case when values are not clearly identified in communications, it is proposed that stakeholders’ selective perception of an organization’s values will be influenced by the stakeholders’ own values. To explore this framework, a study was conducted in a controlled setting. Participants first reported their own values using the Short Schwartz’s Value Survey (Lindeman & Verkasalo, 2005). Then, after viewing corporate sustainability communication materials for fictitious companies, participants responded to surveys regarding the companies’ reputations and perceived values. The results were analyzed using a series of dependent samples t-tests and correlations. Several relationships were uncovered, including indications that participants may, in some cases, selectively perceive a company’s value priorities to be opposite to their own. Furthermore, certain reputations scale items were found to be related to particular values. Implications and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Ego, Engagement, and Exchange of Information: A Narcissistic Social Media Culture Can Save Watchdog Journalism • Ginger Blackstone, University of Florida • Utilizing social learning theory, this study presents a conceptual model with eight propositions that connects a narcissistic social media culture to the consumption of watchdog journalism through the mediator of online community building. Self-presentation and need to belong are moderators between the narcissistic social media culture and online community building; and affective appeal, internal locus of control, and civic engagement are the moderators between online community building and the consumption of watchdog journalism.
Molly Vs. Goliath: Studying the Relationship Between Social & Mass Media in Contemporary Social Activism • Kyle Brown, McMaster University • Historically, one of the greatest challenges facing social and political activists is the ability to deliver their message to the public. Due to constraints, such as a limited newshole and reliance on official sources in mass media, activist voices often fall on deaf ears. This study examines Molly Matchpole’s use of social media in a campaign against Bank of America, leveraging public support and mainstream media coverage, as she successfully halted the bank’s unfair fees.
Missing from the News: Local Coverage of Missing Persons’ Stories • Lindsey Conlin, The University of Alabama • News coverage of missing people has consistently focused on stories of young, attractive, upper-to-middle-class white women, known as Missing White Woman Syndrome. Research on this topic has generally compared the cases of missing white women to missing black women, leaving the literature lacking on how stories about all types of missing people are covered by journalists. The current study proposes sociological reasons for how stories about missing people are covered, and employs a content analysis to examine a large sample of local newspaper stories. Results show that journalists perceive stories about missing white women to be deviant, and that journalists integrate writing about missing people into their news routines. Implications for news coverage are discussed.
How The “Like Us On Facebook” Brand Strategy Fosters A Goal-Specific Virtual Identity: A Model • Naa Amponsah Dodoo, University of Florida • In total, the top five brands on Facebook have more than 500 million fans through the “like” Facebook button feature and yet research shows that about only 1% engage with the top brands on Facebook. This suggests that individuals have other underlying reasons for liking brands’ Facebook pages. To address the question of the latent motivations for liking brands on Facebook, a conceptual model that presents latent constructs of why individuals like the brand’s Facebook page either through the like button on Facebook or on the brand’s website is developed and described. This is termed in this paper as the “Like us on Facebook” brand strategy which refers to the use of the like button feature of Facebook by brands seeking to establish a social presence on Facebook. The proposed conceptual model is derived from and explained by literature sourced from social influence, socio-economic status, brand personality, self-congruity, self-disclosure and social identity to suggest that the “Like us on Facebook” brand strategy fosters a goal- specific virtual identity. In addition a typology of goal-specific virtual identity categorized into self-presentation, belonging and enlightened self-interest is explicated. Propositions testable through future research and implications of the model are offered.
Journalists as News Consumers: An Analysis of National Coverage of the Kermit Gosnell Trial • Thomas Gallagher, Temple University • This paper examines the changing relationship between producers of news and consumers of news. Employing a textual analysis of US national media coverage of the Kermit Gosnell trial in 2013, this paper reveals how social media provides opportunities for consumers of news to directly critique news coverage and how producers of news learn of stories to cover. Issues of political bias, moral decency and censorship, and race and class division also arise to influence unique coverage of the trial.
Traitor or a whistleblower: How newspapers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia framed Edward Snowden? • Nisha Garud, Ohio University • This study examined three newspapers — The New York Times, The Guardian and The Moscow Times — in the United States, the United Kingdom and Russia respectively to study how these newspapers framed Snowden. The study analyzed the content for frequency of news stories, story position, page position and frames. It was found that The New York Times used neutral descriptors for Snowden but framed him negatively in its stories. The Guardian framed Snowden positively, and The Moscow Times framed Snowden neutrally. Snowden was mostly called as a whistleblower or an NSA employee.
The Phantom of Walter Lippmann, and Walter Lippmann’s Phantom: Understanding Responses to Present Crises Facing Journalism • Nicholas Gilewicz, Annenberg School for Communication, University of Pennsylvania • This article comprises a critical review essay of a dozen books published about crises facing journalism from 2007 to the present. Reviewing these texts reveals the liminal position of journalists in the U.S. political economy—media observers appeal to the quasi-scientific expertise journalists claim, while also explicating journalists’ position as representing the voice of a wider public. This cognitive dissonance echoes the so-called “Lippmann-Dewey debates,” even as, a century on, “the public” has radically evolved.
Cultivating and Sustaining a Business’s Community of Practice: How Content Influences Responses on Facebook Pages • Ren-Whei Harn, University of Kansas • Content analysis was applied to examine wall posts themes on a business’s Facebook page and analyze the relationship between the theme and response type. Other characteristics such as visual content and acquisition of content were also recorded and analyzed in terms of frequency and effect on response type. This research took an interdisciplinary approach to understand interaction between a brand and its followers from the perspective of understanding the online user as a lifelong learner.
Nostalgic Advertising and Self-Regard • ILYOUNG JU • Viewers’ past memories and experiences are important indicators for generating positive self-regard. Issues relating to self-verification, loneliness, autobiographic memory, wistful attitude, psychological comfort, self-enhancement, and meaning in a life are addressed. The model offers propositions for the future research of nostalgic advertising. The present study will provide insightful implications for advertisers and marketers by analyzing people’s psychological process and intrinsic values rather than their extrinsic goals.
Motivated Exposure to Counter-attitudinal Information in an Online Political Forum • Sungmin Kang, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Does the structure of diverse information automatically expose Internet users to counter-attitudinal information? Are all Internet users embedded in the same structure compelled to receive attitude-inconsistent contents at the same level? A review of research on cross-cutting exposure aroused these critical questions. Using data collected from 341 participants in an online political forum, this study explored motivations for using online political forums and investigated the relationship between motivations and cross-cutting exposure. The first set of results employed Principle Component Analysis in order to identify factors for using online forum and identified four motivations: self-enhancing information seeking, comprehensive information seeking, pass time, and interpersonal interaction. By using those four motivations, the second set of results used hierarchical regression analysis that revealed comprehensive information seeking and interpersonal interaction were positively associated with cross-cutting exposure. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.
Exploring Motivations for Social Media Use and their Antecedents • Timothy Macafee • Social media allows individuals to engage in a variety of activities, some more laborious than others. People can seek and share information and they can communication with others. Examining the motivations for engaging in these behaviors is useful to uncover the utility of these sites. In addition, examining what factors drive motivations for using social media may uncover additional patterns to explain why people visit these sites. Using a two-study approach, including a convenience pilot study and a U.S. representative sample survey, the study suggests individuals’ motivations revolve around conversation and information exchange, and several demographic and attention to information factors relate to these motivations. The study is a preliminary look at the current state of motivations for using social media and antecedents to these motivations.
Framing cyberbullying in US mainstream media • Tijana Milosevic, American University • This study relies on content analysis of US mainstream print and TV coverage to explore how cyberbullying has been framed from 2006-2013, primarily in terms of who and what causes cyberbullying (causal responsibility) and which individuals, institutions and policies are responsible for taking care of the issue (treatment responsibility). Despite the rising frequency of this phenomenon, a comprehensive content-analysis of this kind has not yet been conducted. Based on research on episodic and thematic framing, this study finds that TV coverage is more episodic in nature- triggered by individual cyberbullying incidents- than the print coverage. Episodic frames focus attention on individuals rather than institutions or broader social forces, which are typically present in thematic frames. This finding has important implications for cyberbullying prevention: when issues are framed episodically audiences tend to attribute causal and treatment responsibility for issues to individuals involved in these incidents and not to institutions and society.
Hero, Traitor, Whistle Blower or Criminal? A Cross-Cultural Framing Analysis of the Edward Snowden Controversy • Michael Mirer, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Catasha Davis, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Alberto Orellana-Campos, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Hsun-Chih Huang; TZU-YU CHANG, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Edward Snowden’s leaks about the United States’ data collection efforts were a worldwide story in 2013. Newspapers around the world followed the story, but hardly spoke with one voice. Though some have argued for the emergence of global frames in media, this content analysis of coverage in six countries finds differences across a variety of dimensions. We argue that though information travels easily, meaning construction is still a localized process.
Media Portrayals of Hashtag Activism: A Framing Analysis of Canada’s #IdleNoMore Movement • Derek Moscato, University of Oregon • The confluence of activism and social media – legitimized by efforts such as the Arab Spring and Occupy Movements – represents a growing area of mainstream media focus. The ability of social media tools (such as Twitter’s hashtags) to diffuse and amplify information and ideas has afforded new media outreach opportunities for activists and advocates of various movements. The growing legitimacy of such movements invites more scrutiny of portrayals of these online causes by traditional media, and in particular the media framing of such movements. Using Canada’s recent #IdleNoMore movement as a case, this study uses framing theory to better understand how traditional media are representing activism born of social media such as Twitter. #IdleNoMore is an activist movement that launched in November 2012, focused on raising awareness of political, economic, social and environmental issues specific to Indigenous populations in Canada and internationally . A qualitative framing analysis is used to identify frames present in media reporting of #IdleNoMore during its first two months by two prominent Canadian publications, Maclean’s magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper. While these frames often serve the purpose of a media outlet’s mandate — to report, to mediate, to debate, to entertain or to take a political or economic position — they can also leverage the efforts of activists by providing history and context while also widening perspectives.
Motivations for Instagram Use: A Q-Method Analysis • Rachel Nielsen, Brigham Young University; Mindy Weston • As a relatively new medium, Instagram has been neglected in the scholarly realm. This exploratory research seeks to understand what types of people use Instagram and what these users perceive as their motivations for Instagram use. A Q-method analysis revealed four archetypal Instagram users and perceived motivations for Instagram use that include fulfilling social needs, seeking out entertainment, finding or sharing information, and engaging in a user-friendly format and a positive social environment.
The Antecedents of Interactive Loyalty through a Structural Equation Model • Anthony Palomba • Consumers engage in video game consoles by playing video games or accessing alternative entertainment options through them. Brand loyalty towards video game consoles may have several antecedents. Gender, genre of video games and network externality may impact brand loyalty, mediated by perceptions of video game console brand personalities. This study investigated these relationships by conducting a principal component factor analysis and testing a structural equation model.
Factors affecting CSR evaluation: Type of CSR and Consumer Characteristics • Young Eun Park, Indiana University; Hyunsang Son, University of Texas • This study, employing survey method with actual U.S. consumers rather than student samples, investigates the relationship between specific types of CSR activities (human rights, environment, labor conditions, anti-corruption) and consumers’ demographic (age, gender, and income) and psychological (involvement, need for uniqueness, and innovativeness) traits to anticipate consumers’ evaluation of CSR and behavioral intention (intention to subscribe telecommunication service). Results indicate involvement and need for uniqueness are positively related to CSR evaluation and subscription intention.
Added in Translation: Adapting Hollywood Movies to Bollywood • Enakshi Roy, Ohio University • This study uses the theoretical framework of Glocalization to compare three popular Hollywood movies Mrs. Doubtfire, Fatal Attraction and Patch Adams to their adapted versions which were made in Bollywood. The study uses textual analysis to examine the movies. It was found that family structure, emotions, religion, construction of a normative narrative and songs were used as cultural signifiers and were inserted in the storyline to make the movies acceptable to the Indian audiences. Moreover, within the familial set-up, an authoritarian patriarchal character was introduced to make the movies relatable to the Indian context.
Journalistic Values, A Concept Explication: Personal and Professional Norms, Entrepreneurship, and Media Innovation • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri/Missouri School of Journalism • Digital distribution has allowed entrepreneurs and innovators to capture revenues that traditionally supported journalism. In response, scholars have argued that journalists must become entrepreneurs. This paper offers an explication of “journalistic values.” A definition of journalistic values is offered as those ideal behaviors and beliefs that are commonly held by individual journalists in a culture. This proposed definition is discussed in the context of implications for research involving entrepreneurial journalism and media innovation.
Silicon Valley and Hollywood: Newspaper Coverage of Regional Business Clusters • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri/Missouri School of Journalism • This study examined coverage of Silicon Valley technology companies and Hollywood entertainment companies in the San Jose Mercury News, Los Angeles Times, and Chicago Tribune. It found support for a connection between the presence of a strong regional industrial agglomeration such as Silicon Valley or Hollywood and business news content—and for an interest regardless of location in covering large technology companies, particularly Apple, Google, and Facebook, that are known as experienced frame-makers.
Tweeting Through the Good and the Bad: An Examination of the Spiral of Silence in the Age of Twitter • Annelie Schmittel, University of Florida; Kevin Hull, University of Florida • Researchers have examined how fan reactions change based on team success, but updated literature is lacking in the age of social media. This paper addresses how fans used Twitter during a rivalry game, and if the spiral of silence remains an appropriate framework when fans are online. Results demonstrate that fans do not go silent if their team is losing, and that traditionally recognized methods of celebration and disappointment are not occurring on Twitter.
Geoengineering: The Fate of the World or Humankind? A Framing Analysis • Yulia A. Strekalova; Angela Colonna • This study is a qualitative framing analysis that assessed the dominant frames of geoengineering in major U.S. newspapers then compared these frames to dominant U.K. frames found in a past study. A total of 48 articles were analyzed from a database of major American newspapers. The study found four dominant U.S. frames on geoengineering, and an overlap of the U.S. frames with the U.K. frames with subtle but distinct differences.
Stigmatizing Content and Missing Messages in Anti-Stigma PSAs on Mental Illness • Roma Subramanian, University of Missouri • Guided by the conceptual framework of stigma, a textual analysis of anti-mental illness stigma PSAs produced by prominent mental health organizations in this country over the past decade was conducted. It was found that the PSAs focused on changing individual- level attitudes toward stigma and ignored issues of structural stigma. The study raises questions about how the different forms of stigma interact, which in turn has implications for the design of anti-stigma interventions.
Mobile Health Apps Use: The Role of Ownership, Health Efficacy and Motivation • Yen-I Lee, Bowling Green State University; Dinah Tetteh, Bowling Green State University • This study explored motivation, health efficacy, mobile phone ownership, and demographic elements as factors to help predict use of mobile health apps among college students and the general population. Surveying participants from the Midwest United States, we found that ownership of mobile devices was not a predictor of health app use for both populations and that health efficacy was a predictor of health app use for the general population but not for the student population.
Melted: Iceland’s Failed Experiment with Radical Transparency • A.Jay Wagner • As information continues to digitize, governments are rethinking their information policies, from intellectual property to transparency. These reconsiderations are closely related to Appadurai’s notion that the strength of the nation-state is diminishing in the globalized world, with cultures moving to a more influential position. In the wake of a catastrophic financial collapse, Iceland adopted a slate of progressive media laws set to invert traditional ideas of government accountability. The laws taken together act as the reification of digital libertarian principles as proselytized by digital pioneer John Perry Barlow. The digital libertarian movement evolved out of the 60s U.S. counterculture as a response to the mass society of their parents’ generation. Closely tied with the tenets of Stewart Brand, his Whole Earth Catalog, and the Bay Area hippie scene, the nascent movement stressed finding personal fulfillment through independence. The following generation shared a distrust in authority, but also a skepticism of the counterculture’s idealism. Instead of fearing uniformity, they saw mass surveillance as their primary threat, and they looked to establish accountable measures to ward off increased state obstruction. This past spring, playing on a slow to rebound króna, the centrist Progressive Party would sweep into government and begin unraveling the populist gains. This paper explores Iceland’s experimentation with digital libertarianism, the concept’s cultural path, and its ultimate failure, while considering the political manipulation that assured that neither IMMI nor the populist constitution would ever be fully ratified, but instead used as another device of placation.
The Cognitive and Affective Effects of Country-of-Origin: How Consumers Process Country-of-Assembly and Country-of-Design for High and Low Involvement Products • Linwan Wu; ILYOUNG JU • A study was conducted to investigate how COA and COD information is processed by consumers for high and low involvement products. Results indicated that COA was more likely to be processed cognitively, while COD tended to be processed affectively. For high involvement products, the only presentation of COD with a positive image elicited the most favorable affective product evaluation. For low involvement products, no difference of cognitive product evaluation was detected.
To Approve or to Protest: The Influence of Internet Use on the Valence of Political Participation in Authoritarian China • Jun Xiang, The Univeristy of Arizona • Advances in technology have changed the way citizens participate in politics. Using latest data as part of the Asian Barometer, this paper explores the influence of the Internet use on the valence of political participation in authoritarian China. Specifically, this research explores whether use of the Internet correlates with lower levels of election participation as a way to approve, and higher levels of activism participation as a way to protest. This research also examines whether there are indirect effects of Internet use through trust in the Chinese government on the valence of political participation. Finally, the study examines whether these indirect effects vary by levels of satisfaction with democracy in current China. Results show indirect effects of Internet use through trust in government in both election participation and activism participation. This paper also shows that satisfaction with democracy moderated the indirect effects of Internet use.
Saying Goodbye to Men: Southern Feminists Publishing News While Challenging Patriarchy • Jose Araiza • In 1975, a lesbian separatist newsletter named Goodbye to All That (GTAT) was published in Austin, Texas, to challenge patriarchy in the left. This textual analysis guided by standpoint feminist theory analyzed how the women struggled to define feminism for themselves. While GTAT was similar to lesbian publications of the same era, GTAT covered the topics of sex, dyke separatism, and motherhood in a unique fashion that could be partially attributed to their Southern heritage.
“Look at Keelin and Caster Now!”: The Olympic Body In Resistance to Hegemonic Norms • Sim Butler, University of Alabama; Kim Bissell • Disability scholars (Lindemann, 2010; Longmore, 2003; Garland-Thompson, 2011; McRuer & Mollow, 2012) argue that the cultural articulation of which bodies are “normal” segregates, regulates, and demeans people whose bodies are deemed disabled, while elevating other bodies as most enviable. Keelin Godsey, a transgendered hammer thrower, and Caster Semenya, a sprinter whose identity as a female was officially and publically scrutinized, represent a pair of non-normative bodies with Olympic aspirations. The qualification process of Godsey and Semenya during the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games (LSOG) highlights one of the many challenges created in the construction, mediation, and reaction to athlete’s bodies and to society’s perceptions of able-bodiedness. This project seeks to examine the role of athletic competition as a means of resistance to normative constructions of the body through a critical/cultural rhetorical analysis of the qualification process of Caster Semenya and Keelin Godsey. Continuing the connections made by West (2010) and McRuer and Mollow (2012), we ask how narratives of non-normative body constructions might resist or maintain hegemonic constructions of athletic bodies within sport. Given that athletic competition stands as a public measure of ability, situations like those embedded in the 2012 LSOG could create spaces to call into question the social construction of able-bodiedness in a number of ways and is part of the impetus for the current project. These and other implications are considered.
Sport Journalists’ Framing of Gay NBA Player Jason Collins • Edward Kian, Oklahoma State University; Danny Shipka, Oklahoma State University • A textual analysis examined popular U.S. newspapers and websites’ framing of Jason Collins’ coming out as the first ‘active’ gay athlete in a popular U.S. professional men’s teamsport. Journalists framed Collins’ outing as historic and those criticizing Collins as antiquated outliers. Whereas Collins was praised as a hero, journalists noted he might never play again, mitigating his impact. Overall, media framed sport as an inclusive institution for gays, countering most scholarship on homosexuality in sport.
Incidental contact with same-sex couples in non-traditional news content: An examination of exemplification and parasocial contact effects • Jessica Myrick, Indiana University; Rhonda Gibson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • A news report about the lack of insurance availability for non-married couples, presented in news blog format, was manipulated to create versions differing in exemplar type (straight unmarried couple, same-sex unmarried couple) and story perspective (first person, third person). Readers evaluated the quality of the news article and estimated the number of American companies that offer health insurance benefits to domestic partners and the percentage of the population that identifies as gay, lesbian or bisexual. Respondents also completed measures of intergroup anxiety, empathy, social distance, and attitudes toward GLBT individuals, in addition to measures of behavioral intentions related to support for changes in health insurance public policy. Exemplification effects on estimates of the prevalence of sexual minorities were not found; however, those viewing same-sex exemplars were more likely to indicate willingness to take action to support changes in health insurance policy for domestic partners than were those viewing straight exemplars. Stories using straight exemplars and presented in the third person and those using same-sex exemplars and presented in the first person elicited higher levels of empathy than did third-person stories with same-sex exemplars and first-person stories with straight exemplars. Implications for journalists and public policy message creators are discussed.
Moral Panic in a Pandemic: A Historical Analysis of HIV Coverage and the America Responds to AIDS Campaign in 1987 • Chelsea Reynolds, University of Minnesota • This article presents a historical media analysis of the Reagan administration’s HIV/AIDS prevention efforts during 1987. It positions Reagan’s reticence surrounding HIV education within cultural, political, and mediated contexts using Cohen’s 1972 definition of moral panic as the driving framework. This paper argues that despite health authorities’ push for media to integrate risk behaviors into HIV prevention messages, Reagan and the CDC focused on scapegoat populations rather than on behavioral interventions.
Framing Same-sex Marriage in Taiwan: The Persuasive Appeal Frame • Mengchieh Jacie Yang; JhuCin Jhang, University of Texas at Austin • The current study focuses on how news media coverage same-sex marriage issues in Taiwan. With a framing perspective and news articles collected from Yahoo News Taiwan, the study found that international news stories significantly outnumbered those of the local news. Local news articles on same-sex marriage usually started with an episodic frame, but were supported by thematic quotes that rely heavily on several gender equality advocacy groups. The dominant frame the authors found in most news articles covering same-sex marriage in Taiwan was the Persuasive Appeal Frame. The Persuasive Appeal Frame includes three appeals based on Aristotle’s (Rhetoric) framework: the authoritative appeal, reasoning appeal, and emotional appeal. Implications and suggestions are also discussed.
Framing Gay Marriage in Leading U.S. Newspapers and TV Networks • Yue Zheng, University of South Carolina • Using a quantitatively analysis of 410 news stories from six newspapers and three TV networks from 2004 to 2013, this study explored how Mass media organized the gay marriage stories, what issue attributes they presented to support/oppose gay marriage, and what story tone it was. The study also examined the different visibility of the news frame between newspaper and television, between liberal and conservative newspapers, as well as across time period.
Da Ali G Show: A Critique on Identity in Times of Satiric Infotainment • Paul Alonso, Georgia Tech • This article explores how British comedian Baron Cohen used the journalistic and marginalized configuration of his characters (Ali G, a white, wannabe gangster from the middle-class London suburb of Staines who hosted a TV show; Bruno, an exhibitionist, gay Austrian fashion reporter obsessed with celebrity culture; and Borat, an anti-Semitic, sexist correspondent from Kazakhstan who violated social taboos with his outrageous viewpoints and behavior) to develop a postmodern structural critique on media spectacle, mediated-reality and identity in today’s western societies. This article goes beyond the notion of “satiric infotainment” as “fake news” to show how the “journalistic” component of Baron Cohen’s characters becomes an initial (but essential) departure to develop a complex, multilayered social critique.
Emotional Responses to Savior Films: Concealing Privilege or Appealing to our Better Selves? • Erin Ash, Clemson University • This research explores the effects of “White savior” films, best described as films in which a White character displays extraordinary acts of kindness and selflessness towards one or more minority characters. The study employed an experimental design (N = 149) to test which of two competing perspectives best explains how exposure to White savior narratives influences racial attitudes and perceptions of racial inequality. Specifically, it proposes a set of hypotheses that reflect critical arguments in which savior films produce negative effects by representing Black communities as morally deficient and by implying a state of racial harmony in our society. By contrast, a set of hypotheses representing the perspective of moral psychologists in which elevation elicits prosocial outcomes that may counter racism is tested. Finally, this study compares films portraying White saviors to those that feature Black saviors to explore (a) whether White privilege can be maintained even in the absence of White characters, and (b) how responses to these films may differ.
The Myth and Ritual of “The Room”: The birth of a cult classic • Jesse Benn • This paper traces the history of the film “The Room,” in an effort to understand how cult classics and movies that draw communal ritual participation come to be a part of pop culture. After this history, from its initial failure to its current status as a cult classic, an autoethnographic observation of the author’s attendance of a participatory ritualistic viewing of the film is presented. Finally, the film is considered in light of digital bullying.
How body, heterosexuality and patriarchal entanglements mark non-human characters as male in CGI-animated children’s films • Jessica Birthisel, Bridgewater State University • The lead characters in the CGI-animated children’s films produced by Pixar and DreamWorks Animation are overwhelming male, and more often than not, they are not human. This simultaneously reflects a long history of anthropomorphization in animated storytelling and a breakaway from Disney’s princess-centric female focus. Given these characters’ non-human status, how do animators map biological maleness and masculine gender norms onto these characters? This qualitative textual analysis of the studios’ films produced between roughly 2000 – 2010 suggests that these anthropomorphized characters were constructed as male and masculine through three simultaneous textual strategies: codes of bodily masculinity, sexual masculinity and social masculinity. The project considers the implication of these constructions of hegemonic masculinity for audiences of children, building on the premise that major global companies such as Pixar, Disney, and DreamWorks are “teaching machines” (Giroux, 1996) and “agents of socialization” that teach children the “right” way to conceptualize the self and others (Lugo-Lugo & Bloodsworth-Lugo, 2009).
The Princess: Heterosexism in Animated Films • Nichole Bogarosh, Whitworth University • Women are othered in current animated films in such a way that exhibits a sort of backlash or counter-narrative to gains made by the women’s liberation movement of the 1960s to early 1980s. Instead, a retro ideology is presented while non-substantiated nods to feminism are present. This paper explores the patriarchal ideology regarding the heterosexual romance-marriage-family priority for women that is presented in a sampling of the top-grossing animated films from 2000 to 2012 and how these messages work to continue the subordination and oppression of women.
Scandal and Sharknado Are Not Alike: Individual Factors Differentiating Social Media Opinion Sharers • Joseph Cabosky • Entertainment research has attempted to predict consumer behavior from the volume and sentiment of social media activity. Yet, real world examples imply that not all sharers are alike. After surveying four large Southeastern Universities (N= 3,079), this study found significant differences in sharing habits when considering valence, gender, race, platform, and relationship to an entertainment product, indicating a need for more nuanced measures that take individual and community factors into account.
Binge-Watching: Transportation into Narrative TV Content • Lindsey Conlin, The University of Alabama; Adam Sharples, The University of Alabama • The relatively new ability of viewers to choose to continuously consume episodes of TV shows changes the experience of watching TV narratives. The act of watching several consecutive episodes of a TV show is known as binge-watching, and the current study sought to investigate how binge-watching affected viewers. Using transportation theory, this study demonstrated that binge-watching increased transportation into a narrative; increased transportation results in increased enjoyment. Additionally, results indicate that different methods of watching a TV show also affects transportation, as viewers who binge-watched to catch up on old episodes of a TV show before watching new episodes week-by-week experienced more transportation than any other kind of TV watching experience.
Sand Dunes, Sajats, and CBS: Analysis of The Amazing Race in the Middle East • Tanner Cooke • This paper analyzes the popular factual entertainment television show The Amazing Race. Through a textual analysis of episodes that took place in the Middle East and North Africa, this study highlights problems of representation within the factual entertainment genre of television production. While previous publications have extolled the program for its ability to represent local people authentically, this paper argues that the Middle East and North Africa fall into the classic Orientalist tropes of representation through a supposed non-scripted reality television portrayal. Thus, this paper uses a framework of postcolonial studies and mimics previous research by Muspratt and Steeves (2012), which addresses issues of representation through the categories of erasure, agency, and hybrid encounters, and concludes with findings contradictory to the previous authors and attempts to argue that The Amazing Race problematically represents the Middle Eastern and North African regions, cultures, and peoples.
The Need to Achieve: Players’ Perceptions and Uses of Meta-Game Rewards for Video Game Consoles • Carlos Cruz; Michael Hanus; Jesse Fox, Ohio State University • Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation overlay meta-game reward systems on their video games. Little research has examined how players use these systems. Gamers participated in focus groups to discuss meta-game reward systems. Participants indicated meta-game reward systems succeed in giving positive feedback about game play and boosting self-esteem and social status. Though some research (e.g., self-determination theory) suggests that extrinsic rewards weaken players’ intrinsic motivation, our findings suggest players see these systems as intrinsically motivating.
What’s love got to do with it? Analyzing moral evaluations about love and relationships in Gossip Girl • Merel van Ommen; Serena Daalmans, Radboud University Nijmegen; Addy Weijers; Rebecca de Leeuw • The current study is based on qualitative interviews (N = 48), that aimed to provide insight in the grounds of moral evaluations of various types of mediated romantic relationships in an episode of Gossip Girl. The results demonstrate that the romantic ideal, even though almost all viewers formulated critical nuances, proved to be the most appealing for the majority of the viewers, regardless if their moral evaluation was primarily text driven or driven by personal characteristics.
Political Culture, Critique and the Girl Reporter in Netflix’s House of Cards • Trevor Diehl, The University of Texas at Austin • Netflix’s adaption of Michael Dobb’s political thriller, House of Cards (HOC) represents a contemporary incarnation of the paranoid-conspiracy style of politics in film. This paper shows how the fictional relationship between female political reporter Zoe Barnes and Congressman Francis Underwood appeals to the audience’s cynicism and distrust of politics and the news media. Through a narrative analysis of key settings, characters and themes, this paper finds that while HOC offers a dramatic critique of the political culture in Washington DC, its use of Hollywood cliché undermines any serious critique of the role of the press in politics. The series also offers a post-feminist orientation toward the role of women in journalism.
Media Genre Preferences Predicted by Current Mood and Salient Media Uses • Elise Stevens; Francesca Dillman Carpentier, University of North Carolina • This study combines the hedonic motivations argued in mood management theory with the needs-oriented motivations argued in uses-and-gratifications approaches to explain self-reported media genre preferences. A survey of young adults (N=216) reported their current mood, their motivations for using media, and their liking of various media genres. People in depressed moods indicated little affinity for action/adventure. People feeling hostile were particularly favorable toward animation; liking animation also related to using media as a means of escape. People in positive moods indicated a liking of drama, as well as sports. Liking of comedy was related to using media for entertainment and relaxation, irrespective of mood state. Using media for social interaction was positively related to liking romance. Using media for arousal was related to liking sports. Findings are discussed in terms of preference formation, experience with media in fulfilling needs, and methodological considerations regarding bias in self-reports due to activation of current affect.
Market matters: How market-driven is The Newsroom? • Patrick Ferrucci, Bradley University; Chad Painter, Eastern New Mexico University • This study examines whether the news show depicted on HBO’s award-winning The Newsroom practices what McManus defined as market-driven journalism. McManus posited that organizations practicing market-driven journalism compete in the four markets he describes in his market theory for news production. This study found that The Newsroom depicts an organization that does indeed practice market-driven journalism, but journalists constantly fight to stop. These results are then interpreted through the lens of market theory for news production.
Postmodern Hybrid Identities: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of U.S. Top-Chart Hip-Hop Song Lyrics, 1980–2013 • Shawn Gadley, University of North Texas; Koji Fuse, University of North Texas • A longitudinal content analysis of top-chart hip-hop songs’ lyrics produced between 1980 and 2013 was conducted to investigate the degree and progression of the paradoxical juxtaposition, or postmodern hybridity, of oppositional modernist identities in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, and economic lifestyle. Although hybrid oppositional identities related to race/ethnicity and gender did not increase over time, those of sexual orientation, sexuality, and economic lifestyle increased over time. In addition, materialist identities positively affected the hybridity of identities related to sexual orientation and sexuality, but not that of gender- and race/ethnicity-related identities. Overall, the present research found increasing sexualization of hip-hop songs along with intensified materialism.
Increasingly Violent but Still Sexy: An Analysis of Female Protagonists in U.S. and Hindi Films • Jannath Ghaznavi; Katherine Grasso • The present study examined the depiction of female protagonists in promotional posters and trailers from top-grossing U.S. and Hindi films from 2004-2013, focusing on stereotypes, sexualization, and aggressive behavior. Hindi film protagonists tended to be more sexualized, physically fit, and less prominently featured compared to protagonists in U.S. films with no systematic changes in stereotypical portrayals over time. Female protagonists were similar in their roles as attractive love interests and increasingly aggressive behavior over time.
The Professional Fan Fiction of Chuck • Timothy R. Gleason, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh • Chuck was an action-comedy show with science fiction influences and the product of a Generation X upbringing that represents media influences and social conditions. Movies like Tron, WarGames, Weird Science and Gotcha serve as the foundation for Chuck’s cool geek/spy main character. Influenced by the work of James W. Carey and Henry Jenkins, this study uses the concepts of ritual communication from American Studies and participatory fan culture of cultural studies to explain these influences.
Binge Watching Alone Together?: An exploratory study of college students’ motivations for marathon TV viewing • Geoffrey Graybeal, Texas Tech University; Nicholas Doherty, University of Hartford; Lynne Kelly, University of Hartford • This exploratory study, grounded in the Uses and Gratifications perspective, conducted focus groups with college communication students about binge viewing. We examined individual motivations for binge viewing, their binge viewing practices, and how they affectively experience binge viewing. Findings indicate binge viewing fulfills several key gratifications for college students, that genre and mechanism play important roles in determining what and how to binge watch, and that subjects engaged in binge viewing have mixed emotions.
‘Time Ladies’ and female fandom: User-Generated Content in the Doctor Who Universe • Jin Kim; Megan Readey • Over this past half-century, Doctor Who, a BBC’s hit drama has grown from a small, family oriented television series to an industry of its own. The most amazing aspect of this show however, is the fandom. While the show went through a 16-year hiatus, it was User-Generated Content (UGC) created by the fans that kept the stories and interest in Doctor Who alive. With the 2005 reboot of the show, it is the first time since 1963 that lifelong members of the fandom hold power as show runners, writers, and characters. This study aims to develop theoretical concerns in fandom study by exploring historical-cultural meanings of Doctor Who from contemporary cultural contexts. More specifically, with a survey of more than 100 Doctor Who fans and a textual analysis of UGC by the fans, we explore how seemingly marginalized fan group, women are participating and self-expressing in Doctor Who fandom.
Political Cynicism and the Shows around the News: Examining News Satire and Partisan Talk and their Relationship to Political Cynicism • Kate Renner, University of Central Florida; Rene Naranjo, University of Central Florida; Joseph Raditch, University of Central Florida; Jessica Hoffman, University of Central Florida; William Kinnally, University of Central Florida • During the past decade, researchers have been exploring the effects of political satire on the attitudes of viewers in the U.S. The purpose of this study was to use the theory of cultivation as a framework for comparing exposure to satirical news shows like The Daily Show with exposure to cable opinion (partisan) talk shows like The O’Reilly Factor and examine their relationships to political affiliation, political cynicism, and attitudes toward government and media. This survey-based project involved a convenience sample of 404 college students who completed measures of media exposure, attitudes toward the federal government, perceptions of media credibility, and political cynicism. Results suggest that exposure to satirical news programs like The Daily Show were not related to negative attitudes toward the federal government or political cynicism. However, they were negatively correlated to perceptions of national media credibility. Conservative partisan talk program exposure was associated with negative attitudes toward the federal government but not media credibility or political cynicism. Independents were observed to report greater political cynicism than Democrats or Republicans. Implications are discussed.
The dual role of morally ambiguous characters: Examining the effect of morality salience on narrative responses • K. Maja Krakowiak, University of Colorado, Colorado Springs; Mina Tsay-Vogel, Boston University • Using social comparison theory as a framework, two 2×2 experiments examined the effects of a person’s self-perception on responses to characters with varying levels of morality. Study 1 found that individuals whose vices were made salient felt more positive affect and enjoyment after reading a narrative featuring a morally ambiguous character (MAC) than one featuring a bad character. Study 2 found that individuals whose virtues were made salient felt more positive affect and enjoyment after reading a narrative featuring a good character than one featuring a MAC. Findings thus indicate that morality salience is an important factor determining responses to different character types. Avenues for future research and theoretical implications of the dual role of MACs are discussed.
Active Viewing: Chinese Audiences’ Interpretation of American Television Dramas • Yang Liu • The cross-border flow of television programs has enriched audience reception research with integrating the active audience paradigm, which believes that the audience has the capability of interpreting foreign media contents in an active way. Two main theoretical approaches have been utilized by television studies of active audience paradigm. Audience-privileging approach focuses on television viewing through placing audience on the center. Text-centered approach pays attention to semiotic analysis of television texts. With more and more American television dramas having been introduced to China, Chinese audiences have initiated their active reception and interpretation of these exotic cultural products. Focusing on this phenomenon, this study explored Chinese audiences’ interpretation of American television dramas based on Roland Barthes’ elaboration on myth-making.
An analysis of femininity: How popular female characters in the media portray contemporary womanhood • Stephanie Roussell, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center; Lisa Lundy • The impact of the media on adolescent girls has received greater theoretical, legal and societal focus over the last few decades. Several studies link the development of female gender identities, healthy sexual activity and self-efficacy to how the media portray women. Restrictive or unrealistic themes of womanhood or femininity in the media can impact a young girl’s social construction of identity and provide limited examples of what it means to be a woman in today’s society. This study qualitatively examines femininity in contemporary media by analyzing—via textual analysis—how popular female characters embody, portray and promote different conceptualizations of femininity. Do these characters portray more traditional styles of femininity? Or do they embrace the gains of Third Wave feminism and promote more contemporary versions of femininity? Results suggest a shift toward contemporary femininity, but also reveal lingering stereotypes in a character’s emotional and cultural behaviors.
Man without a country: How character complexity primes racial stereotypes • Ben Miller, University of Minnesota • This study examined the role character complexity plays in racial attitudes of television viewers. Previous research suggests that stereotypes and counter-stereotypes play vastly different roles in how people process information. Stereotypes act as automatic cues that call up pre-made judgments upon exposure to them. Meanwhile, counter-stereotypes actually work on a conscious processing level, forcing viewers to think more deeply about individuals when presented with them, skipping the automatic recall mechanism all together. By layering counter-stereotypes and stereotypes together in the same stimulus, this study examined whether the existence of there would be an appreciable difference between viewers exposed to solely stereotypes or both using both implicit and explicit measures. To investigate the relationships between character complexity and racial attitudes, this study used a 2 x 2 factorial experimental design featuring 99 students and the data was analyzed using factorial ANOVAs. In addition to the character complexity variable, an additional exposure variable measured differences between single or repeated exposures of the stimulus videos. This experiment used an Implicit Association Test, a Positive Attitudes Towards Blacks scale and a Black Stereotypes scale to measure racial attitudes. Findings show there was no difference in positive, negative or implicit attitudes between the two complexity conditions. And furthermore, there was also no demonstrated difference between the single- and repeated-exposure conditions.
First Listen: Discovering New Music through Online Social Networks • Adam Monk, The Ohio State University; John Dimmick, The Ohio State University • This study examines the diffusion of new music through online social networks. Given the lack of theoretical research involving diffusion theory applied to online social networks, a research study was designed. A 32-question survey was administered to 460 undergraduate students enrolled in Communication courses at a large, Midwestern university. Results from data analysis provided evidence that individuals scoring higher on a new music opinion leadership scale will be more likely to listen to new music, discover new music, use electronic recommendation agents, acquire new music that is evaluated positively after sampling and give recommendations about new music.
The Caste of the Cast: The South Asian “Model Minority” on Broadcast Television Sitcoms • Jane O’Boyle, University of South Carolina • In the world of television entertainment, Americans of African, Hispanic and East Asian heritage have endured decades of representations that were marginalized or nonexistent. While minority characters are in overall decline on American broadcast networks, the South Asian immigrant from India is emerging as the most visible ethnic culture in television shows, at the expense of Hispanics, African Americans, and other Asian immigrants. There has been an increase in the number of South Asian characters on situation comedies, such The Office, Parks and Recreation, The Big Bang Theory, The New Girl and How I Met Your Mother. These representations provide new racist material for American entertainment purposes. This study examines the shift in minority characters in prime time television through textual analysis of three characters in current highly rated network comedy programs. These characters are well-educated and hard-working, but their “otherness” still keeps them from attaining the levels of class afforded white characters in these shows. These elements combine to make South Asians in the United States the “model minority:” successful enough to poke fun at their culture, but sufficiently alien to use these qualities against their achieving class parity. The way we frame this ethnic group may also deepen perspectives of all minorities in our society, as entertainment media is a prime source of information about other cultures and has proved to have effects on racist stereotypes in the real world.
He Said, She Laughed: Sex Differences in Joke Telling and Humor Appreciation • Patrice Oppliger • Past research has shown shifting trends in gender differences in the creation and appreciation of humor. We revisited the issue in light of women’s advancement in society and changes in the culture of female comedy. We conducted an experiment in which we manipulated the sex of the joke teller and in some cases the joke target. Overall, outcomes of the data analysis were much nuanced, rather than demonstrating straight forward sex differences. The content of the jokes (e.g., sexual tone, aggression level, and sexist stereotyping) appeared to have the most influence in terms of sex differences in humor appreciation. While males still prefer aggressive and disgust joke more than females, it appears in some cases, female comedians have gained ground on being rewarded for telling jokes beyond clever stories or self-disparaging jokes.
Getting My “V” Fix: Developing PSRs with HBO’s “True Blood” through Emerging Social Media Platforms • Harkeet Pannu; Lance Porter • Through this study, we attempt to discover how social media platforms increase parasocial interactions – a one-way interaction characterized by non-reciprocation of interactions – among viewers and television show characters. Specifically, we examined Twitter usage and the intensity of parasocial relationships between the viewer and characters of HBO’s vampire drama “True Blood.” A total of 169 social media users, predominantly females between the ages 18 and 32, answered questions through an online survey discussing their Twitter and viewing habits, the outlets with which these viewers engage to discuss the television show and how they feel about the show itself. The results show that those viewers who do engage in discussions online tend to have more intense parasocial relationships with the show and characters than those who use viewers who use Twitter less.
Law & Disorder: The Portrayal of Mental Illness in American Crime Dramas • M. Scott Parrott, The University of Alabama; Caroline Titcomb Parrott, The University of Alabama • A quantitative content analysis examined stereotypes and counter-stereotypes concerning mental illness in fictional crime-based dramas that aired on American television between 2010 and 2013. Reinforcing stereotypes, characters labeled mentally ill were significantly more likely to be perpetrators of crime and of violence toward themselves or others. Nevertheless, the analysis also found evidence of counter-stereotypes concerning physical appearance, socioeconomic status, and general behavior.
Dissolving the Other: Orientalism, consumption, and Katy Perry’s insatiable “Dark Horse” • Rosemary Pennington, Indiana University School of Journalism • Pop star Katy Perry is increasingly under fire for performance choices she makes. Most recently Perry stirred up controversy when she destroyed a necklace with “Allah” – the Arabic word for god – on it in her “Dark Horse” video. What received less attention was her destruction of Orientalized men of color. This qualitative textual analysis examines how Orientalism manifests in Katy Perry’s “Dark Horse” video as well as what kind of imaginary Perry attempts to create.
A Cosmic Flop Revisited: Battlestar Galactica 1978 • Camille Reyes • In 1978, the original Battlestar Galactica was the most expensive show ever produced for television. It only lasted one season on ABC. This essay offers some explanations for its failure through cultural and industrial histories of American television. Using popular and trade publications of the period, the author first argues that an ill-timed business decision, coupled with the departure of programming legend Fred Silverman from the network, resulted in serious problems for the nascent series. The author critiques the executive decisions around special effects. Various narrative and genre expectations are also addressed. The essay also explores the tensions between censors and the networks, tracing influences on television content during the period. Television failures are common, yet this particular story has enjoyed a rich life after cancellation. In a self-reflexive passage, the author presents a portrait of the show’s popularity with children and offers cultural and economic reasons why the newly re-imagined series, airing from 2004 – 2009, fared so much better than the original.
Kaun Banega Crorepati: The Indian Gameshow and its Glocalization • Enakshi Roy, Ohio University • The game show Kaun Banega Crorepati (KBC) changed the entertainment scene in India. Using Textual Analysis in the context of “glocalization,” the study examines how cultural signifiers were used to localize the British gameshow Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? for India. Analyzing a sample of episodes through four seasons, the study identifies specific cultural references such as cricket, Bollywood, Indian history and mythology or religion; presence of famous movie stars as hosts, focus on contestants’ stories, and preaching, and examines how each of these elements made the show uniquely Indian.
Collaborative Starvation and the Invisible Podium: Using Twitter as a “How To” Guide to Eating Disorders • Stephanie Hovis, Kennesaw State University; Erin Ryan, Kennesaw State University • This thematic analysis is an exploration of one anonymous Twitter user’s documentation of her struggles with eating disorder(s) over the course of eight months. Examining the language and images in @Anaforlife55’s tweets, as well as her interactions with other anonymous Twitter users also battling food demons, the goal of this paper is to determine whether the notion that eating disorders can be considered a contagious disease has merit. Whereas eating disorders are not developed quickly through a sharing of germs in the classical sense of contagion, the ways in which the media, communication scholars, and the infected discuss the “whys” and, more importantly, the “hows” can spread just as easily. This paper examines the romanticized and competitive, yet simultaneously tight-knit, support system that encourages and enables eating disordered brothers and sisters to feed their disease via social media. @Anaforlife55 is quickly approaching her tenth year with an eating disorder, but this eight-month snapshot of her journey before and after entering rehabilitation provides support for the “contagious disease” argument. Themes are discussed in terms of language, relationships, and visual elements such as photos of various body parts.
Demographic Congruency, Advertisement, and Television Shows: The Effect of Advertisement Viewing on Television Show Evaluation • Jeremy Saks, Ohio University • This thesis examines demographic congruency between television shows and advertisements and the effects that it has on program evaluation. Two groups of college- aged participants watched the same popular television show for their age group but some saw commercials targeted at them while others saw advertisements for products and services for elderly people. Theoretically based on Mandler’s discrepancy/evaluation theory, results showed that individuals exposed to demographically incongruent advertisements explicitly evaluated the television show less favorably than those that saw congruent commercials. Additionally, an implicit associations test found marginally significant and contrasting results where the demographically incongruent advertisements led to a higher liking among those who viewed them along with the show. The results, as well as potential explanations, are discussed.
Is Grey’s Anatomy on the Wave? A Feminist Textual Analysis of Meredith Grey and Cristina Yang • Lauren Wilks, Trinity University • The traditional portrayal of women in the media concerns feminist scholars because of the repeated sexualization, subordination, and underrepresentation of females (Collins, 2011). This feminist textual analysis seeks to determine whether Grey’s Anatomy portrays female characters with more complex gender roles than those typically portrayed in media. This study finds that while there were more instances of third wave feminism overall, in crisis situations a post-feminist reversion to traditional feminine roles sometimes occurred.
Exploring the Interplay of Flow, Psychological Transportation and Presence in Narrative Advergaming • Lu Zheng • As one of the fastest-growing formats of branded entertainment, advergaming has been increasingly embraced by international marketers in their brand building endeavors. The current study seeks to simultaneously gauge the impacts of flow, narrative transportation and presence on one’s game attitude, brand attitude, and purchase intention in the narrative advergaming context. The findings indicated that among the three psychological processes, transportation tends to play a decisive role in determining one’s affective and conative responses.