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.
“You ARE Talking to the Man”: Female Newspaper Editors’ Career Paths in Appalachia • Candace Nelson; Bob Britten, West Virginia University • Although women continue to make gains in journalism, they remain a rarity at top editorial levels. In some rural areas, such as West Virginia, women are on par with the national average for such placement, despite the state tending to lag in other areas. Using grounded theory, this research investigates the influences of rural Appalachian culture among top-level female editors. It identifies a distinct understanding of Community in Appalachia and presents a model for explaining the boosts and barriers they experience.
Follow the leader: How leadership can affect the future of community journalism • Patrick Ferrucci, Bradley University • This ethnographic study examines the effect leadership can have on newsroom culture and, ultimately, how news is produced. Lowery and Gade (2011) argued that the future of community journalism will happen online, and Kaye and Quinn (2010) noted that the Internet allows for different funding models of journalism. Together, this means online community journalism will take many different forms over the next decade. This study examines one popular form of community journalism: the digitally native news nonprofit. The study illustrates that when a journalist, and not a business executive or executives, controls the entire news operation, the community journalism organization focuses on quality journalism more so than profits.
The CxP Typology: A New Understanding of Normative Deviance, Gatekeeping, and American Community Journalism • Marcus Funk, Sam Houston State University • Abstract: Structured interviews with community newspaper editors and publishers complicate current theoretical understandings of normative deviance and gatekeeping theory. Editors and publishers expressed a great deal of audience interaction and a clear emphasis on news about “regular people and routine events,” which offers a topical rebuttal to gatekeeping theory’s assertion that journalists are attracted to news about conflict and celebrity due to a lack of dialogue with media consumers. A deeper reading of the text, however, demonstrates that “regular people” and “routine events” remain rooted in conflict and celebrity. This study suggests a theoretical broadening of normative deviance and the adoption of a “CxP Typology” to comprehensively categorize normative deviance.
Building community through dialogue at NPR member stations • Joseph Kasko, University of South Carolina • This research is composed of 20 in-depth, qualitative interviews with managers at NPR member stations to examine how they are attempting to build community through the use of dialogue. The stations came from various market sizes and from different regions across the United States. The managers reported they are using many types of dialogue, including face-to-face, formal written and electronic communication, to engage their listeners. The findings suggest the stations are working to build a presence in the community through personal relationships, regular contact with listeners and by inviting regular feedback.
Seeing Community Journalism in Online News: Examining status conferral processes in digital media organizations • Myles Ethan Lascity, Drexel University • Many scholars have hailed blogs and citizens journalists as a means of upending the traditional journalistic structure, however, users appear to prefer to channel their input through established media outlets. Few have attended to the question of why audiences – citizen journalists or causal readers – share news with established organizations when they could easily distribute the information themselves. This paper will argue that the same processes at the heart of community journal can help explain why individuals choose to align themselves with organizations rather than strike out on their own.
Getting Engaged: Public Engagement on Online Community News Sites Has Tenuous Connection to Civic Engagement • Jack Rosenberry, St. John Fisher College • A content analysis of online community news sites was used to determine that activities to promote public engagement with the site was have a slight association with civic engagement activities such as voting and participation in community activities. This result shows weak support for the idea that engagement with the news sites is an articulation of cyber-democratic engagement.
Perceptions About Posting: A Survey of Community Journalists About Social Media Postings • Leigh Wright, Murray State University • Journalists long have been the gatekeepers of content for traditional media, but now with social media, does that role still stand? Although studies have focused on larger circulation newspapers, the literature suggests a gap among community newspapers’ judgment of news values and gatekeeping as applied to social media postings. A survey of 108 journalists working at newspapers with a circulation of 30,000 or less revealed insights into how reporters and editors perceive the traditional news values of timeliness, proximity, prominence, unusual nature, helpfulness, impact, conflict and entertainment/celebrity when posting to the social media sites Facebook and Twitter. The survey revealed that 60 percent of journalists said they strongly agreed that helpfulness is a news value when posting information to Facebook, and 66 percent ranked timeliness as the most important news value for posting stories to Twitter.
Local vs. Hyperlocal newspaper: Community actor perception, readership, and advertising effects • Gi Woong Yun, Bowling Green State University; SangHee Park; Claire Y. Joa; Jing Jiang; Louisa Ha, Bowling Green State University; David Morin, Utah Valley University; Jongsoo Lim • This paper aimed to examine the dynamics of local and hyperlocal newspapers from a business and civic engagement perspective. To do so, we looked at the competitive and complementary relationship between local and hyperlocal newspapers in readership, the relationship of community engagement activities and newspapers readership, the perception of local and hyperlocal newspapers as community actors, and the perception on advertising effects of local and hyperlocal newspapers. Results indicated that the relationship between local and hyperlocal newspapers was complementary and the community actor perception of newspapers influenced readership. In the local and hyperlocal newspaper regression models, newspaper community actor perception predicted advertising effects. Respondents who were actively engaged in their local communities were more likely to purchase or visit businesses that ran advertisements in the newspapers.
Unwitting Investigators: Documentary Filmmakers as Investigative Journalists • Jesse Abdenour, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill • This paper makes a case for documentaries as a new form of investigative journalism. If investigative journalism is declining, as some critics charge, documentaries could be “filling the gap.” Based on inductive analysis of qualitative interviews with documentary filmmakers, this study found that although documentarians do not see themselves as investigative journalists, they approach their work in a similar fashion and often use similar storytelling techniques.
Watchdog, voyeur, or censure? An eye-tracking research study of graphic photographs in the news media • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • One of the longest-running ethical debates in visual journalism is the extent to which graphic and/or violent photos should be present in our news media. The research uses a 2 (level of graphicness) x 3 (story topic) experimental design to test for media effects of graphic photos. The research also integrates eye-tracking data—a unique approach to understanding the effects of graphic photos on participants.
Picturing Kennedy: Photographic framing in the 50-year commemorative coverage of the assassination of JFK • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; Hannah McLain, LSU • As we remembered Kennedy 50 years later, this study sought to understand how commemorative journalism visually framed our collective remembrance, through photographs deemed both iconic and untraditional. Analysis of 905 photos found that iconic photos played a critical role, but they did not represent the entirety of the coverage. The photographic framing covered all aspects of the story, but it emphasized the media’s role in the telling–and subsequent shaping of public understanding–of the assassination.
Sticking it to Obamacare: The visual rhetoric of Affordable Care Act advertising in social media • Janis Teruggi Page, George Washington University; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Greg Perreault, Missouri School of Journalism • In 2013, video ads attacking and supporting the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) appeared. Through the lens of Symbolic Convergence Theory and Visual Rhetoric, this study found visual narratives using cultural appropriation, incongruity, and dark humor that propelled anti-Obamacare ads to social media sharing. The analysis points to the potential consequences of powerful and well-funded individuals and groups skillfully manipulating social media with visual rhetoric that benefits their causes and beliefs.
Graphic deception: Individuals’ reaction to deceptive information graphics • Nicholas Geidner, University of Tennessee; Jaclyn Cameron, University of Tennessee • This study examines individuals’ understanding and judgment of news information graphics designed in a purposefully deceptive manner. An experimental design was utilized to examine the effects of deceptive design practices on the amount of time the user spent on the graphic, information recall, and perceptions of credibility. Further, we examined these effects in the context of two types of news stories (i.e., general and political news). Using a student sample (N = 239), it was found that recalled more information from the bias graphic and found it less credible than the non-bias graphic. The implications of these findings for both academic researchers and working journalists are discussed.
30-Second Political Strategy: Videostyle of Political Television Spots • Sang Chon Kim, University of Oklahoma; Doyle Yoon, University of Oklahoma; Joonil Kim, University of Oklahoma • By content-analyzing political television spots for the 2008 and 2012 U.S. presidential campaign, the current study examined and compared verbal, nonverbal, and production styles (1) between incumbent and challenger ads and (2) between Democratic and Republican ads. A total of 259 political television spots for the three candidates—Obama, McCain, and Romney—were analyzed. Significant differences were found in videostyles between the 2008 and 2012 Obama ads and between Democratic and Republican ads. These analyses help not only to identify dominant trends in recent political campaigns (i.e., recent political advertising), but also to ascertain how different campaign strategies reflect different political positions (i.e., Obama campaigned as a challenger in 2008 and as an incumbent in 2012). More implications are discussed.
Understanding Digital and Participatory Communication by Social Media and Prosumption Practices via Video Ethnography • Sunny S. K. LAM, The School of Arts & Social Sciences, The Open University of Hong Kong; Jo Yung, Ipsos Hong Kong Limited • The new media system/environment is a result of collective knowledge by the wisdom of crowds and Web 2.0 participatory cultures, and a result of convergence of media, communication and content production/consumption (prosumption) by mediation, remediation and mediatization. User-generated media by prosumption activities provide new sources of online information by consumers/prosumers who are actively educating each other about branding and imaging, products and services, lifestyles and personalities, and social and political issues via interactive conversations. The resulting electronic word-of-mouth and viral propagation of the Internet-based social media reveals a new concept and phenomenon in digital communication and marketing of important implications to both marketers and academic scholars. This article explores social media and digital communication within the prosumption dynamics in the transmedia age, and exemplifies an innovative methodological collision of academic and market research to study prosumption behaviors on social media via video ethnography.
The effects of online news package structure on attitude, attention, and comprehension • Karen McIntyre, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Spencer Barnes, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Laura Ruel, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study examined two online news package designs and their effects on users’ attitudes, comprehension, and attention. Results revealed that different aspects of comprehension (recognition and inference) were influenced by the interaction between website design and attention. Users who spent at least 10 minutes browsing were better able to recognize facts after looking at a single-page, scroll-through site, whereas those same users showed a deeper understanding of content after looking at a multiple-page, click-through site.
Photos of the Day Galleries: Representing a More Nuanced World • Jennifer Midberry, Temple University • This content analysis of images from Photos of the Day online galleries from The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and the Washington Post investigates whether such galleries present the world outside of the U.S. as negatively as the wining images of the Pulitzer Prize and POYi contests do. The results indicate that Photos of the Day galleries are a rare space in U.S. photojournalism where international news is presented in a nuanced manner.
The Wedding Video as Personal Interaction: Extending Dramaturgy to the Social Media World • Michael O’Donnell, University of St. Thomas • Erving Goffman first proposed using the theater as an analogy to explore human interaction in 1959. Since Goffman’s ideas were published, dramaturgical social analysis has been applied to the study of the work place, prisons, schools, churches and politics. Goffman applied the structure and terminology of the theater to “face-to-face” interactions, each interaction “roughly defined as the reciprocal influence of individuals upon one another’s actions when in one another’s immediate physical presence.” Much has changed since 1959 in the way we interact with one another, most notably in how social media has become an important, if not primary, means if personal interaction for millions of people. This study explores one particular niche of social media, the video sites of YouTube and Vimeo, and one particular type of personal expression, the wedding video. These videos represent a shift in how many of us express one of the most intimate and sacred life events, marriage. Goffman’s idea of theater as an analogy for interaction has been turned on its head. Today’s wedding videos demonstrate how the theater, or more broadly, the world of entertainment, has become a template for behavior, not just a useful analogy. Even beyond that, personal interaction through social media is calculated not just to mimic theater but also to be theater — to entertain. In this regard, the ideal performance, or ceremony, of the traditional wedding has been sublimated to producing a theatrical video that will impress others with the couple’s creativity, talent and “hipness.”
Picturing Health and Community: A Visual Perspective of Photovoice Missouri • Tatsiana Karaliova; Heesook Choi; Mikkel Christensen, University of Missouri; Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri/Missouri School of Journalism; Ryan Thomas, Missouri School of Journalism • This study examined 434 photographs and captions from 207 participants of the Photovoice Missouri project in urban, suburban, and rural communities. A qualitative textual analysis revealed the potential of photovoice to accumulate social capital as resources that can lead to positive behaviors. The participants expressed concerns about health risks, access to fresh food, and conditions in the communities discouraging physical activities. Considerable differences in concerns and priorities were found between the different types of communities.
Consumer Mood, Thinking Style and Creative Metaphor Techniques in Advertising • Jun Myers; Sela Sar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • An experiment was conducted to examine the effect mood and thinking style on the effectiveness of creative metaphor ads. Results demonstrated that overall positive mood state induced higher ad evaluations of creative messages. In addition, consumers’ chronic thinking style (holistic vs. analytical) also significantly interacted with the use of metaphor techniques in the ad with consumers’ mood state to affect their evaluation of the advertisement. The results showed that three predicted hypotheses received partial support. Specifically, the results for ad evaluation were statistically significant. However, the results for purchase intention did not reach statistically significant. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.
Darkness Visible; Blindness and Borders/Memories and Movies • David Staton, University of Oregon • Memory is so informed by the visual it’s hard to imagine having recollections without the sense of sight. To be sure, other senses are involved in memory making, but vision is privileged in such inordinate fashion that the noted neuroscientist António Damásio (1999) has written “one might argue that images are the currency of our mind…even the feelings that make up the backdrop of each mental instant are images.” In “In Search of Lost Time” (or “Remembrances of Things Past”) Proust wrote of sensory impressions and lived experience as memoire involontaire; certain actions or particular sensations can awaken these recollections. However, a forced recalling of such moments, in his view, result in a different bringing forth, the memoire voluntaire. Benjamin’s subsequent dissection of Proust’s notions offers a framework to examine notions of looking, learning, living. Imagine, then, if this process of seeing and remembering might be radically interrupted. What becomes of memory if that primal sense is removed from embodied experience, extracted from our stories and language? To further problematize this scenario, imagine the Herculean task of attempting to give visual voice to the memories of a sightless narrator. In short, what might internalized memories of a blind person look like externalized for others to share—how is such a narrative performed? Three films of recent vintage—”Notes on Blindness” (2014), “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (2007), and “Blue” (1993)—take on this challenge. A textual analysis of key scenes from each of the films will investigate how the filmmakers articulated this (re)vision as well as point toward thematic linkings between the projects.
What Are Shaping the Ethical Standard? Examining Factors Influencing Public Acceptance of News Photo Alteration • Q. J. Yao, Lamar University; Zhaoxi Liu, Trinity University; David Perlmutter • Public acceptance is gradually established as the ethical standard of news photo editing. It is therefore critical to study what factors impact public acceptance. This paper identifies the perceived prevalence of photo alteration, media credibility, and Photoshop use and knowledge as the major influencers. The study implies the necessity of intervention from scholars, media professionals, and ethical activists, as mere relying on public acceptance may continuously lower the ethical standard for news photo alternation.
When a picture is combined with a thousand words: Effects of visual and verbal arguments in advertisements on audience persuasion • Shuhua Zhou; Cui Zhang; Yeojin Kim, University of Alabama; Lin Yang • Visual arguments have been largely studied in the rhetorical and interpretive literature. In spite of the power of visuals in advertising, visual argument has never been studied along with verbal arguments in advertising. Thorough an experimental study, this study seeks to provide empirical evidence that visual and verbal arguments can both be potent factors affecting users’ perception of and valence toward the ads and the brands, as well as purchase intention. Results largely supported these hypotheses. Implications for future studies are discussed.
Boobies Are Not Hooters: New Tests for Student Speech Rights • Genelle Belmas, Univ. of Kansas • The Supreme Court in 2014 declined to hear an appeal of the Third Circuit en banc decision in the “I ♥ Boobies!” case, B.H. v. Easton Area School District. However, the decision provided an innovative approach to future student speech cases with some interesting judicial interpretations. This paper examines this case and suggests that courts adopt one of several revised tests when faced with student speech issues that skirt the line between appropriate and inappropriate.
Diversity and journalism pedagogy: Exploring news media representation of disability • Shawn Burns, University of Wollongong • This paper explores diversity studies in broadcast journalism education and seeks to help answer a question faced by teachers: Does the material discussed in class make a difference in their lives? This research is a case study of university broadcast journalism students who took part in classes that explored the representation of people with disability (PWD) in the media. The research sought to explore whether diversity studies resonated in the post-university lives of journalism students.
Comparing National Scholastic Press Association Pacemaker Finalists to the Average School with Student Media • Sarah Cavanah, University of Minnesota • This paper explores the differences between National Scholastic Press Association members, Pacemaker finalists, and different types of awardees to assess how much the organization and its awards represent school diversity among schools with student media opportunities. Logistic regression models show that the awards may be signaling to the general population of schools that scholastic media excellence is found in schools with fewer African American and Hispanic students, as well as schools located in metropolitan regions.
Why be a journalist? Students’ motivations and role conceptions in the new age of journalism • Renita Coleman, University of Texas-Austin; Joon Yea Lee, Department of Communications University of North Alabama; Carolyn Yaschur, Department of Communication Studies Augustana College; Aimee Meader, Mass Communications Winthrop University; Kathleen McElroy, School of Journalism University of Texas- Austin • This study of the motivations and role conceptions of today’s journalists has shown many similarities among students today and yesterday, but significant differences between students and professionals. A new motivation appeared, marked by having experience with journalism at an early age. The students’ ranking of the importance of journalists’ roles compared to professionals showed no significant correlation. Both ranked the Investigative/Interpretive as most important, but professionals ranked the Adversarial role as second while students ranked it last.
Competency-Based Education: Is it the Future of Journalism? • Rocky Dailey • This study examined the concept of competency-based education (CBE) and considered the practicality of its application in journalism education. Programs accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC) were asked to participated in the study. The majority of respondents were familiar with CBE, yet did not believe such an approach would work within the ACEJMC standards. Issues with internal compliance, professional acceptance, and traditional higher education structure were also explored.
Influences of Prior Review in the High School Newspaper • Joseph Dennis, The University of Georgia; Carolyn Crist, The University of Georgia • Although not recommended by scholastic press advocates, administrative prior review is a common practice among many high school newspapers. A survey of 158 journalism advisers across the country finds that certain school and newspaper characteristics have no effect on the presence of prior review. However, statistically significant results found prior review more likely to occur among younger advisers, newer advisers, and advisers who believe an adult should have the final say in a newspaper’s publication.
From Print to Digital: Project-Based Learning Framework for Fostering Multimedia Competencies in Journalism Education • Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University; Ugur Kale, West Virginia University • This paper examines how project-based learning (PBL) facilitated print journalism students’ transition into producing multimedia news in an iBook. Findings show technological considerations and PBL elements – need to know, driving question, choice, 21st Century skills, inquiry and innovation, feedback and presentation – enhanced multimedia competencies and consciousness. Students met learning objectives when they perceived relevance and had clear driving questions. Choices cultivated ownership and accountability, collaboration and critical thinking. Weaker students expressed need for structured pedagogy.
Quantifying Control: Scholastic Media, Prior Review and Censorship • Mark Goodman; Shelley Blundell, Kent State University; Margaret Cogar, Kent State University • For decades advocates have engaged in an ongoing debate about the threat posed by censorship of high school student media. Yet over those years there have been few attempts to quantify the censorship experienced by these student journalists by asking the students themselves. This paper presents the results of surveys of student media advisers and student journalists at a national high school journalism convention relating to their experiences with prior review and external and self-censorship.
Effectiveness of Pretest/Posttest as an Assessment of Learning Outcome(s) in a Mass Communication Research Course • Jeffrey Hedrick, Jacksonville State University • This research explores longitudinal assessment as a valid indicator of student learning in an undergraduate capstone research course. Pretest/posttest results were gathered from juniors and seniors (N=134) over six semesters, accumulating evidence for compliance with ACEJMC Standard 9 to be included in an accreditation self-study report. The course-embedded assessment focused on three learning objectives: research, statistics, and diversity. The mean results indicated greater improvement in research than statistics, with statistics portion showing more consistent gains.
Exploring the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites • Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Rosemary Clark, The Annenberg School for Communication at University of Pennsylvania • A previous study indicated that college newspapers tend to enjoy perceived levels of credibility on par with their professional, local counterparts, but suggested that quality could be assessed through other means, such as “story accuracy.” This research sought to explore the use of corrections on college newspapers’ websites. Corrections are a mechanism used to amend the record. Previous research has documented the potential for corrections to increase readers’ perceptions of newspaper quality. In a content analysis of College Media Association members’ websites (N = 419), the researchers found that nearly half of the newspapers had no corrections that could be located through search functions. Additionally, the researchers found that the more professional a college publication is—based on frequency of publication, the presence of language regarding accuracy or ethics on its website, and the presence of corrections link—the more likely it was to have corrections on its website.
The iPad as a Pedagogical Tool: Effective or not? • Amanda McClain, Holy Family University • Through two focus groups, this study examines the efficacy of tablets as in-classroom pedagogical tools for a college-level communication course. It finds journalism and communication programs would benefit from providing students with iPads, or a similar Internet-enabled tablet. iPads diminish a potential digital divide; they open up a world of information, help organize students’ lives, and permit convenient participation and learning anywhere. Students participate in the public sphere, putting communication theory into action.
A Collaborative Approach to Experiential Learning in Journalism Newswriting and Editing Classes: A Case Study • Perry Parks, Michigan State University • This case study examines a creative approach by two journalism professors to enhance experiential learning in separate skills-based newswriting and editing courses by collaborating to produce a live online news report from campus each week under a four-hour deadline. The study seeks to build on previous findings that innovative classroom structures and projects that engage students in practical, published journalistic work can have a powerful positive effect for students.
Who are you in the classroom? Avatars for learning and education • Ryan Rogers • Based on recent research concerning avatars, this paper examines how avatars can be used to enhance students’ performance on education related tasks, specifically in journalism classrooms. Study 1 shows that avatar assignment impacts task performance (on reading skill) via perceived difficulty. Study 2 focuses on journalism specific course objectives and shows that avatar assignment can influence perceptions of progress on education tasks. These two experiments show practical tactics for improving performance on educational tasks and also show ways that content producers, like news producers, can enhance audience engagement with content.
Unnamed and at risk? Examining anonymous student speech in the college/university environment • Erica Salkin, Whitworth University; Lindsie Trego, Whitworth University; Kathleen Vincent, Whitworth University • Like many forms of protected speech, anonymous speech does not enjoy the same First Amendment protection when occurring in an academic environment. This paper examines the legal status of anonymous university student speech from a legal as well as practical perspective, exploring both the guidance of common law as well as the level of risk generated by a common forum for anonymous student speech today: Facebook “confessions” sites.
Personal Memory and the Formation of Journalistic Authority: Scholastic Media Coverage of Sandy Hook • David Schwartz, University of Iowa • Drawing on the concepts of journalistic authority, collective memory, and media memory, this study examined the way high school journalists covered the Sandy Hook killings as a means of establishing journalistic authority. Through a textual analysis, this study found that scholastic media used the event to redraw journalistic boundaries to include emotional, autobiographical articles that advocated on behalf of their readers. This study aims to improve understanding of scholastic media during nationally mediated tragedies.
An Online Learning Approach to Community Building among Asian Journalists • Violet Valdez, Ateneo de Manila University • This paper describes a master’s program in journalism designed for professional Asian journalists which has drawn students from 13 Asian countries and is run by faculty members from five countries. The program uses blended learning methods combining synchronous, asynchronous and classroom-based approaches. An exploratory study was conducted to describe the strategies used by the students and teachers to build a community of learners (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000) and hence achieve the program’s learning goals. The study took into consideration cultural differences, in particular, those referring to educational experiences. Results show that the respondents tended to use the strategies of social presence, cognitive presence and teaching presence that were appropriate to their respective class roles and that these strategies tended to reflect dominant cultural traits in Asia.
Patterns of paper productivity and thematic content in the Public Relations Division of AEJMC 2003-2012 • Giselle Auger • Research papers are an indicator of the work being done in academia and often reflect important social changes. Results of this investigation identified thematic differences between the content of top student papers and top faculty papers in the public relations division of AEJMC including differences in the number of nonprofit, relationship management, and corporate social responsibility studies. Moreover, 2009 appears to have been a watershed year as social media appeared for the first time and general research on the Internet peaked. The presence of an ‘invisible college’ of research and influence is also identified.
Perceived sincerity in CSR activities: The contribution of CSR fit, modality interactivity, and message interactivity • Eun Go, Penn State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • This study explored how CSR communication in social media can build message credibility and improve organizational attitudes. In particular the study investigated the role of CSR fit, modality interactivity, and message interactivity through a 2 x 2 x 3 experimental design (N=299). The results suggest that promoting good-fit CSR activities improves credibility and attitude. Additional analysis suggests an interaction between CSR fit and message interactivity that makes fit critical in low-interactivity settings. Implications are discussed.
You Know Me Well: A Coorientation Study of Public Relations Professionals’ Relationship with Bloggers • Justin Walden, College at Brockport, SUNY; Denise Bortree, Penn State University; Marcia DiStaso, Penn State University • Drawing from the coorientation framework, this study reports survey findings from two groups: bloggers and public relations professionals. Blogger attitudes toward the quality of their relationship with public relations professionals are compared to the attitudes about the organization-blogger relationship that are held by public relations professionals. Although considerable attention in the literature has been placed on the journalist/public relations professional relationship, scholars have yet to fully investigate the blogger/public relations professional relationship. Implications are discussed.
“Is Apology the Best Policy?” An Experimental Examination of the Effectiveness of Image Repair Strategies during Criminal and Non-Criminal Athlete Transgressions • Kenon Brown, The University of Alabama • Through the use of a 2 X 3 factorial experiment, the researcher examined the effects of response strategies on an athlete’s perceived image after they provide a response when faced with a criminal or a non-criminal transgression. Results showed that the attacking the accuser strategy was just as effective as the mortification strategy in the repair of the athlete’s image overall, as well as when the athlete is faced with a criminal transgression; The bolstering strategy was also the least effective strategy, regardless of the type of transgression. Implications for the empirical examination of response strategies and for strategic communication practitioners are provided.
The interactive role of political ideology and media preference in building trust: A PR perspective • Michael Cacciatore, University of Georgia; Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Alan VanderMolen, Edelman; Bryan Reber • Using survey data, this paper looks at predictors of business trust in the top five countries based on GDP ranking – the United States, China, Japan, Germany, and France. Demographics emerged as significant predictors of trust across countries, while political ideology was a key driver of trust in the U.S. Political ideology also interacted with preferred media choice in predicting trust. Theoretical and practical implications for the field of public relations and public practitioners are offered.
Communicating CSR on social media: Strategies, main actors, and public engagement on corporate Facebook • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Lauren Darm, University of Florida • Based on content analysis of 46 corporate Facebook pages for a one-year period, this study found that corporations communicate non-CSR messages more frequently than CSR messages on social media. When communicating CSR activities, corporations employed the informing strategy more than the interacting strategy and included more internal publics’ activities than that of external publics. This study also found that publics engage more with non-CSR messages than CSR messages, which reflects public cynicism of CSR messages.
Renegade Girl Scouts or a Merit Badge for Spin: (Re)articulating Activism and Public Relations • Pat Curtin, University of Oregon • This paper answers Dozier and Lauzen’s (2000) call for critical theoretical examinations of activism and public relations to provide new perspectives and avoid the paradox inherent in organizational-level analyses. It also fills a literature gap by examining a case of internal activism, thus blurring organizational boundaries and rejecting Us/Other dichotomies. Articulation theory’s role within the cultural-economic model (Curtin & Gaither, 2005, 2007) is expanded to provide a more nuanced understanding of the public relations/activism relationship.
The Role Of Public Relations In Ethnic Advocacy And Activism: A Proposed Research Agenda • Maria De Moya, DePaul University; Vanessa Bravo, Elon University • This essay proposes a research agenda for exploring public relations’ role in ethnic advocacy and activism, as a way to build the field’s knowledge of ethnic public relations. To highlight the potential contribution of public relations to ethnic organizations, the use of media relations and public information tactics by Latino organizations in the U.S., is explored, and the use of public relations by two Latino organizations conducting advocacy efforts in favor of immigration reform are described. Additionally, the authors propose an agenda for exploring how public relations is used by ethnic organizations to advance their goals.
Identifying strategic disconnect: Social media use by banks and its impact on trust • Marcia DiStaso, Penn State University; Chelsea Amaral • This study explored the adoption and use of social media by banks and identified if it corresponds with what the public wants in social media from banks. The results show that social media adoption by the top banks is strong, but that the content is contrary to what the public wants. Connecting with a bank on social media was found to result in slightly higher perceptions of trust.
Communicating Ethical Corporate Social Responsibility: A Case Study • Heidi Hatfield Edwards, Florida Institute of Technology • Corporate philanthropy receives mixed reviews among supporters and critics of corporate giving. With a societal push for corporations to give back to their communities, supporters cite the importance of corporate social responsibility. Critics argue some companies use their giving to mask suspect financial dealings or to buy the public’s good will and counter damage caused by their products or practices. This paper identifies three competing views regarding the ethics of corporate philanthropy, and discusses a framework from which to examine a company’s communication about its social responsibility efforts. Using that framework, this paper examines the ethics of corporate giving using a case study to identify if and how a multinational company (Harris Corporation) communicates ethical principles of corporate philanthropy through its website and annual report, and how philanthropy fits in the corporate priorities.
Refining the Social-Mediated Crisis Communication Model: Expanding Understanding of Cognitive and Affective Disaster Responses • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Brooke Liu, University of Maryland; Yan Jin, University of Georgia • This study details an experiment using a random, nationally representative sample of 2,015 U.S. adults. Refining the social-mediated crisis communication model, a 3 (disaster information form: Twitter vs. Facebook vs. static web post) x 4 (disaster information source: local government vs. national government vs. local news media vs. national news media) between-subjects design investigated effects of information form and source and impacts of demographics on publics’ cognitive and affective responses to a hypothetical terrorist attack.
Using the Riverside Situational Q-Sort (RSQ) to Construct an Expert Model of a Crisis • Karen Freberg, University of Louisville; Kristin Saling, United States Army; Laura Freberg, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo • Behavior in response to a crisis will result from a combination of individual and situational variables. However, the Riverside Situational Q-sort (RSQ; Funder et al., 2012; Sherman, Nave, & Funder, 2010) provides a method for quantifying and comparing subjective impressions to create an expert crisis and layperson model with their personal definition of a “crisis.” Differences in their perceptions illustrate how crises managers and their intended audiences perceive same situations in very different ways.
Can Ghost Blogging Disclosure Help an Organization? A Test of Radical Transparency • Toby Hopp; Tiffany Gallicano, University of Oregon • Advocates of radical transparency believe that organizations may benefit from a “radical” approach to sharing increased levels of information about their organizational practices. To test one application of radical transparency, this study experimentally explored the effect of disclosing CEO ghost blogging practices on reader attitudes. The results of this study provide preliminary support for the notion that radical transparency does not hurt reader attitudes toward a CEO or brand in the context of ghost blogging.
Public Relations and Digital Social Advocacy in the Justice for Trayvon Campaign • Linda Hon, University of Florida • This study examined the digital media ecosystem that developed during the Justice for Trayvon campaign prior to George Zimmerman’s arrest. Research literature in public relations, social advocacy, and digital communication as well as content relevant to the campaign in Lexis/Nexis and on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube were used to develop a theoretical model of digital social advocacy within the context of public relations.
Activist Message Discrepancy and Value-Involvement • Seoyeon Hong, Webster University; Rosie Jahng, Hope College • This study examined whether publics evaluate activists differently when they perceive discrepancy in their promoted causes (public relations statement) and their actions (news coverage of activists) in the lens of social judgment theory. In addition, the role of value- involvement in how publics evaluate activists is examined. Results found that the higher the level of message discrepancy between the public relations statement and news coverage of activists, the more negative participants’ attitude toward activists and the less donation intention participants were. Even though participants with high involvement with issues showed more positive attitude and greater donation intention to activists than low involvement participants for all level of message discrepancy, there was no moderation effect detected. The findings and theoretical implications are discussed in terms of how activists can maintain and promote further relationships with general public and public with high value-involvement.
Leading in the Digital Age: A Study of How Social Media are Transforming the Work of Public Relations Leaders • Hua Jiang, Syracuse University; Yi Luo, Montclair State University; Owen Kulemeka • This study took one of the first steps to examine how public relations leaders’ understanding of social media’s strategic role relates to their active social media use and how strategic social media management may lead to the development of public relations leadership abilities. By analyzing data from a national survey of public relations leaders (n = 461), we found that (1) leaders’ years of professional experience, organizational type and size, size of communication staff, and leaders’ primary role as managers vs. front-line social media professionals significantly impacted the way social media were used in public relations work; (2) public relations leaders’ strategic vision of social media predicted their use of Facebook, RSS Feeds, Blogging, YouTube, and their active social media use in media relations and environmental scanning; and (3) social media use ultimately resulted in the advancement of public relations leadership abilities. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings and suggestions for future research were discussed.
Mediation of Employee Engagement on Symmetrical Internal Communication, Relationship Management, Employee Communication Behaviors, and Retention • Minjeong Kang, Indiana University; Minjung Sung, Chung-Ang University • The purpose of this study is to examine the mediation effects of employee engagement between employee management efforts (i.e., symmetrical internal communication and employee relationship management) and employee communication behaviors and employee retention. For this purpose, this study collected the data from a survey of 438 randomly selected employees working for a corporation in South Korea. The findings of this research clearly demonstrate: (1) employee/internal communication management is linked with employee engagement; (2) employee engagement enhances supportive employee communication behaviors as well as employee retention. Implications and suggestions for future studies are discussed.
Trust, Distrust, Symmetrical Communication, Public Engagement, and WOM • Minjeong Kang, Indiana University; Young Eun Park, Indiana University • The purpose of this study is to examine how public engagement mediates the relationships across organizations’ symmetrical communication efforts, public trust and distrust toward organizations, and publics’ positive and negative WOM (word-of-mouth) behaviors. This study analyzed the data from a survey (N = 704) of a randomly selected sample of U. S. consumers. The results showed strong links between symmetrical communication and trust/distrust and between symmetrical communication and public engagement. Also, this study found that public engagement strongly mediated of the effects of symmetrical communication efforts and trust on publics’ positive WOM. Implications and suggestions for future studies were discussed.
Relationship management in networked public diplomacy • Leysan Khakimova • The purpose of this study was to explore relationship management in networked public diplomacy. The network view of public diplomacy emphasized relationships as important links between organizations, governments, publics. Data included 32 in-depth qualitative interviews with 31 communication officers in governments and organizations. Results reflected limited use of relationship cultivation strategies, both online and offline. In addition, findings suggested a new offline relationship cultivation strategy, i.e. communicated long-term commitment.
Message strategies and public engagement in corporate Facebook pages • Cheonsoo Kim, Indiana University; Sung Un Yang, Indiana University • By employing the six-segment message strategy and hierarchical categorizations of public engagement on social media, this study investigated the link between message strategies and the levels of Facebook engagement. Content analysis of posts (N = 600) was conducted on Facebook pages of 20 companies sampled. Findings showed different message strategies led to different levels of public engagement (i.e., like, comment, share) on Facebook. The theortical and practical implications of the study are discussed.
Testing the buffering and boomerang effects of CSR practices on corporate reputation during a crisis: An experimental study in the context of an obesity campaign by a soft drink company • Hark-Shin Kim; Sun-Young Lee, Individual Purchaser • The present study seeks to explore the effects of CSR practices on corporate reputation and consumers’ degree of supportive intention toward the corporation, and also to examine whether CSR practices produce buffering effects (help to reduce reputational damage) or boomerang effects (increase reputational damage). The results suggest that CSR activities might be more effective in improving people’s favorable attitudes toward the corporation, even the perceived image of CSR activities and the supportive intention as expressed in word-of-mouth referrals or purchasing its products. Second, the results supported the marginal evidence of a boomerang effect. Moreover, this study examined the effects of a crisis on consumers’ emotions under different conditions in order to explore consumers’ cognitive processes and shed light on why consumers respond to a crisis differently in different situations.
How do we perceive crisis responsibility differently? An analysis of different publics’ perceptions of crisis responsibility through news framing in crisis communication • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, Louisiana State University; myounggi chon • This study explores the dynamics of crisis communication by examining how publics differently perceive crisis responsibility through different crisis news framing. The study aims to identify and analyze the relationship between public segmentation, news framing, and perceived crisis responsibility. In spite of the importance of an interwoven relationship, there is a lack of such systematic analysis of perceived crisis responsibility based on public segmentation and news framing in crisis communication. An online experiment with 1,113 participants found that their perceptions of crisis responsibility were in consistent with the news framing they read; those who read a news story framed as a preventable crisis perceived high levels of responsibility to the organization, and others who read a news story framed by accidental crisis perceived a low level of crisis responsibility to the organization. Moreover, different publics perceived crisis responsibility differently as latent publics were more susceptible to crisis news framing. Thus, the results shed light on how news framing affects publics’ perceptions of crisis responsibility which could lead to varying crisis response strategies of an organization. Theoretical and practical implications for future research and practices are discussed.
A Content Analysis Of Facebook Responses To Abercrombie And Fitch’s Post-Crisis Message • Emily Faulkner, Saint Louis University; Vallory Leaders; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • Guided by the Situation Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) and emotions literature, this paper content analyzed Facebook users’ responses to Abercrombie and Fitch’s (A&F) post-crisis response message. The findings showed that the majority of Facebook commenters attributed crisis responsibility to A&F, expressed negative emotions, and expressed nonsupport towards the organization. Additionally, there were significant differences between the type of expressed crisis attribute and behavioral intention, expressed emotions type and expressed behavioral intention, and expressed emotions type and crisis attribution.
How to win foreign publics’ support? Invisible battle over history and politics and the role of public diplomacy • Hyun-Ji Lim, University of Miami • The use of soft power and the support of the foreign public are increasingly important in this age of public diplomacy and global public relations. When a country faces a historical and political conflict with another country, this invisible battle needs a strategy from within this context. Through the employment of a 2 x 2, between-subjects experimental research method, this study aims to examine a causal relationship by analyzing the influence of participants’ perception of the reputation of the involved country and the level of involvement they feel toward the issue on their attitude and behavioral intentions on behalf of the country involved. Implications for global public relations practice and theory are discussed.
Communicating Compassion: A Narrative Analysis of Compassion International’s Blogger Engagement Program • Lisa Lundy • A narrative analysis of Compassion International’s blogger engagement program reveals lessons for nonprofits seeking to partner with bloggers. Compassion went beyond just reaching new sponsors through blogger engagement, but also sought to retain and educate existing sponsors, equipping them as ambassadors for the organization. Compassion’s blogger engagement program demonstrates the social capital to be garnered for nonprofit organizations when they partner with likeminded bloggers who can help tell their story.
Infusing social media with humanity: The impact of corporate character on public engagement and relational outcomes on social networking sites • Rita Linjuan Men, Southern Methodist University; Wanhsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami • This study links the factors central to social media communications, including perceived corporate character, parasocial interaction, and community identification, to public engagement and organization–public relationships. Based on American users’ engagement behaviors on corporate Facebook pages, the study underscores the effectiveness of a personification approach in social media communication to construct an agreeable corporate character for enhancing public engagement and inducing intimate, interpersonal interactions and community identification, which in turn improves organization-public relationships.
Engaging Employees in the Social Era in China: Effects of Communication Channels, Transparency, and Authenticity • Rita Linjuan Men, Southern Methodist University; Flora Hung-Baesecke, Hong Kong Baptist University • This study examines the internal communication landscape in the social era in China and investigates how organizations’ use of various communication channels fosters organizational transparency and authenticity, which in turn drives employee engagement. Surveying 407 working adults via the web, this study showed that face-to-face and social media channels are most effective in building organizational transparency, authenticity, and engaging employees. Organizational transparency and authenticity perceived by employees demonstrated strong positive effects on employee engagement.
Filner and Ford, a tale of two mayors: A case study of sex, drugs and scandal • patrick merle, Florida State University; Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University • In 2013, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford and former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner each faced a public crisis, scandals deemed preventable based on human errors, use of illegal drugs for the former and sex misconduct for the latter. Reviewed through the traditional Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) lens, this comparative case study examined the appropriateness of response strategies used by each political figure. Future research directions and practical implications are presented.
15 Years of Ethics in Peer Reviewed Public Relations Journals: A Content Analysis • Michael Mitrook, University of South Florida • Content analysis concerning the nature of ethical discussion in peer reviewed public relations journals was performed on a total of 1405 articles from four scholarly journals covering the period 1998-2012. Of the 1405 articles, 134 mentioned ethics in some substantive way and were further analyzed in four categories: appeal to a normative ethical theory; mention of a code of ethics; mention of metaethical issues; and relating ethics to a particular public relations theory.
Social media use during natural disasters: Using Q Methodology to identify millennials’ surveillance preferences • Kristen Meadows, CARAT USA; Jensen Moore, Louisiana State University • Due to the inevitable occurrence of natural disasters and their ability to affect millions of people, it is increasingly important to understand how individuals prefer to gather information regarding potential harms or threats. Approached from the hardwired for news hypothesis, developed by Shoemaker (1996), this research examined how millennials preferred to gather information during natural disasters thereby fulfilling surveillance needs. The use of Q-Methodology allowed for surveillance types to emerge among millennials based on attitudes toward use of traditional and social media during natural disasters.
Reevaluating Propaganda in PR History: An Analysis of Propaganda in the Press 1810 to 1918 • Cayce Myers, Virginia Tech • Analysis of U.S. press coverage of propaganda indicates that the term propaganda had a largely negative connotation in the nineteenth and early twentieth century. Propaganda’s association with religious, political, and grassroots organizations are identified and discussed. This analysis concludes that Edward Bernays’s assertion that propaganda was a neutral term for PR practice prior to 1918 is inaccurate. Implications for PR historiography are discussed.
Who is Responsible for What? Examining Strategic Roles in Social Media Management • Marlene Neill, Baylor University; Mia Moody-Ramirez, Baylor University • This study examines the strategic roles associated with social media management through the lens of role theory. By analyzing the responses from participants in two focus groups and a survey of public relations and human resources practitioners, we identified nine strategic roles and the associated responsibilities including policy maker, internal collaborator, technology tester, communications organizer, issues manager, relationship analyzer, master of metrics, policing, and employee recruiter. Public relations leads most of these activities, but human resources is a close collaborator. Study findings also provide specific insights into online reputation management processes, exact content of social media policies, and the most common metrics used for social media channels.
Navigating the Leadership Challenge: Inside the Indian Public Relations Industry • Padmini Patwardhan, Winthrop University • This study examined public relations leadership in India as perceived by practitioners. Both Western concepts and Indian approaches are explored. 140 respondents took an industry survey; 13 experienced professionals participated in depth interviews. Importance of Meng and Berger’s excellent leadership model was endorsed in India. Culture-specific leadership roles such as nurturer, seer, and mentor along with practices such as “the personal touch” were also observed. Strengthening soft skills was considered important to developing future PR leaders.
Integrated Influence? Exploring Public Relations Power in Integrated Marketing Communication • Katie Place, Saint Louis University; Brian Smith; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University • Public relations and marketing experience turf wars to determine ownership of new communication frontiers, including digital and social media (Delaria, Kane, Porter, & Strong, 2010; Kiley, 2011). Integrated marketing communication (IMC) prescribes that effective communication hinges on building consistent messaging around stakeholder needs through collaboration between functions (Kliatchko, 2008). Few, if any, other studies have identified the supposed power imbalance in IMC, or the influence of IMC on public relations power. This pilot study builds on the exploratory research by Delaria, et al. (2010) and Smith and Place (2013) to evaluate public relations power in IMC, and the mediating effect of social media expertise on that power. An online survey was distributed to 391 public relations professionals, ultimately surveying 21 public relations professionals in IMC environments. An exploratory factor analysis was conducted to analyze if the responses grouped into different types of perceived roles. Additional descriptive statistics and regression analysis were implemented to test the hypotheses and research questions. Results of this pilot study suggest that public relations’ influence in IMC is situated at the nexus of structural power and influence-based power, drawing upon manager versus technician typologies of public relations’ roles. Findings imply that individuals associated with social media expertise hold more “technician” roles and responsibilities, and therefore, do not have the legitimate, coercive or reward power associated with “management” roles. These findings contradict previous studies (i.e. Diga and Kelleher, 2009) that found a positive association between social media use and prestige power, structural power, and expert power.
Trust, Transparency, and Power: Forces to be Reckoned with in Internal Strategic Communication • Mandy Oscarson; Kenneth Plowman, Brigham Young University • In 2011, internal strategic communication was not improving as quickly as one might hope in one office of the Department of Defense. The literature supported the need for improved internal strategic communication, but during the lead author’s summer internship, she noted that the communication team struggled to make this happen. Why were these communication professionals not successful? What was hindering their success? Earlier research showed that trust and transparency were connected to internal strategic communication—either positively or negatively. But one new theme arose from the current study: power. The authors took a closer look at why power may play a role in understanding why internal communication was not improving very quickly in this one office. To do this, the authors asked current and former members of the strategic communication team for their opinions through open-ended survey questions about their experiences. This study illustrates that a lack of trust, transparency, and empowerment—and the inappropriate use of power—are all factors in the success or failure of internal strategic communication.
The relationship between personal technology use and the donor/volunteer: A parasocial approach • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Carol Pardun, University of South Carolina • An online questionnaire completed by 660 nonprofit stakeholders supported the idea that having a social media based personal connection to the nonprofit, resembling a parasocial friendship, had a significant impact on the stakeholder’s intentions to support the organization in the offline community (e.g. volunteer, donate). Findings also indicate that when a stakeholder has a higher level of social connections and time spent online, there is a decrease in the intention to behaviorally support the organization.
Nonprofit Relationship Management: Extending OPR to Loyalty and Behaviors • Geah Pressgrove, West Virginia University; Brooke McKeever • Through a survey of organizational stakeholders (N=660), this study contributes to our understanding of nonprofit public relations in three key areas. First, a new five-factor scale to measure perceptions of the relationship cultivation strategies of stewardship was tested. Second, group differences between organization stakeholder types were explored. Third, a new working model that extends previous OPR models to include variables of loyalty and behavioral intentions was advanced. Findings revealed theoretical, measurement and practical applications.
Addressing the Under-Representation of Hispanics in Public Relations: An Exploratory Quantitative Study • David Radanovich, High Point University • While the Hispanic population in the United States has grown dramatically, the number of Hispanics in public relations has not kept pace. This exploratory quantitative study surveyed Latino public relations professionals to quantify perceived barriers to entry and evaluated ideas for increasing interest in pursuing public relations as a career among Hispanics. The research identified opportunities for educators, professional organizations, public relations agencies, nonprofits and businesses to work together to help address this under-representation.
Skepticism toward CSR: Developing and Testing a Measurement • Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota; Sora Kim, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • The study attempts to develop a measurement of CSR skepticism and identify a strongest predictor among the refined CSR skepticism constructs by testing the relationships between skepticism constructs and public responses. Through testing competing models, this study concludes that four factors should be considered to measure CSR skepticism: 1) skepticism toward a CSR communication’s informativeness, 2) skepticism regarding discrepancy: CSR communication motives and CSR motives, 3) skepticism toward a company’s altruism (sincerity), and 4) skepticism regarding image promotion. Skepticism toward a company’s altruism is identified as the strongest predictor in determining negative public response to CSR, whereas cynicism, in contrast to past research, does not have much predictive power to explain public attitude toward CSR.
Time-lag Analysis of Agenda Building between White House Public Relations and Congressional Policymaking Activity • Tiffany Schweickart, University of Florida; Jordan Neil, University of Florida; Ji Young Kim; Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • This study examined the agenda building process between White House political public relations messages and Congressional policymaking activity during the first six months of the Obama administration’s second term. Using a time-lag design, this study explored three levels of agenda building for issues, issue frames, and the co-occurrence of issues with eight information subsidy types. Theoretical and practical implications for the three levels of agenda-building and advancing the study of political public relations are discussed.
Relationships as Strategic Issues Management: An Activist Network Strategy Model • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland; Aimei Yang, University of Southern California • This paper argues that activist relationship building is likely to be influenced by the nature of the issue for which a group advocates and the stage of that issues’ development. Informed by issues management perspectives as well as theories of framing and institutionalization, this paper proposes a model of activist networking strategies that explains and prescribes the nature of network relationships an activist group maintains at different stages of an issues development.
Does social media use affect journalists’ perceptions of source credibility? • Dustin Supa, Boston University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University; Jessica Scanlon, Boston University • Changes in the media landscape have put social media in the forefront of interpersonal and organizational communication. This study investigates whether the same is true of the journalists’ relationship with media relations practitioners. A nation-wide survey of journalists (n=535) found that although journalists use social media to generate story ideas, they rarely use them to communicate with practitioners, and perceived greater source credibility in practitioners with whom they had a face-to-face rather than online relationship.
Joining the Movement?: Investigating Standardization of Measurement and Evaluation Within Public Relations • Kjerstin Thorson, University of Southern California; Emily Gee, University of Southern California; Jun Jiang, USC; Zijun Lu, University of Southern California; Grace Luan, University of Southern California; David Michaelson, Teneo Strategy; Sha-Lene Pung, University of Southern California; Yihan Qin, usc; Kaylee Weatherly, University of Southern California; Jing Xu • This paper draws on a new survey of public relations professionals to explore (1) the extent to which respondents report adopting standardized measures recommended by professional organizations; (2) predictors of measurement standardization; and (3) links among measurement practices and self-reported influence of public relations within the broader organization.
Survivor-to-Survivor Communication Model: How Organizations can use Post-Disaster Interviewing to Facilitate Grassroots Crisis Communication • Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, University of Houston; Robyn Lyn; Rakhee Sharma • Public relations and crisis communication research focuses largely on post-crisis communication from the organizational standpoint. Problems arise like jurisdictional conflicts, miscommunications because of cultural differences, and inefficiencies in crisis recovery because national groups don’t have intimate knowledge of the disaster site like local groups do. Thus, it is important to theorize and practice public relations with the knowledge of the publics’ standpoint. In this essay, we look to a recent post-crisis anthropological project conducted with survivors of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to highlight the important of local, grassroots efforts of recovery. We suggest that public relations practitioners can facilitate some of the concepts used in this process, such as survivor-to-survivor interviewing and sharing narratives. We provide a roadmap that moves our field from a traditional organizational-based post-crisis model to a survivor-to-survivor communication model to be utilized by organizational communicators.
Creating Social Change with Public Relations: Strategically Using Twitter to Turn Supporters into Vocal Advocates • Jeanine Guidry, Virginia Commonwealth University; Richard Waters, University of San Francisco; Gregory D. Saxton, SUNY-Buffalo • Communication scholarship has shown that peer-to-peer communication has the most influence on individuals. Organizations must learn how to engage audiences and facilitate discussions between individuals about organizational messages on social media platforms. Through a content analysis of 3,415 nonprofit Twitter updates, this study identifies message types that are more likely to be retweeted, archived, and discussed. Through these stakeholder behaviors, public relations practitioners have stronger influence as it transitions from organizational to interpersonal messaging.
Dialogic communication and organizational websites: An analysis of existing literature and recommendations for theory development • John Wirtz, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Thais Menezes Zimbres • This paper presents the results of a systematic analysis of studies applying Kent and Taylor’s (1998; 2002) dialogic theory of public relations to organizational websites and social media presence. We identified 34 studies that applied the five-fold dialogic communication framework to organizational websites and an additional 12 studies that applied the framework to some aspect of social media (e.g., blogs, Facebook, Twitter). We then analyzed the papers, paying particular attention to common themes in Methods, Results, and theory testing and development. In general, we found a consistent emphasis on the role of websites and social media as facilitators of dialogic communication and as useful tools for managing organizational-public relationships. However, we found a relatively low degree of consistency across the studies in how dialogic communication was measured, as less than half of the studies (41%) used the same measures. We also found a relatively narrow range of fields represented, with most papers focusing on nonprofit (74%) or government (14.7%) websites. Finally, a surprisingly high proportion of the studies (28%) did not include any research questions or hypotheses, while only 26% of the studies tested a relation between some aspect of the dialogic communication framework and another variable (e.g., responsiveness to inquiry, corporate performance). The paper concludes with recommended areas of future research and theory testing.
An Analysis of How Social Media Use is Being Measured in Public Relations Practice • Don Wright, Boston University; Michelle Hinson, University of Florida • This paper reports on a six-year, longitudinal analysis exploring if and how social and other new media use is being measured in public relations practice. With more than three thousand respondents (n=3,009) – an average of more than 500 per year – the study found fewer than half of the public relations practitioners surveyed work with organizations or have clients that have conducted research measuring what is being communicated about them via social media, blogs and other emerging media. The percentage of organizations conducting these measures grew from 38.6% in 2009 to 45.9% in 2014. Results indicate those who work in public relations strongly support the idea of conducting new media research and measurement. However, most of the research actually taking place involves basic measures of communication outputs and content analysis rather than communication outcomes studies exploring the impact this communication might be having on opinion leaders and other influential people or its role influencing attitude, opinion and behavior formation, reinforcement and change.
The Internet in Public Relations Research: An Analysis and Critique of Its Temporal Development • Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Fang Wu; Qing HUANG, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study develops a holistic and up-to-date description of Internet public relations research by analyzing 123 academic journal articles published between 2008 and 2013. Three developmental stages of Internet public relations research are identified: the Budding Stage (1992-2003), the Diversification Stage (2004-2008), and the Advancement Stage (2009 to present). Comparisons among the three different stages are made. Major findings include: 1) research has been expanding and diversifying; 2) recent theoretical development makes a shift from description to theorization; 3) dialogic theory, excellence theory, interactivity, and dialogicity have been the most frequently studied theories and characteristics; 4) asymmetrical research agenda exists in terms of its lack of diversity in locality, perspective, and cultural sensitivity. Improvements can and should be made by moving toward a research agenda that is more methodologically diverse, culturally sensitive, and symmetrical. Reflections, critiques, and suggestions for how to advance Internet public relations research are offered.
Effects of source credibility and virality on evaluations of company response via Facebook: An experiment in online crisis communication • Shupei Yuan, Michigan State University; Saleem Alhabash, Michigan State University • Social networking sites have become important tools to communicate with publics during crises. This study investigated the how source credibility predicted attitudes toward the apology response and the company in crisis as a function of source type and number of likes. Findings showed that the strength of association between trustworthiness and attitudes varied as a function of source type and virality. Findings are discussed within the persuasion models, crisis response typologies, and new communication technologies.
Chinese Milk Companies And The 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal: An Analysis Of Crisis Communication Strategies In A Non-Western Setting • Lijie Zhou, Arkansas State University; Li Zeng, Arkansas State University; Gilbert Fowler • Study analyzed how four major Chinese companies (Sanlu, Mengniu, Yili, and Bright Group) used press releases to respond to the 2008 Chinese Milk Scandal. Analyzed in stages, findings show during pre-crisis, all displayed similarities — keeping silent / covering-up. In crisis, strategies varied dramatically as companies became involved — looking for government protection and apologizing. In post-crisis, survivors adopted bolstering strategy. Study suggests Chinese companies employed western crisis communication strategies, although with distinct Chinese characteristics.
Examining the Influence of Public Relations Message Strategy Use on Student Attitude Through Facebook • Alan Abitbol • Experimental methods were used to examine the influence of public relations strategies, derived from Hazleton and Long’s (1988) public relation process model, disseminated over Facebook on student attitude. Results revealed that negative messages posted on Facebook had the most significant effect on participant attitude, and that using Facebook as a medium did not affect attitude significantly. These findings indicate that the message content is especially important since the platform itself does not impact attitude.
Framing for the cure: An examination of self and media imposed frames of Susan G. Komen • Caitrin Cardosi, Kent State University • The following study examines the frames created about Susan G. Komen for the Cure® both by the foundation itself and by major national news outlets. A qualitative analysis, grounded in framing theory, identified frames around the foundation formed by the media both in 2008 and during the months of January, February, and March of 2012. Then, it compared those frames with frames that emerged from press releases published by the foundation during the same times. The study found that brand strength is a key component to influencing media framing, as is grounding messaging in issues larger than the individual organization. Future research could examine the relationship between national headquarters of nonprofits and media outlets in comparison with the relationship between local chapters and media outlets.
Global Networks, Social Media and the Iceland Ash Cloud: A Crisis Communication Case • Maxine Gesualdi, Temple University • The Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajokull erupted in April 2010 causing a large cloud of ash, which moved across Europe created a crisis situation for many stakeholders including airlines, nation-state governments, and individual consumers. The ash could was a non-deadly natural disaster that had no human cause, responsible party, or recovery effort. This study explores the Iceland ash cloud as a networked global communication crisis and reveals implications for management of crises via social media.
Comprehending CSR Message Effects: An Application of the Elaboration Likelihood Model • Osenkor Gogo, University of Georgia; Nicholas Browning, University of Georgia; Marvin Kimmel, University of Georgia • Although CSR initiatives generally elicit positive consumer reactions, a recent study showed that most people find CSR messages confusing. This experiment examined the information processing dynamics at play in the relationship between CSR messages and consumer perceptions of corporate reputation. Based on ELM, the results indicated that CSR’s influence on reputation is unaffected by message complexity. This effect is, however, intensified by involvement, information processing ability, and brand familiarity. The implications are discussed.
Internet-Mediated Relationship Management in Local Nonprofit Fundraising • Yi Ji • While organizing Pedal 4 Kids charity bike ride, Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida primarily adopted online communication to manage relationships with its stakeholders. However, neither recruitment nor fundraising goals were achieved. In-depth interviews with event participants revealed integrated application of message interactivity and functional interactivity would enhance public engagement in local charity event. Findings provide theoretical and practical implications in local nonprofit public relations management through fundraising event in a new media context.
“Culturing” Generic/Specific Theory: Relocating Culture in Generic/Specific Public Relations • Amanda Kennedy, University of Maryland • This study asked how culture in generic/specific theory (GST) (traditionally applied to international public relations) can be reconceived, and whether GST can also apply to domestic public relations to inform culturally reflective and effective national campaigns. I conducted seven in-depth interviews and thematic analysis to explore how national CDC campaigns were adapted to local publics by community organizations, finding that deeper theories of culture can enhance GST and makes GST useful for domestic public relations.
The More Informative, The Better: The Effect of Message Interactivity on Product Attitudes and Purchase Intentions • Holly Ott, The Pennsylvania State University; Sushma Kumble, The Pennsylvania State University; Michail Vafeiadis, The Pennsylvania State University; Thomas Waddell • Social media increasingly allows consumers to interact with businesses, although the effects of this novel technology in the context of public relations is under-examined. The present study conducted a 2×3 experiment to examine the effect of message interactivity and source authority on consumers’ ad attitudes, brand attitudes, and purchase intentions. Message interactivity had a positive effect on ad effectiveness via the indirect pathway of perceived informativeness. Theoretical and practical implications of study results are discussed.
Set It and Forget It: The One-Way Use of Social Media by Government Science Agencies • Nicole Lee, Texas Tech University; Matthew VanDyke, Texas Tech University • Research suggests that one-way message dissemination is not an adequate means of improving knowledge or changing attitudes about science. Informed by public relations literature on the use of social media for dialogic communication, the current study examined how United States federal government science agencies communicate about science and the strategies they enact on social media. Findings suggest they underutilize social media’s potential for dialogue and treat new media platforms as broadcast media.
Publics’ Preference-Consistent and -Inconsistent Judgments of Crisis Response: A Preliminary Examination of Expectancy Contrast Theories in Crisis Management • Xiaochen Zhang, University of Florida • This study attempted to use expectancy contrast theories to explain and predict publics’ response to organizational crisis response strategies in an experiment. It tested the effects of prior attitude valence (positive, negative) and crisis response strategies (denial, bolster, combined) on publics’ attitudes and blame. An interaction effect was found on attitude but not on blame. Bolstering was found to be more effective for positive condition but less effective for negative condition than denial and combined.
How do Leading Companies in Greater China Communicate Their CSR Practices through Corporate Websites? A Comparative Study of Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan: 2008-2013 • Mengmeng Zhao, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study explores how corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices are presented and communicated on corporate websites of 204 top companies in Mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan during 2008-2013. The analytical focuses of content analysis include presence, prominence and extent of communication, as well as CSR issues and modes reported on the websites. The results indicate that CSR communication has gained great attention in the Greater China area, as nearly two-thirds of top companies communicated CSR on their corporate websites. However, significant discrepancies exist among three regions in terms of CSR perception, perceived importance of CSR issues, and the adoption of CSR modes. Specifically, more than one-third of Hong Kong companies use term “Sustainability”, a more advanced form of CSR, as the section title to refer to responsible behavior. Whereas the majority of companies in Mainland China and Taiwan still use “CSR” or “Social Responsibility”. Furthermore, as for CSR issues and modes, Mainland Chinese companies put much efforts on poverty and disaster relief as well as philanthropic act, while Hong Kong companies attach great importance to community’s sustainable development and implement CSR activities through more institutionalized ways such as volunteering, sponsorship and partnerships, and Taiwan companies embrace humanist spirit, as their CSR projects involve more in arts and culture, health and safety of workers, and employee engagement. This study represents the first comparative study of CSR communication amongst businesses in Greater China, providing a preliminary observation of the status of CSR implementation and communication in these three convergent-and-divergent societies. Limitations and implications for future research were also discussed.
“Can every class be a Twitter chat?”: Teaching social media via cross-institutional experiential learning • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Rowena Briones, Virginia Commonwealth University; Melissa Janoske, University of Maryland • Using the framework of experiential learning theory, instructors of social media strategy classes at three universities implemented Twitter chats as a way to build students’ social media and public relations knowledge. Creating topical case studies and discussing them during the chats, students applied course theories and concepts, built professional networks, and broadened understanding of how to communicate using a new tool in a unique digital culture. Best practices for teaching using similar assignments are offered.
Considering Certification?: An Analysis of Universities’ Communication Certificates and Feedback from Public Relations Professionals • Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University; Jacqueline Lambiase • Working professionals may need post-baccalaureate education, but finding time and resources to do so may be difficult. An analysis of 75 university master’s programs in public relations found 22 related programs offering communication certificates. A web audit of these programs, plus a survey and depth interviews, indicated professionals are interested in earning certificates, particularly in social and digital media strategy and measurement. Professionals want to attend certificate programs that combine online and face-to-face instruction.
In Their Own Words: A Thematic Analysis of Students’ Self-Perceptions of Writing Skills in Mass Communication Programs • Scott Kuehn, Clarion University; Andrew Lingwall, Clarion University • This study explored student self-perceptions of writing skills in mass communication programs at thirteen public state universities in the Mid-Atlantic region. Responses to three open-ended questions revealed heavy student concern with their basic skills, a desire for extensive faculty contact and feedback, and for many respondents, an immaturity or naiveté regarding professional standards. This study addresses implications for faculty members who wish to better understand their students in order to devise more effective writing instruction.
“And then I just Google it”: Evolving online news consumption processes among young adults • Dunja Antunovic; Patrick Parsons, Pennsylvania State University; Tanner Cooke • In the changing news environment, young adult news audiences consume less news than their elders and they increasingly gravitate online for news. This paper explores three distinct yet overlapping news consumption sub-processes: (1) intended and routinized news repertoires, (2) unintended or incidental exposure, and (3) directed in-depth consumption. Employing a mixed-methods approach that integrates surveys, an online activity and focus group interviews, this research seeks to identify and describe news consumption processes among young adults.
The effect of correction impact on news perceptions: An analysis of Democratic Theory • Alyssa Appelman, The Pennsylvania State University; Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University • Previous research has categorized news corrections by objectivity and impact. This study seeks to build upon that research by assessing whether these factors affect readers’ perceptions of credibility and importance. A between-subjects experiment (N = 80) found that readers consider objective, high-impact corrections to be more important than other kinds of corrections. Interestingly, correction type did not affect perceptions of credibility. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Racial identity on trial: Breaking the silence in an online reader space • Ann Auman; Kapi‘olani Ching, University of Hawaii • Online reader comments represent a mediated public space that allows participants to construct their narrative of society’s events. This study analyzes the discourses of online reader comments in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser during the trial of a federal agent in the summer of 2013 after he fatally shot a Hawaiian man. It illuminates the complexities underlying social relations, particularly the culture clash theme of locals vs outsiders that is rarely covered in the news media.
Bouncing Back from Stress Psychological resiliency among journalism school students • Clyde Bentley, University of Missouri; David Wallace, University of Missouri Counseling Center; Tom Warhover, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Ed Morris, University of Missouri; Jim Koller, University of Missouri Counseling Center; Tina Hoffman, Central Iowa Psychological Services • Using a large set of interviews and a 174-student survey, the study examined the stress level of journalism students at a large Midwestern university. Mental health professionals at the school had found that journalism students sought counseling help more frequently than did students from other departments. The study found that while a large proportion of the journalism students coped well or even sought the stress of newsrooms, others found it debilitating. The study attempted to identify factors of “resiliency,” – the ability to bounce back from stress – that could be encouraged in journalism curriculum.
How do U.S. problem states’ local newspapers frame prescription drug abuse? • Rebecca Burton, University of Florida; Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida; Calli Breil, University of Florida • Prescription drug addiction has been seen as a U.S. epidemic, particularly in ten states: Florida, West Virginia, Nevada, Kentucky, Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, Utah, Pennsylvania and Ohio. This study revealed that local newspaper coverage in the ten problem states framed prescription drug abuse in a way that blamed the problem on politicians, bad doctors or drug traffickers or focused on the ways society suffers from the problem. Although terms like “public health crisis” were frequently used, stories were rarely framed in terms of how the problem could be mitigated, a frame we termed recovery. Health-focused stories were rare. The implications for news influence on public and policy responses to prescription drug addiction are discussed.
Disrupted or Misinformed? A Review of U.S. Newspapers’ Technology-Driven Strategy • H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin • U.S. newspapers’ digital experiment has been going on for two decades, but the performance of their online ventures has fallen short of expectations. Technology, once an opportunity, has turned into an existential challenge for many newspaper firms. Guided by Clay Christensen’s disruptive technology theory, most newspapers take a technology-driven approach, which leads to a largely unsuccessful experiment. This study reviews U.S. newspapers’ digital struggles and examines the prevalent-but-unchecked assumption about an all-digital future for journalism.
Relationships Among Reader Commenting Systems and the Credibility of News Messengers and Messages • Lindsey Conlin, The University of Alabama; Chris Roberts, University of Alabama • This study tested whether the type of commenting and moderation systems affected credibility of an online story and/or the traditional local newspaper that published it. An experiment manipulated native and non-native commenting systems, and pre- and post-publication moderation systems, with a story-only control treatment. The presence of comments decreased messenger credibility, and more frequent commenters perceived lower messenger credibility. Results and implications for online news are discussed.
Sourcing and Framing the Syrian Crisis: How Elite Newspapers Covered the International Reaction to Syria’s Use of Chemical Weapons • Raluca Cozma, Iowa State University; Claudia Kozman, Indiana University • Drawing on scholarship on framing, sourcing, and war journalism, this content analysis explores how The New York Times and The Washington Post covered the international reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons against its own citizens in August 2013. The analysis found that stories in the month following the event focused primarily on diplomacy efforts and stopped paying attention to the ongoing civil war. Despite that, conflict framing was still dominant. The stories were generally thematic and richly sourced. The analysis lends support to the literature on the relationship between sourcing and framing and to the indexing hypothesis.
The Arizona Republic and The Indianapolis Star: A Comparative Analysis of Content Changes after Purchase by Gannett • Jeanne Criswell, University of Indianapolis; Robert Gobetz, University of Indianapolis; Frederick May, University of Indianapolis • This study provides quantitative evidence that a local newspaper’s quality before an ownership change substantially influences whether a new ownership model will have a positive, negative or neutral effect. In this case, Gannett ownership had a significantly more detrimental impact on The Arizona Republic than on The Indianapolis Star. The two newspapers’ similar characteristics, shared ownership history, and simultaneous purchase reduced the influence of variables that could account for inconsistencies in other such studies.
Gatekeepers Under Siege: Assessing Factors of Government Public Information Officers’ Controls on Journalists • Carolyn Carlson, Kennesaw State University; David Cuillier, University of Arizona School of Journalism • Journalists as gatekeepers of the news have always had a love-hate relationship with government public information officers (PIOs) in setting the public agenda. Today, reporters are increasingly reliant on PIOs because of reduced resources and staff, and anecdotally journalists allege stronger tactics employed by government to manage the message, including monitoring interviews, prohibiting employees from speaking, and blackballing reporters who write critical stories. This study employs three national surveys to investigate the state of PIO control on the traditional gatekeepers of news – journalists. We surveyed journalists who cover federal agencies, journalists who cover primarily local government, and PIOs at all levels of government to examine whether PIO controls are impacting journalists’ ability to do their jobs, and to identify the individual and external factors related to those controls.
Newsroom Innovation Continuum: A Model for Understanding Heterophily and Innovation • Larry Dailey, University of NV, Reno; Mary Spillman • This paper proposes The Newsroom Innovation Continuum, a theoretical model that connects literature on partnerships between newspapers and television stations, inter-organizational cooperation and innovation. Through a synthesis of research from all three fields, this model suggests that a news organization’s likelihood of innovation correlates with its ability to harness and manage heterophily. The model provides insight into why partnerships have not previously reached their full potential and how future newsroom collaborations could be improved.
Understanding digital media adoption: Analysis of US newspaper coverage of social networks and virtual worlds • Donna Davis; Yan Yang • This content and framing analysis examined the newspaper coverage of social networking sites (Facebook and MySpace) and virtual worlds (Second Life and World of Warcraft) during their burgeoning years. Based on the diffusion of innovation and the hype cycle, this study revealed print media reflected the anticipated adoption curve, yet the coverage was overwhelmingly neutral rather than positive or negative as anticipated. The role of print media in adoption and the hype cycle is discussed.
Weibo as news: Credibility judgments in the context of Chinese microblogging • Xue Dong, The Pennsylvania State University; Alyssa Appelman, The Pennsylvania State University; Chun Liu, Southwest Jiaotong University • Weibo, a microblogging platform similar to Twitter, has become a key source of news in China. Because American-based social media platforms are blocked in China, Weibo has become one of the most popular ways for Chinese people to connect and to share information. This study evaluates Weibo news, in terms of its use and perceived credibility. It also evaluates Weibo’s technological affordances, based on Sundar’s MAIN model (2008). A survey (N = 216) suggests that, despite Weibo’s popularity, television news is still thought to be the most powerful news media outlet in China. In addition, Weibo news use was related to the perceived advantages of the platform, rather than the perceived disadvantages. Interestingly, credibility perceptions are based on bandwagon cues, social presence cues, and quality cues. Implications and directions for future research are discussed.
Primary differences: How market orientation can affect content • Patrick Ferrucci, Bradley University • Studies have shown that market orientation affects content. However, scant research examines how news organizations with different market orientations covered the same story. This study utilizes textual analysis and long-form interviews to compare coverage of the 2013 St. Louis mayoral race. The study compares the strongly market oriented St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the weakly market oriented St. Louis Beacon. Findings showed major differences in content, especially concerning how the two covered race, periphery candidates and the presentation of campaign issues. These results are interpreted through the lens of gatekeeping theory.
Cultural Convergence 10 Years Later: A reexamination of intergroup bias among journalists in the digital media age • Vincent Filak, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh • This study revisits (BLIND CITE)’s 2004 research of print and broadcast journalists to assess whether changes in the field have diminished the levels of intergroup bias for these groups. The findings here demonstrate that print and broadcast journalists (n=191) remained biased against each other, even in the face of obvious outside threats and outgroup benefits. In addition, the journalists were more likely to view convergence efforts negatively when these efforts were perceived to be the work of outgroup members. In comparing the data gathered here to that in the original study, dislike and distrust of each other remain consistent. Finally, the influx of digital media, while viewed as valuable by all participants, has had little impact regarding the levels of bias the journalists espoused.
Selling a National Influence: The Coverage of the National Collegiate Athletic Association in the New York Times, 1906-1916 • Ashley D. Furrow, University of Memphis • Using the concept of collective memory, this study explores the coverage of the NCAA by the New York Times from 1906-1916. Close examination reveals the dawning of the NCAA’s evolution into a dominating and powerful regulator of intercollegiate athletics as this newspaper charted the progression of its growing influence. As more institutions joined, the NCAA began its transformation into the most influential governing body intercollegiate sports, and the struggle for control is highlighted throughout this analysis.
Mobile Journalism 101: Student Adoption of Mobile Devices in Producing News Content • Dianne Garyantes, Rowan University; Mark Berkey-Gerard, Rowan University • This study examines journalism students’ use of smartphones to produce news content. Survey findings show that students regularly use smartphones for personal use, but most do not employ them when producing content for journalism assignments. Training and technical assistance from journalism faculty, however, positively influenced student use of smartphones to produce news content. These findings provide empirical support for the positive influence of facilitating conditions, a construct identified in models of user acceptance of technology.
Social Media in the Newsgathering Process: A Survey of Routines and Practices • Tamara Gillis, Elizabethtown College; Kirsten Johnson, Elizabethtown College • One-hundred-and-twenty-nine Pennsylvania journalists were surveyed regarding social media use. Journalists report using social media in the newsgathering process, but still favor traditional means. Younger journalists favor using social media tools, especially Twitter, over older journalists. Those who work in larger newsrooms also use social media more than those in smaller newsrooms. While previous studies have examined tools reporters are using, this is the first to examine age, newsroom size, and impact on social media use.
The Rise of the Dragon? Framing China’s Global Leadership in Elite American Newspapers • Guy J. Golan, Syracuse University; Josephine Lukito, Syracuse University • The current study analyzes the framing of China’s emergence as a global power in the opinion pages of two elite newspapers. Results show that the New York Times framed China as a global power undermined by structural limitations, while the Wall Street Journal framed China as a direct threat to U.S. foreign policy interests. The results of the analysis are discussed in the context of media-government power dynamics.
The Adoption of Pinterest by Local Newspapers in the U.S. • Clark Greer, Point Loma Nazarene University; Douglas Ferguson, College of Charleston • Social media are changing the way journalists disseminate news, as well as the way audiences receive and interact with information. This study examined how local newspapers across the US were using the social network Pinterest. Results of a content analysis found that news was the predominant category of themes on pin boards. In addition, the study revealed that the number of pin boards was related to the size of the newspapers’ circulation. However, few newspapers were using the social medium as a tool to promote the paper.
America’s front pages: A 30-year update • David L. Morris II, University of Memphis; Matthew Haught, University of Memphis • In the digital media age, clear and effective visual communication strategies are a key component of media. While the printed newspaper has been in decline, editors have turned to design, in part, as a way to make the product competitive in the crowded media market. The results of this push for design has ushered in an new era of front page design, with newspapers of all sizes embracing navigation tools and promotions. This study updates the work of Pasternack and Utt examining newspaper design trends in 1984 and 1995. Using front pages collected from 453 newspapers throughout the United States, this study examines the state of current front page design. Further, it explores the use of design hubs and their effect on page design in newspaper chains.
Community Conflict, News Coverage, and Mountaintop Mining in Appalachia: A Content Analysis of Major State and Mining Community Newspapers • Kylah Hedding, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Community conflict theory and its “counter-thesis” about the press’s role are not polar opposites. This is especially true for Appalachian areas dependent on a single industry like coal, where much of the conflict comes down to tradeoffs between environmental effects and economic development. This study examines how these competing interests are addressed in the media, using content analysis of news coverage of mountaintop coal mining in community and state/metro papers in Kentucky and West Virginia.
Blog Sites and Blog Cites: Newspaper Journalists’ Use of Blogs as News Sources (2004-2013) • Kyle Heim, Seton Hall University • This study analyzed newspaper articles from 2004 to 2013 in which blogs were cited as news sources (N = 802). Results revealed that the blogs generally were not featured prominently within the articles, and the practice of citing blogs as sources has declined since 2010. Although researchers generally have focused on the role of blogs in political coverage, the citing of blogs occurred more frequently in articles about business and technology and in general news items.
Can the watchdog ever retire? Reevaluating journalistic roles through their performance • Lea Hellmueller; Lindsey Blumell; Jennifer Huemmer; Claudia mellado • This study examines how journalistic role conception performs as a gatekeeping tool to produce content consistent with the two dominant US journalism models: watchdog and civic-oriented journalism. Our study seeks to expand on the established survey research by measuring role performance through a content analysis of newspaper articles. Our findings indicate a strong relationship between gatekeeping practices and the visibility of journalistic roles in news stories.
Journalists and linking: A metajournalistic discourse analysis • Juliette De Maeyer, Université de Montréal, Communication; Avery Holton, University of Utah • Journalists have incorporated hyperlinks (i.e., linking) into their professional practice since the early stages of digital news expansion. Media scholars and professionals championed their use early on, placing an emphasis on the frequency of link occurrence in news content rather than explorations of their functionality. More recent scholarship has observed links may enhance the rapid exchange of information, provide novel levels of transparency, improve trust and social capital, and augment communicative and connective opportunities between journalists and audiences. These studies have drawn largely on data from audiences or limited pools of professional journalists. Less is known about the perceptions and uses of links in journalism on a broader journalistic scale. Drawing on a metajournalistic discourse analysis, this study finds that while journalists and other news media experts may indeed see value in linking, that optimism is balanced by levels of caution and worry, suggesting a need for media scholars, journalists, and news organization to re-evaluate the deployment of links within the news process.
Effect of News Tweets on Users’ Liking, Trust, and Intention to Share and Use Information • Brian Houston, University of Missouri; Mitchell McKinney; Esther Thorson; Joshua Hawthorne; David Wolfgang, University of Missouri; Alecia Swasy • Using an experiment, we tested how news tweet (topic, tone, focus) and user (Twitter familiarity, location) characteristics affected attitudes about news tweets with a random sample of Chicago and Los Angeles adults. Results indicated tweet topic and user location affected some tweet attitudes. Also, objective tweets were preferred to subjective, and local tweets were preferred to national. At the same time, local subjective tweets were most appealing. Experience with Twitter was important in understanding effects.
The Re-Animation of Literary Journalism as a Digital Genre • Susan Jacobson, Florida International University; Robert Gutsche Jr, Florida International University; Jacqueline Marino, Kent State University • Since The New York Times published Snow Fall in 2012, digital news audiences have seen a growing body of similar work characterized by the purposeful integration of multimedia into longform journalism. Some of these packages also employ techniques from literary journalism, such as scenes and character development. Creators include both established media organizations and startups. Their work is alternately celebrated as the future of digital storytelling and lambasted as a distracting mess of multimedia. Just as the literary journalists of the 1960s attempted to write the nonfiction equivalent of the great American novel, the Web journalists of the 2010s are reviving literary journalism techniques. They are experimenting with multimedia to enhance the literary form and incorporating new digital formats, such as parallax scroll and video loops, to produce a new era of multimedia literary narratives that are character-driven and evocative of time and place. To evaluate whether this emerging genre represents a revival of literary journalism and to what extent it incorporates new techniques of news storytelling, we analyze 50 longform news packages published online in 2012 and 2013.
The Objectivity Question: A Q Study of Journalism Students’ Perceptions of Objectivity as a Normative Value • Amanda Kehrberg; Christina DeWalt, The University of Oklahoma; Joonil Kim, University of Oklahoma; Peter Gade, Professor at the University of Oklahoma • Objectivity has long been considered a normative value of journalism, one essential to the journalist’s claims to both credibility and autonomy (Gans, 2005; Mindich, 1998; Rosen, 1993; Schudson, 2001). Yet while objectivity is continuously cited as the most important guiding norm, research and professional sources suggest that objectivity is often misunderstood by journalists and applied differently in their work. This confusion is amplified by the rise of postmodern skepticism on the existence of observable, stable truth and the proliferation of collaborative digital technology. The purpose of this study is to understand how undergraduate journalism majors, as aspiring professional journalists, process and understand concepts related to objectivity as a guiding professional norm. In this Q-Methodology study, 42 aspiring journalists (undergraduate journalism majors at a major Midwestern university) sorted 44 stimulus statements about dimensions of objectivity in March 2014. The results produced four factors explaining 58% of the variance: The Objective Traditionalists, the Uncertain Scientists, the Human Professionals, and the Digital Participants. The findings show three strongly correlated factors with high support for objectivity as a guiding professional norm, with distinct differences identified in how respondents understand impartiality and the increasing influence of technology.
Political Participation and Newspaper Coverage of Municipal Elections In Small-Town America • Esther Thorson; Scott C. Swafford, University of Missouri; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri • Local elections are the bedrock of participatory politics but seldom the focus of studies about news media effects. The present study reports a survey of media use and political knowledge and participation in local elections by people in three small Midwest communities. The literature on how news and interpersonal communication impact political participation via cognitive, affective, and behavioral routes is used to predict how consumption of election news, preferences for different kinds and formats of information, interpersonal political discussion, and exposure to political persuasion messages predict voting in municipal elections, knowledge about municipal government structure, perceived importance of the elections, and other kinds of participation in them.
How U.S. Daily Newspapers Decide to Design and Implement Paywalls • Mike Jenner, University of Missouri; Esther Thorson; Eunjin (Anna) Kim, University of Missouri • This study reports a representative survey of 416 publishers of U.S. dailies. The focus was to determine current levels of paywall deployment, and to explore how newspaper management decided to move to paywalls. The study is informed by the New Institutionalism (e.g., Lowrey, 2011), which suggests that newspaper companies perceive themselves as institutions with significant values and responsibilities to fulfill and therefore are less likely to use independent consumer research in making business decisions, and more likely to ask and imitate each other. Although the findings show some independent consumer research, it is at a low level, while asking each other is the most common “research” procedure. There are also clear effects on decision-making of newspaper size and its ownership structure.
Anatomy of Front Pages: Comparison between The New York Times and other elite U.S. newspapers • Yung Soo Kim, University of Kentucky, School of Journalism and Telecommunications; Deborah Chung, University of Kentucky • Using a content analysis, this paper compares the front page elements of the New York Times with six elite national newspapers to assess how different news organizations package and present their most important page to the public. Findings reveal that the Times featured more international and national news stories, depended more frequently on its own staff for both stories and images, and employed smaller headlines on its front page compared to the other elite newspapers.
Portrayals of Hunger: Priming Effects of Stereotypical News Images on Caucasian and Hispanic Audiences • Meredith Morris, University of Central Florida; William Kinnally, University of Central Florida • This study applies priming and exemplification to examine the ways in which news photos influenced readers’ social judgments. Of particular interest were the perceptions of Caucasian respondents about minorities, and Hispanics’ perceptions of African Americans and other Hispanics regarding the issue of hunger. Participants (506 college students) were randomly assigned to read one of three versions of an online news article about emergency hunger services. One version included photographs of African Americans, another included photos of Hispanics, the last was text-only. All three articles included base-rate statistics of ethnicities using emergency hunger services. Results showed images influence the way Caucasians and Hispanics perceive those people suffering from hunger. Key findings included that Caucasians in the study were susceptible to Hispanic primes, which altered their views on their perceptions about the number of Hispanics receiving emergency food services. However, Caucasians’ perceptions of African Americans did not change. Additionally, Hispanic participants were affected by primes in such a way that limitations on societal advancement were perceived more strongly than those of the Caucasian participants. The difference between Caucasians’ stereotypes regarding African Americans and Hispanics is an interesting development. The role of priming stereotype in relation to social issues is discussed.
Going Digital and Social: How a Colorado Newspaper Adopted New Journalistic Strategies • Kris Kodrich, Colorado State University • This study examines how the executive editor of the Fort Collins Coloradoan implemented a digital strategy and how the journalists at the daily newspaper accepted the changes. Utilizing concepts from newsroom sociology and diffusion of innovations to examine the changes, the study concludes that the editor successfully changed the culture of the newsroom in order to better serve the community. The study offers recommendations for newsrooms seeking a similar path.
The Evolution of Values: A Case Study of Washington Post Sunday Magazine Editors • Jeff Lemberg, Curry College • How do editors of a weekly newspaper section manage the interplay between editorial values and business values? This case study of The Washington Post Sunday magazine reveals that editors of the magazine routinely sought positive recognition and professional acceptance by the daily newspaper’s most respected journalists, and routinely ignored the business side of publishing. However, findings also show a clear evolution in editors’ attitudes, toward a more balanced approach to news and business values.
Since 1984: The Emergence of Journalistic Professionalism of Southern Weekend • Xiaoqin Li, Department of Communication, FSS, University of Macau • Consisting of two rounds in-depth-interviews with the journalists and editors of Southern Weekend, the leading weekly in China, the author aims to investigate how the staff in Southern Weekend, not only break the limitation of the authority, but also meet the market need in spite of paying the price of ‘media deviance’ in the view of the power center. The motivations are found to come from both Chinese tradition and journalistic professionalism.
Agenda Rich, Agenda Poor: Exploring Agenda Diversity of Internet events on news coverage in China • Shuning Lu, University of Texas at Austin; Baohua Zhou, Fudan University • With the proliferation of Internet events in China, mainstream journalism reacts to this trend actively. The current study employs agenda diversity as a core concept to systematically examine the ways in which mass media cover Internet events. It reveals that Internet events have been incorporated into news coverage in traditional media in China. However, it exhibits a limited, unstable and fragmented manner of covering Internet events, which largely correspondent to the newspapers’ location and journalistic paradigm. The implications and future research directions are also discussed in the study.
Job Satisfaction and Gender at Iowa Newspapers: Findings from a Mixed-Method Study • Tracy Lucht, Iowa State University • This study aims to contribute to the literature on gender and job satisfaction by using a mixed-method approach to learn the perceptions and attitudes of employees at community newspapers in Iowa. A survey (n=139) was used to gather quantitative and qualitative data in order to compare the employment experiences and job satisfaction of male and female employees on measures of job quality, work-life balance, and organizational support.
Tweets and Tributes to Fallen Journalists: The Emerging Role of Social Media in Journalism’s Hero Mythology • Raymond McCaffrey, University of Arkansas • This study explored the existence of hero myths in tributes by journalists via Twitter after the deaths of correspondents Anthony Shadid and Marie Colvin in February 2012. A qualitative analysis revealed that about 38 percent of the 466 tweets advanced a hero myth. The study concluded that social media has emerged as a powerful agent in spreading a mythology that espouses risk-taking and a form of stoicism that involves ignoring the consequences of dangerous assignments.
Framing building in news coverage of school shootings • Michael McCluskey, Tennessee-Chattanooga • Two dimensions of frame building, structural characteristics and social norms, were evaluated to understand the range of problem definitions within news coverage of school shootings. Nine problem definitions were analyzed in the news content (N = 1,326). Although newspapers in Republican and Democratic states did not differ, other audience-oriented structural characteristics varied. Events with the highest degrees of social norm violation emphasized individual-level responsibility. Findings expand understanding of frame building and problem definitions.
Do online news comments matter? Anonymity, argument quality and valence • Barbara Miller, Elon University; Qian Xu, Elon University; Brooke Barnett, Elon University • This study involved an experiment examining how attributes of reader comments in response to news stories impacted perceptions of an online news story as well as reader intentions to share the story, a key aspect of public deliberation on a topic. Attributes of both the comment and the commenter impacted reader perceptions of the online journalism as well as reader intentions to learn more about the topic or continue discussing the story in other formats.
The Coverage and the Speech: A Case in Collaborative Agenda Setting and Singapore • Fernando Paragas, Nanyang Technological University; Chee Leong Lam, Nanyang Technological University; Premkumar Thanapalan; Eugene Seng • This paper seeks to contribute to this debate on the relationship between media and the government in Singapore by exploring the idea of a collaborative agenda setting in which, in addition to the classical flow from newsmakers to news coverage, the media reflexively nurtures an agenda for and with the government. For its case the study explores the link between the coverage of the Straits Times a year prior to the Prime Minister’s speech on National Day Rally 2013. Education, a major concern in the nationwide discourse initiative Our Singapore Conversation, is the anchor topic. Using quantitative and qualitative textual analytical approaches, this research shows the dynamics of collaborative agenda setting and its implications to Singapore and the relationship between media and the state.
When New Media Makes News: Framing Technology and Sexual Assault in the Steubenville Rape Case • Rosemary Pennington, Indiana University School of Journalism; Jessica Birthisel, Bridgewater State University • The 2013 Steubenville rape trial featured a sadly familiar story of juvenile acquaintance rape; what captured national interest in the case, however, was how the rapists and peer witnesses captured video and photos of the assault and disseminated them in social media. This qualitative textual framing analysis explores how national news coverage of the case framed technology in relation to the assault, particularly how technology was framed as witness, galvanizer, and threat.
When a change isn’t really a change: Sampling error in coverage of presidential approval ratings • Matthew Reavy, University of Scranton; Kimberly Pavlick, University of Scranton • This study extends research into how journalists handle sampling error within polls by examining coverage of President Obama’s approval ratings in three major newspapers over a five-year period. Results indicate support for hypotheses suggesting that, when confronted with poll results that could be explained by sampling error alone, journalists will instead emphasize those changes or differences. Special attention is given to difficulties involving “records” and results depicted as crossing an arbitrary line.
Converging on Quality: Integrating the St. Louis Beacon and St. Louis Public Radio Newsrooms • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri/Missouri School of Journalism; Esther Thorson; Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Heesook Choi • This paper reports the first phase of research about the merger of the St. Louis Beacon, a nonprofit online news startup, and St. Louis Public Radio. Based on a semi-structured interview with the editor of St. Louis Public Radio and a content analysis of articles posted on the two organizations’ websites, we conclude that the combined news organization has made initial progress in integrating complementary strengths based on several quantitative indicators of news quality.
Controlling The Conversation: The Availability Of Commenting Forums By News Topic In Online Newspapers • Arthur Santana, University of Houston • Reader commenting forums of online newspaper sites allow newsreaders the opportunity to participate in an online conversation about the news topic at hand, furthering the democracy-enabling function of newspapers. The forums, however, are not universally available following all news stories. This research investigates the extent to which some news topics are more likely than others to come with a commenting forum, adding a new dimension to newspapers’ ability to set the public agenda.
Graphic Display in News Stories • Frederick Schiff, University of Houston; David Llanos, University of Houston • Two exhaustive models of news coverage predict graphic display in newspaper stories. All the leading theories of news play are incorporated in a three-level Hierarchical Linear Model, specifying story-level, newspaper-level and ownership-level variables. A separate Factor Analysis Model found five “common-sense” story types. OLS analysis produced the most parsimonious set of significant variables from the competing models and theories and yielded an Adjusted R2 of 9.3 percent of the explained variance in predicting graphic display.
Journalist’s Perceived Knowledge and Use of Heuristics in Selecting Sources and Story Ideas for Health News Reporting • Heather Shoenberger, University of Missouri; Shelly Rodgers, University of Missouri at Columbia • This study seeks to identify differences between reporters with low versus high perceived knowledge on health reporting. We theorized that reporters with lower perceived knowledge were more likely to rely on official/branded sources (short-cuts) for story ideas than their peers who have higher perceived knowledge. Additionally, we sought to discover whether reporters with higher perceived knowledge delve deeper into the health topic by spending more time researching and relying on more technical scientifically based sources than those with lower perceived knowledge. Implications for health reporting and health literacy are discussed.
Get it first, get it fast, get it in fewer than 140 characters: Local vs. regional news microblogging • Amanda Sturgill, Elon University; Dana Gullquist • As traditional news outlets such as newspapers are using microblogging as a way to break news stories, questions about the lack of context and the lack of confirmation prior to publication are arising. One area that has been less examined is the differential effects in newspapers of different sizes. This paper considers the coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., with comparison of the Twitter feed from the local weekly, a regional daily and a state-wide publication via content analysis. All three covered the story on Twitter, but even though the social medium reached a worldwide potential audience, the content of the Tweets were differentiated as if for the audience for the print product. The small weekly was more accurate than the larger dailies were.
Take me inside and tell me what’s important: What do readers want from journalists they follow on social media • Amanda Sturgill, Elon University; Max Negin, Elon University; Margaret Sloane • As more news consumers are finding their stories on social media, there is increasing pressure on news outlets and journalists to meet and interact with the audience there. However, concerns over social media’s disruption of the established news process and its credibility safeguards, and worries over the financial pressures that have already stressed journalists to an extreme have meant there is not a clear model of how best to use the new tools. This paper looks at one aspect of the issue: audience expectations. Responses (n=422) to an open question about journalists in social media asked on Facebook by a popular newspaper columnist were thematically analyzed. Researchers found that readers wanted journalists on social media to provide auxiliary content and to engage with readers about the process of story development. Implications for journalistic practice are discussed.
Why web analytics click: Factors affecting the ways journalists use audience metrics • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University • This study, based on a survey of 210 online editors, proposes a theoretical framework guided by field theory that explains the patterns of how journalists use web analytics in news work. This framework is tested using structural equation modeling and finds that journalists’ perception of competition in the field, and their conceptions of the audience as a particular form of capital, lead them to using web analytics in particular ways.
A tale of two newsrooms: How market orientation influences web analytics use • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Patrick Ferrucci, Bradley University • This current study compares a strongly market-oriented newsroom and a weakly market-oriented newsroom in terms of how they used web analytics in news work. Using ethnographic methods, the study finds that web analytics influenced editorial decisions in both newsrooms. However, the two newsrooms differed in the extent to which they used analytics and in their reasons for doing so. These differences are examined using the framework of market theory in news construction.
Making Business News: A Production Analysis of The New York Times and The Implications for Accountability Journalism • Nikki Usher, The George Washington University • The 2007-2009 financial crisis and its lingering after-effects have provoked strong reactions about the place of business journalism in creating public interest journalism. Questions often associated with government-journalist relationships have recently been asked of business news, from concerns about sourcing practices to the implications of ownership. To move the discourse about the financial crisis forward, it is important to understand how journalists produce and create business news. This article stems from five months of ethnographic research at The New York Times and aims to offer insight into business news production at the nation’s leading newspaper. From a theoretical perspective, it offers an evaluation of the significance of the values embedded in news creation for understanding the potential for watchdog journalism. The article considers critiques about the political economy of business journalism, but data ultimately suggest that that Gans’ (1979) “responsible capitalism” offers a guiding framework for understanding journalists’ decision-making. This perspective has both strengths and weaknesses for developing accountability journalism. Ultimately, the article argues that journalists, per se, may not be the problem, but the traditional structures of journalistic output may be in part to blame for the limitations of accountability business journalism.
Intermedia agenda-setting in a multimedia environment: The case of national elections in Austria • Ramona Vonbun, Institut of University of Vienna, Department of Communication; Katharina Kleinen-von Königslöw; Klaus Schoenbach • This paper analyzes the intermedia agenda-setting process of 34 newspapers, online news sites and TV-news in a nationwide setting through automatic content analysis and time series analysis. The findings suggest that the opinion leader role of a medium depends on issue specific characteristics such as obtrusiveness, mediating the intermedia agenda-setting process. Additionally, the traditional role of print media as intermedia agenda-setters may be challenged by online news sites, especially for issues with an online focus.
Characteristics of Newspaper Stories For and Against Tobacco Control • Zongyuan Wang, University of Missouri at Columbia; Ginny Chadwick, University of Missouri; Shelly Rodgers, University of Missouri at Columbia • To answer the call for more systematic surveillance and evaluation of newspaper coverage of tobacco, a 7-year content analysis of Missouri newspapers examined characteristics of newspaper stories for and against tobacco control. Results showed that pro-tobacco control themes (i.e., non-smokers’ rights, public health) were dominant; however, a considerable number of newspaper stories were against tobacco control. Pro-tobacco control themed stories were less prominent than anti-tobacco control themed stories in terms of story size as well as number of graphics, and less localized in terms of local sources cited, localized sentences, as well as ordinary citizens as authors. In spite of this, stories for control did focus on providing more information related to public health and more resources for references and were more likely to mobilize readers to change their health behavior and their community. This study calls for an increase in prominence and localization of pro-tobacco control news stories.
Preparatory Journalism: The College Newspaper as a Pedagogical Tool • David Bockino • This study utilizes a national survey of college newspaper advisers to assess the pedagogical benefits of the college newspaper. It finds significant differences between the degree of audience and marketing coupling occurring within college and U.S. daily newspapers as well as differences in student autonomy among college newspapers with varying financial foundations. The results call into question the role of the college newspaper within a changing media environment.
Local Press Politics: Transparency and the Lobbying Efforts of Newspaper Associations in the U.S. • Michael Clay Carey, Ohio University • Media companies have a long history of actively lobbying federal and state governments on issues related to freedom of information, as well as policies that affect media revenues. This study examines media lobbying efforts at the state level, where local press associations actively lobby state legislatures on issues that affect daily and weekly newspapers. Using journalistic understandings of transparency as a foundation, the research considers how newspaper associations characterize their efforts to shape public policy through lobbying, what issues they emphasize as priorities on public websites, and how their online statements about public policy compare to actual money spent lobbying on behalf of newspapers. Newspapers and newspaper associations are fierce advocates for transparency in government, but this research suggests that newspaper associations are not especially transparent about their own involvement in the governmental process. Many associations considered in this study provided little information about the money and time spent lobbying the government to make it easier for reporters to do their job and for newspapers to turn a profit. The study argues that, as advocates for government transparency and important actors in democratic societies themselves, newspapers (and, by extension, the press associations they constitute) have a moral obligation to be transparent about such matters.
Seeing Through the User’s Eyes: The Role of Journalists’ Audience Perceptions in Their Use of Technology • Mark Coddington, University of Texas at Austin • Using a national survey of U.S. newspaper journalists, this study examines whether journalists’ perceptions of their audience are a significant factor in their implementation of new technologies. Findings indicate that journalists’ perception of audience demand is significantly associated with increased technology use, though perceptions of the audience’s technological use and access are not a significant factor. In addition, the relationship between audience perception and technology use is stronger for smaller newspapers than larger ones.
You’ll Never Believe What They Found: Examining Potential Uses of Clickbait in Headlines • Holly Cowart, University of Florida; Jeffrey Riley, University of Florida • This study explores how exposure to clickbait-style headlines influences a reader’s likelihood to read, share, and trust story content based on mere exposure effect. Survey respondents reported their level of new media versus traditional media use. The 172 respondents then selected stories they would read, share, and trust based on headline style. The study found a relationship between reported use of media and level of trust toward clickbait-style headlines.
Accessibility-heuristic and changes of media frames • Byung Wook Kim, University of Iowa; Subin Paul, University of Iowa • This study examined changes of the U.S. media frames of the Fukushima disaster, mainly focusing on the frames that discussed in the previous studies as cues inducing individuals’ different decision value regarding safety concerns. We found that “uncertainty” option increased over time with a “loss-frame” being dominant, and the proportion of undesirable consequences in a story decreased. We concluded that frame-changing by the U.S. media has likely invoked public perception of safety in Fukushima positively.
What makes “good” news newsworthy? • Karen McIntyre, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • For decades, the media have been criticized for focusing too much on negative news. As a result, news outlets exist that only publish happy, positive stories. A content analysis was conducted to determine the news value of stories published on five online “good” news outlets. Stories were coded for the presence or absence of traditional news values, such as impact, timeliness, etc. Results indicated that stories from “good” news websites were overwhelmingly entertaining and emotional and lacked common news values such as conflict and references to power authority figures. Implications are discussed.
News Goes Native: An Examination of Online News Media’s Disclosure Practices for Sponsored Content • Joseph Moore, University of Nebraska at Lincoln • Online news publishers are increasingly using sponsored content that assumes the format of the host site’s editorial content. This has led to concern among some in the journalism industry that readers will be unable to distinguish advertising from news editorial. A content analysis and an experiment examined how publishers are formatting sponsored content and how readers are processing disclosure information for sponsored content. The results suggest that current labeling and disclosure practices may be inadequate in alerting readers to the commercial nature of sponsored content.
The gender gap revisited: Pattern persists of under-representing female candidates in newspapers’ election coverage • Audrey Post, Florida State University • Much has been written over the past 40 years about female political candidates, their efforts to shatter the so-called “glass ceiling,” and the effects of media coverage on women’s candidacies. Despite gains in equity of coverage and the prominence of female candidates in the 2008 presidential election, an analysis of newspaper coverage of the 2010 election for Florida governor revealed the gender gap persists, even when a woman is a major-party nominee.
The News Agenda Online: Hyperlinks on Traditional Prestige Media and Internet-Only Websites • Frank Michael Russell, University of Missouri/Missouri School of Journalism • This study examines the use of hyperlinks in articles on traditional prestige and online-only news websites in the context of agenda building, intermedia agenda-setting, and gatekeeping theories. Evidence is found that news organizations use hyperlinks primarily for the gatekeeping function of sending readers to content elsewhere on their websites. However, hyperlinks also show to varying extents that news organizations are influenced by other news media more than official or expert sources.
Transformation of the Print: Examining the Diminishing News Orientation of Leading American Newspapers • Miki Tanikawa, University of Texas at Austin • Over the last several decades, newspapers have shed their news orientation in favor of features and analytical news stories in large part to differentiate themselves from their on-line rivals which have a clear speed advantage. Content analyses of leading American newspapers found that today only 35 percent of the front page articles are traditional, event centered news articles, down from 69 percent 25 years ago.
Faculty Research Competition
Content Analysis of the Portrayal of White Characters in Black Films Across Two Decades • Omotayo Banjo, University of Cincinnati; Nancy Jennings, University of Cincinnati; Nikole Dorsett, University of Cincinnati; Todd Fraley, East Carolina State University • Whiteness scholars contend, in addition to marginalized groups, Whites are also victims of socio-political constructions of race. Little empirical attention has been given to the portrayals of Whites in ethnic-oriented media, where whiteness is most conspicuous. We conducted a content analysis of 31 Black-oriented films spanning two decades. Such investigations a) position ethnic-oriented media as necessary sites for race scholarship and b) shed insight into how ethnic media creators use film to illustrate racial tensions.
Trayvon Martin and the News: An Analysis of Rhetoric in Website Messages by Civil Rights Organizations • Riva Brown, University of Central Arkansas • This qualitative content analysis explored rhetoric used by the NAACP, National Urban League, National Action Network, and ColorOfChange.org in press releases, blog posts, and miscellaneous public relations material during the Trayvon Martin case. It also examined their mainstream print news media coverage. After George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin and was not charged with his murder, these organizations demanded justice. Results suggested they preferred rhetorical strategies and tactics that encouraged supporters to unite against perceived enemies.
Richard Sherman Speaks and Almost Breaks the Internet: Race, Media, and Football • Margaret Duffy, Missouri School of Journalism; Janis Teruggi Page, George Washington University; Cynthia Frisby, University of Missouri; Brad Best, Missouri School of Journalism • A controversial interview with football player Richard Sherman was the subject of extensive controversy and enormous reaction in mainstream and social media, especially through Twitter and shared visual memes. Through the lenses of Critical Race Theory, Visual Rhetoric, and Symbolic Convergence Theory, we see the Richard Sherman incident as revelatory of the persistent and interlocking patterns of racism and sexism in contemporary society.
Ethnic Identity as a Predictor of Microaggressive Behavior Towards Blacks, Whites, and Hispanic LGBs by Blacks, Whites, and Hispanics • Troy Elias, University of Oregon; Alyssa Jaisle; Cynthia R. Morton Padovano • Racial differences still exist when it comes to attitudes toward homosexuality in the U.S. Blacks hold significantly less favorable attitudes towards LGB than Whites but not Hispanics after controlling for demographics. Despite less favorable attitudes towards the LGB community, Blacks display a significantly lower likelihood of engaging in microaggressions than both Whites and Hispanics. Finally, as Whites’ ethnic identity gets stronger, their likelihood of engaging in microaggressions to LGB increases, moreso than Blacks or Hispanics.
Examining cultural resonance of health narratives to influence HIV prevention behaviors among young African Americans • Diane Francis; Joan Cates; Adaora Adimora • Concurrent sexual partnerships—sexual partnerships that overlap in time—may contribute to the high rates of HIV among African Americans. Changing attitudes, perceived norms and motivations about concurrency, therefore, could potentially reduce participation in this behavior, which in turn could reduce HIV transmission rates. This study examined African American students’ reactions to HIV prevention messages developed for a health communication campaign to reduce concurrent sexual partnerships. We used radio advertisements to explore whether narrative messages were more effective than non-narrative messages in influencing attitudes and beliefs about sexual concurrency. We also examined whether participants thought the messages were culturally resonant and engaging or transporting. Cultural resonance of messages is important in health communication campaigns. However, few studies have examined the effectiveness of HIV prevention messages in cultural narrative format. A survey of African American students (n=211) found the non-narrative messages to be more culturally resonant (t(196) = 2.92, p<.01) and transporting (t(196) = 1.72, p=.09) than the narrative messages. In qualitative analysis, participants said that the narrative ads were stereotypical and not representative of their culture, both of which could potentially detract from any attempts at persuasion. There were no statistically significant differences between the groups on attitudes, perceived norms or motivations. Given that health stories are increasingly being used to influence HIV-related attitudes, beliefs and motivations among African Americans, it is important to examine factors such as perceived cultural resonance to design more effective culturally appropriate messages.
The impact of emotional costs on racial digital divide • Kuo-Ting Huang, Michigan State University; Shelia Cotten, Michigan State University • Computer intervention in the classroom has been proved to increase students’ self-efficacy in previous racial digital divide research. This paper further investigates how African American’s psychological factors impact their patterns of computer usage. The results suggest that students’ emotional cost and computer self-efficacy were mediators of the relationship between home computer usage and information orientation. These findings provide significant implications for bridging the racial digital divide by highlighting the roles of these psychological factors.
Racial Attitudes, Egalitarian Values, and Media Use • Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas; Yvonnes Chen, University of Kansas • Most studies on attitudes toward racial equality have focused on one single egalitarian value and a limited number of media variables. A survey of U.S. adults (N=7,025) indicated that support for racial equality is part of three egalitarian dimensions (racial attitudes, gender roles, and attitudes toward sexual minorities), suggesting that egalitarian values apply to supporting equality for multiple social groups. Additionally, the use of traditional and Internet media is associated with racial attitudes.
Casting Youth as Information Leaders: Social Media in Latino Families and Implications for Mobilization • Michael McDevitt; Shannon Sindorf, University of Colorado Boulder • Promotion of the DREAM Act during the 2012 campaign presented an opportunity to examine how social media might cast young adults in the role of information leaders in Latino families. Despite widespread use of social media and interest in the DREAM Act, Latinos lagged behind non-Latinos in voting and in discussion about politics with family and friends. We discuss how mobilization efforts in future elections can harness new media by recruiting youth as information leaders.
Power, Gender, and Ethnic Spaces: Geographies of Power Shifts in Roma Communities • Adina Schneeweis, Oakland University • This study examines the inextricable (and understudied) link between ethnicity, gender, power, and space. Through the case study of health mediators of Roma ethnicity in Romania, this research bridges spatial theory and feminist scholarship with critical approaches to communication to assess how gender and power relations operate in, and mark, ethnic spaces. Drawing from ethnographic observations and in-depth interviews, I argue that power relations are dependent on space – and mobile across ethnic spaces. Perceptions of the mediators’ power roles change between institutional landscapes (perceived spaces of hegemonic, dominant directives), Romani communities (conceived space where the Romani mediators communicate their knowledge and have symbolic control), and the lived space of resistance and internalized discrimination, which is both an active constituent of, and a challenge to, racism at the same time.
Effects of Mediated Exemplars on Implicit Prejudice Toward Hispanics • Alexis Tan, Washington State University; Salah Alghaithi, Washington State University; Christine Curtis; Davi Kallman; Chenwei Liang; Cameron Moody; Somava Pande, Washington State University; Rachel Sauerbier, Washington State University; Kara Stuart, Washington State University; Chun Yang, Washington State University; Sabrina Zearott, Washington State University • This study asked whether a single exposure to a positive Hispanic exemplar in a video clip could reduce implicit prejudice toward U.S. Hispanics. Participants were White and non-White college students at a large U.S. university.Selected to appeal to college students, the video clip portrayed a Hispanic female student who overcame prejudice to excel in college. The video clip was presented in an on-line laboratory experiment.Implicit prejudice was measured by the Hispanic/White Implicit Association test which taps automatic and implicit preference for Whites over Hispanics. Results show that White participants who watched the video clip reported significantly less negative implicit bias toward Hispanics compared to White participants who did not watch the video clip. Non-White participants who watched the video clip reported a slight preference for Hispanics over Whites, while non-White participants who did not watch the video clip reported no preference for Whites over Hispanics. Therefore, the video clip decreased pro-White bias among Whites, and increased pro-Hispanic bias among non-Whites.We explain these results using principles from priming and conversion models of stereotype and prejudice change. We also discuss implications for using positive exemplars in the media to reduce prejudice.
The Cultural Capital of Ethnic Immigrant Newspapers in the U.S. • Tim Vos, University of Missouri; Yulia Medvedeva, University of Missouri • This study uses in-depth interviews with representatives of ten ethnic immigrant newspapers to examine the cultural capital of the ethnic press and how that cultural capital compares to the cultural capital of journalism in the U.S. mainstream press. The study finds that ethnic immigrant newspapers, with some notable exceptions, do not appear to hold substantially different cultural capital from the US mainstream press.
Politics in the Toybox: Sports reporters, Native American mascots and the roadblocks preventing change • Erin Whiteside, University of Tennessee • Despite increasing pressure from sporting organizations and other key public figures, myriad schools, colleges, Universities and professional sports teams continue to employ Native American mascots. Furthermore, advocates continue to face staunch opposition in defending their position that teams abandon Native American imagery. Sports journalists occupy a unique location within the mascot debate as they regularly cover teams with Native American mascots and it is common practice to refer to the mascots within stories. The visibility sports reporters give to mascots contributes to a desensitizing process in which the public may become alienated from the serious social costs such imagery may incur. In light of this ongoing debate, this research uses a survey to examine sports reporters’ experiences and attitudes toward Native American mascots, and their beliefs about the role sports reporters should take in the public debate.
Eyes on the Prize I: Henry Hampton’s pre-production school sessions and the role of the media in the civil rights movement • Kathleen Wickham, University of Mississippi • Eyes on the Prize, the two-part PBS series, is one of the most significant research projects on civil rights activities in the United States. This manuscript focuses on the detailed research process that Hampton employed prior to filming, focusing on the pre-production lectures and talks relating the media and the civil rights movement.
‘Return of the King’: A Millenial Audience Reception of The Boondocks • Jason Zenor, SUNY-Oswego; David Moody • Critics have raised their eyebrows at the work of Boondocks creator McGruder repeatedly accusing him of making a mockery of the legacies of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Associated Press, 2006). They have questioned his insensitivity to the 9-11 attacks and the promotion of misogynistic themes through the voice of his characters. Moreover, his frequent use of the ‘N-word’ has been considered to be offensive. Accordingly, this study examines how a millennial audience, one which came to age in an era of political correctness and in a supposed post-racial society, reads The Boondocks, a text that seems to challenge political correctness and the acceptance of a truly post-racial America.
A Fusion of Stereotypes? How Fusion Network Handles Hispanic Representation • Brooke Biolo • The recently launched (2013) network, Fusion, is a collaboration of the Spanish-language Univision and ABC/Disney. US television has a long history of reducing Hispanics to stereotypical roles in television and these two networks have opposing backgrounds on this front. This analysis looks at how Fusion handles established stereotypes of Hispanics in media. I argue that Fusion endorses a multicultural world image through an emphasis on universal themes and Hispanic cultural positives in their programming.
Don’t Worry, Be Happy: An Examination of Journalist Message Boards • Kortni Alston, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications; Kevin Hull, University of Florida; Anthony Palomba • This study explored whether or not journalists vented their workplace frustrations on online message boards. A content analysis of the National Association of Black Journalists message board and the TVSpy Watercooler message board was conducted. Results found that symptoms leading to burnout were not frequently discussed, and that NABJ message board was found to be significantly more positive in tone than the TVSpy Watercooler board. Factors including race, anonymity, and sense of community are discussed.
Black nerds, Asian activists, & Caucasian dogs: Racialized self-categorization within Facebook Groups • Jenny Korn • Facebook Groups reflect a contemporary way for users to demonstrate membership in cultural groups that are salient to them, including ones based on race. Race continues to serve as a meaningful category for understanding the social world, especially in the United States (Chao, Hong, & Chiu, 2013), so Internet-based displays of racial membership via Facebook Groups reflect the ongoing significance of race. In this paper, I contribute to the “new cultural politics of difference” by focusing on modern, organic representations of race on the Internet (West, 1993). While Facebook has been the site of study for individual behavior (Ellison, Steinfield, & Lampe, 2007), Facebook Group behavior has been understudied (Park, Kee, & Valenzuela, 2009). I update self-categorization theory with its application not to individuals, but to racialized groups online, as examples of cultural markers of identification (Turner & Reynolds, 2011). Facebook Groups are cultural representations of the way that individuals understand their racial group membership (Rockquemore & Arend, 2002). Facebook Groups serve as voluntary communities open to users that desire homophilic relationships. In this study, I focus on race-based Facebook Groups as sites of cultural identification for users. Within Facebook, I examine discourses by racial identity groups that are White/Caucasian, Black/African-American, and Asian/Asian-American. By analyzing digital discourses created by users in racialized Facebook Groups, I conduct a contemporary study on cross-racial variance across online identity groups. The discourses on the politics surrounding culture are changing, forcing Internet representations of race to follow suit. This study explores how race matters online.
Pluralistic Ignorance in Sino-Hong Kong Conflicts: The Perception of Chinese Mainland People Living in Hong Kong • Miao Li, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study examined pluralistic ignorance in a local context: conflicts between Hong Kong and Mainland China. Different from past studies mainly focusing on in-group pluralistic ignorance, which examined whether people could correctly perceive the opinions of others who belong to the same social group as they do, this study investigated whether people could correctly perceive the public opinion of a collective to which they do not belong. With two representative samples of Chinese mainland students studying in Hong Kong and Hong Kong local students from three universities in Hong Kong, this study discovered that mainland students overestimated the local public’s unfavorability against Chinese mainlanders and the Chinese government. This overestimation was found to be positively associated with their attention to media content about the Sino-Hong Kong relationship and the extent to which they perceive pertinent media content to be biased toward Hong Kong, but negatively associated with their interpersonal communications with other Hong Kong residents about the Sino-Hong Kong relationship issues. The overestimation of the local public’s unfavorability against Chinese mainlanders and Chinese government reduced mainland students’ willingness to stay in Hong Kong for further study/work and domicile. To extend the pluralistic ignorance research to study how migrants perceive the mainstream opinion in the society to which they migrated was suggested.
Coverage of Meskwaki Language in the Des Moines Register • Subin Paul, University of Iowa • The issue of tribal language endangerment receives minimal attention in the mainstream press. This preliminary study looks at the coverage of Meskwaki language, which is spoken by the Meskwaki tribe of Iowa, in the Des Moines Register. Using qualitative textual analysis, the study shows that the newspaper promoted bilingualism involving English and Meskwaki languages and proscribed the solo use of the latter.
Different news, distinct views (on immigration): The choice of labels and sources on FoxNews.com and Fox News Latino • Vinicio Sinta, University of Texas at Austin • The recent launch of ethnic-oriented news outlets by mainstream media companies can provide an opening for alternative views on public issues such as immigration. This study compares how Fox News Latino and parent site FoxNews.com used distinctive labels to describe unauthorized immigrants and immigration legislation, and turned to a different mix of sources in their coverage. Results show that despite the shared ownership and brand, Fox News Latino and FoxNews.com provide contrasting perspectives on immigration.
Finding the First Lady: The Construction and Negotiation of Michelle Obama’s Identity • Leticia Williams, Howard University • Dominant media portrayals of the first lady and Black women have increasingly become the guiding parameter for contemporary understandings of women whose identities and characterizations are contingent on prevalent typologies. Though similar in analysis of identity and representation, these two areas of study have developed in separate lines of research. The purpose of this study is to identify and examine the multiple and fluid identities of First Lady Obama and synthesize studies of gender, race, and presidential spouses. A textual analysis of 22 articles published between January 2009 and January 2012 was used to explore the construction of intersectional identities and strategies to negotiate stereotypes, historical representations, or limited characterizations of the first lady and Black women. Findings showed that magazine portrayals of First Lady Obama’s identity communicated shared understandings of intersectionality (i.e., race, gender, and class) as a social phenomenon, particularly for women.