Media Ethics 2006 Abstracts

Media Ethics Division

The Virtuous Advocate versus The Pathological Partisan: A Model of Opposing Archetypes of Public Relations and Advertising Practitioners (A Virtue Ethics Approach to Applied Ethics for Public Relations and Advertising Practitioners) • Sherry Baker, Brigham Young University • Drawing upon contemporary virtue ethics theory (including care, dependency, humility, humane concern, v-rules, and narrative unity) a graphic model of diametrically opposed archetypes of public relations and advertising practitioners is developed. Profiles of the Virtuous Advocate (representing advocacy virtues) and the Pathological Partisan (representing opposing vices) are introduced. One becomes a Virtuous Advocate or Pathological Partisan by habitually enacting the virtues or vices in the context of practices. Includes suggestions for further virtue ethics research.

A Theory of Journalism • Sandra L. Borden, Western Michigan University • This paper attempts to define journalism by sketching a theory that links the purpose and product of journalism in a meaningful way. Relying on a communitarian account of participatory citizenship and Code’s (1987) notion of epistemic responsibility, this theory proposes that journalism’s purpose is to help citizens know well in the public sphere.

Separating rumors from news but not entirely from journalism • Karen Boyajy and Lee Wilkins, University of Missouri • This study is the first to examine how journalists evaluate rumors. Respondents connected investigating and reporting on rumors with issues of craft—particularly standards of verification—and with truth telling. However, rumors about celebrities were ranked first in terms of stories that need investigation, surpassing topics such as the private lives of public figures and bomb threats. Respondents generally supported debunking rumors but not educating audiences as important journalistic roles.

Propaganda Analysis: A Case Study Of The U.S. Department Of Education’s Minority Outreach Campaign Promoting The No Child Left Behind Act • Bonnie Ann Cain, Oklahoma State University • This study provides a comprehensive examination of the Department of Education’s controversial promotion of No Child Left Behind by employing Jowett and O’Donnell’s 10-point propaganda framework. Arguments that the campaign is propaganda are supported by the campaign’s fit with expectations of propaganda. This case study provides a backdrop for discussion of PR’s role in promoting policy and emerging guidelines for future government PR contracts.

Walking the (Border) Line: Press Coverage of Activist Groups on the Arizona/Mexico Border • Cari Lee Skogberg Eastman, University of Colorado • A battle over migration is brewing in the Arizona desert as advocates of opposing approaches to border policy reform vie for media publicity of their ideals. Through content analysis and correspondence with journalists, this study examines the representation of three activist groups in Arizona’s two largest newspapers, and argues that a civic journalism – through its deep involvement with the community – naturally includes a wider, more equitable representation of voices than traditional utilitarian newsroom approaches.

Political Consulting: The Rise of Professionalism, The Question of Ethics • Michelle Honald, University of Oregon • Content analysis concerning the nature of ethical discussion in political consulting was conducted on a total of 1066 articles from two scholarly journals and one professional trade publication during the period 1995-2005. Of the 1006 articles, 32 mentioned ethics in some substantive way. The articles were further divided into four categories: normative appeals; mention of a code of ethics; discussion of meta-ethical issues; and relation of ethics to academic theory.

Anonymous sources and readership credibility: A qualitative investigation of the barriers to newspaper believability • Tom Hrach and Stephen Siff, Ohio University • Media professionals have reacted to recent declines in media credibility by calling for a reduction of the number of anonymous sources used in news articles. Despite journalists’ belief that anonymous sources present a credibility problem, nonjournalists in focus groups said anonymous sources were only one issue affecting media credibility. More important barriers to credibility included inadequate branding, sourcing and quality of information.

The Green River Confession: News Treatment of Victims and Co-victims • Sue Lockett John, University of Washington • The November, 2003, confessions of Northwest serial killer Gary Ridgway focused intensive media attention on the deaths of more than 48 female victims many years before. In such situations, journalists’ deadline-driven demands to inform the public can conflict with survivors’ needs to avoid re-victimization though loss of privacy, painful word associations, and other triggers of post-traumatic stress.

To Publish or Not to Publish: The Muhammad Cartoon Dilemma • Jenn Burleson Mackay, The University of Alabama • Newspapers inspired Middle Eastern violence and controversy after they published political cartoons depicting Islam’s Muhammad. This paper considers how newspaper editors could have used several ethical models to decide whether they should publish the cartoons. Several ethical models are discussed and applied to the cartoon dilemma. The paper concludes with a comparison of how the models arrive at different decisions that allow the journalist to be ethical regardless of whether he publishes the cartoons.

Transparency: An Assessment of the Kantian Roots of a Key Element in Media Ethics Practice • Patrick Lee Plaisance, Colorado State University • This study argues that the notion of transparency requires reconsideration as an essence of ethical agency. It provides a brief explication of the concept of transparency, rooted in the “principle of human dignity” of Immanuel Kant, and suggests that it has been inadequately appreciated by media ethics scholars and instructors more focused on relatively simplistic applications of his categorical imperative.

Dimensions of Journalistic Messenger Transparency • Chris Roberts, University of South Carolina • While other disciplines have operationalized the term “transparency,” journalism scholars have not explicated dimensions of transparency. This paper suggests that media scholars should use David Berlo’s “source-message-channel-receiver” communication model to discuss a continuum of journalistic transparency attributes. It uses that model to explicate nine dimensions of journalism messenger transparency, notes transparency’s connections to Rawls’ “Veil of Ignorance,” and suggests further research is needed to explore the assumed relationship between transparency and credibility.

“Secret” Casualties: Images of Injury and Death in the Iraq War Across Media Platforms • B. William Silcock and Carol B. Schwalbe, Arizona State University and Susan Keith, Rutgers University • This study examined more than 2,500 images from U.S. television news, newspapers, news magazines, and online news sites during the first five weeks of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in and found that only 10 percent showed injury or death. The paper analyzes which media platforms were most willing to show casualties.

Confidence in the Press, Attitudes about Press Freedom, and the Third Person Effect: A Preliminary Exploration using Secondary Survey Data • Derigan A. Silver, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Third-person effect—the hypothesis that people overestimate the influence that communications have on the attitudes of others—suggests the possibility that individuals will want to censor the press if they view its messages as having a negative impact on others or if they view media coverage of their group or cause as being biased.

Loath to admit: pressures on ethical disclosure of news release sources • Peter Simmons, Charles Sturt University, AUSTRALIA • Non-disclosure of third-party news sources deceives the public and is ethically objectionable. The S.967 Pre-packaged News Stories Bill endorsed the principle of self-regulation by US journalists when disclosing the source of government news releases. The PRSA and RTNDA advocate disclosure of source to the public, but their members perceive advantages in non-disclosure. PR values the credibility of implied news organization endorsement. Journalists resist being seen to be using PR as a source for their news.

Truth and Transparency: Bloggers’ Challenge to Professional Autonomy in Defining and Enacting Two Journalistic Norms • Jane B. Singer, University of Iowa • Commitments to truth and to “transparency” or public accountability are two central normative aspects of professional journalism. This paper considers ways in which both are challenged and complemented by other communicators, particularly bloggers. It proposes that while all professions claim autonomy over articulation and enactment of their own norms, the Internet environment is one in which definitions of professional constructs are open to reinterpretation and in which oversight of professional behavior is shared.

Construction of the Truth and Destruction of A Million Little Pieces: Framing in the Editorial Response to the James Frey Case • Nicole Elise Smith, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • The notion of truth is central to our modern principles of objective journalism. A recent case has called into question the value that we, societally speaking, place on the truth. This study seeks to understand how editorial writers reacted to and subsequently framed the notion of “truth” within the context of the James Frey case. The qualitative, framing analysis examines editorials with the purpose of providing an understanding of the news frame surrounding the “truth.”

Stakeholder Theory and Media Management: An Ethical Framework for News Company Executives • Reuben J. Stern, University of Missouri • Contrary to stockholder theories that place the interests of profit-seeking owners above all else, stakeholder theorists argue that corporate executives have moral and ethical obligations to consider equally the interests of a wide range of stakeholders affected by the actions of a corporation. This paper argues that the stakeholder approach is particularly appropriate for the governance of news media companies. The paper then outlines an ethical framework to guide news company executives.

The TARES Test as an Ethical Analysis Tool: Assessing the Ethicality of Direct Response Television Programs • Ken Waters and Jamie Melton, Pepperdine University • In recent years, scholars have proposed several “tests” for determining the ethicality of persuasive mediated messages. Baker & Martinson (2001) suggest a five-part test called the TARES test. Eight one-hour special reports prepared by international aid organization World Vision were studied. The researchers note that the TARES test can be used to assess the ethicality of persuasive messages, but dialogue with the messages’ creators is necessary to achieve a useful assessment for pedagogical purposes.

Media Literacy as Trust Builder: How media education can foster critical and sympathetic news audiences • Wendy N. Wyatt, University of St. Thomas • One root of journalism’s credibility crisis can be found in the media illiteracy of its audiences. Therefore, part of the solution rests in educating audiences about the work journalists do. This calls for adjustments to conventional wisdom about media literacy. In addition to providing adversarial tools to critique the press, media literacy should also provide sympathetic tools to understand it. Efforts at foundational media literacy are steps toward reestablishing trust between the media and citizens.

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Communication Technology 2006 Abstracts

Communication Technology Division (CTEC)

Municipal Broadband Services: Government Supply as Panacea to Market Failure in the Provision of High Speed Internet service to Underserved and Unserved Communities • Abubakar Alhassan, Florida • Broadband’s higher speed and greater bandwidth distinguishes it from the hitherto slow, limited bandwidth dial-up service. Although the US is the cradle of the Internet, but OECD reports show that it now lacks behind other nations in broadband deployment, a development blamed on market failure characterized by the commercial ISPs’ refusal to deploy broadband to certain communities. This paper examines the provision of broadband by municipalities as the policy panacea for the market failure.

Utility vs. Commodity: Framing the Provision of Broadband • John Anderson, Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • The importance of broadband connectivity is growing, and while universal service is a national priority incumbent telecommunications service providers are not moving in this direction. This leads to public and non-profit entities working to correct this market failure. Incumbents have responded with a political offensive swiped largely from the playbook of the electric power industry some 100 years ago. Ultimately, the question of broadband provision may be settled at the national level.

Revisiting the Issue of Blog Credibility: A National Survey • Stephen Banning, Bradley and Kaye Trammell, Louisiana State • This study investigated the relationship between credibility, third-person effect, and blog use. Through a national phone survey (N = 575), researchers found support for all hypotheses. While credibility was neutral overall, blog authors assessed blogs as being more credible than non-bloggers, and credibility correlated with likelihood to act (behavior). Third-person effect was found in reference to blogs and it correlated with blog credibility and likelihood to act. Findings and future research are discussed.

Value and Digital Rights Management: A Social Economics Approach • Benjamin Bates, Tennessee-Knoxville • Current copyright overemphasizes financial return compared to alternative sources of value (both social and private) deriving from information use. I use an approach designed to emphasize those other aspects of value and consider the implications of current and proposed Digital Rights Management (DRM) approaches for the creation of social value. I conclude that while most DRM approaches actually exacerbate conditions, DRM also offers the potential for an irights system that more fully incorporates social value.

Generation iPod: An Exploratory Study of Podcasting’s ‘Innovators’ • David Brown, Texas at Austin • Podcasting has become one of the most heavily hyped media concepts in recent years, billed as the latest digital-age threat to “old-media”. Yet almost nothing is known about listeners, their habits, or podcast demand. This exploratory study offers one of the first snapshots of real-world podcast use among its earliest adopters. The results suggest surprising gender and other distinctions between listeners and non-listeners, barriers to experimentation, and fading interest after initial podcast use.

Pioneers in the Blogosphere: Profiling the Early Adopters of Weblogs • Byeng-Hee Chang and Trent Seltzer, Florida • Weblogs, or “blogs,” are increasing in their use, visibility, and impact. Using the Innovation Diffusion Theory literature as a theoretical framework, a secondary analysis of data gathered by the Pew Internet and American Life Project indicated that there are significant differences between adopters and non-adopters of weblogs in terms of demographic profile, innovativeness, use of other new communication technologies, and Internet use.

A Multinational Study on Online Privacy: Global Concerns and Local Responses • Hichang Cho, Rivera Milagros and Sun Sun Lim, National University of Singapore • Using a survey on 1261 Internet users from five international cities—Bangalore, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, and New York, we examined international Internet users’ perception and behavioral responses concerning online privacy. We found that online privacy was a “global human rights issue” affecting almost all Internet users worldwide, but the way individuals perceived and coped with it varied across a host of micro-macro level factors such as demographics, Internet expertise, nationality, and cultural values.

Extending Technology Acceptance Model With Social And Organizational Variables • Siyoung Chung, National University of Singapore • The purpose of this study is to empirically examine the differential influences of a comprehensive set of technology acceptance attributes on both adoption and usage behavior. A mail survey was conducted with the employees (n = 108) who were the active sales of a large corporation in the U.S, which recently introduced a web-based sales system. The findings demonstrated that attitudinal, social, and organizational variables selectively influenced technology adoption and usage behavior.

News as a Process: A New Approach to the Political Economy of Communication • Lori Cooke-Scott, Ryerson • This paper proposes a unified theory of the political economy of news communication, encompassing changing realities in technology, market capitalism and everyday life. A central feature is its treatment of news as a process of exchange rather than a product to be exchanged. A processive approach is needed to understand the structural transformation of the news industry, the shift in power relations among producers and consumers, and the revolution in audience agency and community formation.

Is Seeing–or Hearing–Believing?: Reactions to Listening to the 2004 Presidential Debates With and Without Video • Mike Dorsher, Wisconsin-Eau Claire • In a quasi-experimental study inspired by the Kennedy-Nixon “Great Debate,” 175 participants from a mid-size Midwestern university either watched the 2004 presidential debates on TV or listened to them without the video. The data yielded few significant differences between debate viewers and listeners. Candidate debate performances rated high on “presidential” qualities and eloquence best predicted the debate winner.

Can Billie-Jo sell wine? The Effects of Social Category Cues and Rich Media in E-commerce Websites • Edward Downs, Sampada Marathe, Bimal Balakrishnan and Suellen Hopfer, Penn State • Do social category cues and richness of media affect website perceptions and memory in E-commerce? If so, how do these variables relate to product price sensitivity? An eight-condition mixed-model experiment was designed to test these questions. A significant three-way interaction effect was detected, driven by a rich media by product interaction effect when holding source constant. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed as well as limitations and directions for future research.

Sociology of News and New Media: How the Blogosphere Transforms Journalism and Changes News • Ivan Dylko and Gerald Kosicki, Ohio State • Political blogs have recently demonstrated an ability to affect public discourse, especially during the 2004 presidential election. In this paper we examined implications of the blogosphere for the sociology of news. A case study of the CBS’ 60 Minutes segment about George W. Bush was used to demonstrate that journalists used information from blogosphere and that blogs could break stories faster than traditional media and successfully push them onto media’s agenda.

Is the Internet an Agent of Empowerment in News Making? A Case Study of Chinese Journalists • Li Fu, Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study adopts the mediationist perspective to explore the impact of the Internet on Chinese journalists. It finds that, the Internet has made an impact on news making, however, its power is limited, affected by constraining and facilitating factors at the individual, organization, and institutional levels; the Internet therefore empowers journalists in a situational way, characterized as time-specific, genre-specific, media status-specific, and location-specific. Such situational empowerment is mainly driven by commercialization and propaganda reforms.

A Ten-Year Profile of the Democratic Agency of the Internet in 152 Countries • Jacob Groshek, Indiana • Since its inception, the internet has been lauded as a potent democratizing agent. Using macro-level data from 1994 to 2003, this study examined the extent to which the internet has fulfilled this promise. In the 152 countries included in this study, increased internet diffusion was not shown to be a meaningful predictor of more democratic regimes or diminished government control of the press. It did, however, show strong, positive relationships with economic growth.

Unraveling Uses And Effects Of An Interactive Cancer Communication System • Jeong-Yeob Han, Robert Hawkins, Bret Shaw, Suzanne Pingree, Fiona McTavish and David Gustafson, Wisconsin • As part of an effort to understand uses and effects of an Interactive Cancer Communication System (ICCS), the purpose of current study is to explore the relationships between different use patterns and subsequent changes in patients’ health outcomes. By examining different use patterns, this study revealed effective styles of use that are associated with benefits. Both theoretical and practical implications for eHealth research and evaluation are discussed.

Blogs in the Media Conversation: The Knowledge Factor in the Diffusion Process • Nanette Hogg, Carol Lomicky, Ruth Brown and Syed Hossain, Nebraska-Kearney • A content analysis of 1,168 stories in seven media outlets found blogs first mentioned in 2000. The number of stories mentioning blogs tripled every year until 2004 when the rate of increase slowed. Researchers concluded media provided knowledge about blogs as an innovation, consistent with the first step identified by Rogers in the innovation-decision process. Qualitative analysis revealed media generally discussed blogging in positive terms.

Exploring E-gov Online Structures for Citizen Participation • Min Jiang, Purdue • Acknowledging that Internet architecture, far from being value free, are results of deliberate choices, the paper utilizes website content analysis to examine the online structures for citizen participation on 30 Chinese provincial government websites. Their potentials and limits for democratic practices in the neo-authoritarian state are evaluated through a revised UN e-participation framework. Although not implemented to promote democracy, some features of the websites online structures grant cautious optimism for more open and responsible governance.

Creating a Web of Trust and Change: Testing the Gamson Hypothesis on Politically Interested Internet Users • Tom Johnson, Southern Illinois and Barbara Kaye, Tennessee-Knoxville and Daekyung Kim, Southern Illinois • Creating a Web of Trust and Change This study used an online survey of politically interested Internet users to examine the Gamson hypothesis that those who are low in political trust and high in political self-efficacy can be most easily mobilized into political action. Internet users in general were almost equally divided between being an Assured (high in trust and efficacy) and a Dissident (low in trust and efficacy).

Posting and Reading Personal Messages: The Motivation of Personal Blog Use and The Effects of Personal Blog Use on Users’ Loneliness, Belonging and Well-Being in Real Life • Younbo Jung, Hayeon Song and Peter Vorderer, Southern California • The purpose of the current paper is to develop a theoretical model that explains the motivation of personal Blog use (Impression Management, Voyeuristic Surveillance, and Social Comparison) and the effects of personal Blog use on offline life (loneliness, belonging, and psychological well-being). The proposed model for Study 1 (N=73) and Study 2 (N=531) were tested via an online survey of Blog users in Cyworld. Implications based on the findings are discussed.

Influences of Online Chat Use on Social Support and Psychosocial Well-Being • Seok Kang, Arkansas Tech • This study explores the role of disembodiment—telepresence in cyberspace—in online chat use and its effects on social psychosocial well-being. Results suggest that disembodiment in online interaction is a compelling contributor to increased loneliness and depression and decreased social support.

Abandoning Traditional News Media?: Factors Influencing the Time Displacement Effects of Online News • Daekyung Kim and Tom Johnson, Southern Illinois • This study surveys 266 college students to examine which factors, such as reliance, interactive use, motivations, and credibility of online news, predict perceived displacement effects of mainstream, portal news sites, and blogs on traditional news media. The study shows mixed findings and suggests that displacement effects vary by reliance, motivations, and credibility of each online news sites. Discussions about the relationship between online news sites and traditional media are followed.

When the Public Has the Press: An Analysis of Bloggers and Their Blogging Activities in the 2004 U.S • Eunseong Kim, Indiana • This study examines bloggers and their blogging activities during the 2004 U.S. presidential campaign. The analysis of an online survey of 270 bloggers provides valuable information about bloggers’ weblog activities, their motivations for blogging, political orientation, and the pattern of media use. The findings indicate that bloggers played active roles as information providers (or communicators in the participatory media) and as contributors of civic discourse.

Effects of Cognitive Busyness and Computer Modality on Gender Stereotyping of Computers • Eun-Ju Lee, California-Davis • Two experiments tested the mindlessness explanation for the Computers Are Social Actors paradigm. In Experiment 1, participants played a trivia game with a computer, which they thought generated random answers. They attributed greater competence and conformed more to the male than the female computers, but only when cognitively busy with a secondary task. However, when the computer produced its output in synthesized speech, as opposed to written text, such advantages of the male computer dissipated.

Philosophy and Network Structure: A Case Study of Japan’s i-Mode and Wi-Fi in the U.S. • Hoon Lee and Yong Jin Park, Michigan • This study examines how philosophical outlooks of societies influence the development of network systems. A comparison between i-Mode and Wi-Fi demonstrates that culture, which conspired to either hamper or accelerate the Internet diffusion, influences the configuration of wireless networks in each country. Hierarchical Japanese culture transformed the architecture of the Internet. In the US, the legacy of hacker reanimated grassroots movements toward free Wi-Fi network. Policy implications of technological designs are discussed.

Blog agenda: What did they blog about in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election? • Jae Kook Lee, Texas at Austin • This study investigates the way that political blogs prioritize a variety of public issues in comparison with mainstream media. With an analysis of news coverage of blogs and mainstream media in the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election, the study found that the priority, or the agenda, of blogs are similar to that of mainstream media. Furthermore, the study found that political blogs cover the election with virtually the same agenda, regardless of their political leaning.

Viewer Privacy over Cable, Satellite, the Internet, and other MVPDs: The Need for Uniform Regulator • Laurie Lee, Nebraska-Lincoln • Television viewers can now watch shows over a variety of distribution formats, including telephone, broadband Internet, and cellular phone, from many multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs). Unfortunately, subscribers also risk their privacy to MVPDs capable of collecting vast amounts of viewing data. Federal laws protect cable and satellite subscribers, but do not necessarily extend to all MVPDs. This paper examines these laws and proposes uniform federal legislation protecting all video consumers regardless of transmission medium.

The Effects of 3G License Fees on the Mobile Markets in OECD Countries • Sangwon Lee, Florida • Over the last several years, a large number of licenses for 3G services have been awarded through various approaches. This article presents an empirical analysis of the potential effects of 3G license fees on mobile markets in OECD countries. The findings herein reveal that 3G license fees have affected mobile prices in OECD countries, which may imply that large initial down-payments have an adverse effect on the growth of 3G services.

The Development of Mobile Television: Examining the Convergence of Mobile and Broadcasting Services • Sangwon Lee and Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, Florida • The convergence of mobile and broadcasting services may deliver a driver for dramatic growth in the telecommunications sector. It is said that Korean DMB system is the most commercially successful mobile television services worldwide today. We explore the factors that influence the development of the Korean DMB market and their implications. It was found that the combination of broadcasting and mobile telephone in the context of mobile television presents a classic case of “complementary convergence.”

Mobile Phone Diffusion in Developed and Developing Countries: Digital Divide, Factor, and Difference • Yang-Hwan Lee, South Carolina • This study identified the exist of digital divide between 23 developed and 54 developing countries in mobile phone diffusion during 1996-2002. In addition, factors that known to the influential affecting ICT diffusion were tested. According to the empirical test, the digital divide in mobile phone diffusion still existed and had been widen. Based on the panel regression, it was found that economy, technology, and regulation factors affected mobile diffusion. Time effect existed, but was minimal.

Predictors of Cell Phone Use as a News Device • Xigen Li, Southern Illinois • Building on the theoretical framework drawn from diffusion of innovation, technology acceptance model and expectancy-value model, this study proposed and tested a model of cell phone use as a news device. Technology functionality, information accessibility and user technology initiative were found to be significant predictors of cell phone use as a news device. Perceived value of information, news reliance and news consumption were not significant predictors of cell phone use as a news device.

College Students’ Use of iPods: Connecting iConsumption to iPiracy • Lisa Marshall, Bowling Green State • The purpose of this paper is to analyze the iPod as a tool of communication for college students and explore connections it has to the Diffusion of Innovations Theory. This paper provides an iPod overview, shows connections to piracy and the theory, and presents findings to a survey completed by 100 college students. Seventy-three percent of students reported they never pay music used on the iPod, seeking ways other than purchase to obtain iPod media.

The Source Cycle: Intermedia Agenda-Setting Between the Traditional Media and Weblogs • Marcus Messner and Marcia Watson, Miami • This study examined the intermedia agenda-setting effects between the traditional media and weblogs based on the use of one as a source by the other. A content analysis of 2,059 newspaper articles was combined with a separate content analysis of 120 weblogs. It was found that the newspapers increasingly use weblogs as sources and that weblogs heavily rely on the traditional media as sources. Thereby, traditional media and weblogs engage in a source cycle.

Online Journalism and the War in Cyberspace: A Comparison between U.S. and International Newspapers • Matt Neznanski and Daniela Dimitrova, Iowa State • The 2003 Iraq War was the first military conflict in which online media played a significant role. This study explores how the Internet was used to disseminate war news and information by comparing a number of international newspaper Web sites (N=791). Through a content analysis, the study shows some differences in the use of Web-specific features such as hyperlinks, animations, multimedia content, and interactive elements. Differences between U.S. and international Web sites are also discussed.

Uses of the Internet by College Students: Implications for Political Involvement • Kristine Nowak, David Atkin, Christian Rauh and Mark Hamilton, Cleveland State • In this emerging online environment, an intriguing avenue for research involves the relationship between Internet use and political involvement. In an effort to fill that void, the present study explores the extent to which college students rely on the Internet as a channel for political information and the influence that such uses have on their levels of political involvement.

Ruling the Cyber-Cities: When the West and the East Walk Together • Yong Jin Park, Michigan • This study examines the moderating role of culture in promoting or curtailing the convergence of online marketplaces. Drawing upon international regime theory, this study challenges the viability of ‘industry self-regulation’ regime that neglects cultural differences in privacy. A survey compared regulatory perceptions of the US and Korean participants. The aim is to explore the nature of a consensus among policymakers and to measure the effectiveness of the policy in its operation.

The Political Shaping of Municipal Wi-Fi Networks: A Case Study of Hermosa Beach • Namkee Park, Southern California • This study examines the role of local government and its impacts on the municipal Wi-Fi networks’ deployment and operation from the perspectives of social/political shaping of technology and path dependency. By employing a case study method, the study investigates the ways in which the network in Hermosa Beach, CA, has been implemented. It uncovers that the role played by local government still matters even in the era of deregulation and privatization in communication technologies.

Information Technology and Information Literacy in Journalism-Mass Communication Libraries: • Patrick Reakes, Barbara Semonche and Fred Thomsen, Florida • The last decade has been a time of sweeping change in journalism education as well as in the research facilities that support it. The management and use of information technology are critical factors in the promotion and development of information literacy within the journalism-mass communication curriculum. This research was undertaken in an effort to investigate information technology use and information literacy programs in Journalism/Mass Communications libraries and to establish a “baseline” for future research.

The Internet Immersion Divide: A Barrier to Inclusive Online Communities • Louis Rutigliano, Texas at Austin • The concept of Internet immersion looks at the relationship between online access and online activities. It considers Internet immersion as a continuum from passivity to interactivity. This paper finds that people who go online more frequently are more likely to use the Internet for interaction and after comparing offline factors such as income to this continuum, this paper presents a new form of digital divide.

Is it More Fun to Kill Other People? Exploring Video Game Enjoyment in a Variety of Game Modes • Mike Schmierbach and Thomas Butler, College of Charleston • Video games exist to provide players with enjoyment, yet little research has explored what makes a game enjoyable. In this study, we consider how college students (N = 102) respond to one of three play modes in a first-person shooter. Enjoyment is fostered by greater excitement and attachment to avatar and lower frustration, all of which points to the importance of engagement or flow. Gaming experience shapes some responses, but game mode has minimal effects.

Online Citizens and Consequences of Internet Use for Political Participation • Daniel Schneider, Stanford • The Internet offers new opportunities for political dialogue and communication with possible implications for political participation. Using data from General Social Survey of 2000, 2002 and 2004 characteristics of Internet users with and without interest in political online content are investigated and the consequences of Internet use for political participation are examined. Results suggest a selection process for use of the Internet and political online content and that Internet use can increase political participation.

Frame-up: An Analysis of Arguments Both For and Against Municipal Wi-Fi Initiatives • Gwen Shaffer, Temple • Dozens of cities plan to build wireless broadband networks. This textual analysis compares documents used to bolster and break down the case for municipal Wi-Fi. It examines how Wireless Philadelphia uses “public good” principles to frame its argument for a potentially massive taxpayer investment, while the telecommunications industry frames city-run wireless networks as “risky” and unnecessary. Contradictions and inconsistencies in these documents highlight how information is manipulated to influence the debate over Wi-Fi policy.

Dear Radio Broadcaster: Fan Mail as a Form of Perceived Interactivity • Charlene Simmons, Tennessee-Chattanooga • In an attempt to learn more about perceived interactivity this study explores the perceptions of broadcast radio listeners. Early broadcast radio provides an interesting example for exploring interactivity because although the medium lacked interactive features millions of listeners perceived that the opportunity to ‘interact’ with radio personalities existed through fan mail. This study examines listener fan mail as well as radio programs to determine whether radio encouraged a level of perceived interactivity.

Political Web sites: An Equalizer for Candidate Gender and Race Disparities? • Melissa Smith, Mississippi State and Barry Smith, Alabama • This study examines the roles candidate race and gender may play in the evaluation of candidates presented via campaign Web sites. Apparent race and gender of a candidate were manipulated while issue information was held constant on a campaign Web site. The candidate’s gender was shown to affect evaluations of the candidate (positively for female candidates). The candidate’s race did not affect evaluations of the candidate.

Blogging for Better Health: Putting the “Public” Back in Public Health • S. Shyam Sundar, Heidi Hatfield Edwards, Yifeng Hu and Carmen Stavrositu, Penn State • Weblogs are a relatively new and unique online communication tool. This paper examines blogs that focus on mental health issues to better understand the function and content of these particular types of blogs. The researchers discuss theoretical issues surrounding technological and psychological aspects of health blogs and employ quantitative content analysis as well as qualitative textual analysis to determine who mental health bloggers are, why they blog, and the nature of mental health blogs.

Framing of Tsunami Bloggers: A Study of Print Newspapers from Four Countries • Renuka Suryanarayan, Ohio • The purpose was to see if blogs had become important journalistic sources in newspaper reporting of the tsunami, 2004. The coverage by the New York Times, the Daily Mail, London, the Times of India, and the Daily News, Sri Lanka, was content analyzed. Two findings were 1) that technology does not change journalists’ routine in Eastern and in Western countries; and 2) that the number of tsunami deaths in a country had no correlation to media salience.

An Experiment Testing the Agenda-Setting Effect of Blogs • Kaye Trammell, Louisiana State • This study explored the agenda-setting effect of communication style and interactivity on blogs among young people. As a multi-cell experiment on undergraduate students, this study exposed participants to blog posts that discuss an issue in 1). an anecdotal manner told from a first-person perspective or 2). report-like manner discussing facts and statistics about an issue. Results confirm the agenda-setting power of blogs, but find mixed results regarding the hypothesized impact of communication style and interactivity.

Credibility and the Uses of Blogs Among Professionals in the Communication Industry • Kaye Trammell, Lance Porter, Deborah Chung and Eunseong Kim, Louisiana State • Communication professionals are beginning to take note of blogs as more turn to them for information and deem blogs “credible.” Using an online survey of professionals in journalism and public relations, this study investigated the use of blogs within the communication industry. Factor analysis revealed simplistic blog use categorizations as being either passive or active. Results also indicate that those who are labeled “high users” in both factors assign more credibility to the medium.

From Yahoo! to AAARGH: Developments in the French Approach Towards Blocking Hate Speech • Bastiaan Vanacker, Minnesota • This paper discusses a recent case in which a French court ordered local ISPs to block certain American Web sites because they violate French hate speech law. It discusses how French courts have dealt with similar issues in the past and compares these approaches with the recent one. It also discusses the technological issues relating to destination ISP blocking brought up by such blocking orders.

Ethical and Strategic Messages: Frames and Learning in a Mixed Media Context • Aaron Veenstra, Ben Sayre, Dhavan Shah and Doug McLeod, Wisconsin • Many people consider strategic framing harmful to democracy because it erodes citizen interest in the democratic process. Our results demonstrate that this is not always the case. Testing the effects of textual strategic frames and video processing in a digital environment, we show that strategic frames may also provide a context that is more conducive to learning in mixed media news environments than that provided by ethical or value frames.

The Diffusion of GIS in Journalism • Ben Wasike, Texas at Brownsville • This study looked at the likelihood of journalists to adopt GIS and the future of the technology’s diffusion in journalism. In-depth interviews and a Web survey were used. Sixty-three percent of reporters were aware of GIS but only 11% use GIS. OLS regression showed that gender, age, and the use of other technologies affect the likelihood to adopt GIS. The availability of map data, competition, and use of secondary GIS products will affect diffusion.

Internet Gratifications, Media Use and Technology Cluster as Predictors of Wi-Fi Adoption • Ran Wei, South Carolina • The Internet becomes portable thanks to Wi-Fi and Wi-Max. However, existing research shows use of wireless Internet was low. This study explores factors predicting adoption of Wi-Fi powered WLAN. Findings show that low level of Wi-Fi awareness is a hurdle to adoption. Results of multivariate analyses indicate that newspaper reading is a predictor of Wi-Fi awareness. The motivations of information learning and social escapism are the strongest predictors of Wi-Fi interest and adoption likelihood.

The Adoption and Use of Mobile Phone in Rural China: Behavioral and Psychological Factors • Lu Wei, Washington State and Mingxin Zhang, Hubei University • Based on a theoretical model adapted from perceived need theory and original diffusion theory, this study demonstrated that both behavioral and psychological factors may significantly predict Chinese rural resident’s adoption and use of mobile phone. The effect of psychological factors, however, is very limited in the prediction of adoption and use of new media technologies, especially in the context of rural society. The relationships among demographic, behavioral, and psychological factors were discussed.

The Big Three’s Prime Time Decline: The Technological and Social Context • Kenneth Wiegand and Douglas Hindman, Washington State • This paper is an analysis of factors associated with the 25 year decline in the prime time shares of the top three television networks. Time series analysis revealed that share decline was associated with multiple video programming distribution (MVPD) penetration. MVPD penetration and network profits were associated with social differentiation, indicating organizational adjustment to the social environment. Findings were discussed in terms of the principle of relative constancy and open systems models of organizational change.

Perception Gaps of Cyber Public Sphere • Xu Wu, Arizona State • The focus of this research is to explore and compare people’s perception of online sphere as opposed to print media sphere and broadcasting media sphere. Nine attributes were summarized from Jürgen Habermas’s original discussions. A comparative survey study was conducted among some 150 undergraduate journalism students in China and in the United States, respectively. Findings exposed significant perception gaps on cyber sphere’s capacity and performance as a genuine public sphere.

Weblogs as Agents of Political Participation: Mobilizing Information in Weblogs and Print Newspapers • Masahiro Yamamoto, Washington State • Considering the growing popularity of Weblogs for journalistic use, the present study investigated the possibility that Weblogs could become a catalyst for political participation. Examining Weblogs and print newspapers, this content analysis study found more tactical mobilizing information in Weblogs than in print newspapers. This result suggests that Weblogs can potentially function as an alternative information source that encourages citizens to engage in political activities.

Perceived Anonymity and Online Public Disclosure • Haejin Yun and Robert LaRose, Michigan State • This study redefined anonymity as perceived anonymity based on a critique of previous, pertinent empirical studies. The redefined construct of perceived anonymity adopted the Social Information Processing (SIP) model’s approach to computer-mediated communication (CMC). Two competing models of perceived anonymity affecting online public disclosure – a deindividuation model and a SIP-based model – were built and tested with real online social support community data. The SIP-based model was supported with perceived anonymity negatively affecting public disclosure.

<< 2006 Abstracts

Science Communication 2007 Abstracts

Science Communication Interest Group

Print Media Coverage of Passive Smoking: A Content Analysis Study of Mainstream Newspapers • Asya A. Besova, Louisiana State University • The primary objective of this research study was to assess the extent and content of newspaper coverage of passive smoking. The researcher found that passive smoking was portrayed as a controversial issue. Twenty nine percent of articles concluded that passive smoking is not harmful. Although the majority of people quoted in articles were scientists, physicians, and academicians; reporters devoted a considerable amount of quotes to tobacco company representatives.

Perspectives of African Americans and Dentists on Oral Cancer and Dentist-Patient Communication • Youjin Choi, Virginia Dodd, Jennifer Watson, Scott Tomar, Henrietta Logan and Heather Edwards, University of Florida • Oral cancer is one of the most pressing diseases that disproportionately affect African American men and White American men. Dentists’ role in delivering oral cancer information and explaining the importance of early detection exams is vital in reducing the disparities. Using focus groups with African Americans and dentists, this study compared African American’s knowledge about oral cancer and its exams, and perceptions of dentist-patient communication with dentists’ perspectives on the same topics.

To booze or not to booze? Newspaper coverage of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders • Colleen Connolly-Ahern, Penn State University and S. Camille Broadway, University of Texas at Arlington • This paper reports the results of a qualitative framing of the coverage of Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD). Findings indicate that media discourse about FASD is characterized by differing story types and competing frames. The study also documents the recent emergence of a news frame in opposition to the prevailing abstinence frame in health coverage. This frame has shown physicians to be conflicted in their advice about drinking during pregnancy.

Precision of Information, Sensationalism, and Self-Efficacy as Message-Level Variables Affecting Risk Perceptions • Michael Dahlstrom and Anthony Dudo, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Risk studies often investigate how risks are processed psychologically, but few have investigated the effects of message-level variables on risk perception. This study examined the effects of three message-level constructs, risk precision, sensationalism and self-efficacy, on general and individual fear toward the risk of sick building syndrome. Results show that risk precision significantly affects general fear, but is moderated by sensationalism. Individual fear was not affected by any of the constructs.

News Frames of Hormone Replacement Therapy Before and After the Women’s Healthy Initiative Report in 2002 • Kenneth Kim, University of Florida • Until July 2002, Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is widely recommended by physicians for reducing the symptoms of menopause. However, in July 2002, there were alarming reports on the long-term HRT use from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI), a national health study for postmenopausal women. The WHI reported that any potential benefit of HRT might be offset by potential harms, including an increase in the risk of breast cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

Misunderstanding Public Understanding of Nanotechnology: Nanotechnology Researchers’ Views of Ordinary People, Media and Public Discourse • Victoria Kramer, University of South Carolina • Nanotechnology is an emerging technology predicted to have major impacts on society. There are those within the nanotechnology community calling for public involvement, yet there appear to be no studies examining nanotechnology researchers’ views of the public and science communication. This exploratory study examines how nanoresearchers perceive ordinary people, media coverage of nanotechnology and science’s role in society. The findings’ implications for how nanoresearchers are likely to approach science communication are discussed.

Public Concern, Risk Delineation and Source Use in Newspapers’ Coverage of Genetically Modified Food • Xigen LI, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • This study examined ten U.S. newspapers’ coverage of genetically modified food during 1994 and 2004,and attempted to answer several important questions on how U.S. newspapers covered issues of public interest, how media dealt with risk information, and to what degree source used was associated with the key aspects of the coverage.

Understanding Public Support for Stem Cell Research: Media Communication, Interpersonal Communication and Trust in Key Actors • Hui Liu and Susanna Priest, University of South Carolina • This paper analyzes data from a 2005 telephone survey of 1200 people in the U.S. that included questions about attitudes toward stem cell research and a broad range of communication variables. After all controls, trust in university scientists and religious leaders, exposure to national television news, familiarity, and religious service attendance produced statistically significant main effects on perception of research benefits, together explaining about 31% of the variance. Interpersonal communication may have contingent effects.

The Perceived Justice of Local Scientists and Community Support for their Research • Katherine McComas, Cornell University, John Beesley, University of South Carolina and Zheng Yang, Cornell University • This study investigates the relationship among measures of justice and attitudes toward local scientific research. It uses results of a mail survey of residents in two upstate New York counties (N=1306) that host substantial biotechnology and nanotechnology research facilities. Predictor variables are distributional, procedural, interpersonal, and informational justice. Controls include demographics, media use, basic science knowledge, and technology awareness.

Intersections of Health Literacy and Media Literacy: An Explication of Concepts • Paula Rausch, University of Florida • Mass media are the primary means through which most Americans obtain health information, yet research examining their role in health literacy is rare. This explication provides overviews of both health literacy and media literacy and identifies the overlap between them. It then proposes a conceptual definition and an operational model of health literacy that links the two concepts and takes into account mass media as significant providers of public health information.

How Attention to Local Newspaper and Television Environmental News Relates to Risk and Knowledge • Daniel Riffe and Thomas J. Hrach, Ohio University • Survey data compared influence of local television and newspaper environmental coverage, exploring how environmental risk and value of environmental knowledge are related to exposure to news and attention to environmental news and beliefs about its quality. Respondents perceiving greater risk paid more attention and were more critical. Value of environmental knowledge was negatively related to perceived quality of television coverage and positively correlated with attention to newspaper environmental coverage.

Newspaper coverage of genetic modification events in China, Thailand and the United States: Across-cultural analysis • Lu Lu Rodriguez and Zheng Xiang, Iowa State University • This study compares how the English-language newspapers of three countries covered two genetic modification cases, the genetic engineering of rice in China and the US, and the genetic alteration of papaya in Thailand and the US. The intensity of newspaper coverage of each genetic modification event, the pattern and the tone of the coverage, the sources cited, and the frames employed were determined through a content analysis.

Environment Reporters and U.S. Journalists: A Comparative Analysis • David Sachsman, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, James Simon, Fairfield University and JoAnn Valenti • Reporters assigned to covering a beat like the environment might be expected to be more experienced and better educated in their subject area. However, a comparison between 652 environmental journalists working at daily newspapers and television stations and more than 1,000 U.S. journalists in general found that these reporters share many individual and work-related characteristics, perhaps due in part to their similar backgrounds and to the basic professional training received by most journalists.

At the Frontiers of Faith and Science: News Media Framing of Stem Cell Research • Nicole Smith, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill • Framing research has shown that media framing of issues has real implications for both policy makers and audiences. As the ethical debate surrounding stem cell research presents a problem of choice to the American people, how that choice is framed is a fundamental determinant of what the American people think, and ultimately decide, about the future of stem cell research. This study presents a framing analysis of newspaper coverage of the issue.

Sourcing Patterns in the Crisis Phases of a Bioterror Attack • Kristen Swain, University of Kansas • This study examined attribution in U.S. news coverage of the anthrax attacks across disaster phases, uncertainty factors, and types of media, attribution, advice, and explanations. Overall, 833 stories from AP, NPR, 272 newspapers, and four television networks were analyzed. Nearly half of attributions were unnamed sources. Prominent sourcing shifted from federal politicians to federal health officials shortly after journalists began receiving tainted letters. Fire-rescue/health care workers emerged as the top source after the attacks ended.

Health on the Web: A content analysis of mobilizing information on local TV Web sites • Andrea Tanner, Daniela Friedman and Kim Smith, University of South Carolina • This study explored the volume and scope of health coverage on local television news Web sites as well as the mobilizing information contained within the online health content. Data revealed that health stories were present on 64% of the sites examined. Little mobilizing information was presented. Health stories were significantly more likely to contain locational MI than identificational or tactical MI. There were also significant differences between large and small markets regarding specific health content.

Power, Knowledge, and Hope: The Framing of Breast Cancer in Women’s and Consumer Health Magazines • Kim Walsh-Childers and Heather Edwards, University of Florida • This framing analysis examined breast cancer articles from five popular consumer magazines read by women. The analysis revealed three primary frames – power, knowledge and hope – and two themes, fear and risks to young women, that were pervasive regardless of the dominant frame. The three frames, power, knowledge, and hope, suggest that while breast cancer is a real threat to women, they have good reason to feel that useful, risk-reducing actions are within their ability.

Media effect, political interests, and other social cultural factors: The making of China’s environmentalists and their view on their societal cultural environment • Qingjiang Yao, University of South Carolina • Using data from China part (2001, N=1000) of the World Value Survey, this research found a positive impact of news media use on environmental concern. However, political interest, income and postmaterialist value are found to have stronger and more consistent predicting power of being a Chinese environmentalist. The research also found that Chinese environmentalists who like to voluntarily work for environment protection with no pay tend to be more skeptical on government and media.

<< 2007 Abstracts

Resolution Three 2011

Resolution Three: To affirm the ethical practice of journalism and mass communication in a global age.

2011 Conference, St. Louis

The London-based newspaper, News of the World, published since 1843, was closed this year by its owners, the Murdochs, as a consequence of the scandal involving the newspaper’s unethical and illegal actions involving both the hacking of a 13-year-old murder victim’s cell phone account and payment to Scotland Yard for information.

Whereas, hacking into online or cell phone accounts of citizens, victims of crime or others under investigation damages the credibility of journalism and violates privacy rights;

Whereas, it is unethical to compensate sources for interviews, purchase gifts for sources, or pay for other unpublished material;

Whereas, checkbook journalism damages the credibility of journalism;

Whereas, blatant disregard for the ethical practices and standards of journalism not only erodes the credibility of media, but it also creates an incentive for sources to falsify information in the hopes of potential payment or other benefit from media;

Therefore, be it resolved that:

The members of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) formally affirm the ethical practice of journalism and mass communication in a global and digital era, and condemn all such ethical breaches wherever committed.

<< 2011 Resolutions

AEJMC 2011 Resolutions

AEJMC Members approved four resolutions during the 2011 Convention in St. Louis, MO.

  • Resolution One: To Recognize and Honor Pamella Price, AEJMC Membership/Subscription Manager, for her 25 Years of Service to AEJMC.
  • Resolution Two: To Recognize and Honor Lillian Coleman, JMC Quarterly and JMC Educator Production Manager, for her 25 Years of Service to AEJMC.
  • Resolution Three: To affirm the ethical practice of journalism and mass communication in a global age.

<< AEJMC Resolutions

Tips from the AEJMC Teaching Committee

Thwarting Trouble: Creating an ethical foundation through a good syllabus and meaningful conversation

(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, September 2011 issue)

Looking back at some of my Indiana University undergraduate syllabi from the late 1960s and early 1970s, I see how much the world of syllabus-making has changed. In those days, professors provided a single sheet that gave their names, titles (sometimes; mine generally just said things like Mr. Lohmann, rarely “Professor” or “Dr.”), office-hour info and a description of the course. Dates were noted with a two- or three-word phrase to let students know what the topic of the week would be. Abbreviated reading lists were included, as well. A purplish-blue page from the mimeo machine was all we got, and we did just fine. My courses were, in fact, awfully good.

These days, our syllabi are more like term papers. We include descriptions of the course; ACEJMC values and competencies; elaborate schedules that include readings, viewings, assignments and more; often a paragraph promoting our own great achievements; an every-growing section about classroom rules and behavior (turn off cell phones, don’t surf the Web, be civil to one and all); and a section about academic misconduct (sometimes called “academic integrity”).

It’s this last item that I address here: how to provide your students with an adequate mix of support and threat regarding the rules of academic and professional endeavors. Support to learn the difference between acceptable and unacceptable practices; threat, to understand the consequences of screwing up.

Academic misconduct, as it is usually defined, covers a range of issues. At IU, the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities includes sections on cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, interference, violation of course rules and facilitating academic misconduct.

I think there are a number of ways to set the stage at the beginning of the semester and then to reinforce lessons during the term. Nothing’s failsafe, but here are some ideas.

1. Use your syllabus to define the terms and clarify policies. As a written document handed out at the beginning of the term, the syllabus may later provide you with support you need. (“Recall the section on the syllabus that addresses plagiarism?” you may find yourself asking a student at term paper time.)

2. Make sure you yourself have reviewed the campus misconduct definitions and policies. Make sure you are clear about your own unit’s policies. Refer to both in your syllabus.

3. Include, too, the ACEJMC Values and Competency statement (#4) that speaks to ethics and integrity: — “all graduates should be aware of … And able to demonstrate an understanding of professional ethical principles and work ethically in pursuit of truth, accuracy, fairness and diversity.”

Presumably this will be one of a number of the values and competencies you include on your syllabus.

4. Spend some time in class on Day 1 or Day 2 talking about the importance of doing your own work and making sure to reference the work of those from whom you borrow information. Use real examples from the journalism world and from academics to make your points. Talk about why students and why journalists may be tempted to take shortcuts. Provide suggestions for reducing those temptations and dealing with time and grade pressures that are likely the root of temptation.

5. In your talk, make sure your students know that your job is not that of prison warden. Rather, you are there to help them understand and succeed. Provide avenues for them to talk with you privately, or in class, and to have you preview their work BEFORE a deadline.

6.  Refer students to Web sites that can help them. (The Teaching & Learning program at my university – –  has a good site, which includes definitions, tips for instructors and links to other useful sites.) If your campus has Turnitin ( or another software program that detects plagiarism, make your students aware of the program. Consider bringing in an expert to show them how to make the program work for, and not against, them.

7.  Depending on the class, create an assignment that has students investigate cases of journalistic or academic misconduct. A colleague of mine has reporting students choose from a list she has created of journalistic transgressors. Each student prepares a short presentation for class that describes the case and the consequence.

Alternatively, sending students on a Google search to “academic misconduct” or something more specific such as “internet plagiarism” will yield a class period full of examples and opportunities for exploring issues. A Google search for “news about academic misconduct” yields a host of examples, from college football players (and sometimes their coaches) to college provosts to journalists for small and large news organizations.

I’ve never been as confident as some colleagues that one can construct assignments that render misconduct impossible. In any case, the real world we are sending our graduates into is filled with temptations to skirt the rules. To me, our campus classrooms are as good a place as any to provide a solid ethical foundation.

By Bonnie J. Brownlee,
Indiana University,
AEJMC Teaching Committee

<< Teaching Corner

Commission on the Status of Women 2011 Abstracts

The Male Gaze and Online Sports Punditry: A Case Study of the Ines Sainz Controversy • Aidan Bryant, Syracuse University; Kenneth Merrill, Syracuse University; Emily Dolan, Syracuse University; Siying Chang, Syracuse University • On September 11th, 2010 Ines Sainz, a sports reporter for TV Azteca (a Spanish language Mexican network), was allegedly harassed by members of the New York Jets. Controversy erupted around the role of women in sports broadcasting and the myriad attendant dimensions involved, including issues of credibility, dominant beauty ideals, and the male gaze, among others. This case study assesses how sports blogs covered the controversy, using a combination of in-depth interviewing and textual analysis of four popular sports blogs. This study examines themes of the male gaze, credibility, the role of women in sports broadcasting, and the political/sexual economy of sports blogs.

Sexual Messages in Black and White: A case study of Essence and Cosmo • Carolyn Byerly, Howard University; Rebecca Reviere, Howard University • The study examined the discourse on women’s sexual freedom as it appeared in the advice columns of two popular American magazines, Essence and Cosmopolitan — the first oriented toward Black women, the second to White women. The study situated its concerns historically by asking whether the discourse in these columns reflected the tenets of second wave feminism, which advanced new tenets of women’s sexual liberation. Next, it sought to learn whether the discourse engaged sexual themes of transgression, pleasing the other and go-getting, as posed by Machin and Thornborrow. Black feminist theory and critical discourse analysis provided the theoretical framework and methodology. Findings revealed that readers of Essence are more likely to see tenets of sexual liberation embedded in advice columns, which give women a wider range of sexual choices than are those of Cosmo. Cosmo readers are more likely to be advised to excite and keep their men and to be more flexible if they stray.

Don’t Call Me That: Examining the Discourse the Precedes the Term “Mommy Blogger” • Gina Masullo Chen, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University • A textual analysis of 29 women’s blog posts and 653 blog comments debating the meaning of the term mommy blogger reveals that these women feel the term reinforces women’s hegemonic normative role as nurturers, thrusting women into a virtual private sphere in the blogosphere. The use of mommy, versus mother, highlights this subjective norm, although some women pointed out the term was useful for marketing and creating a sense of community with other women online.

An Analysis of Attributes Students Use to Describe Good Male and Female Instructors • Katie Clune, Rockhurst University • The purpose of this study was to analyze ways students describe those instructors they consider to be “good” instructors and to assess how well male and female instructors meet the expectations for a good instructor. Male instructors were more frequently described as engaging, focused on student learning, knowledgeable, and ethical. Female instructors were more frequently described as caring, helpful, and friendly than their male counterparts. Results indicate students may have gendered expectations for their instructors.

“Vicious assault shakes Texas town:” The politics of gender violence in The New York Times’ coverage of a schoolgirl’s gang rape • Meenakshi Durham, University of Iowa • This paper analyzes public discourse around The New York Times coverage of the gang rape of a schoolgirl in Cleveland, Texas. After the story broke, bloggers, commentators and editorial writers launched searing critiques of the story’s victim-blaming and sexist perspective. Using critical textual analysis, this study analyzes the ways in which feminist media scholarship formed an implicit framework for the response. The analysis revealed that lay critics examined sourcing, language use, and racial stereotyping to dissect and dissent with The Times’ reportage. The paper reflects on feminist praxis as it is articulated in online media to bring about changes to a rape culture.

Women to Watch speak out: Looking behind the curtain of mentoring, networking and gender • Kali Flewellen, University of North Texas; Sheri Broyles, University of North Texas; Jean Grow, Marquette University • Senior women in advertising from Advertising Age’s 1997 to 2009 Women to Watch lists were asked open-ended questions about the award. A content analysis of responses identified thematic categories pointing to the importance of mentors and networks for women. Parity in the workplace and whether the “Plexiglas” ceiling is still firmly in place are also discussed. Rich verbatim comments give insights to both the past and hope for the future for women in advertising.

Paying Her Dues: The Early Career of Pioneering Broadcaster Pauline Frederick • Marilyn Greenwald, Ohio University • By the time she died in 1990 at 84, Pauline Frederick had been the first women to broadcast news from overseas and the first women to cover the United Nations as a fulltime beat. By the time she was 39, Frederick had extensive newspaper, syndicate and radio experience, but she was still hired only as a stringer in an era and an industry that marginalized women. This paper examines her early career and outlines how she persevered and navigated a male-dominated industry to become a pioneering journalist.

“Ronald Reagan in Heels”: How Tea Party “Mama Grizzlies” Framed Gender and Public Issues in the 2010 U.S. Mid-Term Election • Jaesik Ha, Indiana University • This study examined how, in the 2010 election, female Tea Party candidates frequently attacked both the “femininity” of male candidates and some of President Obama’s policies, such as immigration and health care. It used a discourse analysis of news media interviews with female Tea Party candidates, as well as the candidates’ television debates, campaign advertisements and web-site content during the course of the mid-term election of 2010. One salient tactic by female Tea party candidates was to attack the manhood of their opponents. A second, recurring strategy favored by female tea partiers was to construct a public persona linked to widely known conservative luminaries in order to appeal to voters. They purposefully tried to depict themselves as disciples of Ronald Reagan and of Sarah Palin. By doing so, they framed themselves as determined, strong, and courageous politicians. The tactical choice to align their public personas with Reagan and to become Palinesque “mama grizzlies” came from their judgment that such personas could be advantageous to their campaigns. Also, even though female Tea Party candidates expressed strong opposition to government intervention, they nonetheless advocated the state’s involvement in individuals’ private lives in moral and cultural issues such as abortion and gay rights. This study shows that the campaign by female Tea Party candidates in the 2010 election was driven by not “women’s” issues, but by the economic distress felt by the American public.

The Symbolic Annihilation of Women in Globalization Discourse: The Same Old Story in U.S. Newsmagazines • Dustin Harp, University of Texas at Austin; Summer Harlow, University of Texas at Austin; Jaime Loke, University of Oklahoma • This quantitative and qualitative analysis of Time and Newsweek explores how women are incorporated into a globalization discourse that often is seen as a masculinized public sphere. Results indicate that while female journalists integrate women into the news more than their male counterparts, females are invisible in globalization coverage. When discussing female empowerment via globalization, it is through an economic lens with an eye to the impact on women’s traditional roles as wives and mothers.

What’s the Problem? Newspapers Explain Global Sex Trafficking • Anne Johnston, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Barbara Friedman, School of Journalism & Mass Communication, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Autumn Shafer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study content analyzed all sex trafficking-related stories appearing in major U.S. print news sources in 2009. A total of 281 news articles were analyzed for the differences occurring in stories that focused on the domestic aspect of sex trafficking from those that focused on transnational dimensions of trafficking. Findings indicated that transnational stories were more likely to cover a range of solutions, causes and consequences to sex trafficking than did domestic focused stories.

Feminist pornography as cultural variation: Using Judith Butler to analyze its potential for resistance • Rachael Liberman, University of Colorado at Boulder • The following paper takes up an analysis using the work of feminist philosopher Judith Butler—specifically Gender Trouble (1990), Bodies That Matter (1993), and The Psychic Life of Power (1997)—as a point of entry for analyzing the work of feminist pornography as resistance. Butler’s commitment to the deconstruction of normative assumptions concerning gender and sexuality, as well as her related conceptualizations of subjectivity, performance, and cultural intelligibility offer an alternative to the long-standing argument that feminist pornography is either a “good” or “bad” project for feminism. As feminists have begun to embrace the postmodernist ideas, a trend easily identified in third wave feminism and navigations though identity politics, it should follow that feminist praxis, such as feminist pornography, should be analyzed in a similar fashion. Butler (1993) points out that gender and sexuality as not static conditions of the body, but are rather processes of materialization or intelligibility that are informed by changing cultural conditions (p. 2). The questions therefore become: Where does feminist pornography fit within the “matrix of gender relations?” (p. 7). To what extent does feminist pornography disrupt the process of sexual norm stabilization? And finally, why does feminist pornography matter for feminism? In order to answer these questions as well as provide a general analysis of feminist pornography vis-à-vis Judith Butler’s theories on performance, subjectivity, and materialization, this paper will analyze the work of three feminist pornographers: Candida Royalle, Tristan Taormino, and Joanna Angel.

Gender Stereotypes and Citizen Journalism: Exploring what effect, if any, gender match has on story credibility for citizen journalism and staff written news • Hans Meyer, Ohio University • Researchers have suggested that gender stereotypes help determine the credibility of news stories, but the Internet may help mitigate that effect, especially for citizen journalism. Through an online experiment that manipulates story authorship – either staff or audience – and the author’s gender, this study suggest other cues on the Web have more of an effect than gender for staff written stories. Audience written stories appeal and are more credible to women if they are written by other women. This reflects that citizen journalism sites work as an alternative to traditional media online.

Feminist Media Literacy and Underserved Girls • Micah Carpender; Leigh Moscowitz, College of Charleston • This project reports on the results of a semester-long feminist critical media literacy initiative targeting underserved fourth- and fifth-grade girls at a Title I school in South Carolina. The goal of this project – an after-school club for girls- was to help students think critically about their relationships with and responses to media messages, particularly in terms of race, gender, and class. Specifically, this club aimed to privilege girls’ voices, experiences, and agency by culminating with the girls’ own media production, zines (hand-made, hand-distributed booklets based around the girls’ own interests and experiences). This study assesses this initiative using the scholarly frameworks of media studies, girls’ studies and feminist critical media literacy. Through examining before and after focus group interviews conducted with participants and analyzing the content of their zines, we ascertain what effect the initiative had on girls’ self-image, critical thinking skills, and media relationships. This study thus provides media educators, scholars, and activists with a case study of the effects of feminist media literacy and cultural production on underserved girls of color. Ultimately, our findings both emphasize the need for feminist critical media literacy education and cultural production and articulate its pedagogical challenges. It is our hope that our assessment of this project will function as a starting point, encouraging educators and activists to continue creating and practicing relevant and meaningful forms of critical media pedagogy with girls.

Anorexia on the Internet: A Look at the Pro-Ana Community Through Feminist, Social Comparison, and Uses and Gratifications Theories • Rachelle Pavelko, University of Memphis • “Pro-ana” refers to those who view anorexia nervosa as a “lifestyle choice” rather than a disease, and is a community rooted within social networking. A thorough review of feminist, social comparison, and uses and gratifications theories was conducted and applied to both pro-ana participants and websites. A content analysis was then executed to determine which females are more prone to join the pro-ana community, and what types of information are available through the websites.

Gender and power at the crossroads: Examining the nexus of gender and power in public relations • Katie Place, Saint Louis University • This qualitative study of 45 women public relations practitioners in the United States examined how gender and power intersect in the public relations industry. One research question was posed: What are the intersections of gender and power in public relations for women practitioners? Results suggest that gender and power intersect through gendered appearances, management style, women’s bonding together for power, expectations and stereotypes, and women’s self-realization and choices. This study contributes to the body of public relations and gender scholarship by illustrating that gender and power are inherently intersectional and forged through discourse, socialization and resulting solidified stereotypes, expectations and workplace standards. Ultimately, gender and power exist in a push-pull system of simultaneous empowerment and oppression.

The Gendering of Weight-Loss Advertisements in the Beginning of the Obesity Age • Deanna Pogorelc, Ohio University • A content analysis of more than 400 weight-loss advertisements published in men’s and women’s magazines between 2001 and 2005 revealed that weight-loss advertising demonstrated patterns of gendered stereotypes and may contribute to weight problems in the United States by driving a preoccupation with food and flaunting idealized male and female bodies.

Coverage of Domestic Violence: A Pilot Study • Megan Ward, Therese Lueck and Heather Walter, The University of Akron • Mediated reality that draws on cultural myths for gendered narratives reinforces patriarchy. This study explores the coverage of domestic violence as a culturally constructed journalistic narrative. A research team assessed journalism students’ understanding of domestic violence before and after presentations and workshops. Overall, the students showed a heightened awareness of domestic violence and an ability to discern the quality of journalistic practices in its coverage.

A False Start, a Heavy Burden and Hugs: A Study of the Female “Firsts” in Newspaper Management • Kimberly Voss, University of Central Florida; Lance Speere, University of Central Florida • This is an examination of the promotions and the aftermath for three significant women in newspaper management: Gloria Biggs, Carol Sutton and Janet Chusmir. Their stories are important to understand how progress was made and how it was slowed. It also provides perspectives about the different paths to management for women. To truly understand the time period, this study will also address the intersection of these women’s careers with feminism. Material was drawn from interviews with former colleagues and family members, media coverage of their promotions, archival materials for Biggs and an oral history for Sutton.

From Inept Intruders to Suspicious Sex Vixens: The Problem of Heterosexuality in Sports Information • Erin Whiteside, University of Tennessee • This research expands on the ways sexuality as a discourse can be understood as an expression of power with a specific effect on women through the exploration of what I call the problem of heterosexuality. As deviants in the space of sports, women stand before a constant “panoptical gaze” (Bartky, 1988). Their presence is questioned and their motives are framed as suspect, two concepts explored in this research. In escaping the lesbian stigma, women may earn acceptance from men and freedom from suspicion regarding their sexuality. Yet, that acceptance may result in a cost to their professional credibility in the form of sexual harassment and suspicion regarding their ethics and virtue as SIDs. Ultimately, in proving their heterosexuality, women must also manage it in a way as to not invite unwanted advances or the perception that their presence in sports information is the product of unethical motives in the form of a desire to meet men. I conclude this article by arguing that sexuality discourses are problematic for women in that female SIDs find themselves in a kind of maze with no way out: Their presence raises constant questions about their sexuality that forces women into a constant state of angst about their appearance and public presentation.

Culture Changes as Reflected in Portrayals of Women in Chinese Magazines Published in Three Eras • Yue Yin, Iowa State University • This study examines how women’s roles and gender were portrayed in magazines published during three epochs of Chinese history: before, during, and after the Cultural Revolution. A content analysis and discourse analysis of articles that discussed the role of women and gender were conducted to determine and describe the most commonly occurring frames applied over time. The findings suggest more attention to the combined impact of the mainstream culture and sub-cultures on media content.

<< 2011 Abstracts

Religion and Media 2011 Abstracts

A Bigger Footprint: Religion Coverage by Another Name • Jesse Holcomb, Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism • A content analysis of significant religion stories in recent years suggests that the presence of religion in the news is broader than previously thought. However, in some cases, events with religious significance were primarily covered by journalists as politics, crime, or terrorism stories. The findings point to a journalistic landscape in which religion and other beats are not neatly segregated, but reflect the connectivity of the 21st century public sphere in which we all live.

As Predicted: Fact and Improbability in News Coverage of Astrology • Rick Moore, Boise State University • This study examines a recent eruption of news about astrology. It uses as a lens research on how traditional news values might allow “mystical” ideas to maintain public acceptance in spite of scientific evidence against them. Contrasting that approach with a lens provided by Neil Postman, the current study finds reporting about astrology did not provide significant scientific basis for dismissal of the belief. The two lenses for discussing this provide very different insights, however.

Assuaging Death and Assigning Blame: A Lyric Analysis of Mormon Murder Ballads • Clark Callahan, Brigham Young University; Quint Randle, BYU • This paper uses Fisher’s narrative approach as a theoretical foundation for deconstructing 19th century Mormon culture through the use of its ballads. Specifically, this paper investigates Mormon and non-Mormon lyrical representations of murder (killing), “Mormon Murder Ballads.” This mode of cultural expression was especially relevant during the first 20 or so years of the church which was marked by both individual and group killings and persecution. Using narrative criticism, each of the selected songs was coded for themes—four main themes were identified in the analysis. These themes are blood and gore, broken promises of America, heavenly justice and vengeance, and rational perspective. These four theme offer insights into the social structures in which violent acts were contextually situated and how persecution was symbolized by 19th-century Mormons.

Coverage of Islam in the Egyptian Press • Gregory Perreault, Washington Journalism Center • This study investigates how Islam is covered by English-language Egyptian media. In past research, Arab media scholars have noted that Arab media, examined as a whole, is problematic to draw conclusions from because of it’s complex, varied nature. It is more effective to look at the environment with a more localized, media-specific approach. And existing English-language research on the coverage of Islam is mainly centered on Western media coverage of Islam. Little or no English research exists which examines how Egyptian media professionals and bloggers cover Islam, the major religion of Egypt. In this study, data will be gathered to help fill in this important gap in research with a very specific medium, country and language.  In this study, conducted the year before Mubarak resigned, a news framing content analysis examines articles related to Islam in English-language Egyptian news sources Al Ahram Weekly, Daily News Egypt and Al-Masry Al-Youm over a three month period to determine how discussions of Islam are framed in coverage. Interviews performed with journalists who work in Egyptian English news media help discern the motivations and influences that affect coverage of Islam.

Cultivating, or alleviating, fear? How religion and media influence feelings about terrorism • Rosemary Pennington, Indiana University; Ammina Kothari, School of Journalism – Indiana University; Stacie Meihaus Jankowski; Jae Kook Lee • It has been almost ten years since the September 11th terrorist attacks. Religion played a pivotal role in the recovery of many people who witnesses the attacks; news media covered the event thoroughly and has been covering terrorism-related stories since. This study examined how both religiosity and media use influence feelings about terrorism. It found only a positive relationship between newspaper readership and fear of terrorism.

Marketing Religion Online: The LDS Church’s SEO Efforts • Chiung Hwang Chen, Brigham Young University Hawaii • This paper examines the relationship between new media technologies and religious marketing. Specifically, it looks at how the LDS/Mormon Church employs Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques to influence online search results. The paper acknowledges the reasonable motivations behind and the ethical practice of the LDS Church’s SEO efforts; however, it also brings up philosophical questions about religions applying proactive/aggressive business marketing strategies.

Perceptions of Media Trust and Credibility amongst Mormon College Students • Guy J. Golan, Syracuse University; Sherry Baker, Brigham Young University • Based on a wide body of media credibility research, the current study explores media credibility perceptions amongst a highly conservative and religious sample. A survey of Brigham Young University students reveals low assessments of media credibility across platform and specific news sources. The study point to higher assessments of traditional news sources over broadcast news sources. In addition, the study identifies participants concern over the potential of the mainstream news media to mislead individual from within and without the Mormon community. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our study and call for future research to further investigate the complex relationship between media credibility and religion.

Religion, Affect and Cognition in Listener Contributions to NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Before, During and After 9/11. • Anna Turner; William Kinnally, University of Central Florida • Broadcast media often provide forums for public expression. This exploratory study sought to examine broadcast content to find support for Marx’s notion that religion is used as a tool to reduce suffering during a time of public crisis. Additionally, the project looked beyond the notion of religion to examine how affective and cognitive expressions evident in broadcasts of public’s voices differ in times of crisis. Public contributions to Talk of the Nation, a nationally broadcast, call-in talk show were analyzed using linguistic inquiry and word count software (LIWC). This longitudinal analysis included three week-long periods in the years before, during, and after 9/11. No differences were observed for expressions of religion or expressions of positivity. However, differences in expressions of negativity and cognitive processes were observed.

Secular and Religious Press Framing of the Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Bill • Dave Ferman, University of Oklahoma • This study examines the differences in frames used by major American secular and religious publications in describing the controversy over the role American evangelists played in a bill introduced in the Ugandan parliament in October 2009 that would include the death penalty for some homosexuals. Fame analysis is also applied to study how the publications employed the hypocrisy topos, one of seven topoi descried by Silk as used by journalists in writing about religion and religious leaders. The findings indicate extensive differences between secular and religious publications, both in how they framed the evangelists’ influence on the bill and homosexuality in Africa, and how they employed the hypocrisy topos when looking at the messages that the evangelists used both before and after the bill was introduced and became a major topic of news reports and public debate in America and around the world.

Seeking to understand interactivity in church websites • Matthew Broaddus • When people seek to express their faith it is now often online in a cyber faith setting. This quantitative study provides a brief summary of the trends facing modern churches in the U.S., presents literature on cyber interactivity and Diffusion of Innovation Theory, reviews previous academic research in the area of innovation adopted by churches, and presents the results of a content analysis conducted on church websites to understand what interactive features churches have adopted.

State and national media coverage of Oklahoma’s proposed constitutional amendment outlawing the consideration of Sharia law in court decisions • Joel Kendall, Southwestern Oklahoma State University • This study analyzes state and national media coverage during Oklahoma’s November 2010 election season on a state constitutional amendment designed to ban the use of Sharia law in state courts. This study analyzes the way the media handled coverage of the issue before and immediately following the election. It analyzes six months of print and broadcast coverage of the debate surrounding the state question leading up to the November election and the 10 days following the election. It studies to what extent state and national news organizations educated potential voters and framed the debate in terms of level of attention to the debate, favorable or unfavorable opinion of the amendment, and explanation of issues involved. The researcher concluded that the proposed amendment received sparse coverage by both state and national newspapers, and that reader-submitted opinions comprised most of the state coverage. Furthermore, state or national media offered little discussion or explanation on the concept of sharia law in any articles leading up to the election.

The Impact of Responsiveness and Conflict on Millennials’ Relationship with Religious Institutions • Richard Waters, North Carolina State University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • Research continues to document a decline in the number of young adults affiliated to a religious institution; however, most measures of spiritual behavior indicate that Millennials reflect similar beliefs of previous generations. This study examines how institutional responsiveness and personal conflict with the religious institutions impact the relationship that Millennials have with organized religion. Through a survey of 284 young adults, this study found that Millennials evaluate their relationship with their religious institution favorably and that their involvement with religion can be predicted by how they evaluate this relationship. Additionally, structural equation modeling revealed that perceived personal conflict had a detrimental impact to the relationship while institutional responsiveness to Millennials helped restore the relationship.

The Second Level Agenda Setting Effect of News Coverage of Islam in American Newspapers • Brian J. Bowe, Michigan State University; Shahira Fahmy, University of Arizona; Wayne Wanta, Oklahoma State University • Second level agenda setting offers a way of demonstrating the effects of news content by providing evidence that the attributes emphasized in news coverage become more salient in the minds of media consumers and more influential in terms of actual effects on opinions and attitudes. This study examines the substantive and affective attributes of the religion of Islam in coverage of 18 U.S newspapers and compares those attributes with results of a Gallup Center for Muslim Studies’ poll to determine whether the coverage of Islam in the media influences perception, as second-level of agenda-setting suggests. Two hypotheses were tested, and the analysis of media coverage of attributes linked to the “object” of Islam and public perceptions of Islam suggests little support for attribute agenda-setting.

<< 2011 Abstracts

Graduate Education 2011 Abstracts

Educational Crusade or Product Masquerade? Exploring the Commercialization of Social Responsibility in America’s Healthcare Industry • Laura Crosswell, Louisiana State University • Aiming to uncover the societal implications of Merck Pharmaceutical’s recently launched, multi-phased social marketing health campaign, and intending to reveal the underlying variables of affective and conative consumer processing, this investigation leans on group discussion to more deeply examine the company’s HPV/GARDASIL campaign. By utilizing social trust theory, and reinforcing the philosophical model with contemporary social marketing research, this exploratory study employs focus group methodology to gauge the ways in which specific branding techniques influence viewers in their perceptions of and reactions to Merck’s health awareness messages. The analysis explores Merck’s HPV social marketing effort and the methods by which the health messages created demand for, and ultimately launched, the company’s HPV vaccination, GARDASIL. This study questions the ethical foundation of Merck’s campaign strategy, and in a broader sense, encourages a movement towards modernizing marketing research.

Industry Change and Programming Choice: Public Television in a Shifting Marketplace • Kelly Davis, UNC School of Journalism and Mass Communication • This study conducted a survey of programmers to examine the relationship between perceived organizational threat, organizational identity, workplace satisfaction and the perception of threat to the organization to determine which considerations may influence programming decisions for public television programmers.  Results indicated that six main factors contribute to programming decisions, and that these are related to perceived threat to the organization, time spent in the organization, and perceived organizational prestige.

Freedom of the Press and the Pursuit of Happiness • Edson Jr. Tandoc, University of Missouri-Columbia; Heather Shoenberger • The press enjoys freedom in democratic societies in recognition of its important functions in democracy. A free press, however, also plays other roles that have not been sufficiently explored. The pursuit of happiness is a universal motivation and by looking across different countries, our current study seeks to answer this general question: Can press freedom bring happiness? This study used indices from various organizations that rate countries and territories based on levels of democracy, press freedom, corruption, global competitiveness, and life satisfaction. Countries that were excluded in at least three of the five indices were not included. Thus, a total of 177 countries were included in the analysis that found press freedom and corruption control as significant predictors of life satisfaction, a measure of happiness. The effects of press freedom on life satisfaction, however, are absorbed by its effects on deterring corruption.

Far from Home: How and why transnational audiences use mass media to visit homeland • Emily Ehmer, Indiana University • Transnationals use media to connect to home, but media also promote migrants’ assimilation into the host country’s culture. This study follows the media habits of adults who are ether international students or their spouses studying at a university. Availability and ease of connecting to the Internet are major factors in connecting with home. An interesting finding is the tension about a sense of belonging – a gray area that is not static but constantly changing.

Portrayal of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region in U.S. Newspapers • Goran Ghafour, Master student • The Iraqi Kurdistan region considers itself the closest ally of the United States in the Middle East. Therefore, to know how the U.S. newspapers portray the region is essential and more important is whether the portrayal reflects the U.S. foreign policies or not. A content analysis of articles in three U.S. newspapers from 2009 is conducted. Findings show that that news coverage reflected U.S. positions and policies about Iraq.

The Effects of Message Framing and Evidence in Anti-Binge Drinking Messages • Eun Go, Pennsylvania State University; Keun Yeong Kim • This study investigates the influence of framing (gain- and loss-framing), message evidence format (narrative evidence and statistical evidence), and their interaction effects on perceptual, attitudinal, and behavioral responses to binge drinking. The results show that gain-framed message increased message persuasiveness and consequently behavioral intention to responsible drinking. It also demonstrated the benefits of narrative evidence format in reducing undesirable drinking behaviors. In particular, the interaction effect of gain-loss and narrative-statistical conditions in the perceived persuasiveness of the message was found, showing that match of loss frame and narrative evidence maximized the persuasiveness of the message. This findings will help public health practitioners construct more sophisticated message to decrease college students’ alcohol consumption level.

Applications and Gratifications: Games and Genres in Apple’s App. Store • Kelly Cochran, University of Kansas; James Field, University of Kansas; Thomas Hardy, University of Kansas; Mark Shonka, University of Kansas; Laura A. Thomas, University of Kansas; Jia-Wei Tu, University of Kansas • Americans are increasingly exposed to gaming applications on their smart phones. The authors of this study investigated games in Apple’s App Store: its most popular games, their associated genres, and the factors that predict ranking. A content analysis showed that the ‘arcade’ genre dominated and that popularity correlates with the rating and number of reviews received. The uses and gratifications identified were competition, fantasy, and arousal. Findings will interest Internet researchers and application developers.

Just the facts, ma’am: A study of literary journalism courses in journalism and mass communications curricula • Jack Karlis, University of South Carolina • This study investigates the prevalence of literary journalism courses in undergraduate journalism and mass communication programs in the United States; to investigate the rationales for offering or not offering such courses in journalism programs; and to document and to explore the content and learning objectives of literary journalism courses already being taught.  An electronic survey of ACEJMC schools and in-depth interviews of literary journalism scholars around the country for their best practices was used.

Framing the Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing Issue in the U.S. and British Print Media • Jihye Kim, Univ. of Florida • The purpose of this study was to examine the different frames within the news print media regarding DTC genetic testing, while comparing the different news frames in the United States and Great Britain. The study analyzed the differences of opinion concerning DTC genetic testing abilities. The comprehensive media framing analysis of newspaper reports was undertaken using the qualitative and quantitative analysis method. Six distinct frames were identified: legitimate, financial, political, ethical, health, and consequential.

Defamation on Today’s Internet: A Critical Assessment of Law and Self-Regulation on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube • Mark Lashley, University of Georgia • Through a critical engagement with legislation, relevant case law, and legal literature on the subject of online defamation, as well as a critical appraisal of the procedures used by three major social networking platforms (Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube) to regulate defamatory and harassing speech, this paper seeks to unpack the ways courts and site administrators have handled defamatory speech online. By examining the social media apparatus from the inside out, this paper argues for a procedure that will protect the interest of personal reputation, clarify the potential liability of social networking sites, and outline the best practices for effective jurisprudence of defamation law in our online world.

Lights, Camera, Lesson: Teaching Literacy Through Film • Michael Lipiner • The in-depth case study explores a modern approach to education: the benefits of using film, technology, and other creative, non-conventional pedagogical methods in the classroom to enhance students’ understanding of literature. The study explores the positive effects of introducing a variety of visual (and auditory)-based teaching methods to learners within an urban high school English Language Arts inclusion classroom. The study group reads literature, analyzes films, and works on various creative assignments, such as incorporating music lyrics, using computer technology, and creating art. The study outlines supplemental assignments designed to have students respond critically to literature within a creative learning environment. As a result, the students’ grades improve, and they are able to stay connected with the readings. The case study also references similar professional case studies, authors, and educational theorists.

HIV/AIDS coverage in Chinese media: A case study of the ‘Girl with AIDS’ • Chen Lou, Ohio University • This case study considers the story of Zhu Liya, who went public as the alleged “”first”” HIV-positive college student in 2005 in China. First, Zhu’s exposure provided a rare example of Chinese media coverage and public discourse about HIV/AIDS patients. Second, this study builds upon the intergroup discrimination hypothesis from social identity theory to explain the prevalent discrimination against HIV/AIDS patients in China. The study also explored how Zhu used narratives to influence the public.

Making Sense of a Left-Field Success Story: Five Frames in Rolling Stone Coverage of Phish • Jordan McClain, Temple University • This paper uses framing research to examine all Rolling Stone magazine coverage of the band Phish.  Through textual analysis, the aim is to enhance understanding of how media make sense of something that embodies an unconventional combination of features.  The analysis revealed five frames: Phish as superlatively successful; Phish as an unconventional band; Phish as the subject of mockery; Phish in relation to various peers and/or successors; and Phish in relation to the Grateful Dead.

Exploring Surveilland and Socializing Gratifications from Streaming Network Television Shows in an On-demand age • Stephen McCreery, University of Georgia, The Grady College • This study applies a Uses and Gratifications conceptual framework to streaming network TV shows online, whereby how people use the Internet for gratifying certain needs are evolving.  A survey of 274 students on their TV-streaming habits was conducted.  Results suggest that both surveillance and social utility are gratified through interactive processes related to streaming entertainment programs.  Implications for the television industry on interactive viewing, and directions for future studies, are discussed.

Media Portrayals of Mental Illness and the Third-Person Effect • Robert McKeever, UNC Chapel Hill • A survey was conducted to examine student views on mental illness, portrayals of mental illnesses in media and estimated effects of media depictions. Third-person perceptions were predictably strong when other students were the comparison group; however, perceived effects on self were larger than respondent estimations of media effects on their parents. The unexpected findings offer a unique contribution to third- and first-person research examining the influence of message desirability and comparison groups on perceived effects.

Contrasting For-profit and Nonprofit College Home Pages from a Political Economist Perspective • Nisa Schmitz, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville • The oligopoly that nonprofit colleges once enjoyed is now over due to competition from for-profit colleges. Using a political economist perspective, this study contrasts the new for-profit college home pages to that of the veteran nonprofit colleges. A content analysis of 35 for-profit college home pages and 35 nonprofit college home pages reveals a range of significant differences in the areas of academics, target audience, campus information, financials, home page organization, imagery, and student life.

Newspaper hubris: Did hubris impact the industry’s’ decision not to charge for online news? • Amy Sindik, University of Georgia • This study examines if organizational hubris had a role in newspaper organizations’ decisions not to charge for online editions of the newspaper and belier that the online edition would not compete with, and cannibalize, the print newspaper product.  By drawing on Hayward and Hambrick’s measures of hubris (1997) (organizational success, media praise, a measure of organizational importance and board vigilance), this study tested for hubris among the top one hundred newspapers at the advent of online newspapers editions.  The study finds that organizational success, media praise and board vigilance indicated hubris and contributed to the decision not to charge for the online editions of newspapers, while a measure of organizational importance does not indicate hubris.

What do You Want from Corporate Blogs?: Motivations for Using Corporate Blogs • Doori Song, University of Florida; Joonghwa Lee, University of Missouri • Two studies were conducted to explore blog users’ motivations and their consequences.  The factor analysis revealed five reasons that people visit and use corporate blogs.  Additionally, this study compares the people’s initial motivations when they visit corporate blogs and users’ motivations for their corporate blog usages.  Finally, the findings demonstrate that the motivations predict users’ attitudes toward the blog, usefulness of the blog, perceived interactivity (PI), and expected interactivity (EI).

An Empirical Study on How IPTV Affects Chinese Peasants’ Attitudinal Modernity • Nan Wu, Missouri School of Journalism; Hongbo Gao • The paper is designated to find out how IPTV use in rural China enhances peasants’ attitudinal modernity. With statistical analysis of survey data collected from rural IPTV users in a fourth-tier municipality of China, five hypotheses of the causal relationships between major factors in IPTV use and users’ attitudinal modernity are tested. The researchers identify that three factors, pragmatic function, remote technology performance and interactive application, play significant roles in promoting Chinese peasants’ attitudinal modernity.

<< 2011 Abstracts

Communicating Science, Health, Environment and Risk 2011 Abstracts

How to Resolve Contradictory Health Messages? : An Alternative Message Framework for Public Service Announcement Developers • Ho-Young (Anthony) Ahn, U of Tennessee; Lei Wu; Eric Haley • A qualitative study was designed to explore college students’ interpretations of and responses toward conflicting tanning health messages, as well as understanding college students’ knowledge, experience, and perceptions toward the popular health issues. Practical implications were provided in terms of developing effective skin cancer prevention messages as well as tanning-promotion messages to help people build correct attitudes toward tanning.

Predicting Scientists’ Participation in Public Life • John Besley, University of South Carolina; Sang Hwa Oh, University of South Carolina • This manuscript provides secondary data analysis of two large-scale surveys of scientists, including a 2009 survey by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press conducted in cooperation with the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), as well as a 2006 survey by the United Kingdom’s Royal Society. The data is used to develop multivariate models explaining scientists’ involvement in communication activities such as engagement with the public and the news media. Demographic factors and scientific sub-field has little impact on engagement, but views about the public and the value of engagement predict scientists’ engagement behavior and willingness to engage. Future survey work, however, should use a more theory-driven variable selection process.

Branding Health Communication Strategies Aimed at Healthcare Professionals • Patrick Merle; Robin Haislett; Dane Kiambi, Texas Tech University; Shannon Bichard, Texas Tech; Kat Livingston; Shankar Borua, Texas Tech University; Spencer Sorensen; Stephanie Kang; Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University; Elizabeth Gardner, Texas Tech University; Coy Callison • The current study addresses the effort to brand new communication strategies among healthcare professionals. In-depth interviews and focus groups were conducted for the analysis of current communication barriers, message channels and sustainability tactics, and their influence on the patient experience. Strategies are offered to address effective communication training tactics and sustainability in an effort to maximize patient care and satisfaction.

Not in my backyard or yours: Communicative influences of opinion leadership on perceptions of risks and benefits of a bioresearch facility • Andrew Binder, North Carolina State University; Dietram Scheufele; Dominique BROSSARD, LSC, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study builds on past research in the communication of science and risk by integrating models of attitude formation and learning with an important social factor: opinion leadership. We consider the role that opinion leadership can play in the flow of mass media and interpersonal communication to influence how individual-level risk and benefit perceptions of a potentially high-risk research facility evolve. In order to do so, we rely on primary data from a longitudinal study of the communication and public opinion dynamics surrounding the establishment of the National Bio- and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in five candidate communities. The models tested in this study suggest a very flexible influence of opinion leadership in these different communities, in part moderated by the overarching social network—of supporters or opponents—within which they are embedded. Implications for future work on the public communication of science and technology are discussed.

How Global Warming Websites Frame Science Information • Lisa Parcell, Wichita State University; Michael Boyle, West Chester University • The global warming “debate” began as a pure science story, later framed by the media as a heated conflict. No longer solely reliant on the news media to present their “side” of the issue, special interests on both sides launched websites to inform and persuade visitors to their sites. However, these sites vary greatly in the extent to which they use science information, opinion, and other devices in framing global warming arguments. This study builds on science communication literature to examine 21 global warming websites and the specific nature and prominence of scientific information within the sites through a qualitative content analysis.

The impact of social context, warning components, and receiver characteristics on evacuation decisions of African Americans • Vankita Brown, Howard University • This study explores the situational influences found in the Protective Action Decision Model: family involvement (social context), source, channel, message components, (warning components), and fatalism and place attachment (receiver characteristics) on the protective action of African Americans in New Orleans during a hurricane. Additionally, the role of social networks among this community during these times was also assessed. Statistical analyses indicate that social context did not reveal a relationship with evacuation decisions. Public and governmental officials were found to be sources relied on during a hurricane. Both mass mediated and interpersonal communication channels were utilized among respondents, and all message components tested were important to participants. While fatalism was not correlated with evacuation decisions, place attachment was found to have an inverse relationship with willingness to evacuate. Thematic analysis reveals that social networks function as: a source of information and resources, confirmation of warnings, and catalyst to incite action. Results have implications for risk communicators utilizing PAMD as a framework to aid in devising outreach and educational campaigns.

Regulatory trust, risk information processing and support for an emerging technology • Michael Cacciatore, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dietram Scheufele; Elizabeth Corley, Arizona St. University • Research investigating public attitudes toward nanotechnology has been primarily concerned with assessing the types of risks that the public perceives, as well as how these risks influence larger evaluations of the technology. Recently, however, there have been calls for a more complete understanding of the relationship between risk perceptions and support (Kahan, 2009). This analysis seeks to provide such an understanding by exploring the moderating effects of trust on the risk perception-attitude link. Our findings reveal that while risk perceptions are negatively related to support, the influence of specific risk perceptions on support can vary depending on an individual’s level of trust in the regulators of science. Specifically, our findings suggest two groups of people. The first group (those low in trust) are much more likely to base their decisions about support for nanotechnology on their perceptions of risks. That is, as their risk perceptions increase, their support decreases. The second group of people (those high in trust) are less likely to base their evaluations of nanotechnology on risk perceptions. While many of these individuals may agree that risks are high, their trust appears to override such beliefs and leads to a significantly smaller drop in support for the technology. Possible explanations for these findings are discussed.

Investigating the Role of Identities and Opinion Leadership on Risk Information Seeking and Sharing about Proposed Natural Gas Drilling in New York’s Marcellus Shale • Chris Clarke, Cornell University • This study investigates how identities motivate risk information seeking and sharing about risk controversies, using natural gas drilling in New York State’s Marcellus Shale as a case study. Thirty-six interviews explore the novel premise that an opinion leader identity and the contexts in which it emerges (including group membership and social roles) helps people negotiate a complex risk message environment and shapes communication behavior over time. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Examining Metaphors in Biopolitical Discourse • Cynthia-Lou Coleman, Portland State University; L. David Ritchie • This essay argues that common metaphors and metaphoric phrases used in biopolitical discourse limit how meanings are constructed by framing messages narrowly: so much so, that alternate readings are delimited, resulting in less opportunity for cognitive scrutiny of such messages. We moor our discussion of metaphors in cognitive linguistics, building on three decades of research by scholars including Sam Glucksberg (2008), George Lakoff and Mark Johnson (1980, 1999), and Ray Gibbs, Jr. (2006, 2008), demonstrating how research in framing effects bolsters our claims of limited entailments resulting from message construction. By situating our discussion of framing in biopolitics we make a case that metaphors including Frankenfood, Designer Baby, Vegetative State and Death Tax address how life and death are “managed” in discourse (Foucault, 1980). In this essay we demonstrate ways in which the framing of some metaphors in social discourse slip under readers’ and viewers’ cognitive radars, and thus become “under-the-radar metaphors.”

Impacts of Generalized Interpersonal and Institutional Trust on Environmental Health and Safety Risk Information-Seeking • Christopher Cummings, North Carolina State University • Traditional models of risk communication need elaboration as the media landscape has fundamentally changed. Researchers should investigate not only how messages are disseminated, but also how the public seeks-out risk information within the increasingly complex media landscape. This paper investigates preliminary questions about citizens’ information-seeking behavior and the impacts of generalized interpersonal and institutional trust on media channel selection. Data are populated from a national survey study treating traditional broadcast media and Internet-based media.

The Goldilocks Zone of Science Communication: An analysis of how media depicted Gliese 581g • Michael Dahlstrom, Iowa State University; Michael Bugeja, Iowa State University • This study examines how the pre-existing meaning stored within “Goldilocks” was used in coverage of the discovery of a potentially habitable planet. Results of content analysis revealed that while “Goldilocks” was present in half of the articles, its use was rarely attributed. When compared to the technical name of the planetary system, “Goldilocks” was more clustered near the top of the story and its use remained constant over time while the technical term declined.

Following the leader: Using opinion leaders in environmental strategic communication • Kajsa Dalrymple; Bret Shaw; Dominique BROSSARD, LSC, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study explores the role that opinion leaders play in encouraging more positive environmental behaviors regarding an issue of growing concern. Results indicate that media can have mixed effects on levels of self-efficacy, and that opinion leaders with higher levels of self-efficacy are more likely to participate in behaviors that could influence their social network(s). These findings offer insights as to how future campaigns can utilize these groups in order to promote prevention activities.

Consensus and Controversy: Climate Change Frames in Two Australian Newspapers • Jamie Nolan, University of Miami; Michel Dupagne, University of Miami • This content analysis evaluated the salience of climate change frames in news and opinion articles of two influential Australian newspapers with different editorial stances between 1997 and 2007. Results revealed that the scientific uncertainty frame appeared more frequently in the more conservative Australian than in the more liberal Age. But the scientific background, policy background, political strategy, and public engagement frames related to climate change were less prevalent in that newspaper than in The Age. The Australian’s climate change articles also relied less on the Australian government and environmental groups as news sources and were more negative in tone than those published in The Age.

Can eWOM Help Smokers Quit? Effects of Online Consumer Reviews of Smoking Cessation Products • Petya Eckler, University of Iowa • This study examines the psychological effects of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) about smoking cessation products on smokers through the Theory of Planned Behavior. The effects of three message features (valence, extremity, appeal) are tested on attitude toward quitting smoking and perceived behavioral control. Valence affected both dependent variables; extremity and appeal interacted to affect perceived behavioral control. Theoretical and practical implications for the study of eWOM in a health context are discussed.

Richard Dawkins: A critical case study of the celebrity scientist • Declan Fahy, School of Communication, American University, Washington, D.C • Celebrity is a pervasive cultural phenomenon, but compared to other professions, scientific fame has remained under-examined. This paper uses zoologist and writer Richard Dawkins as a critical case study to explore scientific celebrity, tracing the historical development and meanings of Dawkins’s fame, through his writing on evolution, his defense of scientific rationality and his current position as emblem of positivist, rational atheism. Celebrity offers a novel framework for analyzing the media representation of science.

Mediated Messages and Self-Efficacy: An Examination of Entertainment-Education, Junk Food commercials and Healthy Eating Habits • Anthony Galvez • According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the rate of obesity in the U.S. has doubled from 1980 to 2004. Because of the pervasiveness of television viewing in American households, it seems logical to implement healthy eating initiatives through television programming. The existing literature demonstrates the effectiveness of the entertainment-education model of message creation to educate audiences about a long list of prosocial issues. One question that remains unanswered is the following: Can the entertainment-education model succeed in industrialized nations where media choices are so varied that reaching target audiences becomes problematic? The purpose of the study was to test if a) exposure to a prosocial message would affect individual self-efficacy toward controlling eating and b) if exposure to junk food commercials would negate any effect of the prosocial message. A convenience sample of 139 college students from Mass Communications courses at a large southwestern university participated in a 2X2 factorial design experiment. Participants were randomly assigned to one of four treatment groups and asked to watch a 30-minute sitcom with half of the participants watching an entertainment-education type message about diet and exercise. Participants were also exposed to junk food advertisements in two of the treatment groups. Results indicated no difference in levels of self-efficacy between those groups exposed to the entertainment-education messages and junk food messages when compared to the control group, thus indicating a need to further evaluate how to develop a better strategy for entertainment-education in media saturated countries.

Exploring the effects of Anti-Alcohol Abuse Message Types on Rebellious College Students • Eun Go, Pennsylvania State University; Moon Lee, University of Florida • The purpose of this study was to examine the responses of college students who were exposed to anti-alcohol abuse messages (fear vs. humor) aimed at discouraging heavy drinking. Particularly, this study explores how college students process humorous and fear-arousing messages differently based on their rebellious tendency. A total of 302 people participated in this study. Results indicated that rebellious college students who watched the fear ads reported lower levels of intention to change their drinking behaviors than those who watched the humor ads. Theoretical as well as practical implications are discussed in the paper.

Message Framing and Vaccination Outcomes: A Within-messages Framing Manipulation Experiment • Rustam Haydarov, UNICEF; Joye Gordon, Kansas State University • This experimental research tested what combination of attribute and goal frames within messages produces the strongest effect on vaccination behavior. Participants (N=476) were exposed online to four experimental framing manipulations and a control condition. A combination of the positive attribute and the negative goal frame was the only condition significantly more persuasive than the control condition. This study contributes to the evidenced-based applicability of framing theory within the context of health communication activities.

Understanding H1N1 influenza with PIM model: A comparison on risk perceptions between the U.S. and China using structural equation modeling • Gang (Kevin) Han, Iowa State University; Kejun Chu; Guolin Shen • This study proposes a “personal-interpersonal-mass mediated” influence (PIM) model, aiming to understand how H1N1 flu risk at four reference levels (personal, group, societal and global) are perceived by college students living in the U.S. and China. The structural equation modeling is tested with the data collected from 1895 and 1441 completed online questionnaires. Findings suggest that the PIM model fits the data well, three dimensions of which are positively associated with respondents’ H1N1 risk perceptions at all levels. Personal disease history is the most powerful factor, showing relatively stronger influence on Chinese respondents than on U.S. respondents. Interpersonal communication exerts stronger influence at group and societal levels, and is a more powerful predictor to U.S. respondents. Mass communication illustrates ubiquitously significant effects on risk perceptions at all reference levels, which plays a more important role for Chinese respondents than for U.S. respondents. Mass-mediated experience has also been more influential than interpersonal communication for Chinese respondents to understand health risk in remote area at global level.

Motivated Reasoning, Identity Cues, and Support for Climate Mitigation Policies a Moderated-Mediation Model • Philip Hart, American University; Erik Nisbet, Ohio State University • This study draws from theories of motivated reasoning, social identity, and persuasion to examine how science-based messages may increase public polarization on controversial science issues such as climate change. Exposing 240 adults to simulated news stories about possible climate change health impacts on different groups, we find that political affiliation interacts with social distance cues to influence identification with victims, which in turn impacts support for climate mitigation policies. Implications for science communication are discussed.

Newspaper coverage of Shaken Baby Syndrome, 1992-2008 • Heidi Hennink-Kaminski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Elizabeth Dougall • This longitudinal content analysis examines whether news media coverage of shaken baby syndrome aligns with contemporary scientific knowledge about its context, incidence and consequences. A quantitative content analysis of 1,167 newspaper articles about shaken baby syndrome from 1992 to 2008 published in top U.S. newspapers was conducted. Variables of interest included mention of “infant crying” or “colic” in relation to shaking, mention of early infant crying as normal, the consequences of shaking, victim/perpetrator portrayals, and types of sources. SBS is typified in ways that are at odds with contemporary scientific knowledge of its context and consequences. Most newspaper coverage provides no explanation of triggers such as crying, and positions the abuse as unpredictable and unpreventable.

Understanding Recycling Behaviors: A Theoretical Expansion of the Influence of Presumed Media Influence Model • Youqing Liao; Yanyi Yang; Titus J. Yong; Shirley S. Ho • This paper presents a theoretical framework to explain the influence of individuals’ attention to pro-environmental media messages on their recycling intentions. Building on the influence of presumed media influence (IPMI) model, we examine both direct and indirect media effects on recycling intentions and integrate the constructs of attitudes, descriptive, subjective, and injunctive norms into the model. We tested this framework on a random sample of 1,144 Singaporeans using computer-assisted telephone interviewing. Using structural equation modeling, we found evidence of IPMI on recycling intentions, in addition to direct media effects on attitudes, norms and recycling intentions. As expected, perceived media influence on others affected one’s recycling intentions. This relationship was further accounted for by three mediating constructs: attitudes, descriptive, and subjective norms. Injunctive norms, however, did not serve as a mediator. Implications and limitations of the findings were discussed.

The Blame Frame: Media attribution of blame during the MMR-autism vaccination scare • Avery Holton, University of Texas-Austin; Brooke Weberling, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Chris Clarke, Cornell University; Michael Smith, University of Louisville • Scholars have examined how news media frame events, including responsibility for causing and fixing problems and how these frames inform public judgment. This study analyzed the content of 281 newspaper articles about a controversial study linking the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccination with autism. Given criticism of the study as well as its negative impact on vaccination rates across multiple countries, this study examined the actors to whom news media attributed blame for the association between the MMR vaccination and autism, what sources were employed to support those attributions, and what solutions, if any, were offered. This study provides unique insight by examining the evolution of these attributions over the lifetime of the MMR-autism controversy. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.

News Coverage of Psychological Trauma and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Trauma Causes, Reactions, and Treatment • J. Brian Houston, University of Missouri • In order to understand how psychological trauma and PTSD are depicted in the news media, a content analysis of television news and newspapers was conducted. Results found that news depictions of psychological trauma were more likely to focus on “trauma” in general than on “PTSD.” Almost all trauma news stories (98.2%) described the cause of the trauma. The most common cause of trauma in news stories was military service, which was mostly related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most trauma news stories did not mention a trauma reaction (64%) or a type of trauma treatment (69%). Committing murder/homicide was the most frequent trauma reaction overall. On average, trauma news stories were more episodic than thematic and there were significant differences in the episodic and thematic framing of different trauma causes.

The Role of Unequal Information Resources Distribution on Health Information Seeking • Heewon Im, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Jaeho Cho • The relationship between socioeconomic status (SES) and individuals’ health information seeking has been tested in previous studies, but not many explanations for the relationship have been suggested. In this study, the role of unequal resources distribution is proposed as a possible mechanism underlying both the relationship between SES and health information seeking and the relationship between social engagement and health information seeking. The information resources, which are time, money, and information skills, are not equally distributed across different SES groups and individuals’ levels of social engagement; the unequal distribution of resources results from individuals’ different abilities and motivations in seeking health information. In addition, the unequal resources distribution is predicted to moderate the effect of personal relevance of health issues on health information seeking, by varying motivation and ability level. The secondary data analysis was conducted using the 2007 ANHCS. The results show partial support for the positive relationship between social engagement and health information seeking. The study contributes to the theoretical understanding of the effect of social capital on individuals’ health.

Examination of message features in DTC ads and its impact on disclosure recall • Narayanan Iyer, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • Typically disclosures about risks and side effects are communicated via the audio modality in televised pharmaceutical drug commercials. A recent directive from the FDA advises prescription drug advertisers to concurrently convey disclosure information through both audio and video modality (congruence). The FDA also directs drug commercials to not have any elements that could potentially distract viewers from paying attention to disclosures (dominance). There is little research on DTC advertising that tests the impact of modality congruence and visual dominance on recall. An experiment was conducted (N = 98) to investigate this further and the results showed significant effects for visual dominance and its interaction with modality congruence.

Leading and Following in Medical Pack Journalism • Vincent Kiernan, Georgetown University • This study applies the concept of opinion leadership to the phenomenon of pack journalism among medical journalists at daily newspapers. Journalists were surveyed about stress and autonomy in their work. Respondents also were asked to identify other journalists whose work influences them. Regression analysis showed no relationship between autonomy or stress and the propensity of respondents to follow other journalists. Journalists at elite media outlets exerted significant influence over other journalists’ news coverage.

Potential for Cancer Care or Health Threats Producer?: Interaction Effects of News Frame and Information Processing Style on Further Information Seeking About Nanotechnology • Sojung (Claire) Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Timothy Fung, Department of Communication Studies, Hong Kong Baptist University; Dominique BROSSARD, LSC, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This investigation explored main and interactive effects of different news frame and information processing style on further information seeking about nanotechnology and its effects on health treatment. With a total of 378 participants, a 2 (gain vs. loss frame) X 2 (systematic vs. heuristic information processing) between-subjects experimental design was used to test the proposed hypotheses. The study revealed that individuals who were exposed to a positively framed story about the use of nanotechnology in cancer care were more willing to seek out further information about the topic than those who in a negatively framed news. Moreover, individuals sought out information about the topic most when they systematically processed the information in a positively framed story, whereas they sought out the least amount of information when they systematically thought about the topic but in a negatively framed article. Theoretical insights and practical implications of the study findings are further discussed.

Online Information and Self-Reported Learning About Health Care Quality and Costs • Ashley Kirzinger, Louisiana State University; Margaret DeFleur, Louisiana State University; Kirby Goidel • According to a 2009 Pew Research Center study, 61 percent of Americans report going online for health-related information. Described as “e-patients,” this group of health consumers is frequently looking for very specific, tailored information with 60 percent of “e-patients” reporting that the information they found online related to the treatment of an illness or a condition. While we are beginning to understand the online behavior of individuals searching for information about a specific illness, considerably less is known about individuals’ reliance on the Internet for other aspects of health care information, especially information about health care quality and costs. A telephone survey of a random sample of Louisiana residents examined the factors associated with self-reported learning about health care quality and costs. We explore whether using online health information affects individuals’ intent to use a website that posts information about health care quality and costs. Results indicate that since online health information seeking is generally directed at specific diseases, there is little relationship between the use of online sources for medical and health-related information and self-reported learning about health care quality and costs. Yet, individual choice in health care providers is a strong predictor of increased levels of learning about health care quality and costs and increased levels of online health information seeking. We conclude by demonstrating that while there is ample interest among health consumers for information about health care quality and costs, there is a strong disconnect between consumer needs and the information that is available.

“Dr. Soundbite”: The Making of an Expert Source in Science and Medical Stories • Marjorie Kruvand, Loyola University Chicago • Bioethicists have been increasingly used as expert sources in science and medical stories involving ethical issues. This descriptive case study examines how and why a single bioethicist, Dr. Arthur L. Caplan, has become such a ubiquitous source on an extremely broad range of topics. Organizational news routines provide the theoretical framework for a content analysis of coverage in six newspapers over a 19-year period and interviews with Caplan and six science and medical journalists. The study finds that as part of the small, trusted roster of sources that journalists turn to again and again, Caplan has been the de facto representative of the bioethics profession in the news for the last two decades and has helped shape media discourse on bioethical issues. Findings show that Caplan is quoted so extensively because he understands and follows news routines, likes talking with reporters, provides pithy quotes, and is committed to public engagement. Critics are concerned, however, that Caplan’s personal opinions, values, and biases may be viewed by news consumers as “the” ethical position on issues.

The Influence of a Spin-off of a Health Division on the Content of Health News:A Comparison of Two Leading Korean Newspapers • Na Yeon Lee • This study examines how the establishment of a spin-off, a subsidiary of a parent company that was created as a strategy to increase profits for news organizations, affects the content of the health news. A content analysis of two leading Korean newspapers showed that the main frames of health news changed from promotion of a healthy lifestyle to medical treatments related to potential advertisers, such as private hospitals and pharmaceutical companies. Results also demonstrated that reporters relied more upon health news sources from potential advertisers. These findings suggest that a spin-off may influence the frames of news in ways that give more emphasis to advertisers. This study can contribute to framing research about the hierarchy of influence on news content by identifying the new factor of spin-offs.

The Role of Social Capital in Public Health Communication Campaigns: The Case of the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign • Chul-joo Lee, The Ohio State University • In this paper, we explored how media health campaigns exert their effects through audience’s social capital. Using the National Survey of Parents and Youth (NSPY) dataset, we examined the interactive effects of parents’ campaign exposure and antidrug-specific social capital at both individual- and geographically-aggregated levels on parents’ drug-related talk with their child. We found main effects of parents’ campaign exposure and parents’ antidrug-specific community activities on their talk about drugs with their child. More interestingly, there was a negative interactive effect between campaign exposure and antidrug-specific community activities on the parent talking behavior. In contrast, there was neither a contextual effect of aggregate-level antidrug-specific social capital nor a cross-level interaction involving aggregate-level social capital. The implications of these findings for communication research and public health intervention were discussed.

Resources Aren’t Everything, But They Do Help! Assessing Local TV Health News to Deliver Substantive and Useful Information for Smart Health Decisions • Young Ah Lee, University of Missouri; Erin Willis, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Sun A Park; Hyunmin Lee • Gatekeeping theory informed this comparative analysis of local TV health news stories (N=416) from two different local television stations. Station characteristics such as available resources and network affiliation influenced length (Cramer’s V= .517), location (V= .369), health topics (V= .410), number and quality of news sources, and imputed target audience (V= .173) of local TV health newscasts.

Third-Person Effect and Rectifying Behaviors: Studying Antisocial and Prosocial Online Messages of Youth Drug Abuse • Wan Chi Leung, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study examined third-person perceptions for two types of online messages, the antisocial drug-encouraging messages and the prosocial anti-youth drug abuse messages, and their relationship with three types of rectifying behaviors, restrictive, corrective and promotional. While the perceptual gap of antisocial online messages significantly predicted three types of rectifying behaviors, that of prosocial messages failed. Instead, perceived effect of prosocial messages on the self significantly predicted higher likelihood of rectifying behaviors. Perceived effects of antisocial messages on the self and on others were also significant in predicting rectifying behaviors. This study thus calls for more investigation on perceived effects on the self, especially for prosocial messages. Examination of the target corollary was contrary to previous findings, showing that perceived exposure of others to prosocial messages was a significant predictor to behaviors. This points to more explorations on the role of perceived exposure to prosocial messages in the behavioral component.

An Examination of the Indirect Effects of Media on Intentions to Avoid Unprotected Sun Exposure • Jennette Lovejoy, University of Portland; Daniel Riffe, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill • A regional online survey (N=1, 251) of students enrolled at institutions of higher education examined whether internal psychological states, such as attitudes, social norms, perceived behavioral control, and perceived risk mediated the relationship between individual media environments and the likelihood of engaging in a health-adverse behavior such as unprotected sun exposure. Direct effects showed that general and health media use were significant predictors of tanning intentions. All psychological states, except perceived susceptibility, were positively related to intentions to avoid unprotected sun exposure. Indirect effects revealed that general news use was associated with a greater perception of one’s peers and important others engaging in sun protective behaviors, which in turn increased one’s own intentions to engage in sun protection behaviors. A single case of suppression was also evident and showed that individuals’ decreased perceptions of the severity of cancer enhanced the relationship between general newspaper use and sun protection intentions.

Effects of Proximity on the Cognitive Processing of Environmental News • Charles Meadows, University of Alabama; Cui Zhang, University of Alabama; Shuhua Zhou, University of Alabama • To investigate the influence of physical proximity on the cognitive and affective processing of environmental news stories, this study examined the physiological responses and cued recall to environmental news stories on four different environmental issues. The results showed that high-proximity environmental news stories elicited greater heart rate deceleration than low-proximity ones. No significant effects were found for proximity on electrodermal activity. Additionally, no significant effects were found for cued recall, suggesting only limited proximity effects on arousal and retrieval of environmental news stories. These findings present a complex role for proximity in the cognitive processing of news stories. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Computer Mediated Social Support and the Effects of Expression: The Mediating Role of Perceived Bonding on Cancer Patients’ Coping Strategies • Kang Namkoong, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Dhavan Shah; Bryan McLaughlin, University of Wisconsin, Madison; Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Sojung (Claire) Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Shawnika Hull, University of Wisconsin; Tae Joon Moon; Courtney Johnson; Robert Hawkins; David Gustafson • This study examines the mechanism underlying the effects of computer-mediated social support (CMSS) on cancer patients’ coping strategies, distinguishing between the effects of the expression and the reception of emotionally supportive messages. 237 breast cancer patients participating in CMSS groups were included in the analysis. Findings show that the effects of (a) CMSS group use and (b) emotionally supportive expression on patients’ positive coping strategies are mediated by perceived bonding among breast cancer patients.

Acceptability of the H1N1 Vaccine among Older Adults: The Interplay of Message Framing and Perceived Vaccine Safety and Efficacy • Xiaoli Nan, University of Maryland; Bo Xie; Kelly Madden • This study examines the relative effectiveness of using gain- vs. loss-framed messages to promote H1N1 vaccination among older adults, focusing on the moderating role of the message recipients’ perceived vaccine safety and efficacy. An experiment was conducted with older adults recruited from senior centers in the state of Maryland. Results show that older adults who were presented with a loss-framed H1N1 vaccination message developed more favorable attitudes toward H1N1 vaccination and greater intentions to receive the vaccine. But these findings are only limited to older adults who perceived low vaccine efficacy. For those who perceived high vaccine efficacy, message framing didn’t make a difference in post-exposure attitudes and intentions. Overall, framing had no systematic main effects and perceived vaccine safety did not moderate framing effects.

Multilevel Analysis of the Impact of School-Level Tobacco Policies on Adolescent Smoking: Implications for Health Communication • Hye-Jin Paek, Michigan State University; Thomas Hove, Michigan State University; Hyun Jung Oh • This study explores what degrees and types of tobacco-free school policy (TFSP) enforcement are associated with adolescent smoking. A multilevel analysis using 1082 individual students who are nested in 14 schools indicates that a greater punishment of TFSP violation and more tobacco control communication efforts are associated with lower adolescent smoking. But designation of a tobacco-free school zone and school-level smoking are associated with higher adolescent smoking. Implications for effective communication efforts on TFSP are discussed.

(Conditional) Support, Permission, and Misconceptions: Considering Workplace Support for Breastfeeding • Sheila Peuchaud • This paper analyses the responses of 123 business owners and managers when asked about their current practices and attitudes concerning workplace support for breastfeeding mothers. The responses indicate that breastfeeding is largely considered a behavior that employers may or may not permit, placing the practice and womens’ bodies under the control of the employer. Space and time accommodations vary widely, and several responses indicated misconceptions which, if rectified, could extend support for breastfeeding to women in a wider variety of industries and socio-economic levels.

How does Doctor-Patient Communication Differ Based on the Gender of Doctor and the Gender of Patient? An Analysis of Entertainment-Education Based Network Medical Drama Grey’s Anatomy. • Lok Pokhrel, Washington State University • This study content analyzed the total of 12 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy of season six. Total of twenty four episodes of the season six, in which total of sixty eight (N= 68) units of doctor-patient (characters) interactions were coded. This study aimed to find whether there is any significant difference in the communication between doctor and patient due to their gender difference. This study didn’t find a significant difference in terms of doctor-patient communication influenced by the gender of the doctor. The study found that the patients have interacted more to the female doctor characters than to the male doctor characters; however, the difference is not significant except in two categories: patient providing information on past medical diagnosis, and patient seeking information on adjustment/coping (p<.05). In average, patients have communicated more with the female doctor characters than the male counterparts (Male: n=28, Female: n= 40).

The Role of Family Communication Style, Coviewing and Mediation in Family Nutrition Efficacy and Behavior • Erica Austin; Pinkleton Bruce; Marie Louise Radanielina-Hita; Weina Ran, Washington State University • An internet-based survey of 150 parents investigated parental communication styles, mediation and coviewing behaviors regarding media and family nutrition. The results indicated that concept-oriented parental communication predicted negative mediation and parental efficacy for making healthy changes in family nutrition behaviors, while socio orientation predicted the tendency to watch TV during dinner. Coviewing negatively predicted efficacy and positively predicted eating dinner while watching TV. The results suggest that interventions aimed at reducing obesity may benefit from targeting parental mediation strategies and encouraging concept-oriented approaches to family communication practices.

HIV Stigmatization and Stereotyping in Chinese News Coverage: From a Framing Perspective • Chunbo Ren, Washington State University; Stacey Hust, Washington State University; Peng Zhang, The University of Georgia; Yunze Zhao, Renmin University of China • A recent study revealed serious HIV/AIDS stigmatization is prevalent in Chinese media discourse. The current study extends this research by exploring how people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) are portrayed in Chinese media, and how these media frame HIV transmission and responsibility attribution for PLWHA. The result suggests that the newspaper articles promote two different views of people living with HIV/AIDS that is dependent on the manner with which the contracted the disease. Individuals who contract the disease through socially acceptable means are worthy of being featured. In contrast, individuals who contract the disease through socially unacceptable means are less likely to be identified as individuals, and instead are devalued as a nondescript member of a highly dangerous group. This juxtaposition reinforces stigmatization the will mitigate China’s HIV/AIDS anti-stigma efforts.

Mind or Body? A Qualitative Framing Analysis of Fibromyalgia in Newspapers Versus Health Websites • Joy Rodgers, University of Florida; Mari Luz Zapata Ramos, University of Florida • This qualitative framing analysis examined stories and articles in newspapers and health websites to identify frames in the ongoing debate about whether fibromyalgia is a medical or mental affliction. A total of 95 articles retrieved from online archives of elite newspapers and top health information websites were analyzed. The study found that newspapers more frequently framed fibromyalgia in terms of a medical condition, while health websites leaned more toward a mental frame.

Self-identity and past behavior in risk information seeking intention: An augmented PRISM • Sonny Rosenthal, The University of Texas at Austin • This study augmented Kahlor’s (2010) planned risk information seeking model (PRISM). The augmented PRISM depicts risk information seeking intention as the product of attitudes toward seeking, seeking-related subjective norms, perceived control over seeking, affective response, information-seeking self-identity, and past seeking. This study used an online survey of Americans (N = 602) in order to assess the fit of the augmented model, with specific attention to the novel model components—information-seeking self-identity and past seeking. Results supported the proposed model (R2 = .62) and five stated hypotheses related to information-seeking self-identity. In addition, I explored a research question related to past seeking. A notable, but unanticipated finding was that—at least with the current sample—perceived behavioral control did not predict seeking intention significantly.

Inoculating against confusion and restoring confidence in vaccinations: A mental models approach to risk communication • Valarie Bell Wright, The College of Charleston; Heather Woolwine; Amanda Ruth-McSwain, College of Charleston; Margaret White, College of Charleston; Jennifer Lockhart, College of Charleston • Child vaccinations are considered a necessary precaution in safeguarding society by eliminating or reducing the occurrence of several potentially deadly diseases. While there is clear consensus amongst the medical community that vaccinations are critical, there exists some discrepancy in the importance and effects associated with vaccinations throughout the parent community. A parent’s decision to vaccinate is often complicated by fear or apprehension. As such, a mental models approach was used to guide the present study in an attempt to identify the gaps between expert knowledge and nonexpert (parents) understanding of the risks associated with child vaccinations. The results provide the framework for an informed message strategy to assuage fears as well as to provide research-based risk information regarding childhood vaccinations.

News Media’s Treatment of HPV Vaccination in Males: Analysis of U.S. Newspapers and Health Websites • Kang Hoon Sung, University of Florida; Kathryn Gerlach, University of Florida • In October 2009, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Gardasil, a vaccine for the prevention of four types of human papillomavirus (HPV), for use in boys and men. No studies to date have been conducted to determine the manner in which mainstream media outlets frame vaccination of this particular segment of the population. The current study explores how the media have, thus far, presented this controversial issue. Analyses revealed a total of three dominant frames, which the media employed to present the issue of male HPV vaccination. These frames were: 1) Uncertainty, 2) Unreasonable cost and Vaccines as revenue creators, and 3) Opposition and Controversy.

“There would be no peace for me if I kept silent:” A discourse analysis of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring • Melissa Thompson • Rachel Carson’s novel Silent Spring is often singled out as beginning the modern environmental movement. This paper explores the discourse of the novel itself, the sociocultural environment of the U.S. in the early 1960s, and the institution of literary journalism to draw conclusions about why the novel left such an impression on readers and lawmakers. The paper concludes that the manner in which Carson was able to frame the issue of pesticide use left a lasting impression on the upper middle-class readers who were likely to have read the work and taken up the book’s call to action.

News Valence and Attribution of Responsibility in a Cross-National Study of TV News Coverage of the 2009 UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen • Jiun-Yi Tsai, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Xuan Liang, Department of Life Science Communication; Magda Konieczna; Kristine Mattis, Environment and Resources Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies • This research examines how valence of media frames reflects cross-country differences in journalistic norms and national stakes on attribution of responsibility for climate change for alleviating global climate change. By analyzing prime-time television news in three major countries-the United States, China and Canada during the 2009 climate change conference in Copenhagen, we capture the media presentation of the overall valence toward the conference negotiation, home country’s performance, and foreign countries’ performance. The results indicate that the news media of the three countries commonly presented negative assessments throughout the Copenhagen conference. The news media valued their home country’s performance and foreign countries’ performance differently. The relationship between treatment responsibility in the home country and its country performance significantly differed cross the three countries. Reporters and anchors demonstrated national differences in overall tone of messages.

Competing with the conventional wisdom: Newspaper coverage of medical overtreatment • Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida College of Journalism & Communications; Jennifer Braddock, University of Florida • Overtesting and overtreatment in health care has had serious consequences, economically and physically, for an American public constantly in search of ways to maintain or regain good health. This qualitative content analysis considered examined the framing of overtreatment in four elite U.S. newspapers. Three frames emerged from the analysis: uncertainty on the part of physicians and patients, the costs of unnecessary medical tests and procedures, including their causes, and legal issues, including malpractice and fraud.

How will College Newspapers Frame a Pandemic? • Allison Weidhaas, University of South Florida • This paper explores how student reporters frame the risk of an infectious disease in their student newspapers. The researcher conducted a content analysis of 12 student newspapers selected from a multi-stage sample in the fall of 2009 to determine if students accurately present the level of risk. The findings indicate that as the potential personal risk of H1N1 increased, the students attempted to reduce anxiety by offering reassuring messages.

On-line Environmental Engagement among Youth: Influences of Parents, Attitudes and Demographics • Rob Wicks, University of Arkansas; Myria Allen; Stephanie Schulte, University of Arkansas • A national stratified quota sample of 1,096 parents and their children between the ages of 12 and 17 was conducted to investigate the factors that may be related to young people’s efforts to persuade members of their on-line social networks to be more environmental. Hierarchical regression analysis revealed that, while parents seem to influence youth behavior, the greatest variance in behavior was not explained by parents but by, among others, environmental self-efficacy, environmental news consumption, political interest, time spent online, and environmental consumerism. The regression model explained more of the variance in the girls’ online environmental advocacy than the boys’.

Construing health message framing: Motivational systems, valence of framing and event tendency of framing • Changmin Yan, Washington State University • Through a 2 (motivational systems: approach/avoidance) by 4 (framing: gain, no loss, loss and no gain) mixed design, this study tested two competing views on health message framing, i.e., the valence perspective and the event tendency view and their interactions with approach or avoidance motivational systems. Although empirical data favored both views when motivational systems were not considered, after adding motivational systems as a moderating variable, only the event tendency mediation model was supported.

Applying the Theory of Planned Behavior to Examine Preventive Behaviors against H1N1: A US-Singapore Comparison • Zheng Yang, SUNY at Buffalo; Jennifer Allen Catellier; Shirley S. Ho; May O. Lwin • This study applies the Theory of Planned Behavior to examine individuals’ intention to adopt preventive behaviors against the H1N1 influenza in the United States and in Singapore. Given the potential risks involved, an alternative measurement strategy is employed to assess attitude. Results suggest that past behavior, news deliberation, and favorable attitude were significant predictors of behavioral intention in both samples. However, societal-level risk perception and subjective norm had different influence between the two samples.

Framing HBV — Newspaper Coverage of HBV in China in 2009 • Chun Yang; Chunbo Ren, Washington State University • This paper focuses on newspapers’ coverage of hepatitis B in general and hepatitis B stigmatization during 2009 in mainland China. Medical treatment, HBV stigma, and anti-stigma efforts were the three main aspects highlighted by newspapers. Although Chinese newspaper coverage was positive with regards to anti-stigma efforts, newspapers placed responsibility on the individual to initiate anti-stigma activities. Additionally, newspapers contributed to the construction of HBV stigma by adopting stigmatizing terms among articles that supported anti-stigma efforts.

Toward A Theoretical Understanding of Using Online Health Communities: Motivation, Ability, and Doctor-Patient Communication Satisfaction • Yinjiao Ye • Drawing on the elaboration likelihood model and the behavioral of health services use, this study explores various correlates of participation in online health groups, including health-involvement variables, ability to use online health support groups, and consumer satisfaction with communication with health professionals and with health care received. The 2007 Health Information National Trend Survey data were analyzed. Results showed that controlling for demographics, health involvement variables, such as family cancer history and psychological health were significant. Also, consumer satisfaction with doctor-patient communication was marginally significant. This study adds to the literature by offering a conceptual understanding of use of online peer-to-peer health support; that is, motivation and ability to use online health information are important, and communication with online peers is pursued when communication with health professionals is less satisfactory.

Effects of Communication on Colorectal Cancer Screening: Revisited Health Belief Model • Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; MinWoo Kwon, University of Wisconsin at Madison • The Health Belief Model (HBM) has been the most commonly used in predicting individuals’ cancer screening behaviors. Numerous studies have investigated the role of communication as cue to behavior of Colorectal Cancer (CRC) screening in the HBM, but there is still a lack of research of the effect of communication in the HBM to predict CRC screening behaviors. Communication has a strong potential to play more influential and various roles in influencing CRC screening behaviors. Thus, this study explores how communication influences the behavior-making process of CRC screening on the basis of the HBM. Our findings suggest that communication has an impact on the components inherent in the HBM as well as the effect on CRC screening exert via the mechanism of the HBM.

Effects of Negative Exemplars of Celebrity Smoking on College Students’ Smoking • Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Albert Gunther, University of Wisconsin – Madison • Most anti-smoking efforts have focused on adolescent smoking, and relatively little attention has been paid specifically to prevent college students’ smoking. Negative news stories on celebrity smoking increase the risk perception of smoking and they attract people’s attention to the problem inherent in smoking. From the point of view of the exemplification theory, this kind of news can be considered as an exemplar that influences individual assessment of smoking risk as well as contingent apprehension that motivates smoking avoidance and anti-smoking behavior. This study examines the effect of the negative exemplars of celebrity smoking in health news on college students’ perceived risk of smoking and smoking intentions. Our findings supported that negative exemplars of celebrity smoking have a strong impact on college students’ smoking. In addition, the effects are moderated by smoking status. Ever-smokers who read smoking news with negative exemplars of celebrity smoking are more likely to report higher levels of perceived risk of smoking and lower levels of smoking intentions, but never-smokers do not show the patterns

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