Media Ethics 2003 Abstracts

Media Ethics Division

Bad Apples or Rotten Culture: Media Discourse on the Corporate Scandals of 2001 and 2002 • David Craig, and Kristy Turner, Oklahoma • This paper evaluates 263 print media pieces and broadcast segments to assess how the discourse of 18 major news organizations addressed the ethical dimension of the scandals involving Enron and other companies. Ethical discussion emerged at several levels • individual, organizational, professional, and social • in a variety of formats including in-depth analytical reporting, commentary, and question and answer. Though much of the discourse was not in depth, the best examples point to ways that news organizations can effectively address business ethics.

Balancing News Reporting with National Security in an Age of Terrorism • David Cuillier, Washington State • In the shadow of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, this paper examines the ethics of reporting information in the media that could help citizens but also aid terrorists. Three cases are used to illustrate the ethical considerations journalists face to aggressively obtain and report the truth while minimizing the likelihood that the information could be used for future attacks.

Punctuation and Epistemic Honesty: Do Photos Need What Words Have? • Scott Fosdick and Shahira Fahmy, Missouri • This research begins a discussion of the ethics of sampling reality by drawing together parallel research on quotations and photography. Interviews with editors at leading magazines reveal internalized standards that draw nothing from formal codes of ethics. Editors do not support the adoption of “photation marks” to serve as the visual equivalent of the quotation mark. The authors argue that news practitioners should consider replacing Truth with Honesty as their guiding light when presenting samples of reality.

A Bellwether in Media Accountability: The Work of the New York World’s Bureau of Accuracy and Fair Play • Neil Nemeth, Purdue-Calumet • This paper provides the first detailed analysis of the New York World’s Bureau of Accuracy and Fair Play, which existed from 1913 until 1931. The bureau had been created in an effort to “promote accuracy and fair play, to correct carelessness and to stamp out fakes and fakers.” The paper argues that the bureau represents a bellwether in the efforts of media organizations to make themselves more accountable to readers, listeners and viewers.

Eight Arguments for the Importance of Philosophical Thinking in Journalism Ethics • Hendrik Overduin, McNeese State • This paper presents eight arguments to establish the importance of philosophical thinking in journalism ethics. The arguments address general issues as well as six philosophical problems unique to journalism. These are the paradox of news judgment, the choice among professional models, the imperative of professional autonomy, the need to reconcile professional values with scientific knowledge, the primacy of discursive reason in news judgment, and the communitarian challenge to traditional arguments for freedom of the press.

Perry Meets Freire: Moral Development’s ‘Leap of Faith’ in the Classroom • Maggie Patterson and Matthew Gropp, Duquesne • The ways teachers can help students through ethical development are explored by drawing upon William G. Perry’s Forms of Intellectual and Ethical Development in the College Years (1970) and, to a lesser extent, Mary F. Belenky, et al.’s Women’s Ways of Knowing (1986). The paper argues that the middle stage of moral development, called Realizing of Relativism, is a critical turning point at which students can turn back, freeze in place, or move on to an eventual commitment to ideas and values.

A Gang of Pecksniffs Grows Up: The Evolution of Journalism Ethics Discourse in The Journalist and Editor and Publisher • Patrick Plaisance, Colorado State • This content analysis explores how journalism’s first trade publications reflected discussion of ethical issues before and during the Progressive Era. While issues of normative behavior for reporters and editors were thought to have developed from earlier efforts to professionalize the field, this study suggests that the two areas, while intertwined, developed along different trajectories.

Questions of Judgment in the Newsroom: A Journalistic Instrumental Value Theory •Patrick Plaisance, Colorado State • Current media theorizing remains preoccupied with building competing normative philosophical frameworks yet does not often focus on the construction and operation of human value systems • which arguably are the engines that drive most ethical deliberations. This study uses social psychology research on value systems to construct a profile of journalistic values using a modified version of the Rokeach Value Survey. A nationwide probability-sample survey of 600 newspaper journalists produced a response rate of 59 percent (N=355).

The Randal Case: An Analysis of the Legal and Ethical Arguments Regarding Journalists Testifying in a War Crime Tribunal • Bastiaan Vanacker, Minnesota • No abstract available.

An Examination of Diversity Issues at Southeastern Journalism Conference Newspapers • Kathleen Wickham, Mississippi • College newspapers are the incubators for young journalists as they develop writing styles, become part of the journalism culture, test ethical problems and determine the news they want to cover. To produce a fair and balanced representation of a diverse population a newsroom must include professionals with varying backgrounds and experience. This study examines a common breeding ground for professional journalists—the college newsroom.

Conflicted Interests, Contested Terrain: Journalism Ethics Codes Then and Now • Lee Wilkins and Bonnie Brennen, Missouri • By analyzing ethics codes, a professional statement of what constitutes good work, this essay links codes to a theory of culture and history. It considers two early journalism ethics codes and assesses the latest New York Times ethics code in light of philosophical theory. The paper suggests that professional tensions outlined in Good Work are reified in the Times code • and that history and culture may be less supportive of a positive outcome of this struggle over values than the insights of psychology might suggest.

Opposing Influences: Reporters’ Perceptions of Structural Constraints • Young Jun Son, Kookmin University-Korea • Political journalists identified a wide variety of structural variables that influenced their ability to select and frame news stories in the coverage of the 2000 Bush-Gore campaign. Newsroom power arrangements were perceived as more influential in selecting and framing stories than media practices. While reporters viewed the influence of editors and wire services on their autonomy in a positive light, they held negative views of the influence of horizontal colleagues and priorities of other media.

<< 2003 Abstracts

Mass Communication and Society 2003 Abstracts

Mass Communication and Society Division

The First Hours Of September 11th: How Accuracy and Sourcing Fared in Three Television Networks’ Breaking News Coverage • Scott Abel, International University of Estonia, Andrea Miller, Louisiana State and Vincent F. Filak, Ball State • No abstract available.

Beyond Censorship: Real World Third-Person Effects • Stephen Banning, Lousiana State • Recent focus on the third-person effect has centered on behavioral implications, especially those relating to censorship. The third-person effect is the tendency for people to believe that others, “third-persons,” are more likely to be affected by media messages. This study examined behavioral implications in the context of messages with a random telephone survey (n=835) of people in a mid-sized city. Crime Stoppers is a program that uses local media to involve citizens in tracking down alleged criminals.

Confidential: Florida Child Abuse and Neglect Records • Courtney Anne Barclay, Florida • Florida has recently been in the national spotlight because of tragic child welfare cases, resulting in a call to loosen Florida’s confidentiality laws to create more accountability. This paper comprehensively discusses Florida’s laws regarding child abuse and neglect records. First, it discusses Florida’s constitutional and statutory laws providing for confidentiality of these records. Then, it discusses the relevant operating procedures for Florida Department of Children and Families. Finally, the paper analyzes the relevant case law.

Maturity And Interest In Movies, Videotapes, Or Advertisements And Reviews Of Movies Or Videos An Ohio Survey • Joseph Bernt and Marilyn Greenwald, Ohio • Based on questions in an October, 2001, random-digit telephone survey, this study examined entertainment preferences and sources of entertainment information of 403 Ohio residents, looking at media use, views of importance of film advertisements, promotions, reviews, and word-of-mouth comments, and other topics. Younger respondents were more frequent moviegoers and more dependent on media and interpersonal sources. Heavy television viewers in the survey had not attended a movie theater and half had not rented videotapes in the past month.

Sports Model, Sports Mind: The Relationship Between Entertainment and Sports Media Exposure, Sports Participation and Body Image Distortion in Division I Female Athletes • Kimberly L. Bissell, Alabama • Many studies offer clear evidence that exposure to TDP (thinness depicting and promoting) media leads to distorted body image perceptions in school-age females and college women. This study investigated Division I female athletes’ exposure to two types of media- entertainment and sports media-and looked for possible associations with body image distortions and eating disorders. Sports participation and interest in sports media were important control factors for this study.

Public Perceptions of the Phrase “God Bless America” • John V. Bodle and Larry Burriss, Middle Tennessee State • The phrase “God bless America” has been virtually everywhere people are following the events of September 11, 2001. Through random sampling of Tennessee residents in 2002, this study probes what people mean when they use the phrase. Significant variables include political perspective, education, age, gender, income and race. Information from public (conversations with clergy) and media (newspaper readership) sources also appears to have influenced perspectives. Respondents were split over what President Bush means when he says “God bless America.”

Cognitive Mapping: Another Window into the Ethical Reasoning of Journalism • Sandra L. Borden, Western Michigan • The purpose of this paper is to investigate the potential of a coding technique called cognitive mapping, which is a systematic way of coding discourse that allows researchers to transform data into a visual representation of another’s thinking. A subset of data from an earlier study was coded using cognitive mapping to analyze journalists’ ethical reasoning in the first phase of a project that also will involve transferring coding decisions to mapping software in a second phase of analysis.

The Print Media And The Quality Of Governance As A Reflection Of The Existing State Of Social Capital In India’s States • Sumana Chattopadhyay, Missouri-Columbia • This paper attempts to analyze the effect of the print media using proxies like the vernacular language newspaper circulation as also the total newspaper circulation on the level of social capital as reflected by the quality of governance using a panel of fourteen Indian states. Newspaper circulation significantly affects the level of government development expenditures especially on social services like education and medical service.

Beyond Good and Evil: The Binary Discourse of George W. Bush and an Echoing Press • Kevin Coe, David Domke, Erica Graham, Sue John and Victor Pickard, Washington • Binary communications represent the world as a place of polar opposites. Binaries are commonplace in Western thought, but take on a heightened importance when they are used in political and media environments. With this in mind, this research (a) examines the presence of binary discourse by U.S. President George W. Bush in 15 national addresses, from his inauguration in January 2000 to commencement of the war with Iraq in March 2003; and (b) analyzes the response of editorials in 20 U.S. newspapers to the president’s communications.

Access to the Internet in the Context of Community Participation and Community Satisfaction • Mohan J. Dutta-Bergman, Purdue University • The introduction of the Internet in American life has led to debates among media scholars, sociologists and political scientists about the role of the Internet in society. Two areas of research that have received substantial attention in the domain of Internet effects are digital divide and social capital. Digital divide researchers have pointed out the critical gaps in society among different groups in the context of their access to new media and technology.

Reaching Unhealthy Eaters: Applying a Strategic Approach to Media Vehicle Choice • Mohan J. Dutta-Bergman, Purdue • Founded upon the argument that unhealthy eaters need to be reached through strategic choices that are driven by adequate formative research, this paper examines the media consumption patterns of unhealthy eaters. Based on an analysis of the 1999 Lifestyle data, the paper points out that healthy and unhealthy eaters differ systematically in their media choices. While television news is the most effective channel for reaching healthy eaters, television sports and entertainment-oriented Internet are the two major media categories consumed by the unhealthy eater.

When the Terrorist is American: Analyzing News Frames of the September 11, 2001 Attacks and the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing • Jacqueline M. Eckstein, Oklahoma • The September 11, 2001 attacks and 1995 Oklahoma City bombing offer an opportunity to examine the performance of the U.S. news media under conditions of unprecedented civilian death and destruction. Guided by the theory that media frame what terrorism is and suggest its appropriate response (Iyengar, 1991), this study examined whether news frames differ when an American. is the terrorist perpetrator, or when non-Americans are believed the culprits.

September 11 and the Newslore of Vengeance and Victimization • Russell Frank, Pennsylvania State • The September 11, 2001 attacks inspired an outpouring of electronic folklore. This “newslore” is of two types. The newslore of vengeance consists of fantasies of annihilation or humiliation aimed at Osama bin Laden or Afghanistan. The newslore of victimization expresses bewilderment at the role of fate or chance in who lived and who died. This article analyzes the newslore of September 11 as a “strategy of rebellion” against the decorousness of the mainstream news media.

Follow the Leader: The Bush Administration, News Media, and Passage of the U.S.A. Patriot Act • Erica S. Graham, David Domke, Keven Coe and Sue L. John, Washington • Following September 11, 2001, the U.S. Congress quickly passed the U.S.A. Patriot Act with strong support. We hypothesize that President Bush, Attorney General John Ashcroft, and the news media were instrumental in this process via their communications about this anti-terrorism legislation. We content analyzed Bush and Ashcroft’s public communications and news coverage about the U.S.A. Patriot Act to identify both (a) the themes emphasized and (b) the timing of communications.

Is “Fat Free” Good for Me? A Panel Study of Television Viewing and Children’s Nutritional Knowledge and Reasoning • Kristen Harrison, Illinois • The family diet is influenced by children’s attitudes toward food, which in turn are influenced by television. In a panel study involving 135 1st-3rd grade children, television viewing, nutritional knowledge, and nutritional reasoning were measured six weeks apart. Television viewing predicted a subsequent decrease in nutritional knowledge and reasoning, but only for foods that tend to be heavily marketed as weight-loss aids. Television’s framing of diet foods may confuse children by equating weight-loss benefits with nutritional benefits.

Free Congress Research and Education Foundation: An Extremist Organization in Think Tank Clothing? • Sharron M. Hope, Purdue • No abstract available.

Information Control and Journalistic Performance: A Content Analysis of News Coverage in Two Chinese Websites • Qiping Hu and Glen T. Cameron, Missouri-Columbia • To better understand the relationship between information control and journalistic performance, two Chinese news websites, one inside China named SINA and one outside the borders named CNN, were compared using systematic content analysis. Results show that contrary to much conventional thinking, news organizations that are freer from information control do not necessarily perform better in terms of fairness and objectivity.

Sources of Influence on People’s Perceptions of the Quality of Life Available in their Communities and Elsewhere • Leo W. Jeffres, Kimberly A. Neuendorf, Cheryl Campanella Bracken and David Atkin, Cleveland State • Research into the “good life” has recognized that people’s assessments of their quality of life may be affected by their assessment of the larger environment and its impact on them. Few researchers have empirically examined sources of influence as people make comparisons based on personal experiences and observation as well as the mass media and interpersonal communication channels.

Compelling Arguments & Attitude Strength: Exploring the Impact of Second-Level Agenda Setting on Public Opinion of Presidential Candidate Images • Spiro Kiousis, Florida • This study explores the relation between attribute agenda setting and public opinion of political candidates. Specifically, media salience of presidential candidate attributes across 5 national elections is compared to public opinion data that measured perceived candidate salience and the strength of public attitudes regarding those candidates. Findings suggest that media salience of attributes is strongly linked with strengthened attitudes and is moderately liked with candidate salience. The implications of the findings are also discussed.

Is the Internet Shaping our Perceptions and Attitude? A Cultivation Analysis Perspective to Internet Use • Madhukar Kumar and Robert Meeds, Kansas State • A secondary analysis was conducted to investigate possible relationships between the amount of time a respondent spends on the Internet responses to cultural indicator questions from the perspective of cultivation theory. Data from the General Social Survey (2000) were analyzed and results showed that some of the cultural indicator variables had significant relationships with the amount of time a respondent spent on the Internet even when demographic control variables were taken into consideration.

A Multidimensional Approach to Socio-Political Internet Use: Patterns of Internet Use, Informal Associations, and Public Affairs Participation • Nojin Kwak, Ann Williams, Sung-Hee Joo and Xiaoru Wang, Michigan • This research project explores the ways in which distinct factors of socio-political Internet use influence offline political and civic engagement. Our analysis reveals that the three principal components of socio-political Internet-use: instrumental use, communal use, and expressive use each have unique associations with participatory outcomes. An examination of socio-recreational web-use, confirms that these types of activities are negatively related to traditional participation; however, it is found that offline informal socializing may be a conduit through which socio-recreational Internet use harbors a positive influence on participatory behaviors.

Health Communication Ad Campaigns: A Content Analysis of Televised Direct-to-Consumer Pharmaceutical Advertisements • Karla M. Larson Hunter and Sharlene R. Thomson, Oklahoma and Lisa Sparks Bethea, George Mason • This pilot content analysis of Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) pharmaceutical advertising extends analysis of this ad phenomenon to arguably their most impacting medium, television. Shimp’ s (1981) foundational Affective versus Cognitive Processing theory provides the research lens. Findings indicate that DTC ads’ persuasive appeals are overwhelmingly affective in nature, and that adverse information is omitted or presented in ways which negatively impact recall of it, thus raising concern for the social implications of this form of advertising.

Outcome as a Determinant of Families’ Adoption of a Seasonal Allergy Drug • Yulian Li, Jackson State • This study is an experimental study of the effects of outcome description in a media message on families’ adoption of a seasonal allergy drug. The experiment randomly assigned the family subjects into two groups: outcome-present and outcome-absent. The results demonstrated that the family members exposed to the outcome-present message showed greater anticipation of outcome, more favorable attitude toward the brand, and greater purchase intention of the drug.

Presence in Informative Virtual Environments: The Effects of Self-Efficacy, Spatial Ability and Mood • Lynette Lim, Linda A. Jackson, Frank Biocca, Gretchen Barbatsis, Keith Bradburn, Ming Tang, Yong Zhao and Hiram Fitzgerald, Michigan State • The purpose of this study is to evaluate whether 3-D virtual environments have an effect on learning in virtual environments. The same information is presented on a regular webpage and a custom constructed 3D spatial environment. The results show (1) a correlation between an individual’s positive attitudes about the environment and a sense of presence; and (2) partial support for the hypothesis that users with high computer and Internet self-efficacy would experience a higher sense of presence in the 3D virtual environment.

The Role of Media Dependency in the Wake of September 11 • Wilson Lowery, Alabama • This pilot study uses Micro-Media Systems Dependency Theory to examine dependencies on media after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Generally findings show that socio-economic status and degree of social capital and connectedness matter little to either degree of dependency or to subsequent attitudinal and behavioral effects. Degree of perceived threat and age are the important predictors of overall media dependency, and prior use patterns most strongly predict dependencies on individual media types.

Patriarchy v. Functional Truth: Assessing the Feminist Critique of Intimate Violence Reporting • John McManus, Stanford and Lori Dorfman, Berkeley Media Studies Group • Journalism assumes reporters are able to pursue “functional truth”-an account of issues and events reliably describing social reality. Critical feminist scholars, however, contend that journalists working in male-dominated corporations are constrained by a culture of patriarchal values. The present study is the first in the U.S. to test this critique as it applies to reporting the vast social pathology of intimate partner violence. Contrary to that critique, newspapers very rarely blamed female battering victims or mitigated suspect blame.

F Is For Fat: Constructions Of A Weight Ideology In Children’s Books • Alissa A. Nolan and Michael P. Boyle, Wisconsin • Although research has examined weight portrayals in various media, little research has looked at representations of body size in children’s literature. Children’s media play an important role in the development of norms associated with weight. Our content analysis of children’s books takes a step toward understanding how weight is portrayed in children’s media. Findings demonstrate heavy characters were described according to weight almost four times as often and were shown with twice as many emotional reactions as thin characters.

Quantifying Globality in Hollywood Film • Jonathan Obar, Syracuse • This study examines the globalization of Hollywood film content, questioning the existence of a contemporary preference towards increasingly homogenous texts that transcend national/cultural boundaries. A quantitative system was formulated to evaluate the ten highest grossing films domestically in each five-year-period from 1951-2000. The findings show that globality (the ability to transcend boundaries) in Hollywood films has increased over time, but universal qualities in films from each decade assert that Hollywood films have always had global elements.

Media Perceptions and Public Affairs Apathy in the Politically Inexperienced • Bruce E. Pinkleton and Eric Weintraub Austin, Washington State • Political scholars and others regularly express concerns about a lack of public affairs involvement among young people. Although they are able to vote, college-aged citizens are notorious for their failure to engage in even the most basic forms of public affairs participation. The mass media are a primary source of political information for young citizens, though some researchers have expressed concern that the media discourage young people from participation.

Surveying the Home Media Environment: Family Characteristics, Media Deployment and Family Use Patterns • Jennifer A. Robinson, Alabama and Jinhee Kim, Penn State • A home media ecology survey of college and middle school students was conducted. Family media rules were related to the pattern of family communication and parental attitudes towards different media. The most used medium is still television, which is primarily used for entertainment and whole family viewing; whereas the computer is primarily used for information and individual use. Understanding family characteristics that moderate media use can assist families in wisely using the media at home.

Hypermasculinity, Aggression, and Television Violence: An Experiment • Erica Scharrer, Massachusetts-Amherst • This experiment tests the role of hypermasculinity (HM) and trait aggression in predicting aggressive responses to violent television. 91 male college students were exposed to a violent and HM television program, a violence only program, or a control program. Results find that some dimensions of HM and pre-existing aggression interact with exposure to the treatment stimulus to predict aggressive responses, and that HM can also be treated as a dependent variable that is affected by television exposure.

The Differential Effects of Exposure to “Youth-Oriented” Magazines on Adolescent Alcohol Use • Steven R. Thomsen, Brigham Young and Dag Rekve, Norwegian Ministry of Social Affairs-Norway • Objective: To examine the effects of exposure to “youth-oriented” magazines, those that typically contain high levels of alcohol advertising and that have a substantial number of readers under the legal drinking age, on normative beliefs about teenage drinking, drinking expectancies and drinking frequency during the past 30 days by a group of adolescents. Three specific magazine categories were considered: music and entertainment, sports and men’s lifestyle.

Mapping Deviance: The Role of News Content in Communicating Legitimacy • Tim P. Vos, Syracuse • This study examines the news media’s in mapping social deviance and legitimacy. Newspaper journalists are surveyed for their assessment of the relative deviance of several political, entertainment, and business organizations. Then a content analysis of newspapers is performed to assess the legitimacy of those same organizations. Three types of deviance are hypothesized as predictors of three types of legitimacy. The results show that normative deviance was a partial predictor of stability legitimacy.

Agenda Setting and International News: Media Influence on Public Perceptions of Foreign Nations • Wayne Wanta and Cheolhan Lee, Missouri and Guy Golan, Louisiana State • A national poll and a content analysis of network newscasts examined if coverage of foreign nations had an agenda setting influence. The more media coverage a nation received, the more respondents were to think the nation was vitally important to U.S. interests, supporting the first level of agenda setting. The more negative coverage a nation received, the more respondents were to think negatively about the nation, supporting the second level of agenda setting.

I Just Had to Look, Having Read the Book: Determinants of Film Attendance in the Information Age • Patricia Williamson, Central Michigan, Robert LaRose and William War, Michigan • What influences individual decisions to attend movies? Multiple regression analysis revealed that special effects and the books on which they were based were important predictors of intentions to attend The Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone among a sample of 343 college students. Visits to movie Web sites were also an important influence. Surprisingly, the perceived movie preferences of dating partners and friends had a relationship to movie attendance.

Exploring the Effects of Web Advertising on Readers’ Perceptions of On-line News • Hyeseung Yang and Mary Beth Oliver, Penn State • This study examines the idea that the commercialization of Internet news sites can have a negative impact on perception of news. An experiment (N=260) shows that perceptions of on-line news stories vary as a function of the presence or nature of webadvertising and Internet use (light versus heavy). Specifically, findings suggest that among light Internet users, the inclusion of advertisements results in significantly lower perceived news value of hard news stories.

Modeling Internet Current Affairs News Usage from Perceived Credibility of Internet News, Internet Dependency Relations and Social Locus • Jin Yang, Southern Illinois-Carbondale and Padmini Patwardhan, Texas Tech • Using an attitudinal, relational, and social locus perspective, this study constructed and tested an exploratory model of Internet current affairs news use. It examined causal relationships between Internet credibility, Internet dependency relations, age, education, and Internet usage for current affairs news. Data were collected through an email survey in a university population.

The Effects of Trust, Social Connectedness, and Mass Media Use On Civic and Political Participation • Weiwu Zhang, Austin Peay State and Stella C. Chia, Wisconsin-Madison • More recently, many scholars have lamented the declining levels of social capital and civic participation in American society. This study attempts to clarify the concept of social capital and its major components. We differentiate three dimensions of social capital: interpersonal trust, institutional trust, and social connectedness. In addition, we investigate the differential effects of newspaper and television hard news use, internet use, and entertainment programs viewing, on civic and political participation.

<< 2003 Abstracts

Science Communication 2004 Abstracts

Science Communication Interest Group

The making of a menace? A qualitative framing analysis of how newspapers covered the prescription drug OxyContin • S. Camille Broadway and Kim Walsh-Childers, University of Florida • This study scrutinizes newspaper coverage of the prescription painkiller OxyContin between 2000 and 2002, when OxyContin abuse became a common story topic. Through qualitative analysis, the study identifies three dominant frames: menace; blame and responsibility; and pain. The study discusses the anecdotes, sources, narratives, word choice, and metaphors that make up each frame in an attempt to understand the “common sense” understanding of the issue the coverage created.

“An Examination of Scientific and Cultural Controversy Through an Ethical Lens” A Case Study of Mediated Discourse about Kennewick Man • Cynthia-Lou Coleman, Portland State University • The authors propose a reconceptualization of the technical rationality-cultural rationality framework in risk communication theory by incorporating the philosophical anthropology approach to ethics into the model. Borrowing from the work of Clifford Christians, the authors offer a framework for criticism that encompasses rationality, pluralism and ethical considerations. The authors argue that merging the numerous overlapping constructs of philosophical anthropology (Christians, 1997; Christians & Traber, 1997; Wilkins & Christians, 2001), technical progress (Habermas, 1970), positivist coverage (Priest, 1995), technical rationality (Plough & Krimsky, 1987), cultural rationality (Coleman, 1995), and news framing (Scheufele, 1999), will result in a richer theoretical understanding of news coverage of scientific controversies.

Altruism, Self-Interest, and the Reasonable Person Model of Environmentally Responsible Behavior • Julia B. Corbett, University of Utah • This study operationalized a new model of environmental behavior to test its utility in predicting the relatively hard task of getting people out of their cars. The Reasonable Person Model of environmentally responsible behavior (Kaplan 2000) hypothesizes that a mix of self-interest, altruism, personal norms, desirable choices, and participatory problem-solving are the best predictors of behavior. In a random sample telephone survey of drivers (N=344) along the Wasatch Front, all independent variables were significantly correlated to behavior with the exception of one personal control measure. Multiple regression model found that 52 percent of the variance in environmentally responsible behavior was predicted by the independent variables (R2-.52, p<.001). However, none of the measures of personal control contributed significantly to the model.

To Drill Or Not To Drill? Assessments Of News Coverage And Citizen Opinions Regarding U.S. Environmental Policies • Cindy T. Christen, Colorado State University • This experiment examined assessments of the slant and reach of local and national news articles, as well as the influence of personal opinion, on assessments of public opinion regarding two U.S. environmental policy issues: oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and ratification of the Kyoto treaty on global warming. While the perceived slant of environmental news articles proved to be a fairly robust predictor of nonpartisans’ public opinion estimates, support for an effect of perceived media reach on opinion judgments was mixed. Exposure to news articles that contradicted personal views appeared to enhance the tendency of partisans and nonpartisans to project their own opinions onto others.

Social Change and Status Quo Framing Effects on Risk Perception: An Exploratory Experiment • Jessica L. Durfee, University of Utah • Operating from a “guard dog” perspective of the media, this study investigated whether “social change” or “status quo” news frames affected individuals’ risk perceptions, using an experimental design. The participants who read the story with the social change frame reported the highest level of risk awareness (F34.88, p = .00), indicating that the way the media frames a story about environmental health issues has the potential to influence the audience’s perception of risk.

An Ounce of Prevention: The Role of Critical Thinking and Message Frames in Addressing Low-involvement Environmental Risks • Susan Grantham, University of Hartford and Tracy Irani, University of Florida • This study examined the relationship of critical thinking dispositions and message frames on the attitude – intent – behavior relationship toward a low-involvement environmental risk. No interaction between critical thinking disposition and message version was observed. However, a main effect for message version indicated that respondents who received the positively framed message (benefit) held a stronger attitude and stronger behavioral intent than subjects who received the negatively framed (cost) or control message.

Optimistic Bias about Cancer Risk and Information Sources in Appalachia • Hong Ji and Daniel Riffe, Ohio University • This study examined relationships of Appalachian residents’ optimistic bias to their knowledge about cancer and information source. A significant but slight relationship between optimistic bias and cancer knowledge was found. Optimistic bias was not significantly related to the ease of access to health information, or to number and types of sources identified.

Communicating Clinical Trials and Public Opinion • Maria Len-Rios, University of Kansas • The Institutes of Medicine says it is imperative to ensure that Americans become involved in the clinical research enterprise. A regional telephone survey of U.S. adults (N=426) is used to explore how people learn about clinical trials, what sources people rely on for medical information, and to predict intentions to participate in clinical trials. Results show radio is an important medium. Participants relied on physicians, books and health magazines for health information.

Teens and Contraception: Using Social Judgment Theory to Predict Young Adult Attitude Changes and Create Persuasive Campaigns • Carolyn Ringer Lepre, Cal-State University at Chico • Adolescents and young adult sexuality is a subject of considerable concern in the United States today. It is estimated that 3 million teenagers are infected with sexually transmitted diseases each year. HIV/AIDS has been the sixth leading cause of death among 15- to 24-year-olds in the United States since 1991. By December 2002, more than 301,000 persons between the ages of 20 to 34 have been diagnosed with AIDS, meaning most were probably infected while they were teens due to the long incubation period between HIV infection and AIDS diagnosis. This study uses principles of social judgment theory to create an experimental newspaper article, designed to measure how an exposure to a birth control article with an embedded message might change individual attitudes.

Media Response to Bioterrorism and Emerging Infectious Diseases: Pressing Problems and Plausible Solutions • Wilson Lowry, William Evans, Jennifer A. Robinson and Karla G. Gower, University of Alabama • In this manuscript we identify the most pressing problems faced by journalists and public information officers who respond to health-related emergencies, especially emergencies related to bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases. We also suggest plausible solutions to these problems. This menu of key problems and proposed solutions was developed through interviews with experts in journalism, bioterrorism, public health, and health and risk communication. A framework from the sociology of news is used to contextualize our research questions and to make sense of our experts’ comments and concerns.

Conflicted Scientists: The “Shared Pool” Dilemma of Scientific Advisory Committees • Katherine A. McComas, Cornell University and Leah Simone Tuite, University of Maryland • Science advisors play an integral part in government policy making, yet these advisors are often equally attractive to regulated industry. Despite efforts to manage conflicts of interest among science advisors, allegations of conflict frequently plague advisory committee deliberations or outcomes. This paper examines the so-called “shared pool” dilemma using data collected from 92 members of 11 Food and Drug Administration advisory committees. Results examine members’ views regarding committee impartiality and fairness of conflict of interest procedures.

Public Discourse and Scientific Controversy: A Spiral of Silence Analysis of Biotechnology Opinion in the U.S. • Susanna Hornig Priest, Jaejin Lee and Gayathri Sivakumar, Texas A&M University • This analysis applies spiral of silence theory to public opinion about biotechnology in the United States. A substantial minority in the U.S. has reservations in this area. Evidence is presented that a spiral of silence, as conventionally measured, has developed. However, other dynamics – including the greater willingness to speak out of those who believe themselves more knowledgeable, as well as differences among groups who apply different forms of moral reasoning – are also at work.

Adolescent and Young Adult Processing of Science Information from a News and an Entertainment Source • Donna Rouner, Marilee Long, Lina Saldarriaga and Carrie Browder Gragg, Colorado State University • A sample of 160 responded to either a newspaper story or a proposed situation comedy script about a new birth control method. Covariates included beliefs, self-efficacy, involvement and gender. Although the newspaper story showed greater recall and more positive thoughts about the innovation, the proposed situation comedy script elicited more favorable thoughts about the medium. Gender differences on sexual beliefs, self-efficacy and thoughts elaborate the findings.

Reinforcing Cultural Representations of Gender and Science: Portrayals of Women Scientists and Engineers in Popular Films • Jocelyn Steinke, Western Michigan University • This study analyzed cultural representations of gender conveyed though images of female scientists and engineers in popular films from 1991 to 2001. While a significant number of women scientists and engineers were presented as equal and valued members of research teams, the portrayals often focused on the women’s attractiveness and beauty and their romantic relationships. Some of the traditional stereotypical images of scientists as lonely, mad, nerdy, social outcasts also were noted.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender 2004 Abstracts

Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Interest Group

Sodomy in the Lone Star State: Texas Media Coverage of Gay Rights Pre and Post-Lawrence v. Texas • R Christopher Burnett, California State University at Long Beach; and Carlos Godoy, University of Southern California • The landscape of the gay rights debate has shifted sharply since the U.S. Supreme Court in June 2003 outlawed state sodomy laws. The case that accelerated the shift originated in Texas, regarded as anti-gay rights. This paper uses content analysis techniques to assess whether an anti-gay bias existed in news coverage in Texas both before and after the landmark Supreme Court ruling.

The Differing Treatment of Gays and Lesbians in the Media in the United States and Europe • Ann Lowney, William Carey College • This paper will seek to expose how treatment of gays and lesbians in the media differs in Europe and the United States. Specifically the paper will look at prime time television shows on both sides of the Atlantic and it will delve into the treatment of sport concerning including the gay and lesbian lifestyle. The aim is to compare and contrast the treatments where applicable and highlight the ethical ramifications. My argument is that the current treatment of gays and lesbians by the media in the United States hinders these groups desire to be accepted and studies by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance against Defamation centre reveals an interesting theory that may affect the future of the visibility of gays and lesbians in the media in future.

Globalized Eroticism, Negotiated Identity: An ethnographic study of Chinese gay men’s erotic pleasures and identity formation in cyber-communities • Hong-Chi Shiau, Central Connecticut State University • The research analyzed the posting section of the most popular gay-themed web-site in Taiwan to understand how Chinese gay men negotiate their identities and derive erotic pleasure through sharing posted audio, graphical, and textual messages. The research suggests that gay Chinese men in the cyber-community form sexual identities through employing various strategies, such as through role-playing. The rhetoric skills employed includes gender-crossing, teasing, prostituting and reciprocating.

‘Neither Cold Nor Hot’: An Analysis of Christian World Wide Web sites that Address GLBT Publics • Douglas J Swanson, University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse • This research analyzes Christian Web sites addressing gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgendered publics. The study involved content analysis of visual, operational, and informational enhancements and a frame analysis to assess issues of intent, consistency, accuracy, and validity. Web sites emphasized information dissemination rather than evangelization or proselytization; were overwhelmingly framed as collections of linked resources, rather than as online destinations for users seeking spiritual comfort; were almost completely devoid of traditional Christian symbols, scripture, and testimony; and failed to acknowledge in depth the complex debate over same-sex relationships.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Radio-TV Journalism 2004 Abstracts

Radio-TV Journalism Division

The Canadian News Directors Study: How Television Newsroom Decision Makers Understand Their Journalistic Roles • Marsha Barber and Ann Rauhala, Ryerson University • This is the first Canadian academic study to attempt to understand how news directors, the people who run Canada’s broadcast newsrooms, conceive the professional roles of the journalists who work for them. The research suggests that there are important differences between the way U.S. and Canadian journalists conceive their roles. In addition, it suggests that there are significant differences between public and private news directors’ conceptions of journalistic roles.

What’s Interesting: Local-news promos as a caricature of presumed audience preferences • Eran N. Ben-Porath, University of Pennsylvania • An analysis of local-news promos was conducted to answer the question “what do news-providers think their viewers find most interesting?” The content of 24 news programs is compared with the content of their corresponding promos. This comparison finds that promos caricature the news, accentuating its extremes, over-representing pragmatic information such as the weather and consumer tips, while under-representing policy issues. In a competitive television market, these discrepancies represent the news organizations’ perception of viewer preferences.

A Content Analysis of News Crawls on Three 24-hour News Networks • April Blackmon, Kimball Benson, and Susan Berhow, Kansas State University • This study’s purpose is to describe television news crawls through a content analysis of three 24-hour news networks. News crawl history, agenda setting theory and the Cultural Indicators paradigm are addressed. Topic and frequency of crawls was assessed using Deutschmann’s (1959) modified categories as used in Stempel’s (1988) work on news network topic choices. The researchers found that news crawls primarily featured hard news items and agenda setting could be observed within the crawl.

Down to the Wire: NPR’s “Morning Edition” Coverage of the 2000 Presidential Election Campaign • Timothy Boudreau, Central Michigan University • This content analysis examines how National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” news program covered the 2000 presidential election campaign. The study of 116 news stories over about a ten-week period found that NPR’s reporters relied heavily on traditional sources and provided similar tone of coverage to both Al Gore and George W. Bush. The study further noted a significant shift in coverage for Bush after the first presidential debate.

Local television news anchors’ usual tasks: Work roles, gender, and the factory analogy • Katherine A. Bradshaw and James C. Foust, Bowling Green State University; and Joseph P. Bernt, University of Ohio • Anchors regularly complete gatherer, manager, and performer tasks, and participate in multiple steps of the “news factory” analogy. Results further call into question the usefulness of the work roles typology of gatherer and manager, dispute the usefulness of the news factory analogy, and expand the discussion of gender and news anchors. Tasks completed vary significantly by years of experience by gender. Less experienced females perform more tasks and more experienced males perform more tasks. Experienced female anchors may disappear from the anchor desk, and those who stay may become less powerful as they gain experience. A survey of local anchors (895) resulted in 451 usable surveys, a 50.4% response rate.

How Network TV News Covered Breast Cancer, 1974 to 2003 • Sooyoung Cho and Sam H. Jeon, University of Missouri at Columbia • The present study content analyzed all the 602 news stories on breast cancer in three major TV networks over the past three decades (1974-2003). We found that the amount of news coverage increased during the time period. Sub-issues like prevention and treatment significantly increased, while issues like surgery and celebrities decreased. The proportion of the news coverage that included the thematic frame and research findings increased across time whereas some characteristics of the coverage has not changed, such as the dominant citation of medical doctors.

How Do We Select Them and Then What Do We Teach Them? A Survey of Success Factors for Student Broadcast Journalism Award Winners • Dale L. Edwards, C.A. Tuggle and Dan Kozlowski, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • How accurately admissions criteria predict student success has been thoroughly studied. However, little research has examined the connection between those criteria and journalism student success. We survey winners of student broadcast journalism awards to identify factors they believe led to their success. We conclude that standardized tests scores and grade point averages are mildly predictive, but that other factors were stronger predictors. Thus, rigid admissions criteria might exclude some students who would be highly successful.

Reporting on Two Presidencies: News Coverage of George W. Bush’s First Year in Office • Stephen J. Farnsworth, Mary Washington College; and S. Robert Lichter, Center for Media and Public Affairs • Personal coverage of President Bush during 2001 on network television and in six U.S. newspapers became far more positive after September 11, 2001, with the largest gains found in network television coverage. Coverage of the rest of the Bush administration, in contrast, became distinctly more negative after the terrorist attacks. The vast majority of the executive branch coverage both before and after the terrorist attacks in all media outlets focused on job performance, not the questions of character, ethics and political conduct that often dominate presidential campaign coverage.

Partisan and Structural Balance of Local Television Election Coverage of Incumbent and Open Gubernatorial Elections • Frederick Fico, Geri Alumit Zeldes, and Arvind Diddi, Michigan State University • Local television stories and segments covering the 2002 open race for governor in Michigan were compared with the same stations’ coverage of the 1998 election in which an incumbent governor ran against a challenger. Coverage of the 2002 race was more even handed toward the Republican and Democratic candidates, as predicted. Overall, multi-story segments making up a day’s news coverage were more balanced than the individual stories, consistent with previous research in 1998. Stories and segments leading newscasts were more balanced than those run inside. Election stories that ran alone in a day’s newscast were also more balanced. However, stories covered by reporters were less likely to be balanced than stories covered by anchors, contrary to predictions.

The “I” of Embedded Reporting • Julia Fox and Byungho Park, University of Indiana • This study compares the use of personal pronouns in embedded and non-embedded reports during the “Shock and Awe” campaign to investigate whether embedded reporters’ objectivity was compromised during the Iraq War. The results indicate that critics were warranted in their concerns that embedding reporters in troops would make the reporters part of the story and thus compromise their objectivity, given the increased use of the indexical referential “I” in embedded reporting.

Intermedia Agenda Setting and Global News Coverage: Assessing the Influence of The New York Times on Three Network Television Evening News Programs • Guy Golan, Louisiana State University • For several decades, media scholars have attempted to identify the key variables that shape the complicated international news selection process. At the heart of the research lies the question of what makes a nation or an international event newsworthy? Research findings point to several key determinants of international news coverage including deviance, relevance, cultural affinity and location in the hierarchy of nations. The current study suggests that the newsworthiness of international events may result from an intermedia agenda setting process.

Developing a New Measurement for Television News Accuracy • Gary Hanson and Stanley Wearden, Kent State University • This research study seeks to develop a workable measure of TV news accuracy by asking sources to describe perceived errors using a standardized form and to rate their seriousness and impact. This paper replicates the basic methods of the 2002 study with a new set of questions that examine stories for specific factual errors and for errors in the visual elements: video, graphics and on-camera interviews.

The Impact of Local, Network, and Cable News Dependence during the Iraq War on Attitudes, Interest in the War, Preference for Visual Complexity, and Central vs. Peripheral News Features • Yan Jin and Esther Thorson, University of Missouri; and Michael Antecol, Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. • With online survey data from the first week of the 2003 U.S.-Iraq War, this study uses the Elaboration Likelihood Model and research on the processing of TV structural variables, especially visual complexity, to ask how people with news dependency on local, network and cable television differ. Those who indicated the most preference for “central” information and high visual complexity chose cable television to get their war news. Type of television news dependence was not differentially associated with preference for “peripheral” information.

Caught on Tape: A Case Study of How Three Local TV Stations Used a Dramatic Amateur Videotape in Reporting Crime • Stan Ketterer, Marc A. Krein and Tom Weir, Oklahoma State University • This case study examines the use of a dramatic amateur videotape in local television news reporting of a crime story involving a police “rough arrest.” The results indicate three stations in Oklahoma City used the dramatic videotape because it was available, but the extent of usage depended on the station. The researchers found the three network affiliates differed dramatically in story placement, video usage, and presentation. However, all stations showed police hitting the suspect with batons more times in a single newscast than in the original tape. Although news executives said sweeps month did not affect coverage, the station using the tape the most had the highest ratings.

Walking in Step to the Future: Views of Journalism Education by Practitioners and Educators • Ernest F. Martin, Jr., Debora H. Wenger, Jeff C. South and Paula I. Otto, Virginia Commonwealth University • This study, based on an Internet survey of 317 educational administrators, television news executives, newspaper editors and online executives during first quarter 2004, contrasts views about preparation of students for current and future jobs by showing gaps between what employers’ value most in job applicants and what educational programs are providing. Second, it addresses newsroom challenges that are shaping the industry and journalism education.

How Would Aristotle Evaluate the Quality of Contemporary Political Discourse Over the Broadcast/Cable Media? • David Martinson, Florida International University • This paper contends that Aristotle’s discussion of what is termed the golden mean can be utilized in attempting to evaluate, from an ethical and public interest perspective, the manner in which the broadcast and cable media provide coverage of contemporary political and public affairs issues. It suggests that an Aristotelian perspective can be particularly helpful in light of the virtual explosion of political discussion/debate over the broadcast airwaves and cable channels in recent years.

“…A Suit That Touches Caesar Nearer”: Television Breaking News And The Relevance Effect • Andrea Miller and David D. Perlmutter, Louisiana State University • The visual clutter and hyperkinetic pace and action of the modern news broadcast and cablecast challenge the distinctiveness of the “breaking news” story. We submit that in the era of visual overload, the key criterion for a successful breaking news story will be “relevance.” Relevance theory asserts that human beings use visual and cognitive cues to attend to items in the environment that are most relevant to them. In our study, we surveyed undergraduates and asked them for the criteria for which, and the degree to which, they would pay attention to hypothetical breaking news stories. We found that it does not matter what story breaks into programming, viewers just want it to be personally relevant to them.

Middletown Media Studies: A Comparison of TV News and TV Use Across Three Research Methodologies • Robert A. Papper, Michael E. Holmes; and Mark N. Popovich, Ball State University • Three studies of television news and other media in “Middletown” are reported: a telephone survey, a diary study, and an observation study. The studies reveal people spend almost triple (193.8 percent) the time with television news than they think they do. That inability to identify time spent with media was common across most media. Overall, people were observed spending an average of 11.7 hours a day using one or more media. Because of media multitasking, total time in media usage is less than the sum of its parts. Simply summing all media use by medium results in a staggering 15.4 hours per day. Diary tabulations of media use documented more usage than did the telephone survey, but it was still 12.9 percent below observed use overall.

Local Television Sports: Band-aids for a Compound Fracture • Brad Schultz, University of Mississippi; and Mary Lou Sheffer, Louisiana State University • A content analysis was conducted in six different television markets to study the sports segment of the local television newscast. The stations say they are making changes to attract new audiences, but data indicated the changes were both minor and ineffectual. Results also showed that such strategies have failed in terms of building ratings. Implications were discussed, including stations eliminating local sports or outsourcing its production.

A Lopsided Deal: The Recent Application of the Equal Opportunities Doctrine • W. Joann Wong, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study suggests that the original idea of equal opportunities doctrine has been undermined by its application. This study, which analyzes all federal cases on the equal opportunities doctrine over the past decade, reveals that the Federal Communications Commission’s and the federal courts’ rulings on the doctrine have expanded the scope of the exemptions for bona fide news. Therefore, most broadcasters now can easily fit their telecasts into one of the exemption categories. As a result, the fundamental purposes of the equal opportunities doctrine – the equality of candidates’ use of broadcasting facilities and the audiences’ maximum access to election information – have not been served effectively. The equal opportunities doctrine has become a lopsided deal between broadcasters and political candidates.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Public Relations 2004 Abstracts

Public Relations Division

Shared Involvement and risk perceptions in responding to bioterrorism: An extension of the situational theory of publics • Linda Aldoory and Mark Van Dyke, University of Maryland • This study extended the situational theory of publics into risk communication. Risk communication theories were integrated here to measure their usefulness in extending the situational theory. Focus group participants were given hypothetical news scenarios about a terrorist threat on a U.S. food product. Participants discussed problem recognition, level of involvement, constraint recognition, fear, risk, threat, and social approval. Findings indicated “shared” involvement decreased perceived threat. Perceived susceptibility was central to involvement, and fear arousal was a constraint.

Toward an apologetic ethic: A casistical approach • Sandra L. Borden and Keith Michael Hearit, Western Michigan University • Most approaches to crisis management ethics apply existing ethical theories deductively to the crisis management context. This essay takes an inductive approach by using casuistry to first specify the context that gives concrete meaning to ethical principles. The result of this analysis is the development, in paradigmatic form, of the content (what should be said) and the manner (how it should be said) of ideal ethical apologetic communication when organizations are guilty of wrongdoing.

Cutting out the middleman: Must public relations messages be filtered through traditional news media to gain credibility? • Coy Callison and Norman E. Youngblood, Texas Tech University • Credibility of information presented through various media was examined experimentally (N=240). Results suggest that information presented on Web sites, regardless of host, lacks credibility compared to information presented in traditional media. Likewise, information presented by public relations media is viewed as less credible than information presented by news media, independent of format. Most important to practitioners, information relayed via corporate Web sites lacks credibility compared to information distributed by other presentation formats.

Public nudity on cell phones: Managing conflict in crisis situations • Sooyoung Cho and Glen T. Cameron, University of Missouri at Columbia • Using a case study of news coverage to recount a fast-moving, dramatic marketing PR incident that recently occurred in South Korea, the contingency theory of conflict management and crisis management strategies are integrated to examine how crisis is communicated and managed in a very short period of time. Several types of strategies were utilized by contending parties through the various stages of the crisis life cycle. We found evidence for a new contingent variable that should be added in the matrix of contingent factors—the importance of Internet community and Netizens as organized and influential publics. Netizens played an important role throughout the crisis period in changing the organization’s stance from advocacy to accommodation.

The First Amendment protection for corporate speech concerning business practices: The implications of Nike vs. Kasky • Jounghwa Choi, Michigan State University • In 2003, the Nike v. Kasky case alarmed public relations professionals, because the case questioned the First Amendment protection afforded for core communication activities. This study presents an overview of constitutional history of corporate speech in the Supreme Court and discusses Nike v. Kasky in terms of its impacts on corporate speech and public relations practices. In particular, this paper examines constitutional rationales applied in the Kasky court and debates around it. Several noticeable trends in the Supreme Court’s decisions on corporate speech and implications for public relations professionals are discussed.

The importance of appearing competent: An analysis of corporate impression management strategies on the World Wide Web • Colleen Connolly-Ahern and S. Camille Broadway, University of Florida • Web sites have become important impression management tools for corporations, because they represent a constantly available source of information for an organization’s publics. This study uses quantitative content analysis to assess current corporate impression management techniques, using Jones (1990) typology of impression management strategies: ingratiation, competence, exemplification, supplication and intimidation. Findings indicate that corporate Web sites focus on competence and exemplification strategies, and that they are not using the full associative powers of the Web.

How successful are communication strategies? A framing analysis of political PR during the national debate on immigration in Germany • Romy Froehlich and Burkgard Rüdiger • Our study elaborates on the question how to measure PR success. Our study examines media coverage and political PR during the national debate on immigration that occurred in Germany between May 2000 and March 2002. The findings indicate that it is worthwhile to invest in developing a framing-based instrument for the comparison of meanings and contexts instead of depending merely on comparisons of topics or issues.

Crisis management’s new role in educational settings • Barbara Gainey, Kennesaw State University • This paper explores the status of crisis management in educational settings, focusing on crisis management preparation in South Carolina public school districts and the extent to which these districts are “crisis-ready” organizations. A new framework is proposed for analyzing the crisis-ready status of these organizations. The three Cs—crisis management planning, communication (two-way/relationship-building), and cultural leadership within the school community—are seen as essential, interconnected elements of successful crisis management in the 21st century.

Writing and the public relations curriculum: Practitioner perceptions versus pedagogy • Marie C. Hardin, West Georgia University; and Donnalyn Pompper, Florida State University • Educators and practitioners seem to agree that writing is a public relations curriculum fundamental. Value perceptions deviate, however, in assessments of quality and degree of attention to writing in the classroom. An examination of the writing requirements of 152 ASJMC accredited public relations programs indicate that only a little more than half (57%) require a news writing course. Fewer require a public relations writing course (51%). Nearly 200 public relations practitioners were surveyed as to their perceptions of college public relations educators’ writing emphasis. This exploratory study’s findings suggest that practitioners believe both news writing and public relations writing classes should be mandatory among public relations students; they offer slightly stronger support for news writing.

The impact of CEO reputation, corporate credibility, and brand loyalty in relationship building • ChangHyun Jin, University of Florida • The purpose of this paper is to identify the effect of CEO Reputation, corporate credibility, and brand loyalty in relationship building. This study found that corporate credibility has a positive impact on brand loyalty and the relationship building. The results indicate that CEO reputation and corporate credibility had a positive impact of brand loyalty. Furthermore, brand loyalty also important played a role in relationship building. Thus, CEO Reputation, corporate credibility and brand loyalty are likely to affect by moderating in relationship building.

Different means to the same end: A comparative contingency analyses of Singapore and Chinese governments’ management of the perceptions and emotions of their multiple public during the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) crisis • Yan Jin, Augustine Pang and Glen T. Cameron, University of Missouri at Columbia • Using content analyses of SARS news coverage in both Singapore and China, the contingency theory of conflict management and current crisis management literature were integrated to examine how crisis was communicated at the macro levels by the two governments, what were the stances taken, and what strategies were used to manage their multiple publics. Findings showed that although both countries, which shared similar cultures and media systems, perceived the crisis similarly in terms of severity and attribution, the dominant factors and motivations influencing each of their stances and strategies between advocacy and accommodation were different.

Ready for the rainy day: A case study of labeling issue management in the cosmetic industry • Yan Jin, I-Huei Cheng and Anca Micu, University of Missouri at Columbia • To demonstrate how a crisis management model can be applied, particularly to the state of pre-crisis, the current case study analyzed the media coverage of the recent labeling issues that imposed threats to cosmetic industry. In April 2000 European Union (EU) announced that all cosmetic products would be required to fully disclose their ingredients and allergens, beginning in March 11,2005, which set cosmetics industry at an early stage of crisis. Based on Coombs’ (1999) model, crisis signals were detected by locating media-coverage key issues and evaluating information on industry-stakeholder relationship. The reactions of activist groups were also assessed in terms of their strategies and impacts.

A theoretical perspective on “fear” as an organizational motivator for initiating public relations activities • Jangyul Robert Kim, University of Florida • This exploratory study identifies the correlation between fear and the public relations activities of an organization. A survey of forty public relations professionals in Florida was conducted Fear was identified as a critical causal factor that motivates an organization to initiate or undertake public relations activities. The effect of fear on public relations activities of an organization differed by public relations area, by degree of fear, by public/stakeholder and by type of fear/threat.

First- & second-level agenda building & agenda-setting effects: Exploring the linkages among candidate press releases, media coverage, & public opinion during the 2002 Florida gubernatorial election • Spiro Kiousis, Michael Mitrook, Xu Wu and Trent Seltzer • This study explores the role of candidate news releases, media content, and public opinion in shaping the salience of political issues and candidate images during the 2002 Florida gubernatorial election. The study analyzed 77 public relations releases, 1,538 newspaper stories, and public opinion data from a statewide survey of 572 respondents. Significant correlations were found supporting both first- and second-level agenda-building and agenda-setting effects, working to inform strategies of public relations practitioners involved in political campaigns.

Friends in high places: States legislators as targets of public school PR campaigns • Tien-Tsung Lee, Washington State University; and Mark M. Havens, Havens CPR • State legislators are an essential public for school public relations efforts at any time, but especially during a state budget crisis. To identify effective ways to target this audience, a mail survey of all 105 Idaho state senators and House representatives was launched in May 2002. Findings reveal the most common channels through which legislators receive information about public schools, their self-estimated level of knowledge on various issues, and factors affecting their knowledge. Because legislators rarely rely on the news media for information on public schools, school PR campaigns should not utilize this channel. Alternatives are discussed.

News release flow-through: News release/news article LSA metric • Ernest F. Martin, Jr., Virginia Commonwealth University • This paper describes the exploration of latent semantic analysis (LSA) as possible automated, statistically reliable metric for measuring the degree to which a particular news release influences a particular news article or story. In the exploratory study, LSA provides a useful evaluative metric to indicate whether the news release impacted a news article. Additionally, the LSA metric is useful for relative scoring—potentially indicating strong, medium or weak coherence between news releases and news stories.

From liftoff to landing: How NASA’s crisis communications affected media coverage following the Challenger and Columbia tragedies • Ryan M. Martin and Lois Boynton, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • NASA’s public relations effort following the Challenger explosion in 1986 is considered an example of crisis communications failure. After the 2003 Columbia disaster, however, NASA was praised for its successful handling of the crisis. This paper identifies how four newspapers presented NASA’s crisis communication efforts following the two crises, utilizing crisis communication concepts associated with stakeholder theory. Results showed that NASA applied these concepts more effectively and received more positive coverage following the Columbia disaster than the Challenger disaster.

Attitudes and aptitudes: Gender differences and outlook on the future by incoming public relations students • Michael A. Mitrook, University of Florida • A national survey is used to explore the attitudes and capabilities of men and women at the earliest stage of the decision-making process that brings them into the public relations field. Female undergraduates and particularly those majoring in public relations have the aptitudes and most of the requisite attitudes needed to become public relations managers. Women were more interested in symmetrical communication than men, offering more versatility and sophistication for the field. However, they appear disinclined to take on the managerial role, envisioning a less-focused career than men envision and opting for technician over managerial positions.

Readers’ preferences for graphic designs by age, generation and life strategies • Linda P. Morton, Oklahoma University • This study examined graphic design decisions by readers’ age, generation and life stages. It used a visual instrument containing three designs for each of twelve design elements. Communicators comprised the 232 subjects for this study. Chi-squares indicated that preferences differed by age for four design elements: informal balance, proximity, rules and typesetting; by generations for four design elements: informal balance, proximity, rules, and typesetting; by life stages for three design elements: rhythm, rules and typesetting.

Research, measurement & evaluation: Public relations educators assess and report current teaching practices • Julie O’Neal, Texas Christian University • This study secured feedback from public relations educators regarding their teaching practices related to research, measurement, and evaluation and their assessments of those practices. One hundred seventeen educators participated in a web-based survey. Although most educators believe a stand-alone research methods course should be offered, less than half of respondents’ units offer a separate course. Most respondents don’t think that educators are doing a good job teaching research competency. Implications for public relations educators are offered.

Exploring global public relations in China’s context • Lan Ni, University of Maryland • This study explores global public relations through China’s cultural context. Culture is first examined through observing dimensional variability together with cultural members’ native meaning making, and then used to explore the influence on both the actual practice and application of principles of excellent public relations in China. Power distance and interpersonal relationship are cultural factors with the most impact. Findings basically support major principles and two additional suggestions are made for the particular cultural context.

Shouting in the media’s deaf ear: A qualitative analysis of the NAACP’s public relations messages in the post-election debacle of 2002 • Stephanye Perkins, University of North Florida • When the contest for the U. S. presidency went into overdrive, the media sought soundbites to put the events in perspective. The NAACP was one of the organizations that sought the media’s ear, but its message of voter disenfranchisement was either drowned in the cacophony or shouted into the media’s deaf ear. This study uses qualitative framing to examine how the nation’s oldest civil rights organization used public relations to deliver its message.

Researching employees’ perception of benefits communication: A communication inquiry on channel preferences, understanding, decision-making, and benefits satisfaction • Gaelle Picherit-duthler and Alan R. Freitag, University of North Carolina at Charlotte • This paper, part of a larger research effort, reports results from a Web-based survey of employees of one organization to examine their perceptions of benefits communication effectiveness. The survey addressed categories of benefits provided, benefits satisfaction, employees’ level of understanding, the decision-making factors driving their benefit choices, and overall effectiveness of communication channels. Results indicated that most employees were satisfied with their benefits communication; ironically, however, many perceived it as a confusing, complicated and sometimes frustrating process.

Conflict and public relations: A hot waste issue in Utah • Kenneth D. Plowman, Brigham Young University • Multiple party negotiations may be the next step in the stream of research combining public relations and conflict resolution. This study undertook a qualitative quasi-experimental design with 11 graduate students taking on different roles in the hot waste issue in Utah. These students framed the issue, defined their self-interests as stakeholders, and then conducted a series of five role plays on the issue. Preliminary findings revealed that contention was the most used strategy, but most often in combination with principled. If those strategies were not successful, then roles players turned to avoidance.

Education and job satisfaction: Toward a normative theory of public relations pedagogy for social change • Donnalyn Pompper, Florida State University • This study investigated how a sample of female African-American public relations practitioners viewed their preparedness for a career that employs few people of color and where even fewer achieve senior-level management status. Focus groups were conducted in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia. Little formal research is conducted to evaluate effectiveness of public relations curricula – beyond graduates’ job placement figures. Practitioners report that public relations programs’ failure to address multicultural diversity in the classroom has adversely affected their job satisfaction. A normative theory of public relations pedagogy for social change is offered.

The Internet and litigation public relations • Brian Reber, Karla Gower and Jennifer Robinson, University of Missouri at Columbia • The Internet is an emerging new tool in litigation public relations. This paper explores this new phenomenon of personal litigation Web sites by content analyzing the Web sites of three celebrities who are currently involved in high-profile litigation, Martha Stewart, Richard Scrushy and Michael Jackson. The analysis revealed that standard litigation public relations standards transfer well to the Internet and suggests that such Web sites are a promising means for disseminating and controlling a client’s message.

Value assessment of PRSSA Bateman competition • Cathy Rogers, Loyola University • The competition which the Public Relations Student Society of America initiated in 1973 as a classic case study has changed considerably since its inception. The Bateman Case Study has evolved into a competition where students develop, implement, and evaluate a campaign for a real corporate client. This study includes a survey of PRSSA advisors and a qualitative analysis of winning entries developed since 1999, when the implementation phase was added to the competition.

War and peace between journalists and public relations practitioners: Working together to set, frame and build the public agenda 1991-2003 • Lynne M. Sallot and Elizabeth A. Johnson, University of Georgia • Agenda-setting, framing and agenda-building theoretical frameworks were used to investigate how journalists view their relationships with public relations practitioners by analyzing 381 depth interviews conducted with journalists from 1991 through 2003. Journalists who perceived and accepted practitioners’ roles the most as agenda setters, framers and agenda builders for the media, measured by journalists’ estimates of how much news content uses public relations contacts, reported having better relationships with practitioners and valuing public relations more. On average, journalists estimated that 44% of the content of U.S. news media or the medium for which they worked is subsidized by practitioners.

Managing relationships and reputations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council • Arlana Shields, University of Florida• The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) is the umbrella organization for nine predominately African-American Greek-letter organizations (National Pan-Hellenic Council, 2003). The members of NPHC organizations are the “first full line of defense.” People have a greater chance of interacting with general members than with the organizations’ executive board members. Consequently, how members behave and display the symbols of their organizations is important to managing public-organization relationships and to maintaining the reputations of these organizations.

Occums Razor in the contingency theory: A national survey of PR professional responses to the contingency model • Jae-Hwa Shin, Glen T. Cameron, University of Missouri at Columbia; and Fritz Cropp, Munich, Germany • A random sample of public relations professionals assessed 86 factors in the contingency theory of public relations. This study aims at identifying what contingent factors matter most in public relations practice to provide public relations professionals with a refinement of the contingency factors in public relations activities. Support was found for a matrix of internal factors and external factors affecting public relations practice, and particularly individual factors (i.e., communication competency, ethical value, ability to handle complex problems, problem recognition, familiarity with external public) were identified that affect the contingency undertaken by public relations practitioners in a given situation.

Contingent factors in public relations practice: Modeling generic public relations in Korea • Jae-Hwa Shin, Southern Mississippi University; Jongming Park, Kyung Hee-Korea; and Glen T. Cameron, University of Missouri at Columbia • This study aims at identifying what factors public relations practitioners perceive as influential to public relations practice and discriminating public relations practitioners by the distinctive factors in a Korean context. It has some decades of history that many scholars argue what public relations “is” or “should be.” With a qualification of Grunig’s study, Cameron and his colleagues proposed that public relations depend on a number of factors. Based on the contingent factors, this paper looks at what contingent factors are influential in Korean public relations practice. It also examines if the generic rule of excellent public relations is being applied to a non-Western country.

Reaching key publics online: University public relations practitioners’ use of the World Wide Web • Deborah A. Silverman, University of Buffalo • The author conducted a content analysis of all 261 American doctorate-granting universities to determine how they are using the World Wide Web to provide information for key publics. The analysis revealed that although most universities have clearly labeled, dedicated newsrooms linked from their home page, content is often limited. Special links on the home page for key publics were most common for alumni and friends; current students; prospective students; and faculty and staff.

Ending a chapter of their lives: A study of disaffiliation in college sororities • Jessalynn Strauss, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study examines the process of disaffiliation, the process by which members officially sever ties with their sorority organization. In this study, eight former sorority members were interviewed about their sorority experience, their disaffiliation process, and their thoughts on sorority membership and ex-membership. Information gathered from this study will be used to inform a public relations plan for the Panhellenic sororities at a major Southeastern university to help the sororities improve their communication with the university and its community.

Emergent postmodern approaches to corporate communication strategy • Ursula Ströh, University of Technology, Australia •In this paper I suggest a new approach to corporate communication strategy in line with postmodern theories. I argue for a more participative approach with high ethical and moral meaning creation through action science and research rather than the structured approaches suggested by current corporate communication theorists. I further more call for relationship management based on the basic interpersonal relationship principles where ethics, integrity, trust, openness, and listening skills determine the success of relationships. Organizations that favor their shareholders above other stakeholders and believe that business determines success and drives policy should be replaced with organizations that function as responsible, moral, and honest citizens of a larger environment. This approach ensures a positive reputation for the organization through socially responsible change processes that have relational influences into a larger societal community structure.

To give or not to give: Factors determining alumni intent to make donations as a PR outcome • James C. Tsao and Gary Coll, University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh • This study is significant to those schools and departments seeking to develop segmented fund raising campaigns. Segmented campaigns are those undertaken and carried out by individual schools and departments, supplementary to campus-wide efforts. The majority of journalism and mass communication programs have traditionally relied on their campus development or foundation office to conduct annual mass giving campaigns to the entire population of alumni, including journalism and mass communication graduates. However, such individual and segmented campaigns can be costly because departments cannot benefit much from economies of scale in producing and distributing appeals. Further, the appeals are not likely to be as sophisticated in execution as those developed by campus foundation offices. So it is doubly important for organizations considering segmented fund raising campaigns to identify factors that effectively enhance alumni giving.

Analysis of fund raising models at public historically Black colleges and universities • Natalie Tindall, University of Maryland • This empirical study examined whether public historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) predominately practiced the press agentry, public information, two-way asymmetrical, two-way symmetrical or mixed motive models of fund raising. The findings reported the heavy usage of press agency model of fund raising by advancement officers, replicating a component identified by both Alessandrini (1998) and Kelly (1991; 1995a; 1995b; 1998). The impact of the state appropriations and institutional support on the advancement function indicated the relevance of state and institutional funding to the practice of fund raising and dictated whether fund raising would be an effective component of the organization. The most interesting concepts emerging from the research was the emergence of a mixed motive model of fund raising.

Responding to activism: An experimental analysis of public relations strategy influence on attributes of publics • Kelly Page Werder, University of South Florida • Experimental methods were used to examine the influence of public relations strategies on attributes of publics. Specifically, public relations strategies derived from Hazleton and Long’s public relations process model (1988) were tested to determine strategy influence on problem recognition, level of involvement, constraint recognition, and goal compatibility toward an organization responding to activism. Results indicate that the attributes of problem recognition and level of involvement are influenced by public relations strategies. In addition, the findings of this study support the situational theory of publics; however, items measuring level of involvement and goal compatibility were found to be the strongest predictors of information seeking behavior. Findings indicate that goal compatibility is a predictor of strategy effectiveness.

A qualitative study of military-media relations during the war in Iraq: Investigating embedding, discovering relationship theory in action • David S. Westover, Jr. and Margot Opdycke Lamme, University of Florida • This exploratory, qualitative approach to examining media embedding during the U.S. military’s largest combat operation since the Gulf War afforded an opportunity to establish grounded theory. Instead, what emerged were four of the elements identified in the scholarly literature as central to organization-public relationships: trust, access, exchange, and understanding.

Examining the existence of professional prejudice and discrimination against public relations • Donald K. Wright, South Alabama University • This study of a large sample of public relations educators (n=342) examined attitudes and opinions about the existence of professional prejudice and discrimination in public relations and public relations education. A web-based survey and follow-up interviews were used with a sample selected from members of the Public Relations Division of the AEJMC and the Educators Academy of PRSA. Results found substantial evidence suggesting such prejudice and discrimination exists. Nearly 98 percent of the study’s respondents agreed some people are prejudiced against public relations. More than half (56.6%) of the public relations educator respondents said they have had a dean, director or department chair who was prejudiced against public relations, and many of these administrators evidently have made use of exaggerations and stereotypes about public relations while criticizing it. Results also suggest this prejudice is more pronounced among print journalists and journalism faculty than it is among other groups of communication educators and practitioners.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Media Ethics 2004 Abstracts

Media Ethics Division

Sensationalism in America’s Television Newsrooms and the Ethics of Media Supervisors: A Secondary Analysis • Aimee Barros, Northern Illinois University • Television news is often accused of being sensational and using tabloid-style reporting techniques, many of which are ethically questionable. If these accusations have some truth, where does the practice on unethical reporting begin; with the reporters themselves, or with their newsroom supervisors? This study, which is a reanalysis of the data set compiled by Weaver and Wilhoit for their 1996 book The American Journalist in the 1990s, compares the ethical perceptions often different reporting practices between TV newsroom managers and their staff members, between TV newsroom managers and other news managers, and lastly, between TV newsroom supervisors in three different organization sizes.

How Moral and Cognitive Psychology Can Enhance The Teaching and Practice of Public Relations Ethics • Mathew A. Cabot, California State University, Long Beach • Public relations ethics has traditionally been viewed through one lens: moral philosophy. The goal has been, and continues to be, to find a principle or theory to serve as the foundation upon which an ethics code or curriculum could be built. Using the Defining Issues Test, the most commonly used measurement of moral development and moral psychology, this paper explores how moral and cognitive psychology can enhance the teaching and practice of public relations ethics.

Communitarianism and Dr. Phil: The Individualistic Ethos of “Self-Help” Television • Eric Jones, Claflin University • A communitarian critique of Dr. Phil’s self-help talk-show was developed by drawing on the communitarian/liberalism debate. It was expected that Dr. Phil’s counseling sessions would encourage individual responsibility over community responsibility. A textual analysis was used to examine how individualism appeared through his rhetorical devices. The author found seven cases of individualistic rhetoric and two cases of communitarian rhetoric. The author concluded that a communitarian balance was needed between self-help advice and community-help advice.

The Last Line of Defense in Matters of Ethics? Copy editors’ ethics role conceptions • Susan Keith, Rutgers University • Can newspaper copy editors, long known as the last line of defense against errors, be final guardians of journalistic ethics? Data from 470 copy desk workers at 100 newspapers indicate that most think their jobs should have an ethics-watchdog component but often do not — apparently because of constraints in their newsrooms on who can raise what question. This conflict between ideal and real ethics roles was associated with lower job satisfaction.

Do’s And Don’ts For Moonlighting Journalists — An International Comparison • Yehiel Limor, Tel-Aviv University; and Itai Himelboim, University of Minnesota • According to the journalistic norms prevailing in most countries and often stipulated explicitly in codes of ethics, journalists must avoid situations that engender a conflict of interests, whether actual or merely perceived. How, then, do codes of ethics relate to the idea of additional jobs and/or occupations, both paid and volunteer, for journalists? The present study is an international comparative study examining 242 codes of ethics applied by the media in 94 countries. Codes of ethics are perceived as the “conscience” of journalism (Allison, 1986) and therefore constitute a useful means of assessing the dos and don’ts applying to media personnel.

The Media Ethics Necessity • Jean Burleson Mackay, University of Alabama • This study used moral development research to study how journalism students would react to ethical situations in their profession. The overriding question was whether students who had taken a media ethics course would use a higher level of ethical reasoning than students who had not. Students who have studied media ethics did perform better on this study. This paper discusses the need for media ethics courses and how they can teach students reasoning skills.

Plato’s Worst Nightmare: Impact of the ‘New Orality’ on Media Literacy and Ethos • Charles Marsh, University of Kansas • Deduced from the Socratic dialogues, Plato’s worst nightmare would be an uninterruptible, multisensory medium, which, by definition, would entrance audiences. Aristotle believed that such a medium could allow a powerfully persuasive ethos freed from the speaker’s preexisting character. Citing the research of McLuhan and orality/literacy scholars, this paper contends that modem converged mass media could become Plato’s worst nightmare, leading to a redefinition of media literacy and a reemergence of ethos as a media construct.

Reaching Beyond the Academy: Introducing Elementary School Students to Media Literacy and Critical Thinking • Angela Paradise and Andrea Bergstrom, University of Massachusetts • This paper explores the impact of a five-week media literacy curriculum offered to three classes of second grade students (n=51) during March-April 2003. The curriculum included lesson plans pertaining to news, media violence, advertising, gender stereotypes in fairytales, and media production. Analyses of students’ weekly journal entries and videotaped verbal responses to the curriculum are discussed. The findings suggest that individuals as young as seven-years-old, when exposed to media literacy, can take a more critical stance toward media.

What Jayson Blair and Janet Cooke say about the Press and the Erosion of Public Trust • Maggie Jones Patterson, Duquesne University and Steve Urbanski, Duquesne University• The authors of this paper examine key decision-making points in both the 1980-81 Janet Cooke fabrication case at the Washington Post and the deceptions of Jayson Blair at the New York Times that stretch from 1999 to 2003. These decisions are weighed against the commonly understood mission of journalism in general and the specifically stated missions at the Washington Post and New York Times. The paper’s working thesis is that if newspapers do not consistently measure their decisions and actions against their mission as a public trust, their commitment to truth can become shrouded by the less noble motives of ambition and the thrill of a scoop.

Misplaced confidence? The validity of a media ethics course • Lee Anne Peck, University of Northern Colorado • Findings show students in a respected journalism program are beginning the mandatory media ethics course with misplaced confidence about their abilities to identify professional ethical dilemmas. The findings also show that students often have misplaced confidence in their abilities to take a stand when an ethical dilemma involves their own work; however, students who indicated they were receiving or had received professional training outside of the classroom were better able to correctly answer case-study questions.

The exception or the rule? How journalists view the prevalence and acceptability of problematic practices • Scott Reinardy and Stephanie Craft, University of Missouri • A survey (N = 876) of newspaper journalists examined the perceived prevalence of questionable practices among journalists and how acceptable journalists consider those practices to be in news work. The relationships among years of experience in journalism, the use of ethics codes, discussion of ethics, and concern for accuracy also were examined. Findings indicate that journalists perceive their newsroom colleagues to be performing well. There is no general consensus on the acceptability of problematic practices.

Dance With the Devil: Did CNN Trade Truth For Access? • Laura Resnick, Ohio University • CNN’s chief news executive, Eason Jordan, revealed in April 2003 that while maintaining a bureau in Baghdad under Saddam Hussein’s regime, CNN had not reported on a number of atrocities there. Many journalists subsequently accused CNN of having abandoned both its credibility and its integrity, while others said the choices were not that simple. Was CNN ethically protecting its employees and sources, or did it sacrifice ethics in pursuit of prestige and ratings?

“I noticed more violence:” The effects of a media literacy program on knowledge and attitudes about media violence • Erica Scharrer, University of Massachusetts • This study outlines the effects of participation in a media literacy program on the topic of media violence for 93 sixth-grade students. Statistical comparisons between pre- and post-program responses and between those participating and those in a control group show some increases in the comprehension of key concepts used in the study of media violence and critical thinking about the topic. Open-ended responses also demonstrate enhanced sophistication in analyzing media violence after participating in program.

Newsroom Ethics: Peeling the Onion • Dan Shaver, University of Central Florida • This study involves testing a survey methodology to measure (1) congruence between personal values of newsroom employees and their perceptions of the newsroom’s ethical norms and (2) the applicability of an organizational culture model to newsroom ethical value structures. The limited scope of the study means findings must be viewed as tentative, but they support the effectiveness of the methodology and model and raise questions regarding the forces affecting ethical cultures in newsrooms.

Ethics of Newspapers in Prison Communities: Imprisoned by Their Economic Role? • Michael L. Thurwanger, Bradley University; and Walter B. Jaehnig, University of Southern Illinois at Carbondale • The study examines the prison construction boom in a large Midwestern state and the ethical performance of the press in 24 communities selected as new prison sites since 1977. It asks whether the community press provided an independent channel of communication, fostering open discussion. Quantitative and qualitative evidence shows the community press siding with the local growth coalition while marginalizing opposition. Rather than facilitating public examination of penal policies, the press responds to its own economic interests.

Finding Global Values in Journalism Ethics: A Comparative Analysis of Five News Councils’ Rulings • Bastiaan Vanacker, University of Minnesota • This paper tries to find common journalism ethical values across cultures by analyzing the decisions of five news councils in five different countries. News council decisions on conflict of interest, use of anonymous sources, accuracy, distinguishing editorial from hard news, and reporting on the basis of rumors were discussed. The findings were that despite a superficial agreement on the principles governing these issues, there are some considerable differences in the way they are interpreted.

Journalists’ moral development: Thinking through both rights and care in a professional setting • Lee Wilkins, University of Missouri • This paper examines journalists’ reasoning about moral questions through analysis of qualitative responses to the Defining Issues Test, a paper-and-pencil instrument used to measure moral development which focuses on rights and responsibilities. Participant responses indicate an ability to move between the ethics of rights, the psychological /philosophical basis of stage theory, and an ethics of care as outlined by Carol Gillian and feminist philosophy. Emotion and empathy appear to provide some impetus to moral thought.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Communication Technology and Policy 2004 Abstracts

Communication Technology and Policy Division

The Online Shopping Profile in the Cross National Context: The Role of Innovativeness and Perceived Newness • Brian F Blake, Kimberly Neuendorf, Colin Valdiserri and Jillian Hughes, Cleveland State University • A study in five nations (Taiwan, Canada, USA, Iran, and Austria) develops a method of profiling online shoppers by their “typical”/”atypical” activity. The role of innovativeness and two dimensions of perceived newness (novelty and recency) is examined; findings refute the operation of domain-specific innovativeness as predicted. Novelty and recency do not moderate the prediction of usage from innovativeness as expected. Important cross cultural differences maintain.

The Transparent Gate: Online and Print Editions at Two Central Florida Newspapers • Matthew Blake, University of Florida • This study examines the relationship between the content in the print and Internet editions of two central Florida newspapers, representing unique classes of circulation size and corporate ownership. The researcher examined individual stories in both formats, looking at story location, and the source of written and graphical content. The findings suggest that online newspapers differ in the sources and local emphasis of content based on newspaper circulation size.

Presentation of Self on the Web: An Ethnographic Study of Teenage Girls’ Weblogs • Denise Bortree, University of Florida • Through their use of weblogs, teenage girls are bringing elements of their offline relationships online and incorporating new ways of communicating into their relationships. As the girls use this new medium to construct themselves and their relationships, they must address the dual nature of weblog as a tool for interpersonal communication and mass communication. This paper presents an ethnographic study of 40 weblogs, an in-depth analysis of weblogs, and a set of 13 in-depth interviews.

University TV on the Internet: A New Approach to Multimedia Online Journalism and Education • Antonio Brasil, Rutgers University • This paper describes the Rio de Janeiro State University Online Television , the first online university television operating in Brazil. It is part of an ongoing research study of the introduction of online journalism in Brazil and the related consequences in terms of journalism education. This academic project is developing new experimental digital formats, audiovisual languages, grammar and concepts for the future of television on the Internet.

The Half-life of Internet Footnotes • Michael Bugeja and Daniela Dimitrova, Iowa State University • This exploratory study examines use of online citations, focusing on 2003 AEJMC papers accepted by the Communication Technology and Policy division. Authors analyze papers using URL reference addresses in bibliographies and document some 40% of online citations being unavailable a year later. Results show that .edu is the most stable domain. Reasons for “dead” URL addresses also are explored. Finally authors offer recommendations for researchers who use Internet citations.

The Liberalization of Cellular Phone Services in Taiwan: A Political-Economic Perspective • Li-Yuan Chang, SUNY-Buffalo University • Taiwan’s cellular phone liberalization occurred at the late 1990s. This research adopts state theory’s perspective to explain the political and economic conditions that lead to Taiwan government’s reforms of mobile communication. The study found that the liberalization of cellular phone service reflected a complicated negotiation process among domestic economic power and the transnational economic capitalism. The economic dominants still maintain their power but in different forms.

Letters to Sarah: Analysis of E-Mail Responses to an Online Editorial • Hill Filiz Cicek, Christine Ogan and Muzaffer Ozakca, Indiana University; Sarah Shields, University of North Carolina at Chapel • An editorial that opposed the violence being perpetrated on the Palestinians by the Israeli government that was written on the Common Dreams web site prompted several hundred email responses to the author. The essay had been reposted to many listservs and other web sites. In a case study approach we track the repostings and analyze the responses to that editorial to determine the nature of the discourse in an electronic environment.

Regulation – No Regulation: The Swinging Pendulum of Regulating the Internet and Online Content • Maria Fontenot, University of Tennessee • The debate over children and media content continues with global use of the Internet. This paper examines attempted government regulation of the Internet and looks at efforts of the private sector. It also examines two Supreme Court decisions related to the statutes. It identifies regulatory patterns and addresses what lies ahead for cyberspace regulation. Content-based regulations will be nearly impossible to employ. Currently, only the private sector has been successful.

Choices Non-Commercial Radio Broadcasters Make When Deciding to Offer Internet Audio • Keith Greenwood and Kelly Marsh, University of Missouri • An internet survey was conducted to determine why non-commercial radio broadcasters that also provide audio content on the internet chose to do so, how the content is delivered to the audience and their satisfaction with the experience. Respondents chose to provide audio content on the internet for audience expansion and convenience. More respondents host the content within some division of their organization rather than using an outside provider and are generally satisfied with their experiences.

Same Problem, Different Solutions: An Analysis of College and University Responses to Music Piracy • Erica Gregory, North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In recent months, copyright infringement lawsuits against college students and increased media coverage about campus music piracy have prompted concern among college and university administrators. This paper reviews the various means by which higher-education institutions have responded to the problem and analyzes those responses. The study concludes that current institutional responses to music piracy are not likely to both satisfy legal requirements and affect the desired behavioral changes on campuses.

Experiencing interactive Advertising Beyond Rich Media: Impacts of Ad Type and Presence on Brand Effectiveness in 3D Gaming Immersive Virtual Environments • Dan Grigorovici and Corina Constantin, Pennsylvania State University • The present study reports the findings of a 2 X 2 mixed factorial design with ad type (billboard vs. product placement) and IVE arousability level (high vs. low arousing 3D worlds) as independent variables and brand recall, recognition and preferences as dependent variables. Presence was used in all analyses as covariate. Results support the distinction between brand effects due to ad type. Theoretical and practical implications are further discussed.

Pretty Pictures or A Lot of Other Really Cool Stuff: Issues of Adoptability and Substitutability Facing HDTV and DTV • Robert Hall, Indiana State University • Adoption of DTV is fraught with numerous obstacles. Many studies and market forecasts have used color television as a model in predicting adoption of DTV and HDTV. This paper examines a significant difference between the adoption of HDTV/DTV and color—the different degree of substitutability. Other adoption characteristics are also considered in examining the adoptability of HDTV and DTV.

Using Interactive Media to Promote Health Behavior: The role of Motivation, Information Seeking, and Interpersonal Communication • Jeong Yeob Han and Eunkyung Kim, University of Wisconsin at Madison • This research examines the relationships among motivations for health web use (treatment and diagnosis motivation), information seeking, interpersonal communication, and overall health promotion within the context of Internet health communication. Regression path analysis revealed that both health information seeking and interpersonal communication are considered to be the essential route that mediates the effect of two motivations, where two motivations have marginally significant but direct influences on overall health promotion.

The Mass Media and Nanotechnology: A Small Relationship with Big Potential • Diane Hickey, University of Florida • This paper explores the relationship between the media coverage and the National Nanotechnology Initiative policy. Sources from government, the media and various entities associated with nanotechnology were interviewed to determine their perceptions of the media’s impact on the recent nanotechnology policy passed into law. Participant responses indicate that the media has influenced the legislation to some extent, though other media sources have had a greater impact than the mass media.

The Influence of Structural and Message Features on Web Site Credibility • Traci Hong, Indiana University • In a with-in subjects experiment 84 participants actively located Web sites based on two search tasks. Web sites were then content analyzed for message and structural features associated with source credibility. For both searches, message features predicted Web site credibility. Advertisements and structural features had no significant effect. Institutional-affiliated domain names predicted Web site credibility but only in the search that required more cognitive ability.

The E-Rate Program: A School Menu of Choices • Krishna Jayakar, Pennsylvania State University • Over the past five years, the E-Rate program has helped reduced the digital divide in America’s schools. However, a number of controversies, most recently allegations of fraud, have led to calls for the program’s reform. This paper compares four of these policy proposals, and recommends among other things that the future effectiveness of the E-Rate program may be best served by enabling a shift of funding from telecommunications access to software and content development.

Convenience, Recreational and Ambivalent Features: Classifying E-Commerce Web Site Features according to Their Effects on Online Browsing Behavior • Junghyun Kim, Michigan State University • The present study examined the relationship between web site features and shoppers’ browsing behavior at e-commerce web sites. It distinguished convenience features that are likely to encourage convenience-oriented shopping from recreational features that might promote impulsive shopping. The analysis of sixty-one leading e-commerce web sites showed that three types of features coexisted at e-commerce sites: convenience features, recreational features and ambivalent features supporting both types of shopping at once.

Trust, Efficacy, and Online Political Activities: How People with Low Political Trust Participate in Alternative Online Political Activities • Eunkyung Kim and Jeong Yeob Han, University of Wisconsin at Madison • This study examines the interaction effects between political trust and self-efficacy on communicative, civic conventional, and civic unconventional online political activities. As Gamson’s mobilization hypothesis suggested, the effect of political distrust on civic unconventional online political activities was amplified when political self-efficacy presents. Notably, we found the potential for Internet environments to mobilize citizen with high political self-efficacy and low political trust to become politically involved in communicative online activity.

Saving E-Mail: An Evaluation of the Constitutionality of the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 • Martin Kuhn, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In response to tremendous political and popular pressure for the federal regulation of spam, the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 was passed and took effect in January 2004. This paper asks whether the CAN-SPAM Act will survive intermediate scrutiny under the Central Hudson test. It predicts the Act will be found unconstitutional for failing to directly advance government interests in controlling spam and because viable alternatives to commercial speech regulation exist.

Statewide Public Affairs Television: How the Diffusion of Technology Expands the Definition of Journalism • David Kurpius and Karen Rowley, Louisiana State University • An examination of six states — five with statewide public affairs television and one nearing start-up — shows that recent innovations in broadcast technology have enabled them to set up their operations with minimal resources. Despite this, most disseminate broadcast-quality coverage of their respective state governments. This study concludes that the diffusion of innovation in broadcast technology has helped these organizations expand the diffusion of information about state government and the definition of journalism.

Honey, I Shrunk the World: The Relationship between Internet Use and International Engagement • Nojin Kwak, Nathaniel Poor and Marko Skoric, University of Michigan • Findings of this study have demonstrated the Internet matters for international engagement. According to the results, the Internet helped users increase their knowledge around the world, facilitated their sense of belonging to the collective, and motivated them to be willing to participate in international events. Further, findings suggested that younger users of the Internet tended to get benefited more than older users from reading international news on the Internet with respect to international engagement.

Sharing or Stealing? Understanding Downloading Behavior • Robert LaRose, Ying-Ju Lai, Ryan Lance Lange, Bradford Love and Yuehua Wu, Michigan State University • File sharing was analyzed through a new model of media behavior. In a multiple regression that explained 25 percent of the variance, downloading activity was positively related to deficient self-regulation and expected social outcomes. Downloading was lessened by perceptions of social unacceptability and expectations of poor quality downloads. Discontinuation of file sharing was predicted by fear of punishment, but skilled and habitual downloaders were unlikely to discontinue.

Keeping Our Network Safe: A Model of Online Safety Behavior • Doohwang Lee and Robert LaRose, Michigan State University • The present research develops and tests a model of online safety behavior drawn from Protection Motivation Theory and Social Cognitive Theory. Protective self-efficacy, coping response efficacy, perceived vulnerability to virus attacks, and prior experience with such attacks were the most important predictors of using virus protection. However, anticipated frustration with virus protection measures was negatively related to their utilization. Combined, these variables explained 47 percent of the variance in intentions to use virus protection.

Character-Based Group Identification and Referent Informational Influence in Computer-Mediated Communication • Eun-Ju Lee, University of California at Davis • In a 2 (participant’s gender: male vs. female) x 2 (partner’s character: male vs. female) between-subjects experiment, participants played a trivia game with an ostensible partner. People exhibited stronger group affiliation with the partner whose character represented the same gender as their own, despite its mismatch with their physical gender. Furthermore, group identification enhanced perceived competence of the partner and acceptance of partner’s opinions. Implications for the Social Identity model of Deindividuation Effects are discussed.

Government Surveillance and Data-Mining Since 9-11 • Laurie Thomas Lee, University of Nebraska at Lincoln • Since the 1960s, privacy rights have been increasingly recognized, but this protection ended on 9-11. The Patriot Act and other initiatives were introduced, but a public outcry ensued. Is the privacy pendulum now swinging back? This paper addresses the most recent foreign intelligence programs that threaten individual privacy: Patriot II, Terrorism Information Awareness, and Matrix. The provisions of each of these programs are analyzed. Suggestions for restoring the privacy balance follow.

Relationship between Disclosure Dimensions and Physical and Psychological Health in an Online Breast Cancer Support Group • Janice Liebhart, Suzanne Pingree, Robert Hawkins, Fiona McTavish and David Gustafson, University of Wisconsin at Madison • This study evaluated whether or not dimensions of disclosure predicted changes in the physical and emotional experience of illness for women participating in an online breast cancer support group (n=77). Although the level of positive emotion expressed positively predicted changes in physical well being, contrary to expectations, level of disclosure depth negatively predicted this outcome, and positive affect in interaction with risk factor negatively predicted both outcomes. Online health research is needed.

The Foundations of Participatory Journalism and the Wikipedia Project • Andrew Lih, Hong Kong University • This paper investigates the evolution of many-to-many online participatory journalism, by focusing on the case of Wikipedia, a multilingual, online encyclopedia created collaboratively by thousands of ordinary Internet users. It analyzes the synergistic links to the open source movement, emergence as a unique online community and role in the modern media ecology. It concludes with an interpretation of participatory journalism as an ecosystem of technology, community and content.

Exploring the Dynamics of Webcasting Adoption • Carolyn Lin, Cleveland State University • This study explored the profile of webcasting adopters, the potential predictors of webcasting adoption, and audience interest in local webcast features, via a national telephone survey. Study results found that webcasting adopters suited the profile of “early adopters” of online technology; personal innovativeness, perceived utilities of webcasting and online-use level were also revealed as significant predictors of webcasting adoption.

The Dynamics of the 3G Wireless Standards Competition in China and Its Implications for Telecommunications Policy • Chun Liu and Feng Wu, Pennsylvania State University • This paper is one of a series of working articles that study the rapid transition of China’s telecommunication service market. This paper will identify different stakeholders and their goals in China’s 3G standards setting, address their strategies and predict the outcome.

Pricing, Content And Identity Issues At U.S. Newspapers—A Survey Of Managers • Jack Lovelace and Kirk Hallahan, Colorado State University • A survey (n=106) of editors/managers at America’s largest online newspapers examined opinions of senior online executives about pricing and content practices and the identity of online versions of newspapers. Findings suggest that online editors are divided about future pricing practices, but feel strongly that archival access should and will require payment. Online content will continue to include both original material and information from the print edition.

Internet Technology and Long-Arm Jurisdiction: Are New Standards Required? • Robert Magee, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • The growth of the Internet has begun to change the nature of personal interaction, and courts have sought to interpret the legal notion of minimum contacts, a key element in determining long-arm jurisdiction, while taking into account the many ways people can have an effect on one another across geographic boundaries. Is the presence of a website changing the way state courts are determining whether to exercise long-arm jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant?

Decentralized Campaigning from the Bottom Up: Assessing the Impact and Significance of the Howard Dean Campaign to Internet Politics and Online Campaigning • Sharon Meraz, University of Texas at Austin • Many political commentators have declared the year 2004 to be the year of Internet politics. This paper assesses the contributions Dean has made to Internet politics through examining his decentralized, bottom-up, open style of campaigning. By embracing social software to bridge the online and offline worlds, Dean revolutionized and reinvigorated a powerful grassroots movement, while becoming the trendsetter in the use of technology for both the democratic and republican parties.

Commercialization of Cyberspace: Experiences and Expectations of Young Consumers • Sally McMillan and Margaret Morrison, University of Tennessee • Today’s college students are in a unique position to provide insight into the commercial development of the Internet. Seventy-two students wrote extended essays about their Internet use. The grounded theory approach was used for data analysis. Five axial codes were identified: ration, emotion, social interaction, personalization, and privacy/security. In the selective coding process, a single overarching concept was found: pervasiveness.

The Language of Online Privacy Polices: Ethics, Power and the Information Gap • Irene Pollach, Vienna Institute of Economics and Business Administration • Since the quality of online privacy policies may be critical to user trust in Web sites, this paper sets out to examine the communicative adequacy of privacy policies on commercial Web sites. The findings of a linguistic analysis suggest that companies abuse their power as data collectors and post ambiguously worded privacy policies which obscure the agency of actions and mitigate or enhance ethically questionable data handling practices.

Staged News and the Online Audience: Participatory Journalism’s Criteria for “Misleading” Representations by Government Perception Managers at Times of Social, Political and Economic Stress • Larry Pryor and Stephen O’Leary, University of Southern California • The staging and manipulation of news events has reached an unprecedented degree of sophistication, posing ethical and practical dilemmas for journalists. This essay examines “staged news” in the media coverage of the Iraq conflict to assess the effectiveness of political propaganda in a media environment transformed by the Internet. We argue that new media shift the balance of power by creating an unregulated public sphere in which critical analysis of propaganda images can
flourish.

Bringing an Old Model into the 21st Century: Rubin & Windahl’s Uses and Dependency Model and the Internet • Sue Robinson, Temple University• Theorists have explored the Internet’s macro impact on democracy. Others have scrutinized Internet use by individuals. This theoretical essay suggests a marriage of the two perspectives, examining the Internet from a socio-economic-structural view in which the individual is both an active and passive player dependent on this new medium. A 20-year-old theory, the Uses and Dependency model by Rubin & Windahl (1986), could well uncover the Internet’s implications for democracy and society.

Rethinking Interactivity: An Examination of Interactivity in Early Broadcast Radio • Charlene Simmons, Univeristy of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • In the last two decades the broadcast industry has attempted to create new interactive technologies. Yet is interactivity new? The purpose of this paper was to examine early broadcast radio to determine whether the medium attempted to interact with listeners. Research found early radio to be more than a medium broadcasting message to a passive mass audience. It was also an interactive medium allowing listeners to take an active role in their listening experience.

The Political J-Blogger • Jane Singer, University of Iowa • As Web logs or “blogs” gain popularity, more journalists are becoming bloggers. Through content analysis of twenty “j-blogs” covering politics or civic affairs, this study explores how the format affects traditional journalistic norms and practices, focusing on non-partisanship, transparency and the gatekeeping role. Although expressions of opinion are common, most journalists are seeking to remain gatekeepers even in this highly interactive format. Political j-bloggers use links extensively – but mostly to other mainstream media sites.

Effects of Hypertext Structure and Learning Style on Learning from Online Instructional Materials • Carmen Stavrositu, Pennsylvania State University • A 2 (learning style) X 3 (hypertext structure) experiment was conducted in order to determine how learning is affected in an online environment. Results reveal strong evidence that the hypertext structure of a Website plays a crucial role in how people learn from online contents. Further, learning style was shown to be a key individual difference variable: active and passive learners do not learn the same way from online materials.

Municipal information Web Sites and the Language Divide • Amanda Sturgill, Baylor University• This paper examines the availability of foreign language information on municipal web sites for the largest cities in the United States. An examination of these websites found that very few had information in Spanish and fewer had information in other foreign languages. There was no relationship between presence of foreign-language information and percent of the population living in households without an English speaker. The implications of these findings for English-challenged Americans are discussed.

Rural Voters’ and Local Elections on the Internet: Implications for Web Site Design • Amanda Sturgill, Baylor University • As part of an effort to provide Internet-based election information to rural voters, this study asked more than 250 voters if and how they used the Internet to get information about the election. More than three-quarters of voters who answered primary election exit polls used the Internet, mostly from home. More than 25 percent used the Internet to get election-specific information. The relation of findings to designing an election information site are discussed.

How to Compete with Free: College Students’ Views on Copyright Debate over P2P Music File Sharing • Dongkyu Sung, Minjeong Kim and Koang-Hyub Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • The music industry has tried to extricate itself from the danger of losing its control over copyrighted music by launching a series of legal suits against music file sharing over peer-to-peer networks, including recent lawsuits against individual users. This paper explored how college students, many of whom have been engaged in music file sharing legally or illegally, understood these lawsuits and the copyright issues over digital music.

Information and Communication Technology and Public Policy: Diffusion of Broadband in the U.S. and Korea • Eunjung Sung and George Barnett, SUNY at Buffalo • Broadband has become an essential component of information and communication technology, as well as an important issue for national technology policies, in the 21st century. What are the reasons for the differences between the U.S. and Korea in terms of diffusion of broadband? This study compared communication technology policy as the main factor influencing the adoption of broadband in the U.S and Korea. Differences and directions of the policy between two countries were discussed.

China’s National Information Infrastructure Initiative: Informatization with Chinese Characteristics • Zixue Tai, Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville • Information revolution with the Internet at its forefront has led nation-states to develop their own National Information Infrastructure initiatives over the past decades. These initiatives reflect different rationales, visions, and strategies in embracing the new information age. This paper examines China’s informatization effort to build a Chinese National Infrastructure by maximizing economic and technological gains through internationalizing while at the same time minimizing political risks to a repressive regime by localizing with content control.

The Fate of Rural America in the Information Age: An Introduction and Preliminary Application of the 4Cs Theory • Marsha Tate and Sheila Sager, Pennsylvania State University • Using data gathered for five rural counties in North Dakota and Pennsylvania, this paper frames rural high-speed Internet access in terms of the 4C’s theory: context, connectivity, capability, and content. Our analyses suggest that there are significant variations between the two states and among individual counties. Nonetheless, despite these variations, in order to sustain socio-economic success, each of the 4C’s must be considered both individually and collectively in all of the cases.

The Role of Mobile Communication in International Telecommunication: Applying an Aspect of the World Systems Perspective • Varsha Tickoo, SUNY at Buffalo • The aim of the present paper is to examine the structure of the telecommunication network of the world in relation to global cellular phone usage. The core-periphery aspect of the world-systems theory is utilized here. Data concerning telecommunication flow and cellular phone subscriptions for 105 countries is analyzed and the results are discussed in a world-systems context, demonstrating the core-periphery structure of the telecommunication system and its relation with cellular phone usage.

SWIFTIES Online: Using Vietnam War Snapshots to Create a Virtual Community for Swift Boat Sailors • Jennifer Tiernan, University of Oklahoma • Vietnam veterans created thousands of personal snapshot images during the Vietnam War that document individual wartime experience. This paper explores how Vietnam-era Swift Boat veterans use their snapshot images and computer mediated communication to revisit wartime experiences and reconnect with their past. In the process, this group is creating a virtual interpretive community of Vietnam veterans who share common experiences and interpretations of the Vietnam War.

News Web Sites as Gated Cybercommunities • Mark Tremayne, University of Texas at Austin • This study tested emerging network theory against a sub-sample of the Web: stories on national news Web sites. It found that news Web stories contain links to external sites less frequently than just a few years ago. As each organization builds up its own archive of Web content, this material appears to be favored over content that is off-site.

Untangling Interactivity on the Web • Mark Tremayne, University of Texas at Austin • Two recent conceptualizations of interactivity propose that it resides in three elements of the communication process: channel structures, messages, and user perceptions. It is argued here that considering each of these as parts of one variable introduces confound that may obscure the effects of interactivity. An alternative model for interactivity research is proposed along with ways to measure interactivity on the Web.

Gender Differences in Need for Acceptance and the Use of Computer-Mediated Communication • Mina Tsay, Bimal Balakrishnan, Keston Pierre, Joy Vincent-Killian, Pennsylvania State University • This study examines how gender differences color an individual’s need for acceptance, the frequency and purpose of CMC use, sense of presence, and perception of CMC as a social medium. Survey (N=138) findings show that gender predicts the need for belonging and CMC use. This study suggests that incorporating applications which improve perception of CMC as a social medium may enhance their appeal as a means for gratification, leading to greater CMC use.

Health Information Credibility and Influence via the Internet, Part I: Web Variables • Joseph Walther, Zuoming Wang and Tracy Loh, Cornell University • Concerns over health information on the Internet have generated efforts to enhance credibility. How users actually assess credibility for online health information is unknown. In this study we refined a health site credibility measure and tested effects of domains and advertisement presence in two illness-related topics. Interaction effects suggest that credibility depends to a great extent on topic and the joint effects of domain and advertising.

Values, Lifestyles and New Media: A Psychographic Analysis of the Adoption and Use of Wireless Communication Technologies in China • Ran Wei, University of South Carolina • This study examines the relationship between lifestyles of Chinese consumers and the ownership and use of pagers and cell phones. Using a probability sample of 7,094 respondents, the study shows that consumers who pursue fashion-conscious, information-oriented and Westernized lifestyles tend to integrate pagers and cell phones into their lives to achieve social differentiation. Multivariate results further suggest that pursuit of particular lifestyles motivates cell phone and pager use.

The Agenda-Setting Function of Controversial Websites: Media Exposure, Levels of Agenda-Setting Process, and Behavioral Consequences • Tae-Il Yoon and Jae, C Shim, Korea University • This study reports the agenda-setting function of controversial websites. The more often respondents were exposed to websites advocating a controversial issue, the more likely they were to perceive the issue as important (= issue agenda-setting) and to agree with the issue (= attribute agenda-setting). In addition, those who perceived the controversial issue as important and agreed with the issue were more likely to express intentions to participate in issue-related activities online and offline.

Uses and Gratifications and Exposure to the Internet: A Discrepancy Approach • Xingpu Yuan, Southern Illinois University • This study adopted a discrepancy approach which made a distinction between gratifications sought (GS) and gratifications obtained (GO) and examined how the GO–GS discrepancy is related to people’s Internet use and Internet affinity. Several other variables, including income, duration of Internet use and skill at using the Internet were also tested as predictors. It was found that the GO–GS discrepancy significantly predicted Internet affinity but not Internet use.

What’s Behind the “Great Firewall”: Discovering and Interpreting China’s Internet Media Policies • Lena Zhang, San Francisco State University • China’s Internet blocking raised concern of cyber society. To unfold what’s happening behind the foggy “Great Firewall,” this research provides unusual in-depth insights from inside through face-to-face interviews of 18 key Chinese Internet policymakers about China’s Internet content policy – its nature, making process, major driving forces and the trend in the context of China’s transforming social environment. It’s the first research approach of its kind on the topic.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Advertising 2004 Abstracts

Advertising Division

RESEARCH
Are Product Placements Too Subtle to Persuade? Proposing Strength of Association as a Measure of Effectivess • Anna V. Andriasova and Carson B Wagner, University of Texas at Austin • Perhaps due to product placements’ subtlety, studies have been unable to demonstrate changes in self-reported attitudes. However, ad research suggests placements may favorably persuade viewers less consciously and change product-related strengths of association. To test this hypothesis, a two-condition between-participantsps experiment (N=43) was run comparing SOAs of those who watched a placement to those of a control. Findings show that placements can change SOA, and viewers’ SOAs were predicted by their character and program responses.

Rich Media, Poor Media: The Impact of Audio/Video vs. Text/Picture Testimonial Ads on Browsers’ Evaluations of Commercial Web Sites and Online Products • Osei Appiah, Ohio State University • There has been some debate among advertisers concerning the practicality, necessity, and effectiveness of using multimedia on Internet Web sites. Given most companies have been slow to use multimedia features on their site, it seemed worthwhile to test whether this behavior is warranted by testing the impact of multimedia ads on a commercial Web site. In particular, this study attempted to test whether browsers’ responses to multimedia like audio/video testimonial ads on a commercial Web site would significantly differ from their responses to either a commercial Web site with text/picture testimonials or a commercial web site with no testimonials. The findings indicated that Internet browsers were more likely to believe a site was targeting them, rate a site favorably, and more likely to express a desire to purchase the product when the site contained audio/video testimonials than they were when the site contained either text/picture testimonials or no testimonials.

From Fabulously Entertaining to Freakishly Annoying: Consumer Responses to Six Online Advertising Formats • Kelli S. Burns, Elon University; and Richard J. Lutz, University of Florida • This study gathered descriptive data on the perceptual antecedents of attitudes toward six online advertising formats and tested the ability of perceptions to predict attitude toward the format (Aformat) using a national survey of 1,075 adults. The data supported the three hypotheses. Web users possess significantly different attitudes across formats. Users hold a varied combination of perceptions about each format. Furthermore, the three perceptions of entertainment, annoyance, and information have a significant impact on Aformat.

Sex in Magazine Advertising: 1983 to 2003 • Courtney Carpenter and Tom Reichert, University of Alabama • Magazine advertisements from 2003 were content analyzed as a partial replication of a study that assessed sex in advertising in 1983 and 1993. As watchdog groups continue to be more vocal concerning indecency in advertising, and media in general, it is important to assess the state of sex in advertising since 1993. Overall, the findings indicate that female and male models are no more likely to be explicitly dressed, or engaged in sexual contact, from 1993 to 2003, despite overall increases from 1983 to 2003. In addition, sexual content continues to be more explicit and prevalent in women’s and men’s magazines. In 2003, for instance, 78% of women in men’s magazine were sexually attired.

Sensation Seeking Targeting and Fear Appeal of Anti-Smoking Public service Announcement Messages for Young Adults • Youjin Choi, University of Florida; Glen T. Cameron, University of Missouri; Glenn Leshner, University of Missouri; and Michael T. Stephenson, Texas A&M University • High sensation value messages, and high fear appeal based on threat messages are used to prevent high sensation seekers from committing risky behavior because high arousal potential of high sensation value/threat messages may satisfy their need for intense stimulation. Through experiments with young adults, this study examined moderating effects of sensation seeking on the influence of anti-smoking public service announcements on information processing and attitudes toward the messages. There was no differential effect of sensation seeking on information processing and attitudes to the different levels of message sensation value/threat. Regardless of sensation seeking level of the research participants, high sensation value/threat messages were effective than low sensation value/threat messages.

Affective and Cognitive Effect of Humor in Advertisement: Role of Brand Familiarity • Hwiman Chung, New Mexico State University; and Xinshu Zhao, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Although the effects of the humorous ad have been a popular topic among advertising scholars, results have been mixed. This study also tried to understand the effects of humorous advertisement, especially on consumers’ attitude, memory and cognitive responses. 1n particular, this study tried to understand the effect of brand familiarity on humor effects. It was hypothesized that the consumer’s attitude and cognitive responses will be moderated by brand familiarity. Study results support that brand familiarity moderates the effects of humorous advertisement in terms of attitude and cognitive responses.

Ad Skipping and satisfaction among TiVo users by length of ownership • Douglas A. Ferguson, College of Charleston; and Elizabeth M. Perse, University of Delaware • A national sample of 61 DVR users completed an online survey that measured length of ownership, viewing satisfaction, and attitudes toward DVR functions. When compared to earlier samples totaling 198 users, DVR owners continued to report watching television live and recorded, with more enjoyment and greater control. Satisfaction remains a significant predictor of ad-skipping but the novelty factor may be mitigating. Length of ownership is associated with a small decline in ad-skipping behavior.

Who? Sees what products? In which content? And under what conditions? A Broader Product Placement Framework • Tracey Leigh Fisher and Carson B Wagner, University of Texas at Austin • Researchers have developed various typologies for studying product placement effects, but none may be sufficiently broad so as to account for all meaningful variations in placements, their reception by different viewers in different situations, and the outcomes of viewing. The present essay proposes a more comprehensive framework aimed at overcoming such limitations — and it reviews and situates prior placement research accordingly — in order to provide a helpful guide for the study of placement effectiveness.

Black Female and Black Male Prototypes: How Primetime Network Television Commercials Force Black Characters into the Cultural Mainstream • Dennis Ganahl, Sara Baker Netzley, William Hoon and Kwangok Kim, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale • This content analysis examined 84 hours of primetime television in 2000 to determine what prototypical – or ideal – images of Black men and Black women were presented in commercials. The study found a prototype of tall, dark, and outgoing Black men, and fair, petite, and quiet Black women. Many of the ethnic Black hairstyles, clothing, and speech patterns have been exchanged in favor of the predominant mainstream culture. In addition, a “pecking order” in the commercials emerged, starting with White men, and moving down to White women, Black men and Black women.

The conceptual overlap in promotion between marketing and marketing communications: Does it extend to an overlap in research? • Brian K. Hensel, University of Missouri • This study examined the extent to which “marketing communications” journals and general marketing journals cited each other. It found the greatest degree of interdisciplinary citation to be between selected marketing journals and a prominent advertising journal. The advertising journal cited (and was cited within) marketing journals to a much greater degree than it cited (and was cited within) selected mass communication and public relations journals. The data suggest that advertising may conceive itself as more within a marketing paradigm than a communications paradigm. Public relations research, on the other hand, was found to be isolated from both marketing and advertising research. Potential implications of the degree of interdisciplinary citation between research in marketing, advertising, and public relations are described and discussed.

News Bias and Advertising: Consumer and Media Professional Perceptions of Rub Off Effects • Jisu Huh, Denise E. DeLorme, Sarah M. Smith and Leonard Reid, University of Georgia • This paper determines if consumers and media professionals perceive bias in news; documents if those perceptions are harmful to advertising and if negative perceptions of advertising are harmful to news; explores perceptual differences based on predispositions and demographics; and compares consumers’ and media professionals’ perceptions. Survey results indicate that professionals view news quality more favorably and perceive less bias than consumers; consumers are neutral but professionals disagree that news bias is harmful to advertising; and predictors of consumer perceptions of bias rub off effects differ from those of professionals.

Quarter Position Effect during Super Bowl Broadcast: How adverting effectiveness changes as a game goes on • Yong-Ick Jeong, Koang-Hyub Kim and Xinshu Zhao, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • The primary goals of this study are to investigate the ad effectiveness originating from placing ads in different game segments and to suggest marketing implications based on these game segment position effects, especially in media planning strategy. The primacy effects were observed from the results. The brands advertised in earlier quarters are more remembered than those in later quarter. However, ad liking is not related with the quarter based position. Marketing implications for the results are discussed.

Exploring Culture’s Influence on Standardization Dynamics of Creative Strategy and Execution in International Advertising • Jing Jiang and Ran Wei, University of South Carolina • The dynamic relationship between the degree of standardization in creative strategy and standardization of execution was modeled and tested in this study using Nokia advertisements from two culturally different countries, the United States and China. Results show that the International Branding Strategy characterizes Nokia’s advertising campaigns -— standardized in creative strategy, but localized in execution in each culturally different market. More important, this study examines the influence of culture separately on the degree of standardization of creative strategy and of execution. Culture seems to have a greater impact on executions than that on creative strategies. These results have practical implications for international advertisers: It is profitable to develop a unified single creative strategy to be employed on a global scale as long as they take culture into account in executions. The more culturally different the target market is from the home country, the more localized the executions should be.

Celebrity Product Incongruence and the Effectiveness of Celebrity Endorsement • Jung-Gyo Lee, University of North Florida; and Esther Thorson, University of Missouri at Columbia • The present study examined how different degrees of celebrity-product congruence influence the persuasiveness of celebrity endorsements. The schema-congruity framework suggested by Mandler provides the theoretical basis for suggesting that a moderate mismatch between a celebrity’s image and a product’s image would produce more favorable responses to advertisements than would either a complete match or an extreme mismatch. This study also looked at how consumer characteristics, namely an individual’s own levels of enduring involvement with a product category, moderate schema (in)congruity effects. Two experiments that used different types of match-up factors, physical attractiveness and expertise of a celebrity endorser, corroborated the inverted U-shaped relationship between schema congruity and affective responses.

Food for Thought: A Content Analysis of Food Advertising during Prime-Time Television • Wei-Na Lee, Eliana Shiao Tseng and Sejung Marina Choi, University of Texas at Austin • Today almost two-thirds of Americans are classified as overweight. While there are several known causes of obesity, food adversity on television has received a significant amount of criticism for its role in fueling the rise in obesity. The study reported in this paper examined the amount and general characteristics of food advertising and the actual nutritional content of the products advertised during prime-time programming on major networks. Results show that food advertising composed one quarter of the overall advertising during prime-time television. In general, food products advertised in prime-time television were unhealthy according to their actual nutritional content. Meanwhile, not surprisingly, the advertising messages for these products tended to employ taste/flavor/smell as the key promotional appeal instead of nutritional value. Implications of observations made in this study and suggestions for future research are provided.

Word-of-Mouth Advertising: A 50 Year Review and Two Theoretical Models for an Online Chatting Context • Gergely Nyilasy, University of Georgia • The purpose of this study is to investigate the conceptual and theoretical foundations of word-of-mouth (WOM) advertising and to propose two theories of online WOM in a chatting context. First, the extensive literature is reviewed and discussed within an integrative framework. Online WOM is then contrasted with offline conceptualizations, and a new definition for online WOM is offered. Utilizing attribution theory and theories of computer-mediated communication, two models of online WOM are proposed for an online chatting context.

Why McDonald Dropped Kobe Bryant: The Third-Person Effect of Celebrity Endorsers’ Negative Information from Advertisers’ Perspectives • Hye-Jin Paek, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Byoungkwan Lee, Michigan State University; Bong-Chul Kim, Chosun University and Charles T. Salmon Michigan State University • This study surveys advertisers to examine how their perception bias leads to their willingness to withdraw ads that feature a celebrity endorser tainted by a negative personal image. Based on the theoretical framework of “third person effects,” the results show that advertisers perceive greater effects of a celebrity endorser’s negative information on other advertisers and on consumers than on themselves. However, total effects rather than a self-other perceptual gap predicted the dependent variable. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

A Content Analysis of Content Analysis Research Published in Advertising Journals • Pumsoon Park, Kyoo-Hoon Han, Yongjun Sung, Hyeonjin Soh, University of Georgia • Content analysis is the fastest-growing research method in mass communication research. The present study investigates how and how much content analysis has been utilized in advertising research by reviewing all content analysis studies published in three major advertising journals from 1960 to 2002: Journal of Advertising, Journal of Advertising Research and Journal of Current Issues and Research in Advertising. Our results conclude that content analysis appeared in significant proportions in the three major advertising journals and it is becoming more popular among advertising researchers across decades and that content analysis is mostly used to describe tendencies or characteristics rather than to explain causal relationships or test theories.

Consumers’ Use of Sponsorship Knowledge in an Internet Context: Antecedents and Consequences • Shelly Rodgers, University of Missouri at Columbia • The purpose of this research was to test a model of persuasion knowledge that identifies two antecedents and two consequences of sponsorship knowledge, a specific type of persuasion knowledge. A survey method was employed using a group of students and non-student adults. The results indicated that personal and professional experience, the antecedents, predicted persuasion knowledge. Persuasion knowledge, in turn, influenced perceived motives of the persuasion agent, which subsequently mediated perceptions of the agent. The findings are congruent with the Persuasion Knowledge Model and support the position that persuasion knowledge attainment and use are important factors in consumer behavior research.

The Petticoat Influence: The History And Agency Of Women In The Advertising Profession, 1880-1917 • Juliann Sivulka • This historical study examines how gender has operated in the development of the advertising profession from 1880-1917, but also considers the ways business has intervened in and shaped the construction of gender in American history. Women were the main consumers and carried the most decision-making power in households concerning consumer-product goods and services. Therefore it became critical that women have a voice that becomes recognized, listened to, and heard in the industry that tried to influence the decisions female consumers made. Paradoxically, women capitalized on gender conventions to enter the male-dominated world of advertising, providing the feminine viewpoint to sell products to the women’s market.

Changing the Nature of Unreasoned Actions: A Test of the Anti-Drug Ad Viewing Styles Hypothesis • Carson B. Wgner, University of Texas at Austin • Anti-drug ad research has shown it is more difficult to establish strength of association (SOA) change as compared to changing self-reported attitudes, perhaps because the latter measures exaggerate effectiveness. Findings suggest that viewing anti-drug ads passively may result in SOA change, but the effect has not been demonstrated. To test this hypothesis, a two-condition between-participants experiment (N= 35) was run comparing SOAs of those who watched ads peripherally to those of a control group.

The Impact of Content Class on Reconciliation of Evaluative Inconsistencies • Alex Wang, University of Connecticut • This study examines the effect of evaluative inconsistency in different content classes on the strength of consumers’ trust, believability, information diagnosticity, and attitude toward the information, as manifested in its ability to predict purchase intention. The results suggest that an apposing resolution of IMC strategy has to do with the likelihood of inconsistency reconciliation, that is, whether consumers are willing to pay greater cognitive effort to process inconsistencies with the goal of obtaining better information diagnosticity perceived in different content classes.

The Advertising Industry in Wartime: How Advertising During the Iraq War Was Framed in Advertising Industry Publications and Major National Newspapers • Jan LeBlanc Wicks and Boubacar Souley, University of Arkansas • Advertisers learned after September 11 that ads could suddenly become inappropriate when airing next to coverage of the attacks. This study examines how advertisers and advertising agencies framed or explained their Iraq War plans and activities to avoid complaints. The frames included the Distance frame whereby advertisers separated ads from war coverage and the Normalcy frame explaining why normal advertising activities should continue. The analysis suggests coverage was pro-industry and had few divergent viewpoints.

A Cross-Cultural Study Between American and Chinese College Students Regarding Television Viewing, Materialism, Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Advertising • Hongwei Yang and Dennis J. Ganahl, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale • A survey of 566 college students was conducted in a U.S. Midwestern public university and another survey of 312 college students was conducted in four Chinese universities to examine the relationships among television viewing, materialism, general beliefs about advertising and attitude toward television commercials. The surveys yielded surprisingly similar results. Television viewing was significantly correlated with materialism in both the United States and China. This finding suggests that television viewing cultivates college students’ materialistic values in different cultural settings.

PF&R
“Why Do They Hate Us?” International Attitudes Toward America, American Brands and Advertising • Jami A. Fullerton, Oklahoma State University • This study attempts to unravel the complex issues surrounding President Bush’s question after 9/11 — “Why do they hate us?” by exploring international student attitudes toward “all things” American. A survey of 105 international students from various countries who were enrolled at Regents College in London, England in July 2003 was conducted to measure attitudes toward America, U.S. brands, media and advertising. The survey findings are analyzed herein to discover relationships between the measured attitudes and to determine if certain characteristics among international students make them more likely to “hate us.”

Selling Truth: How Nike’s Advertising to Women Accomplished the “Impossible” • Jean M. Grow and Joyce M. Wolburg, Marquette University • This study traces the evolution of three “big ideas” in Nike’s advertising to women from 1990 to 2000: empowerment, entitlement, and emphasis on product. It also reveals the process from which the ads were created and the constraints upon that process from the agency creative team’s perspective. It is the story of how the creative team used advertising to meet the marketing goals of the Nike brand by challenging social norms that define the role of women.

Behind the smile: Reading Cultural Values in Thai Advertising • Chompunuch Punyapiroje, Burapha University; and Margaret Morrison, University of Tennessee at Knoxville • This study investigates how Thai national cultural values are expressed in advertising messages. Three research questions are posed: Are values expressed in the message strategies of Thai commercials? If yes, how are these values presented in Thai commercials?; and, What relationship exists between message strategies and product categories? 225 Thai commercials were examined. Results suggest any investigation of Thai values must consider factors such as western values, economic situations, or social phenomenon influencing Thai society.

A is for Apple, B is for Boy and C is for Coke, Channel One and Commercialism: A Critical Assessment of the Historical Roots and Modern Developments of Advertising in Schools • Inger L. Stole and Rebecca Livesay, University of Illinois at Urbana at Champaign • During the past two decades, the commercialization of U.S. education has emerged as a frequently debated issue. This paper traces the history of advertising from its first occurrence in the 1920s to its modern day manifestations. In addition to exploring how and why advertising entered the nation’s classrooms, and discuss some of the initial reactions to this form of educational material, the paper also explores the multitude and magnitude of advertising in schools that has taken place since the 1980s and addresses some of the ethical concerns associated with these developments.

TEACHING
Addressing Variant Learning Styles for Advertising and Public Relations Students • Joel Geske, Iowa State University • Learning styles serve as relatively stable indicators of how learners perceive, interact with, and respond to the learning environment. The three modalities are Visual, Auditory or Haptic. Students in advertising and public relations (n=107) indicate a strong preference for haptic learning with almost no support for the auditory style — a predominant delivery method in college courses. Findings for these students are quite different from the general population. Two case study activities for haptic learning are included.

The Effect of Educational Background as Antecedent on the Job Satisfaction of Advertising Creatives • Thomas Hixson, University of Wisconsin at Whitewater; and Stephen Banning, Louisiana State University • This study examined the job satisfaction of advertising creatives, focusing on educational background as a possible cause for higher job satisfaction. It also examined the opinions of professionals in the field regarding their opinion of the most practical method of career training. Some academics have called for more liberal arts education for students in advertising as opposed to a strict focus on advertising. The survey was administered online. American Advertising Federation advertising creatives were contacted with information regarding the survey. One-hundred sixty one participants responded. While the advertising creatives had taken a variety of majors in school, the most common recommendation regarding advertising education was for straight advertising or Integrated Marketing Communication. Educational background appeared to have no effect on job satisfaction.

Integration of Advertising and Public Relations Curricula: A 2004 Status Report of Educator Perceptions • Phyllis V. Larsen, University of Nebraska at Lincoln; and Maria E. Len-Rios, University of Kansas • The communication environment has changed significantly in the last two decades. While many advertising and public relations professionals embrace a more integrated approach to communication, it is not clear how educators are responding. This study explored the current status of curriculum integration from the perspective of the educator. The most striking finding is a strong association between educator attitudes toward integration and the current level of integration at their institutions.

Teaching the Undergraduate Research Course for Advertising Majors: Course Content and Key Challenges • Brett Robbs and Kendra Gale, University of Colorado • Based on a survey of faculty teaching an undergraduate research course to advertising majors, this paper identifies desired outcomes and content priorities of those currently teaching the research course. Comparisons are made between courses designed for a range of majors and those designed specifically for advertising majors. Specific teaching challenges posed by this course are also discussed. Potential options for fine tuning the approach to this course are suggested.

STUDENT
The Portrayal of Men, Women and Children in Parents Magazine Advertisements: 2000 and 2003 • Brooke Clawson and Elizabeth Stohlton, Brigham Young University • A content analysis of full-page advertisements in the 2000 and 2003 editions of Parents magazine was conducted. The advertisements were analyzed according to gender, the representation of adults and children, race, and the adult’s interaction and physical contact with the children. After the data was coded, SPSS was used to interpret the data. The data shows that men are underrepresented in magazine advertisements compared to women. When represented in ads, men were portrayed in stereotypical roles, and men were rarely shown alone with children. When interaction between men and children is portrayed, the interaction is friendly. The majority of the ads represent White men, women and children, and minorities are underrepresented.

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs: A Brand Development Model for Advertising? • Daniel Marshall Haygood, University of Tennessee • No abstract available.

College Students’ Uses & Gratifications of Advertising • Jaime A Marshall, University of Central Florida • Employing Uses & Gratifications theory, this survey of 297 undergraduates sought to determine the primary reason why college students use the Internet, newspaper, radio, television and magazines for the purpose of understanding how advertising gratifies those needs. This study found that college students primarily use the Internet and newspapers for informational purposes while television, magazines and radio are utilized largely for entertainment. Moreover, respondents were more likely to pay attention to advertisements on mediums with a ritualized (entertainment) orientation rather than an instrumental (informational) orientation.

Information Processing Differences Between Internet and Magazine Advertisements Moderated by Selective Exposure • Jensen Moore, University of Missouri-Columbia • The current study proposes that selective exposure to advertising communications results in information processing differences between traditional and new media. Specifically, it examines information processing differences between magazine and Internet advertisements. This study uses a between-subjects experimental method to examine information processing differences moderated by selective exposure. Findings indicated higher selective exposure displayed when participants viewed online advertisements moderated recall and recognition differences between the two media. Implications for advertisers are discussed.

A Comparison of the Effects of Unsolicited E-mail and Postal Direct Mail on Consumer Advertising Evaluations • Mariko Morimoto and Susan Chang, Michigan State University • Using Psychological Reactance as the framework, this study sought to understand consumer attitudes towards two major direct marketing methods, unsolicited commercial e-mail (spam) and postal direct mail – in particular, perceptions of advertising intrusiveness, loss of control, and irritation. The results of this survey study indicated that in comparison, unsolicited e-mails were perceived as more intrusive and irritating than postal direct mail. In addition, participants did not indicate that they felt a loss of control regarding spam.

Attitude toward the Extension Ad: The Influence of Attitude toward the Parent Brand and Perceived Congruity • Xiaoli Nan, University of Minnesota • This paper investigates the impact of two factors on consumers’ attitudes toward the ad for a brand extension: attitude toward the parent brand and perceived congruity between the brand extension and the parent brand. Results of an experiment employing 153 participants indicate that attitude toward the extension ad is more positive when attitude toward the parent brand is favorable (vs. unfavorable). In addition, attitude toward the extension ad is more positive when the extension is congruent (vs. incongruent) with the parent brand. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.

Where Does Political Speech End and Commercial Speech Begin?: A Re-Visit of Kasky v. Nike, Inc. • Yongjun Sung and Federico de Gregorio, University of Georgia • Kasky v. Nike, Inc. raises First Amendment issues of great importance to American corporations. The main issue of this case is whether speech by Nike in denying allegations about the “sweat shop” conditions in its overseas labor practice is commercial or noncommercial speech. The California Supreme court has ruled Nike’s speech to be “commercial speech,” thus not entitled to the same degree of protection as political speech under the First Amendment. The U.S. Supreme Court, which had agreed to review the case, decided not to review the California court decision. This paper argues that the California Supreme Court ruling is unconstitutional because it would allow anyone to sue a company on the grounds that corporate statements about their business – not their products – may be false and misleading advertising.

SPECIAL TOPICS
Granting the Permission to Believe in Zionism: A Non-Traditional Analysis of the Strategy and Execution of a Zionist Poster Posted in Holocaust Survivor Camps in 1946 • Jason Berger, Kansas City, Missouri • With the continued violence in the Middle East between Palestinian and Israeli, we should use non-conventional research and analysis to understand the conflict. This paper is an analysis of a Zionist poster posted in Holocaust survivor camps in Western Europe. The poster begged in Yiddish the refugees to sit tight, not to worry, there will be a Jewish state in Palestine. The paper consists of two panels. On the left side, we see a dark, forbidden, impenetrable city. A lifeless refugee is being denied entry. In contrast, we see on the right side a refugee proudly entering the map of Palestine using the traditional “land of milk and honey” imagery. But there is more than meets the eye. Through using a host of advertising creativity models and stimulators along with a more literate and Jewish mystical form of analysis, this paper argues that the poster was indeed complex and, in essence, illustrated quite a sophisticated advertising strategy, creativity, and tactic which met the needs of the target.

Where Does Advertising End and Free Speech Begin?: A Case Study Analysis of the Troubling Nike v. Kasky Lawsuit • Anne Golden, University of Utah • Often, when a business entity is embroiled in a controversial issue, it pursues various strategies when communicating with the public. A business can try a defensive advertising campaign, paid advertorials, letters to the editor, or press releases while defending itself against a media onslaught. However, a recent Supreme Court decision has extended the false advertising laws in California so that now these laws apply, not only to paid advertisements, but also to other forms of communication with the media. This article discusses the ramifications of this decision to advertisers seeking to dialogue with media in the public sphere.

Branding at a Small Advertising Agency: A Big Agency Trapped Inside a Small Agency’s Body? • Daniel Marshall Haygood, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • No abstract available.

“God Speaks:” A Case Study of a Public Service Campaign • Karen M Lancendorfer and Bonnie B Reece, Michigan State University • Public service campaigns, spanning 60 years and thousands of mass media advertisements, have asked Americans to ‘Say No to Drugs’ and ‘Keep America Beautiful’, along with everything in between. Although these campaigns are often considered important tools in promoting social issues, their efficacy has been hotly debated over the years. A case study of the “God Speaks” public service campaign is offered as an example of a non-traditional campaign that provides insights for future endeavors.

<< 2004 Abstracts

Graduate Education 2005 Abstracts

Graduate Education Interest Group

When do Journalists Learn About Ethics? An Examination of Classroom and Professional Attitudes About Ethical Standards • Scott Reinardy and Jensen Moore, University of Missouri-Columbia • A survey (n=1,195) included broadcast and print journalist students at a large Midwestern university, and broadcast and newspaper professionals. The study compares the ethical perceptions of introductory journalism students to graduating students, as well as professional journalists. The results indicate that in general terms the introductory students appear more ethically grounded than graduating students, and graduating students have a higher standard of ethics than professional practitioners.

Vietnam and Iraq: Memory vs. History During the 2004 Presidential Campaign Coverage • Sue Robinson, Temple University • This paper contrasts two ideas of journalistic ritual — a macro view of communication and a more micro level of objectivity — by textually analyzing five newspapers’ coverage of the 2004 presidential campaign between John Kerry and President George W. Bush, whose mnemonic battles over Vietnam served to clash two fundamental concepts of objective history and cultural memory. Journalists’ professional norms failed to reframe the politicized memories in any meaningful way.

Social Presence, Interactivity and Engagement: A Human-Centered Approach Towards Instructional Technology • Bimal Balakrishnan and Keston Pierre, Penn State University • This paper looks at the question of technology in education from a communication perspective and attempts to make the case for a more human-centered approach. Concepts of social presence, engagement and interactivity are identified as key variables and the relevance of these are theorized. A results of a pilot study carried out to explore the effect of these variables on student satisfaction in an online course are encouraging. The limitations and future directions for the research are discussed.

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