AEJMC 2014 Conference Paper Abstracts
Montréal, Canada • August 6 to 9
The following AEJMC groups conducted research competitions for the 2014 conference. The accepted paper abstracts are listed within each section.
- Communicating Science, Health, Environment, and Risk (ComSHER)
- Communication Technology (CTEC)
- Communication Theory and Methodology
- Cultural and Critical Studies
- Electronic News
- International Communication
- Law and Policy
- Mass Communication and Society
- Media Ethics
- Media Management and Economics
- Minorities and Communication (MAC)
- Newspaper and Online News
- Public Relations
- Scholastic Journalism
- Visual Communication (VisCom)
- Community Journalism
- Entertainment Studies
- Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender
- Graduate Student (formerly Graduate Education)
- Internships and Careers
- Participatory Journalism
- Political Communication
- Religion and Media
- Small Programs (SPIG)
- Sports Communication (SPORTS)
Rewarding Good Teaching
By Karen Miller Russell
Standing Committee on Teaching
University of Georgia, Grady College
(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, March 2014 issue)
One of the best things that the AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching offers is its Best Practices in Teaching Competition.
Becoming a good or even great teacher is a life-long process, one that is not always rewarded by educational institutions in the same way that good or great research can be.
“Currently, research universities base tenure decisions primarily on research productivity and quality,” organizational psychologist Adam Grant recently stated in an op-ed in The New York Times. “Teaching matters only after you have cleared the research bar: It is a bonus to teach well.”
Of course, not all universities overlook good teaching, and many colleges and departments of mass communication recognize teaching through annual awards. These awards are significant ways to reward good work, but they don’t go far enough.
Writing for Inside Higher Ed, Elizabeth H. Simmons points out that faculty must be strategic in how they spend their time. Therefore, she argues, “If a department or college believes that innovative teaching is important, then innovative teaching must be rewarded in decisions related to salaries, reappointment, promotion and tenure.”
The Standing Committee on Teaching tries to facilitate that process by providing a national forum to call attention to innovative teaching in journalism and mass communication. Each year the committee selects a different theme — this year it’s “Globalizing the Classroom” — and members submit their assignments, classroom activities or ideas for competitive review.
Winning faculty members will be invited to present their ideas at the national convention in Montreal, and they’ll receive a cash prize.
But the competition does more than reward faculty who are trying innovative approaches; it also allows them to share their ideas with other faculty. In addition to being presented at the meeting, the winning entries are published in an e-booklet, and I cheerfully admit to shamelessly copying at least one past winner in my own classroom.
“Teaching is the core of what we all do. Recognizing great teaching ideas helps us learn from each other and become better teachers,” said Chris Roush of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this year’s competition chair. “I’m constantly learning from my peers at UNC, and this is how I can expand that learning to the best around the country.”
If you would like to enter this year’s competition, the process is simple. Just write a two-page statement describing a new and effective approach you used to bring global ideas into your classroom. The call for entries (on p. 10) specifies that you need not be teaching a class specifically on international media. In fact, the committee would like to learn how you incorporate awareness of global communities and/or the practice of journalism and mass communication beyond national borders into any course.
I also urge you to take a few minutes to check out the downloadable booklets from past best practices competitions, on subjects ranging from writing to ethics and from information gathering to critical thinking. They can be found on the AEJMC website at http://www.aejmc.org/home/2010/09/best-practices-in-teaching-booklets/.
You might find inspiration for your own great teaching ideas.
Volumen 68 Número 3 Otoño 2013 (Volume 68 Number 3 Autumn 2013)
(English Version & Spanish Translation)
Conferences Focus on Renewal, Innovation, and the Future
Maria B. Marron
Conferencias Centrarse en la Renovación, Innovación y Futuro
Maria B. Marron
A Vision for Transformative Leadership: Rethinking Journalism and Mass Communication Education for the Twenty-First Century
John V. Pavlik
Journalism and mass communication education is in urgent need of transformative leadership. The media are in the midst of a sea change, and educators and professionals alike are groping for a pathway to a future in which they play a vital role. This essay offers a vision for reinventing journalism and mass communication through a model based on innovation and entrepreneurship in media, guided by ethics, freedom of speech, and rigorous, independent, and critical inquiry.
Una visión para el liderazgo transformador: Repensando Periodismo y Comunicación de Masas de Educación para el Siglo XXI
John V. Pavlik
Abstract Traducción español
Periodismo y Medios de comunicación educación es una necesidad urgente de liderazgo transformador. Los medios de comunicación se encuentran en medio de un cambio radical, y educadores y profesionales por igual están buscando a tientas por un camino hacia un futuro en el que juegan un papel vital. Este artículo ofrece una visión para reinventar el periodismo y los medios de comunicación a través de un modelo basado en la innovación y el espíritu empresarial en los medios de comunicación, guiado por la ética, la libertad de expresión, y la investigación rigurosa, independiente y crítico.
artículos de Investigación
Media Entrepreneurship: Curriculum Development and Faculty Perceptions of What Students Should Know
Michelle Barrett Ferrier
To prepare students for the changing media industry, educators must determine whether part of their mission is to prepare students to think and act entrepreneurially. This international study queries faculty who are developing media entrepreneurship courses. The study finds that while the courses take varied forms, the main objectives of the courses are to introduce students to the business side of media startups and to teach students to identify opportunities for innovation—whether inside legacy media organizations or as part of a media startup. The study offers some cautions and challenges for institutions seeking to embark on similar curriculum changes.
Emprendimiento medios: Currículo Desarrollo y Facultad percepciones de lo que los estudiantes deben saber
Michelle Barrett Ferrier
Abstract Traducción español
Para preparar a los estudiantes para la industria cambiante de los medios, los educadores deben determinar si parte de su misión es la de preparar a los estudiantes a pensar y actuar empresarialmente. Este estudio internacional consulta profesores que están desarrollando cursos de espíritu empresarial de los medios. El estudio revela que mientras que los cursos tienen formas variadas, los principales objetivos de los cursos son introducir al alumno en la parte comercial de nuevas empresas de medios de comunicación y para enseñar a los estudiantes a identificar las oportunidades de innovación, ya sea dentro de las organizaciones de medios de legado o como parte de una nueva empresa de medios . El estudio ofrece algunas precauciones y desafíos para las instituciones que deseen embarcarse en cambios curriculares similares.
Coorientation Theory and Assessment of the RFP Solution to Client/Service Learner Matchmaking
Cathy Rogers and Valerie Andrews
Tensions that result from varying expectations of service learners and clients/community partners are as common as the pedagogical practice of service learning in public relations courses. The matchmaking process between instructors and clients can influence expectations; however, the literature includes little guidance about the process of client selection. This paper analyzes a request-for-proposal (RFP) client selection process through the lens of coorientation theory to gauge the effectiveness of communication in the service-learning relationship.
Coorientation Teoría y Evaluación de la Solución RFP para Cliente / Servicio de Estudiantes Matchmaking
Cathy Rogers y Valerie Andrews
Abstract Traducción español
Las tensiones que se derivan de las diferentes expectativas de los estudiantes de servicios y socios clientes / comunidad son tan comunes como la práctica pedagógica de servicio de aprendizaje en cursos de relaciones públicas. El proceso de emparejamiento entre los instructores y los clientes pueden influir en las expectativas, sin embargo, la literatura incluye poca orientación sobre el proceso de selección de clientes. Este trabajo analiza un (RFP) proceso de selección de la petición del cliente para la propuesta a través de la lente de la teoría coorientation para medir la efectividad de la comunicación en la relación aprendizaje-servicio.
Exploring Determinants of Relationship Quality between Students and Their Academic Department: Perceived Relationship Investment, Student Empowerment, and Student–Faculty Interaction
Moonhee Cho and Giselle A. Auger
Given the increasing need for the retention of satisfied and successful students, the purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influence the perceived quality of relationships formed between students and their academic departments. Based on the extensive review of interdisciplinary literature, the study proposed three factors—student–faculty interaction, perceived relationship investment (PRI), and student empowerment. Results of the study demonstrate the significance in associations between student–faculty interaction, PRI, and student empowerment to quality of student–departmental relationships.
Explorando los Determinantes de relación calidad entre los estudiantes y sus Departamento Académico: Percibido Relación de Inversiones, Estudiante de Empoderamiento y Student-Facultad de Interacción
Moonhee Cho y Giselle A. Auger
Abstract Traducción español
Dada la creciente necesidad de la retención de estudiantes satisfechos y exitosos, el propósito de este estudio fue explorar los factores que influyen en la percepción de calidad de las relaciones que se forman entre los estudiantes y sus departamentos académicos. Sobre la base de la amplia revisión de la literatura interdisciplinaria, el estudio propone tres factores-la interacción estudiante-profesor, percibida relación de inversión (PRI), y el empoderamiento de los estudiantes. Los resultados del estudio ponen de manifiesto la importancia de las asociaciones entre la interacción estudiante-profesor, PRI, y fortalecimiento de los estudiantes con la calidad de las relaciones entre los estudiantes del departamento.
Ethnic/Racial Minorities’ Participation in AEJMC: How Much and What Type of Progress?
Mia Moody, Federico Subervi, and Hayg Oshagan
This paper provides an assessment of the diversity of the leadership positions of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (AEJMC) from 2007 to 2011. While numerous studies have analyzed AEJMC’s membership demographics, gender, and scholarship production, there have been few investigations regarding people of color in leadership positions. Findings indicate little progress for people of color has been made in the past five years. Ideally, the educational institutions and academic organizations most responsible for preparing the next generation of media scholars as well as the professionals who produce the content and manage the media catering to the changing population patterns would be at the forefront of diversity in their own leadership. This is especially so for academic organizations, which through journal publications, conference presentations, and various awards, can often have a direct influence on the research emphases and curricular direction of programs nationally.
Participación racial/étnica de las minorías en AEJMC: ¿Cuánto y qué tipo de progreso?
Mia Moody, Federico Subervi, and Hayg Oshagan
Abstract Traducción español
Este documento proporciona una evaluación de la diversidad de las posiciones de liderazgo de la Asociación para la Educación en Periodismo y Comunicación de Masas ( AEJMC ) de 2007 a 2011. Si bien numerosos estudios han analizado la demografía de AEJMC de membresía , el género, y la producción de becas , ha habido pocas investigaciones sobre la gente de color en posiciones de liderazgo . Los hallazgos indican se ha avanzado muy poco para la gente de color en los últimos cinco años. Lo ideal sería que las instituciones educativas y las organizaciones académicas más responsables de la preparación de la próxima generación de estudiosos de los medios , así como los profesionales que producen el contenido y gestionar el catering de medios a los patrones cambiantes de la población estarían en la vanguardia de la diversidad en su propio liderazgo . Esto es especialmente cierto para las organizaciones académicas, que a través de publicaciones en revistas , presentaciones en congresos y diversos premios , a menudo pueden tener una influencia directa en los énfasis de investigación y dirección curricular de los programas a nivel nacional.
A Modest Proposal: One Way to Save Journalism and Journalism Education
Jeffrey Alan John
This essay suggests that because anyone and everyone can now be a “journalist,” the standards of the field of journalism have been greatly diminished. To regain respect for the profession and retain stature in the academy, journalism education should offer an assurance of the legitimacy of journalism program graduates by recognizing only programs with appropriate personnel, infrastructure, and the financial means to assure the quality of their graduates, and then award an official appellation such as “certified” or “credentialed.” Academia and the profession must join together to agree on the appropriate requirements.
Una modesta proposición: Una forma de ahorrar Periodismo y Periodismo Educación
Jeffrey Alan John
Abstract Traducción español
Este ensayo sugiere que debido a que todos y cada uno puede ahora ser un “periodista”, las normas del campo del periodismo se han disminuido en gran medida. Para recuperar el respeto por la profesión y retener estatura en la academia, la enseñanza del periodismo debe ofrecer una garantía de la legitimidad de los graduados del programa de periodismo reconociendo sólo programas con personal adecuado, la infraestructura y los medios financieros para asegurar la calidad de sus egresados, y luego premio una denominación oficial, como “certificados” o “acreditados”. Academia y de la profesión deben unirse para acordar los requisitos correspondientes.
Volumen 68 Número 2 Verano 2013 (Volume 68 Number 2 Summer 2013)
(English Version & Spanish Translation)
artículos de Investigación
The Mass Comm Type: Student Personality Traits, Motivations, and the Choice between News and Strategic Communication Majors
Elizabeth Crisp Crawford, Julie Fudge, Glenn T. Hubbard, and Vincent F. Filak
A study of news media and strategic communication majors (n = 273) revealed differences in regard to personality indices and impetuses for selecting to pursue degrees. Showing overall agreement in the importance of openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness, strategic communication students were significantly higher in their ratings of agreeableness. News media students were significantly higher in their ratings of openness. In addition, news media students stated a significantly higher rating of the importance of altruistic purposes. Strategic communication students placed higher emphasis on financial gain. Implications for pedagogy and the profession are discussed.
La misa Tipo Comm: Los rasgos de personalidad, las motivaciones estudiantiles, y la elección entre Noticias y Majors comunicación estratégica
Elizabeth Crisp Crawford, Julie Fudge, Glenn T. Hubbard, and Vincent F. Filak
Abstract Traducción español
Un estudio de los medios de comunicación y los comandantes de comunicación estratégica (n = 273) mostró diferencias en cuanto a los índices de personalidad y ímpetus de selección para cursar estudios de licenciatura. Mostrando acuerdo general en la importancia de la apertura, amabilidad y escrupulosidad, los estudiantes de comunicación estratégica fueron significativamente mayores en sus calificaciones de amabilidad. Noticias de los estudiantes medios fueron significativamente mayores en las calificaciones de la apertura. Además, los estudiantes de los medios de comunicación indicaron un índice significativamente mayor de la importancia de los propósitos altruistas. Estudiantes de comunicación estratégica colocan mayor énfasis en la ganancia financiera. Se discuten las implicaciones para la pedagogía y de la profesión.
The State of PR Graduate Curriculum as We Know It: A Longitudinal Analysis
Rowena L. Briones and Elizabeth L. Toth
This longitudinal content analysis study uses the Commission on Public Relations Education’s 2006 report as a benchmark to determine whether master’s education in public relations has evolved over the past decade. Findings show a lack of uniformity across the 75 programs studied. In addition, there is a lack of adherence to the Commission on Public Relations Education’s recommended content areas. The authors theorize that the variety of academic homes and titles partly explains the lack of uniformity. But also graduate public relations curricula may lack standardization because of different models.
El Estado de PR Curriculum Licenciado como lo conocemos: Un análisis longitudinal
Rowena L. Briones and Elizabeth L. Toth
Abstract Traducción español
Este estudio longitudinal de análisis de contenido utiliza la Comisión en el informe de las relaciones de Educación Pública 2006 como punto de referencia para determinar si la educación de maestría en relaciones públicas ha evolucionado en la última década. Los resultados muestran una falta de uniformidad entre los 75 programas estudiados. Además, hay una falta de adherencia a la Comisión de las áreas de contenido recomendadas Relaciones de Educación Pública. Los autores especulan que la variedad de viviendas y títulos académicos explica en parte la falta de uniformidad. Pero también los programas de relaciones públicas de posgrado puede carecer de normalización debido a los diferentes modelos.
The Math Problem: Advertising Students’ Attitudes toward Statistics
Jami A. Fullerton and Alice Kendrick
This study used the Students’ Attitudes toward Statistics Scale (STATS) to measure attitude toward statistics among a national sample of advertising students. A factor analysis revealed four underlying factors make up the attitude toward statistics construct—Interest & Future Applicability, Confidence, Statistical Tools, and Initiative. Advertising students’ attitudes toward statistics were shown to be more positive than negative. Students in this study were most positive about the use of Statistical Tools and displayed attitudes well above neutral on Interest & Future Applicability and Initiative. Confidence received the lowest evaluation. Advertising students who were drawn to the major because of its creative aspects had significantly weaker attitudes toward statistics than did those who came to study advertising because of the business aspects. Strategies for improving negative attitudes toward statistics in advertising courses are discussed.
El Problema de matemáticas: Actitudes de publicidad “a los estudiantes hacia Estadísticas
Jami A. Fullerton and Alice Kendrick
Abstract Traducción español
Este estudio utilizó Actitudes los estudiantes hacia Estadísticas Scale (ESTADÍSTICAS) para medir la actitud hacia las estadísticas en una muestra nacional de estudiantes de publicidad. Un análisis factorial reveló cuatro factores subyacentes constituyen la actitud hacia las estadísticas constructo-Interés y aplicabilidad futuro, de confianza, herramientas estadísticas, y la iniciativa. Las actitudes de los estudiantes hacia Publicidad estadísticas mostraron ser más positivo que negativo. Los estudiantes en este estudio fueron más positivos sobre el uso de herramientas estadísticas y actitudes mostradas por encima neutrales sobre el interés y aplicabilidad futura e Iniciativa. Confianza recibió la evaluación más bajo. Publicidad estudiantes que fueron atraídos a la gran causa de sus aspectos creativos tenían actitudes significativamente más débiles hacia las estadísticas que aquellos que vinieron a estudiar publicidad, debido a los aspectos del negocio. Se discuten las estrategias para la mejora de las actitudes negativas hacia la estadística en cursos de publicidad.
Missing Citations, Bulking Biographies, and Unethical Collaboration: Types of Cheating among Public Relations Majors
Giselle A. Auger
Students cheat. For the field of public relations, which continually struggles for credibility, the issue of student cheating should be paramount, as the unethical students of today become tomorrow’s practitioners. Through a survey of 170 public relations majors, this study examined the importance students place on the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics, the extent to which they cheat, and the types of cheating behaviors in which they participate. Results of the study indicated cause for concern as close to 80 percent of students admitted to cheating. Moreover, the extent to which students cheated was significantly related to the number of their friends and close acquaintances whom they perceived as engaging in such behaviors.
Las citas que faltan, Biografías de carga, y la colaboración ético: Tipos de engaño entre Majors Relaciones Públicas
Giselle A. Auger
Abstract Traducción español
Los estudiantes hacen trampa. Para el campo de las relaciones públicas, que las luchas continuamente la credibilidad, el problema de hacer trampa estudiante debe ser de suma importancia, ya que los estudiantes no éticas de hoy se convierten en practicantes de mañana. A través de una encuesta a 170 empresas principales de relaciones públicas, este estudio examinó la importancia estudiantes lugar en la Sociedad de Relaciones Públicas del Código de Ética de los Estados Unidos, en la medida en que hacen trampa, y los tipos de comportamientos de engaño en las que participan. Los resultados del estudio indicaron motivo de preocupación, ya que cerca del 80 por ciento de los estudiantes admitidos en el engaño. Por otra parte, en la medida en que los estudiantes engañados fue significativamente relacionada con el número de sus amigos y conocidos cercanos que ellos perciben como la participación en este tipo de conductas.
PR Students’ Perceptions and Readiness for Using Search Engine Optimization
Mia Moody and Elizabeth Bates
Enough evidence is available to support the idea that public relations professionals must possess search engine optimization (SEO) skills to assist clients in a full-service capacity; however, little research exists on how much college students know about the tactic and best practices for incorporating SEO into course curriculum. Furthermore, much of the literature on the topic is in trade publications and blogs rather than scholarly journals. To fill this void, this study has two primary objectives. First, it seeks to shed light on definitions, trends, and current practices relating to the use of SEO in public relations. Second, the study seeks to learn how much students know about SEO and where they acquired their knowledge. Educators can incorporate this information into curricula to help students remain current with the profession. Study findings are informative not only for PR professors who are considering adding SEO elements to courses but also for PR professionals who want to learn more about the topic.
Percepciones y Preparación para el uso de Search Engine Optimization PR estudiantes
Mia Moody and Elizabeth Bates
Abstract Traducción español
Suficiente evidencia disponible para apoyar la idea de que los profesionales de las relaciones públicas deben poseer la optimización de motores de búsqueda (SEO) habilidades para ayudar a los clientes a título de servicio completo, sin embargo, existe poca investigación sobre la cantidad de estudiantes universitarios saber sobre la táctica y las mejores prácticas para la incorporación de SEO en el programa del curso. Además, gran parte de la literatura sobre el tema se encuentra en publicaciones comerciales y blogs en lugar de revistas académicas. Para llenar este vacío, este estudio tiene dos objetivos principales. En primer lugar, trata de arrojar luz sobre las definiciones, tendencias y prácticas actuales en relación con el uso de SEO en las relaciones públicas. En segundo lugar, el estudio trata de saber cuánto saben los estudiantes sobre SEO y donde adquirieron sus conocimientos. Los educadores pueden incorporar esta información en los programas para ayudar a los estudiantes mantengan al día con la profesión. Los resultados del estudio son de carácter informativo no sólo para los profesores de relaciones públicas que están considerando la adición de elementos de SEO para los cursos, sino también para los profesionales de relaciones públicas que quieran aprender más sobre el tema.
Volumen 68 Número 1 Primavera 2013 (Volume 68 Number 1 Spring 2013)
(English Version & Spanish Translation)
artículos de Investigación
Developing a News Media Literacy Scale
Seth Ashley, Adam Maksl, and Stephanie Craft
Using a framework previously applied to other areas of media literacy, this study developed and assessed a measurement scale focused specifically on critical news media literacy. Our scale appears to successfully measure news media literacy as we have conceptualized it based on previous research, demonstrated through assessments of content, construct, and predictive validity. Among our college student sample, a separate media system knowledge index also was a significant predictor of knowledge about topics in the news, which suggests the need for a broader framework. Implications for future work in defining and assessing news media literacy are discussed.
El desarrollo de un News Media Escala de Alfabetización
Seth Ashley, Adam Maksl, and Stephanie Craft
Abstract Traducción español
El uso de un marco previamente aplicado a otras áreas de la alfabetización mediática, este estudio desarrollado y evaluado una escala de medición se centró específicamente en crítico noticias alfabetización mediática. Nuestra escala parece medir satisfactoriamente noticias alfabetización mediática como hemos conceptualizado sobre la base de investigaciones previas, demostrado a través de evaluaciones de contenido, constructo y validez predictiva. Entre nuestra muestra de estudiantes universitarios, un índice de conocimiento del sistema de medios independiente, también fue un predictor significativo de conocimientos sobre temas de actualidad, lo que sugiere la necesidad de un marco más amplio. Se discuten las implicaciones para el futuro trabajo en la definición y evaluación de la alfabetización mediática de noticias.
Making Ends (and Bytes) Meet
The Challenges of Teaching Multimedia at an Urban, Underfunded University (3-U)
Moses Shumow and Michael Scott Sheerin
In a time of dynamic changes in mass communication and the restructuring of communication programs, and in the face of shrinking education budgets, educators are being pushed to update their programs to include a new emphasis on multimedia production while sustaining traditional modes of mass communication. Through surveys (N = 121) and focus groups (N = 40) with students, this research explores how to update pedagogy to keep pace with the changes in industry. It is built around the experience of launching a multimedia class required for all students enrolled in a journalism and mass communication school at a large, urban, state-funded university.
Finaliza decisiones (y Bytes) Conocer
Los Desafíos de la Enseñanza Multimedia en una zona urbana, con financiación insuficiente Universidad (3-U)
Moses Shumow and Michael Scott Sheerin
Abstract Traducción español
En una época de cambios dinámicos en la comunicación de masas y la reestructuración de los programas de comunicación y ante la reducción de los presupuestos de educación, los educadores están siendo empujados a actualizar sus programas para incluir un nuevo énfasis en la producción multimedia, mientras que mantener las formas tradicionales de comunicación de masas. A través de encuestas (N = 121) y grupos focales (N = 40) con los estudiantes, esta investigación explora cómo actualizar la pedagogía para mantener el ritmo de los cambios en la industria. Está construido alrededor de la experiencia de poner en marcha una clase multimedia necesario para todos los estudiantes inscritos en una escuela de periodismo y comunicación de masas en una universidad urbana grande, financiado por el estado.
Advertising Ethics: Student Attitudes and Behavioral Intent
Jami A. Fullerton, Alice Kendrick, and Lori Melton McKinnon
A national survey of 1,045 advertising students measured opinions about the ethical nature of advertising and ethical dilemmas in the advertising business. More than nine out of ten students agreed that working for a company with high ethical standards was important. Students rated all twelve workplace dilemmas presented as somewhat unethical. For ten of the twelve scenarios, student attitude toward the ethicality of the described action and behavioral intent were inconsistent. Implications for advertising educators and for professionals are discussed.
Ética Publicitaria: Actitudes de los estudiantes y la intención conductual
Jami A. Fullerton, Alice Kendrick, and Lori Melton McKinnon
Abstract Traducción español
Una encuesta nacional de 1.045 alumnos de Publicidad mide opiniones sobre el carácter ético de la publicidad y los dilemas éticos en el negocio de la publicidad. Más de nueve de cada diez estudiantes de acuerdo en que trabajar para una empresa con altos estándares éticos era importante. Los estudiantes calificaron los doce dilemas laborales que se presentan como algo inmoral. Para diez de los doce escenarios, la actitud del estudiante hacia la eticidad de la acción descrita y la intención de comportamiento eran incompatibles. Se discuten las implicaciones para los educadores de la publicidad y de los profesionales.
Scholastic Journalism Teacher Use of Digital Devices and Social Networking Tools in a Poor, Largely Rural State
Bruce L. Plopper and Anne Fleming Conaway
Research showing adolescents’ ever-increasing use of digital devices, combined with calls from governmental officials to incorporate more technology into classroom activities, prompted this survey of Arkansas scholastic journalism advisers. The goal was to determine how they used digital communication devices in their teaching. Results showed lack of funding, lack of teacher experience, and lack of administrative permission suppressed use of several devices, while student-owned devices were used for a variety of journalism-related purposes.
Periodismo Escolar Profesor uso de dispositivos digitales y herramientas de redes sociales en un pobre estado mayormente rural
Bruce L. Plopper and Anne Fleming Conaway
Abstract Traducción español
La investigación muestra el uso cada vez mayor los adolescentes de dispositivos digitales, junto con las llamadas de los funcionarios gubernamentales para incorporar más tecnología en las actividades del aula, impulsó esta encuesta de Arkansas escolares asesores de periodismo. El objetivo fue determinar cómo se utilizan dispositivos de comunicación digitales en su enseñanza. Los resultados mostraron la falta de financiación, la falta de experiencia de los maestros y la falta de autorización administrativa suprimido el uso de varios dispositivos, mientras que los dispositivos de propiedad del estudiante se utilizan para una variedad de propósitos relacionados con el periodismo.
Volumen 90 Número 1 Primavera 2013 (Volume 90 Number 1 Spring 2013)
(English Version & Spanish Translation)
Politics and Partisan Media
Política y medios partidistas
Partisan Journalism and the Rise of the Republican Party in South Carolina, 1959–1962
When political journalist William D. Workman, Jr., resigned from Charleston’s News and Courier and announced plans to run for the U.S. Senate in 1962, he said it would be “unethical” to combine “objective reporting with partisan politics.” Yet Workman’s personal papers reveal that, for three years, he and editor Thomas R. Waring, Jr., had been working with Republican leaders to build a conservative party to challenge Deep South Democrats. Workman’s story provides an example of how partisan activism survived in the twentieth-century American press, despite the rise of professional standards prohibiting political engagement.
Periodismo Partisan y el surgimiento del Partido Republicano en Carolina del Sur, 1959-1962
Abstract Traducción español
Cuando el periodista político William D. Workman, Jr., renunció a Noticias y Courier de Charleston y anunció sus planes de postularse para el Senado de EE.UU. en 1962, dijo que sería “poco ético” combinar “información objetiva con la política partidista.” Sin embargo, Workman de personal documentos revelan que, durante tres años, él y editor Thomas R. Waring, Jr., había estado trabajando con los líderes republicanos para construir un partido conservador para desafiar los demócratas del Sur Profundo. La historia de Workman es un ejemplo de cómo el activismo partidista sobrevivió en la prensa norteamericana del siglo XX, a pesar del aumento de los niveles profesionales que prohíben la participación política.
A Functional Analysis Comparison of Web-Only Advertisements and Traditional Television Advertisements from the 2004 and 2008 Presidential Campaigns
This article uses the functional theory of campaign discourse to determine whether differences exist in the purpose and content of 75 web-only video ads and 742 television ads created by candidates and national parties during the 2004 and 2008 presidential campaigns. Web-only ads were more likely to include attack themes than TV ads, and TV ads were more likely to include acclaim themes than web-only ads. Ads differed little in their use of news-mediated evidence to bolster ad claims.
Una comparación Análisis funcional de la Web sólo y anuncios tradicionales de televisión anuncios de las campañas presidenciales de 2004 y 2008
Abstract Traducción español
Este artículo utiliza la teoría funcional del discurso campaña para determinar si existen diferencias en el propósito y el contenido de 75-sólo web anuncios de vídeo y 742 anuncios de televisión creados por los candidatos y los partidos nacionales en las campañas presidenciales de 2004 y 2008. De sólo Web anuncios eran más propensos a incluir los temas de ataque que los anuncios de televisión y anuncios de televisión eran más propensos a incluir temas aclamación que sólo por Internet anuncios. Anuncios difieren poco en su uso de la evidencia noticias mediada para reforzar las reivindicaciones ad.
Motivated Misperception? Party, Education, Partisan News, and Belief in “Death Panels”
Patrick C. Meirick
This study drew on the literature in motivated reasoning and 2009 Pew survey data to examine the roles of partisanship, education, news exposure, and their interactions in the misperception that health care reform would create “death panels.” Radio news exposure encouraged the misperception only among Republicans, while newspaper exposure discouraged it, especially among non-Republicans. But rather than polarize perceptions along partisan lines as predicted, Fox News exposure contributed to misperception mainstreaming. Finally, this study identified a complex role for education in both inhibiting misperceptions (as a main effect) and promoting them (as an interaction with Fox News exposure).
Malentendido motivado? Partido, Educación, Noticias Partisan, y la creencia en “paneles de la muerte”
Patrick C. Meirick
Abstract Traducción español
Este estudio se basó en la literatura en el razonamiento motivado y 2009 datos de la encuesta Pew para examinar el papel de partidismo, la educación, la exposición a las noticias y sus interacciones en la percepción errónea de que la reforma de salud podría crear “paneles de la muerte.” Exposición de noticias Radio alentó a la percepción errónea sólo entre los republicanos, mientras que la exposición periódico desalentado, sobre todo entre los no republicanos. Pero en lugar de polarizar las percepciones a lo largo de líneas partidistas como se predijo, la exposición Fox News contribuyó a la incorporación percepción errónea. Por último, este estudio identificó un complejo papel de la educación en ambas percepciones erróneas inhibidoras (como efecto principal) y la promoción de las mismas (como una interacción con la exposición a Fox News).
He Wrote, She Wrote: Journalist Gender, Political Office, and Campaign News
This study examines the intersection of journalist gender and campaign news coverage across legislative and executive political offices in a gender-prominent context: mixed-gender elections—those with at least one woman and one man. Based on a content analysis of U.S. newspaper coverage, this study focuses on “masculinized” and “feminized” political issues and character traits, and explicit references that highlight a candidate’s novelty. Results revealed no direct relationship between journalist gender and news coverage; however, when type of office was considered, there were significant shifts and differences in the focus of coverage by female and male journalists.
Él escribió, She Wrote: Periodista de Género, Oficina Política y Noticias Política
Abstract Traducción español
Este estudio examina la intersección del género periodista y cobertura de noticias de la campaña a través de las oficinas políticas legislativas y ejecutivas en un contexto importante de género: las elecciones-los mixtos con al menos una mujer y un hombre. En base a un análisis de contenido de la cobertura de prensa EE.UU., este estudio se centra en “masculinizado” y “feminizadas” cuestiones políticas y rasgos de carácter, y las referencias explícitas que destacar la novedad de un candidato. Los resultados revelaron una relación directa entre el género periodista y la cobertura de noticias, sin embargo, cuando el tipo de la oficina era considerado, hubo cambios y las diferencias en el enfoque de la cobertura de periodistas mujeres y hombres importantes.
Identifying Antecedents of the Strategic Game Frame: A Longitudinal Analysis
Daniela V. Dimitrova and Petia Kostadinova
Although election news framing is a burgeoning area of research, empirical studies of what factors influence frame building remain rare, especially in non-Western countries. This study investigates the use of the strategic game frame and the relationship between that frame and system-level and organizational-level factors. The analysis focuses on the coverage of campaign news in six elite Bulgarian newspapers between 1990 and 2009. Results show that the type of electoral system, number of parties in government, and newspaper specialization are significant predictors of game frame use. The results are discussed in relation to framing research in Western Europe and the United States.
Identificar Antecedentes del Marco Estratégico del juego: Un análisis longitudinal
Daniela V. Dimitrova and Petia Kostadinova
Abstract Traducción español
Aunque las elecciones encuadre noticia es un área floreciente de la investigación, los estudios empíricos de los factores que influyen en edificio de madera siguen siendo poco frecuentes, especialmente en los países no occidentales. Este estudio investiga el uso de la trama del juego estratégico y la relación entre el marco y el sistema de niveles y factores a nivel organizacional. El análisis se centra en la cobertura de noticias sobre las elecciones en seis periódicos búlgaros élite entre 1990 y 2009. Los resultados muestran que el tipo de sistema electoral, el número de partidos en el gobierno, y la especialización periódico son predictores significativos del uso del juego del marco. Los resultados se discuten en relación a la elaboración de la investigación en Europa occidental y los Estados Unidos.
Images and Stereotypes
Imágenes y estereotipos
The Immigrant Muslim American at the Boundary of Insider and Outsider: Representations of Faisal Shahzad as “Homegrown” Terrorist
Angie Chuang and Robin Chin Roemer
Studies of Orientalized portrayals of Muslims have generally been distinct from studies on the Othering of immigrant Americans. This study employs concepts of insider/outsider status, applying theories of Orientalism and representations of the Other to newspaper coverage of the Muslim and Pakistani American perpetrator of the 2010 attempted Times Square bombing. Newspapers constructed a seemingly contradictory representation of Faisal Shahzad, as the apparent insider/American who becomes the alienated outsider/Other. This portrayal of the Orientalized insider establishes an emerging discourse on the “homegrown” terrorist who exists at the boundary of self and Other.
El estadounidense musulmana inmigrante en los límites de la empresa y Outsider: Las representaciones de Faisal Shahzad como “Homegrown” Terrorist
Angie Chuang and Robin Chin Roemer
Abstract Traducción español
Los estudios de representaciones orientalizada de los musulmanes en general han sido distintos de los estudios sobre la otredad de los inmigrantes estadounidenses. Este estudio emplea conceptos de estado interno / externo, la aplicación de las teorías del orientalismo y representaciones del Otro para la cobertura periodística del autor musulmán paquistaní estadounidense del bombardeo Square 2,010 intentos Times. Prensa construyen una representación aparentemente contradictoria de Faisal Shahzad, como la aparente insider / americano que se convierte en el outsider / Otros alienado. Esta interpretación de la información privilegiada orientalizada establece un discurso emergente sobre el terrorista “de cosecha propia” que existe en la frontera entre yo y el otro.
Writing the Wrong: Can Counter-Stereotypes Offset Negative Media Messages about African Americans?
Lanier Frush Holt
Several studies show media messages activate or exacerbate racial stereotypes. This analysis, however, may be the first to examine which types of information—those that directly contradict media messages (i.e., crime-related) or general news (i.e., non-crime-related)—are most effective in abating stereotypes. Its findings suggest fear of crime is becoming more a human fear, not just a racial one. Furthermore, it suggests that for younger Americans, the concomitant dyad of the black criminal stereotype—race and crime—is fueled more by crime than by race.
Escribir el mal: Puede contrarrestar los estereotipos de desplazamiento negativo Medios Mensajes sobre los afroamericanos?
Lanier Frush Holt
Abstract Traducción español
Varios estudios muestran mensajes de los medios activan o exacerban los estereotipos raciales. Este análisis, sin embargo, puede ser el primero en examinar qué tipos de información en los que los mensajes multimedia directamente contradicen (es decir, los delitos relacionados) o noticias en general (es decir, no la delincuencia relacionada)-son más eficaces para disminuir los estereotipos. Sus hallazgos sugieren temor a la delincuencia es cada vez más un temor humano, no sólo racial uno. Además, se sugiere que para los estadounidenses más jóvenes, la díada concomitante del estereotipo de la carrera negro criminal y el crimen-es alimentada más por el crimen de la raza.
New News Technology
Mobile News Adoption among Young Adults: Examining the Roles of Perceptions, News Consumption, and Media Usage
Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, Hyejoon Rim, and Amy Zerba
Using the frameworks of innovation diffusion and technology acceptance model, this study examines the predictors of mobile news consumption among young adults. The results show that the perceived relative advantage (especially content), utility, and ease of use of mobile news are positively related to its adoption. The young adults’ news consumption patterns and preferences, as well as media usage, all play a role in the adoption of mobile news. This study also validates the importance of examining the adoption outcome from multiple perspectives.
News Mobile adopción entre los adultos jóvenes: El examen de las funciones de percepción, Noticias de consumo y los medios de comunicación de uso
Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, Hyejoon Rim, and Amy Zerba
Abstract Traducción español
Uso de los marcos de difusión de la innovación y el modelo de aceptación de la tecnología, este estudio examina los factores predictivos de consumo móvil de noticias entre los adultos jóvenes. Los resultados muestran que la ventaja percibida relativa (sobre todo contenido), utilidad y facilidad de uso de la información por telefonía móvil se relacionan positivamente con su adopción. Los patrones de los jóvenes adultos de noticias y preferencias de consumo, así como de uso de los medios de comunicación, todos juegan un papel en la adopción de noticias móviles. Este estudio también confirma la importancia de examinar el resultado adopción desde múltiples perspectivas.
The Root of Journalistic Plagiarism: Contested Attribution Beliefs
Norman P. Lewis and Bu Zhong
Journalists condemn plagiarism, yet rarely acknowledge disagreements over attribution standards. To document and evaluate those differences, journalists in broadcasting and print operations were surveyed (N = 953). Respondents were far less willing to attribute press releases than they were their colleagues’ work. They were more likely to consider attribution optional if they were under pressure to produce, worked for a broadcast medium, were a content creator, were less experienced, or saw their principles as flexible. The findings reveal that attribution beliefs are far more pliant than ethics policies suggest and illuminate some of the reasons why plagiarism occurs.
La raíz del plagio periodística: Creencias Attribution impugnados
Norman P. Lewis and Bu Zhong
Abstract Traducción español
Periodistas condenan el plagio, pero rara vez se reconocen los desacuerdos sobre las normas de atribución. Para documentar y evaluar las diferencias, los periodistas de la radiodifusión y las operaciones de impresión fueron encuestados (N = 953). Los encuestados eran mucho menos dispuestos a atribuir notas de prensa de lo que eran el trabajo de sus colegas. Eran más propensos a considerar la atribución opcional si estaban bajo presión para producir, trabajaba para un medio de difusión, fueron un creador de contenido, eran menos experiencia, o vieron sus principios como flexible. Los resultados revelan que las creencias de atribución son mucho más flexibles que las políticas de ética sugieren e iluminan algunas de las razones por las que ocurre el plagio.
Agenda-setting in the beginning of the 1979 oil crisis: compelling arguments and public concern • Alberto Ardèvol-Abreu; Magdalena Saldaña, The University of Texas at Austin; Maxwell McCombs • Following the “compelling arguments” hypothesis, this study examines both first and second-level agenda-setting effects in the context of the 1979 oil crisis. Our results show the role of oil pricing, national oil market and nuclear energy as compelling arguments. Besides, our research suggests that arguments are not compelling per se: depending on who uses it, the same argument can be compelling or not. Members of Congress were the most credible sources.
It’s Who You Don’t Know: How Exposure to Online Social Influence on YouTube Affects Political Evaluations and Behavior • Matthew Barnidge, University of Wisconsin-Madison; ByungGu Lee, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Stephanie Jean Tsang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; D. Jasun Carr, Susquehanna University • The Internet exposes us to new and different forms of social influence. While many claims have been made about the “effects” of the Internet on politics and society, one of the most intuitively sensible claims about the Internet is this: The Internet exposes people to more indicators of what other people think. This study presents an experimental investigation into the effects of relatively impersonal indicators of social opinion on YouTube. Drawing from SIDE (Social Identity Depersonalization Effects) theory, as well as theories of information processing and evaluation, we examine the balance of user comments on YouTube and their influence on the persuasive effects of an online news story about a political scandal. Results reveals that exposure to social indicators that are incongruent with the original message can abate the persuasive effects of that message on political evaluations and behavior.
Emotion-provoking personalization of news: Informing citizens and closing the knowledge gap? • Ozen Bas, Indiana University; Maria Elizabeth Grabe, Indiana University • News that personalizes issues and elicits emotion are often dismissed as serious information. This experiment investigated the merits of this view through the knowledge gap hypothesis. Two versions (with/without emotional testimony of ordinary people) of eight television stories were tested. Emotional versions produced smaller knowledge gaps and the size of gaps varied across three memory measures. Unlike the inimical role traditionally assigned to emotion, these findings suggest a facilitative role for emotion in informing citizens.
Thinking about Others Online: The Relationship between Third Person and Hostile Media Perceptions • Pamela Brubaker, Brigham Young University • This study explores the relationship between hostile media and third person perceptions. Partisans (N = 760) who strongly supported and opposed the issue of legalizing same-sex marriage participated in an online experiment, which was made available to blog readers. Third person perceptions, particularly the influence on others with contrasting attitudes, proved a significant predictor of hostile perceptions, validating claims that the media’s perceived influence on others does indeed contribute to hostile perceptions of media coverage.
How do individuals develop attitude extremity in the new media environment? The interplay between the Internet, schemas, and information seeking • Doo-Hun Choi, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Michael Cacciatore; Michael Xenos; Dietram Scheufele, Department of Life Sciences Communication, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Dominique Brossard; Elizabeth Corley • Analyzing data from a nationally-representative online survey, this study explored the role of the Internet and schemas in seeking out information and forming individuals’ attitude toward nanotechnology. More specifically, we examined the interplay between the Internet, schemas, information seeking and their impact on attitude formation toward the issue. The results in the study showed that individuals rely on their schemas in order to seek out information for nanotechnology, and the Internet played a large role in promoting information seeking. More importantly, individuals who select schema-congruent information are more likely than those who select schema-incongruent information to have more extreme in their attitudes toward nanotechnology. This study also found that greater attitude extremity produced attitude polarization toward nanotechnology. Implications of these findings as they pertain to public understanding of science in democratic society are discussed in greater detail.
Functional Forms of Symbolic Crises in the News: Implications for Quantitative Research • Bryan Denham • With communication scholars relying heavily on linear statistical models such as ordinary least squares regression, the present study examined the possibility that logistic, logarithmic and quadratic functions would capture symbolic crises in the news more effectively, potentially helping to enhance quantitative research. Analyzing cases involving drug abuse, pedophilia, violence, music lyrics, and religious freedom, the study found the strongest support for logarithmic and quadratic representations of cumulative data distributions, consistent with the notion of volatile news events triggering dramatic and widespread coverage for a limited time. The study concludes that while quantitative researchers should not abandon linear regression techniques, situations do arise in which nonlinear tests may be more effective in capturing statistical relationships.
Knowledge Gaps on Social Media: Exploring Knowledge Inequality in Contemporary News Environments • Trevor Diehl, University of Texas, Austin • This study explored how social media for news might affect knowledge gaps. A secondary analysis of the Pew Center for the People and the Press 2012 Media Consumption Survey found evidence for knowledge gaps between education groups on social media. A comparison of multiple news sources found a gap between those that pay attention to news on social media and those that don’t. News sharing was associated with an increase in knowledge in some groups.
Mapping the News Landscape • Stephanie Edgerly, Northwestern University • This study explores how media users make sense of the high-choice news media environment. Using a multi dimensional approach, ten news organizations are mapped by the implicit thoughts a sample of college students uses to differentiate them. Results indicate a specialized news environment where each news organization occupies their own space on the map. The two dimensions of an organization’s political ideology (conservative-to-liberal) and orientation (normative-to-market) are used to interpret the map.
An Exploration of the Roots of the Gatekeeper Concept: What Can Network Theory Tell Us About the Shifting Role of Journalism in a Networked Media Ecology? • Thomas Ernste • The concept of gatekeepers as it has long been understood within journalism studies remains deeply intertwined with its now antiquated metaphorical meaning that sees news organizations as in control of public access to news. This paper describes how a conceptual shift towards understanding the gatekeeper concept instead in a network theory context which sees gatekeepers as central, boundary spanning network actors is useful for conceptualizing news and information gatekeeping in a networked media ecology.
Disuse, Misuse, and Abuse of Intercoder Reliability Indices in Communication • Charles Feng, Jinan University • Although intercoder reliability has been considered crucial to the validity of a content study, the choice among them has been controversial. This study analyzed all the content studies published in the two major communication journals that reported intercoder reliability, aiming to find how communication scholars conduct intercoder reliability test. The results revealed that some intercoder reliability indices were misused persistently concerning the levels of measurement, the number of coders, and the means of reporting reliability over the past 30 years. Implications of misuse, disuse, and abuse were discussed, and suggestions regarding proper choice of indices in various situations were made at last.
Social network ties and discussion attributes as antecedents of political discussion elaboration • Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Texas at Austin • Scores of research highlight the key role of political discussion for society’s democratic wellbeing establishing a conduit to a more deliberative democracy. More recently, academics have turned their attention to explore the different roles peoples’ discussion network attributes may have in promoting politically valuable and fruitful discussions. For instance, the strength of discussion ties (weak or strong), heterogeneity of discussion networks, exposure to disagreement, and the level of reasoning in peoples’ discussion have all, to some degree, been associated to different forms of political outcomes such as participation. Other scholars have expanded the notion of citizens’ discussion attributes by integrating discussion elaboration. Thus, the connection between discussion network attributes and political participation, or between discussion elaboration and political participation is not new. Less explored however is the connection of all these discussion attributes as antecedents of political discussion elaboration. Based on U.S. national crossectional data, results indicate strong-ties discussion is the strongest predictor for discussion elaboration. On the other hand, discussing public affairs with weak ties was a stronger predictor for citizens to discussing with people who reasoned their arguments, and also for being exposed to discussion with higher levels of disagreement, and with more heterogeneous networks. Structural equation modeling tests indicate that strong ties is both directly and indirectly related to political discussion elaboration. Conversely, the influence of weak-ties on political discussion elaboration is fully mediated by discussion network heterogeneity and reasoned discussions. Finally, exposure to disagreement seems to preclude individuals’ from cognitively elaborating upon the issues they discuss.
Political Consumption as Civic, Cooperative, and Contrived: Implications for Social Marketing • Melissa R. Gotlieb, Texas Tech University • A series of three studies demonstrate the factor structure and reliability (Study 1), convergent and discriminant validity (Study 2), and predictive validity (Study 3) of a scale measuring value-expressive, social-identification, and social-adjustive attitudes toward political consumption. The third study demonstrates the importance of fit between a strategic message appeal and individuals’ underlying attitude functions in the context of a fictitious student campaign to reduce bottled water consumption on campus. Theoretical and marketing implications are discussed.
Examining Mood, Anxiety, and Knowledge in the Process of Resisting Influence • Michel Haigh, Penn State University; Shelley Wigley, University of Texas at Arlington • This study examines the role mood and anxiety play in inoculation research, and employs a new method of coding concept maps and counterarguments. Results indicate mood impacts how inoculation messages are processed. Those in the inoculation condition feel more anxiety compared to controls. Those who receive inoculation messages use the content from the messages to counterargue as well as form new nodes in their associative networks.
Using the Theory of Reasoned Action to Study the Influence of News Media • Jennifer Hoewe, The Pennsylvania State University • This study attempts to situate the theory of reasoned action (TRA) as a viable method for studying the impact of news media on attitudes and behaviors. Using news stories about the building of an Islamic community center, results show the TRA provides a well-fitting model for examining news stories’ influences in an experimental context. The moderating variable of prior attitudes toward the news story’s subject may prove useful in future use of the TRA.
Consequences of Disagreement in Political Conversation: Iterative vs. Episodic Forms of Political Participatory Behaviors • Yangsun Hong, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Hernando Rojas, University of Wisconsin – Madison • In everyday life, people talk about political issues with others who may share or may not share their views. However, empirical studies in this area have produced a conundrum in terms of the relationship between disagreeable discussion and participation. Some recent studies suggest that distinguishing the types of participation considered would be helpful to shed light on this controversy. These studies argue that the relationship between discussion disagreement and participation is likely contingent on the type of participation in which people are involved. This study aims to contribute to the literature on the relationships between heterogeneous discussion and different types of participation. The focus of this article is to (a) analyze whether disagreeable political talk has different influences on varying types of participation (b) explore these relations in less stable democracy than have typically been considered by previous research.
Risk Communication Factors to Inform Theory: Risk Perception, Special Needs Populations, and Media Usage • Melissa Janoske, University of Maryland, College Park; Benjamin Sheppard, University of Maryland • There is no single conceptual framework that provides “the answer” to effectively communicating risk. There are, however, critical factors that all communicators and managers need to be aware of: publics’ perceptions, message content, unique risk characteristics, an understanding of special needs publics, and communication channels. This paper discusses those factors in detail through a deep discussion of the current literature, and offers best practices for communicators to utilize during each risk phase (preparedness, response, recovery).
Steer Clear or Get Ready: How Coping Styles Moderate the Effect of Informational Utility • Benjamin Johnson, The Ohio State University; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, The Ohio State University • An experiment (N = 414) with a 2x3x2 between-subjects design analyzed the effect of informational utility on selective exposure to online news stories. Individual differences in avoidant coping and problem-focused coping were tested as moderators of impacts of informational utility message characteristics on selective exposure. A positive main effect of informational utility intensity was found to result from the dimensions of magnitude, likelihood, and immediacy. The proposed fourth dimension, efficacy, did not yield a main effect or moderate the other message factors. However, coping styles demonstrated the proposed interactions. Individuals low on avoidant coping browsed messages with high informational utility longer, whereas avoidants did not. Those low on problem-focused coping spent more time with high-efficacy messages, and those high on problem-focus spent more time with low-efficacy messages.
Examining Warranting Theory toward use in non-interpersonal Computer-Medicated Communication (CMC) contexts • Eunsin Joo, Michigan State University • The concept of warrant has been used for many years in CMC settings. The principal objective of this paper is to evaluate and expand the scope of the warranting theory. The study examines the theoretical constructs of the warranting theory by using the criteria of theory such as explanatory power, predictive power, testability, parsimony, internal consistency, and heuristic provocativeness as well as its empirical applications in a variety of research realms (Chaffee & Berger, 1987; Heath & Bryan, 1992). The current applied research status and limitations of the theory are also discussed further to contribute future directions of the warranting theory in non-interpersonal CMC contexts.
Three-Stage Spiral of Silence in a Networked Society • Sang Chon Kim, University of Oklahoma • This paper reconsiders spiral of silence theory in the networked society by focusing on (1) changes in the media environment and (2) changes in audience psychology. First, This paper predicts that new media (e.g. the Internet) reduce the power of traditional mass media over audiences’ perceptions about public opinion, based on Jackob’s (2010) relational model between perceived use of alternative sources, media dependency, and trust in mass media. Interactivity theory supports that networked groups would not only reduce the power of mass media, but might also play a role as new opinion leaders. Second, this paper predicts that new media environment would change audiences’ psychology in responding to public opinions. Audiences would feel less fear of isolation when expressing their minority opinions, thanks to inherent natures of computer-mediated communication. In accordance with these potential changes affecting spirals of silence, this paper suggests a revised conceptual model, three-stage spiral of silence.
Linguistic Framing Versus Numeric Framing in Campaign Messages: Revisiting An Application of Prospect Theory in Communication Research • Sunny J. Kim, Cornell University • Prospect theory provides a framework to systematically construct gain- versus loss-framed messages. Communication researchers have utilized the framing postulate of prospect theory to encourage various kinds of behavioral and attitudinal responses. However, empirical findings on gain- versus loss-framing which predict distinct outcomes in accordance with theory have been mixed or undifferentiated. This paper traces the origins of prospect theory and examines how the theory has extended to message framing in a health communication context. We review the successes and limitations of prospect theory application, and propose a new way of incorporating prospect theory into message framing within the communication research field.
Predicting TV Channel Choice and Duration Using an Integrated Model of Media Choice • Su Jung Kim, Northwestern University; Vijay Viswanathan • This study examines how individual and structural factors of media choice impact TV channel choice and viewing time. Using Nielsen Korea’s TV-Internet Convergence data that electronically recorded television and Internet use behavior, we find that television channel choice is influenced by individual factors such as gratifications, age, and gender as well as structural factors like access, and cost. However, duration is largely affected by structural factors such as lead-in, and other media use.
Framing Healthcare: Frame Building and News Coverage of Who Is Responsible for Rising Healthcare Costs in the United States • Sei-Hill Kim; Andrea Tanner; Soo Yun Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Caroline Foster; Oh Sang-Hwa • Analyzing newspaper articles and television news transcripts, this study attempts to understand how the American news media have framed the question of who is responsible for rising healthcare costs in the United States. In particular, we explore the notion of frame building, looking at internal and external factors of news organizations that may influence the way the media frame the question of who is responsible. Findings indicate that frame building factors, such as organizational constraints (e.g., self-censorship), typical professional routines (e.g., episodic presentation of the issues), and political orientations of news organizations (e.g., conservative vs. liberal ideology), can affect the media’s selective use of frames.
Elaborative Processing that Matters: A Study of Factors Influencing Perceived Risks Related to Food and Medicine in South Korea • Hwalbin Kim, University of South Carolina; Sei-Hill Kim; Jeong-Heon JC Chang, Korea University; Jea Chul Shim, Korea University; Sang Hwa Oh, University of South Carolina • This study explores the effects of the media, interpersonal communication, and elaborative processing on perceived risks related to food and medicine safety in South Korea. The findings of the study show that media use such as TV and Internet news, interpersonal discussion, and elaborative processing are positively associated with perceived risks related to food and medicine. More importantly, the effects of newspaper, SNS, and interpersonal discussion on perceived risks were moderated by elaborative processing.
Examining the Intertextuality of Fictional Political Comedy and Real-World Political News • Kristen Landreville; Heather LaMarre • This study examines effects of viewing a fictional, comedic political film on political discussion intent about a related news article. In an experiment, participants watched the political comedy Man of the Year or a control film, and then read a politically-relevant news article on electronic voting. Beyond direct effects, the mediating influence of elaboration about the politically-relevant news article on discussion intent was analyzed. Results revealed no main effect of political comedy viewing on discussion intent, and no mediating effect of elaboration either. However, viewing the comedic political film was associated with higher levels of elaboration about the related news article, which shows evidence of intertextuality among media texts. Moreover, perceived external realism of the fictional, comedic political film was a significant positive predictor of discussion intent about the news article. Results also showed perceived external realism about the fictional, comedic political film to be a nearly significant moderator of the elaboration and discussion intent relationship. A broader discussion regarding the theoretical and practical implications of the findings is included.
Visual Context of Message Content: A Re-evaluation of Component Separation in the Elaboration Likelihood Model • Allison Lazard, The University of Texas at Austin; Lucy Atkinson, The University of Texas at Austin; Michael Mackert, The University of Texas at Austin • Visually rich persuasive messages have a pervasive presence in our society, creating an impetus for increased theoretical research to understand the role of visuals in information processing. The Elaboration Likelihood Model, which highlights critical stages for the decision to elaborate via two different processing routes, provides a theoretical framework that should be adapted to include the prevalent and influential role of visual context, visual deign, and visual processing in the evaluation of persuasive messages.
Does Motivation Make a Difference in Agenda-Setting Effects? • Na Yeon Lee, University of Texas at Austin • By employing laboratory experiment, this study examined the role of the two different motivations on agenda-setting effects: one is the need for orientation (NFO), which is traditionally regarded as the most important factor to explain individual differences in agenda-setting research, and the other is accuracy or directional goals introduced by the theory of motivated reasoning. Confirming previous findings, NFO was found to be the single most positive predictor for agenda-setting effects. Interestingly, the influence of NFO on agenda-setting effects was moderated by the types of motivational goals (accuracy vs. directional) that individuals employ when seeking information. Individuals with accuracy goals plus high levels of NFO demonstrated agenda-setting effects that were higher than for individuals with directional goals. Contrary to predictions of this study, individuals’ types of motivational goals (accuracy vs. directional) alone were not found to be a significant predictor. This study contributes to agenda-setting research by elaborating the role of NFO on agenda- setting effects and by proposing that while the media’s role of consensus building may be constrained, especially in a digital media era, those constraints may not likely apply broadly to entire audiences but, instead, may be limited mostly to individuals who tend to exercise selective exposure relative to their own particular issues: namely, those who generally employ directional goals.
Investigating the relationship between social media use and opinion polarization • Jae Kook Lee, Indiana University School of Journalism; Jihyang Choi, Indiana University School of Journalism; Cheonsoo Kim, Indiana University School of Journalism; Yonghwan Kim, University of Alabama • Conflicting arguments and findings have been reported about whether or not the use of new media would result in an increase in people’s exposure to diverse views and, if so, what the political consequences of encounters with dissimilar people and perspectives would be. This study tackles these issues by investigating the relationship between the social media use, the heterogeneity of social networks and the level of opinion polarization in the context of social network services (SNSs). Employing a national probability survey, this study shows that the use of SNSs is a positive predictor of network heterogeneity on SNSs. The study also found that the frequency of SNSs use does not directly affect the level of network heterogeneity, but that the relationship is mediated by several news-related activities, such as getting news, news posting, and talking about politics on SNSs. To explore the influence of the level of SNSs network heterogeneity on polarization, the study considered three different dimensions of opinion polarization: partisan, ideological, and issue polarization. The findings indicate that political discussion moderates the relationship between SNS network heterogeneity and the level of polarization; a higher level of SNS network heterogeneity results in a higher level of partisanship and ideological polarization for individuals who talk about politics more frequently. The implications of the study are discussed.
Revisiting Opinion Leadership in the Online World: A Structural Equation Modeling Approach • Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas; Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas • Opinion leadership is an important topic in marketing and communication research. Based on a survey of 7,025 U.S. consumers, this study examines the characteristics of online opinion leaders, and investigates the association between online and offline opinion leadership and activism. Online opinion leadership is predicted by the use of interactive online media, offline opening leadership, and offline activism. Use of online informational media is not directly linked to online opinion leadership.
Motivated Processing of Anger and Disgust In Anti-Tobacco Video Advertisements • Glenn Leshner, University of Missouri; Russell Clayton, University of Missouri; Manu Bhandari, University of Missouri; Paul Bolls • The purpose of this study was to explore the effects of two message attributes of anti-tobacco video ads on cognitive processing. The two message attributes were tobacco industry attacks (anger) and disgusting images. Industry attack ads were adapted from the American Legacy Foundation anti-tobacco campaign, which showed tobacco company executives as deceitful, dishonest, and manipulative. A 2 (anger: high/low) x 2 (disgust: present/absent) x 3 (message replication) x 4 (message order) mixed model repeated measures experiment was conducted. Participants (N=49), viewed 12, 30-s messages. Self-reports of emotional valence and arousal were collected. Heart rate, a physiological indicator of cognitive resources allocated to encoding, was collected for a five second baseline prior to each message and was time-locked during exposure to the messages. Participants also completed an audio recognition test. Results strongly indicate that HR deceleration occurred most for messages featuring anger or disgust related content, but decelerated least for messages that contained both anger and disgust content. Audio recognition data, including signal detection analyses, showed that recognition worsened for messages that contained both anger and disgust on both accuracy and sensitivity. In addition, participants were least confident in their responses to messages that contained both. Self-reports showed that both anger and disgust content showed strong aversive system activation, while anger showed small appetitive activation. These findings indicate that messages high in both anger and disgust showed signs of cognitive withdrawal and descent into a defensive cascade reflective of defensive processing and message responses.
The Mediating Role of Prior Knowledge in Framing Effects: An Experimental Study of Responses to Valenced Frames • Chen Lou, Michigan State University; Carson Wagner, EW Scripps School of Journalism, Ohio University; Eunsin Joo, Michigan State University • An experiment was run to detect whether prior knowledge about a subject mediates framing effects. A considerable number of framing studies have claimed media effects on audiences without examining audience responses and/or disentangling different confounding variables from media frames. Prior knowledge among other factors has been suggested as an entry point for testing if various frames indeed affect audiences, as assumed when effects are claimed but no audience data are taken. This study examines how media frames affect audience attitudes by manipulating prior knowledge in a laboratory experiment.
Toward a Cognitive-affective Process Model of Hostile Media Perceptions: A Multi-Country Structural Equation Modeling Approach • Jorg Matthes, U of Vienna; Audun Beyer, University of Oslo, Norway • This paper develops and tests a theoretical cognitive-affective process model of the hostile media effect (HME). To explain the HME, scholars have mainly focused on cognitive involvement, i.e., the extent to which an issue is of personal importance. By contrast, we introduce the notion of affective involvement and hypothesize three distinct routes responsible for an HMP: a cognitive, an affective, and a cognitive-affective route. Simultaneously collected representative survey data from the U.S., Norway, and France employing country-invariant measures provide clear evidence that the three routes each and independently drive the HMP. Theoretical and methodological implications of these findings are discussed.
Combining the Situational Theory of Publics and Theory of Reasoned Action to Explore Nonprofit Support: A Replication • Brooke W. McKeever, University of South Carolina; Geah Pressgrove, University of South Carolina; Yue Zheng, University of South Carolina • Through replication with a nationally-based respondent pool (N=1,539) and extension of programmatic research aimed at understanding the intersection of the situational theory of publics and theory of reasoned action, this study provides early empirical support for a possible Theory of Situational Support with a new criterion variable. By combining variables from both theories, predictive power of the model is improved when measured in the context of nonprofit fundraising events. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
In the mood to search: A conceptual examination of how emotions influence health information seeking • Jessica Myrick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This paper argues that theory development in health information seeking is currently stunted because the field has not fully explored concepts from the literature on emotions. The basics of emotion theory and connections with health information seeking are presented. This paper also encourages scholars to examine emotions in addition to anxiety/fear as search motivators. The argument is made that theory is lacking on the topics of how people search for health information and what happens after those searches.
Fearing a threat but hoping for the best: Revising the Extended Parallel Process Model based on emotion theory • Jessica Myrick, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • For more than two decades, the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) has guided research on fear appeals. However, theories of emotions and empirical evidence point to important conceptual modifications that would improve the EPPM’s explanatory power. This paper proposes six revisions to the EPPM and presents initial experimental data to test the propositions. The data largely support the propositions and point to future work to further develop theories of fear appeals.
Modeling a Participatory Campaign Communication: Communication Mediation and Anti-smoking Behavioral Intention • Kang Namkoong, University of Kentucky; Seungahn Nah, University of Kentucky; Rachael Record, University of Kentucky; Stephanie Van Stee, University of Kentucky • Drawing on the theory of planned behavior (TPB; e.g., Ajzen, 1985, 1988, 1991) with a communication mediation model (McLeod et al., 1996; McLeod, Scheufele, & Moy, 1999; Shah, Cho et al., 2007; Shah, McLeod et al., 2007), this study examines direct and indirect effects of a community-based participatory campaign on anti-smoking behavioral intention and how communications mediate the participatory campaign process. Through an experimental design with randomization, the study affirms that the TPB is an effective model to predict anti-smoking behavioral intention. Furthermore, it finds that communication does mediate the effects of the participatory campaign intervention on anti-smoking outcomes, which is well suited to the theory of planned behavior.
Online Advertisements and Conceptual Implicit Memory: Advances in Theory and Methodology • Temple Northup, University of Houston • Three experiments were conducted to further our understanding, both theoretically and methodologically, of conceptual implicit memory within the advertising context. Results suggest that not only is providing specific encoding instructions not necessary to induce conceptual or semantic processing, but also that there were no differences based on whether the experimental procedure was conducted in a laboratory or online. Together, these results have implications for increasing the ecological validity of this type of research.
How does Interactivity persuade? An Experimental Test of Interactivity on Cognitive Absorption, Elaboration, and Attitudes • Jeeyun Oh, Penn State University; S. Shyam Sundar, The Pennsylvania State University • It is generally assumed that interactivity can create higher involvement in interacting with media. However, it is debatable whether this heightened degree of user activity can translate into engagement with content, and further, whether it can influence persuasion outcomes. This paper examines whether two different types of website interactivity can motivate users to cognitively engage with anti-smoking messages. A 3 (Message interactivity: High vs. Medium vs. Low) X 2 (Modality Interactivity: Slider vs. Control) factorial-design lab experiment was performed to test the persuasive effects of interactivity on the stimulus website (N = 167). Results showed that Modality interactivity led to more positive interface assessment and greater cognitive absorption. These two factors, in turn, contributed to more favorable attitudes toward the website and even toward the anti-smoking messages. The presence of slider interaction technique significantly reduced the amount of message-related thoughts after browsing. In contrast, message interactivity enhanced message elaboration for participants, especially those with low involvement in the message topic. Theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Aljazeera and The Hostile Media Effect: Credibility and Interactivity • Eisa Al Nashmi, Kuwait University; David Painter, Full Sail University; Jessica Mahone, University of Florida • Based on the hostile media effect theory, this experimental investigation manipulated source attribution to determine how receiver characteristics affected credibility and interactivity. Although the reports’ content was identical, the results indicate Aljazeera was perceived as less credible than CNN, especially among those with unfavorable Arab attitudes and high Arab interest. The results also suggest partisanship, involvement, and source, key elements of the hostile media effect, may trigger increased use of the Internet’s interactive features.
Seeking the Sweet Spot: Optimal combinations of gain-loss and motivational frames to promote vaccination during an epidemic • Eun Park • To investigate ways to maximize the effects of message frames in health campaigns for promoting vaccination in an epidemic, this study tested effects of message combinations of gain- and loss-frames and motivational frames, which include intrinsic and extrinsic goal frames in self-determination theory. The study also attempted to examine the moderating role of level of issue involvement. An experiment using a 2 (frame: gain and loss) x 2 (motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic) x 2 (issue involvement: high and low) x 4 (multiple messages) x 2 (order) mixed subject design was conducted. The results showed that motivation plays more of a leading role in igniting positive attitude and intention toward vaccination than gain-loss frames. To be specific, a message combination of gain frame and intrinsic motivation was superior to other kinds of combinations in terms of promoting vaccination.
Effect of Vocal Similarity on Automatic Attention to Voice Changes: Experimental Results and Industry Implications • Robert F. Potter, Indiana University; Edgar Jamison-Koenig, Indiana University; Teresa Lynch, Indiana University; Matthew Falk, Indiana University; Sharon Mayell, Indiana University; Katherine Krizan, Indiana University • Past research has shown that when one speaker is replaced by another in an auditory message listeners exhibit an orienting response identified by a specific pattern of cardiac deceleration. The orienting response is thought to provide an automatic allocation of processing resources to the encoding of the new voice in the auditory environment. To date, no one has investigated how the tonal similarities of the voices making up the formal feature of the voice change impacts orienting or information processing of the message. A 3 (Vocal Difference) x 2 (Location of Voice Change) x 2 (Repetitions) within subjects experiment was designed to explore this issue. Four non-professional speakers were selected based on their levels of vocal difference and produced twelve radio announcements. These announcements were then edited so that there were Low-, Medium-, and High-Vocal Difference voice changes occurring either in in the first or last 20-seconds of the message. Seventy-four subjects listened to the stimuli individually and had their heart rate data recorded time-locked to the media presentation. After a distraction task, recognition memory measures were taken. Results show that the tonal difference between voices does have an impact on both cardiac orienting and recognition memory for message audio. Furthermore, results suggest a change in processing strategy among listeners over the course of the sixty-second messages. Implications for message producers are provided.
A Historical Test of Media System Dependency: Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane’s Experiment in Press Freedom • Andrew Pritchard • The relatively isolated circumstances of colonial Australia provide a natural laboratory for applying media system dependency theory following the end of government restrictions on the press. Quantitative content analysis of newspapers suggests publishers were more concerned with exploiting the end of their dependence on the government as censor than with minimizing their remaining dependence on the government as advertiser. Additionally, the analysis demonstrates the importance of accounting for unique historical circumstances in MSD theorizing.
Studying Facebook: The ethics of drawing a sample in the networked age • Sue Robinson, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Manisha Shelat, University of Wisconsin-Madison; David Wilcox • This article documents the benefits, limitations and ethics of using Facebook as a sampling frame for research. Drawing a sample from 102 journals and 13 disciplines, this research found the social networking site (SNS) comprises a site of inquiry, sample and methodological technique all in one. Although student surveys dominated as the primary tool for half our sample, this evidence showed nine other approaches, some very innovative. However few (4%) considered the public-versus-private and other ethical conundrums regarding data mining on Facebook sites. None fully capitalized on the networked opportunities innate in the SNS. Creating a working typology from a sampling of projects, this study discusses the ethics around visibility, replicability, traceability, sampling, contiguity of research space and the notion of informed consent in drawing a sample from Facebook and provides recommendations for scholars.
Introducing a Software-Based Method to Assess and Manipulate Visual Attention: Feasibility and Initial Validation • Lelia Samson, Indiana University; Erick Janssen • This article introduces a newly developed, software-based method to assess and manipulate visual attention. The method uses circular, transparent outlines (or ‘bubbles’) that move over the content of visual stimuli (e.g., images, video). To evaluate the feasibility and validity of this new method, a sample of 50 men was presented with same- and opposite-sex erotic stimuli in self-directed and manipulated visual attention conditions while their psychophysiological responses were recorded. Participants were instructed to select a bubble of their choice by using a computer mouse which kept selected content visible while the rest of the screen was dimmed. Only one bubble was made available during conditions in which visual attention was manipulated. Findings revealed that participants could successfully perform the experimental task and that their spontaneous, or self-directed, visual focus was consistent with their sexual orientation, as has been found in previous research. Furthermore, the new method successfully manipulated visual attention, which was reflected in the participants’ psychophysiological response patterns. The benefits of the newly developed application include the ability to measure and direct visual focus in multiple participants at a time. The advantages of using this method in communication, marketing, and other social science research are discussed.
Heuristic-systematic processing and the third-person perception of persuasive messages • Lelia Samson, Indiana University; Robert F. Potter, Indiana University • This study focuses on the cognitive processes underlying third-person perception (TPP), providing a more comprehensive understanding of how this robust media effect occurs. It provides empirical evidence suggesting that individual perception of the likely influence of media messages on self and on others adheres to the conceptualizations suggested by Chaiken’s Heuristic-Systematic Model (HSM; Chaiken, 1980; 1987; Eagly & Chaiken, 1993). The HSM claims that mental shortcuts activated during heuristic processing have the economic advantage of requiring comparatively little cognitive effort and time. We use this claim to guide hypotheses about response latency to questions about perceived influence of the persuasive messages. Participants (N = 151) were randomly assigned to a condition priming systematic processing or to a condition with no such prime. They then watched a series of 10 television ads, providing appraisals of their effect on self and on others after each. Response latency data were also collected for each appraisal. Results support an HSM-like process underlying the third-person perceptions, with subjects in the no-priming condition providing quicker responses overall, and shorter response latency in all participants when estimating the impact of persuasive messages on others than on themselves, indicative of greater heuristic processing.
The Peripheral Elaboration Model: How Incidental News Exposure Predicts Political Participation • Syed Saif Shahin, School of Journalism, University of Texas at Austin; Magdalena Saldaña, The University of Texas at Austin; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Texas at Austin • Using U.S. two-wave-panel-data, this paper proposes a model to explain the mechanism through which incidental news exposure leads to political participation. It shows that heuristic cues in news items can trigger cognitive elaboration among media users, leading them to reflect on the news they stumble upon, even when they were not motivated to use the media for news and learning. Such “peripheral” elaboration mediates the positive link between incidental news exposure and political participation.
Reframing Gatekeeping: Proposing a Theoretical Link between Gatekeeping and Framing • Edson Tandoc, University of Missouri-Columbia • Framing and gatekeeping are common keywords in journalism research, yet their theoretical intersection has not been sufficiently explored. From qualitative interviews with newspaper and online journalists, this study explores influences on framing in the news and locates framing within the gatekeeping process. Frames influence whether or not a message passes a gate as much as they are also outputs of the gatekeeping process themselves.
The Facebook Experience: A phenomenology of Facebook use • Edson Tandoc, University of Missouri-Columbia; Patrick Ferrucci, U of Missouri • Based on the diaries and interviews of five Facebook users, we found that the phenomenology of Facebook use can be divided into three phases: managing intentions, experiencing the consequences of actions, and feeling a range of emotions. We propose that the theoretical framework we found in this study—of understanding the experience of Facebook as an experience of varying degrees of personal control—can be applied to understanding other social experiences as well.
Mapping an Audience Centric World Wide Web: A Departure from Hyperlink Analysis • Harsh Taneja • Studies of the hyperlink structure of the World Wide Web reveal a highly centralized core-periphery structure, with sites from developed nations at the center and those from the developing world at the periphery. This paper argues that hyperlinks merely reflect how the Web is structured by webmasters, and may play little role in structuring navigation pattern of web users, which may be driven by other cultural factors. To test this thesis, two networks of 1000 globally most popular Web Domains are constructed, one where ties are based on hyperlinks and the other using an “audience centric” approach with ties based on duplicated audience traffic between these domains. Analyses of the two networks reveal that unlike the centralized core-periphery structure suggested by hyperlink analysis, cultural factors such as language and geography drive actual audience flows resulting in a highly decentralized clustered network.
Finding Political Opinion Leaders in Both Online and Offline Environments • Stephanie Jean Tsang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Hernando Rojas, University of Wisconsin – Madison • Most studies on opinion leaders in our field applied the personality strength scale developed by Noelle-Neumann (1983). However, such general scale might not be as helpful in predicting opinion leaders with regard to politics and current issues. Moreover, with the rise of online information seeking and giving, it is essential to examine whether our existing scales are capable of spotting the digital opinion leaders with regard to politics. Utilizing survey data collected in Colombia in 2012 (N = 1031), our findings suggest that the personality strength scale informs us little about political opinion leaders both offline and online, when compared to the issue-specific scale developed by Childer (1986). The theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.
Testing a model of sexual health information seeking via text messaging • Jessica Fitts Willoughby, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill • Text message services are becoming an increasingly popular way to disseminate health information. A theory of information seeking through text messaging is posited based on previous theory and tested with adolescents (n=870). Intentions to use a text message service for sexual health information were influenced by an adolescents’ uncertainty discrepancy, affect, and evaluations related to the service (e.g., attitudes, credibility), although efficacy evaluations did not have a direct effect on intent. Implications are discussed.
Giving and Receiving Emotional Support Online: Communication Competence as a Moderator of Psychosocial Benefits for Women with Breast Cancer • Woohyun Yoo, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Kang Namkoong, University of Kentucky; Mina Choi, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Dhavan Shah; Stephanie Jean Tsang, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Yangsun Hong, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Michael Aguilar; David Gustafson • This study examines the moderating role of emotional communication competence in the relationship between computer-mediated social support (CMSS) group participation, specifically giving and receiving emotional support, and psychological health outcomes. Data were collected as part of randomized clinical trials for women diagnosed with breast cancer within the last 2 months. Expression and reception of emotional support was assessed by tracking and coding the 18,064 messages that 236 patients posted and read in CMSS groups. The final data used in the analysis was created by merging (a) computer-aided content analysis of discussion posts, (b) action log data analysis of system usage, and (c) baseline and six-month surveys collected to assess change. Results of this study demonstrate that emotional communication competence moderates the effects of expression and reception of emotional support on psychological quality of life and breast cancer-related concerns in both desired and undesired ways. Giving and receiving emotional support in CMSS groups has positive effects on emotional well-being for breast cancer patients with higher emotional communication, while the same exchanges have detrimental impacts on emotional well-being for those with lower emotional communication competence. The theoretical and practical implications for future research are discussed.
Examining Signs of Recovery: How Senior Crisis Communicators Define Organizational Crisis Recovery • Lucinda Austin, Elon University; Brooke Fisher Liu; Yan Jin • Through 20 in-depth interviews with senior crisis communicators, this study explores how crisis recovery is defined and what role organizational communication, organizational characteristics, and publics play. Findings reveal recovery is measured operationally and short-term. Effective communication principles include proactively addressing failures, being transparent/honest while mostly positive, focusing on future directions, and rebuilding/repairing symbolic damage. Organizational best practices include tested values and crisis leadership. Lastly, publics can facilitate healing, highlight victims’ voices, and provide recovery evidence.
Crisis Communication and Organizational-Centered Situational Considerations for Management • Elizabeth Avery, University of Tennessee; Melissa Graham, University of Tennessee • Survey data collected from local government officials (n=307) from municipalities across the United States identify how unique situational factors, particularly challenges and opportunities within organizations and their operating environments, affect crisis management. This study is a first step in establishing crisis models for various crisis types sensitive to unique organizationally-centered crisis management challenges. Results indicate that partnerships with outside agencies were extremely important in successfully managing a crisis. Implications and importance of findings are discussed.
The Role of Relationships in Public Broadcasting Fundraising • Joshua Bentley, University of Oklahoma; Namkee Park • This study tested the link between how audience members’ perceive their relationship with public broadcasting stations and their intention to donate to public broadcasting. A survey of 348 audience members was conducted. Structural equation modeling revealed a positive relationship between organization-public relationships (OPR; Hon & Grunig, 1999; Ledingham, 2006) and donation intention. The model also showed that parasocial interaction (Horton & Wohl, 1956; Rubin, 2009) directly affected OPR and indirectly affected donation intentions.
When and how do publics engage with nonprofit organizations through social media? A content analysis of organizational message strategies and public engagement with organizational Facebook pages • Moonhee Cho, University of South Florida; Tiffany Schweickart, University of South Florida; Abigail Haase, University of South Florida • The purpose of the study is 1) to investigate message strategies of nonprofits’ Facebook postings and 2) to examine the levels of public engagement based upon the message strategies. The study found that nonprofit organizations use Facebook to disseminate information rather than employ two-way interactions with their publics. The study also found that publics demonstrate high levels of engagement with organizational messages based on two-way symmetry, compared to public information or two-way asymmetrical messages.
Support for a Social Capital Theory of PR via Putnam’s Civic Engagement and PR Roles • Melissa Dodd, University of Central Florida; John Brummette, Radford University; Vincent Hazleton, Radford University • A social capital approach to public relations suggests public relations professionals serve as brokers of social resources on behalf of organizations. Putnam’s conceptualization suggests that civic engagement behaviors serve as surrogate measures of social capital. Results support a social capital approach such that data indicated public relations professionals are more likely to participate in civic engagement behaviors than the general U.S. population. Further, differences were found for manager/technician roles for subcategories of civic engagement behaviors.
Taking on the Bear: Public Relations Leaders Discuss Russian Challenges • Elina Erzikova, Central Michigan University • This study focuses on challenges that hamper the development of public relations in Russia, and possible approaches to mitigate the problems. Through a series of in-depth interviews, 13 leading public relations practitioners indicated that misinterpretation of the public relations function by a variety of publics and a low level of professionalism among practitioners are the most pressing issues the industry faces today. Societal factors such a public distrust in the government and a newly emerged culture of glamour intensify the problems. Participants viewed education in a broad sense (e.g., improving university public relations curricula and enlightening masses and the elites about normative public relations) as an opportunity to resist encroachment into public relations from top management, increase social legitimacy of the occupation and help various organizations meet challenges of globalization.
Replication in Public Relations Research: A 20-Year Review • Osenkor Gogo, University of Georgia; Zifei Chen, University of Georgia; Bryan Reber, University of Georgia • This study investigates replication trends in public relations research over the span of 20 years (1993 – 2012). Through content analysis, 2,038 research articles from three leading public relations and communication journals were examined: Journal of Public Relations Research, Public Relations Review, and Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly. With 14 replications found, our results indicate that replication studies were seldom published in the public relations literature over the examined timeframe. A majority of replications found were extensions, most replications supported the original findings, and research related to the practice of public relations was the most commonly found. Also, interest in replicating public relations research extended beyond the field. The implications of our findings, including possible explanations for the state of replication in public relations research, as well as potential solutions, are discussed.
Comparing the Two Sides of Perception of Crisis Management Strategies: Applying the Co-orientation Model to Crisis Management-Related Beliefs of Public Relations Agencies and Clients • Jin Hong Ha; Jun Heo, University of Southern Mississippi • This exploratory study found that public relations agencies and clients are in agreement on the perceptions of all crisis management strategies (understanding, manual, prevention, responding, communicating, and rebuilding). Second, agency practitioners are more likely to perceive agreement on two crisis management strategies (manual and responding) than do clients. Third, agency practitioners’ perceptions are inaccurate on 5 of the 6 factors (understanding, manual, prevention, responding, and rebuilding); clients are accurate on all factors.
Ideographs and the Strategic Communicator: The Case of U.S. Air Force Leadership Training Material • Phillip Hutchison, University of Kentucky • This case study employs rhetorical theory to highlight some of the easily overlooked ways in which organizational politics complicate the relationship between Public Relations and Strategic Communication. The study focuses on how ambiguous, value-laden language usage in organizational training programs can shape strategic meaning in ways that are not consciously intended and occasionally are dysfunctional. The author explains how such problems easily can spill over into Public Relations products and undermine internal and external communication.
Strategic Social Media Management and Public Relations Leadership: Insights from Industry Leaders • Yi Luo, Montclair State University; Hua Jiang, S. I. Newhouse of Public Communications, Syracuse University; Owen Kulemeka • Public relations leadership is an emerging field in the phase of defining its distinctive dimensions and analyzing the role it plays in organizations’ overall strategic planning and decision making. Based on 43 in-depth interviews with public relations leaders working in diverse for-profit companies and nonprofits, this study explored how the use of social media by those leaders helped them demonstrate expert power, gain decision-making power, and establish leadership among peer leaders/managers within the same organizations.
Conflict? What Work-Life Conflict? A National Study of Future Public Relations Practitioners • Hua Jiang, S. I. Newhouse of Public Communications, Syracuse University; Hongmei Shen, San Diego State University • Using a national random sample of PRSSA members (N = 464), this study explored public relations students’ perceptions of work-life conflict and tested a structural model with expected family-supportive organizational work environment and anticipated supervisory support as predictors, expected work-life conflict as a mediating variable, and projected salary as an outcome. Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) analysis, one-way ANOVAs, and descriptive analysis were conducted. Theoretical and practical implications of the study were discussed.
An assessment of progress in research on international public relations: from 2000 to 2011 • Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama; Lan Ye, SUNY College at Cortland • This study investigates the trends, patterns and rigors of research studies on international public relations by conducting a content analysis of peer reviewed journals between 2000 and 2011. A total of 144 articles examined and information for each article was recorded, including journal name, publication year, country examined, authorship, theoretical application, method approach, and future research direction. While the number of articles addressing the topic has steadily increased, the field is still under-researched.
Decomposing Impression from Attitude in Relationship Management • Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama; Elmie Nekmat • This study sets forth to expand relationship management research by testing the linkages among relationship quality perception, perceived organization impression, attitude, and behavioral intention across customers of five major banks. Perceived relational quality, individual attitude, and organizational impression significantly affected supportive behaviors. This study also found that perceived relational quality and organizational impression are also important predictors of attitude.
How Spokesperson Rank and Selected Media Channels Impact Perceptions in Crisis Communication • Jieun Lee, KPR & Associates, Inc.; Sora Kim, University of Florida; Emma Wertz, Kennesaw State University • This study examined the impact of spokesperson’s rank and selected media channels in crisis communication by employing different ranks (i.e., CEO and communication director spokespersons) and media channels (blogs, websites, and newspapers). Findings indicated that CEO spokespersons were more effective in terms of lowering publics’ crisis responsibility attributions than communication director spokespersons and that blogs were more effective in lowering crisis responsibility attributions than websites and newspapers.
How employees identify with their organizations in Korea: Effects of internal communication, organizational social capital, and employee-organization relationships • Daewook Kim, Texas Tech University; Soo-Yeon Kim, Sogang University • This study explores how employees identify with their organizations in the Korean context by examining the effects of internal communication, organizational social capital, and quality of employee-organization relationships. The results of this study showed that two-way and symmetrical internal communication were not significantly associated with organizational social capital and employee-organization identification. However, symmetrical internal communication and organizational social capital were positively associated with employee-organization relationships. Thus, employee-organization relationships mediated the relationships among symmetrical internal communication, organizational social capital, and employee-organization identification. The findings of this study suggest that symmetrical internal communication and organizational social capital play a critical role in building and maintaining healthy employee-organization relationships, and emphasize the role of managing employee-organization relationships in enhancing employee-organization identification in the Korean context.
Strategic Choice of CSR Initiatives: Impact of Reputation and CSR Fit on Stakeholder • Yeonsoo Kim, Weber State University • In order to provide insight on under which conditions CSR practices generate mutually beneficial outcomes for businesses and stakeholders, this study examined how corporate reputation interacts with CSR fit and influences attribution tendency, formation of attitudes and intent among stakeholders. The findings confirmed that corporate reputation is a top-level factor for organizations to achieve a sustained competitive advantage. For reputable companies, respondents perceived the motives more positively, showed better attitudes, and reported favorable supportive intent and purchase intent across different CSR fit situations. This study found that the effects of fit considerably differ by corporate reputation. Reputable companies’ high-fit programs lower stakeholders’ skeptical attribution toward the CSR. Attitudes toward the company were not influenced by different CSR fits. When bad reputation companies used high-fitting initiatives, respondents tended to show the weakest supportive intentions, meaning possible backlash effects. Reputable companies’ high-fitting programs engendered the most favorable purchase intentions. Such high-fitting programs produced backlash effects for companies with a poor reputation and with the weakest purchase intentions. A significant role of stakeholder skepticism on attitudes and behavioral intentions was found.
Compassion International & Pinterest: A Case Study • Carolyn Kim, Biola University; John Keeler, Regent University • This study examines Compassion International’s Pinterest account as a vanguard example of how organizations can utilize Pinterest to engage Brand Communities and as a result, steward relationships with existing and potential donors.
Public Fear Contagion: Testing Lay and Educated Publics’ Information Behaviors and Problem Chain Recognition Effect • Arunima Krishna; Jeong-Nam Kim, Purdue University • This study investigates publics’ communicative behaviors about emerging food technologies using the situational theory of problem solving, tests the Problem Chain Recognition Effect from a salient food risk to new food technologies, and show similarities/differences between expert/educated and lay publics’ behaviors and cognitions about food risks. The results help understand communication behaviors of publics regarding new food technologies, and delineate similarities/differences in predicted behaviors of expert/educated and lay publics. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Socially Mediated Democracy? Investigating Twitter as a digital pubic relations campaign tool • Heather LaMarre, University of Minnesota; Yoshi Suzuki • This study examines the effectiveness of Twitter as a public relations communications tool for congressional campaigns. As a means of examining Twitter’s effectiveness in mobilizing voters, congressional candidate and political party Twitter use for all 435 U.S. House of Representatives races (N = 1284) are compared with 2010 election outcomes. Results indicate that Twitter use is an effective means of developing relationships with publics and mobilizing voters in support of political candidates. Among the campaigns that used Twitter to develop effective relationships with their publics, increased levels of Twitter use significantly predicted increased odds of winning.
How public relations practitioners initiate relationships with journalists • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University • This study examines the media relations’ strategies of public relations practitioners: how PR practitioners initiate relationships with journalists, particularly surrounding the practice of “pitching,” and the sources from which they learned their strategies. We used a thematic analysis of 167 in-depth interviews students did with experienced PR practitioners. This study offers rich findings on the media relations strategies of practitioners and the sources thereof, topics overlooked in previous research, theory, and practice.
The Buffering Effect of Industry-Wide Crisis History During Crisis • Seul Lee, University of Florida; Sora Kim, University of Florida • Through an experiment, this study suggests that an industry-wide crisis history can mitigate negative damages created by crises, while an organization-specific crisis history intensifies the negative damages. This indicates the type of crisis history is an important factor to be considered when diagnosing proper crisis response strategies during crisis. In addition, this study identifies a stronger negative impact of an organization-specific crisis history among highly issue-involved publics than less involved ones.
An Ethnographic Examination of Public Sector Influences on the U.S. Coast Guard Social Media Program • Abbey Levenshus, University of Tennessee, Knoxville • An ethnographic case study of the U.S. Coast Guard social media program using interview, document, and participant observation data adds depth to the limited government public relations research and government social media management. USCG communicators reported influences categorized within five contexts: organization (USCG), military (DOD), parent agency (DHS), federal government, and the U.S. public sector. The study offers a behind-the-scenes view of public sector attributes and their influences on a government social media program.
Tweet or “Re-Tweet”? An Experiment of Message Type and Interactivity on Twitter • Zongchao Li, School of Communication, University of Miami; Cong Li, School of Communication, University of Miami • More corporations are recognizing the importance of social media for public relations. However, what communication strategy they should implement on social media remains somewhat unclear in the literature. This study examined the effects of message type and interactivity on a corporate Twitter account. Two types of messages, communal-relationship oriented tweets focusing on consumer relations, and exchange-relationship oriented tweets focusing on sales and product promotion, were tested with either a high or low level of interactivity in a 2 × 2 between-subjects experiment (N = 84). Results indicate that communal messages generated more favorable relationship outcomes such as trust and control mutuality than exchange messages. It was also found that message interactivity positively influenced attitude toward the company, perceived company credibility, and commitment. Implications from both theoretical and practical standpoints are discussed.
Effects of transnational crises on corporate and country reputation and strategic responses • Hyun-Ji Lim, Jacksonville University • Through the employment of a 2x2x3 factorial experiment, this study attempts to examine how three factors – level of country reputation, salience of country of origin, types of image restoration strategy – can affect host customers’ attitudes and behavioral intentions. Findings of this study provide empirical evidence as to whether adopting an image repair strategy helps a country to recover its reputation during a crisis, and an opportunity to gain a better understanding of managing country reputation.
Public Engagement with Companies on Social Network Sites: A Cross-Cultural Comparison of China and the United States • Linjuan Rita Men, Southern Methodist University; Wanhsiu Sunny Tsai, University of Miami • This study evaluates how culture influences publics’ engagement activities on the corporate pages of social networking sites (SNSs). It further evaluates the underlying motivations and engagement mechanisms in two culturally distinct countries, China and the United States. Specifically, social media dependency, parasocial interaction, and community identification are examined as the key antecedents of public-organization engagement on SNSs. The results reveal both cultural differences and similarities between Chinese and American publics’ engagement with corporate SNS pages.
Developing and Validating Publics’ Information Transmitting Model as an Outcome of Relationship Management in Bitt Moon; Yunna Rhee • The purpose of this study was to develop a multi-dimensional model of publics’ information transmitting. Relevant literature in public relations, public communication, marketing communication, and interpersonal communication were reviewed. This paper then composed a six dimensional public’s information transmitting behavior (ITB) model according to the three criteria—activeness, valence, and expressivity. Six dimensions were as follows: ‘Praise-Leading’, ‘Praise-Following’, ‘Scolding-Leading’, ‘Scolding-Following’, ‘Avoiding’, and ‘No-commenting’ The result supported that the 18-item ITB model of six dimensions was significantly reliable and valid as we expected. The theoretical and practical implications of the findings were discussed.
Shifting, broadening, and diversifying: How gay pride organizations are shaping a uniquely 21st century mission • Dean Mundy, Appalachian State University • This study explores how gay pride organizations in ten major U.S. cities execute events that host collectively four million attendees annually. Gay pride’s mission has shifted in the last four-plus decades. Today’s pride organizations require yearlong strategic program planning and outreach. Moreover, they must establish relationships with—and facilitate an intricate community dialog among—a variety of new, diverse stakeholders. The findings reinforce how relationship management and stakeholder theory can inform best public relations practice.
The Misunderstood Nineteenth Century American Press Agent • Karen Russell, University of Georgia; Cayce Myers, University of Georgia • Analysis of press coverage of nineteenth century American press agents indicates that, although press agents worked in a variety of sectors, their primary motivation was profit, their main strategy was media relations, and their tactics often relied on hype or outright lying. A number of early practitioners of press agentry outside the entertainment sector are identified for further study to understand the relationship between press agentry and early corporate publicity.
Beyond the C-Suite: Public Relations’ Scope, Power & Influence at the Senior Executive Level • Marlene Neill, Ph.D., Baylor University • Traditionally public relations scholars have focused on gaining access to the C-suite, but this study demonstrates that there are actually multiple executive-level committees that need their counsel. The findings are based on in-depth interviews with 30 executives representing multiple departments in four U.S. companies, who discussed their involvement or exclusion in eight strategic issues. The factors that impacted public relations’ power and influence included the type of industry, preferences of the CEO, and organizational culture.
Attribution of Government Responsibility for Flu Pandemics: The Role of TV Health News Sources, Self-Efficacy Messages, and Crisis Severity • Sun-A Park, Robert Morris University; Hyunmin Lee, Saint Louis University; Maria Len-Rios, University of Missouri • This experimental study (N=146) investigated how sources in television news (government official vs. doctor), perceptions of crisis severity (high vs. low), and perceptions of self-efficacy messages (presence vs. absence) in TV news stories about the H1N1 flu affected the public’s perception of the government responsibility for the public health crisis and their personal control for preventing contraction of the H1N1 flu. Results revealed significant three-way interactions on perceptions of government crisis responsibility and personal control.
The Under-Representation of Hispanics in the Public Relations Profession: Perspectives of Hispanic Practitioners • David Radanovich, Quinnipiac University • This study explored the under-representation of Hispanics in the public relations profession by conducting in-depth interviews with Hispanic practitioners. The study found that public relations was not the Latinos’ initial career choice, identified three barriers to Hispanics entering the profession, and elicited three practical suggestions to attract more Hispanics to the public relations field. The study also revealed opportunities for future scholarly research to address the under-representation of Hispanics in the public relations profession.
Framing the Massachusetts Cape Wind Debate Among Active E Online Publics • Ben Benson; Bryan Reber, University of Georgia • Activist groups have lobbied for and against the Cape Wind Energy Project since 2001. This is a content analysis of activist groups’ master frames and online comments on Cape Wind news articles retrieved from The Boston Globe website. The most salient advocacy master frames concerned environmental and political benefits. The most salient opposition master frames regarded economic risks. Advocacy comments were recommended more often than opposition comments. Opposition comments containing aesthetic risks were most recommended.
Dialogic communication on Web 2.0: An analysis of organizations using social media to build relationships • Amy Reitz, University of Northern Colorado • In order to determine how social media cultivate relationships with organizational publics, a pilot study was conducted to test how well Kent and Taylor’s (1998) dialogic principles of relationship building work when applied to social media. The findings indicate that the dialogic principles seem to be an appropriate method to use when determining the dialogic principles present in organization social media, albeit with some modifications. Several recommendations are provided to reflect specific social media features.
Smart Friendly Liars: Public Perception of Public Relations Practitioners Over Time • Coy Callison, Texas Tech University; Patrick Merle, Florida State University; Trent Seltzer • Two national surveys of the general public in 2003 (n = 486) and 2012 (n = 372) asked participants to list words describing public relations practitioners. Analyses reveal that the overwhelming majority of the words are positive and that the most commonly used terms outline practitioner intellectual, ethical, and personality traits. While the majority of the personality and intellectual traits are positive, the ethical terms used to describe practitioners are predominately negative.
Identifying Network “Communities” of Theory: The Structure of Public Relations Paradigms • Erich Sommerfeldt, University of Maryland; Michael Paquette, University of Maryland; Melissa Janoske, University of Maryland, College Park; Liang Ma, University of Maryland, College Park • The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how network “communities” of theory can be used to identify distinct research paradigms within public relations literature. Through an analysis of 10 years of articles published in the Journal of Public Relations Research and Public Relations Review (N = 674) the study aimed to identify the theoretical structure of public relations scholarship through network analyses of the connections among theories used by public relations scholars. Results of network analyses suggest that Relationship Management is currently the most influential of the theories identified, in that it holds two general clusters or paradigms of public relations research together. Situational Crisis Communication Theory was identified as the most important theory in a dense group of highly interrelated theories used in crisis research. The paper offers implications on the lack of multiple explanations used in public relations research and the future of theory building in the discipline.
Tracking Influence Through the Social Web: A Network Analysis of Information Flow in Interest-Based Publics • Kathleen Stansberry, University of Akron • This study examines information flow in online, interest-based networks to determine if existing models of information dissemination are adequate. This study finds that a small number of primary influencers from within online communities are central to information collection, collation, and distribution. This finding is inconsistent with one-step, two-step, and multi-step flow models. To more accurately depict online information flow in interest-based networks, I propose a radial model of information flow.
Bridging the journalist-public relations practitioner gap: Toward an “expectations management” theory of media relations • Dustin Supa, Boston University; Lynn Zoch, Radford University • This study addresses one of the challenges facing the study of public relations, the lack of field-specific theory, by introducing the constructs for a new theory of media relations, the expecations management theory (EMT). Based on empirical data, the theory is both descriptive and normative, and defines the nature of the media relations transaction as being one of product, process, role and relationship.
An exploratory study of the effect of Twitter on the public relations – journalist relationship • Drew Wilson; Dustin Supa, Boston University • Media relations is one of the most common functions of the modern public relations. This study examines the impact of emerging media technologies on that function, and seeks to understand how public relations practitioners and journalists are using Twitter in both their personal work and in the relationship with the other profession.
BP’s Reputation Repair Strategies during the Gulf Oil Spill • Lindsay Jordan, Profiles Inc.; Kristen Swain, University of Mississippi • On April 20, 2010, British Petroleum’s Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico exploded, creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history. Analysis of 1,161 BP tweets during the crisis response reflected unexpected reputation repair strategies and responsibility attribution. Situational Crisis Communication Theory suggests that after an accident, PR messages typically reflect low responsibility attribution. Although the official investigation initially did not suggest a preventable crisis, 90% of BP’s tweets reflected high responsibility.
Who’s Coming to the Party? Exploring the Political Organization-Public Relationship in Terms of Relationship, Personality, Loyalty, and Outcomes Among First-Time Voters • Kaye Sweetser, University of Georgia • Building on political organization-public relationship research, this survey (N = 610) of first-time voters investigates the role of relationship as an independent variable. Relationship contributes to predicting strength of political party affiliation, alongside personality. Weak relationships appear to be a significant indicator among those who are no longer loyal to their party and cross party lines. Future research should track the path of relationship from these first-time voters to more experienced voters and longer-standing constituents.
The overarching effects of ethical reputation regardless of CSR cause fit and information source • Weiting Tao, University of Florida; Mary Ann Ferguson • Our experiment examines how corporate prior ethical reputation, CSR cause fit, and information source interact with each other; and how this interaction influences consumers’ evaluations of the company. Meanwhile, our study tests the mediating effect of inferred CSR motives on consumer responses to CSR initiatives. Results show that corporate prior ethical reputation affects consumers’ company evaluations regardless of CSR cause fit and information source, and that this effect is partially mediated by inferred CSR motives.
Stewardship and Involvement: Comparing the Impact on Nonprofit Organizations’ Relationships with Donors and Volunteers • Richard D. Waters, University of San Francisco; Denise Sevick Bortree, Penn State University • Given their focus on program and service delivery, nonprofit organizations often face scarce resources to carry out their administrative functions, such as donor relations and volunteer management. Through intercept surveys of adults (n = 362), this study examines how donor and volunteer relationships evolve differently in the nonprofit sector. Findings indicate that stewardship can boost relationship outcomes for donors and volunteers, but its impact on involvement differs for the two groups.
How Do Different Image Restoration Strategies Influence Organization-Public Relationships in a Crisis? • Richard VanDeHey, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point; Chang Wan Woo, James Madison University • This research paper illustrates how certain combinations of image restoration strategies encourage a more positive response from publics than others. Rebuild strategies such as mortification, corrective action, compensation, and bolstering were thought to elicit a better reaction from publics than diminishing strategies such as denial, blame shifting, minimization and defeasibility. An experimental study was conducted with 148 college undergraduates. The subjects read one of three fictional news articles (no response, diminishing strategy, and rebuild strategy) about a product recall for an energy drink that was causing illness and answered questions measuring six OPR outcomes suggested by Hon and Grunig (1999): a) trust, b) control mutuality, c) commitment, d) satisfaction, e) communal relationships, and f) exchange relationships. The participants expressed better perceptions about their potential relationship with the company when the company responded with a rebuild strategy. Limitations include lack of generalizability and imbalanced sample sizes of the three groups.
The Impact of Expressing Sympathy through Twitter in Crisis Management: An Experimental Study • Jie Xu, Villanova University; Yiye Wu • This study uses 2 (medium: twitter vs. news release) × 2 (emotional support: yes vs. no) factorial experiment to extrapolate the effects of social media and emotional support on consumers’ crisis appraisal. Two hundred and forty-five twitter users recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk system participate in this study. Multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) with univariate follow-up tests, using medium and emotional support as fixed factors and product involvement as a control variable are conducted. The result demonstrates significant interaction between emotional support and media channel; emotional support messages delivered through Twitter lowers the perceived crisis responsibility and retain positive organizational reputation, compared to such messages conveyed on news releases. Using twitter significantly lessens people’s sadness and anger. Respondents reading twitter pages attribute less crisis responsibility to the company, and withhold higher perceptions on organizational reputation and purchase intention. Moreover, expressing sympathy and emotional support significantly alleviates people’s sadness and anger, respondents reading messages with emotional support report lower scores on crisis responsibility. Implications, limitations and recommendations for future research are discussed.
A Preliminary Study on the Impact of Social Identity on Crisis Attribution • Jonathan Borden, University of Florida • This study seeks to address the current gap in international crisis communications literature by introducing principles of Social Identity Theory into the existing body of crisis communications theory. Hypotheses were tested via an experimental examination of attribution, feelings of empathy, and organization evaluation in several treatment conditions. Analysis revealed that organizational nationality can offer some level of reputational protection whereas crisis location cannot.
Crisis communication and the NBA lockout: Exploring reactions to response strategies in sports crisis • Melanie Formentin • A pre-test, post-test experiment used the 2011 National Basketball Association (NBA) lockout as an example for exploring Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT). Participants (n = 339) evaluated NBA reputation before seeing SCCT strategies embedded in experimental material. Results suggest contexts involving active stakeholders may call for more nuanced approaches to crisis communication. Only “active stakeholder” participants were impacted by SCCT strategies and had more established opinions and knowledge of the league and its crisis history.
“Preparedness 101: Zombie Apocalypse”: CDC’s Use of Social Media and Humor in a Risk Campaign • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Liang Ma, University of Maryland, College Park • This is a case study of CDC’s “zombie apocalypse” all-disaster preparedness campaign. A 2 (information form: social vs. traditional media) x 2 (message strategy: humorous vs. non-humorous) between-subjects factorial experiment, an interview with a CDC campaign manager, and campaign document analysis uncover benefits and pitfalls of social media and humorous messaging in a risk campaign. Findings show social media can quickly, widely spread disaster information; however, humor may diminish publics’ intentions to take recommended actions.
Social Media’s Effect on Local Government Melissa Graham, University of Tennessee • Using data collected from interviews with public information officers (PIOs) in local governments, this study explores the perceptions of social media as a communication tool. It specifically addresses how social media are used as a public relations function to promote democratic, participatory and transparency models in government. Four primary themes emerged from the data analysis: dialogue promotion, engagement, unconstrained, and barriers.
What Makes You Take an Action in a Crisis? : Exploring Cognitive Processing of Crisis Management • Kyung Jung Han, University of Missouri • This study aims to help practitioners and scholars systematically understand publics in a crisis situation. Based on protection motivation, public segmentation, and crisis management theories, this study conducted a 2 (controllability: high versus low) x 2 (severity: high versus low) experiment. The results show 1) an influence of severity to conative coping behaviors; 2) an interaction effect between severity and controllability; and 3) a relationship between involvement and conative behaviors.
Alerting a Campus Community: Emergency Notification Systems From A Public’s Perspective • Stephanie Madden, University of Maryland • This study evaluated a campus emergency notification system from a public’s perspective to understand how alerts are utilized and perceived. Four focus groups were conducted with students at a large, mid-Atlantic university, and one interview was conducted a public safety official. Findings revealed that alerts served as an information source to students and instigated a social response among them. Implications include a better understanding of how to improve alert messaging strategies.
Defining Early Public Relations: An Examination of the term “Public Relations” in the Popular Press 1774-1899 • Cayce Myers, University of Georgia • This paper examines the use of the term “public relations” in the popular press from 1774-1900. Oftentimes public relations history places the beginnings of PR in the late nineteenth century with a genesis in entertainment and later business. This examination of the use of the term public relations shows that public relations in the eighteenth and nineteenth century was related to politics, specifically international affairs, domestic relations, and political popularity.
The Effects of Media Effects on the Corporate Image of Media Companies • Brett Sherrick, Pennsylvania State University • Prior research in the third-person effects domain has shown that people who believe in harmful media effects are more willing to engage in defiance strategies, such as censorship. Analysis of survey data show that a belief in harmful media effects is also connected to negative evaluations of the media companies potentially responsible for those effects. This research suggests that public relations practitioners for media companies should have become involved in the debate over media effects.
The Billion-Dollar Question: Examining the Extent of Fundraising Encroachment on Public Relations in Higher Education • Christopher Wilson, University of Florida; Sarabdeep Kochhar • U.S. colleges and universities raise billions of dollars a year through sophisticated fundraising efforts. This emphasis on fundraising can lead to encroachment on public relations. To understand the extent of fundraising encroachment in this important nonprofit sector, content analysis was used to examine the structural relationship of public relations and fundraising. The analysis found that 19% of colleges and universities on the 2012 Philanthropy 400 list had structural fundraising encroachment regardless of governance or mission.
A Complexity Approach to Teaching Crisis Management: Crisis Event Simulation in the Public Relations Classroom • Julia Daisy Fraustino, University of Maryland; Stephanie Madden, University of Maryland; Brooke Fisher Liu • This research presents an exploratory pilot study that takes a complexity theory approach to teaching crisis management/communication through an in-class computerized crisis simulation. Qualitative methods of direct observation of a two-session classroom simulation, and textual analyses of simulation response output as well as student-written reflections provide insights into the suitability of simulation as a public relations crisis teaching tool while also examining complexity theory in practice.
The Infographics Assignment: A Qualitative Study of Students’ and Professionals’ Perspectives • Tiffany Gallicano; Gee Ekachai; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville • In the evolving digital landscape, educators can consider adopting emerging tactics to prepare students for the workplace. One of these tactics, the infographic, incorporates storytelling characteristics by presenting synthesized knowledge and data in a visual way (Fernando, 2012). Through five focus groups with 37 students at three universities and interviews with 10 public relations professionals from various workplace settings, we explore strategies for teaching the infographics assignment and identify potential learning outcomes of the assignment.
Public Relations Students’ Ethics: An Examination of Attitude and Intended Behaviors • Lori McKinnon, Oklahoma State University; Jami Fullerton • A major challenge facing modern public relations practitioners is the knowledge and ability to engage in ethical reasoning. Public relations practitioners are at a critical juncture as they balance client advocacy with the public’s right to know, profit motive with personal values, and corporate responsibility with societal good. Thus, it is important for both practitioners and future practitioners to have a strong moral foundation. This study examines public relations students’ understanding of ethics and their attitudes and intended behaviors toward ethical dilemmas. The authors conclude that moral responsibility and the importance of ethical reasoning are vital for public relations students. These students, who will be tomorrow’s practitioners, have the potential to shape the field and improve its image. With a strong moral compass, students will be equipped to apply values and codes to the analysis of ethical dilemmas in public relations practice.
Online undergraduate public relations courses: Effects of interaction and presence on satisfaction and success • Jensen Moore, Louisiana State University • This study examined student success, failure, withdrawal and satisfaction in online public relations courses based on student/instructor interaction, student-to-student involvement, and instructor presence. Student passing rates, D/F rates, withdrawal rates, and evaluations of instruction were compiled from 51 online public relations courses run over the course of two years. The results from the study suggest that student involvement and self-discipline are the strongest predictors of success and satisfaction with online courses.
Does A Professor’s Gender and Professional Background Influence Students’ Perceptions? • Richard D. Waters, University of San Francisco; Natalie Tindall • This study examines how students’ evaluate educators by gauging their perceptions of the instructors’ professional competency, warmth, course difficulty, and industry connectivity. Using a 2×2 experimental design, students (n = 303) reviewed a syllabus for the introductory public relations course to test whether an instructor’s gender or professional background (academic—industry) influenced students’ perceptions. Findings suggest that students evaluate professors on professional criteria and their ability to connect classroom experiences to actual practice.
Political or Professional?: The Nineteenth Century National Editorial Association • Stephen Banning • In the nineteenth century the National Editorial Association grew from just over fifty editors to over 4,000 members representing 12,000 newspapers. This was a time when some state press associations were self identified as professionals. This research examines the National Editorial Association’s character and motivations to see if members were interested in professionalization as well. The National Editorial Association’s questionable connection with the 1992 World’s Fair is also examined.
It’s the leadership, stupid, not the economy: A framing study of newspaper endorsements of presidential candidates in the 2012 election • Kenneth Campbell, University of South Carolina; Ran Wei, University of South Carolina; Wan Chi Leung, University of South Carolina; Maia Mikashavidze, University of South Carolina • Though framing research has been robust, but no study has examined press endorsements of presidential candidates with a framing perspective. To fill the void, we pursued a framing analysis of presidential endorsements in the 2012 election. Moreover, the present study aims at overcoming some of the limitations in the existing literature with a framing analysis of the candidates and issues used by the newspaper endorsements in the tightly contested presidential contest between incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney in 2012. To achieve the objectives, a quantitative content analysis and qualitative framing analysis of 75 newspaper endorsements were conducted. Findings show that newspapers that endorsed Obama framed him as a leader based on his performance on a variety of national issues whereas newspapers that endorsed Romney framed him as their choice based primarily on the economy.
Fuzzy, transparent, and fast: Journalists and public relations practitioners characterize social media interactions • Aaron Chimbel; Tracy Everbach, University of North Texas; Jacqueline Lambiase • This mixed-methods study, based on a survey including open-ended responses from 167 journalists and PR practitioners, examines views on interacting through social media. Grounded in journalism ethics and news production research, the study examines how professionals navigate rapidly changing social media. Results show journalists and PR practitioners see themselves working in the same digital space. Journalists and PR professionals thought it was ethical to become social media “friends” and followers. Still, these relationships are evolving.
Is Google “Stealing” your Content? Examining How the News Industry Framed Google in an Era of News Aggregation • H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin; Seth Lewis; Nan Zheng, James Madison University • As online news aggregators outperform most traditional media sites, some news executives accuse Google News of stealing their content, even as they rely on Google for exposure. This quantitative content analysis examines how the news industry, during the 2008–2010 financial shock for U.S. newspapers, covered its delicate relationship with Google. While Google was often portrayed as the enemy, most coverage suggested that newspapers should work with Google, indicating the challenge in assessing Google’s role in an era of news aggregation.
This Just In: Examining the Presence of Spot News in Print and Online News Organizations • Jennifer Cox, Salisbury University • Newspapers are competing with online-only upstarts to provide spot news coverage that drives local readership prompting questions regarding the ways in which news is defined by both types of organizations. This study examined print and online content in four pairs of daily newspapers and online-only news organizations sharing a common home city. A content analysis of 1,965 news items revealed spot news appeared more frequently online than in print, though there was no significant difference regarding the presence of spot news between newspapers and their online-only competitors. Online-only publications provided spot news most on crime items, while newspapers provide it most in accident/disaster/public safety items. The majority of spot news items contained the timeliness and proximity news values. The results of this study indicate both organization types understand readers’ hunger for spot news online, though the types of spot news stories they include in their products tend to vary. An online emphasis on spot news may be indicative of a shift in news definitions that could impact readers’ perceptions of personal safety in their own communities.
Deciphering ‘Digital First’ During Football Season: A Study of Blogging Routines of Newspaper Sports Reporters • George Daniels, The University of Alabama; Marc Torrence, The University of Alabama • To understand how the newspaper industry’s “digital first” philosophy works for local newspaper writers covering football, this study surveyed local newspaper blogs in all 14 Southeastern Conference markets and 10 markets of SEC non-conference opponents. A follow-up content analysis during Week 6 of the 2012 season revealed 80% of posts were not on GameDay and most focused on hard news. For these bloggers, “digital first” mandates speed and a heavy reliance on news conference content.
Newspaper Coverage of the BP Oil Spill: Framing by Distance and Ownership • Ryan Broussard; Robert T. Buckman, Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette; William R. Davie, Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette • This study analyzed how twelve newspapers framed the BP oil spill in terms of environmental, government, and industrial factors. The environmental frame eclipsed the industrial and government frames. In addition, the newspaper’s status in terms of its corporate ownership and national scope shaped the coverage. This study reinforced and refined the research of Molotch and Lester by showing how news frames are subject to variables of proximity and newspaper ownership in covering such an environmental hazard.
Building an Agenda for Regulatory Change: The New York Times Targets Drug Abuse in Horse Racing • Bryan Denham • This article addresses the manner in which a New York Times investigative series on drug use and catastrophic breakdowns in U.S. horse racing influenced policy initiatives across a six-month period. Beginning with the March 25, 2012 expose’ “Mangled Horses, Maimed Jockeys,” the article analyzes how the Times helped to define policy conversations at both the state and national levels. The article also addresses how the Interstate Horseracing Improvement Act of 2011, a fledgling piece of legislation, became what Kingdon (2003) described as a “solution in search of a problem” and thus a political lever in policy deliberations. Long recognized for its capacity to influence the content of other news outlets, the article concludes, the New York Times can also play an important role in legislative arenas, informing lawmakers of salient issues as well as opportunities for substantive and symbolic policy actions.
Unnamed Attribution: A Historical Analysis of the Journalism Norms Surrounding the Use of Anonymous Sources • Matt Duffy, Georgia State University • This paper offers a historical examination of the journalistic norms surrounding the practice of citing anonymous sources. The author examines a variety of textbooks, guidebooks, trade press coverage, and codes of ethics over the past century. The analysis reveals that unnamed attribution, once scorned as a journalistic practice, has gained acceptance over time. As journalistic norms have evolved, the acceptance of the practice has spread beyond national government and international reporting to local coverage. Despite the general acceptance of this practice, journalistic norms surrounding when and how to use anonymous sources remain unsettled. This analysis also finds that journalism textbooks more often describe common practices of journalists rather than provide normative directives as to how journalists should act. Importantly, this study reveals that a journalistic tradition of independently verifying information from unnamed sources has dramatically diminished.
Reading the Truth-O-Meter: The influence of partisanship in interpreting the fact-check • David Wise, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Megan Duncan, University of Wisconsin; Thomas Jaime; David Coppini, University of Wisconsin Madison; Young Mie Kim, School of Journalism and Mass Communication • This study experimentally investigates the effects of fact-checking articles and partisanship in evaluating claims made in political attack ads and attitudes toward the targeted politician, the ad’s sponsor and the fact-checking organization. In a 2 (political party congruency) X 3 (fact-check rating) experiment, participants were randomly assigned to see one of two videos accusing a fictional politician of a financial scandal. The only difference between the two videos was the political party of the politician. After the video, participants read one of three randomly assigned fact-checks rating the ad either “true,” “half-true,” or “false.” In a post-test, participants answered questions about the ad, the targeted politician, the ad’s sponsor and the fact-checking organization. The results indicate that fact-check articles can affect evaluations of a political attack ad’s claims, as well as the targeted politician, ad sponsor, and the fact-checking organization’s adherence to traditional journalistic norms and standards. We also found that on some measures, partisans engage in motivated reasoning, which amplified party differences when the ad was ruled half-true, and in some cases, true. Our findings suggest that while fact checking can be effective at correcting misinformation, motivated reasoning among partisans plays a role in shaping the effects of fact-check rulings on attitudes toward the ad’s target, sponsor and the fact-checking organization.
If it bleeds, it leads: How cognition, motivation, and emotions influence our attention to the news • Margaret Flynn, University of Connecticut • The current study aims to provide a renewed examination of why certain news items are more attractive than others, or why the most “important” news is not always the most popular. Buck’s (1985) developmental interactionist theory provides a novel framework for examining this phenomenon of selective exposure. This perspective proposes that an individual’s emotions may direct their attention to a particular message, or in this case a news story. By employing an experimental methodology this paper demonstrates that complex combinations of emotions can influence what news information audiences select. Additionally, there is evidence here that suggests news information can alter mood and impact subsequent emotional states.
A ‘Sentimental’ Election: Emergent Framing and Public Sentiment in Social Media Content during the 2012 US Presidential Campaign • Jacob Groshek; Ahmed al-Rawi • By being embedded in everyday life, social networking sites (SNSs) have altered the way campaign politics are understood and engaged with by politicians and citizens alike. Somewhat paradoxically, though the features and influence of social media are regularly reported, the actual content of social media has remained a vast but somewhat amorphous and understudied entity. The study reported here thus examines public sentiment as it was expressed in just over 1.42 million social media units on Facebook and Twitter to provide broad insights into dominant topics and themes that were prevalent in the 2012 US election campaign online. Key findings include observed similarities and divergences across social networking sites and channels that cultivate a fuller understanding of what is being communicated in political social media content that is largely citizen and user-generated.
Who reads online news anyway? On and offline behaviors that predict reading of online newspapers. • Michael Horning, Bowling Green State University; SangHee Park, Bowling Green State University; Luyue Ma, Bowling Green State University; Fang Wang, Bowling Green State University • As newsrooms begin to develop content and user experiences designed for the Internet, new questions arise about the types of individuals reading online newspapers and the journalistic practices that might be appealing to online readers. This exploratory research assesses important predictors in online newspaper reading among college-aged students. Findings suggest that levels of civic engagement, public journalism interests, reading news on social media sites, and Internet use context are predictors of online newspaper use.
The “SomeTimes Picayune:” Comparing the online and print offerings of the New Orleans’ newspaper before and after the print reduction • Young Kim, Louisiana State University; Andrea Miller, LSU • This study compared the online and print news of New Orleans’ Times-Picayune before and after print publication moved from seven days a week to three. A content analysis found each venue offered different content, contradicting existing research touting news homogeneity. Print offered more public affairs and global news while online offered more local and entertainment news. Findings are discussed within the frameworks of social responsibility and local news value.
News Consumption in the Age of Content Aggregation: The Case of Yahoo, Google and Huffington Post • Angela Lee, University of Texas at Austin; H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin • In the pre-Internet era, the role of news providers in the media market was clearly defined. Media companies produced content as suppliers of news and information and competed with other media firms in their geographic market for audience and/or advertising share in either inter- or intra-competition scenarios. But the Internet has brought about revolutionary changes to this media landscape. One major change is the rise of content aggregators. While traditional news firms are still struggling with the economics of their online ventures, these news aggregators have become a major source of online news for American audiences. This exploratory study, through an online survey of 1,143 respondents, empirically examines the relationship between use of three major news aggregators—Yahoo, Google, and Huffington Post— and 13 major news media outlets operated by print, broadcast, cable and electronic news media. The goal is to offer an extensive overview of competition among key players in contemporary news ecology. Findings of this study suggest a symbiotic relationship between all three news aggregator sites and 13 major news outlets across different news industries. Such findings are at odds with industry sentiment, or hostility toward news aggregators, and news organizations are encouraged to reassess their relationship with news aggregators in the attempt to find better revenue models rather than casting blames that have no empirical basis.
How Journalists Value Positive News: The Influence of Professional Beliefs, Market Considerations, and Political Attitudes • Ka Kuen Leung, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Lap Fung Lee, School of Journalism and Communication, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • While the negativity bias of the news media is generally recognized in many countries around the world, various types of positive news, ranging from touching human interests stories to news about national or community achievement, also feature regularly in the news media. Yet few scholarly analyses have examined whether and how professional journalists value positive news. This article examines Hong Kong journalists’ perceptions of the values of five types of positive news. It is hypothesized that professional beliefs about media roles in society, market considerations, and political attitudes would be related to perceived value of positive news. Analysis of data from a journalist survey shows that Hong Kong journalists do regard news stories that tell touching stories and promote social values and norms as important, but they do not see news stories that promote national development and achievement as important. Belief in the cultural role of the press, acknowledgement of market influence on the media, and national and local identification are significant predicts of perceived value of positive news. Implications of the findings are discussed.
The News Re-imagined: The Promise of Local Foundation-Funded Journalism • Suzanne Lysak, Syracuse University; Michael Cremedas, Syracuse University • This research surveyed 207 local newspaper and television news managers to measure reaction to a Federal Communications Commission proposal aimed at improving quality, in-depth reporting at the local level. In its landmark 2011 report, “Information Needs of Communities: The Changing Media Landscape in a Broadband Age, the FCC called for a national program that would place reporters in local newsrooms, with the reporters’ salaries partially or fully paid by local community foundations.
Experimental Psychology Applied: Assessing NYT columnist Nicholas Kristof’s strategies to overcome psychic numbing • Scott Maier, University of Oregon • People relate to one death as a tragedy but tune out the loss of thousands as a statistic, a phenomenon documented by psychology experiments that suggest “the more who die, the less we care.” This sobering finding has influenced New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof in his reporting on Darfur, human trafficking and other mass suffering. Drawing from behavioral research, Kristof says he now goes out of his way to find just the right person who illuminates the larger story. Reframing his journalistic approach, Kristof also seeks to move his readers by reporting on people who overcome adversity or offer real solutions. Content analysis and Internet metrics are used to assess whether Kristof adheres to these principles, and, more importantly, whether this kind of reporting engenders reader response. The findings offer guidance on how the media can overcome psychic numbing and compassion fatigue.
Online Story Commenting: An Experimental Test of Conversational Journalism and Trust • Doreen Marchionni, Pacific Lutheran University • Online story commenting offers a form of citizen engagement on news sites potentially important to democratic discourse. Yet few issues vex newsrooms more because of abusive rants, often from unnamed sources. This controlled experiment set out to test the “conversationalness” of commenting, using newly identified variables that theoretically measure the concept of journalism as a conversation. The study also tested whether commenting might help with reader trust. The data show that commenting’s best indicators of conversation are perceived friendliness and social presence. But comments do not appear to help with journalism’s most important values of perceived credibility and expertise.
Editorials, privilege and shield law Post-Branzburg: Forty years of newspaper narratives • Sandra Mardenfeld, Long Island University • As the prosecution against whistleblower Bradley Manning unfolds, the importance of confidential sources and their value to society once again is scrutinized. This study seeks to discover the discussions four major metro papers have within their commentary pages from 1972, the year of the pivotal Supreme Court case Branzburg v. Hayes, to 2012. What does the media say about issues such as reporter’s privilege and shield laws within their editorial section? A discussion of the three major themes uncovered leads to suggestions for future treatment.
Vicariously Rejected: Political-Sex-Scandal News Coverages Primes Negative Attitude Toward Sexual Betrayal • Gina Masullo Chen, The University of Southern Mississippi, School of Mass Communication and Journalism; Hinda Mandell, Rochester Institute of Technology, Department of Communication; John Wolf, New Jersey Institute of Technology, Department of Humanities • An online experiment (N = 231) reveals that reading news stories about political sex scandals prime negative attitudes toward sexual betrayal. Seeing sexual infidelity as humiliating is mediated through relationship satisfaction and attitudes toward sexual behavior. Results are discussed in relation to priming theory.
Breaking news and problems definitions from school shootings, 1996-2012 • Michael McCluskey • Problem definitions in the news provide explanations for tragic events like school shootings. This study examines nine problem definitions in the breaking news coverage (N = 311) of 11 school shootings between 1996 and 2012. Guns, teen life and school security were the most prominent problem definitions. Analysis shows differences by the audience orientation of the newspapers and by contextual factors in the shootings.
“Evil Visited this Community Today”: News Media Framing of the Sandy Hook School Shooting • Dylan McLemore, University of Alabama; Kimberly Bissell, University of Alabama • A content analysis of seven newspapers’ coverage of the Sandy Hook school shooting in December 2012 assessed how news outlets contextualized the story for readers in the week following the event. The results revealed that the Sandy Hook shooting was most commonly framed in terms of the victims. Gun control became the central frame through which blame was attributed. A mental health frame was also evident, in line with prior shootings but despite a lack of evidence in this particular case. The findings suggest an enduring stigma surrounding mental health, and a continued association of mental illness with violent behavior. Findings are elaborated upon by considering frame valence, sourcing, and the passage of time.
Page One or Six: A proposition for a news type index • Patrick Merle, Florida State University; Clay Craig, Coastal Carolina University • This research proposes an updated instrument to measure news preferences. To date, the literature features two scales designed for a media landscape removed from today’s multi-screen environment. Beyond the obsolete nature of their scales, prior authors omitted the dimensions of style and timeliness, prevalent facets in today’s interactive context. Exploratory data from a survey (N = 317) reviewed through structural equation modeling start a scale developmental effort to discuss a valid measurement of news types.
Cranks or Community: Describing those who comment on news stories • Hans Meyer, Ohio University; Michael Clay Carey, Ohio University • By offering comments at the end of stories, news organizations are allowing readers to engage in the news. But few journalists say the read or appreciate the comments their stories receive because they say comments are, for the most part, junk. This study used a nationwide survey to describe the people who post comments at the end of new stories and suggests that news professionals may be the largest determinant in the quality of comments they receive. A hierarchical regression model predicting participation suggests that noticing moderation in forums and the importance readers place on moderation is the most important element that leads to participation. Noticing moderation and giving it high importance can also mediate the influence of other participation antecedents, such as the value of anonymity and the importance of civility. It also mediates the influence of most demographic variables besides age.
Nate Silver and the rise of the poll aggregators: How they proved their worth to news media in the 2012 election • Brad Scharlott, Northern Kentucky University; Nikhil Moro, University of North Texas • Prominent poll aggregators such as Nate Silver proved their worth in the 2012 election with forecasts that were far more accurate than the typical pollster’s. In future election cycles, cash-strapped newspapers that formerly commissioned pollsters may decide that their resources would be better spent licensing a poll aggregator, as The New York Times did with Silver, thereby also boosting traffic to their websites. They may also hire statisticians to start their own in-house poll-aggregation operations. The public interest in the work of poll aggregators seems certain to rise in coming election cycles as more and more people come to see in them a gold standard of election prognostication. But if there will be fewer pollsters out there generating data to analyze, then poll aggregators’ results may not be as robust in the future as they were in the 2012 election cycle.
Prescribing the News: Newsroom size and journalistic experience as key factors in the interaction between health journalists and public health organizations • Gregory Perreault; Shelly Rodgers; Jon Stemmle • A phone survey of 142 Midwestern journalists and editors was conducted to examine awareness and use of and knowledge about health literacy programs and initiatives in the State of Missouri. Journalists’ self-efficacy, reader-friendly writing behaviors on the topic of public health, and time spent and experience writing about health and science news were examined. We compared larger versus smaller newsrooms in terms of awareness and use of materials from health-related news services. Results suggest that two factors, newspaper size and experience, proved to be useful in making predictions about awareness and use of health-related news services and use of reader-friendly writing behaviors.
A slow response to Quick Response: Diffusion of QR technology on U.S. newspaper front pages • Chris Roberts, University of Alabama; Keith Saint, University of Alabama • A three-week constructed sample shows that few newspaper publish Quick Response (QR) codes on front pages, and many codes were beyond newsroom control. Content analysis describes QR use by papers in the context of diffusion of innovation and niche gratification theories, and compares published “deep” links to randomly selected pages. Interviews with newspaper executives reveal institutional isomorphism reasons for QR adoption and the belief that QR has little widespread acceptance by readers or the industry.
Anonymous User Comments and the Influence on Fan Identity and Sports Article Credibility • Sean Sadri, University of Florida • The present study examined how anonymous user comment tone can impact group identity, sports article credibility, and attitudes towards a sports news source. Participants were randomly assigned a sports article, where the article was indicated to have appeared on one of four sports sources with positive, negative, or no comments. Scores on a user identification scale were significantly higher for the positive comments than for negative comments. User comments were not shown to affect credibility.
Scanning and Sharing But Little Engagement: Newspaper Reporters’ Use Of Social Media • Arthur Santana, University of Houston • A national survey of newspaper reporters at large and mid-size U.S. newspapers reveals that the frequency with which they use Facebook and Twitter to supplement their reporting is minimal, especially among older, more experienced reporters at large dailies. Findings demonstrate that reporters are infrequently engaging the social networking sites to support some of their reporting duties and are instead more apt to scan the sites and use them as promotional tools.
A Predictive Model of Story Prominence in U.S. Daily Newspapers • Frederick Schiff, University of Houston; David Llanos, University of Houston • This study compares two exhaustive models of news content to predict story prominence. Both models were derived from eight leading theories of news play. Hierarchical Linear Modeling specified story-level, newspaper-level, ownership-level and cross-level variables. A Factor Analysis Model found five “common-sense” story types. Coders analyzed 6,090 stories, using a random stratified sample of 114 newspapers and 59 ownership groups. According to OLS, a combined model (HLM and FAM) yielded an Adjusted R2 of 19.5%.
The Power of the Impulse: The Flow of Content Communities and Online News Consumption • Amy Schmitz Weiss; Valerie Barker, Journalism & Media Studies SDSU; David Dozier; Diane Borden • This study examines how U.S. adults consume news content from various communities online (ranging from YouTube to news websites) and how they access this information from digital devices (e.g. laptops, desktops, smartphones, tablets). Based on a national telephone survey conducted of U.S. adults, this study identifies that people are consuming different kinds of news content online and doing so in a state of Flow via their digital devices. Using the theory of flow (Csikszentmihalyi, 1975), this study aims to see how an online user can engage in an impulse form of news consumption (through various content communities) via digital devices (e.g. laptops, smartphones, tablets and desktop computers). Implications of the findings are addressed and future research directions for examining online news consumption through this lens are discussed.
Generating “New” News or Recycling Old News?: News Diversity and the World Wide Web • Charlene Simmons, U of Tennessee at Chattanooga • The Web has been heralded as an alternative to traditional media, providing users with diverse information and perspectives not previously available. Web usage studies have demonstrated that users do not spend time on alternative sites, but rather they spend the majority of their time on just a handful of popular Web sites. This study explores whether popular news sites act as new sources of diverse information or whether they repurpose content available from other sources.
Journalism’s thin line: A case study of suburban news and the news divide • Edgar Simpson, Central Michigan University • This exploratory study examined the news environment in a county where a daily newspaper had closed. Using the theories of the public sphere and geographic-based public affairs journalism as a key structural element in invigorating the sphere, the study mapped out the public affairs news in an Ohio suburban county where a daily newspaper closed. Overall, this study, offered as a case to explore vexing national issues, found that regional and metro daily newspapers have largely retreated to their cores, despite having significant circulation in the county, and that commercial television rarely ventured into the area, even though the county is part of their Designated Market Areas. The study found weekly print operations provided the majority of public affairs journalism. Further, this study found Web-only start-ups were not a factor in public affairs news and that the weekly operations provided a higher quality of coverage, in terms of sourcing and depth, than all other media.
Making Change: Diffusion of Technological, Relational, and Cultural Innovation in the Newsroom • Jane B. Singer, University of Iowa; Melissa Tully, University of Iowa; Shawn Harmsen, University of Iowa; Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa • Diffusion of innovations theory typically has been applied to the spread of a particular technology or practice. This paper seeks to obtain a deeper understanding of the multi-faceted nature of upheaval in the news industry by considering the diffusion of three distinct but related changes: technological, relational, and cultural. It does so through a case study, based on quantitative and qualitative data, of a Midwestern news company undergoing successive waves of significant change.
Microblogging the News: Covering a Crisis When Twitter is the Only Option • Amanda Sturgill, Elon University; Rajat Agarwal, Elon University • As news media are evolving strategies for incorporating new technologies for gathering and disseminating the news, social media have become a part of the mix. Because the ability to tell stories over social media is not restricted to experts, scholars have suggested that social media are more useful for engaging users and for creating a sense of community around issues in a particular area. One aspect of news in the emerging social news environment that has not been as well studied is the coverage of breaking news. This paper examines the coverage of a shooting during a unique event in which a college newspaper was locked down and only able to communicate via Twitter. Content analysis of the newspaper’s tweet stream suggests that the coverage fits largely into patterns found in coverage of other breaking news, although a significant number of tweets were used to push users to the newspaper’s regular web presence, once it again became available.
Frames of Mental Illness in an Indian Daily Newspaper • Roma Subramanian, University of Missouri, School of Journalism • Through a framing analysis of news stories about mental illness in The Times of India, an elite daily newspaper in India, this study aimed to understand how the Indian news media influence the public’s perception of mental illness. The following themes were identified: crime, suicide, prevention/treatment/recovery, simplistic/inadequate explanations, stigma, and mental health care system issues. Overall, while some stories perpetuate mental illness stigma, there is an attempt to raise the public’s awareness about mental illness.
The “militant” Chicago Defender: A study of editorials and letters to the editor in 1968 • Brian Thornton, University of North Florida • The “radical” Chicago Defender: A study of the newspapers editorials and letters to the editor in 1968. There is almost a mythological narrative surrounding the Chicago Defender, one of the most influential black newspapers in the U.S. In its heyday the paper, hailed by Langston Hughes as “the journalistic voice of a largely voiceless people,” was a “must read” for many African-Americans, not just in the Midwest, but also throughout the country, especially in the Deep South. The Defender is credited with playing a major role in influencing the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to the urban North from 1915 to 1925. The paper was militant, if not radical, in its early days in demands for racial justice and social change. But what kind of editorial stance did the paper take in the late 1960s, at the height of the Black Power/Black Panther social phenomenon? Did the paper call for massive social change, or defend the status quo? It might surprise some readers to discover that the Defender called for the death penalty for black teens who committed murder in 1968. This research examined all the editorials and letters to the editor published in the Chicago Defender from Jan. 1, through Dec. 31 1968, with a view towards understanding what stances the paper and its readers took in discussions of such important topics as race, social change, Black pride, equal employment opportunities and black culture. A total of 395 editorials were published in the paper that year and all were closely read and analyzed along with 35 letters to the editor.
When Critical Voices Should Speak Up: Patterns in News Coverage of Unofficial Sources During the BP Oil Spill • Brendan Watson, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • Media routines suggest that journalists’ BP oil spill coverage would rely heavily on official sources. Yet, unofficial sources are most likely to offer critical perspectives that could help avoid similar accidents from occurring. Some deride the media’s initial crisis coverage as speculative and inaccurate. This study, however, found support for a positive effect of the disaster: it momentarily dislodged media routines, and prior to the emergence of an official narrative, news coverage was more inclusive of critical voices.
Examining the Behavioral Consequences of the First-person Effect of Newspaper Endorsements in the 2012 Presidential Election • Ran Wei, University of South Carolina; Ven-Hwei Lo; Chingching Chang • Research examining the perceptions of media influences of political messages on the self relative to others (Davison, 1983) has documented both third-person (e.g., a greater perceived effect on others than self) and first-person perceptions (e.g., a greater perceived effect on self than others). As a new direction of research, increasing scholarly attention (Golan & Day, 2008) is being paid to investigating the antecedents of the first-person effect and its consequences on behavior. However, empirical research of the first-person effect is still limited; no study has examined the behavioral consequences of first-person perceptions on voter behavior. To fill the void, the present study examines the perceived influences of newspaper endorsements of presidential candidate in the 2012 election. Data collected from a random sample of 520 respondents supported third-person perception regarding the influence of newspaper endorsements of presidential candidate. However, findings also show that the more credible the newspaper endorsements, the greater the perceived influence on self. Furthermore, first-person perception was found as a positive predictor of the intention to boycott newspapers that endorsed the opposing candidate and the likelihood of voting for the candidate who received more newspaper endorsements.
MacDougall Student Paper Competition
The Social Mediation of News and Political Rumors • Soo Young Bae, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor • This study investigates the dynamics between news media use and political rumors in the current information environment on the Internet, with a particular focus on the implications of the newly emerged social networking sites. By examining survey data of online social media users, this study highlights the contrasting implications of the traditional news media and social media as news sources in shaping the users’ perceptions about political rumors, and reveals the significant consequences of the homogeneity of the users’ online social networks.
Three Days a Week: Has A New Production Cycle Altered The Times-Picayune’s News Coverage? • David Bockino, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill • This study explores the difference in print and online news coverage by the New Orleans-based newspaper The Times-Picayune before and after the implementation of a new production cycle. While print coverage has remained relatively static in terms of both topic and type category, there are differences between both the paper’s print and online coverage as well as its online coverage on days with a print edition and days without a print edition.
Generating Visits through Facebook: The Ambivalent Role of Engagement • Jan Boehmer, Michigan State University • In the present study, I investigate the effects of engagement with news content posted on Facebook. More specifically, I look at how different levels of engagement affect the number of individuals who click on the posted link, as well as the visits that are created on the website it refers to. I also look at the number of pages seen during visits, and the duration of the visits. I find that while the number of individuals who click on a link on Facebook does not increase due to higher levels of engagement, an increase in visits is evident. However, contradictory to common believe, higher levels of engagement affected the number of pages visited, and the time spent on the website, negatively. Finally, I discuss potential reasons for why the engagement created on Facebook can not be easily transferred to a website.
Capitalism, Crisis & Custom Content • Kyle Brown • This paper will offer a theoretical framework of the symbiotic relationship between newspapers and advertisers within a market journalism structure, and seek to identify and define standard journalistic ethics. It will then place custom content, a recent and emerging advertising endeavor that further blurs the lines between ad and editorial, within that theoretical discussion and offer discussion on the ethical dilemmas of the production of such disguised content, at both the institutional and individual levels.
Trust Me, I Am Your News: Media Credibility across News Platforms in U.S. & South Korea • Yunmi Choi, University of Florida; Daniel Axelrod, University of Florida; Jihyun Kim • International surveys measured American and Korean college students’ respective media usage habits, preferences and their views on the credibility of news offered by various media platforms. Specifically, this study examined the students’ habits with, and preferences for, news from the TV, radio, newspapers, the Internet, and mobile devices. Though Korean and American college students prefer either online or mobile news, Korean students assigned traditional media outlets much higher credibility ratings than those from U.S. students.
Human Trafficking in the Elite Press: A Content Analysis of Newspapers in the West • Irma Fisher, University of Oregon; Tobias Hopp, University of Oregon • This study analyzed the human trafficking coverage found in six elite newspapers in the U.S. UK, and Canada. Using a sample of 327 articles, we content analyzed the presentation of human trafficking as a domestic/national or international issue. The results indicated significant differences in the handling of the issue on the basis of article type, article focus, and press nationality. Furthermore, between-newspaper differences were identified.
Lifecycle of Obesity Coverage: Comparing Attributions of Child and Adult Obesity • Se Na Lim, University of Alabama; Virginia Johnson, The University of Alabama; Adam Sharples, The University of Alabama; Richard Rush, The University of Alabama; Rosanne Rumstay, The University of Alabama • This study examined how the media report on obesity and compared and contrasted frames of responsibility used in the reporting of child and non-child obesity. Using framing theory and looking specifically at individual health and public health frames, this study researched how newspapers represent the prevalence, causes, consequences, and solutions of child and non-child obesity. Two research questions were posed: First, what type of content (among prevalence, consequence, cause, and solution) most frequently appears in news articles and what frames are used for describing those contents? Second, what differences exist among child obesity, adult obesity, and obesity in general in regard to content types and frame level? A content analysis was conducted of six national newspapers reporting on obesity in the year 2011. A total of 382 mentions of obesity in 80 articles were coded and analyzed. Results indicated that prevalence and solution/prevention of obesity are mentioned most frequently. These two content types are also most frequently described in a public health frame, while consequence and cause are most frequently described in an individual health frame. Among mentions of childhood obesity, solution/prevention were the most frequent content types, while prevalence and content were most frequently mentioned for adult obesity. Mentions of child obesity were framed in public frames and individual health frames in the same proportion, but obesity in general was more frequently described using a public health frame. Limitations of this study and directions for future research in this area are discussed.
Technological and sociological motivations: Predictors of online content curation platform acceptance among journalists • Angela Lee, University of Texas at Austin; Vittoria Sacco; Marco Giardina • While the nature of social media encourages and facilitates real-time news distribution, information overload on social media sites is challenging journalists’ gatekeeping role in filtering out relevant news information for the public in an increasingly speed-driven online news cycle. Online media content curation platforms — based on principles of museum curation that knit technological and human skills for selecting, classifying, preserving, contextualizing and crafting content from various online sources in curated narratives — have been identified by mainstream news organizations such as Al Jazeera and freelance journalists as a solution to this problem. Applying an adapted version of the technology acceptance model (TAM) through survey research, this exploratory study examines Swiss journalists’ acceptance of media content curation platforms. The results suggest: (1) positive associations between motivations variables and attitudes; (2) positive associations between attitudes and intention to use media content curation and, contrasting previous findings, (3) no effect of perceived attractiveness on attitudes. This study’s findings suggest new ways to encourage acceptance and use of media content curation platforms among journalists. Professional and theoretical implications are also discussed.
Stay Tuned for More News from Your Friends • Seok Ho Lee, University of Texas at Austin • This study employs an attribute of social network, the strength of closeness, as a predictor for news consumption on Facebook. The evidence suggests that strength of closeness on Facebook contributes to positive attitude and behavioral change on news consumption on Facebook. And, individuals are found to rely on their social relations as news sources as the closeness of friendship grows. Meanwhile, the strength of closeness on Facebook has negative association with heterogeneous news consumption.
Journalism Endures: Has Twitter Changed the News Product? • Shin Haeng Lee • This study examines the effect of social media use by news agencies on their journalistic norms and practices: public service orientation, objectivity, and transparency or accountability. The data are 1,141 stories posted by six mainstream media organizations on Twitter over one constructed week in 2012. Findings show a tendency toward professional, hierarchical journalism; even blog posts have not led to innovative adoption of the horizontal communication patterns of social media. Traditional newsrooms rather co-opt the new technology to connect with digital media users. This study concludes that journalism as an institution normalizes rather than adjusts to the changing media landscape.
The Challenge of Interactive News for a Public Caught in an Online Identity Crisis • Megan Mallicoat, University of Florida • This study examines the effect of publicness on how people interact with online news. In this exploratory experimental study, participants in three conditions were asked to read 10 articles from a news website and write comments on five articles of their choosing. The findings show participants’ personal interests could significantly predict news selection. They also show attempts at self-presentation in comments most frequently utilized the strategies of ingratiation and competence, but intimidation was present also.
The Effect of Heuristic Processing of Online News Columns on Source Credibility and Message Believability Ratings • Amna Al-Abri; Alexandra Merceron, University of Connecticut • This paper draws on established theories of stereotyping to explore how heuristic processing of online news columns influences ratings of source credibility, likability, and dynamism as well as message believability through the activation of stereotypical perceptions.
What journalists retweet: Opinion, humor and brand development on Twitter • Logan Molyneux, University of Texas • Previous studies on Twitter have been quantitative and have found a loosening of traditional journalistic norms on social media. This qualitative study of journalists’ activity on Twitter takes an inductive approach to learn what new behaviors are present there. Findings include a prevalence of opinion and humor, contrary to the journalistic norm of objectivity, but also something new: personal brand development. The concept of brand development on social media is explicated and its implications explored.
Reshaping the journalists-audience relationship. National survey of journalists and their use of Twitter • Magdalena Saldaña, The University of Texas at Austin • Through a national on-line survey of journalists with Twitter accounts, this paper study how journalists use Twitter as a reporting tool, how likely they are to gather information from it, and how they see their followers. From the hierarchical model of influences’ perspective, results show journalists see Twitter as a valid source of ideas and news sources, and their audiences are becoming central to the way they report the news and produce news media content.
Whose public sphere? An analysis of the final comments on a community newspaper’s online forum • Shannon Sindorf, University of Colorado; Anthony Collebrusco, University of Colorado • This paper used content analysis and textual analysis to examine posts made to the online comments forum of a community newspaper after the board was shut down due to editors’ claims that its contents were too uncivil. Comments were analyzed for the amount of substance and civility present. The findings indicate that the majority of posts on the forum were both civil and substantive in nature. Only a handful of users posted most of the comments, indicating that the viewpoints expressed were limited to a very small group. Textual analysis found that discussion of local issues was conducted differently than that surrounding broader, national topics. Local discussion was more measured in tone and generated more civil discourse than did debates over national issues.
Whom do you trust? Comparing the credibility of citizen and traditional journalists • Alecia Swasy; Manu Bhandari, University of Missouri; Edson Tandoc, University of Missouri-Columbia; rachel davis, University of Missouri • Anybody with a video camera and Internet access can become a citizen journalist. But do readers trust untrained citizens to deliver credible news? Using the framework of the MAIN model, this study explored the effects of traditional journalism cues on how young news consumers evaluate online news. Participants rated traditional journalists to be more credible than citizen journalists. Participants also rated straight news articles to be more credible than opinion pieces.
Framing the Egyptian Revolution: An Analysis of the U.K. and U.S. Elite Press • Rodrigo Zamith, University of Minnesota; Stephen Bennett, University of Minnesota; Xiaofei He, University of Minnesota • This study seeks to analyze and compare the coverage of the Egyptian revolution by the elite press in the United Kingdom and the United States. Drawing from framing theory, the authors employ a manual holistic approach to content analysis to assess the salience of frames, the depiction of actors, and selection of sources. The findings reveal an appreciable level of congruence in the coverage, both in terms of the frames they used and the sources they turned to in shaping the coverage. However, significant differences were found for the depictions of the key actors in the revolution and the domestication of the issue.
American Copy Editors Society (ACES) Competition
Are Online Newspapers Inferior Goods or Public Goods? • Louisa Ha, Bowling Green State University; XIAOQUN ZHANG • This study of general population and college students in 2012 in a local newspaper market examines the use of online and print newspapers to determine the relationship between online and print newspaper readership and whether online newspapers are inferior goods or public goods. The data did not support the inferior good hypothesis in both samples, contradicting the findings of earlier research. Newspaper executives are recommended to set different expectations for their print products and online products.
Bob Stevenson Open Paper Competition
Inside and Outside of the Great Firewall: The Knowledge Gap Hypothesis Revisited in a Censored Online Environment • Yi Mou; Kevin Wu, University of Connecticut; David Atkin, University of Connecticut • Although China has surpassed the United States to command the world’s largest Internet user base, government-led information regulations prevent common users from enjoying free access to information. Owing to a special software apparatus that helps define China’s Great Firewall, savvy users can bypass online censorship. Based on Knowledge gap hypothesis and reactance effects, this paper reveals a knowledge gap existing as a side effect of state censorship, one that is emerging between the savvy users and common users.
Communicating External Voting Rights to Diaspora Communities. Challenges and Opportunities for El Salvador and Costa Rica • Vanessa Bravo, Elon University • “This paper fills a gap in the literature of international communication by exploring the challenges that home governments face when trying to convey information about newly established political rights to diaspora communities located in host countries. It does so by analyzing the cases of El Salvador and Costa Rica, two Central American countries that will offer external voting rights (absentee vote) to their citizens, for the first time, in the national elections of 2014.
The ability of video-mediated training approaches to reduce agricultural knowledge gaps between men and women in rural Uganda • Tian Cai; Eric Abbott • This study explored the effectiveness of video training delivered by portable battery-operated projectors to narrow the gap in agricultural knowledge between men and women in rural Uganda. Through a pre-post quasi-experiment, this study found that the method that combined video and lecture-demonstration was significantly more effective in narrowing the gender knowledge gap. Use of video alone improved women’s knowledge scores as much as men, but did not close the knowledge gap.
(Re)categorizing Intergroup Relations: Applying Social-Psychological Perspectives to News Reporting on International Conflict • Michael Chan • This study examines how intergroup relations between nations are categorized and recategorized through news discourse. Theories from social psychology, including the common in-group identity model, mutual intergroup differentiation model, and optimal distinctiveness theory, form an integrated framework to analyze news coverage of the territorially-disputed Diaoyu/Senkaku Islands by the China Daily from 2002 to 2011. Findings from content analyses showed that despite the local nature of the dispute that invokes clear in-group/out-group distinctions between China and Japan, the majority of the articles in the newspaper discursively recategorize intergroup relations. This includes the assimilation of Japan under a superordinate ‘Asian’ identity, and the categorization of the United States as the ‘outsider’ purposefully interfering in Sino-Japanese relations. The findings provide important ideological insights of the ruling party state and its attempts to influence intergroup comparisons by reconfiguring the basis of intergroup evaluation and differentiation.
A Theoretical Model of Transnational Communication by Dominican Diaspora Organizations • Maria De Moya, North Carolina State University • This study presents a theoretical model of strategic communication by diaspora community organizations (DCOs) serving the Dominican-American community. Using constructivist grounded theory, this study explored the reasons why DCOs engage in these efforts, the means through which they communicate to national and international in-group and external publics, and their desired community outcomes. The model highlights a combination of mediated and interpersonal efforts conducted to engage publics in both the home and the host country.
The Facilitative and Monitorial Roles of Bulgarian Media in the Coverage of the 2011 Presidential Election • Daniela Dimitrova, Iowa State University • Using a systematic content analysis, the present study investigates the coverage of the 2011 presidential election campaign in Bulgaria in order to evaluate the quality of news reporting 23 years after the end of Communism. The study examines several characteristics of the coverage, including the use of news sources, the framing of politics, references to scandal and journalistic speculations. The findings show that while the media have moved beyond direct political controls of the past, there are a number of areas that need improvement. Implications for normative democracy are briefly discussed.
Legitimating Journalistic Authority under the State’s Shadow: A Case Study of the Environmental Press Awards in China • Dong Dong • This study attempts to investigate the legitimation of journalistic authority in the form of journalism awards. The Environmental Press Awards (EPA), an unofficial but highly regarded news competition among Chinese environmental reporters, has been chosen as a case study. The case is examined from three interconnected dimensions: the creation and maintenance of moral and pragmatic legitimacies, the strategic processes of cognitive and social legitimation, and a dual process of symbolic legitimation of the market media ideology. Research data is formed based on statistical analysis of 181 award submissions and 10 in-depth interviews with key personnel in the host organizations, the journalism community, and environmental NGOs. By looking into the establishment, dynamics and results of the awarding process, it is found that the alliance between the market media and the green civil society has created and buttressed the legitimacy of the award. However, without blessing from the Party/state, such legitimacy is vulnerable and can easily be dismantled.
Governmental Corruption through the Egyptian Bloggers’ Lens: A Qualitative Study of Four Egyptian Political Blogs • Mohammed el-Nawawy; Sahar Khamis • Corruption was among the serious problems of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Egyptian political bloggers played a critical role in exposing this regime’s corrupt policies. This study analyzed a number of threads from four prominent Egyptian political blogs that tackled corruption, which performed three functions, namely: mobilization, documentation, or deliberation. This analysis highlighted the strengths and weaknesses and the potentials and limitations of political blogs in promoting civic engagement, democratization, and political change.
Russia versus the World: Are Public Relations Leadership Priorities More Similar than Different? • Elina Erzikova, Central Michigan University • As a part of a world-wide study, 215 Russian public relations practitioners completed an online survey of their perceptions related to professional leadership and communication management. The Russian sample’s demographics differed significantly from the overall sample’s make-up (N=4,484; 22 countries). Despite the differences, there was a significant overlap between Russian participants’ and their global peers’ beliefs. This result might signal, among others, universality of some specific leadership aspects and/or a globalization effect in Russian public relations.
Framing the Egyptian Revolution: An online frame building case study • Hogar Mohammed; Peter Gade, University of Oklahoma • This agenda setting study explored the influence of citizen media on legacy media during the Egyptian Revolution. It examined the extent to which the frames in the posts on two popular citizen Facebook pages, We Are All Khaled Said (Arabic) and We Are All Khaled Said (English), were also found in frames of three online legacy media, Al Jazeera, the BBC, and The New York Times, during the revolution from January 25, 2011 to February 11, 2011. Results showed the two Facebook pages’ frames had an indirect influence on the frames of the three online legacy media.
Mediated Public Diplomacy in Times of War: An investigation of media relations in Pakistan • Rauf Arif; Guy Golan, Syracuse University; Brian Moritz, Syracuse University • The current study provides a unique perspective into US-Pakistan and Taliban-Pakistan media relations in the context of the regional war on terror. Based on mediated public diplomacy and news construction literature, the study explores some of the key challenges and opportunities that both sides face as they aim to influence Pakistani media coverage and win the political support of the Pakistani people. Eighteen online in-depth interviews of Pakistani media practitioners explore their perceptions of wartime media relations involving four main categories: US-Pakistani media relations, Taliban-Pakistani media relations, Taliban/extremist groups’ understanding of Pakistani news routines, and US officials’ understanding of Pakistani news routines. The study’s key findings are discussed in the context of wartime media relations and mediated public diplomacy.
Journalism in times of violence: Uses and practices of social media along the U.S.-Mexico border • Celeste Gonzalez de Bustamante, University of Arizona; Jeannine Relly, University of Arizona School of Journalism • Mexico ranks as one of the most violent countries in the world for journalists, especially those who work on the country’s periphery such as its northern border. Our research examines the way that violence has influenced social media use by U.S. and Mexican journalists who cover northern Mexico, and advances the hierarchy of influences model (Shoemaker and Reese, 1996; Reese, 2001) through qualitative analysis of in-depth interviews conducted in 18 cities along the U.S.-Mexico border.
Online Coverage of the 2010 Brazilian Presidential Elections: framing power and professional ideology • Heloiza Herscovitz, California State University Long Beach • A framing analysis of news and commentaries published by mainstream online media organizations and their bloggers and columnists on the 2010 Brazilian Presidential Elections revealed that framing do have the potential to uncover journalism’s ideological elements. Political preferences marked the Brazilian online coverage blurring the lines between the private and the public. Journalism status quo emerged as a main topic in the coverage as a free press under attack quickly reacted with rage causing a rift between news organizations that criticized the outgoing president and those that supported him. A popular president, apparently unaffected by corruption scandals, and the country’s most powerful media groups confronted each other in an exhaustive and unfinished battle.
Journalism on the Fly: Youth Reporters in Benin as a New Model of Development Journalism • Robert Huesca, Trinity University • “The concept of “”development journalism”” was introduced in the late 1960s and proposed as a new press theory more amenable to developing nations. The concept has been criticized as conceptually vague and professionally problematic due to a lack of independence vis a vis the state. Despite this criticism, the concept has continued to draw adherents and advocates who claim that this practice continues to hold promise as an alternative to other models of journalism. This paper reports on a development journalism project conducted in Africa among young women in terms of its potential contributions to development journalism. The journalism camp for girls was designed out of a framework drawn from the scholarship of development journalism and participatory development communication. The findings indicate that projects such as the journalism camp for girls addresses many of the criticism leveled against development journalism, while suggesting a sustainable, viable, and compatible model of development journalism in the developing world.”
Testing Cyber Nationalism in China: A Case Study of Anti-Japanese Collective Actions • Ki Deuk Hyun, Grand Valley State University; Jinhee Kim, Pohang University of Science and Technology; Shaojing Sun • Although the rise of nationalist activism in Chinese online sphere has drawn much scholarly attention, few studies examined how nationalism, usages and motivations of the Internet affect nationalist collective actions. Using Sino-Japanese diplomatic disputes as a testing ground, this study investigates the effects of news use of both traditional and social media, nationalist attitudes, motivations in using the Internet specific to the disputes on anti-Japanese political behaviors such as boycotting and protest. Analyses of online survey data of Chinese netizens demonstrate that nationalism positively correlate to news use and Internet use motivations of information seeking and social interaction. The results also show that respondents who are motivated to use the Internet for expression and discussion related to the Sino-Japanese disputes are more likely to engage in anti-Japanese behaviors. This study demonstrates that motivations involved in the use of new media technologies related to specific political issues and events play significant roles in mobilizing supporters for collective actions.
Determinants of Satisfaction and Behavioral Intentions: Role of Perceived Authenticity, Identity, and Reputation in Tourism Promotion • Rajul Jain, DePaul University • This study examined a model with causal linkages among identity, reputation, perceived authenticity, tourists’ satisfaction, and intended behavior. Survey data from 545 tourists and in-depth interviews with 16 visitors of a cultural and eco-archaeological theme park in Mexico showed significant linkages among constructs. Variations in perceived authenticity with demographics, visit characteristics, and information sources were also examined. Findings imply the value of strategic communication, which could lead to supporting behavioral intentions towards a destination.
Tweeting as a Journalistic Social Engagement Routine in Africa and Beyond • Yusuf Kalyango, Ohio University, Ohio, Athens, USA; Pamela Walck, Ohio University • This study explores how international journalists based in East Africa and the United States communicate with their audiences about current affairs on Twitter and whether the reporting beats and their news-gathering routines reflects their tweets they share with their followers. This qualitative study also explores whether the issues that the four prominent journalists from East Africa and the United States tweet are driven by the need to brand themselves or to crowd-source through other social engagement approaches. The findings indicate that the two prominent East African journalists were more prone to use Twitter for a more conversational, less formal tone to convey information but the journalists from the United States eschewed using Twitter for personal conversations or editorial opinions. They were more likely to include informal, sarcastic or critical commentary on Twitter than the African international journalists.
U.S. vs. the rest of the world: Perceptions of war correspondents in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars • Hun Shik Kim, University of Colorado Boulder • The first decade in the 21st century saw two major wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in which journalists from different countries covered either as embedded and unilateral journalists. This study, based on a survey of 309 war correspondents, examines and compares the U.S. and non-U.S. journalists’ perceptions of various aspects of the two international conflicts. There are stark contrasts between U.S. and non-U.S. war correspondents in their perceptions of overall quality of news coverage, embedded reporting practices, censorship pressures from the military, and news themes involving high human casualties. It was evident that differences in nationality based on U.S. vs. non-U.S. distinction shaped the war correspondents’ overall assessment of news coverage from the two wars. Reasons for the divergent news coverage were discussed, including war reporting from the perspectives of our own wars vs. other people’s wars.
Journalists of Botswana: Roles and Influences • Katie Lang, University of Miami, School of Communication; Jyotika Ramaprasad • This study is likely the first systematic study of journalists in Botswana. It examines their perceptions of their roles as well as the influences on their work within the framework of professional milieus and content theory respectively. The data was collected in person from 115 randomly selected journalists representing various ranks, media types, media ownership, and media orientation. The study’s contribution lies in the quantitative benchmarks it establishes for Batswana journalism practices.
Socio-cultural value difference of the media and news framing on business conflict issue • Min-Kyu Lee, Chung-Ang University; Wan Soo Lee, Dongseo University • This study conducted a comparative analysis on how media framing varied across two countries as well as the ideologies of newspapers when it comes to the market competitive reports such as the Samsung-Apple patent lawsuit. In addition, this study attempted to provide an integrated explanation of news frames quantitatively, analyzing both the generic frame and the issue-specific frame. This study shows that there were differences according to the ideological characteristics of the newspapers as well as to socio-cultural values, economic and social factors. While the news frame in favor of Samsung was absolutely abundant in South Korea, neutral frames were dominant in the U.S. This implies that the ethnocentrism or patriotism can have little significance in some issues that place emphasis on moral evaluations and market principles.
Web Credibility in China: Comparing Internet and Traditional News Sources on Credibility Measures • Yunjuan Luo; Hongzhong Zhang • China has the largest Internet population in the world. The rapid increase of Internet use has raised the question of whether the Internet is judged to be a more credible news source compared to the traditional media. Based on probability sample telephone surveys in two major Chinese cities, this study found that the Internet was judged as less credible than television and newspapers, but it was perceived to be more credible than other traditional news sources such as radio and magazines. Internet use was the strongest predictor of Web credibility. Newspaper use and television use were found to be negatively correlated with Web credibility. Some demographic variables such as age and education also turned out to be significant predictors.
Developing a survey instrument of journalistic peace/war performance: Toward a reliable assessment of crisis-reporters’ attitudes • Rico Neumann, UN-mandated University for Peace; Shahira Fahmy, U of Arizona • Based on Galtung’s concept of peace/war journalism, this exploratory work attempts to advance an empirical method to develop a survey instrument for a reliable and valid assessment of journalists’ attitudes toward peace/war performance. The authors propose a measurement index of conflict reporting which combines practices linked to peace/war journalism. The approach’s usefulness is demonstrated by quantitative and qualitative evidence from a pilot study–a survey of worldwide members of The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
State of Research on Media Representation of China: A Thematic Meta-Analysis • Zengjun Peng, St Cloud State University; Xi’an International Studies University; Yuan Zeng, Xi’an International Studies University; Pei Zheng, Xi’an International Studies University; Tianding Wang, Xi’an International Studies University • State of Research on Media Representation of China: A Thematic Meta-Analysis. This study, by way of thematic meta-analysis, analyzed 91 research articles in the area of media representation of China published in Chinese academic journals between 1994 and 2013. Targeting at an overall picture on the state and health of the scholarship in this field, the study used a comprehensive list of categories including publication and authorship profile, theory use, citation patterns and methodological details. Results identified several weaknesses and deficiencies, particularly in theory use and methodological execution. Implications for future research were discussed.
Tensions, Conflicts and Challenges: A Case Study of Foreign Correspondents in China • Wei Zhou, Beijing Foreign Studies University; Jiang Zhan, Beijing Foreign Studies University; Zengjun Peng, St Cloud State University; Xi’an International Studies University • This study, based on results from semi-structured interviews with nine foreign correspondents stationed in Beijing, China, offered a qualitative examination into the daily practices of foreign correspondents in a country undergoing dramatic political and social transitions. Focusing on themes emerged from the narratives of the foreign correspondents themselves, including profile feature, news agenda, sourcing pattern and special challenges in reporting, the paper explored the tensions, conflicts and special challenges foreign correspondents face in doing professional reporting in an authoritarian state. Related issues and implications were also raised and discussed against the theoretical premises in international communication and journalism scholarship.
The Digital Divide In Brazil, 2004 – 2009: Evolution and Effects on Political Engagement • Rachel Reis Mourao, University of Texas at Austin; Charles Wood, University of Florida • Results of a 2010 survey of twenty-two Latin American countries show that Brazil ranks first with respect to Internet connectivity. Analyses of national household surveys further show an increase in microcomputers and Internet access between 2004 and 2009, and a decline in the digital divide by rural-urban residence and socioeconomic status. The study also finds that the intensity of Internet use has a positive effect on the knowledge and attitudes deemed relevant to democratic governance.
Journalists’ perceptions of professional ethics norms in post-Ba’athist Iraq • Jeannine Relly, University of Arizona School of Journalism; Margaret Zanger, University of Arizona School of Journalism; Shahira Fahmy, U of Arizona • In the post-Saddam Hussein period in Iraq, thousands of Iraqi journalists were trained in journalistic professional norms as U.S. government officials paid for propaganda placement in news reports and local politicians handed out envelopes of cash at press conferences. This survey (N = 588) of Iraqi journalists examined influences on ethics perceptions. The study found when controlling for demographics that occupation, watchdog attitude, journalistic role perception, and training had the greatest impact on professional ethics.
The Journalist’s Role in a Digital and Social Media Era: A Comparative Analysis of Journalists in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru • Amy Schmitz Weiss • Based on a survey conducted of over 1,100 journalists, this study examines how journalism is transforming in today’s global media climate. It specifically investigates the professional roles as well as the digital and social media routines of journalists in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru. Findings show the professional roles of the journalists surveyed show significant differences between countries in the area of the populist mobilizer and the interpretative role. In addition, the journalists also identified multiple uses of the digital platform for newsgathering tasks and social media channels for tasks ranging from using it to post news to using it to encourage dialog and conversation with the public. Implications of the findings are also discussed.
Cultural Values in Viral Video Advertisements in China and the U.S. • Fei Xue, University of Southern Mississippi • The current research analyzed 194 popular online video advertisements in China (YouKu) and the U.S. (Advertising Age) from November 2012 to March 2013, to explore differences between two countries in cultural values and advertiser characteristics. It was found that ads from YouKu used more group/consensus appeals, more tradition/elderly appeals, and less individual/independence appeals, compared to those from Advertising Age. Significant differences were also found in terms of country-of-origin and product categories.
Communicating AIDS in Africa: A Case Study of Ugandan Newspapers • Angella Napakol; Nan Yu, North Dakota State University; Charles Okigbo, North Dakota State University • This empirical content-analytic study of AIDS coverage in two Ugandan newspapers — one government owned and the other private – showed that the media can be useful tools in framing AIDS narratives and directing attention to people at risk. Although there were slight differences between the two newspapers, on the whole they were similar in their AIDS reportage and portend great benefits in the fight against the epidemic. We conclude that the mass media can contribute in important ways to the various efforts toward HIV/AIDS prevention.
Framing Strategies At Different Stages of Crisis: Coverage of the “July 5th” Urumqi Event by Xinhua, Reuters, and AP • Lily Zeng, Arkansas State University; Lijie Zhou, Arkansas State University; Xigen Li • This study examined how Xinhua, Reuters, and AP adjusted their framing strategies when covering the 2009 “July 5th” Urumqi event, a series of violent activities between two ethnic groups in far west China. The findings revealed that during the initial stage, the three news agencies displayed considerable similarities, relying on official sources, addressing damages, and focusing on updates. They also tended to portray the crisis from the regional perspective, reflecting the nature and scope of the incident. However, reporting of the same crisis varied dramatically after the first stage. When it was time to define the situation by selecting background or contextual information, media organizations began to reveal the different interest they represent.
Bridges in the Global News Arena: A Network Study of Bridge Blogs About China • Nan Zheng, James Madison University • The concept of bridge blogs as a form of global journalism was examined by content analysis and network analysis of 426 blog posts and 1026 links in 11 bridge blogs about China from 2009 to 2010. This study proposes a theoretical framework to examine how bridge blogs’ network characteristics (i.e. attentive cluster, betweenness, centrality) are related to their communicative practices as reflected in their linking preferences.
Markham Student Paper Competition
Euros over Citizens: The Dutch Press’s Narrow Conception of Democracy • Tabe Bergman, University of Illinois • The disruption of European politics as usual resulting from the Greek prime-minister’s proposal in late 2011 to hold a referendum on the euro-crisis provides an opportunity to examine the commitment to democratic deliberations among Dutch journalists. This paper first documents the current crisis in Dutch democracy and then argues that Dutch journalists have incorporated a narrow conception of democracy, similar to Walter Lippmann’s, that discourages citizen participation in the democratic process. The assumption that this almost antidemocratic conception of ‘democracy’ influenced the commentary on the referendum proposal is tested with a content analysis of four newspapers. The results show that, indeed, the proposal was widely and often vehemently dismissed.
“Blind dating” with culture, market, and governmental regulations: A case study of Meeting with Mother-in-Law, a blind date reality show in China • Li Chen • This study attempted to reveal and discuss how Meeting with Mother-in-Law, a Chinese blind date reality show, reflects glocalized cultural elements in urban areas in China. The study also analyzed how Chinese media practitioners balance market needs and governmental regulations through examining the role of judges in the show. By conducting textual analysis on eight episodes of Meeting with Mother-in-Law, the study revealed that the show reconstructed gender roles and reinterpreted Western values within a local context, which is a result of cultural hybridization. In addition, the study discussed how judges cautiously monitor the conversations to make the show appealing to the public without violating state regulations.
Online Social Support Messages for Intercultural Adaptation of Mainland Chinese international Students in Singapore • Liang Chen, Nanyang Technological University • China has become the biggest source nations of overseas students worldwide. Recently, there has been an increase in the number of Chinese students flocking to universities or colleges in Singapore. While the culture of Singapore, to some extent, is similar to China’s culture, mainland Chinese students might present the difficulty of adapting to an English medium education system, local culture and academic pressures in Singapore. Thus, many of them in Singapore feel homesick, isolated and frustrated at the beginning of their overseas study. Fortunately, a computer mediated social support group (the LSg Group), a sub-forum of most popular Chinese overseas study forum founded in April 2000, provides various types of social support messages for mainland Chinese students in Singapore. The present study does leading examinations to inquire the nature of social support that took place in the LSg Group for intercultural adaptation of mainland Chinese overseas students. A directed qualitative content analysis was applied to analyze all 736 posted messages collected from 6th July to 6th October .The results suggests that the social support messages can be categorize into many subcategories under three existing main categories, informational, instrumental and emotional support and a new created category: network support. In sum, this online social support group provides a convenient and effective platform for mainland Chinese students in Singapore to seek and share information, emotional encouragement, tangible services and opportunities to expand their social networks in order to orient themselves to a new cultural environment.
The Freelancer-NGO Alliance: What a Story of Kenyan Waste Reveals about Contemporary Foreign News Production • David Conrad, University of Pennsylvania – Annenberg School for Communication • This paper explores the impact that foundation/NGO partnerships are having on the practices of contemporary foreign news reporting in American journalism. Through an exploration of a widely published project on a health crisis in East Africa – funded by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting and reported by the study’s author – this paper ultimately argues that issues of framing, representation, and ideology are not dominating foreign news production; they are being hotly contested within it.
Does the medium make a difference? A comparative analysis of international news in Chinese online and print newspapers • Ming Dai • The study examined the influence of new media technologies on agenda diversity of international news coverage and how the influence varied by media’s audience orientation. A content analysis of major Chinese newspapers and their websites showed that the online media reproduced some of the traditional media’s practices of covering international news unevenly. The influence of the internet was more pronounced on the government-oriented media than on the market-oriented media.
The role of social media in helping voters to resist mainstream media propaganda in Argentina • Mariana De Maio, University of Florida • In the last decade popular democracies have survived mainstream media opposition in many countries in Latin America. This demarks a departure from history. Voters support governments aligned with their needs in spite of media propaganda. Within the propaganda theory framework, this paper will propose a model to study the case of Argentina focusing on how social media messages have helped media news consumers to resist the propaganda.
The South African Press’ Framing of Human Rights in the 2011 Libyan Conflict • Anthony Frampton • This qualitative study examines the South African Press’ coverage of the 2011 Libyan conflict and their framing of human rights abuses and discourses advocating Western intervention. I performed a content analysis of news stories from South African newspaper available on LexisNexis that referenced the Libyan Civil War during the period February 14 to March 17, 2011. To analyze the data, I used a customized thematic framework based on framing theory. I found that overwhelming, the coverage by the South African press appeared more closely aligned with war journalism than peace journalism. Their newspaper reports largely explored human rights issues by highlighting the negative actions of the Libyan Government and demonizing its leader, Colonel Gaddafi, while ignoring human rights violations by the rebel fighters. The research also revealed that while South African journalists adopted a nationalistic perspective, they ignored racial violence, depended heavily on elite political sources, and privileged Western proposed resolutions over local or regional mediation. That the African press’ framing of the conflict was little different from Western reports highlights the relative consistency of mainstream journalism around the globe on war and conflict, although it also points to significant insights into the uniqueness of war reporting on the continent by African-based newspapers.
Cyber Security in Developing Countries, a Digital Divide Issue: The Case of Georgia • Ellada Gamreklidze • Based on the case study of the cyber war between Russia and Georgia in August 2008, this paper is a theoretical deliberation in an attempt to illustrate connection between Digital Divide and cyber security. Through a qualitative case study of cyber warfare between the two countries, it shows that states on the disadvantaged side of the Digital Divide are subject to cyber insecurity. As a result, even though relatively low dependence of their vital systems on online networks supposedly makes them less vulnerable to cyber offensives, disruptions to communication infrastructures causes these states turn dysfunctional. The conclusion is that the level of country’s cyber security serves as a litmus test for the level of its cyber power that, in turn, is indicative of the country’s strategic political standing among other states.
Losing Focus: Goal Displacement at an Alternative Newspaper in El Salvador • Summer Harlow, University of Texas at Austin • This study examines whether a Salvadoran alternative newspaper maintained its critical, independent, and alternative position after the country’s first leftist president was elected and the newspaper no longer was in opposition to the government. Via a content analysis and in-depth interviews, this study improves our understanding of “alternativeness” in a non-U.S.-context. Findings indicate that the newspaper’s goals became less radical, with more pro-government coverage, and less coverage of social movements and civil society.
Framing Mediated Activism: Lokpal Bill Campaign in India • Sumanth Inukonda, BGSU • Anti-corruption agitations in India coincided with the Arab Spring inspiring many to draw parallels. This paper argues that the ease with which the frames crossed the boundaries of social and traditional media confirms the relevance of media framing. The cascade model helps explain circumstances under which the discord between media and political elite arises. This paper argues that initial media frames need not subscribe to the views of political elite; rather discord draws from historical struggles to maintain press freedom.
The Limits of Revolution in the Digital Age: The cases of China and Cuba • Haiyan Jia, Penn State University; Cristina Mislan, The Pennsylvania State University • The Internet, with its ease of obtaining information, is supposedly constructive to democracy while corrosive to non-democratic rule. The assumptions that technological advances foment democratization have roots in historical events, such as the fall of the Soviet Union and the libertarian ideology of early proponents of the Internet. While we have witnessed social movements such as “Arab Spring,” the prediction remains largely as an ideal. China and Cuba have shown that technology is moderated by external and internal factors, from macro to micro, instead of a single technological determinant. In this paper, we look at modernization theory to understand the rationale of technology as a liberalizing tool, and further analyze the effectiveness and limitation of this approach using two cases studies that investigate the utilization of Internet in China and Cuba. Based on a review of the literature and theories, and two case studies on Cuba and China, we propose different factors that influence the actual use of Internet and discuss the implications.
The Political Economy of Burma’s Media System: Democratization, Marketization and the Media • Brett Labbe, Bowling Green State University • Using political economy as a theoretical framework, this study employs Hallin and Mancini’s five-dimensional media systems model to the case of Burma (a.k.a. Myanmar) in an attempt address the relationship between media systems and political change. It finds that political structures cannot be adequately understood apart from national media systems and the global economic context in which they are embedded. Furthermore, the findings challenge theoretical assumptions asserting an organic, inherently linear relationship between democratization and marketization.
Can Regimes Really Discourage Social Networking? Urbanization, Cellphone Use and the Dictator’s Plight • Shin Haeng Lee • Are authoritarian regimes ever really successful at stopping at the use of social networking services? This study conducts a panel data analysis on 182 countries observed from 2009 to 2012, to reveal under what conditions and to what extent political institutions shape a cross-country difference in the adoption of Facebook. Including fixed effects, the findings support that authoritarian regimes are detrimental to the diffusion of the digital technology. However, the government’s suppression is moderated by the increased use of cell-phones and the growth of urban population. In other words, urbanization and mobile phone diffusion undermines a regime’s ability to censor the use of Facebook. The authoritarian control is also eroded when people perceive high levels of political efficacy.
Media Modality Effects on Perceptions of China: A Study of Text and Video Frames • Ruobing Li, The Pennsylvania State University; Steve Bien-Aime; Lian Ma, The Pennsylvania State University • The present paper describes an experiment that compared the strength of negative framing effects in text and video on people’s perceptions of China. Controlling for avidity for following international political news, results suggest that audience’s nationality moderate the effects of modalities on audience’s perceptions of China. For Chinese audience, video news increases their negative perceptions of China, while for non-Chinese audience, textual news elicits more negative perceptions of China.
Framing H1N1 Influenza in U.S. and Chinese TV News • Jingfei Liu; Gang (Kevin) Han, Greenlee School/Iowa State University • This study examines the news frames of H1N1 influenza in NBC Nightly News (NBC) in the U.S. and CCTV Evening News (CCTV) in China from April 2009 to October 2010. The content analysis reveals significant differences in news frames and news sources between the two programs. Attribution of responsibility and human interest are the most visible frames in NBC, and the former is also the dominant frame in CCTV. The visibilities of human interest, conflict, and economic consequence frames in NBC are higher than those in CCTV. Domestic government officials and citizens are the most cited sources in NBC, followed by scientists and non-government organizations. The most cited source in CCTV is the domestic government, followed by foreign governments and international organizations. Positive correlations are found between the attribution of responsibility frame and the domestic government source, and between the human interest frame and non-government organizations, citizens and victims in NBC. In CCTV, positive correlations are found between the attribution of responsibility frame and the domestic government, between the human interest frame and both the domestic government and citizens, and between the conflict frame and scientists.
Netizens Overlook “Official Frames” in China? A Framing Analysis of Online news and Micro-blogging Posts • Yanqin Lu • This framing analysis study examined China’s online news and micro-blogging posts on the disputes on Dioayu/Senkaku Islands. Compare to online news, micro-blogging users were more likely to put a human face and make moral judgments on the issue. Within the micro-blogging network, public figures tended to employ thematic frame while news media users preferred episodic frame. Pearson correlation test determined that public figures have a significant impact on the general users in the micro-blogging network.
Weibo, a Better Civic Medium? A Comparative Framing Analysis of Weibo and Xinhuanet in Covering the 7.23 China Train Crash • Luyue Ma, Bowling Green State University • This study employs a comparative framing analysis approach to examine how the popular Chinese social media Weibo and the government-run news website Xinhuanet cover the 7.23 Wenzhou train crash event (2011). The findings indicate that compared with Xinhua coverage, Weibo users are more likely to employ societal or political frames to cover the event. The discourse on Weibo diverges independently from the mainstream media and is more civic oriented.
Framing Poll News in a Unbalanced Media System Society: A Study of Poll Coverage in South Korean Newspapers and Broadcasters during the 2012 Presidential Election • Chang Sup Park, Southern Illinois University Carbondale • This study examined the coverage on public polls by mass media during the 2012 presidential election in South Korea. Through the coding of news stories on public polls published in four newspapers and three broadcasters, this study finds South Korean mass media depended excessively on the strategy frame rather than the issue frame. This means that South Korean mass media presented readers the presidential election as an image of battle between candidates or political parties, rather than making voters engage in constructive dialogue about important issues regarding candidates and parties. Second, South Korean newspapers were very unkind in providing basic information about public polls that is necessary for voters to judge the results and implications of the polls. Third, topics that need to be delivered to voters were missing in the coverage of public polls in both newspapers and broadcasters. Important topics that the electorate should know in judging the candidates were rarely seen (e.g., main difference in policies between parties, human rights issues, and social welfare problems). Most importantly, South Korean media showed a very partisan attitude in the polling coverage. While the two conservative newspapers were positive toward the ruling party candidate, the two liberal newspapers were positive toward the opposition party candidate. Also, the two government-controlled broadcasters were seriously biased toward the ruling party and its candidate. The outcomes suggest that how the media system of a society is closely associated with the news coverage on important political issues.
Foreign Correspondence in the Digital Age: An analysis of India Ink The New York Times’ India-specific blog • Newly Paul, Louisiana State University • This paper is a case study of India Ink, the New York Times’ first country-specific blog, launched in September 2011. This paper examines the blog’s content in order to analyze the ways in which participatory Web 2.0 tools have changed foreign coverage. Findings indicate that through interactive multimedia, crowd-sourced content, and collaboration between Indian and American reporters, India Ink is helping foreign correspondence thrive amidst drastic newsroom budget cuts.
Anonymous Sources Hurt Credibility of News Stories across Cultures: A Comparative Study of America and China • Ivanka Pjesivac, University of Tennessee; Rachel Rui, University of Tennessee • This experiment (N=620) tested the impact of the use of anonymous sources on perceived news story credibility in America and China, two countries with assumed different journalistic standards. Both Americans and Chinese rated news stories with only anonymous sources as less credible than stories with identified sources. Attitude of Americans towards news stories was found to be more positive. The study represents the first comparative research on the topic with rigorously established cross-cultural equivalences.
Still in the dark about Africa: 21st century perceptions of development in Sub-Saharan Africa among American college students • April Raphiou, Student • For decades, African countries have been portrayed inaccurately in mainstream media, often as a land filled with wild people, exotic wildlife and widespread poverty. On the contrary, the Africa of today is slowly moving beyond these stereotypical images with burgeoning economies and improved quality-of-life in many areas. However, this study illustrates that perceptions of Africa among young news consumers do not reflect the changing landscape of the continent. Even though information and communication technologies make it possible for younger generations to access more information, they are still misinformed or uniformed about developments in Africa. Employing media use, cosmopolitanism level, and socioeconomic status as guiding frameworks, the current study measures young news consumers’ knowledge of African development. An online survey was administered to 202 college students at a public university in the southeastern region of the United States to gauge their perceptions of the current state of development in Sub-Saharan Africa. Results indicate that students continue to associate Africa with negative aspects of development, such as poverty and disease. Additionally, respondents with high cosmopolitan or socioeconomic levels were more knowledgeable about African development. Interestingly, media use did not correlate with knowledge This study also highlights differences in perceptions based upon respondents’ ethnicities; Asian respondents were more knowledgeable that individuals of other races.
Right and Satisfied: How the Influence of Political Leaning on Job Satisfaction of Journalists is Mediated by Their Perceived Role Fulfillment • Philip Baugut, U of Munich; Sebastian Scherr, U of Munich • This paper challenges the relevance of journalists’ political leanings. A secondary analysis of a representative survey of journalists (n = 1536) (see Weischenberg et al., 2006) shows that liberal journalists have a more active role conception, perceive stronger discrepancies between their role and their role fulfillment, and are less satisfied with their job. The indirect only effect of journalists’ political leanings on their job satisfaction underlines the significance of intrinsic factors for job satisfaction.
“A Hero With A Thousand Faces”: A Narrative Analysis of US and Taiwanese News Coverage of Linsanity • Chiaoning Su, Temple University • This paper examines the interconnectedness of the construction of ethnicity, nationalism and identity in contemporary media sports. This paper first describes the development and progression of the Linsanity phenomenon, a global sports story that defined 2012. Next, it reviews scholarship on the intersection of news media, sports, and national identity in the context of globalization, and further discusses research methods and data collection procedures. Finally, it compares US and Taiwanese news coverage of Jeremy Lin and argues that media in both countries reflect traditional racialized and nationalist ideologies in their representation of Linsanity, supporting the dominant nationalistic rhetoric in the US and increasing social solidarity in Taiwan. Consequently, this paper aims to demonstrate how national ideology sanctions specific constructions of ethnicity and identity, and how Jeremy Lin was framed differently by nationally-preferred archetypal narratives in the US and Taiwan that enable a hero to have “a thousand faces” on the stage of global media sports. Furthermore, the similarities and differences between US and Taiwanese media coverage of Jeremy Lin can be interpreted as clear evidence that global media sports are a contested terrain characterized by constant conflicting global cultural flows and local resistance to cultural domination.
Media in the Middle East: A Credibility Crisis or a Case of Rising of Confidence? Jordan as a Model • Khalaf Tahat, University of Oklahoma; Azzam Elananza, Yarmouk University • The main purpose of this study was to investigate journalism students’ perceptions of the credibility of the media in Jordan. Specifically, this paper sought to test the difference in media credibility between public media and private media. A questionnaire translated into Arabic was used and handed to a systematic random sample that consisted of 200 students at The Mass Communication College in Jordan. The study found that Jordanian journalism students perceive private media as more trusted than public media. Participants did not rate public media which is run by government as the most credible sources. Today, with the ongoing the “Arab Spring,” private media play a major role in expanding the freedom margins in different countries in the Middle East compared with those media operated by governments that serve only their agendas. Also, the study revealed that people who spend more time in using media tend to trust private media than public media. The high competition between different types of media, the advent of new technologies, and adoption of a market approach in creating media content could explain how private media could employ different effective tools to enhance its communication with potential audiences and keep them following their content for a long time. Future studies and limitations are reported.
Does Censorship or Culture Explain the Isoated Chinese Internet: Analyzing Global Online Audience Flows • Harsh Taneja; Angela Xiao Wu, Northwestern University • Censorship seemingly isolates Chinese internet users. We argue that blocking foreign websites has a limited role in shaping user behavior, as audiences anyway prefer local content. Analyzing traffic among the 1000 most visited websites globally we find that websites cluster according to language and geography. Chinese websites constitute one such cluster, which resembles other such geo-linguistic clusters. This cluster however excludes many uncensored foreign websites that offer content in Chinese language.