Visual Communication 2017 Abstracts

Online Coverage of Brittany Maynard’s Death: Visual and Verbal Information • Kelsie Arnold; Kimberly Lauffer • This study examined textual and visual elements in web-based coverage of Brittany Maynard’s decision to exercise Oregon’s right to die in order to understand how the media framed their coverage using multimedia components. The authors used a qualitative perspective and a quantitative data collection instrument to synthesize data and key themes that emerged from the research. Culturally embedded frames, loaded language, and graphic elements were all deemed essential to telling the story of Brittany Maynard.

Attributes of Likable Organizational Logos: An Exploratory Study using Q Methodology • Angie Chung; Dennis Kinsey • Logos have a big impact on how people feel about an organization. The goal of this research is to identify the subjective perceptions when people evaluate logos and explore what elements affect the likability of organizational logos. This exploratory research used Q Methodology to quantitatively and qualitatively examine subjective preferences for different types of logos. Forty participants sorted 50 organizational logos (Q sample) from “most appealing” (+5) to “most unappealing” (-5). Three different factors emerged from the correlation and factor analysis—the first group expressed the importance of color, the second group thought logos with living creatures were appealing and the third group were attracted to logos suggesting dynamic movement. Findings are discussed in terms of practical implications for how organizations can choose logos that can be received more positively.

A reciprocal-networked model of the photojournalistic icon: From the print-television news era to the present • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Perlmutter, Texas Tech University; Natalia Mielczarek, Virginia Tech • Millions of news images have been created, but only a relative few have become the fabled “icons” of photojournalism that have been popularly ascribed with extraordinary powers to mobilize national opinion, start or stop wars, or at least capture “decisive moments” in history. Since most of the photoicon era occurred when news was a wholly industrial (via print and then broadcast and cable) enterprise, media gatekeeping has been a critical component of the process of icon creation, distribution, and maintenance. Traditionally, news photographs became iconic, in large part, through their purposive, industrially defined, and prominent placement on elite newspaper front pages and lead position in broadcast/cable news across the globe. But as we rapidly move away from print news and towards a digital/internet/social news environment, what is the effect on the formation of iconic imagery? We argue that it is both a changed reality of news delivery formats and the democratization of news production and dissemination via social media that predicates a theoretical shift in the formation of iconic imagery. Using the historical research method, we draw from current theoretical tenets of iconic image formation and leading research on iconic imagery to present propositions of a model of iconicity that we term the “reciprocal-networked model of iconicity,” which presents four central and related stages: creation, distribution, acceleration, and formation. We conclude this philosophy of images with some speculative predictions about the development of photoicons within the evolution of our reciprocal-networked model, arguing that several trends are predictable.

Fire, ice or drought? Picturing humanity in climate change imagery • Kim Sheehan; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon; David Morris II, University of Oregon • Despite scientific evidence of climate change, Americans continue to minimize its importance. At the same time, research suggests that advocacy campaigns and news media coverage of climate change—both text and images—do not necessarily resonate with audiences. The current study brings together existing theory on the knowledge-deficit model and research findings on both climate change imagery and story personification to explore in a 3x3x2 experiment how photographs relating to climate change have the best potential to connect with people regarding emotion and engagement.

Resignifying Alan Kurdi: News photographs, memes, and the ethics of visual representation • Meenakshi Gigi Durham, Iowa • The Turkish photojournalist Nilufer Demir’s photograph of the drowned refugee child Alan Kurdi attained worldwide recognition as a media spectacle, initially prompting humanitarian responses and political action, but later morphing into online memes and inciting public backlash as “war porn.” I argue here that the ethical motivations of photojournalism and memes are oppositional with regard to their representations of embodied vulnerability. While photojournalistic depictions of vulnerable bodies are motivated by an ethics of care intended to generate empathy and progressive social change, memes disrupt those affective connotations through processes of mimicry and replication. By means of a comparative semiological analysis, this paper examines the way the sign system of Demir’s photograph was mutated into a meme, radically changing the ethical connotations of the former. The differing ethical affordances of news photos versus memes, and their relationship, may help to explain the reversal of the cosmopolitan humanitarianism initially sparked by the Alan Kurdi photograph and tell us more about the ethical frictions and contrapositions at work in the contemporary media environment.

Access, deconstructed: An analysis of metajournalistic discourse concerning photojournalism and access • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Ross Taylor, University of Colorado • This study examines metajournalistic discourse published surrounding the intersection of photojournalism and access. Researchers conducted a textual analysis of metajournalistic discourse published in articles by The Image, Deconstructed from 2011 to 2017 (N=70). Findings suggest that photojournalists define access differently than scholars. They obtain access through purposeful body language and verbal communication, clarity of intent and persistence. These findings are interpreted through the lens of the theory of metajournalistic discourse.

Using Angle of Sight to Confirm Media Bias of a Political Protest • Michael Friedman, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga • The study sought to understand if photographic media bias of political protest could be detected by applying the photographic principle of angle of sight to the pictures of the event. The investigation focused on the photographic news coverage of the Occupy Wall Street protests from two competing and politically opposite New York City tabloid newspapers. The purpose of the study was to determine if there were any differences in the selection of angle of sight photographs, which could act as a subtle cue to either glorify or condemn the protests. Results show strong statistical support that both papers chose the angled photograph that matched with their political opinion of the protest and is relevant to other researchers who seek to understand our legacy of media coverage of political protests.

Professional Photographers and Platforms and the Perceived Credibility of Photographs on the Internet • Gina Gayle; Andrew Wirzburger, Syracuse University; Jianan Hu; Honey Rao • As the use of amateur journalists in place of professionals to photograph current events has begun to shape news content (Pantti & Anden-Papadopoulos, 2011), and people assign varying levels of credibility to the sources of news content (Bracken, 2006), understanding the effects of “professional” labels is growing increasingly salient. This study sought to investigate differences in perceived credibility of photographs on the internet depending on whether or not a professional had taken the photograph and whether or not it had been published by a professional media outlet. Definitions for the dimensions of perceived photograph credibility were adapted from previous research into general internet credibility (Metzger, 2007). The researchers hypothesized that people provided with information that the photograph was somehow “professional” would perceive it to have higher credibility. The study was designed as an experiment with four groups that evaluated photographs using a self-administered online questionnaire; each group was provided with different information about the photograph to stimulate differences between groups. Results produced no significant differences between groups for the concept of credibility but did yield significance for “authority,” one dimension of credibility. These results may be due to the influx of citizen journalism as well as diminishing public trust in mainstream news media.

Chaos, Quest and Restitution Narratives of Depression on Tumblr • Ali Hussain, Michigan State University • This paper studies how visuals from Tumblr might be used to evoke narratives of depression. Fourteen patients with moderately severe depression were interviewed using photo-elicitation method. Findings encompass three types of narratives: chaos, quest and restitution. Chaos narrative describe experiencing illnesses with no cure or unreliable treatments. Quest narrative are about patients’ fighting back. Restitution narrative points toward the belief that health is restorable. Study offers implications to use images during depression counseling sessions.

Show me a story: Narrative, image, and audience engagement on sports network Instagram accounts • Rich Johnson, Creighton University; Miles Romney, Brigham Young University • Social media is a growing space for interpersonal and masspersonal communication and the shared image that often accompanies these messages has become a factor in increasing audience engagement. This study seeks to understand what types of images generate more engagement from social media audiences. A group of communication scholars argue that narrative is the most basic form of human communication and therefore messages with strong narrative themes more easily connect the message from the communicator to the audience. This study performed a content analysis of nearly 2,000 images shared by Sports Networks on Instagram. Operating under Kress and Van Leeuwen’s (2006) methodology for determining narrative in image, the study found that images that contained narrative or metacommunicative messages (Bateson, 1951) resulted in greater interest and engagement by audiences through the manifestation of likes and comments. The study offers a methodology for organizations seeking greater engagement from social media audiences.

Cognitive Effects of Emotional Visuals and Company–Cause Congruence in Visual CSR Messages • Sun Young Lee, Texas Tech University; Sungwon Chung, Fort Hays State University • Using the limited capacity model of motivated mediated message processing (LC4MP), associative network theory, and expectancy violation theory as theoretical frameworks, this study seeks to explore the cognitive effects of two aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) messages: emotional visuals and company–cause congruence. We employed a 2 (emotional tone of visuals: positive vs. negative) × 2 (company–cause congruence: low vs. high) within-subjects experimental design. We tested these factors using three CSR issues: hunger in Africa, water shortage in Africa, and an environmental issue. The results showed interaction effects between the two factors for recognition sensitivity (d′) to company logos, ordered from being the highest when using a negative image and high company–cause congruence, to a negative image and low company–cause congruence, a positive image and low company–cause congruence, and a positive image and high company–cause congruence as the lowest. For cued recall of company names, we found that there were two main effects, with no interaction effects, and negative images were more effective than positive images: high company–cause congruence was more effective than low company–cause congruence. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of our findings.

Sleight of Hand, Slight of Truth: Deceptive Editing of Documentary Footage in The Look of Silence • Thomas Mascaro, Bowling Green State University • Abstract: The documentary film The Look of Silence conceals editorial sleight of hand involving a 1967 NBC documentary The Battle for Asia, Part III: Indonesia: The Troubled Victory. The editing, which is not disclosed to audiences, misrepresents the original report and contravenes documentary practice. This case illuminates libel law, with regard to DVD and interview statements accompanying a film’s release, and worrisome trend of “poetic” films eclipsing empirical reporting in documentaries.

Solutions in the shadows: The effects of incongruent visual messaging in solutions journalism news stories • Karen McIntyre, Virginia Commonwealth University; Kyser Lough, The University of Texas at Austin; Keyris Manzanares • This experiment examined the impact of story-photo congruency regarding solutions journalism. We tested the effects of solution and conflict-oriented news stories when the photo paired with the story was congruent or incongruent with the narrative. Results revealed that a solution-oriented story with a congruent photo made readers feel the most positive, but surprisingly readers were most interested in the story and reported the strongest behavioral intentions when the story was paired with a neutral photo.

The dead Syrian refugee boy goes viral: Funerary Aylan Kurdi memes as tools for social justice in remix culture • Natalia Mielczarek, Virginia Tech • The picture of the 3-year-old Syrian refugee Aylan Kurdi, whose dead body washed up on a Turkish beach in September 2015, became iconic after it went viral on social media. Within hours, Aylan was a symbol, a hashtag and a meme. This project analyzes the most popular funerary Aylan memes to understand their meanings and functions as they proliferated cyberspace. Through visual rhetorical analysis, the project expands the functions of memes from the typically theorized visual jokes and social commentary to tools of social justice. The case study demonstrates how memes get deployed as rhetorical statements to subvert and re-negotiate reality, in this case to create a ‘better ending’ for the dead boy and to seek atonement for his death. The project also analyzes the paradoxical relationship between a news icon and its digital appropriations, suggesting a new metric for iconicity in digital participatory culture.

What Makes a Meme a Meme? Five Essential Characteristics • Maria Molina, Pennsylvania State University • During the 2016 presidential elections (December 2015-2016), the term “meme” had a higher search interest in the U.S. than the word “election” (Google Trends, 2016). But what makes an Internet meme a meme? And what attracts users to not only view memes, but also create and share them? This article reviews the existent literature, explicates this form of user-generated content, and provides a set of characteristics to differentiate Internet memes from other type of content also shared online. The goal of this exercise is to provide the study of Internet memes with an integrated definition, encompassing the mutually understood set of characteristics of memes. As Chaffee (1991) describes, a concept explication plays a vital role for the advancement of a field as it helps uncover the different components of the term, provides a description of the studies that have been done in the field, and postulates areas of future research and how to move in a cohesive direction. More specifically, it will provide a tool, or measure for the analysis of the uses, motivations, and effects of this new media trend.

The Graphicness of Renowned Imagery: A Content Analysis of Pulitzer Prize Winning Photography • David Morris II, University of Oregon; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • An ongoing journalistic debate centers on the extent of acceptability of graphic imagery in the news media. In order to provide a more complete understanding of this ongoing debate, it is essential to conduct research that provides insight into the content of such imagery, especially renowned imagery. The current research uses a content analysis to explore the visual themes and type of graphicness present in the census of 763 Pulitzer Prize winning photographs from 1942 to 2015.

Closing the Gap Between Photojournalist Research and Photojournalism Practice: Exploring the Motivations of the Subjects of Sensitive Photo Essays • Tara Mortensen; Brian McDermott; Daniel Haun, University of South Carolina • There have always been challenges to pursuing photo essays, including the wariness of potential photo subjects who are often in the midst of personal hardships themselves, as well as a commitment of months or years to a single story. But contemporarily, there is a shrinking number of photojournalists and resources in the newsroom, as many have been replaced with iPhone-armed reporters and the abundance of citizen-shot photography (Allan, 2013; Hartley, 2007; Örnebring, 2013; Stelter, 2013; White, 2012). Citizens are more willing than ever to share thousands of photos a second on Snapchat and millions of photos on instagram every day (Biale, 2016; Schlosser, 2016), but an irony to this phenomenon and additional blow to photojournalists who are struggling to maintain their professional status (Gade & Lowrey, 2011; Mortensen, 2014) is that these same people are often hesitant allow professional photojournalists to tell their story (McDermott, 2012). This study is the first to inquire about the factors that influence peoples’ willingness to allow professional photojournalists tell their story, including topics such as sexual assault in the military, a woman’s struggle with losing her legs, and a mother’s struggle with losing a child. Guided by uses and gratifications theory, ten in-depth interviews with subjects of peer-judged contest winners from 2014 – 2016 in the multiple picture story categories of the NPPA Monthly Clip Contest, the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Contest, and the World Press Photo Contest were conducted and analyzed using a constant comparative method (Lincoln & Guba, 1985).

Priming effects on Instagram: An analysis of how pictures on Instagram affect individuals’ risk perceptions and information seeking behaviors • NIcole O’Donnell • This research explored how images on Instagram affect individuals’ information processing and seeking. Participants viewed Instagram posts that discussed the natural flavors added to processed foods. Individuals in a science-image condition had higher risk perceptions than individuals in a health image condition; however, this effect was moderated by nutrition label usage. Additionally, 45% of participants choose to seek further information on the topic. Implications for the integration of priming effects and information processing theories are discussed.

Profile Pictures and Political Expression: The Perceived Effectiveness of Avatar Activism (an Austrian Case). • Judith Schossboeck, City University Hong Kong • This paper investigates the phenomenon of avatar activism (AA), understood as changing one’s profile picture in a social media (SM) or online social network (OSN) for political reasons or a good cause from a quantitative perspective. Specifically, the effectiveness of avatar activism as perceived by users engaging in this practice, as well as its relation to factors like age, participation in OSNs, online social capital and political engagement are investigated. An online questionnaire of n = 210 was distributed before the Austrian Presidential Elections in December 2016, and the topic AA was placed within the context of the elections, but also addressed other examples of AA. After increasing the variable perceived effectiveness of AA along several levels related to cognitive or actual impact, results show that most people do see this activity as a good form of self-expression, but doubt the actual political impact. Age, participation in OSNs and online social capital could not be identified as influencing factors of perceived effectiveness of AA. However, engagement in AA is related to other forms of political engagement. The limitations of the study and possible further directions are discussed.

Networked photographic repertoire and capital: Prosumption of selfies among Taiwanese gay men on Instagram • Hong-Chi Shiau, Shih-Hsin University • This study attempts to illustrate identity performance and consumption by Taiwanese gay men through their behavior of posting and commenting on selfies. This study selects a gay community on Instagram as a site for fieldwork because millennials are quitting Facebook, once Taiwan’s most popular social networking site, but now in a steep decline. The prosuming of selfies on Instagram is analyzed as a particular form of speech community, adjusted to the orientation of users towards initiating social bonding, corporal aesthetic regulation, or even sexual encounters. Through ethnographic interviews with 17 gay male college students from Taiwan and textual analysis of their correspondence though texting on Instagram, this study contextualizes how the rituals and social processes engaged in on Instagram help constitute a collective identity pertaining to Taiwanese gay men on Instagram. The prosuming of selfies is examined as an identity-making process involving three nuanced types of cultural capital. These uploaded representations of the self are referenced to the collective past. Three typological personae are identified to illuminate the notions of cultural, aesthetic and emotional labor. The conclusion offers an alternative sociological intervention that goes beyond the notion of digital narcissism to help understand how the labor of presenting selfies is invested and reproduced.

‘Sight Beyond My Sight’ (SBMS): Concept, Methodology, and a Tool For Seeing • Gabriel Tait, Arkansas State University • Sight Beyond My Sight (SBMS), a new visual research method, aims to empower individuals to participate in the photographic communication and social science research process. This introductory study examines local people taking pictures to share knowledge about topics. This SBMS case study of photos from eleven participants (eight men and three women) between the ages of 18-65 from Liberia, West Africa, explains the method, discusses the participants, highlights some photographs taken, and offers an encapsulated analysis of what was learned from Liberians about Liberia. Advancing the participatory research methods of “Photovoice” (Wang and Burris 1994) in public health communication education, “Shooting Back” (Hubbard 2009) in photojournalism, and “Autophotography” (Ziller 1990) social psychology, SBMS bridges a gap in communication and social science research practices.

The evolution of story: How time and modality affect visual and verbal narratives • T.J. Thomson, University of Missouri • A majority of Americans distrust the news media due to concerns over comprehensiveness, accuracy, and fairness. Since many interactions between journalists and their subjects last only minutes and can be published within minutes, if not live, research is needed to explore how journalists’ understandings of their subjects’ narratives evolve over time and how much time is necessary to avoid surface-level coverage. Also, since people are now exposed to more image-based rather than text-based messages, additional research is necessary to explore how the verbal narratives spoken by subjects compare to their nonverbal narratives as captured by news photographers in visual form. Through a longitudinal, interview-based approach, a photojournalist working on a 30-plus-day picture story was interviewed weekly for six weeks over the course of his project to track perceptions of how his subjects’ verbal narratives changed. At the conclusion of the projects, the photojournalist’s subjects were also interviewed to explore how their verbal and nonverbal narratives compared. Informed by literature in role theory, narrative, and visual journalism, the findings explore how news media narratives can be more nuanced and how people shape their visual and verbal narratives consciously and unconsciously.

Parsing photograph’s place in a privately public world • T.J. Thomson, University of Missouri; Keith Greenwood, University of Missouri • Billions of personal cameras exist globally that capture more than one trillion images each year. In contrast to studies that focus on cameras in a particular industry or field, such as body cameras in law enforcement or diagnostic imaging in medical settings, this study adopts a comparative and integrative approach using the public-private distinction to explore 1) how people in different social spheres perceive cameras and those who operate them, 2) what factors influence those perceptions, and 3) how technological convergence, camera access, and digital dissemination ease are impacting social life. Through in-depth interviews with individuals in the public and private spheres, an understanding of camera operators as primarily disruptive or primarily affirmative emerged and participants and factors that influenced their perceptions were gathered. Participants also said more cameras and converged technology are blurring the lines between public and private, that exposure in public seems to reduce inclination for private exposure, that cameras are shifting the nature of experience, and that cameras are becoming increasingly regulated.

Location, Location, Location: Visual Properties and Recognition of Video Game Advertising. • Russell Williams • Videogame placements are important for advertising and there is limited cognitive capacity available to players during a game to notice these ads. This is a quasi-experimental study using a commercial videogame and the Limited Capacity Model as an exploratory mechanism. It demonstrates that positioning in the focal visual block enhanced recognition, and that integrated ads and landmarks are better recognized than interruptive advertisements. Practical implications are discussed.


Sports Communication 2017 Abstracts

Two Sides of the Chinese Sports Media Story: Contrasting State-Owned and Commercially-Sponsored Chinese Websites by Nation and Sex of Athlete • Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Qingru Xu; Mingming Xu, Beijing Sport University • This study utilizes social cognitive theory to content analyze news coverage of two state-owned and two commercially-sponsored Chinese sports websites over a 14-day period, focusing on issues of nationality and biological sex. Examining 3,417 news stories and 2,327 news images, this study uncovered fruitful, substantial, and significant results, indicating that the online sports coverage on state and commercial media can be largely divergent, with the former prioritizing party-state ideology and the latter pursuing commercial profits. Compared to the state websites, the commercial websites tended to provide foreign athletes or teams more coverage; whereas the sexualization of women athletes on commercial websites was significant, yet virtually non-existent on state websites. Implications and further research directions are also offered.

How Athletes’ Health-related Messages on Social Media Affect Exercise Attitudes and Behaviors • Jan Boehmer; Galen Clavio • Improving dietary and exercise habits is one of the best ways to reduce cardiovascular disease and improve general public health. However, despite increased academic and professional interest in the promotion of healthy behaviors, recent years have seen a decline in individuals’ adherence to healthy lifestyle choices. And even if individuals start exercise regimens, high rates of attrition are common across many programs. This study investigates two major elements that could help deliver health messages to underserved audiences and increase their likelihood to exercise: athletes and social media. More specifically, we investigate how athletes’ health-related messages on social media affect individuals’ perceptions of athletes as role models, as well as exercise attitudes and behaviors. Results of Structural Equation Modeling suggest that exposure to health-related messages is related to increased perceptions of athletes as role models, which in turn predicts more positive attitudes towards physical exercise and subsequent exercise behavior.

Contributing to the Decline of the American Male: Bottom-up Framing of Pop Warner Safety Policies • David Cassilo, Kent State University; James Sanderson • This research explored bottom-up framing in response to U.S. youth football organization Pop Warner eliminating kickoffs in its three youngest age divisions. Data were obtained from 1,043 Facebook comments posted to news articles covering the policy announcement. Through thematic analysis, participants framed the policy as: (a) Effect on the NFL; (b) Overreaction; (c) Competitive Disadvantage; (d) Negative Effect on Masculinity, (e) Evidence of America’s Decline; and (f) Policy Legitimization. Results reveal that the public has complex and divergent interpretations of health and safety initiatives and sport, equating these changes with declining American social structures. Consequently, health and safety initiatives in football are likely to be with strong resistance, as people seek to protect the sport from elements they perceive to be weakening American society.

The Making of Social Sports Fans: Factors Affecting Sports Consumption on Social Media • Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Min Xiao; Lisa-Charlotte Wolter, Hamburg Media School • With the goal of investigating sports fans’ social media behavior in more depth and incorporating consumers’ overall media consumption habit in the process, this study explored how various sports fandom and media platform factors influence sports consumption on overall media and social media. From the perspective of motivation and behavior driver for overall sports media use, the finding suggests the importance of information and socialization. From the perspective of consumer media habits, a reliance on TV and mobile phone seems to be most relevant to one’s level of sports media consumption. Comparatively, sports consumption on social media is affected by a slightly different set of variables. It was found that the negative aspect of “cutting off reflected failure” promotes a more active fan engagement on social media as consumers try to handle the disappointment. Information acquisition is also more likely to motivate higher engagement level when consumers use social media for sports. The analysis of moderators suggests that prosocial behavior enhances the social-identify driven fan behavior in terms of engagement levels on social media platforms, especially from the perspective of CORFing in all aspects and both BIRGing and CORFing for the higher-level engagement of social writing. Prosocial behavior boosts the value of information and escapism when consumers actively co-create content on social media for sports purposes.

From 1996 to 2016, two decades of NBC’s primetime Olympic coverage • Roxane Coche, University of Memphis; C.A. Tuggle, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Scholarly literature about gender issues in sports coverage supports two main conclusions: women’s sports receive little coverage in the media compared to men’s sports, and the little media coverage they receive rarely focuses on female athletes’ athletic skills. Media coverage during the Olympic games is the one exception to these rules. The Olympics offer female athletes the opportunity to shine on the biggest stage and media tend to cover women’s sports more and better during those events. The 1996 games in Atlanta were called the “Olympics of the women” mainly because of the unprecedented amount of media exposure some female athletes got. Since then, five more summer Olympic games have taken place and during each of these, NBC was the Olympic network in the US. How has its primetime Olympic coverage evolved throughout the years? The study is a quantitative content analysis of NBC’s United States primetime broadcast coverage of the 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012 and 2016 summer Olympic games for gender equality. Results indicate that while NBC’s coverage of women’s sports has increased, it has also become increasingly less diverse, focusing on only five major sports, all deemed “socially acceptable” per stereotypical gender norms (gymnastics, track and field, beach volleyball, swimming and diving). Meanwhile, competition involving physical power or hard body contact is almost never featured in primetime. Furthermore, NBC uses more male speakers than it does female speakers and sources are more likely to be men, unless they are friends or family members of an athlete.

Concussions, the Emerging Public Health Crisis and why Media Advocacy is Needed • Christian Dotson-Pierson • Health practitioners call concussions an emerging public health crisis, with over four million concussions reported annually in the United States. Former NFL players were found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) during autopsies, spurring some current players to retire. This qualitative study interviewed concussion advocates to learn which communication channels they use to spread awareness. Findings reveal that traditional and new media are top choices to convey information to parents, athletes and coaches.

Sport for Development and Peace: Framing the Global Conversation • Virginia Harrison, The Pennsylvania State University; Jan Boehmer • This study seeks to understand news coverage of Sport for Development and Peace (SDP) and Sport for Peace (SFP). A content analysis of 284 English-language newspaper articles from August 2013 to November 2016 was conducted using Iyengar’s (1991) thematic and episodic frames and Semetko & Valkenburg’s (2000) five generic news frames. Results indicate that coverage is often episodically framed and emphasizes responsibility and human interest. Recommendations were made for journalists covering this topic globally.

Life in Black and White: Racial framing by sports networks on Instagram • Rich Johnson, Creighton University; Miles Romney, Brigham Young University • Research on racial framing in sports is a robust area of scholarship. Studies have shown that minorities are frequently framed along racial stereotypes. However, as social media platforms (SMPs) continue to grow in importance as a space for sports networks (SNs) to share news and information, the question emerges whether the images SNs’ social media accounts reflect racial framing found in news coverage on traditional platforms. The purpose of this study is to determine whether racial framing occurs in the everyday news coverage of the four major American sports networks ESPN, FOX Sports, NBC Sports, and CBS Sports. Researchers examined the content of images SNs shared on Instagram—a social media application that focuses on visual communication. Operating under framing theory (Goffman, 1974) and using a framework established by Hardin et al.’s (2002) study on framing of Olympic athletes in newspaper coverage, this study examine nearly 2,000 images shared by the SNs on Instagram and discovered that significant discrepancies exist between the way Black subjects and White subjects were framed. Specifically, Black subjects’ athletic achievements were overemphasized at the expense of their other virtues and skills. Ultimately, this study corroborates scholarship on race in sport.

Sponsor Advertisement Embedded in Instant Replay Video (AIRV): The Effectiveness of AIRV in Professional Tennis Events • Jihoon (Jay) Kim, University of Georgia; Joe Phua, University of Georgia • Despite increasing usage of instant replay video (IRV) in sport game broadcasts, no systematic research has been done on the effectiveness of an advertisement embedded in IRV (AIRV). The purpose of the current study is to test the effectiveness of AIRV and to explore how AIRV influences perceived brand attitude, behavioral intention, and brand trust of sport spectators. Details about the effects of AIRV on brand preferences are presented, and theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Effects of Social Media Use for Sports Events and Discussion Network Heterogeneity on College Students’ Identification and Collective Self-esteem • Bumsoo Kim, University of Alabama • Based on the perspective of social identity theory, this study focuses on the effects of college students’ social media usage for school sporting events and discussion network heterogeneity on psychological outcomes—college identification and collective self-esteem. The research empirically explores the direct effect relationships between social media usage for sports and discussion network heterogeneity and between network heterogeneity and collective self-esteem/college identification. The moderating effects of ethnicity (White vs. other ethnic groups) on the relationship between discussion network heterogeneity and the two outcome variables were also examined. Finally, the indirect effect of social media usage for sports on college identification/collective self-esteem through discussion network heterogeneity was tested. The results support the direct and indirect effect relationships among the variables, but only a significant moderating effect of ethnicity was discovered in the relationship between network heterogeneity and college identification.

Gender Differences in Sports Media Consumption • Daniel Krier • This study investigates whether increases in sports team identity and sports media involvement correlate with increased amounts of daily sports media consumption. In addition, antecedents to involvement are incorporated into the research model to determine which discrete motivations show significant relationships with changes in involvement and time spent consuming. An investigation into significant gender differences in motivations to consume as predictors of consumption per day is carried out via Partial Least Squares Structural Equation Modeling (PLS-SEM).

Twitter and Olympics: Exploring Factors which Impact Fans Following American Olympic Governing Bodies • Bo Li, St Ambrose University; Olan Scott, University of Canberra; Steve Dittmore, University of Arkansas; Sheng Wang, University of Sussex • Guided by economic demand theory, researchers aimed to examine how Olympic audiences utilized Twitter to follow American National Governing Bodies during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. After studying 33 NGBs’ Twitter accounts, researchers found that team’s performance and the number of tweets had positive relationships with increasing the number of NGB’s Twitter followers. The researchers expect that the results will help communication practitioners of Olympic sports have a better understanding of fans’ social media usage.

Parental perceptions of USA Football’s Heads Up campaign • Judson Meeks, Texas Tech University; Harper Anderson; Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Mary Norman, Texas Tech University; Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication • USA Football’s Heads Up campaign was established to address the concussion epidemic in youth football and teach adolescents good foundational skills. Parents must perceive the USA Football campaign as trustworthy and credible for the program to be successful. Through a series of interviews with parents, we assessed parental trust in the campaign. Findings indicate that most parents are unaware of the campaign but would feel safer if their children participated in Heads Up football leagues.

Just how they drew it up: How in-house reporters fit themselves into the sport-media system • Michael Mirer, University of Wisconsin • Drawing on perspectives on professionalism that view it as a process of defining boundaries and building relationships, this paper uses interview data and content analysis to examine how in-house reporters locate themselves within the sports-media production complex. In-house reporters accentuate professional similarities to journalists and use this to define their roles in sports organizations’ corporate structures. Their view of professional authority has implications for sports journalism and study of the sports-media production complex.

Bleeding the Team Colors: An Examination of Fan-Team Emotional Brand Attachment and Identification on Instagram • Hollie Deis West, University of Wyoming; Cindy Price Schultz, University of Wyoming • Because of social media, brands can better understand how their consumers are responding to messages. This study found that fans who were digital natives and followed their favorite professional athletics team on Instagram had greater brand attachment and identification with the team than non-followers, and could more strongly identify brand messages. This held true for Facebook and Twitter followers. Therefore, sports marketers must provide meaningful digital content for fans to enhance brand attachment and identification.

Off the record: The popularity, prevalence, and accuracy of unnamed sources in NBA trade coverage • Sada Reed, Arizona State University; Guy Harrison, Arizona State University • The following study examines the prevalence of unnamed sources in National Basketball Association trade stories; cross-references unnamed sources’ claims of a potential trade with the NBA’s official transaction log in order to determine if the trade actually happened (and the unnamed source’s information was accurate); and scrapes Twitter in order to determine how frequently stories using unnamed sources were shared and if such stories were shared more frequently than stories with named stories.

Challenging a Boy’s Club: Reputation management and the case of pay inequity in professional women’s sport • Terry Rentner, Bowling Green State University; David Burns, Salisbury University • Media attention regarding the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup Championship and the U.S. women’s hockey team boycott have put pay inequity in sports in the spotlight. While the debate itself is not novel, it is clearly unsettled. This paper explores how sport organizations may face a reputation crisis due to growing equal pay demands. The paper addresses discrepancies and impact of media rights, sponsorships, and culture. Best practices, communication strategies, and reputation management are discussed.

Sometimes It’s What You Don’t Say: College Football Announcers and their Use of In-Game Stereotypes • Brad Schultz, University of Mississippi School of Journalism; Mary Sheffer, University of Southern Mississippi; Nathan Towery • A content analysis of live college football broadcasts was conducted during the fall of 2016 to analyze the comments of the game announcers. The analysis sought to determine whether such announcers (play-by-play persons, color analysts and sideline reporters) used stereotypes and how such stereotypes were used. A random sample of games (one per week for each of the 13 weeks in the season) revealed that announcers still rely on racial stereotypes, especially regarding the skill of the players. Stereotypes related to masculinity and aggression were not as prevalent. Implications of this trend were analyzed and discussed.

Gender, Parasocial Interaction, and Nonverbal Communication: Testing the Visual Effect of Sports Magazine Cover Models • ben wasike, university of texas rio grande valley • An experiment examined gender, parasocial interaction, and nonverbal communication regarding sports magazine cover models. Correlation exists among parasocial interaction, nonverbal communication, and gender. Female cover models elicited larger effects. However, gender did not correlate with parasocial interaction or nonverbal communication among subjects, contradicting literature. Parasocial and nonverbal scales positively correlated. In conclusion, static images are reliable experimental stimuli for parasocial interaction studies and nonverbal scales, and sports magazines are better served by featuring more women.

It’s Going to Be Our Year! Examining Online Engagement Behaviors Among Sport Fans • Brandi Watkins; Stephanie Smith, Virginia Tech • Understanding sport fan engagement is an essential for developing effective strategic communication plans. Karjaluoto and Salmi (2016) suggest investigating communication strategies organizations can implement to connect with fans. This paper answers that call by following a cohort of sport fans during a season to determine how team involvement and expectations for the team influenced online engagement. Findings revealed sport fan online engagement is consistent throughout the season and offer insights into online fan engagement.

Gender Differences Through the Lens of Rio: Australian Olympic Coverage of the 2016 Rio Summer Olympic Games • Qingru Xu; Olan Scott, University of Canberra; Andrew Billings, University of Alabama; Melvin Lewis; Stirling Sharpe • Forty-five broadcast hours of the Seven Network’s were examined regarding clock-time, name mentions, and descriptions divided by gender, finding that the Seven Network devoted nearly equal clock-time to men and women athletes, yet 14 of the top 20 most-mentioned athletes (70%) were men. In terms of word-by-word descriptors, gender differences were also uncovered on many levels relating to attributions of athletic success, failure, personality, and physicality. The findings of this study suggest that—at least within an Australian sports context—gender portrayals ranged from relative equality to significant differences depending on the metric employed. Theoretical and practical implications are provided.

Collaborative touchdown with #Kaepernick and #BLM. Sentiment analysis of Tweets expressing Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during national anthem and its association with #BLM • Joseph Yoo, Jordon Brown and Arnold Chung, The University of Texas at Austin • Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the national anthem caused heated debates on Twitter. Users expressed emotions by using the hashtags #Kaepernick and #BLM. Based on Papacharissi’s (2016) affective publics, this study conducted sentiment analysis to interpret the sentiment toward Kaepernick’s protest. The hashtag #BLM contributed to the formation of positive sentiments. While most tweets with negative sentiments criticized Kaepernick and his protest, others tweeted negative words to express their feelings about racism.


Small Programs 2017 Abstracts

“Using Their Own Voice”: Learning to Tell Stories with Instagram • Robert Byrd, University of Memphis; Pamela Denney • This study explores the use of Instagram as a storytelling platform in journalism education. A post-only quantitative and qualitative questionnaire was used to assess an Instagram storytelling assignment in university reporting courses. The key findings include the overall success of the assignment in requiring students to creatively tell stories while problem solving in the field. Students completing the assignment honed skills in photography and interviewing as well as posting compelling stories to Instagram. These multimedia skills are critical in today’s media organizations.

The Trifecta: Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration Among Journalism, Public Relations and Video Production Students in a Simulated Environment • Paul Ziek, Pace University; Katherine Fink, Pace University • Communications disciplines in higher education use experiential learning to bring together theory and practice. However, experiential learning settings often lack opportunities for cross-disciplinary collaboration. This paper describes a simulation, dubbed “The Trifecta,” which brought together students in journalism, public relations, and video production courses to produce multi-platform communications in a fictional municipality. Students were then surveyed. Results show that the students learned about all three disciplines, and began to understand nuances about forming cross-disciplinary relationships.

How to Communicate University Reputation: In-depth Interviews of Parents to Understand Their Perceived University Reputation and Communication Behavior • Youngah Lee, Ball State University; Christa Burkholder, Ball State University • This study conducted in-depth interviews with 29 parents of prospective college students, who are a target public of university marketing efforts. We explored how university communication influenced parents’ attitudes, reputation perception, and communication behavior. The research findings are most relevant to small and medium-sized universities as they have less marketing budget, but their strong organizational identity and culture communicated through the internal stakeholder’s experience can significantly influence prospective parents’ favorable cognitive and behavioral intentions.


Scholastic Journalism 2017 Abstracts

A lack of research in the classroom: Adopting evidence-based practices in both the journalism profession and education • Martin Smith-Rodden, Ball State University; Robin Blom, Ball State University; Christa Burkholder, Ball State University; Yuanwei Lyu • The best practices of many disciplines have been informed by empirical research that guides training and, ultimately, the practices within the field itself. Interestingly, the practice of journalism has seemed to escape the movement so far. This study should begin that important conversation as a stepping stone, because a survey of journalism educators indicated that they highly value scholarship, yet do not expose their students to such research to a high extent promoting evidence-based practices.

Differentiations in Motivation and Need-Satisfaction based on Course Modality: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective • Vince Filak; Kristine Nicolini, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh • Online education has grown exponentially over the past two decades, in large part due to its promise of flexibility and connectivity for students. However, this approach to pedagogy has remained relatively unexamined in regard to issues of motivation and intellectual thriving. Using Self-Determination Theory (Deci & Ryan, 1985; 1991; 2000, 2012) as a foundation, we assessed the degree to which course modality (namely online vs. face-to-face) led to psychological need satisfaction and quality motivation. Our survey of 240 (n=240) college students confirmed previous research in which higher quality motivation predicted the satisfaction of autonomy, competence and relatedness, which in turn predicted course and instructor approval. However, in a series of matched-pairs t-tests, students reported lower levels of quality motivation, autonomy support, competence and relatedness in online courses than they did for face-to-face courses. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed.

Grade Incentivized Peer Editing: An Account of Student Perceptions • Jessica Holt, University of Georgia • Peer editing has been integrated into writing courses to improve students’ ability to critically evaluate writing and provide constructive feedback. This study examined students’ perceptions of implementing grade-incentivized peer editing assignments throughout a semester in a journalism course. Data from 23 different students in the same class over two years were analyzed with qualitative methods to identify the themes and offer suggestions for future implementation and research.

Not exactly “common sense”: Measuring sports journalism students’ understanding of hegemonic masculinity • Sada Reed, Arizona State University • Critical scholars often use hegemonic masculinity as a framework for critiquing sports media and sports journalists. A 2015 pilot study (author identity redacted) explored how sports journalism instructors introduce rising sports journalists to the theory. The following study builds on the pilot study by surveying 151 sports journalism students enrolled in 10 American university’s sports journalism or sports communication programs about their understanding of hegemonic masculinity.

An exploration of student media in private schools • Erica Salkin • Research indicates that student media experience has a strong positive impact on students’ civic and academic development. This paper seeks to examine the opportunities private high school students have to experience that benefit by exploring student media and journalism education in U.S. private schools. Though not generalizable, the results of this study indicate a student media environment similar to public schools, and an engaged adviser population ready to contribute to the larger scholastic journalism community.

Journalists Don’t Do Math: Journalism Student Perceptions and Myths About Data Journalism • Amy Schmitz Weiss, San Diego State; Jessica Retis • Journalism programs today face the need to train their students in the latest applications and tools – including data journalism techniques. Despite several classes and programs developing in this subject area (Berret & Phillips, 2016), students are not actively enrolling in such classes. Using an epistemological approach and Actor-Network Theory (Latour, 2005), this study of a national survey of journalism students identifies some key perceptions that highlight potential barriers to entry for enrollment in such courses.

Social Media, Newsrooms and Digital Skills: A Critical Intersection for Journalism Education • Elizabeth Smith, Pepperdine University • This study examined college journalists and their use of social media. The survey data from student journalists across the United States (N = 334). The findings demonstrated a positive significant relationship between the length of time a student has practiced journalism and the more a student “feels like a journalist,” in both the newsroom and on social media. Findings also demonstrated significant positive relationships between the use of social media and digitals skills.

Students’ experiences in an environmental journalism master’s program: An application of knowledge-based journalism principles • Bruno Takahashi, Department of Journalism, Michigan State University; Perry Parks • This study explores the educational and post-graduation experiences of graduates of a master’s program with a focus on environmental journalism. The study uses the framework of knowledge-based journalism to qualitatively examine the ways the competencies of journalistic skills, general and content-specific knowledge, learning communication theory, and developing journalistic values allowed graduates to develop a niche in their professional careers. Results show an overemphasis in journalistic skills and vagueness about the importance of theory courses.

Budget Cuts in Scholastic Media: A Focus Group Study of Oklahoma Journalism Advisers’ Survival Skills • Melanie Wilderman, Gaylord College, University of Oklahoma; Sohana Nasrin, University of Oklahoma • Scholastic journalism plays an important role in creating future professional journalists. Due to journalism’s place in a functioning democracy, journalism education is also tied to a democracy’s success. Many U.S. states have recently cut budgets severely for public education, which often disproportionately impact non core-education classes, like journalism. Researchers gathered focus group interview data from 14 scholastic journalism advisers in Oklahoma schools concerning how student publications function and will continue to function amid financial cuts.

Creating Journalistic Identity: An Ethnography of a College Newsroom • Christy Zempter, Ohio University • This ethnographic study of an independent college newsroom explores the ways professional identity and journalistic culture are expressed and negotiated by student journalists. Two key communicative themes emerged over the course of a monthlong observation that illuminate the role of newsroom-based interactions in these processes—overlapping relational and task-oriented communication and the socialization of new staff members by more experienced student journalists.


Religion and Media 2017 Abstracts

Digital Media Disruption and Islamic Religious Authority: Case Study of Online Contestations Over the Mawlid • Ibrahim Abusharif, Northwestern University in Qatar • This paper explores the relationship between digital media and religious authority in Islam, particularly how it relates juridical nodes of authority. The paper suggest a framework that centers on the notion (or theory) of “disruption” as a function of “mediatization,” principally as it relates to digital media and its challenge to traditional means of knowledge acquisition and conveyance. The case study presented here concerns the “Mawlid,” the controversial practice of celebrating the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad as an act of veneration and piety and how online contestations demonstrate a breach in traditional religious authority and speak to the qualification threshold common to the question of religious authority, sacred law, and media. The paper helps to explain, in part, how media disruption and its relationship with religion have affected the idea of authority. Research question: How has religious authority in Islam been affected by digital disruption at a basic level? And what interdisciplinary framework bests describes the phenomenon? And the choice of the case study that symbolizes this question pivots on the celebration of the Mawlid, as explicated below.

#Hijab or #Haram? Revealing Visuals and Semantics Associated with Muslim (Self-)Representation Online • Thomas Frissen, KU Leuven; Elke Ichau, KU Leuven; Kristof Boghe, KU Leuven; Leen d’Haenens, KU Leuven • The proliferation of social media has fed the rapid expansion of what some have called a ‘virtual umma’ (El-Nawawy and Khamis 2010), or a transnational Islamic public sphere (Allievi 2003; Anderson 2003). Blurring the lines between representation, participation and reception, social media have provided Muslims worldwide with spaces and tools for self-definition and community building (Eckert and Chadha 2013; Harris and Roose 2014, Kavakci and Kraeplin 2016; Mosemghvdlishvili and Jansz 2013). The purpose of this paper is to explore visual (self-)representations of Islam and Muslim religiosity in online social networks, with a focus on the leading image-sharing platform Instagram. This was done by means of an innovative multidimensional and quantitative content analysis method, that enabled us to study both visual representations as well as semantic associations, using a dataset consisting of n=1357 unique Instagram posts marked with the hashtags #Islam, #Muslim and #Allah. Our findings are threefold. First, despite the fact that Instagram is an image-sharing platform, the most prominent visual is text, i.e. quotes or inspirational texts. Second, even though very ‘general’ search queries (#Islam, #Muslim and #Allah) were used to compose our corpus, the vast majority of occurring visuals and semantics were strongly related to female religious identity, e.g. hijabs or #Muslimah. Third, and maybe most significant, based on the analysis of both visuals and semantics, we observe a field of tension between the representation of religious experience on the one hand, and religion itself on the other.

Interfaith Monologue: A study of UK-based interfaith work on Twitter • Sofi Hersher, King’s College London • This paper explores the relationship of social media and religion by examining the use of Twitter by interfaith organizations and professionals in the UK. It introduces the concept of ‘interfaith monologue,’ whereby interfaith practitioners use Twitter to disseminate ideas, distribute relevant information, identify with the ideals of interfaith cooperation and encourage contribution to the interfaith movement via one-to-many communication that specifically does not directly encourage conversation or dialogue.

God on our side: Presidential Religious Rhetoric, Issue Ownership and Competing Gospels • Ceri Hughes, University of Wisconsin-Madison • The US, despite official separation of church and state, is a country dominated by the Christian religion. This is evident in the unbroken ranks of Christians (and also white males) to be elected to the top political office in the land. Previous research illustrates how frequently Jefferson’s “wall” is breached in presidential discourse. This research adds to this evidence and investigates whether presidents appear to adopt religious language systematically in public addresses in a manner consistent with differing biblical interpretations – the Gospel of Wealth and the Social Gospel. The research also looks at whether religious discourse use in speeches conforms to expectations from issue-ownership theory. Content analysis of speeches from Reagan to Obama shows how presidents may use God to bolster support for issues of strength, in overarching political philosophy and also to trespass into opposition issues. This research provides further illustration as to how religion may be being employed at the very highest level of the US political realm.

Power and Politics: State Baptist Newspaper Coverage of Civil Rights, 1963-1965 • Vicki Knasel Brown, University of Missouri • This study explores how Southern Baptist media covered and responded to four civil rights events from 1963 to 1965 and the relationship between the Southern Baptist Convention’s news service, Baptist Press, and three selected state Baptist newspapers. Each approached news coverage and editorial response differently. The study contributes to understanding the role the editors, most of whom were also pastors, played in shaping a religious understanding of race relations among their Baptist readers

Visual media, radicalization and Islamic youth: Socially constructed meaning in Indonesia • Michael Longinow; Tamara Welter; Naniek Setijadi, faculty • This paper examines media, radicalization, and the changing role of Islam among young audiences within Indonesia’s multicultural society, as viewed through the lens of socially constructed reality and visual theory. It suggests connections between the digital visual media that young Muslims consume, the angst of their lives, and the choice of some to pursue violence—in their own country and in the Middle East—as an outworking of rage, frustration or connection to a cause that becomes a new identity.

The Islamic State in the News: Journalistic Differentiation between Terrorism and Islam, Terror News Proximity, and Islamophobic Attitudes • Christian von Sikorski; Jörg Matthes, University of Vienna; Desirée Schmuck • The present research examined the role of journalistic differentiation (between Muslims/Muslim terrorists) and proximity (place of terroristic act near/far away) for the effects of Islamic State (IS) terrorism news on islamophobic attitudes. Two experimental studies uniformly revealed that undifferentiated (compared to differentiated) IS coverage not clearly distinguishing between Muslim terrorists and Muslims in general activated negative Muslim stereotypes, thereby increasing islamophobic attitudes. However, proximity showed no effects on fear reactions, negative stereotypes, and islamophobic attitudes.

Whose “Boogie-man” is Given Flesh and Blood?: The Role of the Press in Realizing “Christianophobia” • Rick Moore • Is there really such a thing as “Christianophobia”? Given the fact that mass communication messages are typically thought to play a key role in the construction of reality, one would expect that if Christianophobia does exist, the mass media would include evidence of such. In this study, I use Critical Discourse Analysis to investigate coverage of Christianophobia in papers from around the world. In spite of the fact that many powerful people and agencies have attempted to bring the word into the common vocabulary, media usage remains low, and persistently so. The implications of this would seem to be very important for those interested in understanding the media and their power.

“Praised Be” Praised: Religious And Secular Magazine Coverage Of Pope Francis’ Climate Encyclical • Alejandro Morales; Ryan Thomas, University of Missouri • There is a paradox challenging our understanding of the interplay between media, religion, and secularization: decreasing commitment to organized religion alongside religion’s increased visibility. In view of this paradox, this study compared how secular and religiously affiliated publications expressed commitment toward religion. We implemented a discourse analysis of secular and Catholic magazine coverage of “Praised Be,” Pope Francis’s 2015 climate encyclical. Commitment toward Catholicism involved commitment toward Pope Francis, “Praised Be,” and the Catholic Church as an institution. Secular and Catholic magazines expressed commitment toward Pope Francis and “Praised Be,” but they differed in their commitment toward the Catholic Church. The role of tradition in understanding media, religion, and secularization is also discussed.

No Love for the Enemy: American Evangelicals and the Hostile Media Phenomenon • Brian Watson • As Election Day approached during the 2016 Presidential contest, the members of then candidate Donald J. Trump’s coalition of support became clearer. One group in particular, Evangelical Christians, transitioned from being largely skeptical of Mr. Trump’s candidacy during the Republican Primaries, to turning out at record rates in November. This study examines one factor that possibly laid the groundwork of Evangelical support for the Republican nominee in 2016: the Hostile Media Effect. Using survey data collected in 2010, I argue that Evangelicals were unique among American religious groups in taking offence from news television. Indeed, the probability of perceiving hostility from news television among Evangelicals rivals the independent effects of partisanship. I conclude by recommending a more contemporary replication of this study using the survey items available in 2010, as well as speculating about the implications of treating religiosity, among Evangelicals in particular, as a core identity as influential as partisanship.


Public Relations 2017 Abstracts

What’s the “Right” Thing to Do? How Ethical Expectations for CSR Influence Company Support • Lucinda Austin; Barbara Miller, Elon University; Seoyeon Kim, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • This study investigated a new concept in corporate social responsibility (CSR) research—publics’ perceived ethical obligation of companies to address CSR, comparing low- and high-fit CSR programs when companies contribute negatively to social issues through their products or processes. Through a mixed-design experiment, findings revealed that participants placed higher expectations for ethical obligation on corporations in high-fit CSR scenarios. Additionally, ethical expectations—when met—influenced participants’ attitudes about and supportive intentions towards the company.

Risky Business: Exploring Differences in Marketplace Advocacy and High-fit CSR on Public Perceptions of Companies • Barbara Miller, Elon University; Lucinda Austin • A between-subjects experiment explored differences in outcomes for high-fit corporate social responsibility (CSR) versus marketplace advocacy programs. Findings revealed that marketplace advocacy, as compared to high-fit CSR, led to increased skepticism and attributions of egoistic motives, and decreased attributions of values-driven motives, company attitudes, attitudes about the social initiative, and supportive intentions.

Testing Perceptions of Organizational Apologies after a Data Breach Crisis • Joshua Bentley, Texas Christian University; Liang Ma, Texas Christian University • This study used a 2x2x2x2x2 experimental design (1,630 participants) to test stakeholder reactions to four apology elements in two data breach scenarios. All four elements, expressing remorse, acknowledging responsibility, promising forbearance, and offering reparations contributed to participants’ perception that the organization had apologized. In a high blame scenario, remorse and forbearance were even more important. Acknowledging responsibility did not have a significant effect on organizational reputation, future purchase intention, or negative word of mouth intentions.

Giving from the heart: Exploring how ethics of care emerges in corporate social responsibility • Melanie Formentin, Towson University; Denise Bortree, Penn State University • Public relations-based corporate social responsibility (CSR) research largely focuses on organizational goals; scholars rarely examine CSR impacts. In this paper, nonprofit-organization relationships are explored, illustrating how ethics of care is an appropriate normative perspective for encouraging CSR that privileges the beneficiary’s needs (Held, 2006). Depth interviews with 29 nonprofit representatives addressed scholarly gaps. Inductive analysis revealed that nonprofit practitioners describe good CSR as being concerned with themes related to trust, mutual concern, promoting human flourishing, and responsiveness to needs.

Whose responsibility? Connecting Organizational Transgressors with Government Regulating Institution • ZHUO CHEN, The Chinese University of Hong Kong; Yi-Hui Huang, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study examines the underlying logic of situational crisis communication theory (SCCT), i.e., the concept that organizational transgressors are independent from the broader “institution” of their environment. Based on analysis of a case of false medical advertising (the Baidu-Wei Zexi case), our study contends that the responsibility attributed subject of a crisis should be extended from the corporate transgressor (Baidu and the hospital involved) to an institutional subject— the government regulating institution. Accordingly, we believe that the intensifying factors (consistency and distinctiveness) and consequential factors (affective and behavioral) should be modified. Using structural equation modeling (SEM) analysis, the empirical findings support this argument; for example, attributing responsibility to the government regulating institution rather than to a corporate transgressor can provide a more powerful predictor of activist action. Similarly, negative emotion about corporate transgressors can damage affective attitudes towards the government regulating institution. All in all, this study expands the theoretical scope of attributed subjects in SCCT—linking corporate wrongdoers to their government regulating institution. Thus, our study calls for revisiting the underlying logic of SCCT and contends that a corporate actor is indeed intertwined with the broader institution.

President Donald Trump Meets HBCU Presidents: A Public Relations Post-Mortem • George Daniels, The University of Alabama; Keonte Coleman • When President Donald Trump welcomed more than 60 presidents of the nation’s Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to the Oval Office for a photo opportunity in February 2017, he made history in the size of the crowd in his office. A textual analysis of 44 news articles and 22 statements of the HBCU presidents shows national media played up controversies while local media gave the HBCU leaders an opportunity to advocate for more resources.

Linking SNS and Government-Citizen Relationships: Interactivity, Personification, and Institutional Proximity • Chuqing Dong; Hyejoon Rim, University of Minnesota • Recent years have seen an increasing adoption of social network sites (SNS) in governments at all levels, but limited research examined the effectiveness of the government using SNS that may differ by institutional proximities (e.g., federal, state, and local). To fill the gap, the study explored the interactive and interpersonal approaches of relationship management in the context of government SNS communication. Specifically, two experiments were employed to examine the effects of interactivity, organizational characters, and institutional proximity in predicting the public’s perceived government transparency, engagement intention with government SNS, and trust in government. The study found that agencies at the state and local levels would benefit to different degrees in the government-citizen relationship quality based on the two communication strategies. Moreover, the results encouraged authorities to embrace SNS as a relationship-building tool by replying more to individual citizens’ comments, use a personal tone in conversations, and post more of citizen-oriented contents instead of organization-centered information. Theoretical and practical contributions are discussed in the context of the Organization-Public Relationships (OPR) in the public sector.

Using Real and Fictitious Companies to Examine Reputation and News Judgments in Press Release Usage • Kirstie Hettinga, California Lutheran University; Melanie Formentin, Towson University • This study uses an experimental design to explore working journalists’ (N = 253) willingness to use or reference press releases that contain typos. The authors explore whether company reputation can overcome errors. The use of both real and fictitious companies yielded interesting findings for future public relations research. The reputations of existing companies, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts, were rated more favorably than a fake company, and press release judgments most strongly predicted potential usage.

CSR, Hybrid, or Ability Frames: Examining How Story Frames Impact Stakeholders’ Perceptions • Michel Haigh, Texas State University; Frank Dardis, Penn State University; Holly Ott, University of South Carolina; Erica Bailey, Penn State University • This study examines the impact of corporate social responsibility messaging strategies and messages frames on stakeholders’ perceptions of organizations through a 3 (ability/CSR/hybrid) x 2 (thematic/episodic) online experiment. Results indicated that corporate social responsibility and hybrid strategies perform significantly better than the ability strategy when thematic framing is employed, but that the ability strategy performs well in the episodic-framing condition. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Is social media worth of investment? Seeking relationship between social-mediated stakeholder engagement and nonprofit public donation–a big data approach • Grace Ji; Don Stacks • The majority of investigations in nonprofit public relations have been continuously studying how and whether nonprofit organizations (NPOs) can maximize the full potentials of social media to engage stakeholders online. Yet few have questioned if social media-based stakeholder engagement can impact organizational outcomes that happen both on and offline, such as public donation. Taking the stakeholders’ perceptive, this study attempts to examine the effect of Facebook-based stakeholder engagement with NPOs on organizations’ fundraising success. Using Ordinary Least Square estimation method with lagged variables, the authors modeled nine-year longitudinal social media and financial penal data from the largest 100 NPOs in the United States. Results suggest that not all stakeholder engagements are significant predicators for charitable donation. Only liking and commenting engagement behaviors are positively associated with public donation, but sharing behavior does not improve fundraising success. More interestingly, over posting could associate with a decrease in public donation. The findings bring new empirical insights to existing literature and also practical implications to non-profit public relations professionals.

An Examination of Social Media from an Integrated Marketing Communication (IMC) Perspective in Global & Regional Organizations • Hua Jiang; Marlene Neill, Baylor University • Communication executives perceive internal social media as a channel that should be integrated and consistent with other communication messages, and also understand the necessity of coordinating with other communication disciplines. Through in-depth interviews with 28 internal and social media communication executives working in the United States, we found evidence of both true collaboration and functional silos. We also examined social media policies and resources provided to empower employees as social media ambassadors. Implications and recommendations were discussed.

The Rashomon Effect of an Air Crash: Examining the Narrative Battle over the Smolensk Disaster • Liudmila Khalitova, University of Florida; Barbara Myslik, University of Florida; Agnieszka Turska-Kawa, University of Silesia in Katowice, Poland; Sofiya Tarasevich, University of Florida; Spiro Kiousis, University of Florida • The study explores the agenda-building efforts by Russian and Polish governments in shaping international news coverage of the airplane crash near Smolensk, Russia, which killed the Polish President. Compared to the two governments’ public relations messages, Polish and Russian news outlets played a more significant role as their countries’ advocates in determining the international media agenda. Moreover, the Russian media seemed more influential than the Polish outlets in shaping the international narrative about the crash.

Growth of Public Relations Research Networks: A Bibliometric Analysis • Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama; Yorgo Pasadeos, University of Alabama; Tugce Ertem Eray, University of Oregon • This research reports on a 6-year citation study of published scholarly research in public relations between 2010 and 2015 in comparison with Pasadeos, Berger, and Renfro (2010) and Pasadeos, Renfro and Hanily’s (1999) works, which examined the literature’s most-cited works in the 2000s and 1990s respectively and identified a research network. Like the two earlier studies, this study identifies current authors and their publication outlets, taxonomizes most-cited works, and draws a co-citation network. Comparing the current study’s findings with those of ten and twenty years earlier helps us understand how the field has evolved as a scholarly discipline and offers future directions for study.

Enhancing Employee Sensemaking and Sensegiving Communication Behaviors in Crisis Situations: Strategic Management Approach for Effective Internal Crisis Communication • Young Kim, Marquette University • Understanding employees and their communication behaviors is essential for effective crisis communication. Such an internal aspect of crisis communication, however, has been undervalued, and the need for research has been recently growing. To fill the research gap, the aim of this research is to explore effective internal crisis communication within the strategic management approach, considering employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving and their antecedents. A nationwide survey in the U.S. was conducted among full-time employees (N =544). This study found that two-way symmetrical communication and transparent communication were positively strong antecedents of employee communication behaviors for sensemaking and sensegiving in crisis situations, controlling for other effects.

Bless or Curse: How Chinese Strategic Communication Practitioners Use Social Media in Crisis Communication • Sining Kong; Huan Chen, University of Florida • This paper aims to examine how Chinese strategic communication practitioners use social media in crisis communication. In-depth interview was used to collect data from twenty Chinese strategic communication practitioners, who have experience in dealing with crises and issues via social media. A model was advanced and depicted how to use social media to monitor and respond to crises, and how to use social media, especially the live broadcast, to mitigate publics’ negative emotions to rebuild positive relationship with publics.

Unpacking the Effects of Gender Discrimination in the Corporate Workplace on Consumers’ Affective Responses and Relational Perceptions • Arunima Krishna, Boston University; Soojin Kim, Singapore Management University • The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) how allegations of gender discrimination impact consumers’ relationship with the brand in question, and (b) individual-level factors that impact consumers’ negative affective response to the allegations and eventually, consumer-brand relationships. Findings from a survey conducted among U.S. Americans indicate that individuals’ relational perceptions with a corporate brand whose products/services they consume are negatively affected by allegations of misconduct, in this case, gender discrimination. Results revealed that individuals’ moral orientation and anti-corporate sentiment predicted their perceptions of moral inequity of corporate behavior, which in turn impacted their negative affective response to the allegations. Such negative affective response then impacted individuals’ consumer-corporate brand relationships. Theoretical and practical implications of this work are discussed (120 words).

Crisis Information Seeking and Sharing (CISS): Scale Development for Measuring Publics’ Communicative Behavior in Social-Mediated Public Health Crises • Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia; Yan Jin, University of Georgia • Although publics’ information seeking and sharing behaviors have gained increasing importance in crisis communication research, consistent conceptualization and reliable scales for measuring these two types of communicative behavior, especially in social-mediated crises, are lacking. With a focus on public health crisis situations, this study first refined the conceptual framework of publics’ communicative behavior in social-mediated health crises. Then two multiple-item scales for measuring publics’ crisis information seeking and sharing (CISS) in public health crises were developed and tested by employing online survey dataset from a random national sample of 559 adults in the United States. Results indicate that there are eight types of crisis information seeking behavior and 18 types of crisis information sharing behavior, online and offline, crossing over platforms, channels and information sources. The two CISS scales reveal underlying processes of publics’ communicative behavior and provide a valid and reliable psychometric tool for public relations researchers and crisis communication managers to measure publics’ information seeking and sharing activities in social-mediated public health crisis communication.

Enhancing Empowerment and Building Relationships via Social Media Engagement: A Study of Facebook Use in the U.S. Airline Industry • Zhiren Li, University of Florida; Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida • Born in the Web 2.0 era, social media platforms have altered the way people communicate and collaborate with others and with organizations. This study uses Facebook to examine the U.S. airline companies’social media engagement with their consumers. By conducting a web-based quantitative survey, our findings suggest that social media engagement in the U.S. airline industry has a positive influence on airline-customer relationships. Social media empowerment also mediates the effect of social media engagement on overall organization-public relationships. However, the results of our findings differ somewhat from previous studies, hence, we call for further research on social media engagement and organization-public relationships.

Is Experience in Fact the Best Teacher? Learning in Crisis Communication • Clila Magen, Bar Ilan University • The following study deals with the crisis communication learning process of organizations in the private sector. It indicates that if there is any crisis communication improvement it is primarily on the exterior layer. In the cases analyzed in the study, very few profound changes were apparent when the organizations faced recurring crises. Despite the promising potential which lies within the Chaos Theory for crisis communication, the research demonstrates that a crisis will not necessarily lead to self-organizing processes which push the organization to improvement and advancement.

How Should Organizations Communicate with Mobile Publics on Social Messengers: An Empirical Study of WeChat • Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida; sunny tsai, university of miami • Mobile-based social messengers are overtaking social networking sites as the new frontier for organizations to engage online stakeholders. This study provides one of the earliest empirical studies to understand how organizations should communicate with mobile publics to enhance public engagement and improve organization-public relationships. This study focuses on WeChat—one of the world’s most popular social messaging apps. Organizations’ information dissemination, interpersonal communication, and two-way symmetrical communication are found to effectively drive public engagement, which in turn enhances relation outcomes. Strategic guidelines based on the study findings are provided.

Crisis Management Expert: Elements and Principles for Measuring Expert Performance • Tham Nguyen, University of Oklahoma; Jocelyn Pedersen, University of Oklahoma • Crisis management or crisis communication has become an important research area and recommended course for college students studying public relations and communication. Yet, it takes time for students or average professionals to transfer knowledge into practice in order to be considered an expert in the field. In a study of twenty-five in-depth interviews with Belgian crisis communication practitioners, Claeys and Opgenhaffen (2016) found that practitioners relied mainly on experience, scientific research, gut feelings and intuition rather than theories to respond to a crisis. This study also noted that decision-making about crisis communication depends on the circumstances, particularly, when the crisis involves potential legal issues or when it threatens to damage an organization’s reputation and its many important relationships. Organizational decision makers sometimes call on experts to help them reduce the uncertainty and ambiguity of the situation they face. Yet, when is it appropriate to call an expert in a crisis situation? And how can decision makers gain the most from what a crisis management expert can offer? By reviewing literature in crisis management and expert performance, this conceptual paper discusses what experts and decision makers are, the relationship between crisis experts and decision makers, and it outlines elements and principles to consider in developing a measurement system for expert performance. In addition, the paper proposes a general model for crisis management expert performance. Concluding thoughts will provide suggestions about what to consider before calling a crisis management expert and what decision makers should expect from crisis experts.

A Qualitative Analysis of How People Assess the Credibility of Sources Used by Public Relations Practitioners • Julie O’Neil, Texas Christian University; Marianne Eisenmann, inVentiv Health; Maggie Holman, Texas Christian University • This study examined how people assess the credibility of sources used commonly by public relations practitioners—earned news stories, traditional advertisements, native advertisements, independent blogs and corporate blogs. Researchers conducted five groups with 46 participants and implemented a survey with 1,500 participants recruited from a consumer panel. Participants view earned media stories as the most credible. Regardless of source utilized, people value strong writing, copious facts and balanced perspectives when processing public relations messaging.

Examining the role of Culture in Shaping Public Expectations of CSR Communication in the United States and China • Holly Ott, University of South Carolina; Anli Xiao, the Pennsylvania State University • This study examines the role of culture in shaping publics’ expectations for CSR communication through survey research in the United States (N = 316) and China (N = 315). Results highlight differences in each public’s expectations of what and how companies should communicate CSR. Among Hofstede’s cultural dimensions, uncertainty avoidance and masculinity are identified as the strongest predictors for CSR variables. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Where are the women? An examination of the status of research on women and leadership in public relations • Katie Place, Quinnipiac University; Jennifer Vardeman-Winter, Univ. of Houston • Despite evidence that there are no significant differences in leadership ability among women and men in public relations, women are still largely absent from leadership and senior management positions. Furthermore, very few studies about leadership in public relations have considered the affect gender has on leadership enactment and success. Therefore, this secondary analysis examined the state of women and gender scholarship about leadership in public relations as part of a larger study about the state of women in the communication discipline. Specifically, our research found that the majority of the research about leadership and gender highlights women’s lackluster leadership presence, factors contributing to women’s lack of presence, leadership styles and preferences, and leadership and management roles of women. This manuscript provides recommendations for improving women’s presence in leadership roles, particularly in providing a roadmap for future research opportunities. These include considerations for methodological approaches, leadership approaches and roles research, types of leadership, cultural change, and education.

Changing the Story: Implications of Narrative on Teacher Identity • Geah Pressgrove; Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis; Stephanie Madden, University of Memphis • This study takes a qualitative approach to understanding the connections between narrative, professional identity and reputation management in public education. Central to the findings are the factors that have led to a reputation crisis for the profession of teaching and thus contribute to the national teacher shortage. Ultimately, this study points to the notion that increasing retention and recruitment can be effected when narratives are understood and the principles of reputation management are applied.

Spokesperson is a four-letter word: Public relations, regulation, and power in Occupy New York • Camille Reyes, Trinity University • “This case study analyzes interviews with members of the press relations working group of Occupy Wall Street in New York. Using critical cultural theory as well as history, the group’s media relations tactics are discussed with an emphasis on the role of spokesperson, revealing contested meanings about public relations work in the context of a social movement. The moments of regulation and production in the circuit of culture explain the constraints experienced by many of these activist practitioners as they navigate the horizontal structure/ideal of their movement with hierarchical norms of more institutional public relations practices—creating a paradox of sorts. How does one defy the status quo when seeking to engage with a mainstream media system that—to their eyes—is co-opted by the wealthy elite, while using tactics that are seen as equally problematic? Historical analysis lends a comparative frame through which to view a critical cultural interpretation of public relations in an understudied context.

Distal Antecedents of Organization-Public Relationships: The Influence of Motives and Perceived Issue and Value Congruence • Trent Seltzer, Texas Tech University College of Media & Communication; Nicole Lee • Using an online survey of 514 US adults, this study identified which relational antecedents motivated individuals to enter organization-public relationships (OPRs) across a variety of organization types. Additionally, we examined the relative influence of motives, perceived issue congruence, and perceive value congruence on OPR perceptions. Findings suggest social/cultural expectations and risk reduction are the primary motives influencing perceptions of OPRs; however, perceived issue and value congruence with the organization are more influential antecedents than motives.

Does an Organization’s CSR Association affect the Perception of Communication Efforts? • Kang Hoon Sung, Cal Poly Pomona • Organizations often utilize interpersonal communications tactics on social media such as responding to customer comments or adopting a human conversational voice for better evaluations. Past studies have shown that these interpersonal communication tactics could indeed lead to positive outcomes and give the organization a more human and sincere face. The study examined whether the organization’s perceived CSR associations could have an influence in this process. Grounded in prior research on suspicion and organization’s personality dimensions, the current study investigated the influence of organization’s prior CSR associations on the organization’s interpersonal communication efforts that are associated with increasing the sincerity personality dimension (e.g., increased interaction, enhanced conversational tone). The results of the online experiment revealed that CSR activities significantly increased the organization’s perceived sincerity personality dimension and decreased suspicions about motives of the organization’s communication efforts. The mediation analysis suggests that less suspicion leads to more perceived sincerity toward organization, eventually leading to increased relationship quality.

The ‘New York World,’ Byron C. Utecht, and Pancho Villa’s Public Relations Campaign • Michael Sweeney, Ohio University; Young Joon Lim, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley • This paper attempts to assess Francisco “Pancho” Villa not as a general or quasi-politician, but rather as a practitioner of public relations. It investigates, by close observation of his actions and words, his strategy and tactics to build support among three specifically targeted audiences: the people of Mexico, American war correspondents, and the people of the United States. This paper examines secondary literature about public relations and about Pancho Villa’s life for evidence of his practicing public relations as we understand it today. Supplementing this literature review are primary documents from the archives of Byron C. Utecht at the University of Texas at Arlington. Utecht’s collection consists of his original photographs of his travels in Mexico on behalf of the New York World; telegrams to and from the World; typewritten notes and stories; clippings of his articles in the World and the clients of its wire service; and published interviews with Utecht about his trips into Mexico both as a lone journalist and as an accredited correspondent. It seeks to answer the key question: How did Villa practice public relations?

Ten years after The Professional Bond: Has the academy answered the call in pedagogical research? • Amanda Weed, Ashland University • CPRE is scheduled to release its next report of the status of public relations education in September of 2017. In anticipation of the report, this research seeks to determine if the academy has answered the call of The Professional Bond through an examination of pedagogical research published from 2007 to 2016 in four academic journals including the Journal of Advertising Education, the Journalism & Mass Communication Education, the Journal of Public Relations Education, and Public Relations Review. By conducting a meta-analysis of published research through a content analysis of article types, themes, and topics, this research determined that pedagogical research in public relations is lacking, especially among the topics specifically addressed in The Professional Bond.

The Role of Dissatisfaction in the Relationship Between Consumer Empowerment and Their Complaining Behavioral Intentions • Hao Xu, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities; Jennifer Ball, Temple University • This experimental study examined the mechanism of how consumer complaining behavioral intentions are driven by social media empowerment, and the role of dissatisfaction in this mechanism. The results revealed that dissatisfaction has both mediating and moderating effects in the relationship between consumer empowerment and some of the specific complaining behavioral intentions. Both theoretical and practical implications in terms of the dynamics of consumer dissatisfaction and power-induced complaining intentions were discussed.

Partisan News Media and China’s Country Image: An Online Experiment based on Heuristic-Systematic Model • Chen Yang, University of Houston – Victoria; Gi Woong Yun, University of Nevada, Reno • Based on Heuristic-Systematic Model, this research used a 2×2 pretest-posttest experimental design to measure China’s image after participants’ exposure to the news stimuli about China from a partisan media website. Two manipulated factors were media partisanship (congruent or incongruent partisan media) and news slant (positive or negative coverage of China). The results did not demonstrate any priming effect of news coverage. However, media partisanship had a significant influence on country beliefs. Significant interaction effects on country beliefs and desired interaction were also found.

NGOs’ humanitarian advocacy in the 2015 refugee crisis: A study of agenda building in the digital age • Aimei Yang, University of Southern California; Adam Saffer • In the 2015 European refugee crisis, humanitarian NGOs offered help and actively advocated for millions of refugees. The current study aims to understand what communication strategies are most effective for humanitarian NGOs to influence media coverage and publics’ social media conversations about the crisis. Our findings reveal that agenda building on traditional media and in social media conversations require different strategies. Specifically, although providing information subsidies could powerfully influence traditional media coverage, its effect waned in the context of social media conversations. In contrast, NGOs’ hyperlink network positions emerged as the one of the most influential predictor for NGOs’ prominence in social media conversations. Moreover, stakeholder engagement could influence agenda-building both in traditional media coverage and social media conversations. Finally, organizational resources and characteristics are important factors as well. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Using Facebook efficiently: Assessing the impact of organizational Facebook activities on organizational reputation • Lan Ye, State University of New York at Cortland; Yunjae Cheong, Hankuk University of Foreign Studies • This study analyzed 22 companies’ efficiency of using Facebook in reputation management by using data envelopment analysis (DEA). Results reveal that overall, the efficient companies (n =8) posted less frequently than did the inefficient companies (n = 14); companies receiving more engagements were more efficient than those receiving fewer engagements; and companies adopting one main Facebook Page were more efficient than those adopting multiple Facebook Pages. Size and length of history of an organization were not found to affect efficiency outcomes significantly.

The Effects of Behavioral Recommendations in Crisis Response and Crisis Threat on Stakeholders’ Behavioral Intention Outcomes • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University; Jonathan Borden, Syracuse University • This experiment investigates the intersection between crisis threat, self-efficacy, affect and organizational messaging strategies on stakeholder behavioral outcomes in crises. Behavioral recommendations in crisis messages affected stakeholders’ behavioral outcomes through self-efficacy. Negative emotions also mediated behavioral recommendation and threat’s influence on stakeholders’ behavioral outcomes. Results imply that the extended parallel process model has significant implications for crisis management, however increases in stakeholder self-protective behaviors come at the expense of organizational reputation.

Issues Management as a Proactive Approach to Crisis Communication: Publics’ Cognitive Dissonance in Times of Issue-Related Crisis • Xiaochen Zhang, Kansas State University • Through an experiment, this study examines effects of issues management (issues attribution framing) on publics’ response to issue-related crisis. In Coca-Cola and obesity crisis’s case, public-organization identification and issues involvement were identified as predictors of blame, corporate evaluation, and purchase intentions. Results indicated that high identification and high issue involvement publics may experience cognitive dissonance and are more likely to support the organization under the external attribution frame (framing the obesity issue as personal responsibility).

The First Generation: Lessons from the public relations industry’s first university-trained social media practitioners • Luke Capizzo, University of Maryland • Public relations educators are grappling with the best methods to prepare undergraduates for the constantly shifting world of social media practice. The recent graduates (2011-2016) interviewed for this study constitute the first generation of practitioners with robust, formal social media training. Their experiences in school and in the workforce reinforce some current best practices—such as the value of internship experiences, the resonance of case studies, and the importance of excellent writing skills—but also point toward the need for increased emphasis on strategic social media, brand writing, visual communication, and the continued importance of a deeply integrated curriculum. Using social cognitive theory as a guiding framework, this study examines the salience of observational learning, behavior modeling, and self efficacy for building pedagogical theory for the social media classroom.

Unearthing the Facets of Crisis History in Crisis Communication: Testing A Conceptual Framework • LaShonda Eaddy, The University of Georgia • Coombs’s (2004) Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT) identifies performance history, which includes crisis history and relationship history, as an intensifier of attribution of responsibility during crises. The proposed model examines crisis history and its possible roles among various stakeholder groups as well as possible impact on organizational control, crisis emotion and crisis responsibility. The study also offers a crisis history salience scale that was developed based on a thorough literature review as well as in-depth interviews with public relations practitioners, public relations scholars, journalists, and the general public. The crisis history salience scale can assist crisis communicators consider the multiple facets of crisis history during their crisis communication planning and implementation.

Dominant coalition perceptions in health-oriented, non-profit public relations • Torie Fowler, University of Southern Mississippi • Unlike many departments within an organization, public relations is often faced with the task of proving their importance to the dominant coalition. In health-oriented, non-profit organizations, leaders may find it hard to prove their value when patients, research, or life-saving technology takes precedent. This study examined the perceptions of public relations leaders in this specific field regarding their inclusion in the dominant coalition, how they are able to influence decision-making in their organization, and what barriers could keep leaders from obtaining membership into the coalition. This qualitative study included nine in-depth interviews, where four of the nine participants, perceived they were included in the dominant coalition of their organization. Several themes were identified when participants were asked how they were able to influence decision-making, such as: being included early, having credibility, practicing proactive public relations, and devising a strategic plan. Although less than half of the participants believed they were included in the dominant coalition, all of them thought they could influence the decisions made by the dominant coalition in some capacity. There were two consistent barriers to inclusion: a misunderstanding of public relations and an uneducated or inexperienced practitioner. This study contributes to the body of knowledge about public relations by bringing additional insight into how health-oriented, non-profit public relations leaders perceive that they are able to influence decision-making of the dominant coalition. The study also shows how current literature about public relations inclusion in the dominant coalition does not align with actuality for this group of leaders.

Constructing Trust and Confidence amid Crisis in the Digital Era • Jiankun Guo • Using a hypothetical food-poisoning crisis on campus, this qualitative research explored college students’ construction of trust and confidence online/offline via in-depth interviews. It applied the Trust, Confidence, and Cooperation (TCC) Model as a conceptual lens, but added new insights pertaining to the altering media landscape. Results showed that students constructed trust/confidence online according to a variety of factors (message features, sources, sites, and targets), but virtually all of them valued offline “facetime” due to its ability to convey emotional cues. Multimedia, therefore, offered an advantage in offering emotional reassurances via online channels. Participants also viewed trust-/confidence-building from the authority as a fluid process accumulated slowly overtime, regardless of channels. This study contributes to crisis communication scholarship in the digital era, particularly with an aim to facilitate community resilience.

Understanding the Donor Experience: Applying Stewardship Theory to Higher Education Donors • Virginia Harrison, The Pennsylvania State University • This study examines how stewardship strategies and involvement impact organization-public relationship outcomes for higher education donors at three different levels of giving. Findings suggest that stewardship strategies positively predict OPR outcomes, and that donors at different giving levels experience stewardship strategies and OPR outcomes differently. Also, findings reveal that stewardship may include only three strategies. Involvement only slightly moderates the relationship between stewardship and OPR outcomes. Implications for fundraising practice and theory are made.

Stakeholder relationship building in response to corporate ethical crisis : A semantic network analysis of sustainability reports • Keonyoung Park; Hyejin Kim, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities • This study explored how a corporation’s ethical crisis affects the way of sustainability reporting as a crisis communication tool. Especially, this study sheds light on the relationship building with stakeholders after the ethical crisis. To do so, we examined the Korean Air’s sustainability annual reports (SAR) before and after the ‘Nut Rage’ incident using a series of semantic networking analyses. Asiana Airline’s SARs before and after the crash at the San Francisco International Airport were also analyzed to find distinctive characteristics of the ethical crisis. The result suggested that the Korean Air’s SAR seemed to show the importance of relationship with stakeholders after the ethical crisis, while there was no meaningful change after the non-ethical crisis of Asiana Airlines. The results were discussed in relation to the situational crisis communication theory.

What Did You Expect? How Brand Personality Types and Transgression Types Shape Consumers’ Response in a Brand Crisis • Soyoung Lee, The University of Texas at Austin; Ji Mi Hong; Hyunsang Son • The current research examined how different types of brand personality play a role to develop a specific consumers’ expectation toward a brand, and how this expectation works in various ways in different types of brand transgressions. Based on expectancy violation theory and brand transgression research, a 2 (brand personality types: sincerity vs. competence) × 2 (brand transgression types: morality-related vs. competence-related transgression) factorial design was employed. Corporate evaluations and purchase intention toward the brand were considered as dependent variables. The results revealed that a brand having a sincerity personality is more vulnerable to a morality-related transgression. However, there is no difference in consumers’ responses by transgression type for a brand with a competence personality. Findings showed that brand personality types and transgression types can be critical factors to influence consumers’ responses in times of crisis. Theoretical and empirical implications are discussed.

What Makes Employees Stay Silent? The Role of Perceptions of Problem and Organization-Employee Relationship • Yeunjae Lee • This study aims to examine the impacts of individuals’ perceptions of problems and organization-employee relationship on employees’ silence intention during periods of an organizational issue. Using the situational theory of problem-solving (STOPS) and relational theory, this study intends to explore conceptual convergences by building linkages among issue-specific perceptions, relationship, and employee silence. An online survey was conducted for 412 full-time employees working in companies with more than 300 employees in the U.S. Results suggest that individuals’ perceived relationship is negatively related to their problem, constraint recognition, and silence intention, while it is positively related to involvement recognition. Perceptions of constraint recognition and less involvement to an organizational issue are associated with employee silence. Different impacts of individuals’ issue-specific perceptions and relationship were also examined for different types of silence—acquiescent, prosocial, and defensive silence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

“Breaking the Silence”: Segmenting Asian Americans in the United States to Address Mental Health Problems in the Community • Jo-Yun Queenie Li • This article describes an exploratory study designed to investigate the applicability of cultural identity in public segmentation within a racial/ethnic population in order to address mental health issues in Asian community in the United States. Using a pilot survey of 58 Asian Americans, this research employs the acculturation theory and the situational theory of publics to explore individuals’ communication behavior related to mental health issues. By doing so, this study contributes to the (re)conceptualization and operationalization of cultural identity in intercultural public relations discipline and provides practical implications to organizations that target specific racial/ethnic groups. The findings show that Asian Americans who are more highly acculturated in the United States could be considered as the active publics. They may be helpful in spreading out information, reaching out potential publics, encouraging themselves and other members in the community who have suffered from mental health issues to utilize mental health services.

Pouring Water on Conservative Fire: Discourse of Renewal in Facebook’s Response to Allegations of Bias • Tyler G Page, University of Maryland • Using Facebook’s 2016 trending topics crisis, this study applies the message convergence framework and discourse of renewal to analyze an organizational crisis response. The study reports a qualitative analysis of Facebook’s crisis response statements and a quantitative content analysis of 140 blog, magazine, and newspaper articles covering the crisis. Tone of news coverage improved when discourse of renewal strategy was covered and when media coverage included at least one quote from the organization.

Understanding Public Engagement in Sustainability Initiatives: The Situational Theory of Publics and the Theory of Reasoned Action Approaches • Soojin Roh, Syracuse University • In an attempt to extend the situational theory of publics, this study tested a public engagement model to explain how situational factors, subjective norm, and attitudes toward a sustainability initiative influence public’s communication action as well as different types of behavioral engagement intention. An online survey (N=502) was administered to test predictors of participation intent for recycling clothes campaigns and continuous public engagement with the sustainability cause. Structural equation modeling results indicate that problem recognition and constraint recognition are key predictors of information gaining (information seeking, sharing, and processing) and campaign participation intent. Subjective norms and positive attitude toward the campaign lead to the greater likelihood of participating in the campaign. The analysis also yielded a significant association between information gaining and public’s behavioral engagement including civic engagement, suggesting the mediating role of information gaining. Furthermore, the analysis showed a significant direct effect of involvement on civic engagement. Theoretical and practical implications were discussed.

Understanding Public Engagement on Digital Media: Exploring Its Effects on Employee-Organization Relationships • Yuan Wang, The University of Alabama • This study examined the effects of employees’ organizational identification and engagement with mobile phones and social media on their relationships with the organization and positive word-of-mouth (WOM) communication through a web-based survey of employees via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Findings suggested that employees’ organizational identification significantly influenced their digital media engagement. This study also identified employees’ organizational identification and digital media engagement as new predictors of employee-organization relationships, which, furthermore, led to positive WOM communication.

Defining and Communicating Diversity: A Content Analysis of the Websites of the Top PR Agencies • Anli Xiao, the Pennsylvania State University; Jinyoung Kim; Wunpini Mohammed; Hilton Erica; Colleen Pease • “This paper examines how top PR agencies define diversity, how they express diversity identities and communicate diversity values to prospective employees and clients. Through a content analysis of top PR agencies’ websites, this study finds PR agencies’ defined diversity narrowly and they showed limited efforts in communicating diversity values to future employees and clients. Agency ranking significantly correlated with some diversity efforts communicated. Implications are discussed.

Experiential Learning and Crisis Simulations: Leadership, Decision Making, and Communication Competencies • Hilary Fussell Sisco, Quinnipiac University; John Brummette; Laura Willis, Quinnipiac University; Michael Palenchar, University of Tennesseee • Students benefit from simulation exercises that require them to apply public relations research and theories. Using an experimental learning approach (N=16), this present paper assesses the effectiveness of a crisis simulation exercise using a pre-test/post-test evaluation. Findings suggest that crisis simulation exercises can prepare future practitioners by providing them practices in discipline-centric experiences that also bolster their personal professional development in the areas of leadership, decision making and communication competency.

One Liners and Catchy Hashtags: Building a Graduate Student Community Through Twitter Chats • Melissa Janoske, University of Memphis; Robert Byrd, University of Memphis; Stephanie Madden, University of Memphis • This study takes a mixed-methods approach to understanding how graduate student education and engagement are intertwined, and the ability of an ongoing Twitter chat to increase both. Analysis includes the chats themselves, a mixed-methods survey to chat participants, and memoing completed by the researchers (also faculty chat participants and the chat moderator). Key findings include the importance of building both online and offline connections, the ability of Twitter chats to increase fun and reduce stress, and to gain both tacit and explicit knowledge. Finally, the project offers practical suggestions for those looking to start their own chat series.

Millennial Learners and Faculty Credibility: Exploring the Mediating Role of Out-Of-Class Communication • Carolyn Kim • Every generation experiences distinct events and develops unique values. The Millennial generation is no exception. As Millennial Learners enter classrooms, they bring with them new views about education, learning and faculty/student communication. All of this blends together to influence their perspectives of faculty credibility. This study explores the mediating role of out-of-class communication (OCC) in relation to the historical dimensions known to compose faculty credibility.

Examination of Continuous Response Assessment of Communication Course Presentation Competency • Geoffrey Graybeal, Texas Tech University; Jobi Martinez, Texas Tech University • This study examined the use of continuous response (dial test) technology as a means of providing feedback to improve formal presentations required to meet learning objectives in college communication courses and a variety of assessment strategies utilized in the assignment. Findings suggest that use of video assessment and a student self-assessment have the greatest impact on final presentation performance and that the first dial test pitch should not be graded.

Competition and Public Relations Campaigns: Assessing the Impact of Competition on Projects, Partners, and Students • Chris McCollough, Columbus State University • Scholars in public relations pedagogy have provided a strong body of research on the impact of service learning, community partnerships (Daugherty, 2003), and applied learning in general on campaigns, writing, and production courses common to the public relations curriculum (Wandel, 2005). Rarely explored, however, is the impact of competition among student groups within a public relations course on the quality of campaigns, student experience, client satisfaction, and achievement of learning outcomes (Rentner, 2012). The paper will present a comparative analysis of campaign courses that employed competitive and non-competitive campaign course models to demonstrate the impact of incorporating competition within public relations courses.

Integrating Web and Social Analytics into Public Relations Research Course Design: A Longitudinal Pedagogical Research on Google Analytics Certification • Juan Meng, University of Georgia; Yan Jin; Yen-I Lee, University of Georgia; Solyee Kim, University of Georgia • This longitudinal pedagogical research contributes with integrating web and social analytics-based activities into the Public Relations Research course design. Results from the pre- and post-tests confirmed that students’ knowledge on web and social analytics is low but desire to learn is high. Consistent patterns on learning outcomes suggest more experience-based learning activities are needed to leverage the practical implications of web and social analytics in public relations research and practice. More pedagogical recommendations are discussed.

Media Relations Instruction and Theory Development: Relational Dialectical Approach • Justin Pettigrew, Kennesaw State University • There has been almost no research in the area of media relations or media relations instruction in the public relations literature. This study seeks to fill a gap in theory-building in the area of media relations and examines the state of media relations instruction in today’s public relations curriculum through a survey of public relations professors. The author suggests relational dialectical theory as a way to better understand the relationship between public relations practitioners and journalists, and proposes a relational dialectical approach to theory building and in teaching media relations in today’s changing landscape.

Developing a Blueprint for Social Media Pedagogy: Trials, Tribulations, and Best Practices • ai zhang, Stockton University; Karen Freberg, University of Louisville • Social media research, and particularly social media pedagogy, has increased substantially as a domain in public relations research. Yet, along with this increased focus on social media pedagogy, educators and other higher education professionals are under pressure from industry, professional communities, and university administrations to keeping their classes updated and relevant for their students. To better understand the current state and rising expectations facing educators teaching social media, this study interviewed 31 social media professors to explore the trials and tribulations of their journey and to identify best practices of social media as a pedagogical tool. The study also suggested a blueprint for implementing social media pedagogy in the classroom. Future implications for both research and practice are also discussed.

An Exploratory Study of Transformed Media Relations Dimensions After the Implementation of an Anti-graft Law • Soo-Yeon Kim, Sogang University; JOOHYUN HEO • The Improper Solicitation and Graft Act, which went into effect on September 28, 2016, strictly prohibits gift-giving to journalists, thereby making a traditional media relations practice in Korea illegal. A survey of 342 public relations practitioners revealed that providing monetary gifts, performing formal responsibility, building informal relationships, getting paid media coverage, and taking informal support were found to be significant subdimensions of media relations. After implementation of the anti-graft law, public relations practitioners expressed a belief that the practice of providing monetary gifts will shrink the most and performing formal responsibility would experience the most growth. The formal responsibility factor was significantly positively related to support for the new law and public relations ethics, while taking informal support was negatively linked to public relations ethics. Getting paid media coverage showed the most significant positive relationship with difficulties of effective media relations.

Raymond Simon: PR Educational Pioneer • Patricia Swann, Utica College • Raymond Simon, professor emeritus of public relations at Utica College, whose teaching career spanned nearly four decades, was among PRWeek’s 100 most influential 20th century people in public relations. Simon’s contributions to education include developing one of the first full-fledged public relations undergraduate curriculums; authoring the first public relations-specific classroom textbooks for writing and case studies, in addition to a textbook for the principles course; and developing student potential through national student organizations and mentoring.


Political Communication 2017 Abstracts

The Influence of Source-Expected and Unexpected Advocacy on Thoughts and Attitude Change in Dual Frames • Joe Abisaid, University of Detroit Mercy; Doug McLeod • This study investigates how source-expected and source-unexpected advocacy within dual frames influences cognitive responses and attitude change. A web-based experiment was conducted with a 2 (message frame: scientific progress vs. animal welfare) x 2 (advocating source: proponent vs. opponent) between subjects factorial research design with primate testing as the experimental message stimulus in the news story. The findings show that source-expected and source-unexpected advocacy within frame did not result in any significant difference in attitude change but that primate testing supporters and opponents processed source-unexpected message advocacy differently leading primate testing opponents to experience higher rates of attitude change.

Raising Political APPtitude: Examining the influence of mobile platforms on offline, online and social media participation • Heloisa Aruth Sturm, University of Texas at Austin; Ori Tenenboim, The University of Texas at Austin; Danielle Kilgo, University of Texas at Austin; Thomas Johnson • This study examines the influence of mobile news platforms and applications have on political participation. Mobile news was the strongest platform predictor of offline, online and social media participation. Among ways to access mobile news, news apps and Snapchat were the strongest indicators of political participation. Direct effects were stronger predictors than the differential effects of age (Millennials vs. other age groups) and political socialization.

Impacts of television humor on viewers’ engagement, attitudes, and memory. • Nafida Banu, University of Oklahoma; Glenn Leshner, University of Oklahoma • This study explores the impact of late-night television humor on viewers’ engagement, attitudes, and memory. Impact of humor is tested with a two condition (high satire and low satire) between-subject design on the topic of 2016 Presidential debates. This study suggest that late-night television humor had negative effects on audience engagement with the video and memory of the premise of a given experimental condition, but positive effects on forming attitudes toward the satirized character.

Selective Exposure and the Hostile Media Effect Among Post-Millennials • Mitchell T. Bard, Iona College; D. Jasun Carr, Idaho State University • Social media poses challenges to traditional mass communication theories forged in a narrower, less partisan media environment. Despite the differences in how Post-Millennials access and consume news content, this study finds that when college-aged subjects were presented with news article options in a Twitter feed, they behaved much as the selective exposure and hostile media effect literature predicted they would. The traditional theories also helped explain the effects of the inclusion of fake news.

Social Media as a Sphere for “Risky” Political Expression: A 20-Country Multi-Level Comparative Analysis • Matthew Barnidge, University of Vienna; Brigitte Huber; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna; James Liu • In the context of the United States, research shows a positive relationship between network heterogeneity and political expression on social media at the individual level. This study builds on that research, relying on multi-level analysis that 1) leverages a 20-country comparative survey and 2) includes country-level data on freedom of expression. Results show a positive relationship between network heterogeneity and political expression on social media across countries, but that relationship is stronger where freedom of expression is more limited.

Being young but not reckless: A study on young adults’ social media flight-or-fight to hostility during the 2016 U.S. presidential election • Porismita Borah; Kyle Lorenzano; Miles Sari, Washington State University; Meredith Wang, Washington State University • Although social media is increasingly becoming a popular place to get news and information, the political environment on social media might not be liked by everyone. The 2016 Presidential elections witnessed widespread polarization and partisan animosity. We are interested in examining how young adults maneuver these spaces, particularly in their encounter with incivility and social media participation. We used both in-depth interviews and panel survey data from the 2016 U.S. Presidential elections to examine our hypotheses and research questions. Our findings show that most young people react to incivility strategically to avoid conflicts in their own social network but still willing to speak out to strangers. Our interview participants expressed that incivility was a barrier to participating in political discussion online. However, the panel data shows that the influence of incivility on social media participation is moderated by conflict avoidance. The findings were also conditional on the type of social media. Implications are discussed.

Liking on Facebook might be more important than we think: Social Endorsement, credibility perceptions of campaign information, and engagement • Porismita Borah; Meredith Wang, Washington State University • With the increased use of social media for information gathering about politics, it is important to ask what factors influence the credibility perceptions of this information. This question is particularly relevant at a time when misinformation is abundantly available online. And as individuals increasingly use social media for information gathering, politicians and campaign managers have started using these sites to reach out to voters. In the present study, we conducted a 2 (type of political posts: promote vs. attack posts) by 2 (social endorsement: high vs. low likes) between-subjects, randomized experiment. We examined the relationship among political posts, social endorsement, credibility perceptions, and political engagement on Facebook. Our findings show that posts which promote a politician and contains a high number of “likes” were considered the most credible. Moreover, a moderated-mediation model demonstrated the indirect effect of type of post on Facebook participation mediated by credibility of the post, and moderated by number of likes. Implications are discussed.

Partisan strength and social media use among voters during the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Council election: Examining the roles of ambivalence and disagreement • Michael Chan, Chinese University of Hong Kong • High identifiers to political parties are typically the most cognitively and behaviorally engaged during democratic elections. Using a national post-election survey of voters (N = 924) in the 2016 Hong Kong Legislative Council election, the present study examined the relationship between partisan strength and a variety of behaviors on social network sites and messaging apps. Findings showed that partisan strength was positively associated with all consumptive and expressive behaviors on social media during the campaign. However, the relationships were attenuated by political ambivalence and disagreement for expressive behaviors (though not consumptive behaviors), such that the relationships were generally only significant under conditions of lower ambivalence towards political parties and less disagreement among one’s friendship networks. Although social media provides an important outlet for partisan expression during election campaigns, its use is nevertheless contingent on different internal and external factors. Implications for the findings are discussed.

A Path to Deliberation? A Moderated Mediation Model of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations, and Information Selectivity on Elaborative Reasoning • Hsuan-Ting Chen, The Chinese University of Hong Kong • This study draws on an experiment combined with web behavior-tracking data to understand the roles of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, including personal issue importance and motivated-reasoning goals, in influencing people to seek pro- and counterattitudinal information and how the information selectivity in turn affects elaborative reasoning. Findings suggest that proattitudinal exposure mediates the relationship between personal issue importance and generating rationales for one’s own viewpoint on the issue, while counterattitudinal exposure mediates the path from personal issue importance to generating rationales for not only oppositional but also one’s own viewpoint. This result highlights the significant role of counterattitudinal exposure in enhancing deliberative democracy. However, the moderated mediation analyses further indicate that the indirect paths through counterattitudinal exposure only occur for those who are highly motivated by accuracy goals to search for information. Implications for the functioning of deliberative democracy are discussed.

Reassessing Issue Emphasis and Agenda Building on Twitter During the Presidential Primary Season • Bethany Conway-Silva, California Polytechnic State University; Christine Filer; Kate Kenski; Eric Tsetsi • This study examined salient issues within Twitter feeds of the 2016 presidential primary candidates and their campaigns, as well as the feeds of the two major parties (RNC and DNC). We also examined the extent to which issue agendas across these Twitter sources predicted those of elite newspapers. Results suggest that, in contrast to the 2012 primaries, issue emphasis on Twitter by candidates/campaigns and the two major parties aligned with the issue ownership hypothesis. Though the ability of Twitter sources to predict the press agenda was not confined to owned issues, candidate/campaign Twitter feeds and those of the parties did predict the press agenda on a variety of topics. Results also confirm previous findings that the press is better able to predict the Twitter agenda than the reverse.

Interest in Foreign Policy and Foreign News during Presidential Elections • Raluca Cozma, Kansas State University • This study uses survey data from the Iowa Caucus Poll conducted in January 2016 to examine the relationship between voters’ use of traditional media and social media and their interest in foreign policy during presidential primaries. The results of the analysis suggest that, despite conventional beliefs that Americans are not interested in foreign policy or foreign news, Iowans are highly concerned about issues like terrorism and foreign policy. However, one of their top sources of political information, local television, correlates with a decline in interest in foreign policy, even as the world is more interconnected than ever.

Behavior notwithstanding: Person perception and news photographs of the 2016 presidential election • Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • Scholars have demonstrated the value of visuals in political communication. While analysis of visuals is generally an understudied area in political communication, there is a line of research that has considered photographs in presidential elections. This research builds on this line of inquiry to continue the well-established research tradition of looking at print news photographs in regard to person perception theory in presidential campaigns, thus furthering a systematic approach to media scholarship. Study findings show that there were statistically significant differences in the photographic presentations of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump in the 2016 election, with Clinton pictured more favorably than Trump.

“I Have a Winning Temperament:” Analyzing Personality in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Debates • Stefanie Davis, The Pennsylvania State University; Virginia Harrison, The Pennsylvania State University; Yeonhwa Oh, The Pennsylvania State University • The first 2016 U.S. presidential debate was the most-watched debate of all time. By analyzing the transcripts of all three debates, this study attempts to tease out the personality traits of each candidate using the Big 5 Personality Scale. Placing so much faith in polling led to be problematic in the 2016 election cycle. Incorporating other techniques, such as analyzing personality profiles of candidates, could add depth and richness to the process of predicting elections.

The fight for the voter’s favor: The adoption of innovative political behavioral targeting techniques • Tom Dobber, Universiteit van Amsterdam • Political campaigns increasingly collect and use data to microtarget specific voters with tailored messages. As a result, campaigns limit journalists’ capabilities to scrutinize political actors and their campaigns, potentially hinder public deliberation, and raise questions about citizens’ privacy. This study examines how campaign level and system level contextual factors form barriers and facilitators for campaigns, operating in a multiparty democracy, in developing data-driven targeting tools. It shows how campaigns innovate and develop targeting techniques.

What makes a president? The role of gender, emotion, ideology, and sexism in predicting candidate evaluations. • Rebecca Donaway, Washington State University; Myiah Hutchens, Washington State University; Colin Storm, Washington State University • We use two within-subjects experimental design studies to examine how visually-displayed emotion, gender, and ideology of fictional potential presidential candidates influenced evaluations of those politicians. Results across both studies show that happy women were consistently evaluated more positively. Adding political ideology in the second study shows that individuals respond more favorably to politicians that match their own ideology, and participants who report higher levels of sexism evaluate Republican candidates more highly.

Confident, Committed, or Cooperative: Participation in User-Generated Content, Digital Badges, and Youth Engagement • Melissa R Gotlieb, Texas Tech University; Melanie Sarge, Texas Tech University; Sadia Cheema, Texas Tech University; Lynn Jessica Foumena Agnoung • This study aims to identify the psychological processes by which participation in user-generated content (UGC) increases democratic engagement among young citizens. Self-efficacy, self-perception, and self-categorization are offered to provide an account of the performative, expressive, and collaborative aspects of UGC. Results of an experiment show that participating in UGC increases engagement through enhanced self-efficacy; however, receiving a digital badge as incentive for UGC undermines the effects of self-efficacy, as well as self-perception and self-categorization.

Self-Reported vs. Digitally Recorded: Partisanship and Ideology in Facebook Networks • Katherine Haenschen, Princeton University • Ample research focuses on the influence of online discussion networks on political behaviors. Such work often relies on individuals’ accurate perceptions of their discussants’ partisanship. This paper presents the results of a survey paired with a Facebook app that collected subjects’ network size and political views. These data enable the comparison of self-reported and digitally recorded partisanship and ideology. The results show a strong relationship between individual-level measures, whereas the network-level variables are less reliable.

Anger, Cynicism, but Trust in Democracy in Swing-state Presidential Primaries • Jennifer Harker, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; Daniel Riffe; Martin Kifer, Highpoint University • This study explored “populist anger” (PA) in the week before the 2016 presidential primaries in two “swing states” and how it was related to political beliefs and communication behaviors using online panel survey data (N=1,969). PA, efficacy, cynicism, knowledge, engagement, and information-seeking were examined. PA was not related to political information seeking but negatively related to ratings of traditional media. Age, cynicism, efficacy, ideology, candidate choice, and trust in democracy were strongest predictors of PA.

How to Respond to Right-Wing Populism? Investigating the Effects of Three Government Response Strategies on Anti-Immigrant and Anti-Government Attitudes • Raffael Heiss, University of Vienna • Right-wing populists are on the rise. Past research has shown that their campaigns can fuel political discontent and anti-immigrant attitudes. Little is known about how mainstream politicians can respond to right-wing populism. Based on data collected in an online survey experiment (N = 416), this study investigated the effects of three different government response strategies to right-wing populism: a fact-based, a value-based and a populist response. Findings reveal that both value-based and populist responses fueled anti-immigrant attitudes, but only among the low educated. The fact-based response did not affect anti-immigrant attitudes. However, fact-based and value-based responses decreased anti-government attitudes, but only among those with the highest education. The populist response did not affect anti-government attitudes. The role of facts and political deliberation, political correctness and the adoption of populist communication in mainstream politics are discussed.

Activating the Audience: Authoritarianism, White Resentment, and Parisian News Use in the 2016 Presidential Election • Jay Hmielowski, Washington State University; Michael Beam, Kent State University; Myiah Hutchens, Washington State University • In this paper, we use panel data to examine the relationship between authoritarianism and white resentment with partisan media use and candidate support in the 2016 Presidential Election. We find that both of these variables were associated with support for Trump. Only white resentment correlated with use of partisan media outlets. In addition, we find the effects of conservative media concentrated among those low in authoritarianism and white resentment.

The power of anger: Emotional triggers for information seeking and sharing after the 2016 U.S. presidential election • Jennifer Hoewe, University of Alabama; Scott Parrott, University of Alabama • This study sought to understand the impact of four discrete emotions on post-election information seeking and sharing behaviors. Young adults assessed their emotional experiences immediately following the 2016 U.S. presidential election as well as how they sought and shared information about the election results. Those who experienced anger reported the greatest amount of information seeking and sharing. Anger also uniquely predicted seeking and sharing through interpersonal communication. Anxiety and enthusiasm prompted some seeking and sharing behaviors, but a far smaller number. Hopefulness had little influence on information gathering.

Anti-Europe, anti-immigrant and anti-party: UKIP issue ownership and the road to Brexit. • Ceri Hughes, University of Wisconsin-Madison • The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) was the only large UK political party universally in support of the Leave campaign in the 2016 European Union referendum. All the other major UK political parties were completely or mainly on the side of Remain. Yet UKIP won. Using a mixed methodology of content analysis and debate network analysis, this research illustrates how UKIP effectively conflated the issues of Europe and immigration throughout the run-up to the 2015 General Election and were given partial ownership of, and competence on, the issue. They placed themselves as an “antiparty” party, outside “establishment” politics on the side of “ordinary people”. This placed them in a strong position to potentially dictate the discourse agenda leading to the referendum. This illustrates that smaller parties can be granted elite status to set agenda on germane issues. This research also concludes that UKIP’s “fundi/antiparty” strategy and success identifies a potential path for core-issue parties.

Think the Vote: The influence Selective Approach and Avoidance to Social Media and cognitive measures on Support for Trump and Clinton • Thomas Johnson; Barbara Kaye, University of Tennessee • “This study examines whether systematic and heuristic processing, selective approach and selective avoidance to Facebook, Twitter, video-sharing sites like YouTube and social news sites like Reddit, and need for cognition influenced support for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Selective exposure and avoidance to social media proved weak predictors of support for the candidates. Supporters for both candidates relied on heuristics to make voting decisions. Clinton supporters had high need for cognition, Trump supporters low need.

Explaining the Diversity Deficit: The Motivation, Opportunity and Ability Model • Dam Hee Kim • Although seeking diverse viewpoints is widely considered an important citizenship value, research on selective exposure demonstrates that many individuals fail to live up to the diversity values: the diversity deficit. Under the theoretical framework of Motivation, Opportunity, and Ability, this paper demonstrates that partisans with certain resource such as political interest, news habits, and diversity-seeking skills better translate their diversity values into diverse exposure in the context of mass media as well as social media.

Beneficial News or Harmful News? The Influence of Perceived Negative and Positive Effects of Election Polling News • HYUNJUNG KIM • This study examines how the perceived negative and positive effects of polling reports are linked to political behaviors such as support for regulations restricting election polling news, engagement in campaign discourse, and reinforcement of support for a candidate. The results of an experiment with college students as the sample show that voters tend to perceive election polling news as having greater negative effects on other voters when the candidate they support is behind in the race compared to when the candidate they support is leading. Further, the perceived negative effect of polling news is positively related to support for restrictions on polling news particularly for supporters of a losing candidate. The perceived positive effect of polling news is directly and indirectly linked to reinforcement of support for a candidate through pride. The implications of the findings and the limitations of the study are discussed.

Does Social Media Matter?: How perceptions of political participation on social media can facilitate political expression and foster offline political participation • Nojin Kwak; Daniel Lane; Brian Weeks, University of Michigan; Dam Hee Kim; Slgi Lee; Sarah Bachleda • Americans’ views of political activity on social media range from exuberant to exasperated. But does the way citizens perceive social media influence their online and offline political behaviors? While the popular narrative of “Slacktivism” suggests that perceiving social media as an easy and impactful way to engage in politics only leads individuals to disengage from traditional forms of political participation, a comprehensive empirical investigation has yet to be undertaken. In the present study, we propose and test a theoretical model in which perceiving social media as context for politics encourages individuals to express themselves on social media, which in turn increases the likelihood that they will participate offline. Our results demonstrate that perceiving social media as easy or impactful can indirectly increase offline political participation, through the influence of political expression on social media. Further, we highlight that this mediated path is stronger for older individuals and less impactful for younger individuals. We also find that those with predominantly politically like-minded networks are more likely to benefit from this process. The implications for reconceptualizing the relationship between perceptions and political participation in the context of social media are discussed.

Connecting with Hyperlocal News Website: Cause or Effect of Civic Participation? • Wenlin Liu, University of Houston; Nien-Tsu Nancy Chen, California State University Channel Islands; Sandra Ball-Rokeach, University of Southern California; Seungahn Nah • This is one of the first systematic explorations into the relationship between residents’ connection to a hyperlocal news website and civic participation. Integrating an ecological framework of civic participation and an audience-centered approach, the present study investigates whether residents’ connection to a hyperlocal news website serves as the cause or effect of community participation. Using survey data with probability sampling of ethnically diverse residents, the current study identifies reciprocal influence between hyperlocal news connection and civic participation level. Findings suggest that the civic potential of hyperlocal digital news may result from both agentic use of and less intentional exposure to it.

Towards Engaged Citizens: Influences of Second Screening on College Students’ Political Knowledge and Participation • Yiben Liu; Bumsoo Kim, University of Alabama; Yonghwan Kim, Dongguk University • Commonly conducted alongside political TV viewing, second screening is a new media use behavior which merits explorations at diverse levels. This study aims to (1) develop specific categories of second screening activities during television campaign exposure, and (2) explore the influences of each type of second screening activity on individuals’ cognition ( political knowledge) and behavior (political participation), (3) examine whether the effects are mediated by internal (internal political efficacy) and external (political discussion) factors.

The effect of political information reception and participation through social network sites on political values and offline political participation • Yingying MA • This study examined the role of political information reception through social network sites (SNSs) on the relationship between political values (blind patriotism, civil liberties, and law and order) and political behaviors for young adults who engage in a high degree of participation through SNSs using the case of umbrella movement in Hong Kong. By combining reinforcing spirals model and differential gains model, I build and test a moderated mediation model in which participation through SNSs amplifies the indirect effect of political values on offline political participation through political information reception via SNSs. Based on a sample of 176 university students in Hong Kong, the results show general support for the hypothesized model. The theoretical and practical implications of the present study for political SNSs use were discussed.

The “Spiral of Silence” Revisited: A Meta-Analysis on the Relationship between Perceptions of Opinion Support and Political Opinion Expression • Jörg Matthes, University of Vienna; Johannes Knoll; Christian von Sikorski • The key assumption of spiral of silence theory is that opinion climate perceptions affect political opinion expression. We meta-analyzed the strength of this relationship and clarified the impact of theoretically relevant moderators. Sixty-six studies collectively including more than 27,000 participants were located. We observed a significant positive relationship (r = .10; Zr = .10). The largest silencing effect (r = .34) was observed when participants talk to their family, friends, or neighbors about obtrusive issues.

Free Market Media, Democracy and Partisanship: A Case Study of Kolkata’s Newspapers’ Coverage of Anti-Industrialisation Protests • Suruchi Mazumdar, OP Jindal Global University • This paper studies how the news media’s partisan interests and the norms of professional journalism intersect and alters the partisan model’s ability to represent diversity when partisan and commercial models co-exist. Through a case study of the news coverage of anti-industrialisation protests in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata and by drawing on political economy of communication, this paper argues that “hybrid” forms of professional journalism remain central to the partisan model’s ability to represent differences or “external pluralism”. This paper proposes the conceptual framework of “hybrid” partisan model to account for the changes in the partisan system.

An Emergent Public: Journalistic Representation of Social Media as Public Opinion • Shannon McGregor, University of Texas; Daniel Kreiss; Shannon Zenner, University of North Carolina • Journalists have historically used polling data to represent public opinion, but we explore the ways in which journalists now use social media data as a measure of public attention and evaluation, to document how elite messages resonate, and to convey reactions to political performances. We explore the implications of this emergent form of public opinion on politics and reporting through field observations, interviews and a content analysis during the 2016 presidential campaign.

An Analysis of Hillary Clinton’s Online Image Repair Tactics in 2008 and 2016 • Mia Moody-Ramirez, 1968; Mayra Monroy, Baylor University • This analysis looks at how Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton utilized her personal blog to improve her image during the 2008 and 2016 presidential races. Clinton had the difficult job of convincing voters she was tough enough as a woman to handle issues such as war, finances and health care, yet feminine enough to fulfill preconceived notions of women. Her blog entries reinforced her statements with quotes from high-level political figures and corporate executives. However, the media did not always cover her preferred frames.

Fake News Is Not the Real Problem • Jacob Nelson, Northwestern University • In light of the recent U.S. election, many fear that “fake news” has become a powerful and sinister force in the news media environment. These fears stem from the idea that as news consumption increasingly takes place via social media sites, news audiences are more likely to find themselves drawn in by sensational headlines to sources that lack accuracy or legitimacy, with troubling consequences for democracy. However, we know little about the extent to which online audiences are exposed to fake news, and how these outlets factor into the average digital news diet. In this paper, I argue that fears about fake news consumption echo fears about partisan selective exposure, in that both stem from concerns that more media choice leads audiences to consume news that align with their beliefs, and to ignore news that does not. Yet recent studies have concluded that the partisan media audience (1) is small and (2) also consumes news from popular, centrist outlets. I use online news audience data to show a similar phenomenon plays out when it comes to fake news. Findings reveal that social media does indeed play an outsized role in generating traffic to fake news sites; however, the actual fake news audience is small, and a large portion of it also visits more popular, “real” news sites. I conclude by discussing the implications of a news media landscape where the audience is exposed to contradictory sources of public affairs information.

The Verbal Tone of the 2016 Presidential Primaries: Candidate Twitter, Debate, and Stump Speech Rhetoric • David Painter, Rollins College; Juliana Fernandes, University of Miami • This investigation uses DICTION® software to analyze the main and interaction effects of candidate partisanship (Republican and Democratic) and communication channel (Twitter, televised debates, and stump speeches) on the 2016 U.S. presidential primary candidates’ verbal tone. The main effects results indicate the Republican candidates’ rhetoric contained significantly more optimism, but significantly less realism, than did the Democratic candidates’ rhetoric. The interaction results suggest the main effects were largely driven by Trump and Sanders’ Twitter rhetoric.

Social Media and Political Learning: Roles of News Elaboration and News Curation • Chang Sup Park • This study intends to examine whether and how the use of social media for news predicts political knowledge. Drawing on a national survey, the present study finds that social media for news is positively associated with issue knowledge, but not with civic knowledge. Social media news elaboration and social media news curation are positively related to issue knowledge and civic knowledge. This research also finds that social media news elaboration mediates the association between social media for news and issue knowledge, while social media news curation moderates the relationship between social media for news and issue and civic knowledge.

Are Echo Chambers Louder Online? Pre-Election Confirmation Bias in Selective Exposure Online Versus Print • George Pearson, The Ohio State University; Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick • This study offers the first rigorous evidence suggesting online news fosters greater confirmation bias than traditional media. Data was collected by presenting political articles with conservative versus liberal stance either online or in print. Selective reading was logged or taped. Data were collected during the U.S. 2016 presidential primaries. Partisans anticipating a loss (conservatives) were expected to exhibit less confirmation bias. Liberals showed a confirmation bias, but only online, suggesting print contexts reduce confirmation bias.

Liking the (funny) messenger: The influence of news parody exposure, perceived humor, and predispositions on media trust • Jason Peifer, Indiana University, Bloomington • In an effort to explore how political entertainment can influence media trust, this multi-study research (N=331; N=317) examines how individual predispositions and the perceived humor of a news parody message interact to influence media trust. Findings demonstrate that one’s affective disposition toward news parody source can have an indirect effect on trust, as mediated by the perceived funniness of the humor. This effect is shown to be conditioned upon attitudes about the legitimacy of news parody as a news source.

Political Communication and Public Distrust in Northern Ireland: Distrust Trickles Down in a Post-Conflict Society • Charis Rice, Coventry University; Maureen Taylor • This paper focuses on how political communication may influence public trust in government. Grounded in the work of political agenda setting and political logic, this study of 15 organizations in Northern Ireland demonstrates that political leaders primarily set the ‘distrust agenda’ through divisive discourse. This trickles down to the public, exacerbated by the media’s focus on conflict. Concurrently, trust is being built from the bottom up through the pro-peace communication and actions of community groups.

Schadenfreude, Chagrin, and Deliberation: Discussing the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election in Online News Comments • Martin J. Riedl, The University of Texas at Austin; Gina Chen; Jordon Brown, The University of Texas at Austin; Jeremy Shermak, University of Texas at Austin; Ori Tenenboim, The University of Texas at Austin • Fierce debate – not just in editorial columns, but also in online news comments – marked the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election. This study explores the public discourse in the immediate aftermath of the election, via textual analysis of 1,100 online news comments from The New York Times, USA Today, and Fox News. Findings suggest that while comments contain incivility and schadenfreude, they also offer a glimmer of hope for democratic discussion. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

A methodology to measure the use (and misuse) of reframed news-mediated content in presidential campaign commercials • Chris Roberts, University of Alabama; Stan Diel, University of Alabama • Political candidates use third-party evidence to bolter claims, but often that evidence is reframed in ways different from the original intent. This study introduces a content analysis methodology to categorize misuse of news-mediated evidence, using the functional theory of political discourse. An exhaustive analysis of 2008 and 2012 presidential spots showed that 21.8% of 448 pieces of evidence was used in ways different from the original meaning. The methodology and implications are discussed.

Examining the Salience of Cognitive and Emotional Frames in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Debates • Abdulsamad Sahly, Arizona State University • By investigating the 2016 presidential debates and using quantitative content analysis, this study explores the differences between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in using cognitive and emotional frames in various topics discussed in their presidential debates. The study found that the cognitive frame was salient in Clinton’s rhetoric more than Trump’s in overall debates. Considering the topics that presented in the debates, Trump framed domestic policy and civil right cognitively more than Clinton. In contrast, Clinton framed the topics such as economy, foreign policy and securing America, immigration and refugees, race and social relations in America, and presidential fitness cognitively more than Trump. The study also found that the emotional frame was salient in Trump’s rhetoric more than Clinton’s in overall debates. Considering the topics and the tone, Trumps framed emotionally the topics of foreign policy, immigration and refugees, and presidential fitness more than Clinton. On the other hand, Clinton framed social relation, economy, and domestic policy emotionally more than Trump. This finding have implications for understanding how one frame either cognitive or emotional could be more effective than the other in political communication and how candidates think and act strategically to persuade their supporters. The study provided new approach in which strategic communication could be studied using framing theory.

Young Muslims’ Responses to Anti-Islamic Right-Wing Populist Campaigns: Discrimination, Social Identity Threats, and Hostility • Desirée Schmuck; Jörg Matthes, University of Vienna; Frank Hendrik Paul, University of Vienna • Anti-Islamic sentiments have become central to right-wing populist mobilization in Western societies, which often results in negative and stereotypical portrayals of Muslims in political campaigns. Although these portrayals may have detrimental effects on minority members’ identity formation and attitudes toward the majority population, little is known about their effects on members of the depicted group. A lab experiment with 145 young Muslims reveals that right-wing populist ad exposure increases perceived discrimination, which in turn decreases individuals’ self-esteem and national identification, and encourages hostility toward the majority population. Religious identification, in contrast, is not affected by ad exposure. Implications of these findings for intergroup relations and democratic processes are discussed.

When the Regime Meets the Social Forces How Propaganda Moderates the Influence of Independent Opinion Leaders on Social Media in China • Li Shao, Syracuse University; Fangfei Wang; He Huang, Renmin University of China • Social media provides free space for independent opinion leaders (OPLs) to influence public opinion in Contemporary China, in which OPLs need to contest with the powerful propaganda machine. Then, how much influence could OPLs exert to the public under this shadow of authoritarianism? A survey experiment on 1,751 Chinese online users finds that OPLs guide respondents’ policy preference and encourage reposting behavior when they are not seen as a part of propaganda. However, when the presence of opinion leaders elevates the awareness of propaganda, respondents’ disapproval to the policy increases and their wiliness to repost drops. This result shows that it is hard for the authoritarian government to persuade its citizens when the propaganda machine is highly prevalent.

Effect of Jon Stewart’s Daily Show Media Critiques on Declining Public Trust in News Media • Edo Steinberg, Indiana University; Julia Fox, Indiana University • Against the backdrop of continuing decline in public trust of media, this study uses piecewise (also known as segmented or broken-stick) regression analysis of Gallup polling data to examine the possible impact of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on public opinion toward the news media. Findings suggest Stewart’s rising influence in the public sphere as he stepped up his criticism of the news media may have accelerated that trend for younger adults.

A Global Election: Analyses of Arabic, Chinese, and Russian News Coverage of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election • Ethan Stokes, University of Alabama • In an increasingly globalized world, it is important to understand global perceptions of a nation’s politics. Through a content analysis of Arabic, Chinese, and Russian translated news media transcripts, this study focuses on these nations’ coverage and perceptions of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Drawing from framing theory, the results show the Arabic and Chinese sources favorably framed Clinton and the Democratic Party, and the Russian sources favorably framed Trump and the Republican Party. The implications of this study are discussed at length.

Is Bad News Biased? How Poll Reporting Affects Perceptions of Media Bias and Presumed Behavior • Mallory Perryman; Jordan Foley, University of Wisconsin-Madison; MIchael Wagner, University of Wisconsin-Madison • Battleground state polls are a prominent part of U.S. election news coverage. In this experimental study (N=863), we tested how polling results impact how partisans evaluate the news stories through which the polls are reported. Partisans tended to see the articles as biased against their candidate; perceived bias was amplified when their candidate trailed in the poll. Additionally, we found that perceived effects of the articles on others’ behavior differed for ingroup and outgroup members.

Did the Media Get Her Charisma Wrong? A Systematic Examination of Hillary Clinton’s Charisma During the 2016 Elections. • ben wasike, university of texas rio grande valley • Media personalities have questioned Hillary Clinton’s charisma, but without solid data. I compared her charisma with male candidates during the last four races. Clinton was the third most charismatic candidate and her charisma patterns do not differ from the male candidates’ patterns. Most gender-based charisma patterns in literature did not manifest. Differences occurred regarding rhetorical complexity but these were due to ideological differences. Data indicates Clinton is more charismatic than commonly perceived in the media.

“Not Proud of It”: Candidate Arguments and Newspaper Coverage of the Second 2016 Presidential Debate • Andrew Wirzburger, Syracuse University • Considering the volatility of the 2016 presidential election and increasing skepticism regarding the role and credibility of news media, this study was undertaken to analyze candidate performance in the second 2016 presidential debate and compare it to subsequent newspaper coverage. Employing a content analysis method from previous research (Benoit, Stein, & Hansen, 2004), results supported the hypothesis that newspapers would represent attacks and character remarks disproportionately higher than their actual appearances in the debate. An analysis of rhetorical styles is included, as well as how newspapers translated the debate into coverage. This study lends support to previous analyses of presidential debate coverage and provides a foundation for further research into news coverage of the 2016 presidential election.

Ethnic Network Diversity and Familiarity and Engagement with Race-related News on Facebook • Donghee Yvette Wohn, New Jersey Institute of Technology; SJ Min; Brian J. Bowe, Western Washington University; Sona Patel, New Jersey Institute of Technology • This study of U.S. adults (N= 296) investigated the relationship between the ethnic diversity of one’s network on Facebook and engagement with race-related issues on Facebook. We looked at two events—the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) pro-tests—and found that the exposure to the issue on Facebook increases familiarity and engagement for both contexts. Having more Native Americans in one’s network increased engagement with DAPL issues but having more Blacks in one’s network was not correlated with engagement with BLM issues. Having more Whites in one’s network decreased engagement with BLM issues, sug-gesting that ethnic network diversity on social media matters and works in different ways for issues before and after they receive mainstream media attention.

Media Exposure, Nationalism and Policy Evaluation on South China Sea News: Examining the Mediation Role of Third-Person Effect and Online Participation • Li Xueqing; Guo Lei • This study adopted the third-person effect perspective to analyze how South China Sea news affects people’s political attitudes and participation. The survey (N=868) found respondents perceived a stronger media effect on others than on themselves, although the result observed a greater media effect on self. Moreover, the perceived effect on self promoted nationalism and online participation, while the perceived effect on others improved policy evaluation. Political participation reinforced nationalism and policy evaluation, and mediated the relationship from media exposure to the political attitudes.

Incidental News Exposure on Social Media, Information Seeking, and Political Participation in the 2016 Presidential Election • Masahiro Yamamoto, University at Albany-SUNY; Alyssa Morey • This study proposes that incidental news exposure on social media facilitates political participation by increasing active information seeking via traditional, social, and online media. Two-wave panel data collected before the 2016 U.S. presidential election reveal that incidental news exposure on social media is positively related to attention to traditional media, social media use for news, and online political information seeking. Online political information seeking is in turn positively related to political participation.

Societal Majority, Facebook, and the Spiral of Silence in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election • Matthew Kushin, Shepherd University; Masahiro Yamamoto, University at Albany-SUNY; Francis Dalisay, University of Guam • Using the 2016 U.S. presidential election, we examined fear of isolation as a mediator of the relationship between perceived opinion congruency in society and on Facebook, respectively, and willingness to express support for a candidate offline and on Facebook. Survey results from an online panel (N = 630) demonstrated that perceived opinion congruency for Clinton in society and for Trump on Facebook had an indirect link with willingness to express opinions face-to-face and on Facebook.

Social Media Uses, Political Participation, and Civic Engagement in Election 2016 • Hongwei “Chris” Yang; Newly Paul, Appalachian State University; Jean DeHart • After Election 2016, an online survey of 3,810 US college students shows that their online and offline political participation, and civic engagement were closely related. Their time spent using Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram did not positively predict online/offline political participation and civic engagement. Their political use of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram served as a positive predictor of offline political participation but not online participation and civic engagement. More interesting findings are presented and discussed.


Participatory Journalism 2017 Abstracts

Mobile Sourcing: Trust and media production on chat apps • Valerie Belair-Gagnon, University of Minnesota; Colin Agur, University of Minnesota • Since 2011, chat apps have gained significant popularity worldwide and the leading chat apps have surpassed social networking platforms in user numbers. These apps have become the hosts for everyday communication among a wide variety of users and, thanks to the functionalities of certain apps, have taken on new significance in reporting. Especially in East Asia, whose youthful demographics and emerging markets have led many societies to “leapfrog” directly to mobile technology, journalists have turned to these apps to complement face-to-face interactions to gather the news. Drawing on in-depth interviews with foreign correspondents based in China and Hong Kong, this paper discusses how journalists use chat apps to establish trust with sources in contexts of government surveillance.

Millennials at the Back Gates: How Young Adults’ Digital News Practices Present a New Media Logic for News Gathering and Gatekeeping as User-Oriented Activities in a Participatory News Ecosystem • Brant Burkey, California State University, Dominguez Hills • The participatory nature of the contemporary news ecosystem makes it increasingly important to examine how digital news users are active participants in selecting, authenticating, contextualizing, and distributing digital news content, redefining our understanding of news gathering and gatekeeping as being user-oriented activities in this digital order. This qualitative study provides insight into the motivations, perceptions, and attitudes of millennials regarding their digital news practices, while highlighting their roles as distributive news gatherers and reciprocal gatekeepers.

Watching the watchdogs: Online news commenters’ critiques of journalistic performance during Boston Marathon terror attack • Ioana Coman, University of Wisconsin – Green Bay • This study explores the evaluative statements made by The New York Times and Le Figaro online news commenters vis-à-vis journalistic performance in the context of a terrorist attack, namely Boston Marathon bombing. Findings show that online news comment sections become lively public spheres, where commenters are active consumers of news: they engage in debates, they applaud, criticize and make demands to the media, they feel they (should) have a role in the journalistic process.

When the Gated Misbehave: Online Reader Comments on Anthony Wiener’s Sexting Scandal • Elina Erzikova, Central Michigan U; Edgar Simpson; Alexis Baker; Sarah Scalici; Victoria Saylor • This study analyzes online reader comments on top U.S. newspapers’ stories related to the August 2016 a former congressman, Anthony Wiener’s sexting scandal. Emergent themes – gender bias and sexism, political scandals and sex addiction – revealed that the majority of reader comments significantly diverged from the news topic. Furthermore, online discussions “drowned out” newspapers’ intended message about Wiener’s inclusion of his toddler son into a sexually-explicit selfie. This study argues that online commentary should not be perceived as a dichotomy – a negative or positive development, a contributor or preventer of public discourse – but rather as a continuum of citizen engagement.

Citizen Journalism as a Supplement to Reporting on Environmental Issues: Examining the Viewpoint Diversity of Arctic Oil Drilling in Citizen-Involved News • Kanni Huang • Citizen journalism plays the role of supplementing legacy news outlets by providing alternative angles possibly absent from those outlets. Arguments about environmental issues in mainstream news outlets usually focus on limited viewpoints, and citizen journalism has the potential to increase the visibility of minor viewpoints about environmental issues. Using the hierarchical model of influence on news content (Shoemaker & Reese, 1991), this study examines different levels of citizen-involved activities to predict the presence of minority viewpoints in the news. Arctic oil drilling was selected as a case study because of its wide range of geographic impact (local, national, and global) and the potentially diverse viewpoints that can be advocated. A sample was collected from the Google News database and environmental citizen sites. A content analysis was conducted using news stories and opinion pieces appearing between January 1, 2012, and December 31, 2015. Results show that citizen authorship or stories published on sites accepting user-submitted stories do not add new or alternative viewpoints to the issue discussion. Instead, citizen journalists tend to defend their positions by giving more popular rationales—for example, ecological sustainability. Citizens’ work published in news media helps strengthen the popular viewpoints instead of supplementing alternative views into public discussion.

Write, write, write for the home team: Motivations to contribute to online sports communities and its influence on news use • Jeremy Littau, Lehigh University • Using motivations found in uses and gratifications theory as a lens, this study examined sports news use among members of online sports communities. A survey (N = 497) of these online communities found a complexity of motives driving use patterns on the spectrum from lurker to contributor, and that trust in fellow community members is a critical driver of someone contributing. Regression analyses also showed that contributing to communities along with information motives were significant predictors of use of online news about their favorite team.

Citizen Journalism and development communication in India: An exploratory study • Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin • Focusing on the idea of communication as an intrinsic part of culture and as a vehicle of transformation (Carey, 2002), this paper seeks to look at the concept of citizen journalism as a powerful tool of development communication in India. Melkote (2003) has underlined the key concepts in this field as communication, modernization, development, participation and empowerment, which also forms the basis of the dominant paradigm in the area. While these central ideas are intrinsically fused, this paper is particularly interested in the ideas of participation, empowerment and the social process of development as envisaged by concepts of participatory action research (PAR) and how they are enhanced and encouraged through citizen journalism. Through qualitative in-depth interviews with the reporters, audiences and other stakeholders of the CGNET Swara; a citizen journalism outlet operating in extremely resource poor areas in India, this paper hopes to contribute to this area by examining the role of citizen journalism and its contribution to social change by engaging communities and enabling them to become the main agents of this transformation.

A ¨Deep Story¨ about Journalism: Interviews with News Subjects Uncover Three Folk Theories of the Press • Ruth Palmer, IE University • The recent increase in populist anti-media rhetoric in the US makes understanding how the public views journalism a matter of urgency. This paper explores three ¨folk theories¨ of the press that emerged in interviews with 83 ordinary people who were named in mainstream news stories in the US. Study participants were asked to describe their interactions with journalists and their reactions to the news coverage in which they had appeared. However, many interpolated their remarks with comments about journalism more broadly and compared their own immediate experiences with expectations they had formed based on their experiences as news consumers. Thus, their folk theories about how journalism does and should relate to citizens emerged naturally. First, many interviewees felt ¨good¨ reporters should never seek out subjects or quotes to fit into stories that had largely been written already. This is noteworthy because doing so is a fairly common reporting practice. Second, interviewees believed that journalists should feel at least somewhat responsible for the outcomes of their stories, which contradicts many journalists´ perceptions of ethical reporting. I conclude by describing a broader narrative about the relationship between the news media and the citizenry that emerged in interviews—what Arlie Hochschild would call a ¨deep story.¨ I found that subjects consistently spoke not of journalists and the media as on their side against powerful people and institutions, but as powerful people and institutions in their own right, who were just as likely—if not more—to be against them.

Half-opening the Gates: Adoption of User-generated Content in the Newsrooms • Mirjana Pantic, University of Tennessee • This study employed gatekeeping theory to investigate ongoing practices that the most prominent media organizations around the globe employ to engage readers in content creation. A thorough analysis of 20 top news websites in the world suggests that even though the media have been lifting the gates to allow readers to participate in developing content, such participation is still limited. The analysis showed that all news websites enabled participation in the areas that increase website traffic, such as sharing news articles on social media, while allowing users to rate articles, write citizen journalism stories and create blogs, was not widely adopted form of reader participation by online news media.

Working with the ‘gated’: ABC Open’s model of ‘collegial gatekeeping’ • Bill Reader, Ohio University • This case study of ABC Open, the participatory journalism project of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, analyzes the role of professional staff in the user-generated content process, from recruiting and training contributors through final editing, publishing, and curating submissions. Informed by the concept of “reciprocal journalism” (Lewis et. al., 2013) and applying the “network gatekeeping theory” developed by Barzilai-Nahon (2008), this study finds a UGC project that is heavily invested in developing rapport between UGC contributors and the professional gatekeepers who handle submissions. The case study suggests that the ‘collegial gatekeeping’ approach of ABC Open is resource- and labor-intensive, but succeeds by prioritizing quality over quantity in a long-term, non-profit initiative.

Killing the Comments: Examining the Demise of Online Comments Sections • Martin J. Riedl, The University of Texas at Austin • Media outlets are increasingly switching off comments sections – spaces formerly hailed as affordances for public deliberation. Drawing on the tragedy of the commons theory, this study explores media outlets’ rationales for such decisions. Applying textual analysis to 21 media outlets’ official statements to abandon comments sections, it identifies a taxonomy of justifications. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Commenters as political actors infringing on the field of journalism • David Wolfgang, Colorado State University • Journalists have become increasingly concerned with the behaviors of online commenters in news-mediated discourse. Commenters are seen as outsiders attempting to use the journalistic space to attack and make false claims. Journalists see these actions as a potential threat to the reputation and legitimacy of professional journalism. But should commenters be seen as potential new journalistic agents, or are they actually serving a political role? This study uses field theory to consider how online commenters at one large news organization engage in promoting ideology and political arguments and how journalists respond. Commenters see themselves as the defenders of political perspectives rarely seen in media and believe it is their duty to express them. Journalists, however, see these actions as a threat to journalism, rather than as the actions of a minority political group. The potential for this conflict to further divide journalists and their audiences is discussed.


Newspaper and Online 2017 Abstracts

News Dynamics, Frame Expansion and Salience: Boko Haram and the War against Terrorism • Ngozi Akinro, Texas Wesleyan University • This study considers frame salience and frame change in relation to terrorism coverage. Through content analysis of 807 news articles by Nigeria Vanguard and Punch and two US newspapers; New York Times and Washington Post on the coverage of the Boko Haram crisis over 16-month period, this study examines change patterns in the coverage of the Boko Haram crisis. The Boko Haram group is an Islamic fundamentalist group operating out of north-eastern Nigeria since 2002. The group claims international ties with other terrorist networks such as al-Qaeda and ISIS (Alkhshali & Almasy, 2015). The group is responsible for nearly half of all civilian deaths in African war zones in 2014. This study considers episodic and thematic framing through a two dimensional frame changing pattern and found frame movement from issue specific framing to thematic suggesting humanitarian and emotional appeal, to global perspective focused on the war on terrorism.

Mediated Policy Effects of Foreign Governments on Iraqi Independent Media During Elections • Mohammed Al-Azdee, University of Bridgeport (UB) • I use the term, mediated policy, to refer to messages sent to Iraq by foreign governments through their international news media during the 2010 Iraqi elections. I hypothesize that US Mediated Policy, Iranian Mediated Policy, and Saudi Mediated Policy are latent constructs interacting in a structural model, affecting a fourth latent variable, Iraqi Independent Media. The analysis shows in 2010 English was barrier to Iraqi independent media, and significant mediated policies influenced Iraqi independent media.

The Effects of Disclosure Format on Native Advertising Recognition and Audience Perceptions of Legacy and Online News Publishers • Michelle Amazeen, Boston University; Bartosz Wojdynski • This experimental study examines elements of native advertising disclosures that influence consumers’ ability to recognize content as paid advertising and contrasts subsequent evaluations of legacy and digital-first publishers with those exposed to online display advertising. Although fewer than 1 in 10 participants were able to recognize native advertising, our study shows that effectively designed disclosure labels facilitate recognition. However, participants who did recognize native advertising had lessened opinions of the publisher and the institution of advertising, overall.

“Alphabet soup”: Examining acronyms in newspaper headlines • Alyssa Appelman, Northern Kentucky University • American journalism is facing an uphill battle for respect and trust. Through a content analysis and survey, this project suggests acronyms as a potential explanation. Acronyms in a local newspaper were largely unknown to a sample of target readers, and one-third of participants specifically expressed negative emotions, including frustration and annoyance, when news outlets publish unknown acronyms. These findings suggest that focusing on reader comprehension over brevity can help journalists repair their public image.

Who Gets Vocal about Hyperlocal: The Role of Neighborhood Involvement and Status in the Sharing of Hyperlocal Website News • Peter Bobkowski, University of Kansas; Liefu Jiang, University of Kansas; Laveda Peterlin, University of Kansas; Nathan Rodriguez, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point • To examine who shares hyperlocal news in person, over email, and through social media, a reader survey of seven hyperlocal news websites was conducted (n = 1,880). More readers share hyperlocal news in person than through email or social media. Higher neighborhood involvement and education tend to characterize readers who share hyperlocal news. Education moderates the relationship between neighborhood involvement and social media sharing. The study extends precepts of channel complementarity and communication infrastructure theories.

An Investigative Journalist and a Stand-Up Comic Walk Into a Bar: The Role of Comedy in Public Engagement with Environmental Journalism • Caty Borum Chattoo, American University School of Communication; Lindsay Green-Barber, The Impact Architects • An investigative journalism project focused on environmental contamination in New Jersey, Dirty Little Secrets, worked with stand-up comics to translate investigative content into stand-up comedy routines performed in front of a live audience. Through a quantitative survey administered after two live comedy shows, this study finds that the public learned factual information, perceived comedians as credible, and expressed willingness to get involved in the core issue. Implications for public engagement with investigative journalism are discussed.

Service at the intersection of journalism, language, and the global imaginary: Indonesia’s English language press • John Carpenter, University of Iowa; Brian Ekdale, University of Iowa • Drawing on interviews with journalists who work in Indonesia’s locally owned and operated English-language press (ELP), we argue English’s status as the language of global and regional imaginaries informs how ELP journalists negotiate their understandings of public service. This study contributes to research on the contextual negotiation of professional ideologies of journalism by considering how publication language—here, English in a country where it is a foreign language—shapes the ways journalists conceive service to their various publics.

Framing Drunken Driving as a Social Problem • Kuang-Kuo Chang, Shih Hsin University • This study content analyzed how drunken driving was framed in Taiwan’s local press in terms of the social determinants. Findings suggest that the coverage was highly negative and episodic substantiated largely by the predominant uses of convenient social actors. In contrast, public health advocates, academics and interest groups that can guide the reporting toward more thematic were barely used to present the causal factors and public policy as health determinants. Implications from the finding are elaborated.

Gaming the News: Examining the Effects of Online Political Quizzes on Interest in News and Politics • Gina Chen; Yee Man Margaret Ng, The University of Texas at Austin; Victoria Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Martin J. Riedl, The University of Texas at Austin • This study sought to understand whether people’s exposure to online quizzes about politics could pique people’s interest in news and politics. An online experiment (N = 585) showed that exposure to quiz questions about politics directly increased people’s perception of their own political knowledge. In addition, exposure to political quizzes indirectly lead to increased interest in politics and intention to get politically involved as well as boosted interest in political news.

Connectivity with a Newspaper and Knowledge of Its Investigatory Work Influence Civic Engagement • Esther Thorson, Michigan State University; Weiyue Chen, Michigan State University; Stephen Lacy, Michigan State University • A survey of residents in the Florida Times-Union (T-U) market showed that both digital and print exposure to the newspaper’s content predicted positive attitudes about civic engagement, as mediated through news interest and perceptions of personal connectivity with the T-U. These attitudes predicted civic engagement behaviors such as volunteering and talking to others about community issues. T-U readers showed higher knowledge of major investigative projects the newspaper had done than those exposed to television news.

Tripling the Price and Wondering Why Readership Declined? A Longitudinal Study of U.S. Newspapers’ Price Hikes, 2008-2016 • Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin; Ori Tenenboim, The University of Texas at Austin • Since the recession U.S. newspapers have increased the price of their print product substantially. While price is a major determinant of consumer demand, circulation trends are often reported out of context, leading to misinterpretations of reader preference. This longitudinal study examines 25 major newspapers’ print price and reveals that subscription rates nearly tripled since 2008, indicating readership declines are partly self-inflicted. Analysis of readership data suggests stronger-than-expected attachment to print. Managerial implications are discussed.

PolitiFact Coverage of Candidates for U.S. Senate and Governor 2010-2016 • Joan Conners, Randolph-Macon College • This study explores PolitiFact fact-checking coverage for potential patterns of ideological bias, the types of claims being examined, as well as where such claims originate in claims about political candidates for the U.S. Senate or Governor in 2010, 2012, 2014, and 2016. Republican candidate claims were judged to be less accurate than claims by Democratic candidates. Candidate claims that attacked one’s opponent were found to dominate PolitiFact coverage, and were frequently found to be inaccurate.

A movement of varying faces: How “Occupy Central” was framed in the news in Hong Kong, Taiwan, mainland China, the U.K., and the U.S. • Y. Roselyn Du, Hong Kong Baptist U; Fan Yang, UW – Madison; Lingzi Zhu, Hong Kong Baptist U • News stories concerning the “Hong Kong Occupy Central” crisis were analyzed to define how the events were framed in the U.K., the U.S., mainland China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. Framing was analyzed in terms of selection and description biases, including news perspective, favorability toward the protesters or the government, sourcing pattern, and attribution of responsibility. The results show significant differences among the five markets, not only between contrasting media systems, but also between comparable ones.

Fighting Facebook: Journalism’s discursive boundary work with the “trending,” “napalm girl,” and “fake news” stories of 2016 • Brett Johnson, University of Missouri; Kimberly Kelling • “Facebook is challenging professional journalism. These challenges were evident in three incidents from 2016: the allegation that Facebook privileged progressive-leaning news on its Trending feature; Facebook’s removal of the Pulitzer Prize-winning “Napalm Girl” photo from the pages of prominent users; and the proliferation of fake news during the U.S. presidential election. Blending theoretical concepts from the field of boundary work and platform ethics, this paper examines how the Guardian, New York Times, Columbia Journalism Review and Poynter editorialized Facebook’s role in these three incidents to discursively construct the boundary between the value of professional journalism to democracy and Facebook’s ascendant role in facilitating essential democratic functions. Findings reveal that with all three stories, these publications attempted to define Facebook as a news organization (i.e. include it within the boundaries of journalism) so that they could then criticize the company for not following duties traditionally incumbent upon news organizations (i.e. place it outside the boundaries of journalism).

Misconception of Barack Obama’s religion: A content analysis of print news coverage of the president • Joseph Kasko, SUNY Buffalo State • This study examines the interaction between public opinion and media treatment of Barack Obama’s religious beliefs, which he is Christian. Yet, only 34 percent of Americans said that they believed Obama was a Christian in an August 2010 Pew Research poll. That was a 14 percent decline from a Pew poll the previous year. This study uses second-level agenda setting to explore if the media contributed to the misconception about his religion.

Fake News, Real Cues: Cues and Heuristics in Users’ Online News Credibility Judgments • Kate Keib, Oglethorpe University; Bartosz Wojdynski • Two experimental studies sought to identify cues and heuristics used by consumers to assess online news content from an unknown source, and what influence these factors have on credibility assessments. Results show that on-page design cues including writing style, pictures and advertisements influence credibility assessments, and these cues do garner attention and influence such assessments. Practitioners can use on-page cues to build credibility among customers. The cues and heuristics identified warrant future research by scholars.

Differences in the Network Agendas of #Immigration in the 2016 Election • Jisu Kim, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities; Mo Jang, University of South Carolina, Columbia • “As an application study of the network agenda-setting model, this study examines how the media and public network agendas can differ, based on which political candidate was mentioned along with with the immigration issue in news coverage and in public tweets. Through network analyses, this study shows that there were differences in the salient attributes of the immigration issue, and that the dominant narrative structure of the issue depended on which political candidate was mentioned.

The Imagined Audience for and Perceived Quality of News Comments • Jisu Kim, University of Minnesota -Twin Cities; Seth Lewis, University of Oregon; Brendan Watson, Michigan State University • “A survey of news commenters’ perceptions of the quality and potential audiences for comments on news websites and Facebook found similar perceptions of quality and civility across platforms. But Facebook commenters were more likely to imagine friends among their audience, compared to politicians and journalists on news websites. Based on the imagined audience for comments, Facebook is not an equivalent substitute for commenting on news websites. Implications for journalism and future research are discussed.

Does Working Memory Capacity Moderate the Effects of Regulatory Focus on News Headline Appraisal and Processing Speed? • Yu-Hao Lee, University of Florida • News consumers regularly scan news headlines before devoting more efforts to reading the content. During this stage, news consumers may use their intuitive responses to the headlines to determine if the news sounds interesting and is worth reading. This study examines how individuals’ regulatory focus orientations affect their appraisal of news headlines and the moderating role of working memory capacity on appraisal score and speed. One hundred and two undergraduate participants performed a news appraisal task in which they gave a score to headlines that used either a gain-frame or a loss-frame. The results showed that promotion-focused individuals gave higher scores to gain-framed headlines, and individuals with lower working memory capacity relied on their regulatory focus more during headline appraisal. However, there was no significant effect on loss-framed headlines. The study has theoretical contributions to understanding the psychological mechanism behind headline scanning and cognitive processing. It also has some practical implications for news editors on how to tailor headlines to individuals’ regulatory focus.

Contest over Authority: Navigating Native Advertising’s Impacts on Journalism Autonomy • You Li • This study analyzes the discourses of 10 U.S. news organizations’ integration of native advertising across five years. The findings map three stages of integration ranging from sharing editorial space, editorial resource to editorial staff, exemplifying the renegotiation of the business-journalism boundary at the structural, procedural and cultural levels. The pro-native advertising discourse legitimizes the integration as extending journalistic quality to advertising, while in fact impedes journalistic autonomy both internally and externally.

All Forest, No Trees? Data Journalism and the Construction of Abstract Categories • Wilson Lowrey; Jue Hou, Universtiy of Alabama • This study takes a sociology of quantification approach in exploring the impact of “commensurative” processes in data journalism, in which distinct incidents and events are aggregated into oversimplified abstract categories. This literature predicts heavy reliance on government data, use of national over local data, and a tendency to take data categories at face value, without scrutiny. Findings from a content analysis of data journalism projects at legacy and non-legacy outlets over time, reveals some support for predictions.

Picturing the solution? An analysis of visuals in solutions journalism • Jennifer Midberry; Nicole Dahmen, University of Oregon • Solutions journalism, rigorous and fact-driven news stories of credible solutions to societal problems, is gaining a great deal of momentum. To date, research on this journalistic practice is scant and what little research there is has generally focused on text. Given the growing practice of solutions journalism and the dominant role of photographs in the news media, this research used content analysis and semiotic analysis to examine the use of visual reporting in solutions stories.

Looking at past and present Intermedia agenda-setting: A meta analysis • Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Yunjuan Luo, South China University of Technology • The purpose of this study was to explore one important phase of agenda-setting research that looks at who sets the media agenda using rigorous meta-analysis approaches. The researchers drew upon empirical intermedia agenda-setting studies from 1990 to 2015. A total of 17 qualified studies included in the final analysis produced homogeneity, and the weighted grand mean effect size for those studies was .713, indicating consistent and strong intermedia agenda-setting effects in the findings across a range of studies. The results also suggest a convergence of media agendas despite an increasing number of different media outlets with the development of new media technologies.

Social media echo chambers: Political journalists’ normalization of Twitter affordances • Logan Molyneux, Temple University; Rachel Mourao, Michigan State University • This study analyzes the content of tweets sent by 784 political journalists during the first 2016 U.S. presidential debate. It finds that journalists most often interacted with each other, almost to the exclusion of audience members. Newer affordances of Twitter including quote tweets and reply threading are not as normalized as older affordances, and journalists used them in differing ways. Also, journalists’s tweets mentioning policy issues tended to be retweeted, whereas those containing humor did not.

Disrupting traditional news routines through community engagement: Analysis of a media collaboration project • Jennifer Moore, University of Minnesota Duluth; John Hatcher, University of Minnesota Duluth • This research examines the impact of a community storytelling project designed to disrupt relationships between news organizations and their audiences. Informed by scholarship on the changing role of journalists as facilitators rather than gatekeepers of public discourse, community engagement methods were used to study this two-year storytelling project. Ripple Effect Mapping (REM) methods measured its impact. Findings reveal that traditional news media deviated little from established journalism routines while citizens participation was diverse and expansive.

The Small, Disloyal Fake News Audience: The Role of Audience Availability in Fake News Consumption • Jacob Nelson, Northwestern University; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri • Fears of fake news stem from two assumptions: that fake news consumption has grown widespread, and that it reaches an audience that spends little time with news and is thus more susceptible to false claims. However, prior audience behavior research suggests that light media users disproportionately gravitate towards established, popular brands, while heavy users visit both familiar and obscure fare. This paper examines online audience data in the months leading up to and following the 2016 presidential election to empirically analyze whether or not these long-observed patterns of audience behavior play out when it comes to fake news. We find a positive relationship between time spent online and fake news exposure, indicating that the fake news audience comprises a small group of heavy internet users. In doing so, we offer a more accurate portrait of the fake news audience, and contribute to the ongoing conversation about fake news’ reach, and its consequences.

Covering Pulse: Understanding the lived experience of journalists who covered a mass shooting • Theodore Petersen, Florida Institute of Technology; Shyla Soundararajan, Florida Institute of Technology • “The June 2016 mass shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub near downtown Orlando, Florida, provided a real challenge to local media. This qualitative study includes in-depth interviews with Central Florida print, television, and radio journalists to understand what it was like to cover such a tragedy. These journalists talk about ethics, sourcing, violence, and mental health.

Gender Profiling in Local News • David Pritchard, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Emily Wright, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee • A content analysis of five weeks of staff-written stories in all sections of a large daily newspaper in the American Midwest (n=954 stories) tested a variety of hypotheses relating to patriarchal practices in journalism. The empirical results supported all hypotheses, documenting gendered practices both at the level of the individual journalist and at the level of the organization. Although gender profiling of the kind the research demonstrates are widely considered to be normal and natural in American journalism, the authors argue that such profiling not only reflects patriarchy, but reinforces it. By downplaying women’s contributions in social, economic, political, and cultural realms, patriarchal journalism diminishes democracy.

When journalists think colorful but their news coverage stays grey. Exploring the gap between journalists’ professional identity, their role enactment and output in newspapers. • Patric Raemy, University of Fribourg, Switzerland; Daniel Beck • The aim of this study is to explore the connection between professional identity of newspaper journalists, their perceived freedom of reporting and their role performance in a multi-language country and a Western European context. We combine a content analysis of news coverage with an online survey among the authors of these articles. It is an exploration of the gap between journalistic role perception, enactment and performance as well as of the methodology of analysis.

Whose tweets do you trust? Message and messenger credibility among mainstream and new media news organizations on Twitter • Anna Waters, University of Alabama; Chris Roberts, University of Alabama • Gauging message and messenger credibility has become even more complicated as more people consume media from social media instead of traditional channels. This experimental survey of young adults compared credibility of mainstream and new media, using the same messages on Twitter. Mainstream sources and their messages were considered more credible than new media sources. Media skepticism had a significant effect on perceived message and messenger credibility; political cynicism did not.

Listicles and the BuzzFeed Generation: Examining the Perceived Credibility of Listicles Among Millennials • Sean Sadri, Old Dominion University • Listicles are a new media phenomenon that have become a staple of virtually every news organization (articles that are simply lists or rankings and offer arguably less substance than a traditional article). This study sought to determine the perceived credibility of listicles among the age group most inclined to read them (millennials). Examining the appeal of listicles can provide insight into the direction that news may be going for the next generation of news readers. Using a sample population of millennials (N = 363), participants were randomly assigned to read an article in one of two formats: a listicle or a traditional article. Following the article, participants were given a questionnaire rating the credibility of the article and another asking participants to recall facts from the story. The experiment found that millennials rated the listicle as significantly more credible than the traditional article. The study also hypothesized that millennials may retain more information from a well-constructed listicle than a traditional article containing the same information, but this hypothesis was not supported. The study results and the implications of these findings are discussed.

Exploring the “wall,” Bible and Baphomet: Media coverage of church-state conflicts • Erica Salkin; Elizabeth Jacobs • This study seeks to build upon previous research on media coverage of law and faith by exploring newswork related specifically to church-state conflicts. Qualitative content analysis of coverage around two case studies reveals a broad assumption of audience familiarity with key constitutional and religious ideas. When scenarios venture into the unique, however, explication does emerge, suggesting that some lack of legal or religious depth may be attributed to a belief that audiences don’t need it.

Alienating Audiences: The Effect of Uncivil Online Discourse on Media Perceptions • Natalee Seely, UNC-Chapel Hill • Online discussion forums offer news consumers venues for expression and participation, but these forums have also been condemned for offensive and uncivil language. Some news outlets have required users to register with identifying information before commenting in an effort to keep conversation civil. Others have discontinued discussion forums altogether for fear of losing credibility or turning off readers. Previous literature has identified several forms of incivility within comment forums, including insulting language, stereotyping, and vulgar speech. This study used a one-way experimental design to determine the effects of uncivil language within online news comment forums on participants’ (n=198) perceptions of news credibility, their willingness to participate in the discussion, and their levels of media trust. Results indicate that those who read a news article accompanied by uncivil comments—which contained insulting language and stereotypes about various groups—were significantly less willing to participate in the discussion compared to those who viewed neutral comments. No significant differences in credibility perceptions or media trust were found. Findings demonstrate that offensive speech in online forums may have a chilling effect on participation in news discussion.

Anonymous Journalists: Bylines and Immigration Coverage in the Italian Press • Francesco Somaini, Central Washington University • This study investigated the relationship between news coverage of immigrants and refugees and identifiability of stories’ authors in the two daily newspapers with the largest circulation in Italy: Corriere della Sera and la Repubblica. The content of 400 news stories published in 2013 was examined. The data showed that the outlets produced comparable shares of “anonymous” and “signed” stories. Corriere della Sera, the more conservative outlet, provided consistently more negative representations of immigrants than la Repubblica, more liberal, did. However, in the left-leaning daily, articles that carried no byline—i.e., whose author was identifiable neither as a journalist nor as a wire service—tended to portray immigrants and refugees more negatively than stories carrying a byline did. Conversely, degree of antipathy for migrants expressed in online comments did not vary in relation to byline. However, readers of Corriere expressed more antipathy for immigrants than those of la Repubblica did. The findings suggest that anonymity might be associated with more frequent stereotypical representations of immigrants even in news outlets that are considered more liberal.

Knowledge-based Journalism in Science and Environmental Reporting: Opportunities and Obstacles • Anthony Van Witsen, Michigan State University; Bruno Takahashi, Department of Journalism, Michigan State University • Recent calls for knowledge-based journalism advocate a new level of scientific knowledge in news reporting as a way of meeting the professional challenges caused by rapid technological change in the news industry. Scientifically knowledgeable journalism has the potential to redefine the existing science-media relationship; however early criticisms called it naïve and unworkable in existing, rapidly changing newsroom practices. This study attempts to go beyond the initial enthusiasm and the skepticism to develop a better theoretical basis by which knowledge-based journalism could function, how reporters and editors could learn it, and what audience might exist for it. It examines the history of earlier professional reform efforts in journalism to discover why new practices have sometimes been adopted or abandoned. It finds that implementing knowledge based journalism requires knowing the actual benefits of improved scientific understanding for news consumers and poses research questions designed to lead to testable hypotheses for developing it and measuring its impact on audiences. Among its conclusions: that increased scientific training by reporters might increase journalists’ grasp of the traditional problem of managing scientific uncertainty, changing the information asymmetry between journalists and their scientist sources and altering the balance of power between them. Over time, this could affect the audience’s tolerance for uncertainty as well.

Coding the News: The Role of Computer Code in the Distribution of News Media • Matthew Weber, Rutgers University; Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Rohit Tikyani, Rutgers University • This article examines the role of code in the process of news distribution, and interrogates the degree to which code and algorithms are imbued with the ability to make decisions regarding the filtering and prioritizing of news, much as an editor would. Emphasis is placed specifically on the context of mobile news applications that filter news for consumers. In addressing calls to attend to the intersection of computer science and journalism, an additional goal of this article is to move the analytic lens away from the notion that code is replacing humans as producers of news and to shift towards an understanding of how code orders and communicates the news. Thus, the focus of this research is on algorithms as technological actants, filtering news based on decisions imbued into the code by human actors. An investigation of code contained in 64 open source mobile news apps is presented and the content of the code is analyzed. Findings highlight the journalistic decisions made in code and contribute to discussion surrounding the relationship between algorithmic and traditional news values.

Examining the Relationship Between Trust and Online Usage • Katie Yaeger, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Harsh Taneja, University of Missouri • This study tests the relationship between trust and online usage of 35 popular United States news sources. A series of regression models using pooled cross-sectional data of trust measures and usage measures from three months found a positive, statistically significant relationship between trust and direct traffic, but it found no association between trust and frequent usage. It also found overall that additional variables did not significantly impact the relationship between trust and direct traffic.

The Least Trusted Name in News: Exploring Why News Users Distrust BuzzFeed News • Jordon Brown, The University of Texas at Austin • “This experiment measured readers’ perceived sense of credibility when presented with three different news stories. Although all three news stories were actually from BuzzFeed, they were presented as though only one was, and one from Yahoo News, and one from The Wall Street Journal. This study found the perceived credibility was impacted by the news source, but not always by the individual article.

Framing EU borders in live-blogs: A multimodal approach • Ivana Cvetkovic, University of New Mexico; Mirjana Pantic, University of Tennessee • New media and 2.0 Web technologies affected the breaking news reporting forcing traditional media to embrace a new multimodal format of live-blogs. By acknowledging the importance of multiple modes in meaning making, this paper employs multimodal method to examine the similarities and differences in framing the European Union borders in live blogs in European media. Three frames emerged from the analysis: border management, borders as lived spaces, and borders as politically constructed spaces.

The mobile community: College students and the hometown sense of community through mobile news app use • Chris Etheridge, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • “This project explores how mobile technology can impact the relationship between geography and news consumption. Findings indicate that college students who have installed a mobile news app focused on their hometown have a higher connection to that community than those who do not have apps and those who have apps with a national or global focus. In this case, this connection exists even when circumstances remove the person from that community.

Vapor and Mirrors: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of E-Cigarette Reporting in High-Circulation U.S. Newspapers • Vaughan James, University of Florida; Paul Simpson • Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been gaining popularity in the United States since their introduction into the market in 2008. Use among teenagers and young adults has recently skyrocketed, tripling between 2013 and 2014. Given that these products are still unregulated at the federal level, they represent a major public health concern. News media can have substantial effects on public perception of technology and health issues, and so it is important to understand the ways that the U.S. media present e-cigarettes. This study examined the framing of e-cigarettes in three major high-circulation U.S. newspapers. A qualitative content analysis was performed on 92 e-cigarette-related news articles published between January 2008 and October 2014. Three major frames arose in newspaper reporting: Comparison/Contrast, Regulation, and Uncertainty. Understanding the frames presented in the media can help to both explain e-cigarettes’ rising popularity and highlight potential regulatory issues that will require attention from public health officials.

‘Engaging’ the Audience: Journalism in the Next Media Regime • Jacob Nelson, Northwestern University • As the journalism industry loses revenues and relevance, academics and professionals have pinned their hopes for salvation on increasing “audience engagement.” Yet few agree on what audience engagement means, why it will make journalism more successful, or what “success” in journalism should even look like. This paper uses Williams and Delli Carpini’s “media regimes” as a theoretical framework to argue that studying the current open-arms approach to the news audience – and the ambiguity surrounding it – is vital to understanding journalism’s transition from one rapidly disappearing model to one that is yet to fully emerge. In doing so, it offers a definition of audience engagement that synthesizes prior literature and contributes an important distinction between reception-oriented and production-oriented engagement. It concludes with a call for more research into audience engagement efforts to better understand what journalism is, and what it might become.

News Organizations’ Link Sharing on Twitter: Computational Text Analysis Approach • Chankyung Pak, Michigan State University • This study aims to analyze news organizations’ news link sharing on social media. Computational data collection and text analysis techniques in this study allow for a large scale comparison between shared and unshared news. I found that news organizations are more likely to share hard news than soft news on social media while the latter is more published on their websites. News organizations’ decision on what to share constrains news diversity available to news readers.

Way-finding and source blindness: How the loss of gatekeepers spread fake news in the 2016 Presidential election • George Pearson, The Ohio State University; Simon Lavis, The Ohio State University • Changing news patterns allows users to consume stories from multiple sources. This was hypothesized to lead to a disinterest in sources (source blindness) and reliance on curators for news. Additionally both variables were expected to lead to increased misinformation acceptance. A parallel mediation model on national survey data revealed that reliance on curators was not significant, however consuming news from multiple sources did increase source blindness which in turn increased misinformation acceptance.

Is the Robot Biased Against Me? An Investigation of Boundary Conditions for Reception of Robot as News Writer • Bingjie Liu; Lewen Wei, Pennsylvania State University • This study tested effects of robot as news writer on reducing hostile media effect. In a 2 (robot vs. human news writer) X 2 (hard news vs. feature story) online experiment, 212 participants read news representing one of the four conditions randomly and evaluated its quality. We found for feature story, only believers of machine intelligence evaluated that by robot as positive whereas hard news by robot was well received regardless of one’s belief.

Trustee Versus Market Model: A Journalistic Field Experiment • Douglas Wilbur, The University of Missouri at Columbia • This field experiment examines data gathered through a competition hosted by the Austin-American Statesman, the test their daily news via email delivery service the Midday Break, and a news aggregation service called the Statesman’s News For You, managed by the Reportory Company. The Midday Break represents the trustee model of journalism since stories are chosen by editors in a traditional manner. The Statesman’s News For You represents that market model of journalism since users select story preferences through a personalization function. Results of aggregate user data revealed that the Statesman’s News For You subscribers opened more of their services email and read more of their delivered news stories than those of Midday Break. A survey of both groups revealed that Statesman’s News For You subscribers gave their services higher ratings for crebibility, likelihood of recommending to a friend and perceived control than Midday Break subscribers. This field experiment lends some evidence that the market model of journalism might offer a better route for newspaper survivability and economic success.

Young vs Old: How Age Impacts Journalists’ Boundary Work Shift in Social Media Innovation (ACES and MacDougall awards) • Yanfang Wu • A cross-sectional, self-administered questionnaire online national survey (N=1063) was administered to examine how older and younger newspaper journalists differ in adopting social media as an innovation. The study found no significant difference exists between younger journalists and older journalists’ rating of social media innovation friendly culture in their news organizations. However, younger journalists tend to view innovative instructions on using social media as more frequent, useful, and effective than older journalists. The more effective younger journalists rated their news organizations’ innovative instructions on social media, the less younger journalists interact with audiences on social than older journalists, which reflects a higher social media instructions expectation from younger journalists for journalistic work boundary shift.

The Syrian exodus: How The Globe and Mail, The New York Times and The Sun framed the crisis? • Zulfia Zaher, Ohio University • This study examined the cross-national coverage of the Syrian refugee crises in The Globe and Mail, The New York Times, and The Sun newspapers. The study employed a quantitative content analysis to measure the attention paid to the Syrian refugee crisis and investigated the prevalence of the five generic frames (economic consequences, human interest, responsibility, conflict, and morality) (Semetko & Valkenburg, 2000). This study analyzed 204 articles from these three newspapers published between February 1st, 2015 to February 28th, 2016. This study found that The New York Times attached more importance measured by the length and the page position while The Sun attached the least importance to the coverage of Syrian refugee crisis. The result also demonstrated that the most salient generic frames were human-interest. This study found that three out of five generic frames — economic consequences, responsibility, and conflict — are significantly different across these newspapers. The results further revealed that various events influenced the way frames were presented in these three newspapers.


Minorities and Communication 2017 Abstracts

News Media, Body Image and Culture: Influence on Body Image and Body Attitude in Men • Cristina Azocar, San Francisco State University; Ivana Markova, San Francisco State University • A survey of racially and culturally diverse undergraduate men examined the news media’s influence on their body image and body attitude. While testing showed no significance between exposure to news media and body dissatisfaction there was a correlation between exposure to news media and social comparison. African American respondents felt the most dissatisfied with their bodies when they compared themselves to their peers and also agreed more often than other ethnic groups about desiring to be thinner, counter to research findings about African American women. The implications of the research are discussed.

Latino News Media Engagement, Opinion, and Political Participation • Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida; Ginger Blackstone, Harding University • This study examined the role that news media engagement plays in U.S. Latino political behavior, including voting, and answers a call by Subervi-Vélez (2008) for further research in order to better understand the complex relationship between media use and Latino political participation. Data from a national sample of U.S. Hispanics (N=655), gathered as part of the ANES Time Series Study, was analyzed. Statistically significant group differences revealed strong variations between Latino respondents’ level of news consumption and political behaviors, including their voting practices, voter registration, and political party registration. Yet, the results did not reveal the expected positive, linear relationship between news consumption and political behaviors. We have explored some of the potential explanations for this, but results do seem to confirm Subervi-Vélez’ (2008) assertion that the relationship between Latino news engagement and political participation is a complex and layered one.

Muhammad Ali’s “No Quarrel with Them Vietcong”: Coverage of Ali’s Army Induction by the New York Times and the Louisville Courier-Journal • Abedin Zainul, Mississippi Valley State University; David R. Davies, University of Southern Mississippi • This study analyzes how the New York Times and the Louisville Courier-Journal framed Muhammad Ali’s use of athlete-heroic images as he opposed the country’s Vietnam War policy. Ali, alias Clay, struggled to uphold self-determination and civil rights during the period from 1967 through 1971 when he faced legal barriers and racial discrimination. Ali came into the media limelight for his opposition to the Vietnam War and for his refusal to join the U.S. Army as a conscientious objector. The study revealed the press was disrespectful to Ali’s historic fight for human rights and justice. Nonetheless, Ali’s challenge not only helped redefine the law of conscientious objectors protected by the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution but also has long been inspiring other athletes to raise their voices for civil rights.

Status of the Diversity Research in Public Relations: Analysis of Published Articles between 1990 and 2016 • Tugce Ertem Eray, University of Oregon; Eyun-Jung Ki, University of Alabama • This study analyzes the status of the diversity research in public relations through content analysis of published articles between 1990 and 2016. Findings suggest that public relations field needs to go beyond the gender, race and ethnicity studies in terms of diversity issues, and scholars need to include topics about diversity in their curriculum, and prepare students to communicate with diverse audiences.

Language and Social Distinctions Among Journalistic Cultures: The 2016 US Election Coverage on Spanish and English-Language TV Networks • lea hellmueller, University of Houston; Santiago Arias • In the 2016 US election, the Hispanic population made up a larger share of voters than in any previous election. Against the backdrop of Spanish-language TV networks nowadays competing with English-language networks, we examine the coverage of the presidential election on Spanish- and English-language newscasts analyzing 502 new stories that aired on national newscasts on ABC, NBC, Telemundo and Univision. Our results suggest that because of the dependence on presidential candidates as sources of English-language media during the election, Spanish-language network overall perform more civic-journalism roles than English-language networks. Furthermore, English-language networks perform more of an interpretive and service role, also focusing more on scandals and sensationalistic news content during the elections compared to Spanish-language networks. The results are interpreted based on structural differences between Spanish and English-language journalism cultures within the media system of the United States.

TV and Web Cultivating Health Perceptions among older Latinos in Texas • Vanessa Higgins Joyce; Jessica L. James, Texas State University; Zahra Khani, Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota • Latinos are less likely to turn to media for health-related information and to access healthcare. This study explored the impact of identity and media use in the perception of susceptibility to illness of English-speaking Latinos and non-Latinos. It surveyed 983 older Texans and found that television is the strongest predictor to susceptibility perception. It found that television has a mainstreaming effect, bringing English-speaking Latinos and non-Latinos closer together in their perception of susceptibility to illness.

The lacking counterstereotyping effect of Black and Hispanic political candidates in the news • Jennifer Hoewe, University of Alabama • This study examines the use of counterstereotypes to promote pro-social attitudes by determining if the news media’s coverage of members of minority racial/ethnic groups in political leadership positions leads to more positive implicit and explicit attitudes toward members of those racial/ethnic groups more generally. The results show that the positive portrayal of Black and Hispanic political candidates does not produce a counterstereotyping effect among White news consumers. However, regardless of the news stories read, White Republicans reported more negative explicit attitudes toward Black and Hispanic individuals than did White Democrats, Independents, and those with no party affiliation.

Fotos de Béisbol: An Examination of the Spanish-language Instagram Accounts of Major League Baseball Teams • Kevin Hull, University of South Carolina; Joon Kim, University of South Carolina, Columbia; Matthew Stilwell, University of South Carolina • While every Major League Baseball team has an official English-language Instagram account, only two have a Spanish-language account. The purpose of this study is to examine how those accounts attempt to reach Hispanic fans. Results demonstrate that the two accounts do actively showcase more Hispanic players and cultural events than would be expected. Further analysis demonstrates that posts with a Hispanic element register more user engagement than posts that do not.

Understanding the Persuasive Potential of Group Comparison Information in the Promotion of Bone Marrow Donation for African Americans • Roselyn J. Lee-Won, The Ohio State University; Sung Gwan Park, Seoul National University • While research on communication about health disparities is growing, relatively little empirical research has been conducted regarding the effects of group comparison information on altruistic health behavior—such as bone marrow donation—for racial/ethnic minorities who are most in need of mobilized support. To fill this gap, we conducted two online studies with national adult samples of African Americans. Our findings suggest that group comparison information has the greatest persuasive potential for low in-group identifiers.

Civility Matters: Quantitative Variations in Tone Between Two Web Discussions of Black Lives Matter • Doug Mendenhall, Abilene Christian University • “Articles about Black Lives Matter in July 2016 are analyzed for differences in message tone based on website genre. Leading U.S. political sites and leading black-oriented sites are compared using Diction 7.0, a common word-counting program that measures 41 variations of message tone. Black-oriented websites talk about Black Lives Matter with significantly higher levels of human interest, optimism, past concern, praise, satisfaction, and self-reference, while political websites exhibit higher levels of aggression, complexity, concreteness, diversity, exclusion, hardship, insistence, and numerical terms. In addition, a scale created to measure incivility registers significantly higher scores for messages on political sites. From a social identity perspective, the heightened tonal ingredients of messages on black-oriented sites are consistent with a strongly identified group responding to out-group opposition.

Skin deep news values: Examining the role of visuals and racial cues in journalists’ news selection process • Kathleen Searles, Louisiana State University; Mingxiao Sui, Louisiana State University; Newly Paul, Appalachian State University • This paper tests how two factors—the mention of race and the inclusion of visuals—affects journalists’ perception of newsworthiness. Using an experiment conducted on 109 students, we examine whether: 1) photographs affect journalists’ recall of race, and 2) news values determine journalistic treatment of black and white candidates. Results indicate that images help improve recall of race and that journalists tend to use news values rather than racial considerations in selecting and disseminating news.

Pedagogy of the Depressed: An Examination of Critical Pedagogy in Higher Ed’s Diversity-Centered Classrooms Post-Trump • Nathian Rodriguez, San Diego State University; Jennifer Huemmer • The study investigates and the lived experiences of instructors whose courses focused on gender/feminism, queer/LGBT, and race/ethnicity studies in response to the post-2016 election’s divisive socio political climate. Instructors’ preparation, content, and teaching were influenced by political and pop-culture events throughout the semester. Strategies for critical pedagogy included dialogue with students, a safe and open environment, and including the intersectionality of their students. Through pedagogy, instructors were able to create a sense of purpose.

Calling Doctor Google? Technology Adoption and Health Information Seeking among Low-income African-American Older Adults • Hyunjin Seo, University of Kansas; Joseph Erba; Mugur Geana; Crystal Lumpkins • Low-income African-American older adults have been shown to lag behind in terms of their technology access and use. Understanding this group’s technology adoption and use is essential to developing programs aimed at helping them gain relevant digital skills. Against this backdrop, we conducted focus groups with low-income African-American older adults in a large Midwestern city to examine how this minority group adopts and uses technology and how technology adoption/use is associated with health information seeking behavior. Our findings show that while low-income African-American older adults perceive technology to be highly useful, they do not view it as easy to use thus preventing them from further adopting or using relevant technologies. Consequently, there is skepticism with respect to using technology to search for health information. Community-based organizations and faith-based organizations play significant roles in their getting information about health and wellness. Our study advances research on minority groups’ technology use and health information seeking by looking at the intersectionality of race/ethnicity, age and income. This study also offers several policy and practical implications such as how to incorporate health issues in computer classes to motivate this group to learn relevant technologies.

Kept at arm’s length but not silent: African-American reporters and the 1962 Ole Miss integration crisis • Kathleen Wickham, University of Mississippi • This manuscript details the obstacles Moses Newson, of the Baltimore Afro-American, James Hicks of The Amsterdam News and Dorothy Gilliam, the first female African-American reporter faced covering the 1962 integration crisis at Ole Miss when James Meredith became the first black to integrate any public school in Mississippi. They were barred from covering the story of James Meredith because of their race and by fears for their own safety even before the riot broke out on campus.

Ethnic Media as Interpretive Communities: Coverage of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election • Sherry S. Yu, University of Toronto • The presidential election is a national hot-topic event that attracts significant media attention. Studies have confirmed that media messages during the time of the election influence voters’ decision-making to a certain degree. While this news content in mainstream media is well studied, that of ethnic media has been given less attention. With an electorate historically divided by race in their support of candidates, it is important to understand the discourse formed in ethnic media and the implications for minority voters and broader society. Samples drawn from New America Media—a network of over 3,000 ethnic media outlets and an ethnic news portal in the U.S.—this study conducts a content analysis of news coverage of the 2016 U.S. presidential election in ethnic media from the perspectives of ethnic media as interpretive communities, and explores identified analytical frames. The findings suggest distinctive news frames that are specific to ethnic communities in general as well as to certain communities in particular.

“Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”: Media Portrayals of Race and Responsibility Framing in Police Shootings • Denetra Walker; Kelli Boling, University of South Carolina • This study examines race and responsibility framing in newspaper articles on police shootings. By performing a content analysis of nine newspapers (n = 442), this study found that newspapers were more likely to blame society as being responsible for the issue of police shootings. Findings also indicate that there are differences in the attributes used when covering police shootings as well as differences in the mention of race among conservative, liberal and African American papers.

A gentlemen’s agreement: Framing the place of minorities in Austin’s City Council (1971 – 2014) • Lourdes M Cueva Chacon, The University of Texas at Austin • In November 2012, Austin voted to change the way the city council was elected. Austin will now move to an 11-member council with 10 members elected by single-member districts and a mayor elected at large. Contrary to most other cities, Austin’s city council election system had remained the same after six attempts at change. The reason, argued the local press, was an understanding called “The Gentlemen’s Agreement.” This agreement —established in 1971 between two white businessmen to avoid a lawsuit—institutionalized the reserving of two seats in the council, for one Black and one Hispanic to ensure the representation of Black and Hispanic minorities in the community. Soon after, the local press consistently mentioned the agreement to predict the outcome of the city council elections, justify its segregation, and in general, explain how it worked as a principle that regulated the council’s composition. On press accounts, the agreement had become a way of framing the place that minorities occupied in the city and the role they were allowed to play in it. Through the critical and cultural lens of race and framing theories, this study analyzes how the agreement was reported by local press, and through the social construction of the news, the agreement became a social norm, a way to organize the city’s issues and a way to guide policy and opinion. This study will also assess how the arguments and counter-arguments changed over the years to match the new Austin that voted for single-member districts.

‘We can’t win:’ The Emotional Politics in the Black Lives Matter Movement • Rachel Grant • The media’s coverage of Black violence reinforces covert racism because it defines what constitutes a “real death.” This study examined the depictions of four Black Lives Matter deaths by analyzing grief narrative in mainstream media. The findings revealed coverage reaffirmed racial stereotypes despite the larger issue of police brutality. Also, there were few instances that depicted individuals in humanizing ways. Overall the study questioned how the media controlled depictions of race and social movements.

Blurred lines: The local view of federal responsibilities • Miriam Hernandez, City University of Hong Kong • The traditional analysis of immigration policy assumes a state-centric position, giving full power to the federal government and rendering state actors defenseless, while overlooking their involvement in law enforcement and social policy. Given the importance of blame designation for the passing of immigration laws and the conditions immigrants will be subjected to, the present study attempts to explain the contribution of media coverage to the scaled communication and attribution of responsibility in the immigration debate in the last thirty years (1982-2012). Parting from the structural pluralism and the geopolitical tenets, the current analysis compares how border newspapers assigned accountability for the “immigration problem”. Results indicate a growing attention to the contestation of power between federal and state actors, but a yet unchallenged supremacy of the nation-state authority. By stressing the divided responsibility across institutions, media may have contributed to the manipulation political actors engage in. Such debate has the potential to alter citizen responsibility judgments, “making it easier for state actors to get off the political hook (Maestas, Atkeson, Croom, & Bryant, 2008)”.

Acknowledging Oppression: Traditional, Social and Partisan Media Effects on Attitudes About Blacks from White and Minority Audiences • Danielle Kilgo, University of Texas at Austin; Kelsey Whipple, University of Texas at Austin; Heloisa Aruth Strum • This study focuses on how use of traditional, social and partisan media relates to differences in explicit or implicit racist beliefs about Blacks, highlighting the differences between White and non-Black minorities. Results include findings that traditional media use is related to implicit racist attitudes and social media use is correlated with explicit attitudes, while partisan media, such as Fox News, can be linked to both.

By Any Other Name: Black Lives Matter and the Struggle for Accurate Media Representation • Joy Leopold • The frames used by the mainstream media when covering protests and other events stemming from social movements are extensively studied for their ability to impact audience reception of, support for, and beliefs about social movements and protests. Generally the coverage centers around how a story is framed, and most research approaches the issue from the perspective of the news media. This research focuses on the framing of the specific statements media use to describe the motivations, goals, and initiatives of the Black Lives Matter movement — sometimes these statements are just one sentence long. In addition, this paper contrasts these frames with the frames used by the organizers, founders, and supporters of BLM. This research is designed to highlight the disparity between the way movements describe themselves and the way they are described by the mainstream media.

Different races, different thinking: Communicating HPV issues with college-aged women across race and ethnicity • Jo-Yun Queenie Li • This article describes an exploratory study designed to investigate problem recognition, constraint recognition, involvement recognition, and communication behaviors of college female students across race and ethnicity with regard to HPV issues. Using a pilot qualitative research of 28 college-aged women, this study employs the situational theory of publics to explore individuals’ communication behaviors related to HPV issues. By doing so, this study segments the general populations into subgroups based on individuals’ ethnicity and race and their relevance to HPV issues and provides practical implications to health communication practitioners. The findings show that minorities, including African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans, performed less communication behaviors due to the low recognition of the disease, the higher detection of obstacles to solve the problem, and a weak connection with the issues. Tailored messages and interventions for each ethnic/racial group maybe helpful in reducing the stigma associated with HPV and increasing the vaccination rates in each community.

Afro Latin@s’ representation on TV: How Latino media articulates blackness within Latino Panethnicity • Yadira Nieves-Pizarro, Michigan State University; Juan Mundel, DePaul University • The representation of minorities in United States Latino media is scarce, as market forces push Latino panethnicity to appeal to a heterogeneous Spanish speaking audience in the country and in Latin America. Nonetheless, the biographical series ‘Celia’ aired by Telemundo in 2015 featured an Afro Latino cast to depict the life of Cuban salsa singer Celia Cruz. This study examines the portrayal of Afro Latin@s through a content analysis. Even though Afro Latino characters were depicted positively, they were still portrayed as something other than panethnic. This research contributes an empirical analysis of the representation of minorities in Latino media.

An Examination of How African-American-Targeted Websites are Redefining the Black Press • Miya Williams • Scholars have previously conceptualized the traditional black press as print publications that are produced by and for African Americans and advocate for the race. This study investigates how online producers and consumers of black news are troubling previous definitions of the black press. I conclude that African-American ownership and advocacy are not requirements for the black press online and that entertainment content is often considered a relevant and important component of the digital black press.

Communicative Dimensions in STEM Faculty’s Multicultural Mentoring of Underrepresented STEM Students • Leticia Williams, Howard University • Since the 1980s scholars, educators, and science practitioners have developed mentoring programs to increase the diversity of STEM students, specifically women, African Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. Yet, these mentoring programs have had minimal success in increasing the population of underrepresented students into the STEM pipeline (Merolla & Serpe, 2013). Although scholars have evaluated these programs, there is no research about the role of communication in these mentoring programs. The purpose of this study is to explicate the importance of communication, race, gender, and culture in the mentoring process for underrepresented graduate STEM students. This study used a qualitative research design to identify and evaluate the communication dimensions that facilitate multicultural mentoring practices utilized by STEM faculty to mentor underrepresented graduate STEM students. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 27 STEM faculty members who mentored underrepresented graduate STEM students to provide insight about their communication, multicultural mentoring, and relationship with protégés. Grounded theory methodology guided by an intersectional analysis revealed that STEM faculty mentors relied on several communication dimensions to mentor their protégés. Open, supportive, and consistent communication were essential to STEM faculty mentor’s communication with their protégés. These communication dimensions activated multicultural mentoring for STEM faculty, particularly when discussing diversity issues or challenges related to gender or race.