Newspaper 2011 Abstracts
Mainstream Newspaper Coverage of Native Americans: A content analysis of newspaper coverage of Native American issues in circulation areas with high concentrations of Native Americans • Cristina Azocar • A content analysis examined coverage of Native Americans in newspapers in circulation areas that have the highest percent of Native Americans. The three most common topics were Arts/Entertainment, Casinos/Gaming and Tribal Politics. The majority of the stories were neutral in tone, however most stories used non-Native sources. The theory of in-group bias is posited as a possible explanation to the findings.
Bias, Slant and Frame Selection in Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal • Sid Bedingfield, University of South Carolina • When Rupert Murdoch purchased the Wall Street Journal, critics feared he would slant the news to fit his political views. This study used content analysis to compare coverage in Murdoch’s Journal with New York Times coverage of President Obama’s health care plan. It then compared coverage in Murdoch’s Journal with Wall Street Journal coverage of the Clinton health care plan in 1994, when the Bancroft family owed the paper. Findings suggest Murdoch’s Journal was no more negative in its coverage than either the Times or the Bancroft family’s Journal.
Reputation Cycles: the Value of Accreditation for Undergraduate Journalism Programs • Robin Blom, Michigan State University; Lucinda Davenport; Brian J. Bowe, Michigan State University • Many faculty members feel constrained by various outside influences when developing an ideal journalism curriculum. Accreditation is one of these. The value of journalism accreditation standards for undergraduate programs has been the focus of prior studies and continues to be debated among educators. This study adds to discussion by finding out the views of opinion leaders in journalism programs across the country. Almost 130 administrators responded to a survey on the reasons for being accredited or not being accredited. Results show that for schools with accreditation, or those in the certification process, the most important reason is reputation enhancement. However, many directors question the value of accreditation. In particular, some perceive the cap on the number of journalism credits a student can take as a limitation of student development and a hindrance of the ability to respond to the growing convergence in the professional marketplace.
Morality of News Issues and Public Contributions in Comment Forums on U.S. Daily Newspaper Websites • Serena Carpenter, Arizona State University; Robin Blom, Michigan State University; Stephen Lacy, Michigan State University; Ryan Lange • The media shapes individual attitudes and beliefs. Communication research has found the morality of an issue can affect human behavior in experimental and survey settings. Comment forums present an opportunity for researchers to examine behavior in naturally occurring settings. Through a quantitative content analysis of individual comments (n=2,103), this research examines human behavior in comment forums to determine whether there are significant differences between morally laden and nonmoral articles in adjacent forums on 14 U.S. newspaper websites. The results show that morally laden articles do have a greater proportion of negative emotional responses from participants.
Consumer Adoption of Mobile News: An Examination of Motivation Predictors • Sylvia Chan-Olmsted; Hyejoon Rim, University of Florida; Amy Zerba • Applying the uses and gratification approach, this study identifies the motivation predictors of mobile news adoption among young adults. The survey findings suggest that content related motives, in particular surveillance, are significant in predicting most adoption behaviors for mobile news. This finding suggests informational needs continue to be important with this emerging medium. From the perspective of platform related and integrated motives, this study found instrumentality to be the most significant predictor for adoption.
A Matter of Life and Death? Examining the Quality of Newspaper Coverage on the Newspaper Crisis • H. Iris Chyi, University of Texas at Austin; Seth Lewis, University of Minnesota; Nan Zheng, University of Texas at Austin • During 2008-2010, U.S. newspapers covered the crisis of their own industry extensively. Such coverage raised questions about whether journalists misunderstood or over-reacted to this newspaper crisis. This study examines how the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the New York Times framed the crisis. Results showed that the coverage focused on short-term drama, lacked sufficient context, shifted blame away from newspapers themselves, invoked “death” imagery, and altogether struggled to capture a holistic portrayal of newspapers’ troubles.
Framing Airline Mergers in Newspapers: A Crash Course • Clay Craig, Texas Tech University; Shannon Bichard, Texas Tech • The merger and acquisition (M&A) process tends to be examined through the lens of those directly involved in the merger (employees or shareholders), with little attention paid to how the media portrays the situation. The blending of organizational and communication theories provides the theoretical background for examining the newspapers’ coverage of M&A. This study evaluates the application of a subset of social identity theory (SIT) and tenor framing in local newspapers either directly or indirectly affected by the 2008 Delta and NWA merger. A content analysis of 614 articles pertaining to the Delta Airlines and NWA merger from four local newspapers over two 10-month periods was utilized in order to examine the variation of tone, space, and prominence framing between the newspapers. The findings indicate a significant difference between tone, space, and prominence used by directly and indirectly affected local newspapers over the time frame investigated.
Contrary to Scholarly Opinion: Sourcing Trends in New York Times Drug-War Reports Before and After 9/11 • Bryan Denham, Clemson University • Extending the analytic approach used in previous research on anonymous attribution, the current study focused on how the New York Times, through its sourcing, covered the US war on drugs before and after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Data were gathered from 135 news reports and 3,541 news paragraphs published across an eight-year period, September 1997 to September 2005. Results revealed that while anonymous sources and public officials from certain agencies were plentiful in drug-war coverage, especially following the terrorist attacks, person-on-the-street sources were not as rare as journalism scholars may have assumed and in fact appeared in higher numbers than did many in the 21-source coding scheme. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future research are offered.
Traditional Newspapers and Their Web-based Counterparts: A Longitudinal Analysis of Relative Credibility • Gregg Payne; David Dozier, San Diego State University • This study provides a longitudinal extension of a 2001 study of newspaper credibility. That study showed that familiarity with a media type enhances perceived credibility. Subjects rated conventional (paper) newspapers as more credible than web-based counterparts. This study, sampling from the same population, shows that statistically significant differences in channel credibility have disappeared. This change is attributed to growing familiarity with web-based newspapers, due to passage of time and increased exposure to web-based newspapers.
Longitudinal review finds decline in unnamed source use, rise in transparency • Matt Duffy, Zayed University; Ann Williams, Georgia State University • Some have argued that the use of unnamed sourcing has increased in recent years. This longitudinal content analysis finds that anonymous sourcing peaked in the 1960s and 1970s, an era some call journalism’s “Golden Age.” The analysis also finds that contemporary journalists are more likely to explain the reason for anonymity and offer details about the identity of the source. No change was detected in the use of information from a single, unnamed source.  ”
Use of print & online news media for local news: A uses & dependency perspective • Kenneth Fleming, University of Missouri-Columbia • This study examines the effects of uses and dependency model of mass communication on use of both print and online news media for local news. The data of the study came from a telephone survey of 605 residents of a college town in the Midwest of the United States in 2010. Results show that print media dependency was significantly and positively associated with readership of the print community newspaper; online media dependency was significantly and positively associated with use of the newspaper’s website, and with use of the Internet for local news, after demographics were statistically controlled. In addition, age was significantly and negatively associated with online media dependency, and positively associated with legacy media dependency.
Game Over? Male and female sportswriters’ attitudes toward their jobs and plans to leave journalism • Jessie Jones; Jennifer Greer, University of Alabama • Through a survey of 200 sports journalists at the 100 largest U.S. newspapers, this study examined gender differences in demographics, job characteristics, job satisfaction, feelings of empowerment, and outlook toward the profession. Male and female sportswriters were fairly satisfied with their jobs and did not differ on any attitudinal measure. However, controlling for all factors, female sportswriters were still significantly more likely than men to say they planned to leave the field before retirement.
National Unity and Memory: Discursive Construction of War Memories • Choonghee Han, Hope College • Presentations of collective and cultural memory in newspapers are based upon the construction of the past, which enables nation states to remind the public of national unity. This paper explores the discursive constructions of the past and collective/cultural memories of the Asia-Pacific War that appeared in three East Asian newspapers from China, South Korea, and Japan. A critical discourse analysis was employed to examine the ways in which national unity was constructed through war memories.
Follow the Leaders: Newspaper Journalists’ Networks of Association on Twitter • Kyle Heim, Seton Hall University • This study examined newspaper journalists’ patterns of following users on Twitter. Results showed that the distribution of users conformed to a power-law relationship, although the distribution did not display as much concentration or inequality as has been found in other online contexts. The Twitter user followed most frequently by journalists was Poynter Institute blogger Jim Romenesko. Generally, the users followed most frequently tended to be other journalists from elite news organizations, particularly The New York Times.
Missing the Metro: Can an E-Reader Replace the Print Newspaper? • Barry Hollander, University of Georgia; Dean Krugman, University of Georgia; Tom Reichert, University of Georgia; J. Adam Avant, University of Georgia • As major metropolitan newspapers have withdrawn from outer circulation areas, many are left without access to a primary source of state news. In just such a real-world situation, we explore whether an e-reader (Kindle DX) preoloaded with a digital subscription to a major metro paper was seen by former readers of the print edition as an adequate substitute. While most liked the Kindle, reviews of the e-reader as a replacement were mixed.
Covering a world in conflict: The New York Times and peace journalism • Elizabeth Lance, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Beverly Horvit, University of Missouri; Amy Youngblood, Texas Christian University • This study examines New York Times coverage of four conflicts for the characteristics of peace journalism advocated by Galtung. A content analysis of stories about Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia-Ethiopia and Chad-Sudan finds the majority were framed as peace journalism. This study contradicts findings that Western news organizations primarily report from a war journalism perspective. More than half the stories explained the causes and consequences of conflict and were careful to avoid victimizing, demonizing and emotive language.
The Diffusion of an Online Community Newspaper Among College Students • Daniel Hunt; David Atkin; Chris Kowal • As more news consumers are turning to online news instead of traditional news sources, the diffusion of online newspapers within communities needs further empirical investigation. This study tested a diffusion model for an online newspaper among a community of college students (N = 428). Community attachment was shown to be a predictor of one’s level of interactive feature use and ratings of credibility for an online newspaper. An individual’s level of use for interactive features on the online community newspaper website was shown to predict satisfaction with the online newspaper. Higher credibility ratings positively predicted satisfaction with the online newspaper, although there were gender differences in ratings of credibility. The application of this research to future studies is also addressed.
Turning a Blind Eye: Why Reporters Ignore Third-Party Candidates • John Kirch, Towson University • This paper examines why political reporters ignore third-party gubernatorial candidates. Using in-depth interviews with eight reporters in California and Wisconsin, this study identified five criteria journalists use to determine when to provide a minor-party candidate with substantial coverage. In addition, this paper found both practical and ideological reasons to explain why candidates who challenge the establishment are often relegated to the sidelines, where their voices are rarely heard.
Sources of Evaluative Information in Election News: The Role of Reporters Dominic Lasorsa • This study tested and found lacking long-held assumptions about the use of sources in news coverage. It examined evaluative information (either positive or negative themes toward a candidate) included in the news pages of the New York Times in the final weeks of the 2008 U.S. presidential election, focusing upon the sources of that information, including the candidates, their spokespersons, other supporters, those unaffiliated with the campaigns, and reporters themselves. Surprisingly, the reporters accounted for most of the evaluative coverage, followed by the unaffiliated sources. While the partisan sources tended to talk more about the opponent than about their own candidate, the two ostensibly nonpartisan sources (reporters and unaffiliated) shared their coverage more equitably between the two major candidates. Although the overall evaluative coverage was more negative than positive, the reporters’ evaluations surprisingly were more positive than negative, and more positive than any of the other sources. Compared to the partisan sources, which predictably gave mostly positive coverage to their own candidate and negative coverage to opponents, the reporters were more equitable in their coverage. Still, the reporters gave more positive coverage to Obama and more negative coverage to McCain, and were less equitable in their coverage than the unaffiliated sources. Thus, while reporters were more impartial than the partisan sources, they appeared to be less impartial than the other ostensibly nonpartisan sources, those not affiliated with either campaign. Implications of these surprising findings are discussed.
Distinctions in Covering BP Oil Spill Suggest a Maturing Press • Norman Lewis, University of Florida; Walter Starr, University of Florida; Yukari Takata, University of Florida; Qinwei (Vivi) Xie, University of Florida • Newspapers in the five Gulf states (n = 777) covered the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill as an environmental story that morphed into an economic one while the three national dailies (n = 238) treated it as an event story. Each state treated the story differently, affirming Bennett’s indexing hypothesis. Overall, nuances in how the story was covered suggest the press has matured in its handling of environmental disaster stories.
Newspaper Financial Performance: Content Really Does Make a Difference • You Li, University of Missouri; Esther Thorson, University of Missouri; Shrihari Sridhar • This study explores the relationship between newspaper content and financial performance using a rare monthly data spanning10 years. The study assesses amount and type of newspaper content by measuring the number of words produced along three dimensions: topic category, geographic focus, and origin of contents (wire or staff-produced). Each dimension is regressed upon the newspaper financial indicators, which include online and print revenues, advertising revenue, and circulation. The study finds that the content measures, especially the topic categories of contents, significantly predict newspaper financial performance. Both linear and nonlinear relationships between newspaper content quality and financial performance appear to be present, indicating diminishing returns to content. The three types of content have varying patterns and magnitudes of influence, suggesting implications for newspaper theory and management.
Online Disagreement Expression and Reasoned Opinions: An Exploratory Study of Political Discussion Threads on Online Newspapers • xudong liu, Southern Illinois University Carbondale; Xigen Li • This study content analyzes the comments posted immediately after the stories published on two online newspapers and investigates political discussion involvement reflected in the comments posted in online newspaper forums. More than one-third of the comments on the online newspapers involve disagreement expressions towards others’ opinions, and the comments provide fewer reasons for others’ opinions than for one’s own opinions. Online disagreement expression is positively related to opinion reasoning and discussion involvement. The finding’s implication for online newspaper’s role in deliberative democracy is discussed.
News Framing of the 1984 Bhopal Gas Leak and the 2010 BP Oil Spill • Chen Lou, Ohio University; Hong Cheng, Ohio University; Carson Wagner, Ohio University • Focusing on news framing and nationalism, this study examines how The New York Times and The Washington Post framed the Bhopal gas leak in India in 1984 and the British Petroleum (BP) oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010. The findings show that the frame for the Bhopal incident-caused by Union Carbide, de-emphasized the U.S. corporation’s role. Conversely, the framing of the BP spill focused on the faults of the BP.
Constructing an Image of the U.S.: An Analysis of British and French WikiLeaks News Coverage • Ivanka Radovic, University of Tennessee; Catherine Luther; Iveta Imre • The main objective of this study was to explore how newspapers can convey images of nations through news framing. With a focus on the image of the United States in Britain and France, coverage of the WikiLeaks disclosure of classified U.S. diplomatic cables by Britain’s The Guardian and France’s Le Monde was analyzed. Remarkably similar news frames were revealed from these newspapers. As a result, an analogous image of the United States came to light.
Local News Coverage in the Digital Age: Comparing Online News with Newspapers in Two Metropolitan Markets • Scott Maier, University of Oregon; Staci Tucker • A content analysis of digital and print newspapers in Seattle and Minneapolis indicates that a fundamentally different mix of top news stories is provided online than in print. Online newspapers focused on old-style news – crime, disaster and sports – while print offered more on politics, environment and education. But the digital divide all but disappeared when major news occurred. Applying news consonance as a theoretical framework, the study explores the implications for the newspaper industry and the reading public.
Conflict in the news: Influences of proximity, importance and newspaper size • Michael McCluskey, Ohio State University; Young Mie Kim, University of Wisconsin-Madison • News values help explain why newspaper stories are published and the way stories were written. Few studies, however, evaluate the way values and other characteristics interact in news decisions. This study examined 952 non-opinion stories about advocacy organizations to examine how conflict with government was portrayed, considering proximity, story location and newspaper size. Proximity (with federal government) and story location (with state and local government) were important factors both in group-government engagement and the tone of conflict. Analysis suggests that interaction of values and context are important factors in understanding how conflict and other values are portrayed”
The Engagement Effect: The Relationships Among Engagement, Satisfaction, and Readership and What Can be Done to Stop the Death of the Print Newspaper • Rachel Davis Mersey, Northwestern University; Edward Malthouse, Northwestern University • Satisfaction is commonly measured by newspapers to monitor consumer responses because satisfaction is an antecedent to readership. In fact, countless studies have shown that satisfaction is associated with usage. Still an essential, open question remains: How do you get to satisfaction? This paper explores how to produce satisfaction that newspapers so desperately want by focusing on readers’ experiences with newspapers.
Newspaper Headlines on Human Trafficking in the United States from 2000 to 2010 • Brandon Burnette; Lyle Olson • Human trafficking has spurred increasing international media attention. Previous research, limited to two United States newspapers, focused on the framing of stories and differing opinions on the issue. This investigation randomly sampled 54 U.S. newspapers, examining the extent and frequency of human trafficking headlines. It concluded that higher circulation newspapers had statistically significant heavier coverage, accounting for three-fourths of the total number of headlines found. This study also examined how regions of the country, border versus non-border states, and type of ownership affected coverage of human trafficking. Data from this study is useful to organizations attempting to increase public awareness of human trafficking, a first step toward prevention. The results also revealed that continued media research on this socially important topic is needed.
Hard News Still Attracts Readers: A comparison of online and pre-Internet community newspaper readership • Carol Schlagheck, Eastern Michigan University • This study looks at readership of a 20,000-circulation Midwest community daily newspaper, comparing online page views throughout 2010 with reader choices reported in an unpublished 1992 survey of print subscribers of the same newspaper. The original study, conducted before the Internet was widely available and years before this newspaper had an online presence, asked 400 print newspaper subscribers about their readership choices. It identified several types of traditionally “hard” news among the top news sought. The current investigation identified specific stories that received the most page views during 2010. Again, hard news articles emerged as the most-read stories.
Social Construction, Influence, and News Work: A Study of the ‘Reality’ of Newspaper Journalism Today • Bill Schulte, Ohio University; Joseph Bernt • Informed by the social construction of reality and the hierarchy of influence model, this exploratory study examined 25 interviews with newspaper journalists to study the culture of the modern newsroom as newsworkers adjust to the paradigm shift between digital and traditional news platforms. The analysis revealed that many newsworkers are struggling with digital tasks which were not prevalent when the entered the workforce, and concern with ever downsizing organizations which can not seem to find a business model that will keep them employed in the future. It also finds that with management constantly looking upward for answers, newworkers are finding new opportunities to exert autonomy.
Blogging Wall Street on DealBook: A Content Analysis (2006-2010) • Michael Sheehy, University of Cincinnati; Hong Ji, The Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism • Examining the content of DealBook, a business and finance news blog on nytimes.com, this study found that from 2006 through 2010, DealBook produced an increasing amount of original content over time and began to rely less on reprocessed news from other information sources; that coverage topics changed over time; that most content contained named sources; that linkage to New York Times content increased over time; and that most content was oriented to fact reporting.
Crowd Control: Collaborative Gatekeeping in a Shared Media Space • Jane Singer, University of Iowa • This paper explores the implications of a significant but generally unheralded transition to an environment in which users have become gatekeepers of the content published on media websites. This expanded user role involves assessment of contributions by other users; assessment and communication of the perceived value or quality of user- and journalist-produced content; and selective re-dissemination of that content. Preliminary empirical evidence indicates these user gatekeeping capabilities have become pervasive on U.S. newspaper sites.
Redefining 21st Century Partnerships: Who’s Sharing What With Whom and Why? • Larry Dailey; Mary Spillman, Ball State University • This exploratory study, based on data from a 2010 national survey of editors at daily newspapers in the United States, examines the types of partnerships that exist between newspapers and both traditional (newspapers, radio, television) and non-traditional (web sites, blogs, universities) news organizations. Results suggest that newspapers are open to partnerships, but that organizational culture affects their propensity to innovate and successfully develop new routines and storytelling models.
Framing Capital Crimes in Two Newspapers • Jakob Berr, University of Missouri School of Journalism; Tim Vos, University of Missouri School of Journalism • This study examines how two newspapers framed capital punishment in two different parts of the U.S. – an area with high public support and an area with low public support for the death penalty. The framing analysis uses Bandura’s mechanisms of moral disengagement to explore how stories are framed. The analysis shows distinct differences in framing in the two locations, with a morally engaged frame in Maryland and a morally disengaged frame in Texas.
Audience perceptions of editing quality: An experimental study of the effects of news processing • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • This study uses a controlled experiment to begin addressing whether and how much traditional markers of editing quality affect audience perceptions of the quality and professionalism of news articles. Articles were presented in a mixed design in which participants saw four articles in the edited condition and four in the unedited condition. Results indicate that standard newsroom editing practices have a significant positive effect on a diverse audience’s perception of news quality.
Local Newspaper Coverage Influences Support of the U.S. Military Buildup on Guam • Francis Dalisay, Cleveland State University; Masahiro Yamamoto, Washington State University • Roughly 8,600 U.S. Marines and about 10,000 of their dependents will be relocated to Guam. A content analysis revealed that the Pacific Daily News (PDN), a newspaper on Guam, reported more frequently on this military buildup’s economic benefits, and less on its environmental risks. A community survey showed that reading the PDN influenced residents’ endorsement of the buildup’s economic benefits, but not endorsement of its environmental risks. Findings support the system-maintenance role of local newspapers.
Changing News Frames as a Pandemic Develops: Coverage of the 2009 H1N1 Flu in the Washington Post • Lily Zeng, Arkansas State Univ.; Zhiwen Xiao, University of Houston • This study examines the coverage of the H1N1 flu pandemic in the Washington Post from a dynamic perspective. According to the CDC definition of two peaks of flu activity in the U.S. (May and October 2009), this study identifies four stages of the crisis: Peak I, Valley, Peak II, and Post-Peak II. The findings reveal that the amount of media attention across time reflected the dynamics of flu activity. During the lifespan of the pandemic (April 2009 to February 2010), the capital-based newspaper maintained a consistent emphasis on the event as a “nationwide health emergency” as announced by the government, with an apparent focus on current updates of the situation of the disease, especially during the two peak stages of the pandemic. When the crisis entered a new stage, however, the frame-changing strategy was usually employed to maintain the salience of the event on the news agenda.
Man, woman, or child: The portrayal of young adults in the news media • Amy Zerba; Cory Armstrong, University of Florida • The term “young adults” is often used loosely in conversation and research. This can leave audiences to interpret whom young adults are, possibly reinforcing stereotypes. Using the theoretical framework of social construction of reality, this content analysis study examines how media describe young adults and related terms in news stories. The findings showed few definitions and use of young adults as sources; and negative portrayals by city officials and of young adults’ behavior and health.
MacDougall Student Paper Competition
Analyzing News about the Veil: Examining Racist Discourses in Europe • Katie Blevins, The Pennsylvania State University • This paper examines newspaper coverage concerning the 2010 legislation in France that bans the wearing of the full-face Muslim veil, or niqab, in public places. This paper is concerned with the representation of French-Muslim women who lie at the intersection of competing interests in this: media, political, and individual. Methodologically, this paper employs a feminist critical discourse analysis of the newspaper coverage and Joan Wallach Scott’s four categories of discourse from The Politics of the Veil (racism, secularism, sexuality, and individualism) to frame the discourse.
A Study of the Urbanization of News Content • Michael Clay Carey, Ohio University • This research analyzes geographic coverage trends in two American metropolitan newspapers, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Columbus Dispatch, to understand how frequently those newspapers included news about places and people far from their urban coverage areas. A content analysis found a trend away from rural coverage and an increase in coverage in and around urban cores during the five-year time period studies.
Deceptive Reality: Using Media to Implant False Memories and Internet Source Credibility • Jenna Carolan, Iowa State University; Faye Gilbert , Iowa State University• People are constantly bombarded with media messages that affect the way they think, but can it also affect their memories? This study measures the extent to which false memories can be implanted using media. It also looks at the effect of perceived source credibility in false memory formation. Surveys were used to compare memories before and after stimuli exposure and showed that a large number of participants had, in fact, created false memories regarding the news events. The perceived credibility of all four sources was nearly identical, although some sources were fabricated.
Witnessing Executions: How Journalists Prepare for and Respond to Planned Trauma Exposure • Kenna Griffin • This series of interviews with journalists who witnessed executions explains how these journalists prepared for and emotionally responded to witnessing the traumatic events. The journalists fulfilled their professional obligation to report the newsworthy happenings to the public, while putting themselves at risk of suffering emotional trauma. The emotional impact can be mediated if addressed through organizational support and training. The journalists who were interviewed, however, rarely were offered support and denied experiencing negative emotions.
Press Independence in the Guantanamo Controversy: Effects of The New York Times’ Coverage on Public Opinion During the Bush and Obama Administrations • Jaesik Ha, Indiana University • This study analyzes the relationship between the U.S. government and the media after the events of 9/11. It investigates two aspects of the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba: (1) How The New York Times covered the controversy over the closing of the Guantanamo prison during the Bush and the Obama administrations; and (2) How The New York Times’ choice of frames affected public opinion. This study analyzed the content of 2,216 news paragraphs which dealt with the Guantanamo prison issue between 2004 and 2010. One of the issues that this study explores is whether the American news media played an independent role as a watchdog of the government’s issue-framing by challenging the Bush government’s anti-terrorism frame or if it acted as the government’s guard dog and consistently reinforced its frames. 57.4% of the content-analyzed news stories published during the Bush administration used a “torture frame” which described the Guantanamo prison as violating the human rights of prisoners and lacking due process. On the other hand, the “anti-terrorism frame,” which emphasized the positive aspects of the Guantanamo prison – such as its role in reinforcing national security and protecting Americans from possible future terrorist attacks – was found in 21.3% of the news stories published during the period of the Bush presidency. By contrast, during the Obama administration, 40.3% of news reports used the torture frame, while 28.3% used the anti-terrorism frame. The New York Times showed itself to be a powerful and consistent challenger to the Bush administration on the Guantanamo issue. However, the findings also show that The New York Times’ coverage did not have a significant impact on public support for the closing of the Guantanamo prison.
Experiencing error: How journalists describe what it’s like when the press fails • Kirstie Hettinga, Penn State • Corrections are a way for newspapers to amend the record when errors occur. However, while the process of correcting a mistake is dealt with through industry norms, how error is experienced is personal to each journalist who makes an error that gets printed. This research, which borrows ethnographic techniques and draws upon gatekeeping theory, explores how journalists in one newsroom experience error and their recommendations for how errors and their corrections should be handled.
Typing corrections: Examining corrections and their role in democratic theory • Kirstie Hettinga, Penn State • Newspaper errors typically fall in subjective and objective categories. In this qualitative content analysis of corrections from The New York Times in 2010, the kinds of articles that typically yielded errors are documented. Other themes including attribution of error are also noted. The author suggests that in terms of democratic theory, corrections fall along a continuum of significance, where not all corrections are necessary for people to function within society.
Media Agenda Setting Concerning the 2009 Health Care Reform Debate • Jihye Kim, Univ. of Florida • The purpose of this study is to evaluate the newspapers agendas concerning the United States healthcare program by applying the agenda-setting process to identify varying agendas. The study also applied intermedia agenda-setting in order to correlate the relationship between the newspaper media and the press releases. The results expressed unidirectional and directional trends paired with interesting results of the relationship between the two agendas, while attempting to identify an “elite” newspaper source.
Examining the Local Sections of Three South Florida Newspapers Before and After a Content-Sharing Agreement. • Jeffrey Riley, Ohio University • This study examined the effects of a content-sharing agreement on the local news sections of three South Florida metropolitan newspapers: The Miami Herald, the Sun Sentinel, and The Palm Beach Post. The content analysis found that only nine articles out of 971 examined were borrowed through the sharing agreement. Additionally, the study found that the number of published local articles per year dropped 28.95% from 2006 to 2009.
Medium Matters: Newsreaders’ Recall and Engagement with Online and Print Newspapers • Arthur Santana, University of Oregon; Randall Livingstone, University of Oregon; Yoon Yong Cho, University of Oregon • Increasingly, newsreaders are abandoning the print newspaper in favor of online news. This experimental research asks: Do reader engagements towards news stories vary by media? Half of a subject pool (N = 45) perused The New York Times and half browsed its accompanying Web site. Both groups answered questions on the extent to which the news stories made an impression. The results reflect prior research that shows print subjects remembered more news stories than online subjects and suggest that the development of dynamic online story forms in the past decade have had little effect toward making them more impressionable than print stories.
Does competition make a difference? An examination of the impact of the Apple Daily on three major newspapers in Taiwan • Chien-Yun Song, University of Kansas; Jia-Wei Tu, University of Kansas • This content analysis study examined the effects of the Apply Daily on three leading Taiwanese newspapers after its publication in 2003. Findings show that these newspapers have added more “soft news” on their front pages in 2004 in order to compete. It can be argued that the Apple Daily has forced its rivals to become more sensational. Competition does not improve news quality in this case.
Bloggers’ Reliance on Newspaper, Online, and Original Sources in Reporting on Local Subjects Ignored by the Press • Brendan Watson, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, School of Journalism & Mass Communication • This study of 100 blogs found that contrary to media assertions and prior research, local public affairs bloggers do not rely on newspapers for a majority of their sources. Bloggers in this study were more likely to use original sources and original reporting than rely on media sources, particularly when writing about local topics (e.g. historic preservation) the news media frequently ignore.Print friendly