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.

2017 ABSTRACTS

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.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Newspaper and Online 2017 Abstracts

OPEN COMPETITION
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.

STUDENT PAPERS
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.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Minorities and Communication 2017 Abstracts

FACULTY RESEARCH COMPETITION
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.

STUDENT PAPERS
“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.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Media Management, Economics, and Entrepreneurship 2017 Abstracts

Do Similar Brands ‘Like’ Each Other? An Investigation of Homophily Among Brands’ Social Networks on Facebook • Mohammad Abuljadail, Bowling Green State University; Gi Woong Yun, University of Nevada, Reno • The advent of internet and communication technologies enabled marketers of brands to have more ways to communicate with their audience; one of which is connecting with other brands. One of the most popular outlets that allows brands to connect with other brands online is Facebook. Brands on Facebook can establish an official fan page where they can interact with their fans as well as network with other brands’ official Facebook pages through “liking” them. This paper seeks to investigate the “liking” behavior among local and global brands (brand to brand) on Facebook in Saudi Arabia and whether these brands’ “liking” network is based on homophilous relationships. The results showed that both status, (e.g., geography and gender), and value (e.g., family ties and religion) homophilous relationships are in play. However, value homophily was a strong factor in brands’ network in Saudi Arabia for some brands in the absence of status homophily network. Although status homophily in general played a role, geographical proximity was not a strong factor compared to previous reports on social network analysis. The data for this study was obtained from 40 brands marketed in Saudi Arabia. Using Netvizz and Gephi, network structures were mapped to explore the relationships among the brand’s’ Facebook pages.

Predictors of Success in Entering The Journalism And Mass Communication Labor Market • Lee Becker, University of Georgia; Tudor Vlad, University of Georgia; C. Ann Hollifield, University of Georgia • As a talent industry, media industries are highly dependent on the quality of the labor force available to be hired. The entry-level journalism and mass communication labor market has been the subject of analysis over the years, leading to the general conclusion that the characteristics of the students who graduates as well as what they did while at the university help to predict success in the media labor market. The research has been based on limited measures of job market success and small samples, sometimes of students only at one point in time. This study revisits the question of what predicts success in the media labor market with a data set spanning 27 years and with multiple measures of job market success. The findings indicate that what the students bring to the educational environment influences what they do while at the university but also continues to have impact after graduation. The decisions students make at the university also matter. Specifically, women have more success in the media labor market than men, but they get paid less. Minorities have more difficulty in the market than nonminorities, but they get paid better if they find work. Selecting public relations as a major is an advantage, as is completing an internship. These relationships hold even after controlling for other factors, including the performance of the labor market for all persons 20 to 24 years old. The findings suggest that media industries still have critical labor management issues to address.

Facebook and newspapers online: Competing beings or complimentary entities? • Victoria Chen, The University of Texas at Austin; Paromita Pain, The University of Texas at Austin • In an attempt to engage more readers online, newspapers, today are adopting Facebook as a distribution platform. Focused on understanding the value of Facebook as a distribution platform for newspapers, this study shows that news engagement, where news that attracts and holds readers’ attention, on Facebook, increases the brand loyalty of newspapers and Faebook. Brand wise both Facebook and newspapers benefit when news is distributed through Facebook. The study challenges popular beliefs about the influence of Facebook on the business of journalism and shows that Facebook and newspapers are mutually beneficial in helping build the brand loyalty of both. It also shows that tie strength and not homophily encourages the sharing of news on Facebook. While these results may seem optimistic, the study further suggests that leveraging Facebook as a news distribution platform to engage audiences should be treated more cautiously.

Management of Journalism Transparency: Journalists’ perceptions of organizational leaders’ management of an emerging professional norm • Peter Gade; Shugofa Dastgeer; Christina Childs DeWalt; Emmanuel-Lugard Nduka; Seunghyun Kim; Desiree Hill; Kevin Curran • This national survey of 524 journalists explores how journalists perceive transparency, a recent addition to the ethics codes of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Radio Television Digital News Association, has been managed as a normative innovation, and the impact of management on its adoption in journalism practices. Results indicate journalists perceive transparency as not been well managed, and that how it is managed has a significant effect on the extent it is practiced.

Brand Extension Strategies in the Film Industry: Factors behind Financial Performance of Adaptations and Sequels • Dam Hee Kim • In the film industry, which is notoriously high risk, sequels and adaptations stand out as successful films. Focusing on adaptations and sequels as extended brands, this paper analyzed 2,488 films released from 2010 to 2013 in the U.S. to investigate films’ box office performance. Results suggested that adaptations from comic books and toy lines were successful, and those produced in sequels were even more successful. Industry factors behind brand extension strategies are also examined.

Rapid Organizational Legitimacy: The Case of Mobile News Apps • Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Matthew Weber, Rutgers University • This article examines the importance of legitimacy for the performance of new ventures in the emerging space of mobile news apps, which consists of players from both traditional news and technology. This creates a distinct challenge for survival and performance, further compounded by the short timeframe deemed acceptable for apps to succeed. A multi-faceted model of legitimacy is proposed and tested; findings underscore the vital role of communication-based legitimacy in the struggle for rapid success.

Transformation of the Professional Newsroom Workforce: An Analysis of Newsworker Roles and Skill Sets, 2010-2015 • Allie Kosterich, Rutgers University; Matthew Weber, Rutgers University • Transformation continues to impact news media; news organizations are adapting accordingly through shifts in required skills and prescribed roles of newsworkers. This research uses online public databases to trace employment histories of NYC-area newsworkers and explore processes of institutional change related to the professional newsworker. This case study highlights the applicability of quantitative research methods in furthering understanding of professional media dynamics and management challenges related to the emergence of new job roles and skills.

The effects of a TV network strike on channel brand equity • Shin-Hye Kwon, Sungkyunkwan University; Lu Li, Sungkyunkwan University; Byeng Hee Chang, Sungkyunkwan University • This article has attempted to outline the effects of a television channel strike from both the user and the company sides. In the direct effect of strike analysis, viewer ratings(MBC) were higher before the strike than during it. In the indirect effect of strike analysis, strike awareness had a negative influence on brand image for news, entertainment, and information, with especially high influence for information and news. Brand image also had a meaningful influence of brand loyalty mediated by brand satisfaction and awareness of brand quality. Thus, loyalty to MBC decreased as viewers learned about the strike. This study has several implications that a specific channel’s brand equity does not decrease until viewers become aware of a strike at the channel. In addition, we suggest different possible effects of a media strike on the brand image of a channel or network. Third, we infer the changes in viewer ratings to be a direct effect of media strikes. Another theoretical implication of this study is its explanation of how a strike at a specific company strike can affect competing companies using the concept of media deprivation and dependency theory. Lastly, This study’s results offer practical information for media companies’ strike management.

Consumer choice of mobile service bundles: An application of the Technological Readiness Index • Miao Miao; Xi Zhu; Krishna Jayakar • This paper asks whether consumers are rational in choosing the most appropriate mobile service bundle (combining voice, text and data), given their actual levels of usage. It also investigates whether psychological or demographic factors can predict the likelihood that a user will choose optimally. Using the Technological Readiness Index as a theoretical framework, this study finds that customers who are optimistic about technology are more likely to choose the optimum bundle, while those who are insecure about technology are significantly less likely.

Assessing News Media Infrastructure: A State-Level Analysis • Philip Napoli; Ian Dunham; Jessica Mahone, Sanford School of Public Policy, Duke University • This paper develops and applies an approach to evaluating the robustness of the news media infrastructure of individual states. Drawing upon the Cision Media Database, and employing a detailed filtering methodology, this analysis provides indicators that facilitate comparative analysis across states, and that could be employed to facilitate analyses over time within and across individual states. This assessment approach is derived from multivariate analyses of the key geographic and demographic determinants of the robustness of the news media infrastructure in individual states.

High Brand Loyalty Video Game Play and Achieving Relationships with Virtual Worlds and Its Elements Through Presence • Anthony Palomba • Based on a uses and gratifications and presence conceptual framework, this study considers high brand loyalty video game players’ levels of presence, and evaluates how virtual relationships and perceptions of brand personalities may moderate the relationship between high brand loyalty video game players’ gratifications sought and media consumption experiences. A national survey of 25-year-old to 35-year-old high brand loyalty video game players (N=902)was conducted. Theoretical contributions surrounding the importance of presence during video game play to reach desired gratifications as well as industry implications are discussed.

Content Marketing Strategy on Branded YouTube Channels • Rang Wang, University of Florida; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • As YouTube becomes a viable competitor in the media ecosystem, this study assessed top brands’ content marketing strategy on branded YouTube channels via content analysis. Using a consumer engagement conceptual framework, the study examined brand strategies addressing the interactivity, attention, emotion, and cognition aspects of engagement and explored the role of firm characteristics, including YouTube capability, financial resources, ownership, and product category, in strategy differentiation. Implications of utilizing YouTube in branding and engaging were provided.

Exploring Cross-Platform Engagement in an Online-Offline Video Market • Lisa-Charlotte Wolter, Hamburg Media School; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida • In an ever-increasing fragmented media environment, the need for comparable metrics across online and offline platforms is intensifying. This study introduces the concept of engagement in an audience setting; discusses its role in today’s video consumption process, and elaborates on the rationale and approach of assessing engagement in online-offline environments. We will present results from a qualitative study of globally conducted in-depth interviews with 73 experts. Research implications and a cross-platform engagement framework are presented.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Media Ethics 2017 Abstracts

OPEN COMPETITION
Student Understanding and Application of Virtues in a Redesigned Journalism Ethics Class • David Craig, The University of Oklahoma; Mohammad Yousuf, The University of Oklahoma • This study examines how students in a journalism ethics class demonstrated their understanding and application of virtues when several class assignments were tailored to virtue ethics. It adds to the limited study on virtue pedagogy in media ethics. Findings showed most students showed at least a basic understanding of nine virtues and their relevance to journalism. The study suggests several insights and refinements for future assessment of learning about virtue.

Trust vs. evaluation: The interplay of ethics and participation in news • Katy Culver; Byung Gu Lee • Considerable research has pointed to declining levels of public trust in news media, as well as differences in trust based on political ideology. At the same time, the public has greater ability to participate in the processes of news, from commenting on stories to engaging through social media. This study explores the intersections of media trust, ethical performance, and participatory practices, as well as differences by ideology and chosen news outlets.

Weeding out the differences: Market orientation’s effects on the coverage of marijuana legalization • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Chad Painter, University of Dayton; Angelica Kalika, University of Colorado, Boulder • This textual analysis compares news coverage of Colorado Amendment 64, the 2012 ballot measure legalizing marijuana statewide, by the strongly market-oriented legacy newspaper the Denver Post and the weakly market-oriented online publication the Colorado Independent. Researchers found differences in storytelling, usage of stakeholders and sources, and coverage about the social and economic impacts of marijuana legalization. These findings are discussed through the theoretical lenses of market theory for news production and W.D. Ross’s duty-based ethics.

An Ethics-Based Investigation of Algorithmic Use of Social Media Data for News • Tao Fu; William Babcock • Using W. D. Ross’s prima facie duties as the theoretical framework, in particular non-maleficence, beneficence and self-improvement, combined with gatekeeping theory and the echo-chamber effect, this study examines the dissemination of fake news on Facebook and its news ranking and recommendation during the United States’ 2016 presidential election. The researchers argue that while Facebook employs algorithms as gatekeepers, it is unrealistic to consider algorithms have in and of themselves an ethics component. So while algorithms are amoral, without moral sense or principles and thus incapable of distinguishing between right and wrong, how they are employed and by whom is the key ethics component to be considered.

The Devil is in the Details: Comparing Crime Coverage Credos in the United States, The Netherlands, and Sweden • Romayne Fullerton; Margaret Patterson, Duquesne University; Katherine Hoad Reddick, The University of Western Ontario • This paper compares crime coverage practices in the United States to those in the Netherlands and Sweden. In the former country, journalists routinely name and provide as many facts as they can gather about persons arrested and charged with serious crimes. In contrast, the latter two countries’ default is not to name or otherwise identify alleged perpetrators. All three countries share a belief in the presumption of innocence and the public right to know, but the Swedish and Dutch foreground the former, while the Americans elevate the latter. We do not posit one set of ethical practices as superior to another, but rather explore the advantages and disadvantages of each approach to consider what the differing practices of naming and specificity versus anonymizing and generalization mean in a broad cultural context, and to consider the importance of their preservation in a globalized age.

“I’m more ethical than you”: Third-person and first-person perception among American journalists • Angela Lee, University of Texas at Dallas; Renita Coleman, University of Texas at Austin • Extending first- and third- person perception to ethics, this study found that journalists at leading news outlets believe colleagues in the same organization act unethically significantly less frequently and act ethically significantly more frequently than those at other organizations and in other industries. The first- and third- person perceptions are a linear function of social distance, but are not the mirror image of each other. Suggestions for improving journalists’ ethics are offered. This study helps expand a field based in philosophy and media sociology by adding insights from social psychology to begin building a more mature scholarship of media ethics.

Playing the right way: In-house sports reporters and media ethics as boundary work • Michael Mirer, University of Wisconsin • Sports teams increasingly hire in-house reporters to produce news content for their own websites. Drawing on the construct of boundary work and using interview data, this paper finds these writers use ethical discourse to formulate a professional identity as journalists, redefining core normative concepts. It argues that in-house reporters detach journalism’s practices and conventions from its overarching normative orientation and concludes by calling for a normative account of in-house reporting rooted in mixed-media ethics.

Bringing Habermas into the newsroom: consensus or compromise and the rehabilitation of common sense • Laura Moorhead, San Francisco State University • Philosopher and media gadfly Habermas in the newsroom? This paper — through the frame of Habermas’s discourse ethics — highlights a path for debating ethics, including race and diversity, in journalism using rational-critical discussion, which can lead to consensus or compromise through a move from individual to collective community interests. The paper considers the rehabilitation of common sense, through emerging technology and an interdisciplinary approach. The point of debating ethics in journalism surfaces as the hope for solidarity despite increasing pluralism.

Taking the white gloves off: The portrayal of female journalists on Good Girls Revolt • Chad Painter, University of Dayton; Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado • This textual analysis focuses on the portrayal of female journalists on the series Good Girls Revolt. Unlike many contemporary television series and films, the women of Good Girls Revolt generally are depicted positively. They are behind the scenes heroes and possess journalistic intangibles lacking in their male counterparts, who treat them in demeaning and dehumanizing ways. The researchers then explore the ethical implications of these portrayals through the lens of social responsibility theory.

Teaching Journalism Ethics Through “The Newsroom”: An Enhanced Learning Experience • Laveda Peterlin, University of Kansas; Jonathan Peters, University of Kansas • As documented in multiple fields, students taking ethics courses can benefit from alternative pedagogical approaches using television shows for learning. This research paper explores the journalistic ethics conflicts depicted in the first season of the HBO show “The Newsroom.” Those conflicts, brought to life through vivid and realistic storytelling, enable students to experience how ethical decisions can affect a newsroom and the audience it serves. This is a form of televisual ethnography that provides journalism instructors additional resources to use in the classroom and creates an innovative, rich learning experience for students.

The Evolution of the Potter Box in Mass Media Ethics • Matthew Reavy, University of Scranton • This paper examines the origins of The Potter Box, the most widely used model of decision-making in mass media ethics. The basic structure of the model is traced back to its roots in the work of Talcott Parsons and Ralph B. Potter Jr., through subsequent modifications and to its introduction in the field of mass media by Christians, Rotzoll & Fackler in 1983. Attention is given to variations of the model as they appear in current media ethics texts.

“The Times F’d up”: Responsibility, blame, and journalistic paradigm repair following the 2016 U.S. presidential election • Miles Sari, Washington State University; Elizabeth Hindman, Washington State University • “Through an ethnographic content analysis of 55 print and online newspaper articles and editorials, this paper considers the ways in which the American journalistic paradigm repaired itself in the wake of the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Using the concepts of paradigm repair and attribution theory as guiding frameworks, this study suggests that American news media engaged in first-order and second-order news paradigm repair discourses to identify unethical lapses in news media election coverage, as well as to pinpoint the broader threats of fake news and the Donald Trump administration to the legitimacy of the American journalistic paradigm.

Here’s What BuzzFeed Journalists Think of Their Journalism • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Cassie Yuan Wen Foo • This study seeks to compare BuzzFeed, a new entrant to the journalistic field, with traditional news organizations, from the perspective of BuzzFeed’s own journalists. Through in-depth interviews, this study finds that BuzzFeed’s journalists think they are more attentive to audiences and more willing to experiment than those from traditional news organizations. But at the same time, they also value the same ethical standards in journalism. Thus, BuzzFeed seems to engage in both differentiation and de-differentiation.

News in the Peace Process in Northern Ireland: Reconciliation Isn’t Sexy • Charis Rice, Coventry University; Maureen Taylor • This research explores if and how the media help or hinder democracy in a post conflict nation. In this paper the explicit question about media’s role in democracy has, at its core, an implicit question about media ethics. We interviewed 15 community leaders who are active in ‘cross-community’ organizations in Northern Ireland. The findings suggest that community activists perceive the media to be contributing to the conflict and constraining debates about the way forward in Northern Ireland.

Falsity, fakery and carbon monoxide: A typology of fake news and an ethical approach • Fred Vultee, Wayne State University • Deciding what to do about the epidemic of “fake news” requires both a definition of fake news and an understanding of why real news is valuable. Drawing on the philosophical distinction between lying (Bok, 1978) and bullshit (Frankfurt, 2005), this paper seeks to categorize the potential impacts of different varieties of fake news and to suggest an ethics-based framework for how to counter them. The practice of journalism can address some of these challenges as a craft and some as a profession; the paper concludes by suggesting that journalism and its audiences would gain from addressing the fake news problem on both fronts.

A history of media ethics: From application to theory and back again • Lee Wilkins, Wayne State University • This paper focuses on practical issues that lead to ideas worth considering across disciplines. By discussing the evolution of four concepts, truthtelling, privacy, the impact of technology and moral development, it outlines the historic development of these ideas in the field of media ethics. Its central assertion is that media ethics has had something to contribute to philosophy and political philosophy as well as to working professionals. This contribution centers as much as in does in philosophy and political philosophy as it does in the more accepted domain of applied ethics

CAROL BURNETT AWARD
Spotlight: Virtuous Journalism in Practice • Yayu Feng, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign • This paper uses the movie Spotlight as a case study of virtuous journalism. It interprets Spotlight by textual analysis with key concepts from virtue ethics theory—arête, phronesis, and eudaimonia—to discuss journalistic virtues, journalists’ practical reasoning, and how journalism profession can contribute to human flourishing through its professional goal of questing for truth. The paper also hopes to contribute a relevant case study to demonstrate the value of virtue ethics theory to journalism ethics.

Ethical, moral, and professional standards in journalism practice: A baseline definition of journalistic integrity • Kimberly Kelling • What does it mean for a journalist to have integrity? How does that concept differ from the integrity of the journalist or journalistic institution? Conceptualizations of the term vary among industries and philosophical definitions are just as scattered. Exploring the usage of the term “integrity” in journalism discourse, this paper identifies micro-, meso-, and macro-level applications of journalistic integrity based on a metadiscourse analysis of newsroom codes of ethics and journalism trade publications. Providing a baseline definition of journalistic integrity enables professionals and the public to communicate about press responsibilities and performance with similar expectations.

An Emotional Approach to Risk Communication • Shiyu Yang • The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that emotions are an important, if not integral, aspect of risk communication, and that using emotional appeals in risk communication is not inherently unethical; rather, whether the emotional appeals used in a risk message are ethical or not should be judged based on the context. To achieve this goal, I first establish that emotions can facilitate well-informed and ethically sound risk-related decision-making, by reviewing extant research literature on the dialectical tension between emotion and rationality. Then I advance the notion that emotions are an important aspect of risk communication, by applying the Extended Parallel Process Model (EPPM) and providing a brief discussion of how various kinds of emotions may aid our risk interpretations and help balance various ethical considerations about risks. Next, I proceed to review some of the potential benefits as well as possible negative outcomes of employing emotional appeals in designing risk messages. I further illustrate these points by conducting an ethical critique of a public health campaign, the “war on obesity”. Finally, I reaffirm the thesis statement that emotions are important in risk communication and that emotional appeals should and can be ethically applied to enhance the effectiveness of risk communication.

SPECIAL CALL FOR STRATEGIC COMMUNICATION ETHICS
The Use of Influence Tactics by Senior Public Relations Practitioners to Provide Ethics Counsel • Marlene Neill, Baylor University; Amy Barnes, University of Arkansas at Little Rock • Senior public relations practitioners prefer non-confrontational approaches such as asking questions and dialogue when raising ethical concerns to more senior leaders. Through in-depth interviews with 34 members of the PRSA College of Fellows, this study provides new insights regarding successful and unsuccessful attempts at providing ethics counsel. The role of ethical conscience in public relations was explored through the lens of organizational power and social influence theories. Implications for practice are discussed.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Mass Communication and Society 2017 Abstracts

OPEN COMPETITION
Beauty ideals and the media: Constructing the ideal beauty for Nigerian women through music videos • Aje-Ori Agbese • The research examined how Nigerian music videos objectify and define beauty for Nigerian women. The contents of 100 music videos with a love/romance theme were analyzed. The study found that Nigerian music videos defined beautiful women as thin/skinny, light-skinned and smiling. Several videos also featured white women as the ideal. The paper also discusses the impact of such messages on a country where women had the world’s highest rates for skin bleaching in 2012.

Framing Blame in Sexual Assault: An Analysis of Attribution in News Stories about Sexual Assault on College Campuses • Ashlie Andrew; Cassandra Alexopoulos • The current study is a quantitative content analysis examining media coverage of sexual assault on US college campuses. In particular, we focus on the language that journalists employ to tell these stories and assign attribution of sexual assault to the people involved. Drawing on two different theoretical perspectives, Attribution Theory and Media Framing, we analyze how frequently the language in news stories on sexual assault implicitly assign attribution (or minimize attribution) to either the victim or perpetrator in sexual assault cases.

The Social Dimensions of Political Participation • Soo Young Bae • This study investigates the social dimensions of political engagement, and explores the underlying mechanism of the relationship between social media use and political participation. Using a nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, this study reveals the growing significance of the source factor in the online information environment, and tests whether varying levels of trust that individuals have toward the information source can meaningfully relate to their engagement in politics.

The Role of Media Use and Family Media Use in Children’s Eating Behaviors, Food Preferences, and Health Literacy • Kimberly Bissell, University of Alabama; Kim Baker, University of Alabama; Xueying Zhang; Kailey E. Bissell, The University of the South (Sewanee); Sarah Pember, University of Alabama; Yiyi Yang, University of Alabama; Samantha Phillips, University of Alabama • The relationship between the individual and social factors that might predict a child’s health behaviors specific to food consumption and eating is quite complex. A growing body of literature suggests that external factors such as media use, use of media while eating, and the home eating environment certainly could predict factors such as a child’s preference for specific food, nutritional knowledge, and even the ability to identify food products in food advertisements. Using a survey of children in 2nd and 3rd grade, this study examined questions about how much or if general media use, media use while eating, and familial media use during mealtimes related to a child’s general understanding of health specific to nutritional knowledge, food preferences, understanding of food advertising, and self-perception. Results indicate that media use by each child and by the parent—in general and in the context of eating—were related to lower scores on the nutritional knowledge scale, a stronger preference for unhealthy foods, an inability to correctly identify food products in food advertisements, and self-perceptions. Further results indicate that children’s ability to correctly identify food products in food advertisements was especially low, especially in children who reported spending more time with different types of media. These and other findings are discussed.

Assimilation or Consternation? U.S. Latinos’ Perceptions of Trust in Relation to Media and Other Factors • Ginger Blackstone, Harding University; Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida • Among the U.S. Latino community, even documented workers are nervous about the future. What role might Internet news exposure, television news exposure, newspaper exposure, radio news exposure, age, whether one was born in the U.S., or–if not—length of time spent in the U.S. be relevant to feelings of trust in the government, trust in others, and U.S. immigration policies? How do Latinos’ feelings in these areas compare to non-Latinos? Using the most recent American National Election Survey data available, the authors conducted a series of regressions and other statistical tests in search of answers. It was found that Latino respondents were more likely than non-Latinos to trust that the U.S. government will do the right thing. Television news exposure was a positive factor. Non-Latino respondents were more likely than Latino respondents to trust others. Internet news exposure, radio news exposure, and newspaper exposure were positive factors, while television news exposure was a negative factor. Trust in the government did not correlate with trust in others for Latino respondents; however, it did for non-Latinos but the effect was weak. Regarding U.S. immigration policy, difference between Latino respondents and non-Latinos were significant; however, a majority of both groups indicated support for an immigration policy that allowed undocumented workers to remain in the U.S. under certain (non-specified) conditions. Internet news exposure and radio news exposure were factors in some comparisons. Overall, no clear patterns were found; however, the findings correspond to the literature and provide an opportunity for future research.

Toxic Peers in Online Support Groups for Suicidal Teens: Moderators Reducing Toxic Disinhibition Effects • Nicholas Boehm, Colorado State University; Jamie Switzer, Colorado State University • This paper describes the results of a study that examined if moderated online peer support groups for suicidal teens differ compared to non-moderated online peer support groups for suicidal teens in terms of the frequency of pro-suicide response and the frequency of uncivil and impolite response given by peers. Findings suggest pro-suicide, uncivil, and impolite responses are significantly more likely to occur in the non-moderated peer support group, as explained by the online disinhibition effect.

Exploring Third-Person Perception and Social Media • John Chapin, Penn State • Findings from a study of middle school and high school students (N = 1604) suggest most adolescents are using some form of social media, with texting, Instagram, and Snapchat currently the most popular. Most (67%) have some experience with cyberbullying, with 23% saying they have been victims of cyberbullying and 7% acknowledging they have cyberbullied others. Despite the heavy use of social media and experiences with cyberbullying, participants exhibited third-person perception, believing others are more influenced than they are by negative posts on social media. Third-person perception was predicted by optimistic bias, social media use, age, and experience with various forms of bullying. Third-person perception may provide a useful framework for understanding how adolescents use social media and how they are affected by it.

“Defensive Effect”: Uncivil Disagreement Upsets Me, So I Want to Speak Out Politically • Gina Chen • This study proposed and tested a mediation model called the “defensive effect” to explain the influence of uncivil disagreement online comments on emotions and intention to participate politically. An experiment (N = 953) showed uncivil disagreement – but not civil disagreement – triggered a chain reaction of first boosting negative emotion and then indirectly increasing intention to participate politically, mediated through that emotion burst. Findings are discussed in relation to affective intelligence theory.

Facts, Alternative Facts, and Politics: A Case Study of How a Concept Entered Mainstream and Social Media Discourse • Moonhee Cho, University of Tennessee; Giselle Auger, Rhode Island College; Sally McMillan, University of Tennessee • Adopting agenda setting as a theoretical framework, this study explored how the term ‘alternative facts’ was covered by both mainstream and social media. The authors used Salesforce Marketing Cloud Social Studio and WordStat to analyze 58,383 total posts. The study follows the development of news story and examines some similarities and differences in top words and phrases used by mainstream and social media. The term ‘alternative facts’ had negative valence in both media types.

Television, emotion, and social integration: Testing the effect of media event with the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration • Xi Cui, College of Charleston; Qian Xu, Elon University • This study empirically tests the social integration effect of media event and its psychological mechanism in the context of the live broadcast of the 2017 US Presidential Inauguration. A national sample (N=420) was drawn to investigate the relationships among television viewing of the live broadcast, viewers’ emotion, and their perceived social solidarity measured by perceived entitativity. In general, viewing the inauguration live on television positively predicted viewers’ emotion. Emotion also interacted with viewers’ national identity fusion to influence perceived entitativity. A significant indirect effect of television viewing on perceived entitativity through emotion was discovered. The same effects were found among non-Trump voters. For Trump voters, television viewing did not have any significant influence on any variable. Through these findings, this study shed light on the psychological mechanisms of media event’s social integration effect at the individual level, explicated the visceral nature of social identification related to media event, and argued for the relevance of this mass media genre in contemporary media environment and social zeitgeist.

New media, new ways of getting informed? Examining public affairs knowledge acquisition by young people in China • Di Cui; Fang Wu • This study examined acquisition of public affairs knowledge as an effect of media use and interpersonal discussion in China, where there is a fast transforming media environment. This study examined public affairs knowledge in both mainstream and alternative forms. Findings showed that attention to traditional sources, exposure to new media sources and face-to-face discussion were correlated with public affairs knowledge. Use of new media sources was correlated with alternative public affairs knowledge. Implications were discussed.

Multi-Platform News Use and Political Participation across Age Groups • Trevor Diehl, University of Vienna; Matthew Barnidge, University of Vienna; Homero Gil de Zúñiga, University of Vienna • News consumption in today’s media environment is increasingly characterized by multi-platform news; people now consume news across several multi-media devices. Relying on a nationally representative survey from the U.S., this study develops an index of multi-platform news use, and tests its effects on age-group differences in the way people participate in politics. Results show that Millennials are more likely to rely on multi-platforms for news, which is positively related to alternative modes of public engagement.

Read All About It: The Politicization of “Fake News” on Twitter • John Brummette; Marcia DiStaso, University of Florida; MICHAIL VAFEIADIS, Auburn University; Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth University; Terry Flynn, McMaster University • This study explored the use of the term “fake news” in one of the top news sharing tools, Twitter. Using a social network analysis, characteristics of online networks that formed around discussions of “fake news” was examined. Through a systematic analysis of the members of those networks and their messages, this study found that “fake news” is a very politicized term where current conversations are overshadowing logical and important discussions of the term.

News, Entertainment, or Both? Exploring Audience Perceptions of Media Genre in a Hybrid Media Environment • Stephanie Edgerly, Northwestern; Emily Vraga, George Mason University • This study uses two experimental designs to examine how audiences make genre assessments when encountering media content that blends elements of news and entertainment. In Study 1, we explore how audiences characterize three different versions of a fictitious political talk show program. In Study 2, we consider whether audience perceptions of ‘news-ness’ are influenced by shifts in headline angle and source attribution. The implications of audience definitions of news and its social function are discussed.

A new generation of satire consumers? A socialization approach to youth exposure to news satire • Stephanie Edgerly, Northwestern • This study explores how adolescents—at the doorstep of adulthood—are developing the exposure habit of news satire exposure. Using national survey data consisting of U.S. youth and one associated parent, the paper specifically examines: 1) the prevalence of youth exposure to news satire across a range of media devices and compared to other forms of news, and 2) the socialization factors—parents, school curriculum, and peers—that predict news satire use among today’s youth.

Socially-shared children coming of age: Third-person effect, parental privacy stewardship, and parent monitoring • Betsy Emmons, Samford University; Nia Johnson, Samford University; Lee Farquhar, Samford University • There have been multiple discussions about Facebook’s privacy policies; discourse about parental privacy stewardship has been minimal. As the first generation of socially-shared children become social media users, the collision of privacy with what has already been shared by parents occurs. This study, grounded in third-person effect, asked parents about stewardship of their children’s privacy, and whether other parents were observant. Results affirmed third-person effect for both social media monitoring and privacy among parents.

Journalists primed: How professional identity affects moral decision making • Patrick Ferrucci, U of Colorado; Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Erin Schauster • Utilizing identity priming, this study examines whether professional journalists apply ethics differently when primed with occupationally identity. This between-subjects experiment (N=171) administered both conditions the Defining Issues Test, a much-used instrument that measures moral development. The results show identity priming does not affect how journalists apply ethics. The study also found that journalists are potentially far less ethical than they were 13 years ago. These results are interpreted through the lens of social identity theory.

Hydraulic Fracturing on U.S. Cable News • Sherice Gearhart, Texas Tech University; Oluseyi Adegbola, Mr.; Jennifer Huemmer • Hydraulic fracturing, called fracking, is a drilling technique that accesses previously inaccessible oil and gas reserves. Although the process could aid U.S. energy independence, it is controversial and public opinion is divided. Guided by agenda-setting and framing, this study content analyses news coverage of fracking (N = 461) across cable networks (CNN, Fox News, MSNBC). Results show issues discussed and sources used vary ideologically, but all networks failed to provide factual information about the process.

Self-Presentation Strategies’ Effect on Facebook Users’ Subjective Well-being Depending on Self-Esteem Level • Wonseok (Eric) Jang, Texas Tech University; Erik Bucy, Texas Tech University; Janice Cho, Texas Tech University • The current study examined the consequences of different types of self-presentation strategies on Facebook users’ subjective well-being, depending on their level of self-esteem. The results indicated that people with low self-esteem became happier after updating their Facebook status using strategic self-presentation rather than true self-presentation. Meanwhile, people with high self-esteem exhibited similar levels of happiness after updating Facebook using both strategic and true self-presentation.

“Aging…The Great Challenge of This Century”: A Theory-Based Analysis of Retirement Communities’ Websites • Hong Ji; Anne Cooper • By 2040, the large over-65 population will change “religion…work…everything” according to an expert on aging. CCRCs are one health care/housing option for the final years of life. This study of 108 CCRC websites found a self-actualized photo population –smiling, wining/dining, and engaged in various fulfilling pursuits. The disconnect with reality — more males, minorities and healthy people than actually live at CCRCs — has implications for source credibility and the image of ideal aging.

The Role of Social Capital in the United States’s Country Brand • Jong Woo Jun, Dankook University; Jung Ryum Kim, City of Busan; Dong Whan Lee, Dankook University • This study explores antecedents and consequences of social capital. Using Korean college students as research samples, survey research was implemented measuring U.S. media consumptions such as TV drama, Hollywood movies, POP music, advertising, and magazine. As results, American media consumptions influenced social capital elements such as interpersonal trust, institutional trust, network, and norms. Also, interpersonal trust, network, and norms influenced attitudes toward the United States which in turn lead to strong beliefs about the United States. This study extended the usability of social capital to country branding settings, and could provide significant managerial implications to academicians and practitioners.

In the Crosshairs: The Tucson Shooting and the News Framing of Responsibility • Matthew Telleen, Elizabethtown College; Jack Karlis, Georgia College; Sei-Hill Kim • This research adds to the framing literature with a content analysis of media coverage following the 2011 shooting in Tucson, Arizona. Analyzing 535 items from the month after the shooting, it was determined that coverage of the Tucson shooting focused more heavily on societal issues like political rhetoric than on individual issues like mental illness It was also discovered that coverage varied from medium to medium and along political associations.

Tweeting the Election: Comparative Uses of Twitter by Trump and Clinton in the 2016 Election • Flora Khoo, Regent University; William Brown, Regent University • “Social media are increasingly becoming important means of political communication and essential to implementing an effective national election campaign. The present study evaluates the use of Twitter by presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Results indicate substantial framing differences in the tweets released by the two candidates. These differences are discussed along with implications for future research on the use of Twitter for political campaigns.

The Role of Reanctance Proneness in the Manifestation of Psychological Reactance against Newspaper Editorial • HYUNJUNG KIM • This study investigated the role of trait reactance proneness in the affective and cognitive reactance processes in the context of organ donation in South Korea. A web-based survey experiment using a sample of South Korean residents was conducted. Findings demonstrate that an editorial advocating organ donation from ideologically incongruent media is perceived as more biased than the same editorial from other media. The perceived bias is linked to perceived threat to freedom, which, in turn, is related to affective reactance, leading to unfavorable attitudes toward organ donation, particularly for high trait-reactant individuals. These findings suggest that trait reactance proneness may moderate a psychological reactance process in which affective and cognitive processes of reactance operate separately.

Pride versus Guilt: The Interplay between Emotional Appeals and Self-Construal Levels in Organ Donation Messages • Sining Kong; Jung Won Chun; Sriram Kalyanaraman • Existing research on organ donation has generally focused on message types but ignored how individual differences—and possible underlying mechanisms—affect the effectiveness of organ donation messages. To explore these issues, we conducted a 2 (type of appeal: pride vs guilt) X 2 (self construal: independent vs interdependent) between-subjects factorial experiment to examine how different self-construal levels affect emotional appeals in organ donation messages. The results revealed that regardless of self-construal levels, autonomy mediated the relationship between emotion and attitudes toward organ donation. Also, pride appeal messages generated more autonomy than guilt appeal messages, leading to more positive attitude toward organ donation. Furthermore, after controlling for autonomy, those participants primed with an independent self-construal preferred pride appeal messages more than they did guilt appeal messages. These findings offer important theoretical and applied implications and provide a robust avenue for future research.

“Feminazis,” “libtards,” “snowflakes,” and “racists”: Trolling and the Spiral of Silence • Victoria LaPoe; Candi Carter Olson, Utah State University • Using a mixed methods Qualtrics survey of 338 Twitter and Facebook users, the authors explore the impact that the 2016 election had on people’s political posts both before and after the election and whether or not people actually experienced harassment and threats during the election cycle. This article argues that the internet constitutes a digital public sphere. If trolling causes people—particularly women, LGBTQIA community members, and people who identify with a disability—to censor themselves because they feel their opinion is in the minority or that they will be attacked for stating their ideas, then it would follow that trolling is changing our public sphere, which is affecting our political conversations in a profound way.

Coverage of Physician-Assisted Death: Framing of Brittany Maynard • Sean Baker; Kimberly Lauffer • In 2014, Brittany Maynard, 29, diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, moved from California to Oregon, one of only three U.S. states with legal physician-assisted death, so she could determine when she would die. This paper examines how mainstream U.S. media framed Brittany Maynard’s choice to use physician aid in dying, arguing that although frames initially focused on the event, they transformed into thematic coverage of issues underlying her choice.

Do Political Participation and Use of Information Sources Differ by Age? • Tien-Tsung Lee, University of Kansas; An-Pang Lu; Yitsen Chiu, National Chengchi University • Most studies on the connection between offline and online political participation either focused on young citizens or treated age as a continuous variable. Many of them also used a limited local sample. This survey study employed a national sample to examine the effects of age and information sources on offline and online political participation. The relationship between age and offline/online participation does not appear to be linear, which has important implications for future studies.

Discussing HPV Vaccination: Ego-centric social networks and perceived norms among young men • Wan Chi Leung, University of Canterbury • This study examined the role of social norms in influencing young men’s support for the HPV vaccination. A survey of 656 young adult males in the United States indicated that the perceived injunctive norm was more powerful in predicting support for the HPV vaccination for males than the perceived descriptive norm. The average tie strength in their ego-centric discussion networks for sexual matters, and the heterogeneity of the discussants significantly predict the injunctive norm.

The effects of message desirability and first-person perception of anti-panhandling campaigns on prosocial behaviors • Joon Soo Lim, Syracuse University; Jiyoung Lee • The current research examined the third-person effect (TPE) of anti-panhandling campaign messages. It tested both perceptual and behavioral hypotheses of the TPE. A survey was administered to 660 participants recruited from Mechanical Turk’s Master Workers. The results demonstrate the robustness of third-person perceptions for persuasive campaign messages. We also learned that the magnitudes of TPP for anti-panhandling campaign messages could be moderated by message desirability. Analyzing the behavioral component of TPE, the current study adds empirical evidence that presumed influence of positive social campaign on oneself can make the audience engage in prosocial behaviors as well as promotional behaviors.

The third person effect on Twitter: How partisans view Donald Trump’s campaign messages • Aimee Meader, Winthrop University; Matthew Hayes, Winthrop University; Scott Huffmon, Winthrop University • A telephone poll of Southern respondents in the United States tested the third person effect by comparing partisan perceptions about Donald Trump’s tweets during the 2016 presidential election. Results show that the third person effect was strong for Democrats who viewed the tweets as unfavorable, but diminished for Republicans who viewed the tweets as favorable. Additionally, Republicans’ estimation of media influence on themselves was comparable to Democrats’ perceptions, but estimations of Democrats varied by Party.

‘Where are the children?’: The framing of adoption in national news coverage from 2014 through 2016 • Cynthia Morton; Summer Shelton, University of Florida • Pilot research explored three specific questions: 1) what frames are represented in print news stories about adoption?; 2) which frames are most prevalent in their representation?; and, 3) what implications can be made about the effect of combination of the news frames and their frequency on audience perceptions? A qualitative content analysis was conducted. The findings suggest that print news’s coverage of the child adoption issue leans toward legal/legality and child welfare/work frames. Implications on adoption perceptions and the potential impact on individuals influenced by adoption are discussed.

Exemplification of Child Abduction in U.S. News Media: Testing Media Effects on Parental Perceptions and Assessment of Risk • Jane Weatherred, University of South Carolina; Leigh Moscowitz, University of South Carolina • Despite decades of research, public misperceptions persist about the threat of child abductions in the U.S. Because prior research reveals that parental perceptions of child abduction are mediated by news coverage, this study offers one of the only experimental designs that found links between media coverage and parental perceptions of child abductions, advancing the literature on exemplification theory. This study advances our understanding of how media coverage can impact public perceptions of crime.

Sharing Values vs. Valuing Shares: A Communication Model a Social-Financial Capital • Paige Odegard; Thomas Gallegos; Chris DeRosier, Colorado State University; Jennifer Folsom, Colorado State University; Elizabeth Tilak, Colorado State University; Nicholas Boehm, Colorado State University; Chelsea Eddington, Colorado State University; Cindy Christen, Colorado State University • Emphasizing the shift in priority placed on social, financial, and professional capital in an era of technological growth, this paper proposes the Communication Model of Social-Financial Capital (CMSFC). The paper discusses the effects of innate and acquired identities, and values on preference for social, financial, and professional capital, which in turn affect preference for social media platforms. Finally, the paper discusses how the model is applicable in realistic settings and suggests next steps for empirical validation.

Understanding antecedents of civic engagement in the age of social media: from the perspective of efficacy beliefs • Siyoung Chung; KyuJin Shim; Soojin Kim, Singapore Management University • This study examines three efficacy beliefs— political self-efficacy, political collective efficacy and knowledge sharing efficacy—as antecedents of social media use and civic engagement. Employing more than one thousand samples in Singapore, we empirically test (a) a conceptual framework that can provide an understanding of the relationship between the three types of efficacy and civic engagement and (b) the underlying mechanism through which the three types of efficacy beliefs affect civic engagement via social media. The findings suggest that the current civic engagement is characterized by excessive use of social media. Also, the study implicates knowledge sharing efficacy was found to play an important role in mediating the relationships between social media and political self-efficacy, political collective efficacy, respectively.

Online Surveillance’s Effect on Support for Other Extraordinary Measures to Prevent Terrorism • Elizabeth Stoycheff; Kunto Wibowo, Wayne State University; Juan Liu, Wayne State University; Kai Xu, Wayne State University • The U.S. National Security Agency argues that online mass surveillance has played a pivotal role in preventing acts of terrorism on U.S. soil since 9/11. But journalists and academics have decried the practice, arguing that the implementation of such extraordinary provisions may lead to a slippery slope. As the first study to investigate empirically the relationship between online surveillance and support for other extraordinary measures to prevent terrorism, we find that perceptions of government monitoring lead to increased support for hawkish foreign policy through value-conflict associations in memory that prompt a suppression of others’ online and offline civil liberties, including rights to free speech and a fair trial. Implications for the privacy-security debate are discussed.

Audiences’ Acts of Authentication: A Conceptual Framework • Edson Tandoc, Nanyang Technological University; Richard Ling, Nanyang Technological University Singapore; Oscar Westlund; Andrew Duffy, Nanyang Technological University Singapore; Debbie Goh, Nanyang Technological University Singapore • Through an analysis of relevant literature and open-ended survey responses from 2,501 Singaporeans, this paper proposes a conceptual framework to understand how individuals authenticate the information they encounter on social media. In broad strokes, we find that individuals rely on both their own judgment of the source and the message, and when this does not adequately provide a definitive answer, they turn to external resources to authenticate news items.

Committed participation or flashes of action? Bursts of attention to climate change on Twitter • Kjerstin Thorson, Michigan State University; Luping Wang, Cornell University • We explore participation in bursts of attention to the climate issue on Twitter over a period of five years. Climate advocacy organizations are increasingly focused on mobilizations of issue publics as a route to pressure policy makers. A large Twitter data set shows that attention to climate on Twitter has been growing over time. However, we find little evidence of a “movement” on Twitter: there are few users who participate in online mobilizations over time.

Is the Tweet Mightier than the Quote? Testing the Relative Contribution of Crowd and Journalist Produced Exemplars on Exemplification Effects • Frank Waddell, University of Florida • What happens when journalist selected quotes conflict with the sentiment of online comments? An experiment (N = 276) was conducted to answer this question using a 3 (quote valence: positive vs. negative vs. no quote control) x 3 (comment valence: positive vs. negative vs. no comment control) design. Results revealed that online comments only affect news evaluations in the presence of positive rather than negative quotes. Implications for exemplification theory and online news are discussed.

Ideological Objectivity or Violated Expectations? Testing the Effects of Machine Attribution on News Evaluation • Frank Waddell, University of Florida • Automation now serves an unprecedented role in the production of news. Many readers possess high expectations of these “robot journalists” as objective and error free. However, does news attributed to machines actually meet these expectations? A one-factor experiment (human source vs. machine source) was conducted to answer this question. News attributed to robots was evaluated less positively than news attributed to humans. Attribution effects were invariant between individuals scoring low and high in anthropomorphic tendency.

Express Yourself during the Election Season: Study on Effects of Seeing Disagreement in Facebook News Feeds • Meredith Wang, Washington State University; Porismita Borah; Samuel Rhodes • The 2016 election was characterized by intense polarization and acrimony not only on the debate stage and television airwaves, but also on social media. Using panel data collected during 2016 U.S. Presidential election from a national sample of young adults, current study tests how opinion climate on social media affect ones’ political expression and participation. Result shows disagreement on Facebook encourages young adults to express themselves and further participate in politics. Implications are discussed.

Won’t you be my (Facebook) neighbor? Community communication effects and neighborhood social networks • Brendan Watson, Michigan State University • This paper examines the effect of neighborhood social context, specifically the degree of racial pluralism, on the number of residents who use Facebook to connect with their local neighborhood association to follow issues affecting their community. Analysis is based on a new “community communication effects” approach, replacing the city-wide analysis of prior studies with an analysis of neighborhood data more likely to influence users of newer, participatory communication platforms. Results suggest more complicated, non-linear effects than theorized by the existing literature. Some degree of neighborhood heterogeneity is necessary to create interest in neighborhood issues and spur mediated as opposed to interpersonal communication among neighbors. But too much heterogeneity is associated with a decline in following neighborhood associations on Facebook. The paper identifies where that tipping point occurs and discusses practical and theoretical implications.

The needle and the damage done: Framing the heroin epidemic in the Cincinnati Enquirer • Erin Willis, University of Colorado – Boulder; Chad Painter, University of Dayton • This case study focuses on the Cincinnati Enquirer’s coverage of the heroin epidemic. The Enquirer started the first heroin beat in 2015, and it could serve as a model for other news organizations. Reporters used combinations of episodic, thematic, public health, and crime and law enforcement frames in their coverage. These news frames are discussed in terms of how individualism-collectivism, geographic location, available resources, and social determinants inform journalistic and societal discussions of the heroin epidemic in terms of solutions instead of responsibility or blame.

Suicide and the Media: How Depictions Shape our Understanding of Why People Die by Suicide • Joyce Wolburg, Marquette University; Shiyu Yang; Daniel Erickson; Allysa Michaelsen • The contagion effect of the media upon suicide is well documented, given that suicide rates tend to increase following heavy news coverage of a death by suicide. However, much less is known about the influence that the media has upon attitudes and beliefs about suicide, particularly our understanding of why people choose to die by suicide and our tendency to lay blame for suicidal acts. Using text analysis, this study identifies and describes seven reoccurring themes across the entertainment media—in both drama and comedy—that address the reasons people die by suicide. Further analysis demonstrates how blame is assigned. Conclusions are drawn regarding the overall social impact, especially on the surviving friends, family, therapists, etc.

MOELLER STUDENT COMPETITION
How U.S. Newspapers Frame Animal Rights Issue: A Content Analysis of News Coverage in U.S. • Minhee Choi; Nanlan Zhang • Analyzing newspaper articles, this study explores how American newspapers have framed the issue of animal rights. Results indicate that news stories were more likely to present animal rights as a legal and policy issue, rather than a political and an economic issue, talking primarily about illegality of animal mistreatment and radicalized animal rights activists. Based upon the notion of frame building, this study also examines some factors that may influence the media’s selective use of frames.

Moeller Student Competition • Framing the Taxpaying-Democratization Link: Evidence from Cross-National Newspaper Data • Volha Kananovich • This study explores the relationship between the nature of the political regime and the framing of the construct of a taxpayer in the national press. Based on a computer-assisted analysis of articles from 87 newspapers in 51 countries, it demonstrates that the less democratic a country is, the more likely it is for the press to frame a taxpayer as a subordinate to the state, by discussing taxpaying in enforcement rather than public spending terms.

Moeller Student Competition • Who is Responsible for Low-Fertility in South Korea? • Won-ki Moon, University of South Carolina; Joon Kim, University of South Carolina, Columbia • This study investigated how South Korean newspapers have presented low fertility, specifically focusing on how newspapers attribute responsibility to society or individuals. Through a content analysis of South Korean newspapers (N = 499), we found that the newspapers were focusing heavily on societal-level causes and solutions when talking about low fertility. Among potential causes of and solutions for low fertility, insufficient government aids and financial incentives were mentioned most often.

STUDENT COMPETITION
Online Conversations during an Emergent Health Threat: A Thematic Analysis of Tweets during Zika Virus Outbreak • Alexander Moe, Texas Tech University; Julie Gerdes, Texas Tech University; Joseph Provencher, Texas Tech University; Efren Gomez, Texas Tech University • “Days after the World Health Organization declared an outbreak of Zika in Brazil a global emergency on February 2, 2016, United States President Barack Obama responded by requesting over $1.8 billion in Zika research and prevention funds from Congress. This event put the under-researched disease on the radar of American citizens. The present study examines a set of over 70,000 public Tweets during the days surrounding Obama’s request to understand how Twitter users in the States made sense of the emerging infectious disease.

Understanding why American Christians are intolerant toward Muslims: Christian nationalism and partisan media selection • Kwansik Mun • This paper seeks to explain the formation of political intolerance by reviewing theoretical arguments on Christian nationalism and selective exposure theories. Our analysis confirms the significant relationship between Christian nationalism and ideological news selection, and the mediated effect of ideological news media on both perceived threats and political intolerance toward Muslims.

The “Primed” Third-Person Effect of Racial Minority Portrayals in Media • Jiyoun Suk, University of Wisconsin-Madison • This study explores how priming of different levels of media effects (either strong or weak) influences the third-person effect of media portrayals of African Americans. Through an online posttest-only control group experiment, results show that priming strong media effects heightened perceived media effects on in-group and out-group others, but not on the self. Also, it was the perceptions of in-group others, after reading the strong media effects message, that led support for media literacy education.

Beyond Passive Audience Members: Online Public Opinions in Transitional Society • yafei Zhang, The University of Iowa; Chuqing Dong • This study examined audience members’ online comments of a popular TV news program featuring controversial social issues in the contemporary Chinese society. Findings suggested that audience members expressed more negative comments, substantial cognitive recognition, and constructive suggestions towards the government, elite class, and media. The pluralistic and legitimate public opinions expanded the literature on online public discourse in transitional societies. Audience members as citizens in the formation of public spheres were also discussed.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Magazine 2017 Abstracts

Yoga for Every (body)? A Critical Analysis of the Evolution of Yoga Representation across Four Decades in Yoga Journal • Nandini Bhalla, University of South Carolina; Leigh Moscowitz, University of South Carolina • This paper examines 41 covers of Yoga Journal magazine, the most popular magazine for yoga enthusiasts in the U.S., from 1975 to 2016. Using visual and linguist frame analysis of magazine covers, this project critically examines how yoga representations have evolved from a mental discipline to a commercialized form of exercise. Themes of religion, art, exercise, spiritual connection, and (male Indian) expertise were prominent cover displays from the 1970s-1990s. However, in the 2000s, young, white, thin female bodies came to signify the practice of yoga, anchored to hegemonic notions of femininity, displayed on the covers in objectified and commercialized ways. Implications for the perceptions and practice of yoga in U.S. culture and beyond are discussed.

Urban Matters: The Convergence and Contrasts of Journalistic Identity, Organizational Identity, and Community Identity at a City Magazine • Joy Jenkins, University of Missouri • This study examines the perspectives of local journalists through an ethnographic case study of D magazine in Dallas, Texas. The study assesses how staff members discursively construct their journalistic identity within a geographically focused media organization, including the influences of their organizational roles, the company mission, and perceptions of their audience. The study also considers the relationship between journalistic identity and community identity by addressing how staff members describe their publication’s role within Dallas.

Exploring the Concept of Sustainability within the GD USA Magazine • Szilvia Kadas, West Virginia University; Bob Britten, West Virginia University • The American Institute of Graphic Arts (2010) suggested its members take ownership of their ethical obligations and design with societal, environmental, and economical consciousness. However, the graphic design field is lagging in adapting sustainable practices, and there are no sustainable design standards to rely on. This phenomenological research investigates the state of sustainability within a mainstream graphic design trade magazine to understand how sustainable design is communicated to graphic designers.

“The Nation’s Stamp of Approval”: The 1976 Women’s-Magazine Campaign for the ERA • Carolyn Kitch, Temple University; Urszula Pruchniewska, Temple University • In July of 1976, more than three dozen American women’s magazines – reaching 65 million women and ranging in nature from Girl Talk to womenSports – published articles about the Equal Rights Amendment as its ratification deadline approached. Coinciding with the nation’s Bicentennial, their argument enfolded the ERA within a broader discussion of democracy. This study offers textual and contextual analysis of this editorial campaign, which challenges conventional historiography of the relationship between women’s media and feminism.

Profiting from Gender Consumption: Examining the Historic Precedents of Lucky magazine • Gigi McNamara, University of Toledo • Lucky magazine, a once profitable title in the glossy world of fashion magazines, published from 2000-2015. A celebration of shopping and style, Lucky magazine occupied a specific space in the cluttered world of publishing. But what are the historical precedents and economic incentives for such a magazine? And how has Lucky not only embraced, but arguably been a forerunner of, magazines’ movement into the digital age and the revenue possibilities there? I will first briefly survey a history of consumer culture and magazines targeted to women’s consumption, and set up provide a broad overview of the Condé Nast publishing empire and Lucky magazine. To place Lucky in the modern magazine and advertising context, I will outline and discuss mission statements, press releases, media kits and rate cards, available financial data and information/interviews from trade journal articles. In addition, this article will focus on the political economy of Lucky by addressing the Lucky magazine demographic, circulation figures, advertising revenue and publishing history. Using the research methodology of close textual analysis and drawing on the theoretical framework of commodity feminism (Goldman, Heath and Smith, 1991); and postfeminsim (McRobbie, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009), this article will contextualize the contributions of Lucky magazine.

Queer Feminisms in the Chicago DIY Zine Community • Chelsea Reynolds, California State University – Fullerton • Self-published zines offer a forum for marginalized people to express themselves. They are self-representational magazine media that are easy to produce and inexpensive to disseminate. Although zines have been examined by scholars of feminist and queer theory, little research on zines has been conducted within the field of mass communication. This paper theorizes zine production and zinester identity within sociology of news and cultural studies frameworks, drawing on interviews conducted with eight LGBTQ and feminist-identified zine-makers living in Chicago.

“As Long As I Find Myself Adequate”: Effects of Exposure to Fashion, Celebrity, and Fitness Magazines on Disordered Eating • Shelby Weber; Miglena Sternadori, Texas Tech University • This study explored the relationship between the use of fashion, celebrity, and fitness magazines and eating disorder symptomology. One-hundred-and seven undergraduate students (62 female) at a Midwestern university participated in a quasi-experiment that asked them to evaluate images of underweight and normal-weight individuals. The participants also completed a questionnaire about their eating and exercise behaviors. Exposure to fitness, celebrity, and fashion magazines was positively related, at a statistically significant level, to distorted perceptions of normal weight and self-reported binge eating.

Love Your Mother: How the 1970s Launch of a News Magazine Defines Environmental Journalism • Carol Terracina-Hartman, Michigan State University • “This study examines the history of environmental news as it appeared in the inaugural editions of Mother Jones magazine 1976 — 1981. Launched during an era of environmental protection, this newsmagazine aligned civil rights, hazards, and justice in its definition of environmental news, suggesting that while mainstream media was flocking to cover newly minted environmental protection agencies and their failure to meet standards, Mother Jones writers were covering the corporations and the power the executives wielded then and now through deals, illegal trade, and often illegal experiments. The method was historical analysis of content, examining topics, bylines, funding, article placement, and treatment. Additional analysis examines sources throughout the entire dataset of articles as well as source usage by topic. Results indicate corporations not politicians are identified as power wielders and are the focus of much investigative articles. Results are precedent-setting and agree with prior literature on source usage in environmental journalism, but are inconsistent with research on environmental journalism that follows in mainstream media: dominating topics include “extreme hazard” and “food safety” with “citizen” and “government scientist” top sources. Graphics accompany 78% of content, with at least one photo or illustration. Nearly 70 percent of articles were cover stories or Front Lines (news briefs). Mainstream press initiated environment reporting five years later, but content analysis studies show the dominant frames or themes emphasize the capital value of nature and conservation in reporting and less emphasis on civil rights or justice.

On the Cover of the Rollin’ Stone: How Rolling Stone Magazine Frames Politics and News • Ashley Walter, Duquesne University • The Rolling Stone magazine is a significant artifact spanning throughout American pop culture; yet it has fought to be considered a legitimate news source in American media. This paper examines how Rolling Stone frames news and politics, and how the magazine portrays itself as being political, through its front covers. Research has shown that magazine covers “communicate,” “visually summarize” and work “as an advertisement to attract customers” (Kang & Heo, 2013). The purpose of this study is to examine how Rolling Stone presents itself as a legitimate news source and interrogates how its covers convey the publication’s identity. A mixed-methods content analysis was used to analyze both front cover artwork and front cover text. This research reveals how magazines can use their covers to establish legitimacy in American media.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender & Queer 2017 Abstracts

Is Ellen DeGeneres a “DeGenerate?” How public support for same-sex marriage dictated news coverage of the TV’s first out lesbian • Cory Armstrong, University of Alabama; Jue Hou, Universtiy of Alabama; Kylie McLeod, University of Alabama • This study examines media treatment of Ellen DeGeneres over a 26-year period, focusing on how she served as a surrogate for the same-sex marriage debate during that time. The study suggests that coverage of DeGeneres followed a similar path to that of a protest group, challenging the status quo, and therefore, suffering critical and negative treatment from media. Findings indicated that even after common gender-related variables, such as female sources and mentions, were controlled, the major contributing variable was the level of public support for same-sex marriage. Implications for both protest-related literature and scholarship on public opinion were discussed.

Families in transition: News coverage of transgender lives and issues within a family context • Rhonda Gibson; Deborah Dwyer, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, AEJMC Member • This study involves a two-part content analysis featuring both quantitative and qualitative/critical analysis of news coverage of transgender issues from a family context. All news articles (N=91) from The New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal from 2002-2016 that addressed transgender lives and issues within a specific family-related context were analyzed using the theoretical frameworks of social constructionism and framing. After examining the topics, sources, and frames, researchers concluded that news coverage has increased over time in terms of quantity and reliance on transgender sources to tell their own stories. However, consideration of issues of gender identity, gender-role negotiation, and family structure remain superficial.

The Bathroom Boogeyman: A Qualitative Analysis of How the Houston Chronicle Framed the Equal Rights Ordinance • Shane Graber • In 2015, Houston, Texas voters defeated a bill that would have expanded civil rights to previously unprotected groups, including transgender people. Using a framing analysis, this paper investigates how the city’s daily newspaper, the Houston Chronicle, covered the debate over the bill. As such, this study identified four main news frames: (a) an LGBT frame; (b) a Red Tape frame; (c) a Religious Freedom frame; and (d) a Bathroom Boogeyman frame. Together they aligned to form a daunting challenge to an effort to protect one of society’s most vulnerable groups: the transgender community.

‘It’s like birth control for HIV’: Communication and stigma for gay men on PrEP • Joseph Schwartz; Josh Grimm • This study examines the role of communication during the process of adopting pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP), focusing on how they learned about PrEP, how they discussed adoption with healthcare providers, and encountering stigma on social networks. Findings showed that participants rarely learned about PrEP from traditional news outlets, commonly experienced stigmatization by their healthcare providers, and encountered stigma in a variety of forms online. Given these results, strategies are suggested for improving gay men’s healthcare.

Performing the Host: A Textual Analysis of Lesbian Representation in The Ellen DeGeneres Show • Jasmina Lee • Ellen DeGeneres made headlines when she publicly came out on television in 1998, but her career quickly toppled under the weight of the heterosexual-dominated industry. Today, Ellen celebrates her enduring yet wholly unanticipated comeback as the lead of the longtime running daytime talk show The Ellen DeGeneres Show. By analyzing the show’s visual content and written material, this paper argues that the show appeals to its target audience of women and children in order to maintain the popularity and positive regard of its host both on and off the air. It concludes with the assertion that although the show is often criticized and largely heteronormative in its representation of its host’s identity, it ultimately serves as a vehicle for positive social change.

How Narrative Focus of Mediated Homosexual-Heterosexual Intergroup Conflict Affects Prejudice Reduction: A Priming Approach • Minjie Li, Louisiana State University • Intergroup attitude change can occur when people are exposed to media depiction of outgroup members. However, there is little reach on how media depiction of the group conflict between ingroup and outgroup characters might influence people’s intergroup attitudes. The present study examines how television narrative focus of homosexual-heterosexual intergroup conflict primes people’s implicit and explicit attitudes towards the gay outgroup, attitudes towards same-sex family, and social dominance orientation. The findings demonstrate that the attitudes towards the gay outgroup are different from the ones towards gay marriage after exposure. Attitudes towards gay people and social dominance orientation varied depending on the narrative focus.

“You gay, bro?”: Representing the adolescent coming out narrative in The Real O’Neals • Miles Sari, Washington State University • Through the lens of rhetorical narrative theory, this paper will examine the representation of the coming out narrative of 16-year-old Kenny O’Neal, the main character in the ABC sitcom, The Real O’Neals. In particular, this paper will consider the ways in which the thirteen episodes of the first season — under the guise of authenticity — construct queer youth identity and culture, especially in relation to class, race, and gender. Additionally, this paper will offer a critique of how such representation frames a problematic, palatable narrative of the adolescent coming out experience that trivializes the struggles of queer youth to find community and acceptance in a heteronormative society. To situate this mediation of the adolescent coming out narrative within a broader cultural context, this paper will also analyze the discourses with which various news media have critiqued the show’s representation of queer subjectivity on major cable network television.

The “Dangle” Angle: Examining Incivility in Online Discourse About Transgender Rights • Kelsey Whipple, University of Texas at Austin • This study gauges incivility in online discourse and the factors that contribute to it through a content analysis and textual analysis of comments published underneath articles about transgender rights, an important and polarizing political issue. Results uncovered an overwhelming rate of incivility in the comments, with clear ties between incivility and quotes of transgender people, among other factors. This study contributes to research about incivility, deliberation and the public perception of the trans community.

2017 ABSTRACTS

Law and Policy 2017 Abstracts

OPEN COMPETITION
‘Famous in a Small Town’: Indeterminacy and Doctrinal Confusion in Micro Public Figure Doctrine • Matthew Bunker, University of Alabama • The determination of which defamation plaintiffs are public figures is frequently outcome-determinative in libel litigation. Yet courts are wildly inconsistent in their rulings on what this paper refers to as micro public figures – individuals who have achieved notoriety within a small geographic area or within a particular cultural niche. Should such plaintiffs be characterized as all-purpose public figures? This paper analyzes the case law and offers a more precise approach to this problem.

Gag Clauses and the Right to Gripe: The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016 • Clay Calvert, University of Florida • This paper examines new legislation, including the federal Consumer Review Fairness Act signed into law in December 2016, targeting non-disparagement clauses in consumer contracts. Such “gag clauses” typically either prohibit or punish the posting of negative reviews of businesses on websites such as Yelp and TripAdvisor. The paper asserts that state and federal statutes provide the best means, from a pro-free expression perspective, of attacking such clauses, given the disturbingly real possibility that the First Amendment has no bearing on contractual obligations between private parties.

Social Media Under Watch: Privacy, Free Speech, and Self-Censorship in Public Universities • Shao Chengyuan • This study examines social media monitoring in the case of two large Southeast public universities. One university has been using a social media monitoring program for years; the other has not adopted this new form of monitoring technology. In this survey, students were asked about their perception and acceptance of monitoring from the university, their concern for online privacy, support for online free speech, and experience with cyberbullying. This study explores the relationships among attitude toward online privacy and online free speech, perception and acceptance of monitoring, and willingness to self-censor when speaking on social media. The correlation analysis showed that the more one is concerned about online privacy and supports online free speech, the less likely that person would regard social media monitoring as acceptable. While those who were more concerned about online privacy were more likely to self-censor, those who were more supportive of online free speech were less likely to self-censor. Most important, this survey found that perception of monitoring was not positively correlated with self-censorship, which goes against the assumption that awareness of surveillance from an authority would cause self-censorship. In addition, this study found that, while 85 percent of the surveyed students use social media on daily basis, more than 60 percent were not greatly concerned about social media monitoring from the university and the government. Implications for studies on social media monitoring and direction for future research are discussed.

Don’t Bother: How Exemption 3 of the Freedom of Information Act Enables an Irrebuttable Presumption of Surveillance Secrecy • Benjamin W. Cramer, Pennsylvania State University • The Freedom of Information Act of 1966 (FOIA) gives American citizens a legally-protected procedure to request documents from federal agencies in the Executive Branch and to appeal denied requests. However, the Act acknowledges that some government-held information should remain undisclosed for purposes of safety or security, so the act has exemptions mandating that certain categories of information can be withheld. Exemption 3 states that a federal agency can withhold a document that has already been deemed non-disclosable in a different statute. Exemption 3 is often used by agencies that are involved in traditional national security practices and the controversial modern techniques of pervasive electronic surveillance, as justification for keeping information on those practices secret. This is possible because there are many other statutes in the security field that already allow those types of documents to be withheld in the event of a citizen request, and FOIA Exemption 3 does not allow flexibility in how those statutes are interpreted. This has allowed agencies to exercise greater discretion toward information that they do not wish to disclose to citizens, while the judiciary has almost uniformly deferred to agency discretion. This article will argue that Exemption 3 has inadvertently made the security and surveillance establishment more secretive, creating a nearly irrebuttable presumption that documents must not be disclosed to citizens or journalists.

Who Should Regulate? Testing the Influence of Policy Sources on Support for Regulations on Controversial Media • Kyla Garrett Wagner, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; Allison Lazard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill • Policy research has explored the relationship between perceived effects of controversial media exposure and support for regulations on controversial media, but it has yet to examine how the source of these regulations impacts support. Therefore, this study used a between-subjects experiment to explore how sources of media policies (government vs. industry) influence support for a media policy. Two policy were used: one on pornography and one on violent video games. Other potential predictors of policy support (source credibility, attitudes, and beliefs) were also assessed. We found that while the source of a media policy did not influence support for a media policy, perceived credibility of the policy source and personal beliefs and attitudes about the controversial media were significant predictors of support for a media policy. However, these variables influenced support for the two media policies differently. This study suggests 1) policymakers should assess regulations on controversial media individually to understand what will gain social support for a policy, and 2) future research is needed to explain the differences in these variables across media policies.

Depictions of Obscene Content: How Internet Culture and Art Communities Can Influence Federal Obscenity Law • Austin Linfante, Ohio University • A recent decision by the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa, United States v. Handley (S.D. Iowa 2008), complicates how current obscenity law (notably the PROTECT Act of 2003) can prosecute depictions of obscene content. These would include any sort of artwork or simulation that simulates or uses fictional characters to depict otherwise obscene material without using or harming any real-life living beings. This paper will first look at previous court cases, laws and academic literature to determine how obscene content as well as depictions of obscene content have been ruled in the past in terms of whether or not they are protected speech. This will also include examining how online art communities such as DeviantArt and FurAffinity police themselves when it comes to this type of content. There will also be a discussion about how specific types of obscene content like child pornography and bestiality affect a viewer’s likelihood to commit sex crimes themselves. Afterwards, this paper will present the case behind expanding current federal law on obscene content to include depictions of this type of obscene behavior. These model laws will all be based on how large art communities currently police this kind of content. This should ultimately lead to preventing future sex crimes against children and animals as well as provide effective obscenity law.

A Gap in the Shield? Reporter’s Privilege in Civil Defamation Lawsuits 2005-2016 • Meghan Menard-McCune, LSU • The purpose of this study is to determine how state courts and legislatures have addressed reporter’s privilege in civil defamation cases. After an analysis of court cases in six states, the study found three issues relating to reporter’s privilege that the courts addressed: 1) The state shield law’s definitions of news and news media 2) The waiver of the shield law and the protection of unpublished material 3) The shield law’s defamation exception.

“Oligopoly of the Facts”? Media Ownership of News Images • Kathleen Olson, Lehigh University • This paper examines the use of the idea/expression dichotomy, the fair use doctrine and the First Amendment in cases involving news organizations suing for copyright infringement over the use of their news images, including photographs, film and video footage.

Voting Booth or Photo Booth?: Ballot Selfies and Newsgathering Protection for User-Generated Content • Kristen Patrow • This paper addresses whether ballot selfies qualify for First Amendment protection. The analysis includes both newsgathering and speech claims. Snapchat filed an amicus brief in the First Circuit case, Rideout v. Gardner. The work concentrates on Snapchat’s contention that user-generated work is newsgathering activity. The paper reviews cases on newsgathering during elections and the voting process. The analysis shows that ballot selfies are best understood as a hybrid of speech and access rights.

Say this, not that: government regulation and control of social media • Nina Brown, Syracuse University/Newhouse; jon peters • Internet law and policy discussions are converging on the problem of fake news and the idea that “the private sector has a shared responsibility to help safeguard free expression.” They have also raised the possibility of federal government intervention. This article advances those discussions by exploring what Congress could do to enact legislation requiring social media platforms to remove fake news—and whether that would be prudent. It also explores the First Amendment’s role in the private sector.

The Heat is On: Thermal Sensing and Newsgathering – A Look at the Legal Implications of Modern Newsgathering • Roy Gutterman, Syracuse University; Angela Rulffes, Syracuse University • Thermal imaging technology, which was once used primarily by the military, has made its way into the civilian world. Journalists have already begun making use of the technology, and as that use becomes more prevalent concerns about legal issues also arise. This paper, relying on tort privacy cases, Fourth Amendment case law, and theoretical conceptualizations of privacy, provides an in-depth examination of the legal implications surrounding the use of thermal imaging devices for newsgathering.

Lock or Key: Does FOIA Sufficiently Open the Right to Information? • Tyler Prime, Arizona State University; Joseph Russomanno, Arizona State University • A year after the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Freedom of Information Act was observed, criticism of – and disappointment in – the law is significant. Though written with the strong guidance of journalists, FOIA, according to many, has failed to live up to its initial promise of peeling back the layers that too often shroud the federal government in secrecy, and allowing the news media and other citizens to contribute first-hand to the democracy. The United States was only the third nation to pass such a law, but during the half-century since then, the nation has slipped to 51st among world nations by one measure in right to information. FOIA is much to blame. Issues with response rates, unorganized systems and subjective interpretations of the act and its exemptions have combined to lock information from public access rather than acting as the key it was intended to be. This paper utilizes data from annual federal agency FOIA reports to the attorney general from 2008 to 2015. This information indicates that across multiple metrics, FOIA has increasingly struggled to fulfill and often failed to provide records to requesting parties. The trends revealed suggest that significant overhaul is necessary. Rather than prescribing another round of amendments that are little more than Band-Aids on a withering dinosaur, this paper concludes with a detailed set of recommendations – highlighted by a crowd-sourced request database – that move far from FOIA’s original paper-based model that still rests at its analog core.

The Protection of Privacy in the Middle East – A Complicated Landscape • Amy Kristin Sanders, Northwestern University in Qatar • “throughout the Middle East – erroneously viewed by many outsiders as a homogenous region steeped in conservative Islamic culture – the legal landscape varies dramatically with regard to privacy. This article discusses the many influences that have shaped the legal culture throughout the region, which has drawn inspiration from the British Common Law approach, the European Civil Law heritage and centuries of Islamic thought. The result is unique legal environment that blends together traditional religious values, the impact of decades of colonialism and the recent effects of global interconnectedness as a result of the Internet and social media. Not surprisingly then, the legal framework surrounding the protection of privacy is intricate. It would be much easier to allude to the Middle East in sweeping generalizations, dividing it simply into the Levant countries on the western side and the Gulf countries on the eastern shore. But, that approach fails to address the peculiarities that exist from country to country. Although space constraints require painting with a broad brush, this article endeavors to shed light whenever possible on the region’s similarities and differences by using specific examples from countries. Recognizing the enormous undertaking that would be necessary to catalog each and every law pertaining to privacy across 14 nations, this article instead lays out a comparative framework – highlighting the influences of the common law and civil law traditions on the legal framework throughout the Middle East. It provides a high-level overview of privacy law as it exists throughout the Middle East – comparing various sources of law from Bahrain, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen. In addition, a substantive case study highlights important recent developments and helps foreshadow coming trends in the region.”

Killer Apps: Vanishing messages, encrypted communications, and the challenges to freedom of information laws • Daxton Stewart, TCU • In the early weeks of the new presidential administration, White House staffers were communicating among themselves and leaking to journalists using apps such as Signal and Confide, which allow users to encrypt messages or to make them vanish after being received. By using these apps, government officials are “going dark” by avoiding detection of their communications in a way that undercuts freedom of information laws. In this paper, the author explores the challenges presented by encrypted and ephemeral messaging apps when used by government employees, examining three policy approaches — banning use of the apps, enhancing existing archiving and record-keeping practices, or legislatively expanding quasi-government body definitions — as potential ways to manage the threat to open records laws these “killer apps” present.

Knowledge Will Set You Free (from Censorship): Examining the Effects of Legal Knowledge and Other Editor Characteristics on Censorship and Compliance in College Media • Lindsie Trego, UNC-Chapel HIll • Issues of censorship in higher education have lately been common in the news, however it is unclear to what degree college newspapers experience external influences. This study uses an online survey of public college newspaper editors to examine specific censorship practices experienced by newspaper editors at public colleges, as well as editor compliance with these practices. Further, this study explores how personal characteristics of editors might influence perceptions of and compliance with censorship practices.

First Amendment Metaphors: From “Marketplace” to “Free Flow of Information” • Morgan Weiland, Stanford University • As cognitive linguist George Lakoff has shown, metaphors play a central role in structuring what humans understand as possible. In the First Amendment context, the central organizing metaphor for how judges, scholars, and the public understand the freedom of expression is as a “marketplace.” But little scholarly attention has been paid to a second metaphor that animates the Supreme Court’s thinking about expressive freedoms: the “free flow of information.” This paper’s project and contribution is to recover the free flow metaphor in the Court’s First Amendment doctrine, spanning over 40 opinions dating to the 1940s. This paper reviews every First Amendment opinion in which the Court used the metaphor, finding that the metaphor, by providing a new architecture that structures—and limits—how it is possible to think about who or what counts as a speaker, what qualifies as speech, what the proper role for the press is, and what role the state can play in the expressive environment, undergirds the Court’s development of libertarian theories of speech and the press. Understanding the free flow metaphor’s conceptual structure matters not only because it reveals a shift in the deeper logic of rights and responsibility undergirding the freedoms of expression, a perspective unavailable when looking at the doctrine through the marketplace metaphor’s lens. It also provides a better framework for understanding and fixing the contemporary expressive environment online because some of the most pressing social problems—cyberbullying and fake news—make more sense when assessed through the free flow metaphor’s framework.

Fake News and the First Amendment: Reconciling a Disconnect Between Theory and Doctrine • Sebastian Zarate, University of Florida; Austin Vining, University of Florida; Stephanie McNeff, University of Florida • This paper analyzes calls for regulating so-called “fake news” through the lens of both traditional theories of free expression – namely, the marketplace of ideas and democratic self-governance – and two well-established First Amendment doctrines, strict scrutiny and underinclusivity. The paper argues there is, at first glance, a seeming disconnect between theory and doctrine when it comes to either censoring or safeguarding fake news. The paper contends, however, that a structural-rights interpretation of the First Amendment offers a viable means of reconciling theory and doctrine. A structural-rights approach focuses on the dangers of collective power in defining the truth, rather than on the benefits that messages provide to society or individuals. Ultimately, a structural-rights interpretation illustrates why, at the level of free-speech theory, the government must not censor fake news.

DEBUT FACULTY PAPER COMPETITION
Half the Spectrum: A Title IX Approach to Broadcast Ownership Regulation • Caitlin Carlson, Seattle University • Women make up half of the U.S. population yet own less than eight percent of commercial television and radio broadcast licenses. This is incredibly problematic given the important role women’s media production and ownership plays in the feminist movement. Mass media set the agenda for public debate, frames issues, and primes viewers with the frameworks they should use to evaluate those issues. Women’s greater participation at ownership levels would enable women to speak publicly about their experience, which could substantially alter the agenda set by mass media or shift the frames used to interpret current events. For its part, the FCC has been trying for the past 40 years to address the absence of women and people of color from media ownership. However, in 2016 the Commission rejected race- or gender-based considerations in favor of privileging independent media organizations as the most effective way to achieve viewpoint diversity. Given the failure of the FCC to fix the problem, I argue here that a radical new approach is needed. Using Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 a guide, I propose that legislation be developed that prohibits denying members of either sex the chance to participate in broadcast media organizations, which like educational institutions, receive financial benefits from the federal government. Here, I liken broadcast licenses to federal funds and propose that failure to comply with this anti-discrimination policy could result in license removal.

China’s personal information protection in a data-driven economy: A privacy policy study of Alibaba, Baidu and Tencent • Tao Fu • China’s Internet companies are expanding their businesses at home and abroad with huge consumer data at hand. However, in the global data-driven economic and technological competition, China’s personal information protection is behind that of the West. By content analyzing the online privacy policies of leading Chinese Internet and information service providers (IISPs) – Alibaba, Baidu, and Tencent, this study found their privacy policies to be generally compliant with China’s personal information protection provisions. The three IISPs used proper mechanisms showing their commitment, measures, and enforcement to data security but their Fair Information Practices need further improvement. The ecosystem of personal information protection in China is severe and users need privacy literacy. Privacy policies in this study offer more about ‘notice’ than they do ‘choice’. Chinese IISPs collect and use information extensively in the guise of providing value to the user. Societal mechanisms such as joining a third-party, seal-of-approval program and technological mechanisms such as using a standardized format for privacy policies have not been widely sought by Chinese IISPs. Lagging behind their global acquisition and operation, Chinese IISPs’ efforts in personal information protection have given insufficient consideration to transborder data flow, and to change of ownership. Recommendations were offered.

Reforming the Lifeline Program: Regulatory Federalism in Action? • Krishna Jayakar; EUN-A PARK, Institute for Information Policy at Pennsylvania State University • This paper considers whether common national standards for determining participants’ eligibility and designating service providers in the Lifeline program are preferable to a decentralized system where state utility commissions have greater influence over these program parameters. Two recent decisions of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a 2016 Order and its reversal in March 2017, on the designation of Eligible Telecommunications Carriers to provide broadband Lifeline service, centered on this question. Statistical analysis of program data demonstrates that state-by-state variations in enrollment may be attributed to state-level policy actions, after controlling for alternative demographic and economic explanations. On the premise that state-by-state variations in participation rates in a federal program are unfair because they burden consumers solely based on their location, this paper concludes in favor of national standards.

The Medium is the Message: Digital Aesthetics and Publicity Interests in Interactive Media • Michael Park, Syracuse University • Recent application of the right of the publicity doctrine to interactive media has led to inconsistent rulings and uncertainty to the doctrine’s scope, when pitted against First Amendment considerations. These recent court decisions have inadequately explained the disparate application, and this uneven application of legal principles raises serious free speech concerns for expressive activities with other emerging interactive media platforms such as virtual reality. However, these recent decisions have unveiled discernible principles that help explain the disparate approach of the right of publicity doctrine to new interactive media. This article articulates the assumptions guiding the disparate application of the doctrine. This article begins with a historical overview of the right of publicity doctrine and the various approaches adopted by the courts. It will then focus its attention on the transformative work test and address the recent analytical pivot—from a holistic examination of the work to a myopic focus on the individual avatar—by employing a natural rights theory argument to explain the courts’ narrow approach to transformativity. Furthermore, this paper makes the case that the courts’ discordant doctrinal treatment of interactive games is premised in the misplaced notion that the medium lacks artistry and authorial signature (i.e. interactive games are not art, but rather craft). Finally, this work advances the argument that while today’s interactive games present rich historical and pedagogical content, courts have failed to adequately apply common law and statutory exemptions that include not only news, but works of fiction, entertainment, public affairs and sports accounts.

The Privilege That Never Was: The Curious Case of Texas’ Third-Party Allegation Rule • Kenneth Pybus, Abilene Christian University; Allison Brown, Abilene Christian University • Beginning in 1990, the year the Supreme Court of Texas decided McIlvain v. Jacobs, journalists and media lawyers alike operated under the belief that news outlets in Texas had a powerful protection against libel lawsuits when reporting third-party allegations about matters of public concern. Relying on McIlvain, appeals courts cited the “third-party allegation rule” time and again when finding in favor of media defendants. But, after more than two decades, the Supreme Court threw the state’s libel jurisprudence into discord by ruling in 2013 that the third-party allegation rule didn’t exist in common law and, in fact, never had existed. A corrected opinion withdrew some repudiatory language but introduced more ambiguity. The Texas Legislature responded to this abrupt about-face in the summer of 2015 by crafting and passing an apparently sweeping statutory third-party allegation privilege that restores the protections journalists believed they had in such cases. Little legal scholarship has examined the circuitous history of this privilege and its powerful potential for limiting libel claims against media.

Beyond “I Agree:” Users’ Understanding of Web Site Terms of Service • Eric Robinson, University of South Carolina; Yicheng Zhu, University of South Carolina • With the ubiquitous use of websites and social media, the terms of service of these sites have increasing influence on users’ legal rights and responsilibities when using these sites. But various studies have shown that users rarely review these terms of service, usually because they are too much trouble and are often are too complex for most users to understand; one proposed solution is simplification of the language of these documents. Our experiment took advantage of a major website’s revision of its terms of service to reduce legal jargon and make them more understandable to determine whether the changes resulted in language that more effectively conveyed the intended meanings. But our results show that such changes are likely to have minimal effect, and that users generally based on understanding of what is permitted and not permitted on websites with their preconceived notions. Based on this finding, we present some proposals to address this issue.

Revisiting copyright theories: Democratic culture and the resale of digital goods • Yoonmo Sang, Howard University • This study surveys theoretical justifications for copyright and considers the implications of the notion of cultural democracy for copyright law and policy. In doing so, the study focuses on the first sale doctrine and advocates the doctrine’s expansion to digital goods after discussing policy implications of the first sale doctrine. Arguments for and against a digital first sale doctrine are followed. The study argues that democratic copyright theories, in general, and the notion of cultural democracy, in particular, can and should guide copyright reforms in conjunction with a digital first sale doctrine. This study contributes to the growing discussion of democratic theories of copyright by demonstrating their applicability to copyright policy and doctrine.

A Secret Police: The Lasting Impact of the 1986 FOIA Amendments • A.Jay Wagner, Bradley University • The 1986 amendments to the Freedom of Information Act were a passed as a last-minute rider to the Anti-Drug Abuse Act, the Reagan era legislative contribution to the War on Drugs policies. The amendments though small in number and limited in congressional discussion have made a lasting impact on FOIA implementation. The three pieces – a broad restructuring of Exemption 7, the law enforcement exemption; the addition of exclusions for law enforcement and intelligence requests; and introduction of a new fee structure – were aimed at addressing concerns from the law enforcement and intelligence communities and in-line with the general aims of the Anti-Drug Abuse in providing law enforcement more tools and less scrutiny in combating illicit drug production, sale and use. The paper looks to consider the amendment along two tracks. In the tradition of legal scholarship, preceding legislative efforts, judicial decision and executive messaging are pursued in an effort to understand motives and purpose of the amendment. The second track uses a dataset of cabinet-level department FOIA annual reports figures from 1975 until 2016 in exploring the ways the FOIA has been used and administered. The dataset gleaned from more than 550 annual reports traces the ways the 1986 amendment altered civic access to information on policing and national security. Presently, Exemption 7 accounts for 57 percent of all exemption claims and “no records” responses – a direct outcome of exclusions – account for the closure of 15 percent of all records processed and demonstrate massive growth after the amendment. The study demonstrates how the 1986 FOIA Reform Act has undermined the public’s ability to provide oversight of law enforcement.

Essential or Extravagant: Considering FOIA Budgets, Costs & Fees • A.Jay Wagner, Bradley University • The budgets, costs and fees of the Freedom of Information Act represent the financial lifeblood of the access mechanism but are rarely considered in scholarship. This study considers these elements of FOIA administration through a combination of traditional legal scholarship and a database composed of more than 500 FOIA annual reports, compiling 93 percent of all cabinet-level department annual reports from 1975 until present. In exploring the legislative and judicial trajectory of the costs and fees of FOIA implementation, including the illustrative Open America decision and its recognition of a lack of resources as an acceptable rationale for delay, the study questions the sincerity of FOIA administration. Lack of resources has existed as a legal claim for delay since the 1976 Open America decision, yet no statutory progress has been made since. FOIA – a galling obligation for most federal agencies – is required to compete for funding with other agency priorities among the general agency budget. There is no legislative requirement nor guideline in how FOIA is funded, and as a result, FOIA funding is remarkably low (all while the federal government countenances resource excuses). Analysis of FOIA annual report data uncovers little in the way of consistent or coherent system in costs accrued, fees collected, staffing measures and general usage data. The study aims to take a small step in asking big questions about how and why FOIA is financed in the manner it is, and, further, whether such lack of funding and oversight demonstrates insincerity on the government’s part.

State-level Policies for Personal Financial Disclosure: Exploring the Potential for Public Engagement on Conflict-of-Interest Issues • John Wihbey, Northeastern University; Mike Beaudet, Northeastern University • This paper examines personal financial disclosure practices required for public officials across U.S. states and finds that more than 80 percent of states rate poorly when evaluated on a set of objective criteria. A “disclosure degree” score is calculated for each state; these scores are then brought together with a related set of measures to evaluate transparency more broadly for public officials in each state. Levels of public corruption in each state are also considered. For financial disclosure to be meaningful, we argue, three interconnected areas must be evaluated: First, the precision of the information required by law to be disclosed; second, the degree of openness and relevance of information toward the detection of conflicts of interest; third, the degree to which institutional monitors – prosecutors, news media, ethics commissions – can generate public knowledge.

2017 ABSTRACTS