Research and Insights

AEJMC 2017

Below are abstracts of papers by CJC faculty and students presented at the 2017 Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication Annual Conference.

Assimilation or consternation? U.S. Latinos’ perceptions of trust in relation to media and other factors.

Authors: Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida; Ginger Blackstone, Harding University;

Abstract: 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.

Exploring Cross-Platform Engagement in an Online-Offline Video Market

Author: Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Lisa-Charlotte Wolter, Hamburg Media School

Abstract: 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

The Making of Social Sports Fans: Factors Affecting Sports Consumption on Social Media

Author: Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida; Min Xiao; Lisa-Charlotte Wolter, Hamburg Media School

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

Gag Clauses and the Right to Gripe: The Consumer Review Fairness Act of 2016

Author: Clay Calvert, Florida

Abstract: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.

Award: Second Place Faculty Paper, Law & Policy Division

Latino News Media Engagement, Opinion, and Political Participation

Author: Amy Jo Coffey, University of Florida; Ginger Blackstone, Harding University

Abstract: 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.

Blowing smoke: Uncovering and addressing college students perceptions, use and knowledge of e-cigarettes

Authors: Debbie Treise, University of Florida; Summer Shelton, University of Florida; Nicki Karimipour; Vaughan James, University of Florida

Abstract: Electronic cigarette use is rising dramatically among young people, and advertising is thought to be one of the contributors to those increases. This study employed focus groups and in-depth interviews to determine user and potential user knowledge of product ingredients, risk assessments and uses. Findings showed a general lack of understanding, creative uses for the devices and an emerging community of vapers. Recommendations for PSA informational campaigns and future research are discussed.

The Duality of Traits and Goals: An Examination of the Interplay between Consumer Personality and Regulatory Focus in Predicting Consumer Responses to Social Media Ads

Author: Naa Amponsah Dodoo; Cynthia Morton, Florida

Awards: wadfirst place research paper/IJA Best Research Paper Award in the Advertising Division

Abstract: Along with the growth of social media has been an equal rise of social media advertising. Although personalized advertising appears to be on the rise particularly in social media, the psychological determinants of consumer responses to social media ads still warrant further inquiry. Building on three research streams, this study investigated the effect of consumer personality traits, regulatory focus and product appeal on consumer responses to social media ads. Specifically, this study assessed whether extraversion and conscientiousness functioned to influence how consumers respond to social media ads that employed message strategies highlighting regulatory focus (promotion vs. prevention) and product appeal (hedonic vs. utilitarian). Experimental results indicate the main effects of personality traits on responses to social media ads. Furthermore, interaction effects were found which indicated that consumers who scored higher in extraversion were more likely to prefer prevention focus messages combined with a utilitarian product appeal relative to eWOM and purchase intention, in contrast to the proposed findings. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Influencers with #NoFilter: How Micro-Celebrities Use Self-Branding Practices on Instagram

Author: Eunice Kim, University of Florida; Casey McDonald, University of Florida

Abstract: The growth and popularity of user-generated content has created as a new form of celebrity known as ‘micro-celebrities.’ Micro-celebrities engage in strategic self-branding practices on social media through use of self-presentation strategies to attract and maintain a fan base. The study uses a content analysis to explore how micro-celebrities use self-presentation strategies (i.e., self-promotion, affiliation, and authenticity) on Instagram. Findings reveal that self-presentation strategies vary by gender and account types of micro-celebrities.

“You Must Be This Anthropomorphic” to Write the News: Machine Attribution Decreases News Credibility and Issue Importance

Author: Frank Waddell, University of Florida

Abstract: Do readers prefer news attributed to human journalists due to the operation of a similarity attraction effect, or is news attributed to “robot journalists” preferred because automation is perceived as objective? An experiment was conducted to answer this question using a 2 (source attribution: human vs. machine) x 2 (robot recall: no recall vs. recall) design. Results reveal that machine attribution decreases news credibility and issue importance via lower source anthropomorphism and higher expectancy violations.

Award:  First Place, Faculty Paper,Communication Theory and Methodology Division

Ideological Objectivity or Violated Expectations? Testing the Effects of Machine Attribution on News Evaluation

Author: Frank Waddell, University of Florida

Abstract: 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.

Is the Tweet Mightier than the Quote? Testing the Relative Contribution of Crowd and Journalist Produced Exemplars on Exemplification Effects

Author: Frank Waddell, University of Florida

Abstract: 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.

Can Inspiring Advertisements Bust the Social Media Blues? The Effect of Inspirational Advertising on Consumer Attitudes and Sharing Intentions

Author: Amanda Bailey, University of Florida; Frank Waddell, University of Florida

Abstract: Social media has become common for advertising, yet research shows that social media use can negatively affect users’ mood. How can advertisers adapt their appeals to be successful in this advertising context? The present study tested the efficacy of “inspirational” advertising as a form of mood repair. Consistent with mood management theory, an experiment (N = 188) showed that inspirational advertising increased brand attitudes and sharing intentions via heightened photographic transportation and meaningful affect.

The Local TV News Digital Footprint: Is Local Content Vanishing Amid Climate of Consolidation?

Author: Harrison Hove, University of Florida; Beverly Horvit, University of Missouri; James Endersby, University of Missouri

Abstract: A content analysis of 11 East Coast television stations’ Facebook postings shows that the larger the stations’ corporate owners, the lower the percentage of local news posted. Stations in larger markets posted more local stories, but the corporate ownership structure is a stronger predictor of local coverage. The findings suggest Lacy’s model of news demand should be revisited to account for consolidations in the television industry that could affect the quality of the digital product.

Award: Top faculty paper in the Electronic News Division

Decoding Engagement: Chinese Advertising Practitioners’ Perspective

Author: Huan Chen, University of Florida; Rang Wang, University of Florida; Xuan Liang

Abstract: A qualitative study was conducted to examine Chinese advertising practitioners’ perception and interpretation of engagement in the digital age. Twenty three face-to-face in-depth interviews were conducted to collect data. Findings revealed that in the life-world of Chinese advertising professionals, the meaning of the imported term “engagement” is multidimensional, fluidly, and diversifying lacking consensus on both conceptualization and execution. The current study also uncovered the perceptional gaps between academia and industry regarding the conceptualization and execution of engagement.

Is Snapchat a Better Place than Facebook to Advertise?

Author: Huan Chen, University of Florida; Yoon-Joo Lee, Washington State University

Abstract: The study investigated young consumers’ perception and receptivity of Snapchat advertising by using a mixed method research design. Specifically, a qualitative study was conducted to explore young consumers’ perception toward Snapchat advertising and an online survey was launched to examine young consumers’ receptivity of Snapchat advertising compared to Facebook advertising. The qualitative study revealed that young consumers showed relatively positive evaluation toward Snapchat advertising. Their preference of Snapchat advertising comes from the sense of freedom of choice. Their fondness of Snapchat advertising also comes from the subtle nature of this marketing strategy. Based on the nature and characteristic of Snapchat, events, festivals, and travel related products are perceived to be more appropriated to advertise via Snapchat. The quantitative study confirmed some findings from the qualitative study. The quantitative study further uncovered that while young consumers have a more positive attitude toward advertising on Snapchat, advertising on Facebook works better to motivate their behavioral intention of consumption. Theoretical and practical implications were offered.

The Psychological Processes of Mixed Valence Images: Emotional Response, Visual Attention and Memory

Author: Jing (Taylor) Wen, University of Florida; Jon Morris, University of Florida; Mark Sherwood, University of Florida; Alissa Meyer, University of Florida; Nicole Rosenberg, University of Florida

Abstract: Despite the growing significance of emotional images in advertising, the psychological and physiological responses toward multiple opposite valence images presenting simultaneously remain somewhat unexplored. This research examined the relationship between emotional response, visual attention, and recall. The results showed that individuals were more likely to gaze toward the positive images than the negative ones when exposed to the both simultaneously. More importantly, longer gaze duration translated into their emotional response toward the images. Gaze duration and the Empowerment dimension of emotional response together significantly predicted the recall of the images. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Award: Second-place Advertising Division Open Research paper award

Enhancing Empowerment and Building Relationships Via Social Media Engagement: A Study of Facebook Use in The U.S. Airline Industry

Authors:  Zhiren Li, University of Florida; Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida

Abstract: Social media platforms have altered the way people communicate and collaborate with others and with organizations. This study examined the U.S. airline companies’ social media engagement with their consumers. Through a web-based quantitative survey, the study findings suggest that public social media engagement in the U.S. airline industry positively influences the relationships between customers and airline companies. Social media empowerment mediates the effect of social media engagement on overall organization-public relationships. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

Panel: Considering the Intersections: An Examination of Gender, Race, Ethnicity, Class and Sexuality in Action.

Panelist: Linda Hon, University of Florida


How should organizations communicate with mobile publics on social messengers: An empirical study of WeChat

Author: Rita Linjuan Men, University of Florida; Sunny Tsai, University of Miami

Abstract: Mobile-based social messengers are overtaking social networking sites as the new frontier for organizations to engage online stakeholders. This study provides one of the earliest empirical studies to understand how organizations should communicate with mobile publics to enhance public engagement and improve organization-public relationships. This study focuses on WeChat—one of the world’s most popular social messaging apps. Organizations’ information dissemination, interpersonal communication, and two-way symmetrical communication are found to effectively drive public engagement, which in turn enhances relation outcomes. Strategic guidelines based on the study findings are provided.

Panel: From Strategy to innovation: Using Data and Visual Storytelling for Social Impact

Panelist: Mindy McAdams, Norman Lewis, University of Florida


Panel: Teaching Data Journalism: What to Do and How to Start

Panelist: Mindy McAdams, Norman Lewis, University Florida

Promoting the HPV vaccination: Interplay of Message Framing, Motivation Orientation, and Risk-Taking Tendency

Authors: Moon Lee, University of Florida; Jieun Cho, University of Florida

Abstract: We examined effects of message framing, motivation orientation, and rebellious-risk tendency on risk perception and behavioral intention in the context of promoting the HPV vaccination. An experiment was conducted with 211 participants and a three-way interaction effect. Loss-framed messages have shown a higher behavioral intention than gain-framed messages regardless of motivation orientation in high-risk rebellious groups. Among the low-risk group, although loss-framed messages worked better for avoidance-oriented individuals, gain-framed messages worked better for approach-oriented individuals.

Promoting CSR Programs/activities via Social Media On social media, does reading online comments encourage people to speak up or be silent? Social Judgement and Spiral of Empowerment

Authors: Moon Lee, University of Florida; Jung Won Chun; Jungyun Won, University of Florida

Abstract: Even as ethical branding gain increasing prominence, the effectiveness of specific communication and branding strategies remains somewhat unexplored. A content analysis was conducted to examine Fortune 500 companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) advertisements and user comments on YouTube. The results showcase the importance of involvement strategy of CSR communication and brand anthropomorphism on generating positive consumer responses, and a positive correlation between these two strategies. The findings further suggest that the success of ethical branding on social media lies in more interactive and engaging communication as well as branding strategies.

‘Where are the children?’: The framing of adoption in national news coverage from 2014 through 2016

Author: Jing (Taylor) Wen, Florida

Abstract: Ads with mixed emotions can capture audience’s attention and therefore be persuasive. By using Socio-emotional Selectivity Theory as a theoretical framework, this research examines the influence of generations and sequential mixed emotions on persuasion. Findings indicate that Baby Boomers exhibit more favorable evaluation than Millennials when exposed to an appeal with improving mixed emotions (i.e., negative then positive), because Baby Boomers are better at emotion regulation. In contrast, when exposed to declining appeal (i.e., positive then negative), both generations evaluate the ad positively, because both age groups are able to maintain positive emotions. Theoretical and practical implications are also discussed.

Award: Third-place top student paper in Advertising Division

“Where are the Children?”: The Framing of Adoption in National News Coverage from 2014 through 2016

Author: Cynthia Morton; Summer Shelton, University of Florida

Abstract: 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.

Lincoln’s Messengers: Norman Hapgood’s and Ida Tarbell’s Biographies at the Dawn of the Progressive Era

Author: Ron Rodgers, University of Florida

Abstract: A close reading of two biographies of Abraham Lincoln by two pillars of the Progressive Era at the dawn of that era – the renowned muckraking editor Norman Hapgood and the investigative reporter Ida Tarbell – distills some notions of the ideals of Lincoln that were applicable to the living world decades after his death and at the core of the Progressive principles that helped give life and sustain the movement and the muckraking journalism of the era that confronted and sought to remedy the societal inequities of the Gilded Age.

Panel: Presidents and American Power

Author: Ron Rodgers, University of Florida

Bless or Curse: How Chinese Strategic Communication Practitioners Use Social Media in Crisis Communication​

Author: Sining Kong, University of Florida

Abstract: This paper aims to examine how Chinese strategic communication practitioners use social media in crisis communication. In-depth interview was used to collect data from twenty Chinese strategic communication practitioners, who have experience in dealing with crises and issues via social media. A model was advanced and depicted how to use social media to monitor and respond to crises, and how to use social media, especially the live broadcast, to mitigate publics’ negative emotions to rebuild positive relationship with publics.

Fake News and the First Amendment: Reconciling a Disconnect Between Theory and Doctrine

Author: Stephanie McNeff, Sebastian Zarate , University of Florida

Abstract: 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.

Panel: Teaching audience analytics

Author: Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida

Content Marketing Strategy on Branded YouTube Channels

Authors: Rang Wang, University of Florida; Sylvia Chan-Olmsted, University of Florida

Abstract: 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.

Choosing the Best Name: The Effectiveness of Brand Name Localization on Consumers’ Attitude toward a New Foreign Product

Co-Authors: Xuan Liang, Huan Chen

Abstract: An online experiment was conducted among 235 subjects to examine the effect of brand name localization on brand attitude, product attitude, and purchase intention. Results indicated that in general people prefer original, exotic brand name than localized brand name in the context of the U.S. In particular, young consumers have a more positive attitude toward and are more likely to purchase imported products with a foreign name than the ones with a localized name. In addition, more collectively oriented people evaluated the product with exotic brand name more positively than those less collectively oriented people did.

Award: third-place student in Markham Competition for International Communication Division

Why we #hashtag brand: Consumer motivations associated with posting brand hashtag

Author: Zhuqiao Gu, Eunice Kim, University of Florida

Abstract: Hashtags (#) have received a great deal of attention from academia and industry as an effective tool for engaging consumers and facilitating electronic word-of-mouth for brands. The present study delved into motivations concerning consumers’ brand-related hashtag-posting behavior on social media. The findings revealed three consumer motivations for posting brand-related hashtags on social media: social acceptance, brand altruism, and incentive seeking. Additionally, the study examined the relationships between motivations and consumer-brand relationship variables. The results showed that social acceptance and brand-related altruism predicted all of the five consumer-brand relationship variables (i.e., brand attitude, brand trust, brand affective and calculative commitment and brand loyalty), while incentive-seeking predicted brand
calculative commitment and brand loyalty.

To Talc or Not to Talc: How Media framed the Association Between Talcum Powder and Ovarian Cancer

Author: Aqsa Bashir, University of Florida

Abstract: In 2016, Johnson & Johnson lost almost $200 million in three different cases against its talcum powder lawsuit. The association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer is not a novel one but one which has been at the heart of much controversy. This paper explored how media framed the association between talcum powder and ovarian cancer. Analysis revealed frames such as uncertainty framing, legal framing, scientific framing and negligence on the part of Johnson & Johnson as the major frames. Analysis also revealed a distinction between how the media framed the association and how Johnson & Johnson framed this claim.

Award: Second Place in AEJMC ComSHER Student Paper category.

Jasmine McNealy, assistant professor, Telecommunication Department

Moderating/Presiding, Cultural and Critical Studies and Newspaper and Online News Divisions, The Ethics and Efficacy of Native Advertising

Moderating/Presiding, Newspaper and Online News Division Refereed Paper Research Session, The Era of Fake News

Moderating/Presiding, Newspaper and Online News Division Business Session Members’ Meeting

Panelist, Newspaper and Online News Division and Graduate Student Interest Groups Preconference Workshop, PhD Student/Early Career Preconference

Discussant, Law & Policy Division, Interests in Interactive

Levels in Organ Donation Messages

Authors:  Sining Kong, Jung Won Chun, and Sriram Kalyanaraman

Debating What’s Natural: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of “Natural” Food Label News Coverage

Author: Melissa McGinnis

Vapor and Mirrors: A Qualitative Framing Analysis of E-Cigarette Reporting in High-Circulation U.S. Newspapers

Co-Authors: Vaughan James and Paul Simpson

Fake News and the First Amendment: Reconciling a Disconnect Between Theory and Doctrine

Co-Authors: Sebastian Zarate, Austin Vining and Stephanie McNeff, Florida

Choosing the Best Name: The Effectiveness of Brand Name Localization on Consumers’ Attitude toward a New Foreign Product

Co-Authors: Xuan Liang and Huan Chen

Does Working Memory Capacity Moderate the Effects of Regulatory Focus on News Headline Appraisal and Processing Speed?

Author: Yu-Hao Lee

Feeling Right about the News: A Motivated Information Processing Examination of the Effects of News Headline Framing on Selective Exposure and Elaboration

Author: Yu-Hao Lee

Any Benefits from Anxiety and Curiosity?: Exploring the Impact of Personality Traits in Ad Avoidance on Social Networking Sites

Co-authors:  Amponsah Dodoo and Taylor Wen

Award: first place for student paper /IJA Best Student Paper Award

Read All About It: The Politicization of “Fake News” on Twitter

Authors: Marcia DiStaso, John Brummette, Radford; Michail Vafeiadis, Auburn; Marcus Messner, Virginia Commonwealth and Terry Flynn, McMaster

Award: top three paper in the Mass Communication and Society Division


Fake News and the First Amendment: Reconciling a Disconnect Between Theory and Doctrine

Co-Authors: JD/MA alumna Stephanie McNeff and Ph.D. students Austin Vining and Sebastian Zarate

Awards: first place in the Law and Policy Division student paper competition

Scare’em or Irritate’em: Congruity between Emotions and Message Framing Promotes Advertising Engagement and Message Evaluation

Author: Taylor Wen

Award: second place student paper in the Advertising Division for.