African and african american studies

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Mary Jackson-Pitts,

Arkansas State University
Lily Zeng,

Arkansas State University
Yousef Aladaihani,

Arkansas State University

“Survey Examination of how an Anonymous Source Gains Credibility in the Political Discourse: @Karametwatan Twitter Account as an Example”
The present study investigated how anonymous sources on Twitter can gain credibility by Twitter users. The researcher examined @karametwatan Twitter account as an example of anonymous sources. A formulated theory, Anonymous Leaders was employed in order to test its assumptions. The main purpose of this study is to figure out how Kuwaiti Twitter users trust @karametwatan and the role of opposition leaders who were advocates of this account toward attributing this account as credible. A total of 650 Kuwaiti Twitter users participated in this study. The results of this study showed that @karametwatan's followers trust its tweets and attribute it as credible. Opposition leaders played a fundamental role in influencing their followers to follow @karametwatan and participate in its marches. A significant difference found between @karametwatan's followers. Those who have less than 1000 followers were dependent on others to follow @karametwatan while those with 1000 followers or more tend to depend on themselves in following this account. Further, @karametwatan's followers trust and attribute this account and opposition leaders as credible more than Kuwait government.

Manasar Alharethi,

Arkansas State University
“Using Instagram for shopping in Saudi Arabia”
In a contemporary mechanized world with a wide range of opportunities, more and more people are provided with possibilities to receive information through numerous venues, the number of which is enhanced due to social networking sites. However, More than 300 million people are using Instagram worldwide and more than 70 million photos and videos are shared each day. Recently, people in Saudi Arabia have begun using social media, especially Instagram, as an online shopping store. Instagram has become one of the most important and modern destinations for shopping in Saudi Arabia. Thus, this study was to demonstrate how people in Saudi Arabia use Instagram as a marketing channel. Also, it is to explain why people in Saudi Arabia prefer to utilize Instagram for shopping over other social media platforms. However, this study will use a designed online survey and will disseminate it among Saudis Instagram users in order to examine the previous research questions and hypotheses. This study will find the relationship between four variables, which are the credibility of websites, materialism, purchasing involvement, and social self-esteem.

Manasar Alharethi,

Arkansas State University
“How Saudi Women Use Their Freedom of Speech via Social Media to Support Their Rights to Drive”
Recently, two Saudi ladies were confined for over two months for trying to defy the country's ban on female driving. LoujainAlhathloul was captured for trying to drive from the United Arab Emirates to Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world where ladies are disallowed from driving. Alhathloul made a statement on twitter about her situation. And in response Maysaa Al-Amoudi decided to follow the bandwagon. Al-Amoudi was arrested when she went to the border to support al-Hathloul. Activists in Saudi Arabia attempted once, they attempted again and now they're making a third test to the kingdom's long-standing ban on female drivers. A few ladies have recently made short drives, posting videos on social media sites, and many more are planning to get in the driver's seat. This study is to explain how Saudi women use their freedom of speech via social media to support their rights of driving cars. The first part of this study will provide a brief summary of social media and brief summary of Saudi Arabia and women in Saudi Arabia. The second part of this study will examine women drive campaigns.

Abdullah M. Almalki,

Arkansas State University
“A Survey of Saudis’ Behaviors Toward Twitter as a News Gathering Tool”
This study was designed to examine Saudis’ behaviors toward Twitter with regard to newspapers and information delivery and the role that Twitter plays in getting news update.  Moreover, to investigate if Saudi Twitter users trust twitter as a credible source for news and rely on it to read the news more than legacy newspaper. This

research conducted an online survey and distributed it among Saudis who use Twitter to get news update. The sample of this study had been drawn online by using the

“SnowBall" sampling method through Survey Monkey and the sample collected during November and December 2015. Saudi government tries to control all social media platforms. As a result of government limitation and controlling, Saudi citizens are active users of the web and social media. Saudis have adopted different social media platforms such as creating a great number of YouTube shows to express themselves and criticize the government and publishing a substantial number of non legacy newspapers due to Saudi Arabia’s low ranking in freedom of press, for which it is 164th out of 180 countries. Data of this study will be measured using frequencies, percentages, chi-square and Pearson correlation. The test of significance is set at p < .05.

Li-jing Arthur Chang,

Jackson State University
“Demystifying Turnover Intentions in Cross-Cultural Context: The Influence of Demographics, Role Factors, Job Performance, Pay, Organizational Commitment, and Cultural Variables”
The study attempted to explore how a group of predictor variables affect the turnover intentions of newspaper journalists in Taiwan and the United States. More than 140 journalists from each country were sampled. The predictor variables include demographics, role factors, performance, pay, organizational commitment, and cultural variables. Regression analyses were performed to test the relationships in each sample. The results showed that for both Taiwanese and U.S. journalists, age, job interference with private life, and job performance were found to be significant predictors of their turnover intentions. On the other hand, for Taiwanese journalists alone, role ambiguity and the interaction between age and marital status were found to significantly impact their turnover intentions. In contrast, for the U.S. journalists alone, fairness of pay, organizational commitment, and vertical individualism were found to significantly affect their turnover intentions. The analysis also showed that for both samples, the model resulted in an R square of about 0.40, and performance has a curvilinear relationship with turnover intentions.  

Xiaowei Chen,

Eastern Oregon University
“Advertising and the Twilight of Capitalist Model of Production: A Critical/Cultural Re-examination”
This essay adopts critical/cultural studies approach to examine the correlation between advertising and the contemporary mode of commodity production. To be specific, the paper tries to investigate: (1) how advertising industry bridges the gap between mass production and mass consumption by constantly stimulating the consumers to enter the market as buyer who will otherwise remain disinterested, apathetic, and quiet; (2) how advertising/marketing strategy further deepens the alienation of exchange value from use value in commodities and the alienation of technological innovation from the general amelioration of human condition; (3) how advertising message strategy desensitize moral reasoning in marketing communication by capitalizing on stereotype, prejudice, and societal division; and (4) how advertising could redeem itself for the past sins by advocating for social responsibility, sustainable growth, and the harmony between nature and humankind.

Rani Dabul,

Arkansas State University
Gil Fowler,

Arkansas State University

“Utilization Of The Uses & Gratifications Framework To Explore Internet Use By Personality Types: A Proposal”
Since the beginning of chatrooms and online profiles, the complexity of the Internet has allowed people to be who they want to be from the computer screen. In real-time conversations, communicators must live in the moment while online one may be virtually anyone at any selected time. Social networking sites allow users the opportunity to communicate in ways that traditional forms of media could not easily provide. Now, millions of people are using the Internet. People are questioning what motivates one to use social networking sites and if personality is equivalent to that motivation. The Uses and Gratifications theory has been used extensively with traditional media to explain motivations, but few researchers have applied this framework to the Internet. This proposal seeks to integrate motivational factors and personality traits to predict justifications for using the Internet. Proposed research questions are shared for discussion.

Gil Fowler,

Arkansas State University
Ralph Berenger,

American University in Sharjah (UAE)

Anas Al-Rasheed,

Kuwait University

“A Study of College Students Perceptions of Internet Threats and Solutions in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates”
In the short time since its development, few technologies have had such far reaching impact on society as the Internet. Regrettably, the Internet is becoming an increasingly hostile environment because of spyware, viruses and other malicious programs forcing users to become technology-savy or fall prey to the dangers. Employing a convenience sample of 250+ students in media classes at the American University at Sharjah (UAE) and at Kuwait University, this study explored their perceptions of Internet threats using a framework adopted from the risk communication perspective and fear appeal research. Students were asked (1) whether users are aware of and fear the dangers they face on the Internet; (2) whether they have changed their online habits because of these dangers; (3) what steps they have taken to maintain a safe computer environment; and (4) when necessary, where they go when there are problems. Findings and applications are discussed.

Michael B. Friedman,

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Katharine S. Gomez,

University of Tennessee at Knoxville

“Stay Away: Understanding which type of media photograph will deter people from participating in a political rally”
The study compared actual media photographs of a political rally that were presented to the public that contained both fear and anger properties.  The study sought to understand which property (fear or anger) is more effective in dissuading people from participating in the political rally.  The study has value to mass communication scholars because it can offer significant insight into the power certain photographic properties that are commonly seen in media photographs can have in discouraging people from taking an active role in a political cause.  The study utilized a hybrid design of a content analysis and experiment.  The content analysis was used to determine which types of photographs were fear and which were anger.  The experiment determined the effect the media photographs had on the public.  Results from the experiment showed strong statistical support that media photographs containing fear properties are more likely to dissuade someone from participating in a political rally than media photographs containing anger properties.  Strategic uses for politicians and issue advocates are discussed.

Joe Gosen,

Western Washington University
“Incorporating Community Partnerships with For-profit and Non-profit Organizations into a Visual Journalism Capstone Course”
Capstone classes traditionally provide students with opportunities to apply their acquired skills toward culminating projects. Establishing these projects with community partners can provide meaningful real-world learning experiences for students and, ideally, establish mutually beneficial outcomes for the clients. Matching student interests and skills with client needs requires additional logistics and procedures to increase the potential for success. This study looks at a 10-week capstone visual journalism class offered in Spring 2015 that partnered with three non-profit organizations, one small for-profit company, and three local newspapers and one international outdoor magazine. Students produced a mixture of graphics, photographs, video, and websites for their clients. This study compares the processes, outcomes, challenges, and successes of working a diverse client base, and offers suggestions for incorporating community partnerships into a visual journalism curriculum.

Andrew Hanson,

University of Nebraska at Kearney
“The sabermetrics of “Survivor” – The importance of in-group identity to the survival in reality television”
Every day people are thrust into situations in which they are forced to work with individuals they don’t know. Often times, these people come from different backgrounds. The only rules these people are bound by are the law and norms of society, which they may or may not break. In reality television game shows such as “Survivor,” a microcosm of real life and how we live is created. In this paper, I examine how small group dynamics play out in the sixth season of the show “Survivor” where strangers are forced to work together and create a society for themselves, while eliminating people from the game gradually. This study looks at the role of the in-group and out-group identity in small groups through theories such as symbolic convergency. This is measured through examining voting patterns of players at the game’s tribal council. A quantitative analysis will be measured through the voting tendencies, while a qualitative analysis will be completed through dialogue between contestants. This paper hypothesizes that the better job a player in the game does at fostering an in-group identity, the farther the contestant will go in the game.

Ralph E. Hanson,

University of Nebraska at Kearney
“Press Coverage Is Not a Faucet: Mizzou, Protests, and the Media”
In 2014 and 2015, students and student-athletes at the University of Missouri staged a series of protests over their unhappiness with how race issues had been handled on the MU campus.  The protests reached a climax when a graduate student started a hunger strike and the football team staged a work stoppage until the university system’s president agreed to resign.  In the days following the president’s resignation, students continued to gather in a central campus area that they declared a “safe zone,” and they demanded that journalists – both student and professional – leave them alone.  This paper examines the this uneasy relationship between the University of Missouri, the student protestors, faculty, and the press and how these disparate groups perceived the conflict in very different ways.

Derika Harris,

Arkansas State University
Michita Merriweather,

Arkansas State University

“Society's Biggest Taboo: Same Sex Parents”
In today's society, entertainment media has integrated many same-sex parents into storylines particularly on the television screen. Throughout conducting this research, there is a definite possibility that children and other members of gay and lesbian-parented families may look to media representations as they form an understanding of their own identities as members of such families. This study is an exploration of how the media has had an impact on the individual's perception of same-sex parenting, with the intent of contributing a greater understanding of GLBT representation. Where exactly did these negative perceptions derive? There are a number of possibilities: personal experiences or lack thereof, hearsay, television, etc. Exploration of the derivation of individual perception of same sex parents will ultimately aid in enhancing children of same sex families development and well-being.

Dithi Hasnat,

Arkansas State University
“Social Media and Identity: Connecting and Adapting Bangladeshi International Students to USA Culture and Their Own”
The research paper explores how Bangladeshi international students in the United States are using social media as a tool for connecting to their own country. This research also include the role of social media in interpersonal communication in virtual spaces and how the mode of global interpersonal communication is changing rapidly by uninfluenced of social media and computer mediated communication. The role of social media is plays a vital influence in interpersonal and intercultural communication. The emerging role of social media is connecting everyone into same cultural identity and it helps international students adopt to the new culture in United States. To aid in this conclusion, qualitative methods of interviewing have been conducted of Bangladeshi international students. The usage of social media and consumption of social media is analyzed through their interviews. Social media is now an integral tool of connecting each other in virtual spaces, it connects each other in their own country and it helps them to adopt and understand a new culture as well.

Anna Hermes,

Arkansas State University
“Perceived Interactivity and uses and Gratifications of Online Interactive Advertising”
The Internet provides various feedback channels and with that it allows participants to interact. Thus, online advertisers have the option to create interactive online advertising which allows participants to actively interact with the advertisements. The purpose of this research is to explore students' experiences and perceived interactivity levels of certain interactive online advertisement features including hyperlinks, share options, surveys, branded games, downloads, mouse overs/hovers, as well as chats or feedback forms. Using the Uses and Gratifications Theory, this research also seeks to identify students' gratifications of interactivity in online advertising. The methodology of this research is a survey. The population of this survey is students at a Southern University. Findings can be used by online advertisers to create interactive online advertisements. Research questions of the study are: RQ1: What interactive online advertising features have people used?, RQ2: What interactive online features are perceived interactive?, RQ3: What interactive features are appealing to people?, RQ4: What are gratifications people receive from interactive online ads?, and RQ5: Are people more interested in interactivity online ads than ads without interactive features?

Khairul Islam,

Arkansas State University
“Digital Divide Limits Opportunities of Public University Students in Bangladesh: Research Needs and Implications”
Research indicates that university students who have inadequate access to digital technology are more likely to consume less information that can significantly limit their potential opportunities. Digitally disable graduates are also more inclined to be less productive and face more challenges compare to those "technically privileged." This concern is most evident in third world countries like Bangladesh where digital technology is only recently introduced in higher education. Research shows the majority of public university students in Bangladesh do not have adequate access to those advanced academic tools developing a significant knowledge asymmetry, which might lead graduates toward professional disparity. Further study is required to explore the impact of the digital divide on both physical access to technology and efficient uses of the digital resources among university students in Bangladesh. Focus also needs to examine digital disparity among graduates and its relation with their professions. Research questions are posed for discussion.

Myoungsoon You,

Seoul National University
Youngkee Ju,

Hallym University

“News Media’s Representation of the MERS Outbreak in South Korea: focusing on  responsiveness and negative bias”

News media has been found to misrepresent actual health risk by covering new illnesses more than chronic ones. In the present study, we investigated how news media has represented a new illness, the outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) in South Korea. The daily number of news stories containing the words, "MERS" was calculated from news reports released between May 20 and July 1, 2015.News media sources under investigation included13 newspapers, seven television broadcasting companies, and 48 internet news media. The daily number of media reports correlated with the number of newly confirmed cases, quarantined, those in treatment, the number of deaths from disease, and those released from the hospital or quarantine.The number of news stories varied significantly according to negative index changes, such as the number of newly confirmed cases, quarantined, and those in treatment. However, news media coverage did not follow positive changes, such as the number of patients released from the hospital or quarantine. Since crisis communication as part of crisis management may require self-assuring messages, the news media's indifference to positive changes during an outbreak may moderate optimal prioritization of public health resources and encourage inappropriate public responses.

Kris Kodrich,

Colorado State University

“The beat of consumerism: How Milwaukee brands like Harley-Davidson and Miller Lite help the world's largest music festival get its mojo working”

Summerfest in Milwaukee is considered the "world's largest music festival," with hundreds of concerts spread out over 11 days each summer on the shores of Lake Michigan. The festival also is an incredible marketing machine for a wide variety of national companies based in Milwaukee trying to pitch their products – everything from Harley-Davidson motorcycles to Miller Lite beer is displayed in full commercial glory. Motorcycles hang 25 feet in the air at one stage while 235 Miller Lite signs surround the crowd at another stage. This study examines marketing and branding as it plays out each year in a cultural mash known as Summerfest. As reflected in media coverage, public relations materials and the event itself, consumerism is just as vital as music to this event. Utilizing concepts from political economy and consumer culture, this study examines how the brands and logos so prominent for the nearly 50 years of Summerfest have helped define a community, which takes great pride in this annual celebration of consumerism and music.

Nelice Lyimo,

Arkansas State University

“Tanzania Agenda Building: The role of the mass media in the shaping of public opinion in Tanzania”
Tanzania is the biggest of the three East African countries (Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda), and eight countries surround it. Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. The government of the United Republic of Tanzania is a built on multi-party parliamentary democracy. The state is controlled by the Tanzania government and the Revolutionary Government of Zanzibar. Each of these two central governments has three organs: the executive, judiciary and legislature that have authority over the conduct of public affairs. The government of the Tanzania has control over all union matters and all other issues concerning mainland Tanzania. The country has a multi-party democratic system that has been dominated by the Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) party since 1992. There are at least five other parties that exist which are Civil United Front, Party for Democracy and Progress, Union for Multiparty Democracy and NCCR-Mageuzi. Magazines provide a host of clues about the salience of the topics, and television news offers various signal about salience. The news organizations can set the agenda for the public’s attention to the group of issues around which public opinion forms. The theory of agenda setting shows how the media influences the public. This theory proposes a theoretical framework of Tanzania Agenda Building that will outline how mass media can shaping the public opinion in a different media.

Omotayo Ogundijo,

Arkansas State University
“Perceptions of Facebook Privacy Among Arkansas State University Students”
Online social networking offers a new, easy and inexpensive way to maintain already existing relationships and presenting oneself to others – it plays an important role in today’s society. However, this popularity and people’s enthusiasm and involvement with social networking sites also gives rise to privacy concerns and risks. In the case of new communication technologies, college students are usually the forerunners as they are free to make decisions on whatever they are sharing, but they cannot control what others post.  Despite the fact that Facebook privacy policy simply states that personal information can be disclosed for advertising, marketing purposes or used by third parties, college students still reveal a considerable amount of personal information by using Facebook.  Thus, this study seeks to understand college students’ perceptions towards the use of Facebook, whether they perceive their information as public or private, and whether Internet users have read the Facebook’s privacy policy.

Mary Jackson Pitts,

Arkansas State University
Holly Hall,

Arkansas State University

“Creating your personal brand: Differences among communication and business students”
A brand is a perception. Building a personal brand involves developing the image that you want to portray to influence how people perceive you. Employers are using the Internet and social media as a method for investigating potential employees in deciding whether to hire or even interview a candidate. Seventy-Five percent of hiring managers investigate possible hires (Dutta, 2010). Employers are using social media sites, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, to get a sense of job candidate's character and personality.
Branding brings to mind...products and services. And the phrase "set your selves apart from others" has been used to help job hunters. Branding of oneself has commonly been applied to thoughts of making one's hard copy resume look good and one's portfolio show work in a formidable way. However, in our electronic social world, students are creating a social media brand each time they post, they unsuspectingly, are creating their "personal brand." With this in mind the researchers sought to gain insight into what students believe about social media branding and how they are currently using social media to brand themselves. This study provides a comparison of communication and business students and their understanding of social media branding.

Kimberly Ragsdale,

Arkansas State University
Gil Fowler,

Arkansas State University

“The Need for Television Programming to Address the Negative Consequences of Adolescent Premaritial Sex”
The United States has the highest teenage pregnancy rate of all industrialized countries and although the number of teenage pregnancies has decreased since the early 1990’s, the US is still in the lead.  A partial explanation for this high rate is due in part to the sexual content adolescents are exposed to in television programming.  Much of the research regarding sexual content took place in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the Family Hour was popular in America.  Little evaluation of tv programming and sexual content has been published since.  This study proposes that we continue to examine the content of popular network television shows and determine the influenced that watching these shows has on adolescents.  It also asks whether the content of these programs portray the negative risks and responsibilities of the sexual activities.  The answers to these questions could have a significant social impact.

Ryan Short,

Arkansas State University
“Enhancing Classroom Productivity with Social Media: The Case of Twitter as a Learning Tool”
Twitter is an influential tool that offers specific uses and opportunities in educational fields. Because of modern communication techniques and social media's presence in our life, implementation of these tools in the everyday classroom could be beneficial. This paper will look at the micro blogging cite Twitter, and how it impacts our information and perception on the information absorbed today. Twitter does not only affect the students, but also has implications for teachers, parents, and administrators as well. This paper will also examine the areas in which Twitter can be applied in the classroom, and how it can be used in current practices. And finally, this paper will offer a summary of current platforms where Twitter's methodology is already being used, and the proper measurement and monitoring tools that are accompanying it.

Ronald Sitton,

Arkansas State University
“Why Multimedia Journalism? Bridging the Gap between Professionals and Educators”
Studies suggest significant differences between journalism educators and professionals’ emphasis on core skills needed by journalism graduates. While educators and professionals agree on the types of skills needed, professionals have placed less emphasis than educators on skills that include mastering interviewing techniques and various forms of journalistic writing, telling stories with design and visuals, understanding media law and ethics, taking and editing photographs, recording and editing audio and video, analyzing and synthesizing large amounts of data, and interpreting statistical data. Such differences in views of journalism education could decrease the value of a journalism degree to graduates and professionals. Graduates may not understand why they needed to learn underused skills, especially if they are not as valued by senior professionals. Professionals may not understand the future value of skills from new hires, even though media outlets could potentially save future time and money by hiring trained graduates now. While the problem presents significant challenges to new graduates and perceptions of usefulness of journalism education, previous studies have failed to thoroughly address the issue. Although past studies have identified differences between educators and professionals’ emphasis on various skills, they have yet to suggest why such differences exist. Understanding why will increase the professionals’ perception of the value of hiring journalism graduates who possess skills professionals are likely to find valuable in the future, e.g. multimedia journalism skills. A nearly completed instrument will survey MidSouth educators and professionals in this pilot study. Data collection and analysis will be completed in time to present at the conference in April 2016.

Peggy Watt,

Western Washington University

“The Evolution of Editorial Ethics - Journalists in Politics”

Journalistic codes of ethics in 2015 generally preclude participation in politics; some journalists do not even vote. But this was not always the case; publisher William Randolph Hearst served in Congress. About a generation ago, the Pacific Northwest saw six publishers in the Washington State Legislature and former journalists serving as mayor of two of Washington's largest cities and as governor of Oregon. In just a generation, attitudes have changed. This study builds on a 1977 survey of journalists and former journalists who were involved in politics, including comments on how their profession prepared them for elective office and, if they remained involved in the media, how they juggled these duties. It further involves follow-up with some of the same journalists-turned-politicians as well as a younger generation of journalists who have gone from covering the news to making the news.
The research identifies the evolution of understanding of journalistic ethics that today makes it unusual that a journalist would enter politics, while also acknowledging a few who have. It examines why has this changed and whether this is good or bad for both democracy and journalism.

Brittany Walker,

Colorado State University
“A True Return to Nature: An Examination and Critique of Nature-Based Environmental Discourse”
Environmental discourse can naturalize certain ways of understanding the environment. In environmental discourse, a purported separation between society and nature can be problematic. This separation can create a false human-nature dichotomy that limits the scope of environmental problems and solutions. Thus, this paper seeks to use a critical discourse analysis of communicative texts produced by the Sierra Club to examine the organization's environmental discourse in relation to the nature-human relationship. The goal of this research will be to further understand how the largest environmental organization in the United States constructs environmental discourse in terms of conceptualizations of nature and society.

Hui Zhang,

Colorado State University
“Effects of Two Journalistic Practices in Reporting Conflicting Health-Related Scientific Evidence on Journalists' and Scientists' Credibility”

This study investigated the effects of two journalistic practices on journalists' and scientists' credibility when conflicting health-related scientific evidence is reported. The two practices were presentation format (one-story format vs. two-story format) and hedging (reporting study limitations vs. not reporting study limitations). When conflicting findings about a health-related issue are reported, journalists can use either a one-story format or a two-story format. The one-story format uses one story to report the conflict; the two-story format uses two stories, with each story representing one side of the conflict. Hedging is one practice journalists use when they decide to report limitations of scientific studies. An online experiment (N = 290) found that one-story format (vs. two-story format) increased journalists' competence but decreased scientists' competence. The finding suggests a competence transfer between journalists and scientists. The experiment also found that the transfer depended on people's news reading frequency.

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