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School of Communications publishes spring 2017 issue of research journal

This semester's edition marks the 15th in the history of the Elon Journal, the nation’s first and only undergraduate research journal in communications.

The School of Communications has published the spring 2017 issue of the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, featuring student research on topics ranging from the framing of global migration by news media to an examination of corporate responses to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The issue contains 13 research papers authored by School of Communications students. The research highlights a diverse set of media subjects, such as the portrayal of people, advertising and promotional strategies, social media trends and corporate crisis responses.

Five articles examined the portrayal of people in newspapers, social media, and a TV drama, including a deep dive into the stereotypes of female athletes in the online coverage prior to and during the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Two other articles investigated the responses of corporations to a social event or corporate crisis. One author studied the U.S. corporate responses to the Black Lives Matter movement, exploring the corporate values and public responses of five companies within three different industries (social networking, music streaming and sports brands).

Four research papers investigated the promotion of restaurants, a Broadway musical, musicians and universities. Do you have a favorite regional burger joint? One author used content analysis to better understand the brand identities of Culver’s, In-N-Out Burger and Whataburger.

Lastly, the final two articles analyzed advertisements, including the tone, topic and content of Hillary Clinton-sponsored ads during her 2016 presidential election campaign.

Accompanying the online articles are video introductions by the authors, who explain their research methods and their interest in the topics they chose to study.

Byung Lee, associate professor in the School of Communications, serves as the journal’s editor. He assembled an editorial board of 32 communications faculty members who participated in the multiple blind-review process to select the best student work.

The Elon Journal began in spring 2010, with spring and fall editions each year. The spring 2017 journal marks the 15th edition.

“These students should be congratulated for writing an excellent research paper within a short period of time for publication in this journal,” Lee writes in his editor’s note. “I hope the articles in this issue will inspire students in future semesters to commit to examining important research questions and submit their papers to this journal.”

The Council on Undergraduate Research catalogs more than 200 student research journals in the nation, and the Elon Journal is the only one that focuses on undergraduate student research in journalism, media and communications.

Tommy Kopetskie,
5/9/2017 11:10 AM