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School of Communications publishes spring 2018 issue of research journal

This semester’s edition marks the 17th 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 2018 issue of the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, featuring student research on topics ranging from the motives of individuals who post their crimes on social media to an examination of iconic images from the Black Lives Matter movement.

The spring 2018 Elon Journal consists of 10 research papers authored by School of Communications students.
​The issue contains 10 research papers authored by School of Communications students. The research studies highlight a diverse set of media subjects such as legacy media, photography, social media, graphic design, television programming and online support communities.

Five articles examined social media use, including a deep dive into how professional sports franchises use live-tweeting to maximize fan engagement. Other articles highlighting social media compared – and contrasted – the online support communities for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, studied the digital marketing campaigns of American fashion company Calvin Klein, and analyzed the increasing politicization of late-night programming and its potential effects on viewership.

Two other articles dealt with crime-related subjects, including the increasing fascination with the true crime genre. One author conducted a narrative rhetorical analysis of the genre's recent popular pieces: HBO's “The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst,” Netflix’s “Making a Murderer” and the podcast “Serial.”

Finally, three research papers investigated what attributes make an image iconic, current magazine design trends, and the preferences and backgrounds of newspaper readers. The last author examined how education, income and age are related to newspaper use, and whether education is a predictor for media platform preference.

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.

This semester the school announced that Byung Lee, associate professor in the School of Communications and Elon Journal editor, will conclude his editorship this spring. Under his direction, the publication has published 17 issues featuring 174 student works, and research in the journal has been cited lately in master’s theses, book chapters and popular articles.

During the spring semester’s final Communications Department meeting, held on May 3, Associate Dean Don Grady (left) took a moment to recognize Associate Professor Byung Lee for his work leading 17 issues of the Elon Journal.

​​For this spring 2018 issue, Lee assembled an editorial board of 30 communications faculty members who participated in the multiple blind-review process to select the best student work.

"The School of Communications made the bold move nearly a decade ago to start an undergraduate research journal in our discipline,” said Dean Paul Parsons. "Professor Byung Lee has been a superb editor for nine years and deserves great credit for guiding the journal to its success.”

Harlen Makemson, professor of communications, will become journal editor starting in fall 2018.

​The Elon Journal began in spring 2010, with spring and fall editions each year. The spring 2018 journal marks the 17th edition.

​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,
5/15/2018 2:00 PM