Published by the School of Communications, Elon University

Spring 2015 Issue

Download the PDF of the entire Spring 2015 Issue

Narcissism and Social Networking Sites:
The Act of Taking Selfies

By Taylor M. Wickel

Taking selfies and posting the images to the Internet is linked to an increase in narcissistic and selfish behaviors of the Millennial Generation. A 12-question survey was administered to 93 college women, with a single open-ended question, asking whether respondents found their behavior in posting selfies to be narcissistic. This study found that a majority of participants (55%) agreed that posting selfies to online social platforms encouraged their narcissism and selfish behaviors. Faculty mentor: Dr. Glenn Scott

The Effect of Technology on Face-to-Face Communication

By Emily Drago

Recent technological advancements have had a dramatic impact on the way individuals communicate. A literature review, field observations and an online survey in this study suggest that technology, such as cell phones, has a negative effect on both the quality and quantity of face-to-face communication. Despite an awareness of the decrease in face-to-face communication as a result of new technology, 62% of individuals observed on Elon’s campus continue to use mobile devices in the presence of others. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

The Impact of Technology on Music Star's Cultural Influence

By Dean Shapero

Technology is changing the cultural relationship consumers have with musicians. Understanding artists’ cultural influence is critical in reevaluating their position in society and the changing music industry. A survey was conducted to determine how students digitally consume music and interact with artists. The study found that consumers use Twitter to connect with musicians and consume their music through streaming services. These findings suggest that modern media give music artists influence over a greater number of young people. Faculty mentor: Dr. Michael Frontani

How Twitter is Changing Narrative Storytelling:
A Case Study of the Boston Marathon Bombings

By Mary Kate Brogan

Twitter was a primary source of information for many Americans following the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, despite the vast inaccuracies tweeted by trusted sources throughout the days following the attack. This study concluded that five news organizations and five other authoritative organizations provided news and feature stories through their tweets, sometimes at the expense of accuracy to be first on their stories. They also posted tweets that ensured people’s safety in the crisis, enlisted help from people, and sent out comforting messages for grieving individuals. Faculty mentor: Dr. Naeemah Clark

Faux Activism in Recent Female-Empowering Advertising

By Alyssa Baxter

Gender and advertising have historically been co-dependent within consumerism. To look critically at the recent outpouring of female-empowering advertisements in 2014, this study analyzed six brands from Unilever and Procter & Gamble. After examining three female-empowering advertisements and three male-targeted advertisements, the paper concluded that companies producing these female-empowering advertisements are not truly supporting the activist movement, but manipulating consumers for bigger profits with faux activism for feminism. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

Analysis of Promising Beacon Technology for Consumers

By Marisa Moody

Amidst the ever-changing landscape of digital and mobile technologies, this research investigated how advertisers and marketers can use beacons (location-based technology) to push brands to the forefront of innovation and create seamless brand experiences. Through a quantitative primary research survey and a review of literature on existing applications and concerns, this study found that if brands are wary of consumer hesitation and keep consumer benefits at top of mind, strategic and creative location-based implementation is capable of increasing communications relevancy in the age of mobile marketing. Faculty mentor: Dr. George Padgett

How Luxury Fashion Brands Utilize YouTube
to Engage Consumers and Promote Brand Identity

By Melissa Hanke

The rise of new media has significantly shaped how society shares and receives information. Companies are now looking to social media as a means to engage and communicate with their target consumers. This study specifically examines how luxury brands are utilizing the platform of YouTube to captivate and, more importantly, entertain their audiences. After a content analysis of Chanel, Dior, and Burberry’s YouTube channels, this study found that companies are steering away from brand advertisements and are turning toward brand entertainment to engage their audiences. Faculty mentor: Dr. Don Grady

Shaping the Personalities of the Top Food Brands on Instagram

By Kate Ginsberg

Instagram is a growing platform that provides a means of self-expression and communication through creative visuals. Businesses are responding to this trend by using it as a cost-effective marketing tool. This paper examined the accounts of the leading food brands on Instagram: McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Shredz, Ben & Jerry’s, and Oreo. Through content and thematic analyses, photos were coded for 11 elements and five dimensions of personality. Results revealed that brands are using Instagram to promote their products and, more significantly, to express their personalities. Faculty mentor: Dr. Glenn Scott

Yesterday's News:
Media Framing of Hitler's Early Years, 1923-1924

By Katherine Blunt

This research used media framing theory to assess newspaper coverage of Hitler published in The New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Post between 1923 and 1924. An analysis of approximately 200 articles revealed “credible” and “non-credible” frames relating to his political influence. After Hitler’s trial for treason in 1924, the non-credible frame dominated coverage. This research provides insight into the way American media cover foreign leaders before and after an event that calls into question their political efficacy. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

An Examination of Native Americans in Film
and Rise of Native Filmmakers

By Julia Boyd

This paper explored the role Native Americans have played in the Hollywood film industry and the space they are creating for themselves in establishing authentic representations of their population and culture in the media. Native Americans have historically been stereotyped and marginalized in films, as well as popular culture. After a history of frequently negative portrayals in film, American Indians have regained control of their images and been able to combat stereotypes and the exclusion of Native Americans in the creative process. Faculty mentor: Dr. Michael Frontani

A Framing Analysis of Media Coverage of the Rodney King Incident
and Ferguson, Missouri, Conflicts

By Sarah Bowen

This study examined how the news media have presented the Ferguson, Missouri, conflicts, and compared it with how a similar story about Rodney King was framed two decades ago. It aimed to analyze if and how the mainstream news media have progressed in covering racially sensitive news stories. A comparative analysis of newspaper articles, broadcast segments, and magazine cover pages found distinct frames in the coverage of both stories: concentrating on the overarching public distrust of authorities and black hardship in America. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland