Published by the School of Communications, Elon University

The Journey Continues

Byung Lee

This issue of the journal covered many topics. Three articles dealt with the portrayal of people in movies and newspapers. Another three articles investigated advertisements, institutional messages, and humor to see how they used messages effectively. Two articles looked at characteristics of successful talents in reality shows or of powerful influencers in corporate-sponsored videos. The last two articles examined the role of women’s magazines.

Through a content analysis of the Rush Hour trilogy, a biracial martial arts action comedy, Lee found Asians were stereotyped the most frequently among all ethnicities, and most stereotypes were conveyed through humor and dialogue based on a character’s behavior. After analyzing the top five shows from nonlinear distribution platforms, such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, Weaver found underrepresentation, along with misrepresentation, are still major issues, although online streaming platforms offer more diversity than traditional television. Based on framing analysis of articles published by newspapers in Arizona and Texas, Jasper found illegal child immigrants from Latin America were portrayed as both victims and criminals. Through analysis of primary media documents, annual reports, and historical company analyses, Nichols found the American Tobacco Company used celebrity endorsements to generate the company’s profits in the 1930s. Using framing theory, Wirth analyzed 22 press releases published by the European Council on the official European Union website. She found that the EU’s public diplomacy efforts were effective and strategically communicated the institution’s intent and commitment to foreign publics.

Compisano analyzed the content of comedian Hannibal Buress’ four major releases. This case study found he used persuasive methods based on incongruity, superiority, and relief theories to engage audiences and address sociopolitical subject matter. Based on four in-depth interviews conducted with casting agents, Geswelli identified factors that help create successful reality TV shows. Based on a content analysis of beauty company Maybelline’s sponsored videos, Forbes found five characteristics that three influencers employed in brand marketing: to articulate, be relatable, knowledgeable, helpful, and confident. Garrity analyzed how three women’s magazines covered mental health conditions including depression, anxiety, and stress. Her study found an imbalanced representation of mental health conditions, a belief that mental health conditions can be managed, and a stigma surrounding this issue. Women’s magazines have long struggled to balance their desire to empower women with their need to make them ad targets—thus providing readers with ambivalent messages. Lanquist found the teen magazine Seventeen was not an exception.

The students who published their paper in this issue should be congratulated for writing thought-provoking research papers within a short period of time. Of course, as they acknowledged, it would not be possible without their mentors’ effective guidance. 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.

Dr. Byung Lee
Journal Editor