The Journey Continues

Byung Lee

This edition of the journal covered many communications-related topics. Five articles dealt with portrayal of people in newspapers, social media, and a TV drama. Two articles investigated the responses of corporations to a social event or corporate crisis while four others covered promotion for restaurants, a Broadway musical, musicians, and universities. The two final articles analyzed advertisements. 

Through content analysis of published print articles in The New York Times and ESPN during the 2016 Summer Olympics, Killoran found articles mentioned female stereotypes, which detracted from their athletic ability and performance. Dzilenski also analyzed the content of online news coverage of migration by national news media in the U.S., Germany, and Spain. She found that journalists used different frames and offered multiple narratives even within individual articles, reflecting the complexity of the migrant or refugee experience. Bohjalian investigated Instagram posts that tried to inspire followers to attain their fitness goals. The majority of the so-called fitspiration posts did not relate to fitness, but rather featured non-workout related content. After analyzing 10 episodes of a telenovela, Jane the Virgin, Grell found Latino stereotypes were minimal in comparison with progressive ideas and positive representations. Jackson analyzed YouTube videos emphasizing Black natural hair, and these videos revealed that content creators provide a positive discourse surrounding natural hair, and that content consumers tend to express gratitude and use the platform to deepen their understanding of hair care.

Schulz examined corporate responses to the Black Lives Matter movement and concluded that companies should consider main stakeholders before responding to polarizing social movements. Koehler analyzed Abercrombie & Fitch’s responses to public criticism of its refusal to sell oversized clothing for women, which, she found, were not up to the level suggested by Robert Sims in a Redressive Actions framework. After analyzing websites and social media accounts of regional fast food restaurants, Condon found they succeeded based on development of a strong brand and ability to cater to the specific tastes of regional consumers. A survey and an interview led Ackman to conclude that Broadway’s hit musical, Hamilton, offered online content to engage audiences that could not directly watch the musical in the theater. Berk interviewed music industry professionals and found promotions have become focused on digital marketing and streaming sites, but traditional methods of promotion are still relevant. After analyzing images on the webpages of universities in North Carolina and Pennsylvania, Del Vecchio found overrepresentation of non-White students on their websites. Fusco analyzed 36 New York Times articles containing sponsored content and found the paper complied with the disclosure and distinguishability standard most of the time, but that FTC guidelines have become blurred with evolving technology. Halle analyzed Hillary Clinton campaign advertisements during the 2016 presidential election and showed that the ad strategy shifted from focusing on policies to attacking characters as Election Day drew nearer.

These students should be congratulated for writing an excellent research paper within a short period of time for publication in this journal. 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