Published by the School of Communications, Elon University

The Journey Continues

Byung Lee

This edition of the journal includes research studies on diverse media topics, such as legacy media, social media, advertising, public relations strategies, and internal communications.

Four articles focused on legacy media. Based on a case study of BuzzFeed, The Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Daring Fireball and Stratechery, Perell concluded that the Internet will foster the rapid development of both scale dependent and ad-supported publications as well as niche organizations covering a narrow subject. Based on four preteen pilots in two different time periods, Rosen found that differences in preadolescent programming from the early 21st century to the late 20th century has less to do with positive societal messaging, such as family and community values, and more to do with narcissism and the pursuit of fame. DeMare analyzed 10 different films featuring a schizophrenic protagonist. She tallied the moments of violence as well as instances of abuse in mental institutions, love as a cure, and gifted individuals. Results showed a high frequency of violent behavior in films depicting schizophrenic characters. Based on interviews with female college students, Hammer found that these women watch the reality TV series, “Keeping Up with the Kardashians,” to escape reality, participate in surveillance, and feel personal connectedness.

Three papers covered social media. Cowans examined the images, captions, and hashtags of 100 Instagram posts and found some posts reflected traditional yogic principles while others did not. In an analysis of 50 Instagram posts of three female singers–Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Ariana Grande–Ward examined the four categories of fan engagement: career, personal, fan, and celebrity interaction. Parasocial interaction was also measured via textual analysis. Based on a content analysis of three prominent YouTubers, Holland found two factors that contributed to their success: the appeal of their content and their appearance on traditional media.

Among the remaining three papers, Schulz traced how Greenpeace attacked a 50-year brand partnership between LEGO and Royal Dutch Shell and the effects those attacks had on LEGO’s communications with its consumers and its policy decision. DeMaria evaluated internal communication in five award-winning companies. Interviews with company representatives revealed a close connection between internal communications through emails and corporate culture. After analyzing Procter & Gamble’s Web advertisements from five global markets, Schmidt found that the company practiced a moderate level of standardization in ads, which allowed it to maintain a consistent brand image, while still remaining mindful of cultural differences.

These studies reflect hard work of students and their mentors in answering significant communication questions of our time. 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