Spring 2010 Issue

Download the PDF of the entire Spring 2010 issue

Mom Just Facebooked Me and Dad Knows How to Text:
Influences of Computer-Mediated Communication through Generations

By Courtney Turnbull

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Texting, email and other computer-mediated communication influence interpersonal relationships differently in the Baby Boom Generation (those born following World War II) and Generation Y (commonly their offspring). Based on a survey and in-depth interviews, this study found that Baby Boomers use computer-mediated communication less but with more quality interactions. Gen Y are heavy users, typically quick and to the point, with less depth of interpersonal communication. Faculty mentor: Dr. Dan Haygood

Social Media and the Evolution of Corporate Communications

By Laura Matthews

The use of social media is rapidly changing the way public relations campaigns and programs are distributed and measured. This critical analysis of the literature shows that social media are forcing corporate communications to shift from pure output to a dialogue in which stakeholders, and not just the companies, have power over the message. How companies respond to the social media revolution is an indicator of future success. Faculty mentor: Dr. George Padgett

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Privacy and Perceptions: How Facebook Advertising Affects Its Users

By Katherine Roberts

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A survey of undergraduate students at four universities analyzes Facebook users and their perceptions of advertising on the social networking site. Respondents closely monitor their privacy settings, yet report seeing micro-targeted ads aimed at their demographic, such as T-shirts for their favorite shows, internships in their specific majors, and sorority merchandise. Half say micro-targeted ads do not change their perceptions of privacy on the site. Faculty mentor: Dr. Dan Haygood

A Semiotic Analysis of Iconic Photos of the Vietnam Era

By Angie Lovelace

Iconic photographs from this era include the execution of a Viet Cong operative on a Saigon street, a Vietnamese girl running naked down the street after being burned by napalm, and the Kent State shootings. A semiotic analysis examines five such photos to determine the common qualities that catapulted them to iconic status. Common threads are emotional outrage, portrayal of innocence, and a sense of powerlessness. Faculty mentors: Dr. David Copeland and Dr. Harlen Makemson

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Modern Portrayals of Journalism in Film

By Alexa Milan

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As the journalism profession has evolved, so has the portrayal of journalism on-screen. Based on a qualitative content analysis, the study finds that 10 films about journalism in recent years, such as “Good Night and Good Luck” (2005) and “Frost/Nixon” (2008), tend to fall into three categories: current media trends such as the rise of online media, nostalgic portrayals of the past, and issues involving media ethics. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

Up in Smoke: Antismoking Advertisements and Youth Smoking Habits

By Katelynn Sachs

An antismoking “truth” campaign, funded by a settlement between states and tobacco companies, was launched in 2000. Rather than using a “just say no” approach, this campaign avoided directly telling youths not to smoke and instead showed graphic images and stark facts about tobacco-related death and disease. This study analyzed five commercials in the “truth” campaign according to a rating system of advertising strategies. Faculty mentor: Dr. Don Grady

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Evolution of Product Placement in Film

By Alex Walton

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Product placements in Hollywood films have a long history. This study involves a content analysis of product placements in the top-grossing film of each decade starting with the 1920s. While the number of product placements has increased, such as in “E.T.” (1982) and “Independence Day” (1996), the characteristics of placement have little changed, with 85% of placements being visual. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

Translating Success in Sports to Children's Non-Profit Organizations

By Kyle Johnson

Some professional athletes have established charitable organizations to assist children and youth. This study examined whether the success of the organization correlated with the features available on the organization’s web site, such as the level of interactivity. The more developed the web site, the greater the likelihood of the organization’s success, but there was not a strong correlation. Faculty mentor: Dr. Dan Haygood

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Image Reparation Strategies in Sports

By Jennifer Kennedy

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NBA star Kobe Bryant was charged with sexual assault, and baseball slugger Barry Bonds was implicated in the steroid scandal. This study examines media coverage of these two scandals to discern which image reparation strategies work in a pro athlete’s favor and which work against the athlete. Positive strategies include responding quickly and truthfully and keeping a low profile outside of athletic performance. Faculty mentor: Dr. David Copeland

A Critical Analysis of Press Freedom in East Asia

By Grace Trilling

In evaluating press freedom around the globe, a non-profit organization in Washington annually classifies nations as free, partly free or not free. Key elements include the government-media relationship and economic factors. This study looks at three “not free” nations – China, Singapore and North Korea – and posits that factors such as the cultural legacy of Confucianism should be taken into account. Faculty mentors: Dr. Glenn Scott and Dr. David Copeland

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Censorship and Evolving Media Policy in China

By Rebecca Wetherbee

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China’s political history impacts its media. This study analyzes China’s acceptance of free enterprise with its reproach of free speech; describes China’s relationships with Hong Kong and Taiwan, which each enjoy a freer media system; reviews China’s treatment of foreign media, particularly during the 2008 Summer Olympics; and examines how China has relaxed some of its stringent policies for the purpose of increased globalization. Faculty mentor: Dr. Don Grady

Foreign Correspondents in a Modern World

By Dannika Lewis

Major American news organizations are reducing their number of foreign bureaus for economic reasons at the very time the nation is becoming more interconnected with the world and its complex issues. This study examines the state of international news coverage today and what the future may entail, including alternative news sources such as non-governmental organizations and citizen-journalist bloggers. Faculty mentor: Dr. Rich Landesberg

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