School of Communications publishes spring 2015 issue of research journal

This semester's edition marks the 11th in the history of the Elon Journal, the nation’s first and only undergraduate research journal in communications.

​The School of Communications has published the spring 2015 issue of the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, featuring student work on topics ranging from impacts of new technology on individuals and society to the media portrayal of Adolf Hitler in U.S. newspapers in 1923 and 1924.

The spring 2015 issue contains 11 research papers authored by School of Communications students. The lead article focuses on why the act of taking selfies and posting them to the Internet is a factor leading to an increase in narcissistic and selfish behaviors. Three other articles also deal with the effects of new technology, highlighting the influence of cellphone use on face-to-face communication, the impact of technology on a music star’s cultural influence, and the use of Twitter as a news channel through a case study of the Boston Marathon bombings.

Four journal articles specifically address advertising and marketing issues. Among the topics student researchers studied were the recent outpouring of female-empowering advertisements, as well as how advertisers and marketers can use beacons (location-based technology) to push brands.

Lastly, three articles investigated media portrayal, studying Hitler’s coverage in U.S. newspapers in 1923 and 1924, exploring the role that Native Americans have played in the Hollywood film industry, and examining how the news media have presented the Ferguson, Missouri, conflicts compared to the Rodney King incident two decades ago.

Accompanying the online articles are video introductions by the authors, who explain their research methods and their interest in the topics they chose to study.

Byung Lee, associate professor in the School of Communications, serves as journal editor. He assembled an editorial board of 28 Communications faculty members who participated in the multiple blind-review process to select the best student work.

The Elon Journal began in spring 2010, with spring and fall editions each year. The spring 2015 journal marks the 11th edition.

“These studies reflect hard work of students and their mentors in answering significant communication questions of our time,” Lee writes in his editor’s note. “I hope the articles in this issue will inspire students in the next semester to commit to examining important research questions and submit their papers to this journal.”

The Council on Undergraduate Research catalogs more than 200 student research journals in the nation, and the Elon Journal is the only one that focuses on undergraduate student research in journalism, media and communications.

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