This semester's edition marks the 12th 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 fall 2015 issue of the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, featuring student work on topics ranging from the powerful effects of advertising on negative body image to an examination of newspaper coverage of human rights in Russia leading up to the Sochi Olympics.
The fall 2015 issue contains 10 research papers authored by School of Communications students. The lead article examines how universities communicate the benefits of study abroad experiences on their respective websites. Two other articles also focused on social media or online content, highlighting Dunkin’ Donuts’ misuse of Instagram to promote its brand effectively and how four Southeastern magazines should address their content to promote readership and advertising revenue.
Four journal articles specifically analyzed traditional media content. Among the topics student researchers studied were whether “Scandal” character Olivia Pope reflects popular African-American female stereotypes in television as well as the media portrayal of Adolf Hitler in U.S. newspapers between 1930 and 1933.
Lastly, three articles investigated public relations and advertising issues, including an analysis of successful student-run public relations and advertising agencies. Other articles studied NFL player Adrian Peterson’s attempt to repair his image following child abuse charges and the psychological effects of fitness advertising on female collegiate athletes.
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 the journal’s editor. He assembled an editorial board of 29 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 fall 2015 journal marks the 12th 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 future semesters 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.