School of Communications publishes spring 2020 issue of research journal

In its most recent edition, the nation’s first and only undergraduate research journal in communications delves into an array of media-related topics, including the role of journalism in covering urgent current topics and media portrayal of gender diversity.

The School of Communications has published the spring 2020 issue of the Elon Journal of Undergraduate Research in Communications, featuring student research on topics ranging from how cable news networks frame climate change to how Muslims perceive they are portrayed by media outlets since the election of President Donald Trump.​

The spring 2020 Elon Journal consists of 11 research papers authored by School of Communications students.

The issue contains 11 research papers authored by School of Communications students. The research studies highlight a diverse set of subjects such as strategic communication strategy, cinematography, social media, travel blogging, gender roles in television and university mission statements.

Four articles examined the role of journalism in covering urgent current topics. Marjorie Anne Foster and Katie Hooker each used field interviews in their respective studies of how Muslims perceive they are portrayed by media since President Trump’s election, and how Haitians feel about media coverage of their nation and culture. Perla Salazar-Rangel and Grace McMeekin each employed content analysis to investigate how journalists interview children in immigration stories and how cable news networks frame the issue of climate change, respectively.

Christina Mastrocola was one of three scholars to focus on gender in the media, comparing how feminism emerges from “Broad City” and “Veep,” two comedy television shows with female lead characters. Additionally, Chloe Kennedy examined model diversity in prominent lingerie brands, while Richard Kasper explored how men and women are impacted by different types of emotions elicited from advertising.

The four remaining scholars focused on how brands, institutions and individuals use strategy in reaching audiences and communicating values. Through a content analysis of 10 travel blogs, Crosby Melendi analyzed how ecotourism bloggers gain trust. Nicole Seay explored the language in mission statements of prominent journalism and communications schools, and Susie Moore identified the rhetorical strategies used by Coca-Cola, Nike, John Deere, and Nivea – some of the most valuable brands in the United States. Lastly, Jeff Leu conducted a qualitative content analysis of 15 Roger Deakins films, studying how the cinematographer captures both the audience’s imagination and the vision of each film’s director.

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. Below is Foster’s video introduction.

​For this spring 2020 issue, Professor Harlen Makemson, the journal’s editor, assembled an editorial board of more than 30 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 2020 journal marks the 21st edition.

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.