Convention 2006 Accepted Papers, Panels & Posters
(see separate list for co-sponsored
panels & division business sessions or combined
Wednesday, Aug. 2, 8:15-9 a.m.
the News We Print Is True, We Think: Reader Credibility”
Carrie Brown, Esther Thorson and Ken Fleming, Missouri-Columbia:
“Taking Action on Credibility:
APME’s Credibility Roundtable Program Have Measurable Effects?”
This study evaluated the impact of the
Associated Press Managing Editors’ National Credibility Roundtable
program on the reported frequency of credibility-building activities
at daily newspapers. Data from a survey of managing editors at Roundtable
newspapers as compared to other newspapers shows that the Roundtable
program appears to be having an impact on promoting credibility actions
in two areas: increasing transparency and allowing readers to participate
in the decision-making process. However, all papers in the sample
showed a high overall frequency of concrete actions to improve credibility.
Michael Bugeja, Jane Peterson, Rut Rey and Fernando Anton, Iowa State:
completeness of newspaper corrections in 2005
as compiled by ‘Regret the Error’”
This study codifies components of corrections
and uses them to rate the scope of newspaper corrections as compiled
in 2005 by Regret the Error (http://www.regrettheerror.com). Some
631 entries were analyzed according to publication date of error,
identification and/or explanation of error, apologies and other factors.
Findings illustrate the degree of completeness of correction, noting
how well or poorly the newspapers upheld standards. Final recommendations
enhance trust and credibility.
Peggie Evans, Texas-Austin:
“Washington Bureau Chiefs Assess
Changing Policies, Attitudes
on Using Anonymous Sources”
Damaging blows have struck journalists’ use
of anonymous sources since 2003. Reporters have fabricated sources
and prosecutors have pressed top national reporters to name confidential
sources or face jail. This study uses in-depth interviews with Washington
bureau chiefs, including at The New York Times, to discuss policy
changes on anonymous sources. The study found bureau chiefs believe
anonymous sources essential to reporting, policies have tightened
and not all anonymous sources are identified to editors.
Ron Smith, Central Florida:
“Are Readers Really Suspicious of
Many editors contend that anonymous sourcing
damages credibility. Research suggests otherwise. This study concludes
neither view is completely correct. Respondents gave similar credibility
ratings to named and unnamed versions of a whistle-blowing story,
regardless of attitudes toward anonymous sourcing or the trustworthiness
of reporters. However, they found personal attacks less credible
with anonymous sourcing. Banning unnamed sources may be an overreaction.
Readers may recognize unnamed sources are useful in some stories
but reject them in others.
Moderator: Andy Bechtel, North
Carolina – Chapel Hill
Aug. 3, 1:30
- 3 p.m.
Steve Collins, Central Florida, and Cory Armstrong, Florida:
“Following the Setting Sun”
Utilizing a Web survey of students enrolled
in a general education class at the University of Florida (n = 1,906),
the researchers examined the response to a unique newspaper marketing
program. Although a number of newspapers over the years have attempted
to attract new readers by offering students free or discounted papers,
the Gainesville Sun became among the first to attempt to compete
directly with the student newspaper by creating its own campus-focused
edition. Preliminary results suggest the Sun still has significantly
fewer readers than the campus paper but that it’s gaining ground.
Perhaps more importantly, a larger percentage of its readers say
they’d be willing to pay for a newspaper after graduation.
Fred Fedler, Central Florida:
“Reporters' Conflicting Attitudes
And Struggle To Unionize”
Little seems to have changed since the
1880s and '90s, not reporters' reasons for organizing – or
opposing – unions. Reporters' culture emphasized independence,
service, and sacrifice, not organization. Reporters were loyal to
paternalistic owners and feared that, rather than helping them, unions
would protect the incompetent. Unions' advocates complained about
their longs hours, low salaries, insecurity, and difficult editors.
Increasingly during the 1930s, reporters also became disillusioned
with the newspaper industry.
Steve Scauzillo and Tony Rimmer, California State - Fullerton:
“Whose View Is It? Gatekeeping Theory
and the Selection and Publication of Letters to the Editor”
This study reports on a 2005 online survey
of editors (N=206) of letters to the editor sections from small,
medium and larger newspapers across the U.S. Research questions considered
the influences of personal opinions, political viewpoints, newsroom
resources and routines, newspaper circulation, staff size, and technology
on publishing behaviors by these editors. Respondents answered questions
about influences on their selection and editing of letters to the
editor. They did not consider their own personal opinions and political
viewpoints to be a factor in their publishing behaviors. Editors
did report that shop resources, newsroom routines and standards did
affect them. Technology appeared to have an effect on the gate. E-mailed
letters to the editor were ranked first by editors, both in number
received and in publishing convenience. Responses demonstrated a
normative aspiration amongst editors to accommodate a wide variety
of viewpoints and topics in letters published.
Marc Seamon, Marshall:
“Frame-mapping Analysis of Newspaper
of Mountaintop Removal Mining in Appalachia: 1985-2004”
This study is a computer-assisted analysis
of how newspapers frame mountaintop removal mining and how their
framing has changed over time in reaction to developments related
to the issue. The frames employed by journalists and the words that
comprise those frames are identified. Abstract patterns of usage
and association among the frames are documented and made visual through
3-D interactive graphs. Interpretation is provided of the frames
and their associative patterns. Implications for journalists and
researchers are discussed.
Hai Tran, North Carolina – Chapel Hill:
“30 Years after, Friend or Foe?
Narrative Analysis of U.S. Newspaper Coverage of Vietnam in 2005”
This narrative analysis examines U.S. newspaper
coverage of Vietnam in 2005. Articles from The
New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times were analyzed to identify
dominant themes, and then contrasted to Vietnam’s newspaper content to reveal
frames employed to depict those themes. Findings indicate the U.S.
coverage reinforced Vietnam’s “otherness” and exoticism
by perpetuating images of Vietnam as “former enemy,” one
of the last “Communist” states struggling to survive
in the “capitalist” world.
Douglas Underwood and Dana Bagwell, Washington:
“Newspapers as Launching Pads for
Many journalist-turned-literary figures
of the past have complained about the constraints in commercial journalism
against honest and creative expression. Today's journalists with
literary ambitions are more positive about daily newspapers as a
place to develop literary talent. But a national study shows that
they respect novelists more than they do journalists; they feel novelists
better reflect the human condition than daily journalists; and those
who have published their literary work often plan to exit journalism.
Denis Wu and Ralph Izard, Louisiana State:
“Representing the Total Community:
Relationships between Asian-American Staff and Asian-American Coverage”
This research paper sought to verify conventional
wisdom that the presence of ethnic journalists – Asian Americans – results
in more and better coverage of ethnic groups to a given community.
Eight newspapers were analyzed, including representatives of communities
with varying numbers of Asian-American populations and geographic
regions across the nation. The study found that newspapers with larger
numbers of Asian-American staff members provide more stories – thus
broader community coverage – about Asian Americans. Likewise,
newspapers in cities with larger Asian-American populations are more
likely to have more Asian-American staff members and cover more about
Asian Americans. However, the impact of Asian-American staff on news
coverage was found stronger than that of Asian-American population.
The influences of Asian American authors can be found in sourcing,
substance and context of stories.
Aug. 3, 5-6:30
session co-sponsored with Mass Communication & Society
Steven Hallock, Southern Illinois - Carbondale:
“Editorials and Public Policy:
legislators read and heed newspaper editorials”
A survey of Illinois legislators found
high levels of readership for editorials of their hometown newspapers
and also suggested that legislators seriously consider the recommendations
of these editorials, including sometimes following their advice when
it comes to voting on legislation. Legislators paid less attention
to editorials of the state capital newspaper, but the levels of respect
for and consideration of these editorials suggests general overall
legislative attention to newspaper editorials by elected policy-makers.
Mark Harmon, Tennessee:
“Non-Presidential Newspaper Endorsements,
2002 and 2004”
The author sampled twenty newspapers from
the top-100 in circulation, tallying all candidate endorsements in
the month preceding the 2002 and 2004 general elections. The newspapers
in 2002 endorsed more Republicans than Democrats, but the reverse
was true in 2004. The same “flip” occurred in conservative
and liberal scores of endorsed incumbents. This finding may have
been an artifact of sample selection in that many of the selected
Democratic-leaning newspapers in 2004 endorsed in many more races
than typically done by newspapers in the overall sample. In 2002
newspapers endorsed incumbents by about a four-to-one ratio; in 2006
the ratio was nearly six to one.
Abhiyan Humane, Carly Yuenger, Xiao Yu Wang, Daniel Gartenberg
Porismita Borah, Wisconsin-Madison:
“How the New York Times covered the
2004 Presidential Campaign:
A Case of New York Times Coverage”
The purpose of the study is to analyze
the composition and variation in various characteristics of media
coverage of the 2004 presidential election by The
New York Times within the campaign period of
July 26, 2004 (DNC) and Nov. 5, 2004 (day after election).
Most studies analyzing media coverage generalize their results
to the period of the entire campaign, thus assuming the invariance
of a campaign and the static nature of media coverage. Emphasizing
the interaction between the campaign and media coverage our results
indicate that media coverage of issues (national, foreign policy
and campaign issues) vary considerably during the course of campaign.
Evidence also suggests that the sources, article type and tone
of the coverage of the Times vary during the course
of the campaign.
Staci Jordan and Douglas Fisher, South Carolina:
“The reality of graphics editing
in the newsroom:
A study of practices at 6 newspapers in the Carolina”
While textbooks call for thorough editing
of newspaper graphics by both copy editors and graphics staff, a
close examination of six newspapers in the Carolinas shows clear
differences by size. Even within some newsrooms, perceptions differ
on how well graphics are edited at a time when graphics have become
central to American newspapers. The presumed accuracy of wire-service
graphics means they often are edited less. However, there is general
agreement that graphics are better edited than when Utt and Pasternak
(2000) conducted their last national study.
Paula Rausch, Florida:
Coverage of Trans Fats:
An Agenda for Policy Change?"
sought to determine how two “conservative” and two “liberal” national
newspapers framed the issue of heart-harmful trans fat in the years
leading up to the FDA’s policy decision requiring its
disclosure on food nutrition labels. Overall, these newspapers
largely did not function in their usual agenda-setting and
surveillance roles, and they provided relatively little information
to their readers about these policy discussions, and nutritional
information regarding the ill health effects of trans fat.
Michael Sheehy, Cincinnati:
“Unnamed Sources in the Washington
This study focuses on unnamed sources in
Washington Post news stories from 1970 to 2000. A content analysis
of 1,730 front-page stories identified unnamed sources with some
functional and no functional identification in five story categories.
The study found that unnamed sources were most common in foreign
news stories; foreign and U.S. government stories had different ratios
of unnamed/no identification and unnamed/some identification sources;
and unnamed sources were most common during the Reagan era.
Steve Urbanski, Duquesne, and Andre Quenum:
“Giving a Voice to the Silenced:
A Journalism Project in Benin, West Africa”
Benin, West Africa, has been a democracy
since 1990 and is still learning the parameters of a free press.
The authors utilize ethnographic fieldwork to ascertain how the print
media in Cotonou – Benin’s largest city – simultaneously
informs and silences key segments of the population. Educated elites
often use the print media as a hegemonic tool for political purposes,
leaving the many uneducated, as well those living in rural areas,
as a silenced majority.
Amy Zerba, Texas - Austin:
Why Some Young Adults
Don’t Read Newspapers”
This exploratory study examines the reasons
why some young adults do not read newspapers. Using previous literature
and open-ended responses from a 2006 Web-based survey, a list is
compiled of non-use reasons. An alternative reason, called Physical
News, is introduced and explored as a prominent reason for not reading
newspapers. Young adults’ suggestions on how newspapers can
improve, including a list of news topics that interest them, are
Aug. 4, 8:15-9:45
Prize Research Panel: Responding to the Needs of the Industry
Newspaper Division, Council of Affiliates
H. Iris Chyi, Arizona, and
George Sylvie, Texas-Austin:
INMA Prize Winner
“One Product, Two Markets:
Differentiates Online Newspaper Audiences”
A secondary data analysis of 136 U.S. online
newspapers’ usage reports investigates how geography differentiates
online newspaper audiences in terms of market size and usage patterns.
Results showed that the local market accounts for 38% of visitors,
55% of page views, and 54% of minutes of the overall U.S. market.
Local Internet users tend to read more pages and spend more time
on the news site. Online newspapers should consider the depth of
the inside-market and the width of the outside-market simultaneously.
Cory Armstrong, Florida, and Steve Collins, Central Florida:
“Reaching Out: Newspaper Credibility
Among Younger Readers”
The researchers examined student perceptions of campus
and community newspaper credibility at a large Southeastern university
using a web survey (n = 1,906) of those enrolled in a general education
class. A moderate correlation (r = .28) existed between college
newspaper credibility and community newspaper credibility. Using
hierarchical linear regression, the researchers found interest
in news content to be a statistically significant predictor of
credibility for both local newspapers and college newspapers. The
results also suggest nonwhites find local newspapers less credible
than whites. In addition, women found their college newspaper significantly
less credible than male readers, but no significant gender findings
existed for the credibility of the community newspaper. Finally,
students whose parents encouraged them to read a newspaper found
both newspapers more credible than did their peers. Implications
for researchers and practitioners were discussed.
Patricia Curtin, Oregon, Elizabeth Dougall
and Rachel Davis Mersey,
“The Internet and the Future of Journalism:
Comparing News Producers’ and Users’ Preferences
on the Yahoo! News Portal
This paper presents preliminary data from
the first phase of a multi-method study designed to determine if
an online news platform can be both commercially viable and socially
responsible, providing the news coverage necessary to support a flourishing
democracy while garnering user numbers and demographics attractive
to advertisers. Applying content analysis to the most frequented
online news site, Yahoo! News, we compare the characteristics of
the top news stories for each of five news outlets with those of
users’ most viewed, most recommended, and most emailed stories.
The study benchmarks users’ actual online news use behaviors
and lends some insight into how users navigate the portal site, providing
guidance for news site structure as well.
Peter Gade, Oklahoma, and Jacqueline Eckstein:
“Concern, Frustration and Guarded
Newspaper Editors Assess Their Changing Organizational
This study asked a probability sample of
top newspaper editors three open-ended questions about how changes
in the industry are impacting their organizational roles, the skills
needed to perform their jobs and to assess the changes in the industry
and their jobs. Responses from 137 editors indicated they perceive
five new or expanding roles (business executive, organizational team
player, coach, readers' advocate, and change agent), three expanded
skill areas (management, business and marketing, and technology)
and assessments focused on four areas (bottom-line pressures, defenders
of journalism, managing people and organizations, and the future
of the industry). Editors are taking on broader organizational roles,
are frustrated by the bottom-line pressures, and remain largely uncertain
about how to address challenges confronting the newspaper industry.
Moderator: Frank E. Fee Jr.,
North Carolina-Chapel Hill
Discussant: Joseph Bernt, Ohio
Friday, Aug. 4, 3:15-4:45 p.m.
“Making News: The Way We See
Shannon Kahle, Penn State, Nan Yu and Erin Whiteside, Penn State:
“An examination of portrayals of
race in hurricane Katrina coverage”
This study uses a content analysis to explore
portrayals of race in newspaper photographs from four national newspapers
covering Hurricane Katrina. The study found that the photographic
coverage of Katrina, while ostensibly sympathetic, reinforced negative
stereotypes about African-Americans, while conversely depicting Caucasians
in powerful roles. The findings support previous findings in literature
on stereotyping and modern racism in news coverage.
Lori Herber and Vince Filak, Ball State:
“A Nation at War Versus a Culture
This study examines differences in source
usage, tone and amount of coverage employed by a United States newspaper
(The Washington Post) and a German Newspaper (Frankfurter
Allgemeine Zeitung) regarding the conflict in Iraq. A content analysis of these
papers reveals that both papers relied primarily on official sources
for their information, but that FaZ gave far less coverage to the
conflict than did the Washington Post. Furthermore, FaZ was more
negative in its coverage of the war and used more sources that were
outside of the conflict and outside the U.S. government than did
the Washington Post. Reasons for differences in coverage are discussed.
Michael McCluskey, California State - Fresno:
“Activist group attributes and their
influences on news portrayal”
Scholars have identified numerous influences
on news coverage, but paid little attention to the influence of attributes
of news seekers on the tone of news coverage. Study examined surveys
from 37 environmental groups and 831 newspaper articles mentioning
groups. Multivariate analysis showed that several group resources
(external revenue, broad membership) and group goals (recreational
improvements) predicted positive news portrayals, and communicating
with government predicted negative portrayals. Analysis suggests
expanding theory detailing influences on news content.
Liwen Jiang, Jeff Sheets, Javier Camaño and Brad Rawlins,
“Framing a Terrorist Event on Neutral
A Comparative Analysis of U.S. and Chinese Newspaper Coverage”
This study examined the prevalence of five news frames
identified in earlier studies on international news report: responsibility,
conflict, human interest, morality, and national interest. As
the first empirical study on testing the five news frames in international
news coverage over terrorism, we content analyzed 2 U.S. newspapers
and 2 Chinese newspapers on the coverage over the terrorism train
bombing in Madrid, Spain, 2004, with a 2-month lifecycle of news
stories. Results indicated that attribution of responsibility
was most commonly used in both the sample U.S. and Chinese newspapers.
Morality was more often used in the Chinese newspapers and national
interest was more often used in the U.S. newspapers. Besides,
in general, attribution of responsibility increased yet human interest
decreased during the 2-month lifecycle in both the sample U.S.
and Chinese newspapers. More comparative results are found and
discussed in the study. Also, further research possibilities are
Moderator: Barbara Reed, Rutgers
Saturday, Aug. 5, 8:15-9:45 a.m.
My Way’ on the Super Highway? Journalists and Readers Online”
Larry Dailey and Donica Mensing, Nevada-Reno:
“The Convergence Conundrum:
Between the Strength of Weak Ties and Jacks of All Trades”
When journalism schools and news organizations
use cross-training to implement convergence, they are operating under
the assumption that sharing certain technical skills will enable
journalists to understand and produce media on a variety of platforms.
These efforts reward those who are able to think more like their
counterparts in print or broadcast. Yet several theories predict
that meaningful innovation is more likely to occur when groups of
people who are different collaborate than when people who share certain
attributes work together. Through a review of scholarly literature,
this paper examines the state of newsroom convergence. It then explains
how two theories – diffusion of innovation and strength of
weak ties – might help harness the benefits of convergence
while also providing an understanding of some of its pitfalls.
George Gladney, Wyoming, Ivor Shapiro, Ryerson, and Joseph Castaldo:
“New Media, Familiar Standards:
Online News People Rate 38 Criteria of Quality for News Web Sites”
The researchers abstracted from the literature
38 criteria of quality of online news Web sites, then conducted an
online survey in which 143 online news people rated the importance
of each criterion. The study’s purpose was to (1) identify
criteria deemed most important in judging the quality of online news
sites, and (2) determine how standards unique to the Web compare
in importance with traditional print standards. Results show that
online news people generally value traditional criteria over Web-specific
Randle Quint, Brigham Young, Lucinda Davenport,
and Scott Lunt, Brigham Young:
“Walkin’ the Walk; Talkin’ the
Reporters’ Online Interaction with Readers”
In the spirit of transparent journalism
and increasing competition from non-traditional online media and
communities, are online newspapers offering readers more and different
types of interactivity and feedback features than they have in the
past? And, if so, are reporters interacting with readers? This study
sought to update and improve earlier research through a content analysis
of a proportional sample of 308 online newspapers and a survey to
reporters. Results indicate that changes are occurring in the frequency
of feedback features, but these changes may not be enough or may
be too slow in coming. Newspapers may be defeating their goodwill
purpose by offering feedback opportunities, but not supporting their
reporters' accountability. Readers could be experiencing frustration
when they participate in invitations to communicate, but receive
no responses. If interacting with readers takes up too much time,
then perhaps newspaper managers can improve the situation by allocating
Jessica Smith, Abilene Christian:
“Content differences between print
and online newspapers”
This study applies gatekeeping theory and
uses content analysis to compare the content of 635 stories in five
newspapers with their Web counterparts. It examines whether reporter
affiliation or a story’s geographic emphasis has a relationship
with the story’s contextual elements. Nearly all stories in
the sample appeared on the newspapers’ Web sites, and story
content was the same 96% of the time. Newspapers are no more likely
to publish additional contextual elements with local stories than
more global ones.
Saturday, Aug. 5, 11:45-1:15 p.m.
“Behavior in the Newsroom: Good,
Bad or Just Our Way?”
Jia Dai and Dominic Lasorsa, Texas-Austin:
“Newsroom’s Normal Accident?
An Exploratory Study of 10 Cases of News Fabrications”
This study examines 10 high-profile recent
cases of fabrication at major American news organizations. Applying
disaster incubation theory and normal accident theory to newsrooms,
it supports the argument that organizational characteristics of newsrooms
contribute to fabrication scandals. The study also identifies certain
patterns in fabricated news stories that distinguish them from authentic
news stories. It is suggested that editors might use these distinguishing
patterns to help recognize and prevent news story fabrication.
Qingmiao Hu and Jennifer Greer, Nevada-Reno:
“Happy Journalists: Good for Business?
A Survey of Business Journalists’ Job Satisfaction and Plans”
This survey of 665 U.S. business journalists
about job satisfaction found business journalists moderately satisfied
with their jobs. While they are most satisfied with their beats,
stories they cover, their autonomy, and their schedules, they are
unhappy with advancement opportunities and training. Inadequate on-the-job
training was highly related to job dissatisfaction, a novel finding.
Finally, minorities were less happy with their jobs and more likely
to plan to leave the business beat than their white colleagues.
Neil Nemeth, Purdue - Calumet:
Got to Do It:
How Three Editors Explain to the Public”
This paper explores how editors of three
metropolitan daily newspapers explain their publications' activities
to the public. The paper features an examination of the public columns
written by the editors of the Rocky Mountain
News, the Seattle
Times and the San Antonio Express-News from 2003-2005 and one editor's
blogs. The findings suggest that editors may have to assume an additional
role of aggressively promoting their newspapers in the turbulent
media landscape of the 21st century.
Norman Lewis, Maryland:
“Newspaper Plagiarism Trends Since
Analysis of all thirty-seven known cases
of daily newspaper plagiarism in the nearly three years since
Jayson Blair rocked The New York Times revealed 89 percent of offenders
were men. Although two-thirds of the journalists lost their jobs,
larger newspapers were much less likely than smaller ones to
dismiss offenders. Some newspapers avoided using the word “plagiarism” and
instead employed euphemisms such as “borrowing.” Historical
reluctance to define plagiarism affected cases of visual and self-plagiarism.