AUGIE GRANT, ERIC ROBINSON (SJMC Faculty – Regulation), EHSAN MOHAMMADI (iSchool Faculty – Big Data), AMIR KARAMI (iSchool Faculty – Big Data), and YICHENG ZHU (PhD Alum – History of Communication Technology)
Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, 18th edition, published April 2022 by Austin-based Technology Futures, Inc.
Citation: Grant, A. E. & Meadows, J. H. (Eds.) (2022). Communication Technology Update and Fundamentals, 18th edition. Technology Futures, Inc.
Abstract: The latest edition of the book begins with a section covering the fundamentals of communication technology in five chapterss that explain the communication technology ecosystem, its history, theories, structure, and regulations. Separate chapters then explore the background, recent developments, and current status of two dozen technologies in electronic mass media, computers, consumer electronics, telephony, and networking. The chapters are written by experts who provide a snapshot of an individual field. Together, these updates provide a broad overview of these industries and examine the role communication technologies play in our everyday lives. In addition to substantial updates to each chapter, the 18th edition includes first-ever chapters on surveillance and remote working and learning, plus updated user data in every chapter; an overview of industry structure, including recent and proposed mergers and acquisitions; and sidebars about people who have made a lasting contribution to communication technologies, with an emphasis on women and people of color.
On April 1, I received acceptance letter for an article entitled "The Audacity of Clout(chasing)" in the International Journal of Communication. The article is a collaboration with Dr. Nancy Baym, whom was my mentor at Microsoft Research.
Citation: Evans, J.M. & Baym, N.K. (forthcoming, accepted 4/1/22) The Audacity of Clout(chasing):Digital Strategies of Black Youth in Chicago DIY Hip-Hop. International Journal of Communication.
Abstract: Though many scholars have theorized on the communication of Black youth in digital spaces, academic work has generally not sought artist perspectives of how their platformed creation might be connected to relational labor. Using observation and interviews with artists, artist managers and entrepreneurs, we examine relational practices of Hip-Hop youth on social media. We describe their work on social media toward acquiring “clout”—a digital form of influence self-described by emerging musicians as allowing them to leverage digital tools in building social and professional status, amplify authenticity, cultivate connections with fans, connect to friends and other cultural producers. In this study, we detail examples of three relational strategies that our respondents utilized to acquire clout: (a) corralling (b) capping, and (c) co-signing. To conclude, we argue Chicago’s Hip-Hop scene provides an example of why formal institutions and researchers need to rethink how race, class, gender, and geography influence the digital interactions of young people and how their social practices add to the understanding of the counter-publics arising from globalizing social media.
BROOKE MCKEEVER, MINHEE CHOI (Ph.D. Alumna), DENETRA WALKER (Ph.D. Alumna), and ROBERT MCKEEVER (SJMC Faculty)
Citation: McKeever, B.W., Choi, M., Walker, D., & McKeever, R. (2022). Gun violence as a public health issue: Media advocacy, framing and implications for communication. Newspaper Research Journal. https://doi.org/10.1177/07395329221090497
Abstract: Following a recent push to reframe gun violence as a public health issue, an online survey (N = 510) helped explore frame salience and frame adoption through the lens of media advocacy. Findings revealed that gun control and gun rights frames are salient, and television, social media and newspapers are the most popular sources of gun violence information. Individuals are being held responsible, while background checks were the most salient and adopted solution among Americans. Three gun rights organizations were the most salient organizations from media coverage related to gun violence. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Greenville, SC April 6-10
I presented on the Movement Rhetoric/Rhetoric's Movements panel at the Southern States Communication Association.
Abstract: This thematic panel takes up the question of how and why individuals, collectives, and institutions are moved, changed, and transformed through social communicative action. Participants will consider rhetorical scholarship, particularly new books and proposals in the University of South Carolina Press series of the same name, that examine the work of social justice and grassroots movements enacted via digital and embodied means. Additionally, participants will discuss social movement pedagogy along with cases of social communicative actions that are driven by corporate and economic interests and that can help us to better understand the rhetorical and material impediments to achieving the goals of justice and equity.
Oxford, MS at The University of Mississippi, March 31-April 2
I was identified as a leading researcher in public relations and asked to present on the role of advocacy and social justice in PR at the inaugural IMC Connect! conference.
Abstract: This collaborative conference connected leading researchers and industry practitioners in the field of integrated marketing communication. The purpose of the conference was to provide critical insights related to crisis communication, big data, social media, public relations and advertising.
Dr. Karami was invited to give a virtual talk at Leiden University in the Netherlands. The title of his talk was Methodological Challenges of Studying Social Media. Leiden University ranks among the top 100 universities in the world.
Dr. Karami was invited to give a virtual talk at the IÉSEG School of Management. The title of his talk was Taming Health Dis/Misinformation on Social Media with Data Science Lash. IÉSEG School of Management is one of the top Business Schools in France, ranked 21st in the world by the Financial Times.
Dr. Copeland was appointed to Library of the Year Committee, National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled, Library of Congress
AMIR KARAMI and JACQUELINE PURTELL (Honors Student)
Jacqueline Purtell (Honors Student) and Dr. Karami (Mentor) received the Honors College Research Grant to analyze vaccine Dis/Misinformation on social media.
Dr. Karami received the International Healthcare 2021 Young Investigator Award. This award is for researchers who are under 40.
BROOKE MCKEEVER and MINHEE CHOI (Ph.D. alumna)
Citation: McKeever, B.W., Choi, M. (2022). Philanthropic Crisis Communication. Invited book chapter published in Social Media and Crisis Communication, 2nd Edition, edited by Lucinda Austin and Yan Jin.
CANDICE EDRINGTON, TARA MORTENSEN (SJMC faculty), and ODERA ENZENNA ( SKMC Ph.D. student)
Citation: Edrington, C., Mortensen, T., Ezenna, O. (2022, March). Cultural Projection via #IAmABlackMan Challenge on Instagram. Presented at the Association of Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication Southeast Colloquium. Memphis, TN. Visual Communication Division. Research In Progress.
Abstract: The purpose of the proposed research study is to analyze Instagram photos posted by Black men with the #iamablackman hashtag challenge caption to assess the nature of cultural projection as visually and verbally communicated through Instagram, to examine how others interpret the cultural projection of Black men through these images, and to understand the overall sentiments surrounding the hashtag challenge.
BROOKE MCKEEVER, MINHEE CHOI (Ph.D. alumna), and HOLLY OVERTON (former SJMC faculty)
Citation: Choi, M., McKeever, B.W., Overton, H. (2022, May). A configurational approach to public relations research on prosocial behaviors. Research accepted for presentation at the International Communication Association (ICA) Conference in Paris, France.
FEILI TU-KEEFNER and ABBY BRICKER (MLIS student)
Citation: Tu-Keefner, F., Hobbs, A., & Bricker, A. (2022, March). Is your COVID-19 health information understood by adults in the general public? A content analysis of online resources published by the CDC and the WHO. In Proceedings of the International Congress of Medical Librarianship (ICML) and the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) Joint Conference. (In Press)
Abstract: Because uncertainty, great fear, conspiracy theories, and distrust are associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, people need access to accurate and easy-to-understand information to help them act appropriately. Major public health organizations worldwide, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO), have created web portals to rapidly release authoritative COVID-19 health information to a large population. It is essential to examine whether the authoritative COVID-19 health information distributed by these two major public health organizations facilitates health information access by the adults from the general public. The research design for this study is based on Savolainen’s everyday life information concepts and Dervin’s sense-making methodology. The research purposes are to 1) better understand the connections between readability levels and consumer health information comprehension; 2) investigate whether the authoritative COVID-19 health information provided can support the evidence-based health information access activities of adults from American general public. This study examines the levels of readability and comprehension of the COVID-19 health information distributed by the CDC and by the WHO. The sample populations analyzed are identified through accessing the COVID-19 health information shared on the public library systems’ websites of the twenty largest cities in the United States. Microsoft Office software is utilized for content analysis and to calculate the averages of the readability scores of the COVID-19 health information provided by targeted organizations.
KEVIN HULL and LAUREN SCHWARTZ (former SJMC undergraduate student)
Citation: Hull, K., Billings, A. C., & Schwartz, L. (2021). The “Mighty Kacy” Effect? American Ninja Warrior and the elevation of women athletes. Journal of Sports Media, 16(2), 111-131.
Abstract: Contrary to previous sports studies demonstrating that sports within prime-time television programming minimize women athletes both in terms of exposure and the characterization of athletes when they are shown, the NBC-based athletic reality program American Ninja Warrior seemingly challenges such traditions. A study of a full season of the hit program reveals that only two significant dialogue differences emerged, disproportionately complimenting the speed of male competitors and the strength of female competitors. Otherwise, nonsignificant differences were found within the sample, perhaps revealing progress in the degree to which new renderings of sports media could be built on structures less premised in hegemonic masculinity.
KEVIN HULL, DENETRA WALKER (SJMC PhD student), KIRSTIN PELLIZZARO (SJMC faculty),
AND MILES ROMNEY (former SJMC faculty)
Citation: Hull, K., Walker, D., Romney, M., & Pellizzaro, K. (accepted for publication). “Through our Prism”: A survey of Black local sports journalists’ work experiences and interactions with Black athletes. Journalism Practice.
Abstract: Black local television sports journalists throughout the United States were surveyed to discover how they view both their perceived place in the newsroom and media treatment of, and their own interactions with, Black athletes. The majority say that Black athletes are negatively stereotyped and that, as Black journalists, they have an easier time relating to and telling the story of the Black athlete. Using a thematic analysis of the open-ended comments, the authors found perspective, realization of racism, discriminatory hiring practices, and emotional labor to be common themes. Findings from this mixed methods study point to their belief that hiring more Black television sports journalists could improve coverage of Black athletes, but there are doubts that those job opportunities exist. When discussing their own experiences, the Black television sports journalists said there is some “tokenism” within television station hiring practices that makes it difficult for many of them to be hired. Practical implications for the future of sports journalism and newsroom diversity is discussed.
BROOKE MCKEEVER and YUE ZHENG (Ph.D. alumna)
Citation: Zheng, Y., & McKeever, B.W. (2022). Improving mobile donations: Exploring an advanced technology acceptance model, media preferences, and demographics of mobile donors. International Journal of Mobile Communications, 20(2), 242-261.
Abstract: Mobile donations, contributions made by sending a text message, have been possible for more than a decade and have led to successful fundraising campaigns such as one following an earthquake in Haiti in 2010. However, most mobile phone users have never used this technology and few campaigns have come close to the funds raised for Haiti earthquake relief. To examine people's motivations to make mobile donations, this study conducted a national survey with 994 USA-based respondents to explore an advanced version of the technology acceptance model. By comparing the findings between those who have previously made mobile donations and those who have not, perceived credibility was identified as a key factor to motivate non-donors. This research also explored how mobile donation motivations varied across multiple media preference and demographic variables, which contributes practical implications for non-profit organizations to improve future fundraising efforts.
BROOKE MCKEEVER and MINHEE CHOI (Ph.D. alumna)
Citation: Choi, M., McKeever, B.W. (2022). Social media advocacy and gun violence: Applying the engagement model to nonprofit organizations' communication efforts. Public Relations Review. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2022.102173
Abstract: Applying the model of engagement, this study tests the effectiveness of social media advocacy strategies, framing, and mobilizing information related to nonprofit organizations’ communication about the issue of gun violence. An online experiment revealed successful social media advocacy strategies within the engagement model. Two key components of social media advocacy were identified: (1) public relations practitioners’ roles in shaping messages and mobilizing publics; (2) the important role of marginalized groups and individuals in issue amplification.
BROOKE MCKEEVER, JOHN A BERNHART (Arnold School of Public Health alumna), SARA WILCOX
(Arnold School of Public Health faculty), and JENNIFER O’NEIL (Arnold School of Public
Citation: Bernhart, J.A., Wilcox, S., McKeever, B.W., Ehlers, D.K., O’Neill, J.R. (2022). A self-determination theory application to physical activity in charity sports events. American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine. DOI: 10.1177/15598276221077204
Abstract: Charity sports events, specifically 5K events, reach large numbers of people and may help promote physical activity (PA). Few studies exist applying Self-Determination Theory (SDT) to participation in these events. This study examined changes in SDT constructs of Autonomy, Competence, and Relatedness satisfaction in participants (n = 207) of charity 5K events and (2) examined relationships among post-event SDT constructs, PA, and intention to complete future events. Participants completed online surveys before and after a charity 5K event using the Psychological Needs Satisfaction in Exercise Scale, Behavioral Regulation in Exercise Questionnaire-2, and International Physical Activity Questionnaire-Short Form. Repeated measures analysis of covariance analyzed the first purpose and regression the second. Competence satisfaction increased (P = .04) and relatedness satisfaction decreased (P = .04). Higher post-event relatedness satisfaction was associated with intention to complete future charity 5K events (OR = 1.05, 95% CI: 1.00, 1.11). Higher post-event autonomy, competence, and relatedness satisfaction and intrinsic motivation were associated with greater post-event MET-minutes of PA (all P < .05). Findings may be useful for promoting PA and helping organizations increase participation. Specifically, events facilitating relatedness among participants may lead to repeat participation as these events have opportunities to fulfill SDT outcomes and increase post-event PA.
Citation: Stephens, K. K., Powers, C., Robertson, B. W., Sperling, L., Collier, J., Tich, K., & Smith, W. R. (2022). Building more resilient communities with a wildfire preparedness drill in the U.S.: Individual and community influences and communication practices. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management
Citation: Overton, H. K. & Xiao, A. (accepted). Conscience-Driven Corporate Social Advocacy: Analyzing Moral Conviction and Perceived Motives as Predictors of Organization-Public Relationships. Corporate Communication: An International Journal
Brooke was invited to be the Opening Plenary Speaker at the Second Annual SC Center for Rural and Primary Healthcare Learning Collaborative Meeting, which took place on March 4, 2022. Her presentation was titled, "Communicating Impact and Influencing Change."
Citation: Tu-Keefner, F., Lyons, D. R., Liu, J., Hobbs, A., & Smith, J. C. (2022, March 23-25). Librarians lead in times of crisis: Stop, drop & roll. To be presented at the Public Library Association Conference, Portland OR.
Abstract: Society today expects libraries to be not just information service providers, but to also serve as catalysts for community engagement. The mission of librarians is to improve society through facilitating knowledge creation, preservation, and dissemination. When the pandemic hit the nation, the majority of libraries had to close their doors. Libraries nationwide took the opportunity to transform their service to various types of formats and continue the provision of essential information services to their user communities. Various types of innovative and virtual information services have been developed and implemented. This presentation covers how librarians have stepped up to being leaders to the communities they serve, especially focusing on how librarians have gone far and beyond to provide non-traditional library services to their communities. Several examples will be provided. Librarians’ leadership qualifications in time of crisis will be addressed. These qualifications are from the results of three situation-specific studies on the provision of disaster health-information services by public libraries. The significance of creating diversified workforces in libraries, as well as how to integrate equality, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in the libraries’ strategic plans will be also addressed. The presentation will end with a discussion of what lessons have been learned from the pandemic.
FEILI TU-KEEFNER and ABBY BRICKER (MLIS student)
Citation: Tu-Keefner, F., Hobbs, A., & Bricker, A. (2022, March 15-19). Is the COVID-19 health information that you provided understood by your general public users? A content analytical study. Presented at the International Congress of Medical Librarianship (ICML) and the Association for Health Information and Libraries in Africa (AHILA) Joint Conference, Pretoria, South Africa.
Abstract: Because uncertainty, great fear, conspiracy theories, and distrust are associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, people need access to accurate and easy-to-understand information to help them act appropriately. Major public health organizations worldwide, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States and the World Health Organization (WHO), have created web portals to rapidly release authoritative COVID-19 health information to a large population. It is essential to examine whether the authoritative COVID-19 health information distributed by these two major public health organizations facilitates health information access by the adults from the general public. The research design for this study is based on Savolainen's everyday life information concepts and Dervin's sense-making methodology. The research purposes are to 1) better understand the connections between readability levels and consumer health information comprehension; 2) investigate whether the authoritative COVID-19 health information provided can support the evidence-based health information access activities of adults from the general public. This study examines the levels of readability and comprehension of the COVID-19 health information distributed by the CDC and by the WHO. The sample populations analyzed are identified through accessing the COVID-19 health information shared on the public library systems’ websites of the twenty largest cities in the United States. Microsoft Office software is utilized for content analysis and to calculate the averages of the readability scores of the COVID-19 health information provided by targeted organizations.
AMIR KARAMI, XIAOMING LI, and JIAJIA ZHANG
With multi-department collaborations, Dr. Amir Karami has received an NIH grant to mentor researchers at the intersection of social media, data science, and infectious diseases.
Top Student Paper Award for "Online endorsed misinformation and climate change: using heuristic cues to assess perceived credibility of messages and sharing intentions" at the 47th Annual AEJMC Southeast Colloquium (SEC ’22) to be held in Memphis, United States on March 17-19, 2022.
Citation: Zain, A. (2022, March). Online endorsed misinformation and climate change: using heuristic cues to assess perceived credibility of messages and sharing intentions. 47th Annual AEJMC Southeast Colloquium (SEC ’22). Memphis, United States.
My solo-authored textbook, Sports Broadcasting, was published a few weeks ago.
Citation: Hull, K. (2022). Sports Broadcasting. Human Kinetics.
ALI ZAIN and JUNGMI JUN
Global Comparison of COVID-19 Vaccination Sentiments and Emotions on Twitter: Findings from 192 Countries presented at the National Big Data Health Science Conference (BDHS ’22). Columbia, United States.
Citation: Jun, J. and Zain, A. (2022, February). Global Comparison of COVID-19 Vaccination Sentiments and Emotions on Twitter: Findings from 192 Countries. National Big Data Health Science Conference (BDHS ’22). Columbia, United States.
Paper accepted to the 72nd Annual ICA Conference in Paris, France: My research team and I have had a paper accepted to this year's upcoming ICA annual conference. The paper is entitled "The Paradoxical Big Non-Story: Traditional and Social Media Frames Surrounding Carl Nassib, the NFL’s First Openly Gay Player."
Citation: Moscowitz, L., Billings, A. C., Gentile, P., & Jackson, J. (2021). The Paradoxical Big Non-Story: Traditional and Social Media Frames Surrounding Carl Nassib, the NFL’s First Openly Gay Player. Paper accepted to 72nd Annual ICA Conference, Paris, France (forthcoming, May 2022).
Abstratct: In June of 2021, National Football League (NFL) defensive lineman Carl Nassib made history as the first openly gay, active professional football player to come out. Advancing research about news coverage of LGBT athletes, this paper employs content analysis to analyze the frames used in newspaper articles (n=195) and on social media (n=5,588 tweets) to report the story of Nassib’s coming out. Findings indicate overall support for Nassib’s coming out, as both newspapers and Twitter posts framed the story as a watershed moment and focused on celebrity support; however, personal attacks were more common on social media. Implications for how media cover gay athlete stories are discussed.
Paper Presented at BEA 2022: My research team and I have had a paper accepted to the Broadcast Education Association's (BEA) 2022 conference in Las Vegas in April. The paper is entitled, "Well, He is Paid to be Violent...": How Athlete Identity Alters Perceptions of Domestic Violence Incidents.
Citation: Brown, K., Billings, A., Moscowitz, L., & Lewis, M. (2021). "Well, He is Paid to be Violent…”: How Athlete Identity Alters Perceptions of Domestic Violence Incidents. Paper accepted to 2022 BEA Annual Conference, Las Vegas, NV (forthcoming, April 2022).
Abstratct: The media coverage of domestic violence in professional sports does not carry equal weight; narratives of race, gender, class, and sexuality define which crimes get the most attention and how perpetrators and victims are portrayed. The purpose of this study is to determine if perceptions of violence related to race, gender and sport will impact audience reactions to domestic violence charges against an athlete.
JUNGMI JUN and ALI ZAIN
Citation: Jun, J., & Zain, A. (2022). Global comparison of ‘COVID-19 vaccination’ sentiments and emotions on Twitter: Findings from 192 countries. Presented at the SC Big Data Health Sciences Center Conference.
Abstract: Many countries show low COVID-19 vaccination rates despite their high levels of readiness and delivery of vaccines. Research suggests the public’s misperceptions, hesitancy, and negative emotions towards vaccines are psychological factors discouraging vaccination. At the individual level, a growing number of studies have revealed negative perceptual and behavioral outcomes of COVID-19 information exposure via social media where misinformation floods. Yet, there is a scarcity of research investigating social media discourses on COVID-19 vaccination and its association with vaccination rates at the national level. We compared COVID-19 vaccination related tweets among 192 countries in terms of the proportion of tweets (1) mentioning adverse effects of COVID-19 vaccine (e.g., death, blood clots), (2) negative sentiment (vs. positive), and (3) negative emotions (vs. joy). We also test the effects of such tweets and covariates (COVID-19 morbidity and mortality rates, GDP, population size and density, literacy rate, democracy index, institutional quality, human development index) in predicting countries’ vaccination rates.
JUNGMI JUN, KIM JOONKYOUNG, OVERTON HOLLY, ROBERTSON BRETT, BELLA NANDINI, ZAIN, ALI, and PIACENTINE COLIN
Citation: Kim, J., Jun, J., Overton, H., Robertson, B., Bhalla, N., & Ciccarelli, C. (2022). Science, faith, and information sources as drivers of individuals' perceptions of COVID-19 risk and mask-wearing intention. Accepted to present at the International Communication Association Annual Conference. Paris. France [Hybrid].
Abstract: The COVID-19 pandemic has led many countries to implement safety guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. An online survey using a U.S. sample (N = 374) was conducted to investigate the determinants of individuals’ intention to adhere to COVID-19 safety measures such as wearing a mask. Results indicate that authoritative COVID-19 information sources (e.g., the CDC) were associated with individuals’ higher risk perceptions of COVID-19 and intention to wear a mask, whereas faith-based organizations as non-authoritative sources were negatively associated with risk perceptions and behavioral intentions. Individuals’ belief in science but not belief in God’s control over their health appeared as a positive predictor of risk perceptions and behavioral intentions.
Routine and Individual-Level Influences on Newspaper Front-Page Images: Wire Photographs, Staff Photojournalism, Race and Gender
Abstract: This study uncovers routine and individual-level influences upon the content of US front-page images. This examination is justified by a news-image environment increasingly dominated by a small number of central agencies and with a lack of photojournalist diversity. At the routine level, differences are assessed based on whether images are taken by an on-staff photojournalist or a wire photographer. At the individual level, differences are assessed based on the photographer’s race and gender. The visual content studied includes three general categories: photojournalistic news values (presence of people, activity of persons of people in the image, whether eye contact is portrayed, emotional hierarchy, and topic), representation (race and gender of people or persons in the image), and visual elevation (circulation of the image in which the image appears, image usage, and image topic). Results of the study show a number of significant routine-level differences, but fewer differences based on the individual characteristics of the photojournalist, which primarily pertain to the representation of subjects.
I published this empirical paper in the Journal of Global Hip-Hop Studies on Chicago's controversial Drill Music scene. I argue that despite ambivalence over the promotion of violence, potential threats to their well-being on the streets and negative stereotypes of Black men within their communication, my respondents saw their promotional content creation on social media as a form of 'social hacking' (a creative means to pursuing upward social mobility) the music industry through the attention economy. I theorize two particular self-described labor practices (capping and corralling) to argue this point.
Citation: Evans, J. M. (2022). We (MOSTLY) Carry Guns for the Internet: Visibility Labour, Social Hacking and Chasing Digital Clout by Black Male Youth in Chicago’s Drill Rap Scene. Journal of Global Hip Hop Studies, 1(2), 227–47.
Abstract: Much negative attention has been given to the ‘drill’ music genre, a subgenre of gangsta rap that was born in Chicago’s underground hip hop scene in early 2010s. Previous scholarship has highlighted how social media has shifted how gang-affiliated youth in Chicago carefully manage their street reputations, communicate with peers and fuel gang rivalries through platformed creation. Yet still, in the context of drill, I argue that social media self-branding practices also provide these youth a way out of containment and sequestration to gain visibility in the music industry and empower their neighbourhoods. Based on interviews with drill recording artists and their support workers, I explore the content and character of their work, the centrality of work ethic to their racial identity construction and the way they use social media work to build and maintain status, authenticity and cultivate connections with fans, friends and other cultural producers. Bridging traditional theories of urban sociology with emerging new media scholarship, I suggest this group of artists is a representative case of how the digital practices of disadvantaged Black youth have typically gone mischaracterized in the literature. This study offers new insights into ‘capping’ as an important tenet to hip hop’s visibility labour on social media and how the ‘always on’ nature of digital labour adds another dimension to the typical utilization of street authenticity in narratives of hip hop music. This article concludes by illuminating the many deep contradictions and misconceptions about technological ingenuity, Black youth agency, hip hop culture and street credibility in urban communities.
I presented on a panel for the AEJMC's Public Relations Division Virtual Conference. The title of the panel was "Managing Collective Trauma in the PR Classroom".
Abstract: PR educators fill a variety of roles for students, one being a source of mental and emotional support in times of distress (Auger & Formentin, 2021; Madden & Del Rosso, 2021). As society reels from events such as the murder of George Floyd, violent storms and wildfires, the insurrection of the US Capitol, and a deadly pandemic, communities often experience collective trauma -- shared memories of, reactions to, and feelings towards societal events that affect everyone (Hirschberger, 2018). In terms of managing collective trauma, PR educators are shouldered with two central tasks in the PR classroom: 1) supporting students’ mental health through the events that influence individual and collective well-being and 2) helping students consider the role that PR plays in fostering the shared meaning that can help communities heal from collective trauma. This panel asks – how are we helping students navigate the collective stress and trauma the last two years have undoubtedly brought? How do PR and professional communication help us make meaning about what students and educators have experienced and how these experiences inform our pedagogy? What types of challenges have PR educators faced and how are they supporting one another? This panel spotlights PR educators who investigate risk/crisis, advocacy and social change, and dissensus/contentious issues to unpack what we can do to help students navigate the effects of collective trauma and help students forge paths forward to use PR for collective healing.
Winner of the 2021 National Communication Association (NCA) Communication and Aging Division Outstanding Dissertation Award
JUNGMI JUN, MIRANDA BUTLER (Honors Student and PR Major), and MEGHAN WHITTLE (Honors Student)
These students won Magellan Scholar award ($3,650) by the Office of Research. This funding will support their social media research project - "The New Frontier or a Billionaire’s Joy Ride? Artificial Intelligence Driven Analysis of Twitter Conversations of the SpaceX Company."
ROBERT MCKEEVER, JUNGMI JUN, JOON KYOUNG KIM (PhD alumnus), KAREN WILKERSHAM (School of Nursing), BRETT ROBERTSON, CHRISTOPHER NOLAND (PhD alumnus), and CARL CICCARELLI (PhD student)
Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network (CCPN) Research Grant
Citation: McKeever, R., Jun, J., Kim, J.K., Wikersham, K., Robertson, B., Noland, C., & Ciccarelli, C. (2022). Identifying Optimal Visual Narratives to Impact African American Men’s Colorectal Cancer Risk Awareness and Screening Uptake. $19,915 grant awarded by the Colorectal Cancer Prevention Network (CCPN).
CIEL grant for the Community of Practice
Creation of a pilot film that follows the journey of the students enrolled in Maymester at the Circus before, during and after the course.
YINGYING CHEN, JACOB LONG (SJMC faculty), JUNGMI JUN (SJMC faculty), SEI-HILL KIM (SJMC faculty), ALI ZAIN (PhD student), and COLIN PIACENTINE (PhD student)
Citation: Chen, Y., Long, J., Jun J., Kim, S., Zain, A., & Piacentine, C. (2022). Anti-intellectualism amid the Covid-19 pandemic: The dynamics of anti-Fauci discourse on Twitter. Paper accepted by the 72nd Annual International Communications Association Conference (political communication session), Paris, France.
Abstract: The aim of this study is to understand anti-intellectual discourse and their dynamics and sources on social media. Anti-intellectualism, defined as a generalized distrust of experts and intellectuals has become a major obstacle for the public compliance with health policies and behaviors recommended by experts and governments. However, few studies investigate how people express anti-intellectualism and how such speech evolves over time on social media. Analyzing anti-Fauci tweets as a case study, we showed the presence of three types of discourses: people-scientist antagonism, delegitimizing science-based decision-making sovereignty, and delegitimizing truth-speaking sovereignty in anti-Fauci speech being shared on Twitter. Delegitimizing science-based decision-making sovereignty remained to be the major anti-intellectual discourse over time.
Citation: Chen, Y., Dong, C., Rodgers, K., Thorson, K., Baykaldi, S. & Cotter, K. (2022). Local civic information beyond the news: Computational identification of civic content on social media. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual International Communications Association Conference, Paris, France.
Abstract: Local news media used to be the central source for local civic information. As local news organizations dilapidated, the rise of Facebook provides infrastructure opportunities for non-news organizations to directly engage citizens. Thus, non-news organizations on Facebook shift the local civic information infrastructure as sources of civic information. The transformation in information ecology and infrastructure is missing in the current definition of civic information, which still perceives local news as local civic information. Using a combination of computational methods and human coding, we first classify distinct types of civic information in the Facebook posts of multiple types of community organizations, both news and non-news, in one mid-sized Midwestern U.S. city. We use bipartite network analysis to examine the connection between organization type and the production of types of civic information. We highlight the many ways that local organizations collaboratively promote the civic capacity of local residents, but meanwhile they also produce non-civic information, potentially to adapt to the platform for more public attention.
YINGYING CHEN and CINDY YU CHEN (PhD student)
Citation: Yuan, S., Chen, Y., Vojta, S., & Chen, CY. (2022). More aggressive, more retweets? Exploring the effects of aggressive climate change messages on Twitter. Paper presented at the 72nd Annual International Communications Association Conference, Paris, France.
Abstract: When an increasing amount of polarized and aggressive tweets of climate change are observed, limited is known as how they spread on Twitter. This study focuses on how different types of network gatekeepers use aggressive styles and how the styles affect their propagation. The current study employed a computational method and identified 951 influential accounts from 7.25 million tweets about climate change in 2019 and 2020. We analyzed their use of aggression and politicized cues, and the relationship with the volume of retweets. Results showed that even though aggressive tweets were a small portion of their overall tweets about climate change, aggressive tweets were more likely to be politicized and retweeted. Additionally, different types of accounts (e.g., news media, political elites, individuals) would use aggression differently. The findings of this study build on the current knowledge in the use of aggression online and provide practical implications for environmental communicators.
I presented a paper in progress for the African American Communication and Culture Division at the annual Meeting of the National Communication Association in Seattle, Washington.
Citation: Evans, J.M. (2021). Clout(chasers): Relational Labor and Empowerment Strategies of Black Youth in Chicago’s DIY Rap Scene. Working paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Communication Association. Seattle, WA. November 18.
I see “clout chasing” as a techno-social competition in the marketplace of attention. For Black youth, clout chasing is self-expression that involves creatively asserting one’s presence in digital spaces that were not designed with them in mind. As a phenomenon, clout-chasing is built around youth sharing their everyday lives online in hopes of creating an engaging reputation within social media platforms. I use Clout-chasing as a framework to understand how Black youth use "underground" labor practices in the innovation economy to expose their creative talents.
Citation: Holman L. & McKeever, R. (2022, May). Climate Change Storytelling: The Transportation Effect of Vividness and Exemplification in Video Narratives on Perceptions of Risk, Attitudes and Intended Behaviors. Paper accepted for presentation at the 72nd Annual International Communication Association (ICA) Conference, Paris, France
This presentation highlights recently collected data by Paul, Yadamsuren, and Thompson exploring ways COVID work-from-home restrictions have affect digital inclusion, digital tech adoption, digital use, and digital confidence.
Citation: Paul, A., Yadamsuren, B. & Thompson, K. M. (2021). Using Factors for Digital Inclusion to Assess Changes in Digital Use Behavior During COVID Times. Presented at the 8th PAN IIM World Management Conference: Responsible Business for Sustainable Development. 16-18 December, 2021 at Indian Institute of Management--Kozhikode, India.
Abstract: During this sudden dramatic transformation owing to the pandemic normal lives were disrupted and personal spaces merged in new ways with the professional. Considerable attention has been drawn to the need for understanding in what ways the pandemic has affected the use of digital media in everyday lives of people. Literature highlights the COVID-19 home in context of the digitized work arrangements and the need to look at unequal burdens of household work along with issues of digital access including Wi-Fi. Businesses are also reshaping their work practices in new ways after experiencing remote work during the pandemic. The purpose of our study is to explore the impact of COVID-19 in everyday lives of working professionals in India applying a digital inclusion framework (Thompson & Paul, 2020) using an online survey method. The findings of our study can help in understanding the new normal with respect to digital use in the lives of individuals owing to the pandemic that will be of interest to governments and organizations to formulate policies towards effective digital inclusion for citizens and better work productivity by employees during stressful times.
SHANNON BOWEN and YICHING ZHU (SJMC doctoral graduate)
Citation: Yicheng Zhu, Shannon A. Bowen & Xiangming Lyu (2022): Messenger Nationality, Media Skepticism, and Crisis Communication Effectiveness: Huawei’s YouTube Messages as Perceived in the U.S., International Journal of Strategic Communication, DOI: 10.1080/1553118X.2021.2014499
Abstract: This study examines the effect of messenger nationality on the credibility perception of YouTube sources in the theoretical context of situational crisis communication theory (SCCT). An online survey experiment with a quota U.S. voter sample (N = 354) showed that Russian nationality decreases source credibility perception in comparison to U.K. and control conditions, while the latter two showed no differences. Although skepticism in domestic media dampens such an effect, path analyses also showed that such impact can be extended to the effectiveness of an MNC’s (i.e., Huawei) global crisis communication efforts in the U.S. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.
Citation: Chen, Y., & Wang, L. (2022). Misleading political advertising fuels incivility online: A social network analysis of 2020 US presidential election campaign video comments on YouTube. Computers in Human Behavior, 107202.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107202
Abstract: In the 2020 U.S. presidential election, increasing misinformation-based political advertisements have circulated on video-sharing platforms, such as YouTube and challenged healthy political communication. This study investigates the social contagion of political incivility stemming from a misinformation-based campaign video posted by former U.S. President Donald Trump. Specifically, using dynamic network analysis and exponential random graph modeling, we explore and test three mechanisms (imitation, intergroup interaction, and reciprocity) for their role in the contagion of online political incivility. Contrary to previous findings, we show that online political incivility is not a fleeting occurrence but recurrent and sustaining given YouTube's promotional algorithms. Reciprocity is the primary mechanism that predicts the formation of uncivil politically-based interactions in YouTube comments. The findings provide implications for YouTube's content moderation mechanism and underline the need to reconsider the potential harm of promoting misinformation-based political campaigns through this platform.
Citation: Chen, Y., Thorson, K., & Lavaccare, J. (2022). Convergence and Divergence: The Evolution of Climate Change Frames Within and Across Public Events. International Journal of Communication, 16, 23.
Abstract: The framing of climate change in the news over time plays a crucial role in shaping public understanding of the issue. This study examines variation in the framing of climate change in global news media across 12 high-attention climate events from 2012 to 2015. We show that events and journalistic practice interact to generate a mix of frames that collectively construct climate change discourse. Using topic modeling and network analysis, we identified six frames used in the media coverage of climate during this period. We trace the usage of these frames and show that framings related to policy struggles and economic concerns have become the “default” framing of climate change across news media. Other framings of the climate issue appear only when particular public events happen. The findings suggest that frame evolution is a socially constructed process influenced by journalistic routines and triggering events.
Social movements are similar to public relations campaigns in that building and maintaining mutually beneficial relationships are vital for their success. This article analyzes the website homepage of the Black Lives Matter movement to assess how they build relationships with their publics.
Citation: Edrington, C. (2021). Information, identification, or both? A rhetorical analysis of how BLM uses their official website. The Pennsylvania Communication Annual, 77(2), 11-30.
Abstract: The purpose of this analysis is to examine the rhetorical dimension of Black Lives Matter’s website homepage in an effort to uncover how identification is articulated in and through the website. This rhetorical analysis focuses on the larger issues of how social movements use digital tools to help advance their goals and achieve action.
JUNGMI JUN, JUN J. ZHANG (PhD alumna), ALI ZAIN (PhD student), and EHSAN MOHAMMADI (iSchool faculty)
Social media discourse of the FDA’s MRTP authorization of IQOS. Substance Use and Misuse.
Citation: Jun, J., Zhang, N., Zhane, A., & Mohammadi, E. (2022).
Abstract: Background: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized the marketing of the IQOS tobacco heating system as a modified risk tobacco product (MRTP) in July 2020, permitting its ‘reduced exposure’ marketing. This decision is accompanied by much controversy among the global health community. We provide a preliminary analysis of Twitter conversations regarding the MRTP authorization of IQOS by identifying the authors, valence towards the policy decision, source of cited link, and focused topic. Methods: We analyzed 548 tweets mentioning MRTP posted between July 2016 (when PMI submitted the proposal) and October 2020. Results: We found a higher proportion of pro-MRTP valence (25.4%) than anti-MRTP (16.2%). Nearly half of the tweets (47.2%) expressing personal opinions presented pro-MRTP valence (vs. anti-MRTP = 23.9%). The FDA website was more frequently cited in pro-MRTP tweets (30.8% vs. anti = 4.8%), while tobacco control advocates’ websites were cited only in anti-MRTP tweets (77.4% vs. pro = 0). Pro-MRTP valence appeared more frequently in tweets mentioning health (53.1% vs. anti =38.5%) and cessation (100% vs. anti = 0). Nearly 42% of tweets showed a bot score greater than .43, indicating a possibility of automation. Conclusion: Continuous efforts are needed to surveil the industry’s attempts to create a climate of false consensus and circulate misinformation regarding MRTP on social media, as well as to assist non-scientific audiences’ understanding of MRTP.
AMIR KARAMI, PARISA BOZORGI (Arnold School of Public Health), DWAYNE E. PORTER (Arnold School of Public Health) and JAN M. EBERTH (Arnold School of Public Health)
This study published by Drug and Alcohol Dependence (Impact Factor: 4.492) aims to identify the leading neighborhood-level predictors of drug overdose and develop a model to predict areas at the highest risk of drug overdose using geographic information systems and machine learning (ML) techniques.
Citation: Bozorgi, P., Porter, D. E., Eberth, J. M., Eidson, J. P., & Karami, A. (2021). The leading neighborhood-level predictors of drug overdose: a mixed machine learning and spatial approach. Drug and alcohol dependence, 109143.
Background: Drug overdose is a leading cause of unintentional death in the United States and has contributed significantly to a decline in life expectancy during recent years. To combat this health issue, this study aims to identify the leading neighborhood-level predictors of drug overdose and develop a model to predict areas at the highest risk of drug overdose using geographic information systems and machine learning (ML) techniques.
Method: Neighborhood-level (block group) predictors were grouped into three domains: socio-demographic factors, drug use variables, and protective resources. We explored different ML algorithms, accounting for spatial dependency, to identify leading predictors in each domain. Using geographically weighted regression and the best-performing ML algorithm, we combined the output prediction of three domains to produce a final ensemble model. The model performance was validated using classification evaluation metrics, spatial cross-validation, and spatial autocorrelation testing.
Results: The variables contributing most to the predictive model included the proportion of households with food stamps, households with an annual income below $35,000, opioid prescription rate, smoking accessories expenditures, and accessibility to opioid treatment programs and hospitals. Compared to the error estimated from normal cross-validation, the generalized error of the model did not increase considerably in spatial cross-validation. The ensemble model using ML outperformed the GWR method.
Conclusion: This study identified strong neighborhood-level predictors that place a community at risk of experiencing drug overdoses, as well as protective factors. Our findings may shed light on several specific avenues for targeted intervention in neighborhoods at risk for high drug overdose burdens.
Citation: Kitzie, V., Connaway, L.S., & Radford, M.L. (2021). “I’ve already Googled it and I can’t understand it”: User’s perceptions of virtual reference and social question-answering sites. Reference and User Services Quarterly, 59(3/4), 204-215.
Abstract: For librarians to continually demonstrate superior and high-quality service, they must meet the needs of current and potential users. One way that librarians have met the needs of users is by expanding their service offerings online via virtual reference services (VRS). This expansion is particularly critical in the current time of COVID-19. To provide high-quality VRS service, librarians can learn from social question-answering (SQA) sites, whose popularity reflect changing user expectations, motivations, use, and assessment of information. Informed by interviews with 51 users and potential users of both platforms this research examines how strengths from SQA can be leveraged in VRS, and what can be learned from SQA practices to reach potential library users. This study represents one of the few comparisons between VRS and SQA that exist in the literature.
By measuring the psychological distance to COVID-19, either as a health or economic risk to one's self, we were able to explain why people accept rumored messages to be true. Implications for misinformation and rumor psychology research are discussed.
Citation: Kwon KH, Pellizzaro K, Shao C, Chadha M. “I Heard That COVID-19 Was...”: Rumors, Pandemic, and Psychological Distance. American Behavioral Scientist. January 2022. doi:10.1177/00027642211066026
Abstract: The spread of misinformation through a variety of communication channels has amplified society’s challenge to manage the COVID-19 pandemic. While existing studies have examined how misinformation spreads, few studies have examined the role of psychological distance in people’s mental processing of a rumor and their propensity to accept self-transformed narratives of the message. Based on an open-ended survey data collected in the U.S. (N = 621) during an early phase of the pandemic, the current study examines how psychological distance relates to the transformation and acceptance of conspiratorial narratives in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Two instances of misinformation are examined, both of which were widely heard at the time of data collection: the role of (a) Bill Gates and (b) government during the outbreak of the pandemic. This study uses topic modeling techniques to capture distinctive topical attributes that emerged from rumor narratives. In addition, statistical analyses estimate the psychological distance effects on the salience of topical attributes of a rumor story and an individual’s propensity to believe them. Findings reveal that psychological distance to the threats of COVID-19 influences how misinformation evolves through word-of-mouth, particularly in terms of who is responsible for the pandemic and why the world finds itself in the current situation. Psychological distance also explains why people accept the message to be true. Implications for misinformation and rumor psychology research, as well as avenues for future research, are discussed.
Accepted for publication in the International Journal of Advertising.
Citation: Choi, Hojoon, Kyunga Yoo, Tom Reichert, and Temple Northup (forthcoming). Sexual Ad Appeals in Social Media: Effects and Influences of Cultural Difference and Sexual Self-Schema. International Journal of Advertising.
Commenting on Brand Posts during a Crisis: The Relationship between Context-Induced Moods and Brand Message Processing across Three Social Media Platforms
Citation: Feng, Y., & Wu, L. (2021). Commenting on brand posts during a crisis: The relationship between context-induced moods and brand message processing. Journal of Interactive Advertising. DOI: 10.1080/15252019.2021.1994060
Abstract: Within the context of COVID-19, this study examines the relationship between context-induced moods and consumers’ responses to two different types of brand posts on social media: profit-driven posts and public-driven posts. Using both social media data (24,578 user comments on 14 brand posts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) and survey data (356 subjects recruited from Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk), we found that across all three social media platforms (i.e., Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), the more negative mood one was in when using a social media platform during the pandemic, the more likely one would leave a comment to praise the company endorser of the public-driven post (comment type 5) as opposed to leaving a comment to discuss serious issues, shedding light on the prediction of negative-state relief model. By contrast, across all three social media platforms, there is no relationship between context-induced moods and types of comments people leave on a profit-driven brand post. We provide theoretical, practical, and methodological implications for future research.
How the public and consumers respond to AI’s involvement in advertising.
Invited virtual presentation at the Fourth Annual International Conference on Intelligence Science and Advertising Development, Shanghai International Studies University.
Citation: Wu, L. (November 2021). How the public and consumers respond to AI’s involvement in advertising. Invited presentation at the Fourth Annual International Conference on Intelligence Science and Advertising Development, Shanghai International Studies University. Online.
KIM THOMPSON and CLAYTON A. COPELAND
Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the LIS education and practice sectors: Creating accessible learning environments and informing social justice through universal design. In B. Mehra (Ed.), Social Justice Design and Implementation in Library and Information Science. Routledge.
Citation: Copeland, C. A. & Thompson, K. M. (2022). Equity, diversity, and inclusion in the LIS education and practice sectors: Creating accessible learning environments and informing social justice through universal design. In B. Mehra (Ed.), Social Justice Design and Implementation in Library and Information Science (pp. 190-201). Routledge.
Abstract: Social justice concepts can play a pivotal, transformational role in Library and Information Science (LIS) education and practice. Universal design – or design focused on meeting the needs of everyone, regardless of variabilities -- is one framework that can enhance the experience for all. This chapter provides a pedagogical approach to inclusion and accessibility in the LIS sector, providing practical examples of approaches to social justice in course design and delivery through a focus on physical equity, intellectual diversity, and social inclusion. This pedagogical model draws upon the core principles of Universal Design for Learning, and will not only ensure that more students in our programs can be successful in the learning environment, but also that the integration and modeling of these principles for course design throughout the curriculum ultimately can have pervasive social impacts and resultant community involvement in LIS practice, research, education, policy development, service design, and program implementation.
Kevin has been named to the editorial board of the International Journal of Sport Communication.
Dr. Karami was selected as the editor for the Open-Access Special Issue "Applications of Social Media Analytics for Health Informatics" for Healthcare (IF:2.645 & Indexed in PubMed). The first review would be done in less than one month. While the due date is Aug 1, 2022, Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted).