Spring 2016 (V. 31, No. 2)

Cigars, Castro and Communism: Country Concept as a factor in Cuban tourism advertising effectiveness

by Jami Fullerton, Ph.D., Oklahoma State University
Alice Kendrick, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
Sheri J. Broyles, Ph.D., University of North Texas

Abstract: A study conducted prior to the historic announcement about resumption of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States measured US adults’ attitudes toward Cuba as well as their interest in visiting the island nation.  Within the framework of the Model of Country Concept, this paper presents U.S. respondent attitudes toward Cuba as well as whether those attitudes moderate the effectiveness of a Cuban tourism television commercial.  The study is the first to couple a scale of Country Reputation and a measure of Country Image in an effort to arrive at Country Concept and its potential to moderate advertising effects.

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“God’s Objective Truth, As Far As We Know It”: Journalism Ideology At An Evangelical News Magazine

by David A. Ferman
Texas Wesleyan University

Abstract: Ideology has been a major topic of journalism research for the past several decades. This ethnographic study looks at the underlying ideology of a major evangelical publication, the bi-monthly WORLD magazine. Thirteen staff members were interviewed, and a year’s worth of content was analyzed, to find the overarching beliefs that inform the magazine’s reporters and editors, and the work that they produce. The results indicate that the journalists’ ideology can be organized into seven major themes, and that the journalists see themselves as humbly doing God’s work while being persecuted in a largely secular, liberal society as part of the “culture wars” in American life. At the same time, the journalists were found to only loosely apply the “biblical objectivity” concept that the magazine’s editor, Dr. Marvin Olasky, considers so essential to evangelical journalism. This study provides unique and previously unavailable information on several topics within the study of journalism, newsroom ideology, and evangelical Americans, and represents the first study of evangelical Christian journalists to combine interviews with textual analysis to look at the ideology that shapes their perspectives, motivations, and routines, and the content they produce.

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Terror from the Skies: The Propaganda of Aerial Warfare in the Emerging Mass Media of the First World War

by Thomas B. Christie, Ph.D. and Andrew M. Clark, Ph.D.
University of Texas at Arlington

Abstract: Aerial warfare was developed and used in the First World War to terrorize soldiers and population centers, and modern mass media played a dominant role in spreading the fear of the new innovation of war to a global audience. This view of the propagandistic value of aerial warfare played a major role in combat strategies and tactics of the war as military and political leaders began to utilize psychological operations. This paper explores the historical context of this era in light of the emerging broadcast media of the day.  The study concludes with observations of the characteristics of this new ‘terror propaganda,’ the use of which continues today.

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Beyond Boobs and Beer: Analysis of Masculine Rites of Passage in the Film Superbad

by Jennifer Huemmer
Texas Tech University

Abstract: Representations of “ideal” masculinity and the process of achieving that ideal in Western culture constantly change to reflect the current social standards. This critical case study of the 2007 American comedy film Superbad uses a textual analysis to identify how the film represents emerging masculinity and the process for achieving an “ideal” masculine status. The results indicate that representations of masculinity in Superbad are divided into three categories consistent with Sigmund Freud’s concepts of id, ego and superego. Superbad is consistent with the “myth” of hegemonic masculinity in that white, heterosexual, middle-class men are “ideal” regardless of personality and physical beauty. However, the film diverges from the myth of hegemonic masculinity in its exaggerated representations of hyper-masculine male characters thus positioning stereotypical aggressive depictions of masculinity as an outdated farce.

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A Thematic Analysis of Social Media Marketing in Higher Education

by Drs. Liza Benedict, Lesley F. Leach and Pat Winn
Tarleton State University

Abstract: A review of the empirical, peer-reviewed literature related to marketing in higher education was conducted to examine the use and effectiveness of social media in higher education institutions. Results from twelve peer-reviewed, empirical studies were thematically analyzed. Findings were outlined in a thematic map with three emergent themes: (a) why social media marketing is used in higher education, (b) the purposes for which social media marketing is being used in higher education, and (c) the effectiveness of the use of social media marketing in higher education. Results suggested prospective students still rely on the traditional forms of marketing, such as institutional web and print materials, although there is some evidence that social media is gaining prominence in their decision-making process. In summary, findings imply university marketers should strategically plan, including assessing student preference regarding social media communication, in order to embed social media marketing as an institution-wide tactic taking into account the collection of measurable analytics on the effectiveness of the effort.

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Journalists Taking the Offensive: Paradigm Repair and the Daily Ethics Scandal

by Raymond McCaffrey
University of Arkansas

Abstract: This study examined how journalists defended their profession as a stream of journalistic ethics breaches have spawned an onslaught of criticism online and via social media. A textual analysis of more than 500 stories about journalism ethics violations in 2014 revealed that journalists are employing a broad-based discursive strategy reflective of so-called “second-order paradigm repair.” When confronted with a major scandal such as the uproar involving the disputed Rolling Stone story about an alleged gang rape at the University of Virginia, journalists can still respond in a manner consistent with traditional paradigm repair, which involves more elaborate strategies such as shifting the blame to rogue journalists and emphasizing corrective action by media outlets to reaffirm core values such as objectivity. Yet in response to the more commonplace journalism scandals, journalists have employed second-order paradigm repair, which allows members of the media to advance a competing narrative that enhances and supports a sense of professional identity. This identity is one in which journalists are portrayed as defending the profession from outside threats, such as challenges to press freedoms by governments entities as well as ethical compromises by media owners pandering to advertisers and business interests. This narrative can serve to deflect criticism of journalists, as seen in stories about media coverage of racially-charged protests in Ferguson, MO, which focused on challenges to press freedoms instead of criticism about the insensitivity of reporters. At the same time, journalists have utilized a quick-strike response to ethical lapses that often shifts the blame to the disruptive forces of new technology.

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