Spring 2017 (Vol. 32, No. 2)

“This Act of Brutal Savageism”: Coverage of Native Americans at the 1862 Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas

by James E. Mueller, Ph.D.
University of North Texas

Abstract: The clash between Confederates and Yankees at Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in 1862 is famous as the battle that saved Missouri for the Union, preventing a Southern army from a planned invasion to drive through the state and capture St. Louis. But a less well-known fact is that Pea Ridge was the only major battle of the Civil War in which Native American troops participated in significant numbers.

About 1,000 Indians from the Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Cherokee tribes fought for the South at Pea Ridge, and some might have scalped dead and wounded Union troops.

This article examines stories about the battle from a sample of both Northern and Southern newspapers with the intent to shed light on the coverage of Native Americans during the Civil War. The article concludes that the type and quantity of coverage of Indians at Pea Ridge depended upon whether the journalists were Southern or Northern. The article thus adds further support to the notion that the Civil War press served as an arm of the government, and the stories of war correspondents of both sides have to be evaluated with the knowledge that facts were often secondary to supporting the war effort.

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#NotAllBaptismByFire: The state of social media training
at student-run communication organizations

by Sarah Maben and Kay Colley
Tarleton State University and Texas Wesleyan University

Abstract: Advisers (n=112) and student leaders (n=31) from North American collegiate student-run communication organizations reported on their social media training. Through a snowball sample, advisers and student leaders from campus newspapers, magazines, radio and TV stations, advertising/public relations firms filled out an online questionnaire. As a state of social media training study, these findings provide a picture of student-run communication organizations today and their training experiences with social media. A little more than half included social media in their training, which focused on professionalism and content creation. Likewise, content creation and professionalism were the topics advisers reported students needed most. Advisers agreed or strongly agreed that students needed social media training and that social media usage is an integral part of their organizations. Researchers provide recommendations for future study and directions for training improvement.

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Effects of Brand Feedback to Negative eWOM on Attitude Toward the Product

Manu Bhandari, PhD and Shelly Rodgers, PhD

Arkansas State University and Missouri School of Journalism

Abstract: Brands often provide a response, or brand feedback, to negative online reviews or electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). The current research investigates whether brand feedback to negative eWOM by reviewers can impact information processing of visiting consumers who read the negative eWOM to make a purchase decision, particularly on the consumers’ attitude toward the featured product. Results from a 2 (Brand Feedback: Present/Absent) X 2 (Products: Laptop/TV) between-subjects experiment show the presence of brand feedback may have implications for consumers’ information processing online. Although the effects found were not very strong, the findings nevertheless did give some indications brand feedback to negative eWOM can affect consumer’s attitude toward the featured product. The study tends to support the usefulness of a dynamic (two or multi-way information flow between reviewers, brands, other consumers) rather than static (one-way information flow from reviewers to others) conceptualization of eWOM that allows for brands’ participation.

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Coverage of Poverty by a Nonprofit News Outlet: A Comparative Study

by Mohammad Yousuf and David Craig
The University of Oklahoma

Abstract: Using the theoretical framework of communitarian ethics, this study compared poverty coverage by a nonprofit news organization done over a four-year period with coverage the organization did in a cooperative project with a journalism school focused on video interviews in neighborhoods. The qualitative analysis found both commonalities and substantial differences in topics. Both provided social context, but in different ways, and the new project did more to focus on the voices of residents themselves.

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