Media accountability and transparency in Europe: First results of a comparative study
On this Friday the 13th, Huub Evers from Fontys University of Applied Sciences shared his trans-European research project, which is part of mediaACT. One of the primary goals of his research was to evaluate the strength of accountability and self-regulation that occurs in journalism on and offline. I found his information on online accountability most interesting. He described that contemporary online journalism often asks journalists to maintain professional profiles, provide links to sources, and be sensitive to consumer’s feedback via social media such as Twitter and Facebook. However, in surveying 1,732 journalists, Huub found that they tend to be ambivalent about accountability instruments (e.g., press councils) and they believe that consumer criticisms are largely misinformed due to their lack of expertise.
Huub’s research that began in January 2010 will continue until the Summer of 2013. The final goal is to submit policy suggestions to the European Union aimed to strengthen self and press regulation.
In a uncommon, long-format presentation, Gunn Enli from the Department of Media and Communication at the University of Olso shared her preliminary analyses surrounding twitter and the upcoming 2012 US election. Specifically, her research team investigated what characterizes the dynamics between social media and mainstream media in political agenda-setting, and how this dynamic impacts the relationship between national and global public spheres.
Gunn justifies her research suggesting that social media changes the nature of political communication and is a new area for power negotiations and agenda-setting. Her findings imply that twitter is now used by all candidates but the typical user is a young, republican. Moreover, rather than using social media to interact with others, politicians tweet to broadcast favorable messages or attacks on rivals. Interestingly, Gunn’s team also found that journalists act as gatekeepers of information on twitter, as they only follow and popularize the political elites.
T600 was all about dynamic processing. Rachel Bailey of IU Telecom began by sharing her recent work with coauthors Annie Lang and Bridget Rubenking on flow, presence, and transportation. Her driving question was whether these concepts had distinct regions within motivated cognitive state space. Within this space, appetitive and aversive activation comprise the X and Y axes and resource allocation makes up the Z axis. Collecting continuous response measures from participants, Rachel found evidence that these concepts do have defined states. Her findings are beneficial as they identify the relationship between the concepts and to other processing states and behaviors.
Motivated cognition and resource availability during Naked News
Soyoung from IU Telecom opened today’s T600 discussing her dissertation research on the online news program Naked News. Using Annie Lang’s cognitive processing model, LC4MP, and evolutionary psychology as related to gender, Soyoung investigated how the sexual content in Naked News influenced people’s processing of news information. Using secondary task reaction time (STRT) and cued recall measures, she found that people were generally more aroused and positively valenced toward naked news anchors. Additionally, people better remembered positive news stories due to the emotional congruence (i.e., appetitive activation toward both the anchor and the news content).
Better to be “Boring”
Experimental Findings on the Effectiveness of Branded Mobile Phone Apps
Presenting in the final slot before Spring Break, IU Telecom’s Rob Potter shared with us the research he conducted while on sabbatical in Fremantle WA, a suburb within Perth Australia. There, he worked with the faculty and students in the Interactive Television Institute at Murdoch University. Using the Elaboration Likelihood Model (ELM) of persuasion, he investigated the effectiveness of branded mobile phone apps that emphasized either functionality (e.g., Food Network’s recipe app) or experimentation (e.g., BMW’s Expression of Joy app; see the video below). He found that using any type of app increased your interest in the product category altogether but functional apps engendered central processing.