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Transgender in India: A Semiotic and Reception Analysis of Bollywood Movies

Description: The transgender community in India, commonly known as hijras, consists of people who were born as males but address themselves as females. They have been considered as the third gender in India for millennia and have had specific religious and sociocultural values and roles, but are forced to live in shadows in this day and age. Isolation of this community is also reflected in the way transgender characters are represented in Indian entertainment media. The study analyses two transgender themed films semiotically and the audience reception of those representations by 20 members of the transgender community. Semiotics is a helpful tool to understand the ways signs communicate ideas to viewers. This study applies syntagmatic and paradigmatic analyses to understand how images are used to represent and relay information to the audience. Reception theory along with double colonization has been incorporated in this study to analyse the ways in which the transgender community interprets the representations in entertainment media.
Date: May 2020
Creator: Shewade, Ruchi Ravi
Partner: UNT Libraries

Evaluating the Efficacy of Engagement Journalism in Local News: An Ethnographic Study of the "Dallas Morning News"

Description: The Dallas Morning News is a leader in using engagement journalism to increase and retain digital subscribers. This ethnography examined the efficacy of the engagement journalism work by the News in rebuilding trust and forming relationships with its audience. This research is exceptionally timely as more newsrooms are erecting paywalls to their content and asking their audiences to offer monetary support in exchange for greater access and engagement by journalists. This work is examined through two mass communications theories: functionalism, which says a society can be viewed like an ecosystem as a "system in balance" consisting of complex sets of interrelated activities, each of which supports the others in maintaining the system as a whole; and the dual responsibility model, which says that companies should operate in the best interests of all in the community who depend on them, not only those who benefit financially. Additionally, the work is considered from a human-interaction design standpoint to evaluate whether the News has created affordances that enable the journalists and the readers to communicate, and whether the journalists are effectively practicing service design when publishing news and information for the audience.
Date: May 2019
Creator: Wise, Hannah Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

News Framing and Social Media Responses to the Release of Boko Haram Female Captives

Description: This qualitative study sheds light on the framing of the sexual abuse of the Boko Haram's female captives sent to the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and analyzes emotional themes from tweets focusing on the release of the Boko Haram's female victims, the Chibok girls. Six articles were chosen from BBC (a British news source), Punch (a Nigerian news source), and the New York Times (an American news source) to reveal the frames. In addition, 118 tweets were examined to address emotional tweets under #ourgirlsareback, #82chibokgirls, #chibokgirls82, and #chibokgirls. The findings discovered the presence of the human interest frame, conflict frame, responsibility frame, and a stereotype in the articles. The tweets showed positive common themes- joy, gratitude, and hope. Also, the tweets included conspiracy theories.
Date: May 2019
Creator: Omokore, Joy Oluwadamilola
Partner: UNT Libraries

King of the News: An Agenda-Setting Approach to the John Oliver Effect

Description: Journalists have insisted that John Oliver has inspired a new kind of journalism. They argue that Oliver's show Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has inspired real-world action, a phenomenon journalists have called the "John Oliver Effect." Oliver, a comedian, refuses these claims. This thesis is the result of in-depth research into journalists' claims through the lens of agenda-setting. By conducting a qualitative content analysis, I evaluated the message characteristics of framing devices used on Oliver's show, then compared those message characteristics to the message characteristics and framing devices employed by legacy media.
Date: August 2017
Creator: Ryan, Kevin
Partner: UNT Libraries

Comparing Media Usage of Binary and Non-Binary Transgender Individuals when Discovering and Describing Gender Identity

Description: This study was conducted through in-depth interviews to examine potential differences between binary-aligned transgender individuals and non-binary individuals in regards to media usage when learning about, articulating, and explaining their gender identity. Results showed numerous differences between transgender people with binary-aligned and non-binary gender identifications in regards to social media preferences and differences in perceived media importance and effects. Additional information was found in regards to the age at which gender identity is articulated and the importance of individuality in comparison to one's gender identity.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Laljer, David B
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Persuasive Power of Ridicule: A Critical Rhetorical Analysis of Gender and Humor in U.S. Sitcoms

Description: The serious investigation of humor's function in society is an emerging area of research in critical humor studies, a "negative" subsect of the extensive and "positive" research that assumes humor's goodness. Using Michael Billig's theory of ridicule as a framework, this study explored how humor operated to discipline characters who broke social norms or allowed characters to rebel against those norms. Layering this with gender performative theory, the study also investigated how different male and female characters used ridicule and were subject to it themselves. After examining ridicule in The Big Bang Theory, 2 Broke Girls, and The Odd Couple using a critical rhetorical analysis, the findings revealed that disciplinary ridicule was used more overtly throughout all three programs, while potentially rebellious ridicule emerged in only a few scenes. In addition, men were overwhelmingly the subjects of disciplinary ridicule, although women found themselves as subjects throughout all three programs as well. The discursive ridiculing of non-normative bodies constructed and maintained social norms about gender and sexuality, thereby uninviting these bodies from participating in society.
Date: May 2017
Creator: Waters, Leah E
Partner: UNT Libraries

Act Like a Punk, Sing Like a Feminist: A Longitudinal Content Analysis of Feminist Themes in Punk Rock Song Lyrics, 1970-2009

Description: Punk rock music has long been labeled sexist as copious media-generated accounts and reports of the genre concentrate on male artists, hyper-masculine performances, and lyrics considered to be aggressive, sexist, and misogynist. However, scholars have rarely examined punk rock music longitudinally, focusing heavily on 1980s and 1990s manifestations of the genre. Furthermore, few systematic content analyses of feminist themes in punk rock song lyrics have been conducted. The present research is a longitudinal content analysis of lyrics of 600 punk rock songs released for four decades between 1970 and 2009 to examine the prevalence of and longitudinal shifts in antiestablishment themes, the prevalence of and longitudinal shifts in sexist themes relative to feminist themes, the prevalence of and longitudinal shifts in specific feminist branches, and what factors are related to feminism. Using top-rated albums retrieved from Sputnik Music’s “Best Punk Albums” charts, systematic random sampling was applied to select 50 songs for each combination of three gender types and four decades. Sexism and feminism were then operationalized to construct a coding sheet to examine relevant dimensions. While the present study found no significant patterns of longitudinal increase or decrease in feminist or sexist themes, it revealed that feminist themes were consistently high across four decades and, furthermore, indicated a phenomenon of post-modern hybridity.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Levine, Lauren E.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Amarillo Globe-News: How Did Gene Howe and the Globe-News Help Guide Amarillo, Texas through the Dust Bowl and Great Depression?

Description: For many years newspapers were locally owned by editors and publishers. However, today many are run by corporations from out of state. As a result, many communities have lost the personal relationship between the family owned publication and the community. Gene Howe, who served as editor, publisher and columnist of the Amarillo Globe-News from 1926 until his death in 1952, believed the community was where the focus should be and the newspaper should do all that it can to help their readers. Despite the fact that Howe was not born in Amarillo, Texas, his passion and love for the city and its inhabitants compensated for it. During the Dust Bowl and Great Depression Howe and the Globe-News helped Amarillo survive the dust and economic storms that blew through the Texas Panhandle, an area that has not been written as much as other parts of Texas. Through his “Tactless Texan” column, which served as a pulpit to the community, to the various contests and promotions the newspaper sprang up, including the creation of Mother in Law Day, Gene Howe gave the newspaper another dimension little has been studied about, the role of the editor and publisher in guiding a community through a dramatic era. Understanding Howe’s ethos can allow others to examine the roles editors and newspapers play in communities throughout the country.
Date: May 2015
Creator: Hasman, Gregory R. C.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Still on the Sidelines: the Female Experience in Sports Media

Description: This qualitative study aims to analyze the lived reality of women working in sports media today. Through systematic analysis of 12 in-depth interviews, the findings of this study suggest that the adoption of technological advancements in news media and all associated outlets have created a leveling effect for women due to the demand for highly skilled individuals who can handle the digital demand of modern news production. This study suggests that longtime gender disparities in sports media are experiencing a bit of a reprieve due to the massive digital audience and the need for professionals who can deliver information quickly and efficiently and with accuracy. However, the persistent symbolic annihilation of women as well as hegemonic hiring practices that emphasize aesthetic appeal have created a difficult path for women to move off the sidelines and into roles with more creative and analytical breadth, even with a rapidly increasing demand for jobs in the media industry.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Blankenship, Sara K.
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Textual Analysis of News Framing in the Sri Lankan Conflict

Description: The purpose of this study is to investigate how local and foreign newspapers used the war journalism and peace journalism frames when covering the Sri Lankan civil war, and to uncover subframes specific to the conflict. The first part of the thesis provides an in- depth literature review that addresses the history of the conflict and media freedom in Sri Lanka. The newspaper articles for the textual analysis were selected from mainstream Sri Lankan and U.S newspapers: the Daily News (a state sponsored newspaper) and Daily Mirror from Sri Lanka, and the New York Times and Washington Post from the U.S. A total of 185 articles were analyzed and categorized into war journalism and peace journalism. Next, subframes specific to the Sri Lankan conflict were identified. The overall coverage is dominated by the peace journalism frame, and the strongest war journalism frame is visible in local newspaper articles. Furthermore, two subframes specific to the Sri Lanka conflict were identified: war justification subframe and humanitarian crisis subframe. In conclusion, the study reveals that in the selected newspapers, the peace journalism frame dominated the coverage of the Sri Lankan civil war. All in all, while adding to the growing scholarship of media framing in international conflicts, the study will benefit newspaper editors and decision-makers by providing textual analysis of content produced from the coverage of war and conflict during a dangerous time period for both journalists and the victims of war.
Date: December 2014
Creator: Ratnam, Cheran
Partner: UNT Libraries

“Madness” in the Media: How Can Print Journalists Better Report on Mental Illnesses?

Description: Stereo types and stigmas of individuals with mental illnesses have proved to be a major roadblock preventing these individuals from seeking help. The news media, despite having a responsibility to accurately inform the public, has played a significant role in portraying individuals with mental illness as violent, unpredictable, dangerous, and unfit to live with the rest of “normal” society. This happens through the words journalists choose to use and the information they choose in included, and excluded, when reporting on mental health issues. This study attempts to establish a guideline that journalists can follow that will hopefully reduce the stigma of mental illness in the media, and eventually in society. This study used a 2 x 2 ANCOVA to test two independent variables (amount of labeling terms and amount of corrective information). The variables were manipulated by modifying a news article four times to produce articles with varying levels of labeling terms and corrective information. A control article was also be used. The articles were randomized and passed out to 220 undergraduate college students at the University of North Texas who completed a questionnaire, read their assigned article, and then completed a second questionnaire to determine the impact the article had on their attitudes about individuals with mental illnesses.
Date: August 2014
Creator: Cousineau, Anna Desiree
Partner: UNT Libraries

A Cross-cultural Textual Analysis of Western and South Korean Newspaper Coverage of North Korean Women Defectors and Victims of Human Trafficking

Description: Trafficking women for sexual abuse has been a serious concern worldwide, particularly over the last two decades. The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that illicit profits of human trafficking may be as high as $32 billion. However, the international media community has scarcely focused on North Korean women defectors and victims of human trafficking, despite the severity of the issue. More than two million North Koreans, predominantly women, have crossed borders to enter China from starvation. Among those women migrants, about 80% to 90% of them were abducted by traffickers at the border between North Korea and China, and the traffickers sold them to the Chinese sex industry or Chinese men who are unable to find a woman as a wife or a sex slave.This cross-cultural textual analysis examined South Korean and Western (U.S. and British) newspaper coverage of North Korean women as victims of human trafficking to discover similarities and differences in those countries’ news frames. The analysis has shown that politics was a crucial factor in the coverage of the issue. However, by generally failing to report on the fundamental causes of the trafficking, such as inequality between genders, both Western and South Korean newspapers perpetuated hegemonic masculinity and failed to inform and educate people about the grave situations of North Korean women defectors and victims of human trafficking. This study recommends that in reporting the trafficking issues, journalists must be able to observe objectively, not within ideologies or frames provided by politicians.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Chong, Miyoung
Partner: UNT Libraries

Hip-hop’s Tanning of a Postmodern America: a Longitudinal Content Analysis of Paradoxical Juxtapositions of Oppositional Identities Within Us Rap Song Lyrics, 1980-2013

Description: A longitudinal content analysis of top-chart hip-hop songs’ lyrics produced between 1980 and 2013 was conducted to investigate the degree and progression of the paradoxical juxtaposition, or postmodern hybridity, of oppositional modernist identities in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, sexuality, and economic lifestyle, in addition to the longitudinal diversification of artist’s race and gender demographics. Demographically, the percentage of non-African-American artists increased as the percentage of African-American artists decreased. Additionally, the percentage of songs featuring either all male or all female artists decreased, while the percentage of collaboration between male and female artists increased over time. Although hybrid oppositional identities related to race/ethnicity and gender did not increase over time, those of sexual orientation, sexuality, and economic lifestyle increased over time. In addition, materialist identities were related to the hybridity of sexual orientation and sexuality, but not to that of gender and race/ethnicity. Overall, the research found increasing postmodern hybridity within the sexualization of hip-hop songs along with intensified materialism.
Date: May 2014
Creator: Gadley, Shawn A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

The Masculinity Masquerade: the Portrayal of Men in Modern Advertising

Description: The depiction of gender in advertising is a topic of continuous discussion and research. The present study adds to past findings with an updated look at how men are represented in U.S. advertising media and the real effects these portrayals have on the male population under the theoretical framework of hegemony and social cognitive theory. This research is triangulated with a textual analysis of the ads found in the March 2013 editions of four popular print publications and three focus group sessions separated by sex (two all-male, one all-female), each of which is composed of a racially diverse group of undergraduate journalism and communications students from a large Southwestern university. The results of the textual analysis reveal little ethnic or physical diversity among male figures in advertising and distinguish six main profiles of masculinity, the most frequent of which is described as the "sophisticated man." The focus groups identify depictions of extreme muscularity and stereotypical male incompetence as the most negative representations, while humorous and hyperbolic portrayals of sexual prowess and hyper-masculinity are viewed positively as effective means of marketing to men.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Harper, Savannah
Partner: UNT Libraries

Media and Corporate Social Responsibility: How Leading Business Magazines Frame a Controversial Concept

Description: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an emerging concept that continues to play a controversial role in the business world. Different CSR theories and ethical foundations inform different approaches to embedding socially responsible behavior into today's business functions. As technology, globalization, and economic challenges change the corporate world, the meaning and application of CSR also changes. While no empirical evidence of CSR's impact on performance exists, many corporations operate under the assumption that CSR holds significant value. This study examines the framing of CSR in stories published by leading business magazines between 2008 and 2012. By examining the presentation of CSR concepts, the resulting analysis can provide important conclusions for corporations, public relations practitioners, mass media, and consumers. This study resulted in a hierarchical pyramid of frames that organizes the framing of CSR in business magazines into three layers: category, motivation, and classification as either responsible behavior or irresponsible behavior. These results lead to recommendations for future CSR research, including the need for quantitative evidence of a connection or disconnection between CSR and profitability.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Riddell, Brad
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wanted: an Exploration of Journalism Skills Acquired Through Student Media Experiences

Description: Collegiate newsrooms serve two functions: to provide news and information to their campuses and to provide hands-on career preparation for student journalists. Student media professionals face having to do the latter in a way that keeps up with changing demands on entry-level employees, influenced by evolving technology and role consolidation within professional media. This study provides perspective from recent graduates with student media experience on the skills they felt most confident in upon graduating, where they gained those skills, and how they feel their student media experiences prepared them for the workplace. Using Everett Rogers’ theory of innovation diffusion to frame the issue, results show that student media professionals must recognize their roles as the change agent in shaping and pushing the opportunities to develop digital skills expected of entry-level journalists.
Date: August 2013
Creator: Francesco, Beth
Partner: UNT Libraries

Creating Captain America: a Frame Analysis of the Pat Tillman Epic

Description: Pat Tillman—an Arizona Cardinals player who sacrificed everything to serve his country but died in Afghanistan—was initially touted as a true American hero who was killed by enemy fire. In reality, however, the Tillman narrative was based on nothing but military propaganda. This research focused on how mainstream U.S. newspapers used news frames, overall story tone, and news sources before and after the official acknowledgement of the true cause of Tillman's death as fratricide. As hypothesized from C. Wright Mills' "lesser institutions," Antonio Gramsci's hegemony, and Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky's propaganda model, the newspapers generally decreased both direct and indirect references to news frames involving "lesser institutions" (e.g., NFL, Arizona State University) and ideological values (e.g., heroism, patriotism) after the revelation, but they were not critical of the Iraq/Afghanistan wars or the Bush administration at all. In addition, they increased their dependence on official sources and decreased family and friend sources after his cause of death was changed. The results as a whole indicate that in the Tillman saga, the revelation of his true cause of death introduced a significant disruption to the propaganda information system, causing news frames to decrease, but the third filter of the propaganda model—reliance on official sources—was strong enough to overcome that disruptive event and continue to protect the power elite.
Date: May 2013
Creator: DeWalt, Christina A. Childs
Partner: UNT Libraries

Understanding Indian and Pakistani Cultural Perspectives and Analyzing Us News Coverage of Mukhtar Mai and Jyoti Singh Pandey

Description: A foreign country's positive or negative image in the U.S. media can influence public attitudes toward that country. The way U.S. media covers sex crimes from countries like India and Pakistan has a direct effect on the global image of these countries. This qualitative content analysis examined the coverage of two rape victims, Jyoti Singh Pandey and Mukhtar Mai in two mainstream U.S. newspapers, the New York Times and the Washington Post. Frames identified in the study include cultural differences, nationality and male patriarchy. The results revealed that while U.S. media was sensitive to both victims, Indian culture was portrayed in a favorable light than Pakistani culture. This study recommends that reporters and newsrooms need to be sensitive in reporting foreign cultures and refrain from perpetuating cultural stereotypes through reporting. The study also recommends developing training and understanding methodology when covering sex crimes so that journalists are aware of the rape myths and narratives that trap them into unfair coverage.
Date: May 2013
Creator: Kark, Madiha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Shaping Relations: a Media Framing Analysis of Japan-us Affairs in the Era of Japan (Sur)passing

Description: The relationship between Japan and the U.S. has endured contention since the beginning of the millennium, but the two countries remain allies. This quantitative and qualitative content analysis examines the print coverage of two controversies in Japan-U.S. relations: the sinking of a Japanese fishing trawler and the controversy surrounding the Futenma base. By applying the theoretical framework of media framing, the research examines four U.S. newspapers and one Japanese newspaper while considering the two corresponding geopolitical periods: Japan (sur)passing. By coding each article for predefined framing categories, the research found in the era of (sur)passing, the application of the mea culpa and responsibility frames mirrored the geopolitical dynamic of the time. However, the reconciliation frame, created by the U.S. newspapers’ use of elite news sources in the period of Japan passing, went against the scholarly interpretation of the period, and instead focused on a positive bilateral relationship in order to influence public opinion.
Date: August 2012
Creator: Pearce, Nicole Marie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Young Journalists Today: Journalism Students’ Perceptions of the Ever-evolving Industry

Description: Today’s journalism students are learning in a time in which new technology innovations, including online news sites, blogs, and social media, have become a prominent part of the journalism industry. Whether it’s newspapers, public relations, or broadcast, technology has become a part of every area of journalism. While several studies have focused on how journalism classes should be taught in lieu of this change, how students are learning and how they feel about this changing industry has yet to be shared. This research uses both a survey of 203 current, undergraduate pre-journalism students at a large, Southwestern university, as well as focus group interviews with several subgroups of 11 of those students. The results show, not surprisingly, that journalism students are heavy users of technology and social media. They also show that a majority of journalism students prefers consuming media online. However, although students use technology and social media frequently, and also consume media online, there is evidence that suggests that they would rather learn face-to-face with an instructor than take online classes. In addition, they feel positive about their future in the changing industry.
Date: May 2012
Creator: Daniels, Stephanie
Partner: UNT Libraries

Predicting Burnout In High-school Journalism Teachers: An Exploratory Study

Description: This research investigated high-school journalism educators’ use and teaching of convergence technology, as well as their self-efficacy, job satisfaction, job dissatisfaction, and burnout. In general, instructions and uses of multimedia tools were not as prevalent as traditional-journalism instructions and tools. One-third of the teachers expressed moderate or strong levels of burnout in terms of their emotional exhaustion. Although both job satisfaction and job dissatisfaction were strong predictors of burnout, self-efficacy was not. Job dissatisfaction was the strongest predictor of burnout, but contrary to the past research, gender turned out to be the second strongest predictor. Qualitative in-depth interviews with a controlled random sampling of survey respondents revealed that maternal mindset and gender roles strongly contribute to female high-school journalism teachers’ expressed burnout and emotional exhaustion.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Sparling, Gretchen B.
Partner: UNT Libraries

U.S. Newspapers And The Adoption Of Technological Innovations

Description: In order to survive in a hyper-competitive media marketplace, managers must constantly evaluate new technologies and their potential impact on the industry. Using theories on innovation management in organization, this study examined the processes used by managers at daily newspaper in the U.S. during the time period of 1992-2005 to plan for publishing content online. Fourteen subjects, all of whom held management positions during this time, were interviewed at length about their experiences. Their responses reveal that the processes were generally haphazard. This was a result of several factors, some of which were external to the newspaper industry, and others which were cultural, internal forces. Despite a general level of disorganization in the processes, the responses do identify some practices that can be used as blueprints for media organizations that wish to rethink their approach to potentially disruptive technologies.
Date: December 2011
Creator: Kemp, Jacob
Partner: UNT Libraries

Portrayal of Race by Public and Private University Newspapers

Description: This study investigated how two college newspapers cover race and how the papers employed racial stereotypes when describing sources. One of newspapers is a student-produced paper at a private university. The other is a student-produced newspaper at a public university. The study conducted content analyses of front-page news stories in both college newspapers. The sources in the story were analyzed for racial stereotypes. Stereotypes were identified based on frames used in modern racism research. A t-test and chi-square were used to compare the coverage of minorities to Whites. Once the quantitative content analysis was completed, I used textual analysis to identify what ways the news stories used stereotypical coverage of minorities. The study used critical media theory.
Date: December 2010
Creator: Hayton, Tasha
Partner: UNT Libraries

Endangered newspaper: An analysis of 10 years of corporate messages from the Dallas Morning News.

Description: Most newspapers today are struggling to survive in an increasingly fragmented and digital media environment. How have their owners or corporate parents shaped or adapted their business practices to in order to thrive? This question guides the overall approach to this study. The focus is on one newspaper, the Dallas Morning News. In particular, how has the News used corporate messages to respond to the changing media landscape? This study employs forms of rhetorical and discourse analysis to determine the effectiveness of the News' corporate messages during a 10-year period in order to answer this question. This study finds that the News used inconsistent and ineffective corporate communications throughout this tumultuous period.
Date: December 2009
Creator: McLarty, Amy
Partner: UNT Libraries