Journalism Theses and Dissertations

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    Women Correspondents in Vietnam: Historical Analysis and Oral Histories
    (1988) Martin, Christine; Hiebert, Ray; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, MD)
    Although women correspondents have covered wars since the Spanish-American conflict, it was not until the Vietnam War that they achieved full access to the battlefield and equal opportunities to cover all aspects of the conflict. Easily attained army accreditation, the burgeoning women's movement and the unique nature of the Vietnam War - a Third World, essentially, political conflict - combined to offer women reporters unprecedented opportunities to cover the war and to prove themselves as worthy members of journalism's elite crew - war correspondents. More women covered Vietnam than any other war. They focused their coverage primarily on the "human interest" angle and the effects of war on its civilian and military victims. This traditional women's focus took on a new prominence in Vietnam, where an understanding of the social and political underpinnings of Vietnamese culture was essential to the success of the American war effort. As a result, the traditional news definition of war as battlefield was widened and the "women's angle" became central to war correspondence. This study presents an historical analysis of the evolution of the role of the woman war correspondent, from the Spanish- American conflict to Vietnam, and presents the oral histories of 10 women who worked as war correspondents in Vietnam.
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    (2023) Foster , Bobbie; Moeller, Susan; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Memes are a central part of digital communications and cultures. But memes are complex multifaceted expressions of identity and culture. Digital folklorists argue that memes, like traditional folklore, facilitate the creation of identity through socially constructed narratives that form unique groups online. Scholars across disciplines agree that memes rely on community participation, but the methods and theories vary widely. This dissertation advocates for the creation of Critical Meme Studies that centers critical inquiry to examine memes as a form of digital folklore that builds community identity, values, and aesthetics across social media platforms. The concept of boundary-marking memes is introduced to understand how memes build barriers of entry to conversations on public platforms. The methodology consisted of Critical Technocultural Discourse Analysis (Brock, 2018) and the pairing of Queer theories and methods related to the study of Camp as a form of detachment/attachment of political readings (Horn, 2018). As a result, the dissertation found LGBTQIA+ individuals use memes to construct answers to three core thematic questions, who is invited to Pride, what does Pride mean, and how should Pride look and feel. The answers used expressions of identity, values, and aesthetics to build responses that targeted in-group audiences.
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    "I Have an Extra Level of Context That Some Reporters Don't Have": Journalistic Perspectives on the Role of Identity and Experience in the Production of More Equitable News Coverage
    (2023) Siqueira Paranhos Velloso, Carolina; Steiner, Linda; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    In the summer of 2020, Alexis Johnson and Miguel Santiago, Black reporters at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, were removed from covering ongoing racial justice protests. The following year, Felicia Sonmez, a Washington Post reporter who had publicly identified herself as a survivor of sexual assault, was barred from covering stories about sexual misconduct. In both cases, management at their news organizations invoked a safeguard against bias as the reason behind the removal of the reporters from covering certain stories or beats. In other words, management feared that these reporters would not be able to perform basic journalistic duties because their proximity to the subject matter, whether through similar lived experiences or certain identity markers, would render them unable to relay a suitable and accurate account of events. However, the journalists in question protested their coverage bans by arguing that their identity- or experience-based connection to the issue would have been advantageous to their journalism. For example, Johnson said: “as a [B]lack woman, as a Pittsburgh native, as the daughter of a retired state trooper and a retired probation officer, it was a shame I wasn’t able to bring my background to cover this story.” In essence, the journalists argued that, rather than their proximity to the stories rendering them unable to produce proper accounts of events, their personal identities and lived experiences made them more capable of capturing the nuances required for adequate coverage. The purpose of this dissertation is thus threefold: first, it investigates journalists’ perceptions about the relationship between, and impact of, their personal identities and lived experiences and the reporting they produce. Second, it examines best practices journalists recommend to other journalists about covering issues or groups with which they don’t share an identity- or experience-based connection. Finally, it describes best practices journalists recommend to newsroom leaders for supporting journalists in producing more equitable and inclusive coverage. Through a textual analysis of 186 metajournalistic articles and 93 Twitter posts (“tweets”), this study found that journalists pinpoint a myriad of specific advantages they perceive reporting with an identity- or experience-based connection provides. As such, this dissertation advances literature on journalistic identity and role conception by demonstrating how journalists’ personal identities and experiences shape their professional values. It also argues that, by positioning this form of newsmaking as more equitable and legitimate than traditional “objective” reporting, journalists are constructing new conceptions of journalistic identity. This dissertation also contributes to literature on journalistic authority by showing that many journalists claim reporting with identity- or experience-based connections in fact makes them more authoritative interpreters of news. By asserting their roles as professionals who ultimately aim to produce accurate, factual reporting and resisting accusations of being activists rather than journalists, reporters also engaged in boundary work by increasingly placing reporting which embraces the subjectivity of the journalist within the bounds of professional journalistic practice. When making recommendations to fellow reporters for producing more equitable and inclusive reporting, the journalists featured in this dissertation called for a reconsideration of normative journalistic practices and recommended that their colleagues place equity at the forefront of every decision they make during the reporting process. The journalists’ recommendations to newsroom leaders demonstrate that producing equitable coverage goes beyond individual strategies that journalists can implement; change must also occur at the structural level. Establishing and enforcing new sets of journalistic policies at the newsroom level is a vital component of providing coverage that is fair and accountable to all communities. In describing how journalists are harnessing the tenet that knowledge is socially situated to advocate for new standards of news production, I also suggest feminist standpoint epistemology (FSE) as an operational framework of journalistic practice.This dissertation is a timely intervention into the ways journalists say their industry needs to change in order to better serve the needs of American audiences in the twenty-first century. The findings in this study have relevant implications for journalistic practice: they provide a clear roadmap for journalism scholars and practitioners for engaging in efforts to make journalism more equitable and inclusive.
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    (2023) Burns, Mary Alison; Steiner, Linda; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation examines the motives, experiences, and perspectives of journalism faculty members at colleges and universities who have invented, developed, and led innovative experiential learning collaborations in their programs. Through qualitative interviews and constructivist grounded theory, this study finds that journalism educators are launching specific types of collaborative projects in response to ongoing and emerging problems in journalism. This dissertation offers a typology of ideal-type j-school collaborations, and a new conceptualization of collaboration as a strategy for democratic stewarding in journalism education.
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    (2023) Scovel, Shannon Marie; Oates, Sarah A; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation assesses the self-representation and representation of ten elite collegiate women athletes during the first year of the NCAA’s new ‘name, image and likeness’ policies. Building on theories of representation, gender performance, self-presentation and intersectionality, this study explores how women athletes reproduce notions of feminism, femininity and athleticism on their public TikTok, Instagram and Twitter accounts. Each of the women in this study have at least 50,000 followers across their social media accounts, and the content they produced on these platforms over the 12-month period from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022, serves to both reflect and reject hegemonic norms surrounding women in sport. Previous research has demonstrated that women athletes remain marginalized and underrepresented in sports. Scholars have also noted that women athletes typically represent themselves on social media in ways that highlight their personal lives, as opposed to their athletic experiences. This study explores these questions of self-representation through a content analysis of social media posts produced by ten collegiate women and addresses how these women navigated digital storytelling within the neoliberal, capitalist, patriarchal U.S. college sports media ecosystem. The ways in which athlete content was reproduced by journalists during this same period was also assessed. Findings show that journalists rarely engaged with women athletes’ posts during the first year of the NCAA’s new NIL policies and presented women’s success in the NIL era as surprising, unexpected and unrelated to athletic achievements. This dissertation adds to the larger body of research on women’s representation and self-representation in sports but adds a new dimension to this subject by exploring such representations in the collegiate environment, an arena in which athletes were previously denied the opportunity to earn money from their digital storytelling and online brands. The ways in which women challenge and reproduce hegemonic norms in their social media content during this period also contributes to the broader understanding of gender tensions in sports.
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    (2023) Li, Wei-Ping; Oates, Sarah; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation examined how foreign conspiracy theories propagated by authoritarian countries traverse national borders and are transformed into “news” in domestic media systems. It also assessed the impact of these conspiracy theories incorporated into the transnational information campaign as propaganda tools. Using the controversial COVID-19 virus-origin theory as a case study, this dissertation examined how the COVID-19 virus-origin conspiracy theories were constructed as propaganda by Chinese state media and how these conspiracy theories influenced the media in Taiwan, which has historically been the main target of China's information influence activities. After analyzing COVID-19 virus-origin narratives that contained conspiracy theories propagated by Chinese state media, the study found that the Chinese state media constructed its narratives about the origin of the COVID-19 virus by repeating consistent themes, recurrent terms, and assigning distinctive personalities to key protagonists in news events. The Chinese state media portrayed China as a team player in the international community and collaborated with the international community by sharing data openly. However, the United States and other Western nations attempted to contain the rise of China by attacking it with conspiracy theories about the origin of the virus. The Chinese narratives were mostly rejected by mainstream Taiwanese media. Although Taiwanese media mentioned some conspiracy theories promoted by Chinese state media, Taiwanese media were aware of Chinese propaganda and disinformation. They also viewed the disputes between China and the United States regarding the origin of the virus as a struggle for power between the two nations. Even though Taiwanese media and Chinese state media used identical terms to describe the same news events about the origin of the COVID-19 virus and highlighted the same protagonists, Taiwanese media presented narratives that were in stark contrast to Chinese media. The research concluded that Chinese state media had limited influence on Taiwanese media in the case of COVID-19 virus-origin narratives. Nonetheless, this study also uncovered a concerning trend: a number of Taiwanese media articles amplified conspiracy theories disseminated by right-wing American media outlets, such as the War Room, Newsmax, or overseas Chinese media organizations notorious for spreading disinformation. The improper use of foreign media as news sources is one of the vulnerabilities of Taiwanese media in the battle against foreign propaganda and conspiracy theories. This dissertation increased the understanding of the influence of conspiracy theories propagated by authoritarian regimes and identified elements crucial to their success or failure as propaganda tools. Moreover, it sheds light on the strengths and weaknesses of media systems in democratic nations when battling against foreign propaganda. The findings of this study are useful not only to Taiwan but also to democratic and open societies worldwide.
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    (2023) Yotova, Denitsa H; Moeller, Susan D.; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation looks at the related ways in which two pioneering news photographicagencies depicted the American self and presented an “understanding” of America’s nationhood. First, this dissertation investigates Bain News Service between 1900 and 1920 and the concurrent industrialization and technological achievements that changed the nature of photography and mass communication. It considers Bain’s agency as an influential national institution and gatekeeper of visual information that, along with newspaper publishers, determined the flow of photographic representation both at home and abroad. Second, this dissertation examines in parallel terms the VII agency from its inception in 2001 to 2020––a period defined by globalization, digitalization, and media convergence. VII, as a decentralized global entity, competed with a multitude of producers and consumers to influence the social discourse. The findings of this dissertation illuminate the power, and recent loss thereof, of news photographs to make visible and to promote specific social discourses within the functions of news photo agencies. In investigating Bain News Service, the first commercial news photo service in the United States founded in 1895, and the VII Photo agency, one of the preeminent photo agencies in the digital era founded in 2001, the dissertation considers how changes in the news business and photographic technologies altered representational practices and the sharing of visual information globally. This dissertation traces the rapidly evolving economic and technological environment across the century — two trends which together have not only contributed to the diminishing authority of the news photographic agency as an institution, but have weakened news photography’s role in promoting and sustaining a national identity and a nation’s reputation. Centralized national news photographic agencies of the early twentieth century, such as Bain News Service, dominated visual representations in the press. The Bain agency provided images of the United States that promoted the sovereign national status quo and disseminated images of the nation aligned with the ideology of the country’s political elite. One hundred years later, photo agencies including VII, operate in a globally-oriented, citizen-driven public sphere. The photographs disseminated by VII serve to challenge the American national status quo; they were (and still are) taken and often published in the hopes that the images will (help) bring social change. Guided by Stuart Hall’s concept of the politics of representation, this dissertation traces the evolution of the news photo agency, as a journalistic institution, while specifically examining news images along with ideologies embedded in them. The dissertation also considers the news photo agency as an Althusserian Ideological State Apparatus (ISA)–– a system separate from the government, but indirectly involved in the expression of dominant ideologies and the promotion of a particular social discourse. To assess the significance of the news photo agency as an institution, and the ways in which it represented “Americanness,” this dissertation uses several approaches, including discourse and historiographical analyses and a photo-thematic analysis of the archives of Bain News Service and VII Photo. In analyzing the construction of American social discourse, the following questions guided the research: How do news photographs and the news photo agencies as journalistic institutions help represent/promote social discourses? How have Bain News Service and VII represented “Americanness” in their news photographs? How are ideas and ideologies of nationalism, exceptionalism, and the American Dream visualized in these photographs? How does the representation of nationalism, exceptionalism, and the American Dream differ in twentieth-century images produced by Bain compared to the twenty-first-century images produced by VII? Through thematic and visual examinations of news photographs of the American nation, as produced by Bain News Service and VII Photo respectively, this dissertation also looks at representations of American exceptionalism, nationalism, and the American Dream over time to determine the visual dialogue within the United States and between the American nation and the rest of the world. This investigation finds photographic representations of America’s greatness took an important place in the news and for the news photo agencies of the early 1900s, creating a highly specific understanding of the American nation as a rising global power. The centralization of image production under the news photo agencies of the twentieth century also determined a specific meaning of nationalism, exceptionalism, and the American Dream in line with the nation’s leadership. With the advent of newer technologies in the twenty-first century, the public also began to take on an active role in the producing and distributing of representations of the American individual and nation, resulting in the waning authority of the news photo agency. The decentralization of image production that resulted from forces such as convergence, digitalization, globalization, and citizen (photo)journalism in the twenty-first century has, in turn, complicated and visually re-defined the meaning of nationalism, exceptionalism, and the American Dream. Moreover, news photographic representations of social inequalities, environmental issues, and political divisions that proliferate across the Internet and social media in the twenty-first century have altered the visual portrait of America’s reputation and the ways global audiences “see” the United States. The examination of the business, structure, and news photographs produced by the two innovative news photo agencies set a century apart illuminates the significance of the news photo agency at large. The investigations outlined in the chapters ahead clarify how photojournalistic institutions have shaped public knowledge about a nation and its ideological values.
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    Monica and Stormy -- An Analysis of Media Portrayals of the Leading Women in the Trump and Clinton Sex Scandals
    (2023) Povich, Elaine S.; Feldstein, Mark; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    ABSTRACT Women played key roles in the scandals of William J. Clinton and Donald J. Trump, especially Monica Lewinsky and Stormy Daniels. In the cases of both men, their reputations as womanizers preceded their presidencies and lasted throughout. Clinton was impeached as an outgrowth of lying about sex; Trump’s extramarital affairs dogged him during his presidency, became the subject of ongoing lawsuits against him, but never made it into his impeachment proceedings. The news media played a significant role in bringing the stories of the presidents and their women to the public and shaping how the two presidents were perceived by voters. Those portrayals varied greatly, with the women of the Clinton era facing media derision over their bodies, psychological makeup and motives while the Trump women’s bodies were mostly left undescribed, and their stories taken as truth. This thesis argues that the differing press treatment of those women was influenced by the presidents’ reactions to the allegations, a mob mentality, more women in media and media management, changes in sexual norms that culminated in the “#MeToo” movement, and the explosion of the internet and social media. Comparing how the media behaved during the two scandals is an instructive tale for journalists in reporting on future political sex scandals.
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    (2023) Rostova, Nataliya; Yaros, Ronald; Dolbilov, Mikhail; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This thesis is one of the first academic attempts to evaluate the career path of Mikhail Lesin (1958-2015), former Minister for Press, Tele- and Radio Broadcasting, and Mass Communications, shortly – Press Minister (1999-2004), Presidential adviser on media (2004- 2009), and one of the founders of Video International, a pioneer in Russia’s nascent advertising market. Lesin used his powerful post to enable the State to wrestle control of the national TV channels – NTV and ORT – from two prominent media tycoons, Vladimir Gusinsky and Boris Berezovsky. The thesis includes four case studies that illustrate Mikhail Lesin methods of influence, as well as 14 qualitative interviews with prominent leaders in journalism. The thesis describes how members of the political elite can influence and create media systems in countries where governing institutions are absent or weak. The interviewees for this thesis provide us with valuable insight into Russian media after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and how crucial the media's role is to the political culture.
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    (2022) Feigenblatt-Rojas, Hazel; Yaros, Ronald; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Past literature on religion and news media focused on whether secular news coverage is disadvantageous to religion but this dissertation explored the opposite approach: whether secular coverage of religion can favor religion (compared to coverage of the marginalized groups whose rights are often under attack by religious institutions) and amplify religious disinformation. This analysis also sought to determine how religious disinformation may spread through fact-based media and whether any differences surface between legacy and emerging outlets reporting. Coverage of a specific political process (issuance of a technical norm to guide the conditions under which abortion to save a patient’s life or health can be conducted) involving religious groups and a marginalized group (women) was chosen for analysis in a Latin American country (Costa Rica) known for a free press and stable democratic rule, but also a majority Christian population. A mixed-methods content analysis of the coverage was conducted based on newer approaches to media pluralism theory, which has been often invoked in the region to discuss unequal media access and its implications on the balance of power relations in a democratic arena. Results suggest religion coverage was a conduit for the spread of disinformation through fact-based news outlets and the spread of marginalizing narratives about women's rights. While not all disinformation came from religious sources, the majority did and the press repeated religious disinformation twice as often as non-religious disinformation. The majority of all the disinformation included in the news stories was not identified as such. In most cases, it was religious disinformation that many reporters failed to fact-check. Furthermore, they gave religious sources and their messages prominent positions in the articles, even when it included disinformation. Religious sources in the sample benefitted from a permissive coverage marked by a "silk glove" treatment by several news outlets, which enabled them to prominently spread disinformation and reaffirm exclusionary narratives. No relevant differences emerged in coverage by legacy and emerging news outlets in this regard. This dissertation contributes a case-based definition of religious disinformation and a new coding scheme that can be used to analyze media pluralism under newer theoretical conceptualizations that focus on the interaction of journalism with power asymmetries rather than measures of diversity.
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    (2022) Lee, Carole Caldwell; Oates, Sarah A; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Recent coverage of faith in the American political discourse has yielded a dominant image of American religion as increasingly polarized and defined by a few strident voices. In particular, the coverage of American political discourse in presidential campaigns fails to capture the diversity and depth of faith that pervades American life as well as misses an opportunity to elevate public debate. To analyze the extent to which presidential campaign news captures the varied expressions of faith represented in the United States, this study examines the coverage of candidate faith and religion as an issue in the two recent presidential elections of 2012 and 2016. Faith as expressed by the four final candidates in these elections differs in meaningful ways. Using content analysis of The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and USA Today, this study examines how the campaigns present candidates’ religious identities, how the candidates themselves portray issues of faith, and how religion emerges as an issue in campaign coverage. In addition, the study identifies and analyzes key frames used in news coverage of candidate faith in U.S. campaigns The analysis shows that political party plays a significant role in what little coverage a candidate’s faith receives. For Republicans, because candidate faith plays a more central role throughout the campaign and especially during the early primaries, the coverage reports extensively on candidates’ use of their religious identities to appeal to religious voters. In the coverage of Democrats, the discussion of religion more commonly emerges in relation to a news item, such as an approach to a contentious policy, that has a religious dimension. A common reality reflected in the coverage of both parties is that a candidate’s long-term authentic religious devotion does not translate into strong campaign strategy regardless of the party of the devout candidate. Overall, analysis of the coverage of faith in 2012 and 2016 reinforces the idea that religious expression and practice differ significantly along political party lines. By recasting campaign coverage to reflect more thoroughly on issues of faith, the media could improve voters’ understanding of religious pluralism as a founding American ideal and help raise levels of trust and interest across both party and religious lines. Deepened appreciation of religious pluralism could help revitalize the public forum to support competition among different ideas, value productive compromise, and reduce the determination of any single group to dominate.
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    Negotiating the “F word”– Croatian Women’s Movements and the News Media
    (2022) Ujcic, Gea; Vasudevan, Krishan; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    By applying qualitative thematic analysis to mainstream media coverage of three hashtag (online) feminist initiatives in Croatia– Prekinimo šutnju, #spasime, and Nisam tražila, this thesis explored how initiatives addressing gender-based violence were covered in the Croatian news media. Findings indicated tabloidized approach to the coverage, various forms of symbolic annihilation of women, personalization of movements, and avoidance of terms "gender and feminism" in the coverage. This master thesis contributes to the scarce existing research on online feminist activism and its media portrayals in Croatia.
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    The Effects of Opinion Labels on News Source Credibility Online
    (2022) Otis, Andrew; Yaros, Ronald; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This dissertation seeks to answer the pressing question of whether labeling opinionated content online as opinion affects readers’ perceived credibility of news sources and trust in the news media. This research was motivated by the many search engines and social media sites that do not label opinionated content as such on their platforms. To answer this question, two studies explore the effects of ‘opinion labels’ on news previews (known as ‘story cards’) on readers’ perceived credibility. Story cards are employed because news consumers often interact with them instead of news websites. In study one, a 3 (news source) x 2 (headline opinion polarity) x 2 (presence of opinion labels) between-subjects design investigated the effects of opinion labels on the perceived credibility of news sources when participants (N = 389) were presented a feed containing biased and unbiased content from one news source. In study two, a mixed design with three levels (prominence of opinion labels) investigated the effects of opinion labels on readers’ perceived credibility of news sources when participants (N = 275) were presented a feed containing biased and unbiased content from multiple news sources. Study one found that labeling opinionated content as opinion significantly increased the perceived credibility of a news source (p < .01). Additionally, opinion labels significantly changed credibility perceptions even among political affiliates viewing oppositional content. Findings from study one suggest opinion labels increase perceived credibility because the labels increase perceived opinion segmentation – the distinctions between news and opinion and between author and source. Previous research indicated that heuristic cues need to be of sufficient visual prominence to affect perceived credibility. However, study two found that the prominence of the labels did not have an effect in a multiple source environment. Findings from study two therefore support the source blindness effect over the prominence-interpretation theory. This dissertation deepened knowledge of heuristics and credibility theory by examining how and why heuristic cues, specifically opinion labels, affect readers’ perceived credibility of news sources. The findings have broad socio-political implications as they indicate that design choices such as labeling content can significantly impact credibility and media trust.
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    (2021) Kobell, Rona Anne; Nelson, Deborah J; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Historians, journalists, and sociologists have documented how 20th century bankers, insurance agents, and city officials discriminated against Black Americans through a system known as redlining. This practice segregated Black residents into certain neighborhoods and reduced the value of their property, making it far more difficult to pass down generational wealth. A similar but less obvious phenomenon occurred in rural areas on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. After the Civil War, Black residents typically found themselves able to buy only the lowest land with the poorest soil. That, too, set up a cascade of events that imperiled Black Marylanders’ ability to pass down generational wealth. This thesis shows how laws, policies, and customs caused an Eastern Shore community to disappear, with a new generation unable to share in its ancestors’ investments. Those factors include the difficulty majority-Black towns had incorporating, which made it harder to receive funds for rebuilding and harder to maintain control of what goes on within their borders; a lack of investment in historic Black properties, in part because state agencies prefer to work with established non-profit historic societies, most of which are white; poor ditch management in lower lands; and an inability to attract state open-space funds to help preserve their lands. For the most part, journalists have not been covering this, because the story is happening slowly and without a major “news hook” to lure in traditional editors. This thesis uses Riley Roberts Road as a case study to examine the broader issue of Black towns, how we’ve lost them, why that history is crucial, and what we can do to make sure we don’t forget the ones that are still with us.
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    Women Journalists and the Municipal Housekeeping Movement: Case Studies of Jane Cunningham Croly, Helen M. Winslow and Rheta Childe Dorr
    (1992) Gottlieb, Agnes Hooper; Beasley, Maurine Hoffman; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    While suffragists in the late nineteenth century commanded a high profile in their fight for the vote, other less militant women also advocated a wider sphere for women. These semi-traditional women believed a woman's place was in her home, but defined women's "homes" as the cities in which they lived. Their natural "sphere," therefore, involved "municipal housekeeping" chores, which included helping women and children and rooting out corruption, crime, filth and immorality in the cities. This dissertation uses a case study approach to illustrate the involvement of three women journalists, Jane Cunningham Croly, Helen M. Winslow and Rheta Childe Dorr, in the municipal housekeeping movement. These women were chosen because their careers, taken as a whole, show how writing about municipal housekeeping evolved over time from a plea for women to become more socially responsible into a logical argument for suffrage. Croly, a founder of the women's club movement in the United States in 1868, advocated a more public role for women in her newspaper and magazine work, especially in her magazines for club women, The Woman's Cycle, The Home-Maker, and The New Cycle. Winslow, editor and publisher of The Club Woman, and Dorr, a writer on reform for Hampton's magazine, were affected by Croly's ideas and, in turn, expanded them into publicity for women to assume a wider sphere in public affairs. The work of these women from Croly's articles in the 1860s to Dorr's militant reform writing in the 1900s illustrates how journalists portrayed the municipal housekeeping movement. All three believed in the concept of a separate sphere for women, but they sought to expand its limits. Croly's gentle reminders that women should seek interests outside the home gradually gave way to Winslow's argument in favor of women's involvement in municipal government, which in turn was only a step away from Dorr's advocacy of equal rights, including the vote, for women. Thus, the municipal housekeeping journalism of Croly and Winslow gradually merged into the suffrage journalism of Dorr.
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    (2020) O'Hare, Rachel Buchanan; Oates, Oates Ann; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This study examined media coverage of the 2016 presidential election to identify whether Trump voters were framed as deviant as defined by Daniel Hallin’s Sphere Theory (1986). In a content analysis of 384 reports produced in the last six weeks of the election by national and local outlets, this study found that journalists framed Trump voters as outside the political norm through the use of delegitimizing cues. Previous scholarship (Luther and Miller 2005; Robinson et. al. 2008; Taylor 2014; Billard 2016) has defined delegitimizing cues as frames that signal negativity to the news consumer. Using a coding system and a qualitative examination of the media reports, this study operationalized deviance through the identification of six delegitimizing cues applied to the Trump voter. The conclusion was that the media framed Trump voters using delegitimizing cues that differed from the coverage of Clinton voters and signaled deviance to the news consumer.Hallin defined three spheres of normative practice for journalists: consensus, legitimate controversy and deviance. Each sphere has different normative practices and goals. According to Hallin’s theory, most political coverage falls into the sphere of legitimate controversy. This study suggests that when journalists were confronted with voters considered a threat to democracy, normative practices shifted and coverage of the Trump voter moved into the sphere of deviance. This framing then contributed to a misunderstanding of the electorate by the media. An examination of differences in national and locally-based reporting in this study found that local media framed voters in a more nuanced manner. In addition, local media reports included details suggesting that political polls were an inaccurate descriptors of local voters. Also included in this dissertation is a summary of the media debate that followed the 2016 election and suggests political reporters were unaware of the shifting roles and practices during the campaign. Finally, this study suggests that framing voters as deviant contributes to the polarization of the U.S. political system. It aims to analyze the media coverage of the 2016 voter with the goal of illuminating current practices and suggesting improvements in the relationship of the media and the voters.
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    (2020) Nguyen, Hoa Thanh; Yaros, Ronald; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    Vietnam is a country already being affected by the consequences of global warming and climate change. By 2030, the World Bank predicts that climate change will continue to impact Vietnam, with an estimated 400,000 to one million people living in poverty (Rozenberg & Hallegatte, 2016). Of the 84 coastal countries investigated, Vietnam ranked first in the predicted severity of sea-level rise and its GDP loss. The country also ranked second (to the Bahamas) in the magnitude of climate effects on the land and second to Egypt in the impact of agriculture (Duong, 2010). At the same time, Vietnam continues to depend on export and other labor-intensive industries, which consume the lion's share of the nation's energy and natural resources that are not yet environmentally friendly. This content analysis examines online media coverage of climate change in Vietnam through frames, claims, and public participation. The study explores the relationships between the Vietnamese media and their audiences through the lenses of public engagement and actions related to climate change issues. Results suggest that solutions, actions, and remedies were the dominant frames in news stories, supporting a blend of development journalism and a nation-building journalism model. The mainstream media in Vietnam determines, in part, the growth of the nation's public sphere because the media facilitates discussion and the dissemination of information among the stakeholders. However, public voices were represented only to a limited degree in mainstream media. Alternatively, self-funded and corporate-sponsored online media facilitated more public interaction and promoted the most public voices. This study contributes to the public sphere theory in a developing Asian country where climate change is being covered as a newly revived social issue. In that sense, climate change should increase the opportunities for - but challenges to - the governance of Vietnam’s administration.
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    (2020) Bhat, Nandikoor R Prashanth; Chadha, Kalyani; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This study explores the anti-media populist sentiments expressed by emerging right-wing alternative news media in India. News websites, television network, and the 'online digital work' done by right-wing supporters—are the key constituent elements of India's burgeoning right-wing news sector. The articulation of negative sentiments about the news media's role in society is a central feature of these right-wing news outlets. What dominant criticisms do the right-wing alternative websites make against the mainstream press? How does the right-wing television express its criticism of the mainstream media? What do online Hindu nationalists say about their plausible association with the right-wing alternative news outlets, including websites and television? How do online Hindu nationalists plan to counter mainstream media's 'liberal' bias? Answering these questions contributes to the understanding of the expressions of media distrust articulated by the Hindu nationalists associated with the right-wing Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in India. Through a thematic analysis of 545 media-related articles published on right-wing portals, and, an ethnographic qualitative content analysis of media-related debates aired on the right-wing television network, Republic TV, and in-depth interviews with 24 Hindu nationalists active on Twitter, this dissertation examines the discursive strategies employed by right-wing actors in India to discredit and undermine professional journalism. This study found several dominant themes of media criticisms articulated by right-wing alternative news outlets. For instance, they accuse the mainstream press of suppressing the voices and opinions of the Hindu majority while favoring minorities and working against India's interests by tarnishing the country's global image. Further, they charge the traditional media with controlling public opinion by withholding crucial information, censoring right-wing views, and spreading 'false narratives.' Additionally, they advance the claim that the professional media act as the mouthpieces of the establishment as represented by the Congress party while opposing the BJP. Hindu nationalists also share a belief that the news media do not offer balanced, diverse, and impartial coverage. Further, right-wing actors characterize news reporters as individuals who are 'corrupt,' 'unethical,' and working to advance their self-interests. Broadly, these expressions of media distrust are articulated and disseminated with an intent to attack the professional integrity of journalists and to position themselves as the challengers to the hegemonic power of the established media. These criticisms parallel those expressed by right-wing alternative sites in the Western democracies such as Sweden, Germany, Norway, and the U.S. Likewise, there are similarities between the presentation styles and the editorial tone adopted by the right-wing television network, Republic TV in India as well as the Fox news in the U.S. Insights into the dominant criticisms articulated against them and their professional work by Hindu nationalists will offer journalists an opportunity to develop counterstrategies and narratives. The findings of this study will also provide scholars of comparative studies, a comprehensive look at the anti-media populist sentiment prevailing in a non-Western democracy such as India. In doing so, this study unpacks the distinct social, technological, historical, economic, and political factors aiding the right-wing actors in India in their efforts to de-legitimize the professional media. Finally, to the scholars interested in understanding the relationship between the right-wing populist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and India's established media, this study argues that a 'double strategy' is at play---where on the one hand the mainstream media is discredited through criticisms articulated by the right-wing alternative news outlets while on the other hand, the professional media is co-opted through various coercive measures into providing favorable coverage to the Hindu nationalists and the BJP government. These organized efforts by the right-wing actors have created a worrisome environment for professional journalists who resort to self-censorship instead of risking their personal safety and losing their livelihood. As a result, despite being one of the largest media markets in the world, content produced by various mainstream news outlets in India is increasingly looking homogenous and bereft of diverse views. Such homogenization of the mainstream news content and pro-government stance undermines the watchdog role of the media in the Indian democracy.
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    The Washington, D.C. 1991 Riots in Mount Pleasant: An Analysis of Local Press Coverage
    (1993) Lima, Christina C.; Gurevitch, Michael; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md)
    Studies in the field of communication have found that the U.S.A. mainstream (English-language) news media coverage of minorities is characterized primarily by the portrayal of minorities only in the context of the problems or difficulties that they pose to society. In addition, because of cultural values and customs, the media, when covering minorities, tend to focus on the event itself rather than on the underlying causes of the event. Thus the coverage tends to be stereotypical. In order to address these issues, this thesis analyses the content of coverage of the 1991, Washington, D.C. Mount Pleasant civil disturbances in two English- and two Spanish-language newspapers. A quantitative content analysis was employed in order to determine the extent and type of coverage provided to Latinos two weeks before the disturbances, the week of the disturbances, and the week after the disturbances. For the same period, a thematic content analysis was used to contrast the frameworks used by the English-language press in comparison to the Spanish-language press. The assumption was that by having cultural proximity to and understanding of the Latino Community, the Spanish-language press provided a more thorough coverage of the event. The results, however, show that both presses failed to provide a comprehensive coverage of the event. In fact, the results seem to indicate that both presses followed journalistic news values and patterns more closely than they followed cultural values. The most notable difference between the two presses was that they incorporated the news values and patterns into their own cultural bias.
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    (2020) Curran, Colleen Deborah; Vasudevan, Krishnan; Journalism; Digital Repository at the University of Maryland; University of Maryland (College Park, Md.)
    This study examined the language used by four mainstream newspapers to represent welfare recipients between 1996 and 2016. Using a mixed-method analysis developed on qualitative and quantitative analysis and guided by framing and critical discourse theories, this study investigated the words used by news media writers to describe welfare recipients following welfare reform in 1996 in the United States. My findings show that within some of the news media examined, stereotypical characterizations and values associated with the poor—dependency, lack of responsibility, and self-sufficiency—were used decades after the birth of the “welfare queen” trope, that quotes from welfare recipients were underrepresented in stories, and general coverage of welfare public assistance decreased during this time period. This study builds upon research of how welfare recipients were described in news media in the twentieth century and offers important implications for how journalists cover the poor in the current era.