Abstracts of the 2015 winning papers are posted below.
“I’m a news junkie. … I like being informed…” Uses & Gratifications and Mobile News Users ”Jacqueline Incollingo, Rider University
Abstract: A mixed methods research project combining quantitative survey results (n=632) with semi-structured interview data (n=30) explored how digital subscribers engage with mobile news, under the uses and gratifications framework. Themes of continuity indicate that motivations in traditional newspaper use remain salient in mobile news: information-seeking, the pleasure of reading, and powerful daily habits surrounding news use. Additional gratification concepts specific to tablet and smartphone news use, including mobility and the value of scaffolding, are suggested.
“How Political Talk and Political Efficacy Jointly Mediate the Impact of News Consumption on Political Participation?” Chang Sup Park, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania
Abstract: This study suggests a two-step mediation model, which highlights the role of political talk and political efficacy in political communication. Based on two cross-sectional analyses and one auto-regressive analysis from the dataset of a two-wave panel survey during the 2012 presidential campaign in South Korea, this study finds that political discussion and political efficacy jointly mediate the impact of news consumption on political participation. Through involvement in the discussion with others, individual news consumers make more sense of the information obtained from the media and such sense-making are more likely to result in political participation through political efficacy. The result suggests that political talk and political efficacy jointly play a pivotal role in connecting citizens’ information-seeking behaviors to political participation. Additionally, this study finds that news consumption via online media and social media is significantly influential in triggering citizen engagement in political processes.
“The Buzz on BuzzFeed: Can readers learn the news from lists?” Tara Burton, University of Alabama and Chris Roberts, University of Alabama
Abstract: Among the Internet’s new forms of news delivery is BuzzFeed.com, which mixes information with humor using text blocks and unrelated images. This storytelling technique raises questions about information retention and credibility compared to traditional news messages and messengers. An experimental study on college-age students, using Elaboration Likelihood Model and credibility theories, compared a BuzzFeed story treatment to a USA Today treatment. Most participants preferred BuzzFeed but retained less information than traditional treatment. Implications are discussed.