Tag Archives: research

Blog Essay Class 9

Re: the Journalists Resource articles – Research from the Pew Center revealed interesting facts about the way in which Arabs express themselves online, particularly in a political manner. I wonder if Americans express themselves politically in the same manner and with the same frequency—I personally don’t think so. I think there are two extremes on the right and left and a middle that is largely apathetic (for my generation, at least). The article about Twitter, politics and the public discusses how microblogging can influence hot-button political issues. How often do you participate in political discourse on SMS/microblogging sites such as Twitter? I don’t find myself participating very frequently, especially not during peak times such as elections where it seems that political discourse is ubiquitous. I think there often is a backlash when it comes to how active people are on social media when expressing their political views—for example, people’s politically-related overparticipation on social media inspires me to do the opposite.

Re: The Economist article – I found this article to be very interesting, focusing on the benefit and validity of citizen journalism: “…photographs, videos and tweets from ordinary people are improving and expanding news coverage” and this can be seen in crime-related situations such as the Boston bombings. When the media can’t or doesn’t have the materials necessary to create a segment, sometimes-ordinary citizens do. In cases like that, the media have little choice but to use the content produced by average people in their broadcasts. I’ve thought about programs like iReport and its equivalents, but I’m not sure how I feel about them. I can see pros and cons to each side. An obvious pro is that it allows the flow of information to be free and unrestricted. A con is that it may harm or even damage the credibility of vetted, professional people and affiliated organizations.

Re: Jaschik’s article about science – Most newspapers don’t have fulltime writers focused on science and health. CNN got ride of an entire team of reporters who covered science and tech beats. After taking the Science Communications class here at the college, I learned that the average citizen does not know basic scientific facts at all. According to a NYT article, one out of five American adults thinks that the sun revolves around the earth. (Yes, seriously, check it out – http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/30/science/30profile.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0). When we do away with such writers, we do away with such stories. When we do away with such stories, we harm the public knowledge and propagate a lack of awareness of basic issues. Our society becomes less educated as a result. What kinds of harmful effects does eliminating these types of stories have on our society? Particularly on youth? I think youth are the most important group because they ultimately shape the future. If they don’t possess basic knowledge, it can damage their worldview and globally, it can damage the way other countries view Americans.


– How often do you participate in political discourse on SMS/microblogging sites such as Twitter?

Nicki Karimipour


Annotated Bibliography

1. Bleacher Report. (2013). Bleacher report raises the bar for citizen journalists with new editorial guidelines. Retrieved March 1, 2013, from http://bleacherreport.com/pages/editorial-standards-announcement

This article on Bleacher Report’s website provided a guideline for new editorial standards for writers/bloggers, in order to “enhance credibility.” They have moved away from an instant publish mode—now, all new writers must go through an application process and pass an exclusive standard requirement. Bleacher Report is the leading publisher of original and entertaining sports editorial content. It is the fastest-growing sports digital media property, based on the fastest growing properties in the top 300 Quantcast rankings since August 2009. Since launching in 2008, Bleacher Report has built an audience of more than 8million unique visitors per month to its web site and reaches more than 600,000 email subscribers via its daily newsletters.


2. Brown, C. (2007, Feb 1, 2007). Ex-players dealing with not-so-glamorous health issues. New York Times, pp. D.1

This news article discussed the health issues that are plaguing retired NFL players, such as depression (or other mental health issues, which can be risk factors for suicide), sleep apnea, high cholesterol/blood pressure, diabetes, etc. The underlying theme to this article is that football players have been indoctrinated into an atmosphere of masculinity, which prevents them from speaking up about health issues because they want to preserve that “tough” and heroic image.

3. Bryant, J, and A Raney. Handbook of Sports and Media. London: Routledge, 2006.

This book is a handbook of sport and media. It traces the development of sport media and coverage, which is what I was most interested in learning more about from this handbook. It talks about how sport coverage began and how it changed over time, particularly how media coverage of sport has been shifting throughout the ages—the Agricultural, Industrial, and finally, the Information Age.

4. Center for Study of Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. (2013). Chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Retrieved from http://www.bu.edu/cste/

This is the website for the Boston University center that researches CTE. It provides good information about the disease and how it develops, risk factors, relation to concussion, etc. It chronicles the research efforts and findings of a particular group of CTE researchers who are usually interviewed and mentioned/quoted in news articles. Another aspect I am interested in when doing this research is evaluating who the sources in news articles typically are. I want to compare/contrast the use of official and unofficial sources in news stories.

5. Chapman, Cameron. (2009, November 29). The evolution of web design. SixRevisions.com. Retrieved at http://sixrevisions.com/web_design/the-evolution-of-webdesign/

This website gave more information about sports content and the history of its online dissemination, particularly about how early versions of sport websites were set up and what kinds of features they contained and did not contain. Reading about these websites helped me understand how to better compare and contrast them with today’s online sport websites.

6. Chin, L., Toshkezi, G., & Cantu, R. (2011). Traumatic encephalopathy related to sports injury. US Neurology7(1), 33-36.

This article shows the evidence between concussions, TBI and CTE and the symptoms of each. There are no treatment options for CTE, so it discusses concussion prevention especially in sports where the injuries can be more common. Sports-related injuries account for 10% of head and spinal cord injuries. Yearly, 1.5 million Americans suffer traumatic brain injury (TBI) without loss of consciousness or need for hospitalization. Football is the sport where players are highest at risk for concussion due to its high impact nature.

7. Connell, R. W., & Messerschmidt, J. W. (2005). Hegemonic masculinity: Rethinking the concept. Gender and Society, 19(6), 829-859. doi:10.1177

The topic of this journal article is the concept of masculinity. Masculinity is an important aspect of organized sports among males, because it is how they assert dominance and power. Discussion of gender politics and hegemony is important to my research.


8. Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design: Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

This is a book about qualitative research and how to do it. Creswell presents five approaches to qualitative research while also exploring the philosophical underpinnings, history and important elements of these five approaches (narrative research, phenomenology, grounded theory, ethnography, case study). The author talks about methodology of each, data collection, verification, etc. This was one of the required texts for Dr. Duke’s qualitative research class. I found it to be very helpful so I purchased my own copy.


9. Dwyre, B. (2011, Dec 16, 2011). As concussions take toll, are we taking notice? Los Angeles Times, pp. C.2.

This newspaper article addressed the concussion debate that has been very prevalent in sports, especially recently. The author asserts that as a society we have become numb to the serious nature of concussions in sports and simply accepted it as just a commonplace occurrence. He calls for increased awareness and better treatment of concussions, which can have negative long-term effects for athletes, regardless of their sport.


10. eBizMBA. (2013). Top 15 most popular sports websites. Retrieved 2/2, 2013, from http://www.ebizmba.com/articles/sports-websites

This website contained a list of the 15 most popular/visited sport websites, which was helpful to me because I could see which sites people go to the most.


11. Edison, Paul. (2010, September 3). The History of Web Design in a Nutshell. VitaWebdesign.com. Retrieved at http://vitawebdesign.com/web-design/the-history-ofweb-design-in-a-nutshell.html

This website gave more information about sports content and the history of its online dissemination, particularly about how early versions of sport websites were set up and what kinds of features they contained and did not contain. Reading about these websites helped me understand how to better compare and contrast them with today’s online sport websites. 

12. Goldstein, R. (2000, 06 29). Larry Kelley, 85, a Yale end who won the Heisman, dies . New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2000/06/29/sports/larry-kelley-85-a-yale-end-who-won-the-heisman-dies.html

This article recounted the death of a popular NFL athlete who died by suicide in 2000. It provided risk factors and symptoms that Kelley experienced before his suicide (both short and long term symptoms/risk factors). This helps me better understand what sorts of risk factors and symptoms journalists are connecting with the act of suicide.

13. Gould, M. (2001). Suicide and the media. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences932, 200-224.

This journal article discusses the relationship between the media and suicide, particularly the ways in which the media coverage of a suicide can inspire contagions. The author looks at articles from English language publications to see how the stories talk about suicide. She provides statistics about the effects and gives suggestions on how to minimize harm and risk associated with these stories.

14. Joiner, T. (2007). Why people die by suicide. (1 ed.). Boston, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.

This book provided information about suicide statistics, reasons people commit suicide (such as external factors and risk factors). The biggest risk factors for suicide include the feeling of being a burden on loved ones; sense of isolation and ability for self-harm. Written by a clinical psychologist, the book examines suicide from various lenses, such as anthropologically, historically, culturally, from an epidemiological and genetic standpoint, etc. This book is the most helpful piece of suicide research I have encountered thus far. He recounts old suicide theories but also introduces and explains his own theory.

15. Maxwell, J. (2013). Qualitative research design: An interactive approach (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, Inc.

This is a handbook for how to do various types of qualitative research. It provides models for research, helps you define your goals for doing the study, discusses conceptual framework, helps you formulate your research questions and methods portion, measure validity and how to present the study when it is done. This is one of the textbooks we used for Dr. Duke’s qualitative research class and I found it so helpful that I purchased my own copy.


16. Mercy, J. A., Kresnow, M., O’Carroll, P. W., Lee, R. K., Powell, K. E., Potter, L. B., . . . Bayer, T. L. (2001). Is suicide contagious? A study of the relation between exposure to suicidal behavior of others and nearly lethal suicide attempts. American Journal of Epidemiology, 154(2), 120-127. doi:10.1093/aje/154.2.120

This journal article discussed suicide contagion. It was of interest to me because I wanted to see what the research had to say about the risk of “copycat” suicides, especially as it relates to media exposure to stories about suicide.

17. National Institute of Mental Health. (2013, 05 17).Suicide prevention. Retrieved fromhttp://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/suicide-prevention/index.shtml

This website provided statistics about suicide in the United States and globally. This information was useful to me because it showed how serious the problem is and that it is a pressing public health issue. It also provided information about prevention tactics and organizations that help individuals who are contemplating suicide, such as local and national organizations and 24-hour hotlines for those in distress.

18. Nicholson, M. (2006). Sport and the media: Managing the nexus (sport management) (1st ed.). London: Routledge. doi:November 11, 2006

This book provides an analysis of the sport media world. I found it helpful because it recounts the historical aspect of sport media and how it developed over time. I am most interested in online sport media and how websites began, what kinds of information they contain, what types of people follow these sites and how this has all changed over time as sport websites have gotten more advanced.

19. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH). (1994). NFL mortality study. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services


This report was an analysis of the rate of death among professional football players. It found that they have a “normal rate of life expectancy” but the study was done in a relatively young group of men, so results may not be that robust. Along with a higher risk of heart attack, football players are “more likely to die from acts of violence and accidents than the general public… the theory was that these men are likely to be risk-takers and engage in dangerous hobbies and activities.”


20. Phillips, D. P., Lesyna, K., & Paight, D. J. (1992). Suicide and the media. Maris RW, , 499-519.

This journal article discussed the relationship that stories about suicide have on the media. It gives “best practice” recommendations for covering such cases and what things to avoid when the media covers a suicide. It talks about contagion, which is a collection of suicidal “copycats” that try to recreate the act following press coverage of a high profile suicide.

21. Schreier, M. (2012). Qualitative content analysis in practice SAGE Publications Ltd.

This book explained the process of conducting a qualitative content analysis. It was very helpful in discussing the practical side to qualitative research. The book was particularly strong in its discussion and explanation of coding and the process, which is very valuable to my needs. It explained things very thoroughly but in a very easy to understand manner, which I found accessible to novices and experienced qualitative researchers alike.

22. Schwartz, P. (2010, 03 05). The world’s top sports events. Forbes Magazine, Retrieved fromhttp://www.forbes.com/global/2010/0315/companies-olympics-superbowl-daytona-worlds-top-sports-events.html

This magazine article illustrated how important sports are in the United States. It gave me information about finances and what the highest grossing events are. Understanding how essential sports are (and have always been) to our national identity and psyche is a cornerstone for further understanding how important the athletes are, and when they die, their deaths can have wide-reaching impacts on the average population.

23. Schwarz, A., & Brown, C. (2007, February 2, 2007). Dark days follow hard-hitting career in N.F.L. New York Times, pp. A.1.

This newspaper article talked about the issues facing athletes upon retirement from the NFL. Particularly, how they must change their lifestyle to meet financial changes while also dealing with relationship issues, divorce, child custody battles and the feelings of loss that accompany a successful and high profile, high energy career.

24. Smith, A. M., & Milliner, E. K. (1994). Suicide risk in injured athletes. Journal of Athletic Training, 29, 337-341.

This journal article discussed the risks factors associated with injured athletes and suicide. The study measured their feelings of depression, hopelessness and negative emotions surrounding their injury. Depression is an important risk factor for mental health issues and may be a risk for suicide as well, so it’s important to see how athletes view their situation and how they adjust (or become maladjusted) to their surroundings following an injury or in the case of some of these NFL athletes, retirement.

25. Statista. (2012, 06 04). Statistics and facts on the NFL. Retrieved fromhttp://www.statista.com/topics/963/national-football-league/

This website showed facts and statistics about the NFL such as cost of the game, player salaries, television, media and merchandise and financial information about the Super Bowl. Understanding the NFL franchise from a financial and economic standpoint helps me better evaluate the impact that the game has on its fans and viewers.

26. Thomas, D. R. (2003). A general inductive approach for qualitative data analysis.

This article discussed methods for doing a qualitative content analysis. I found the definitions and discussions of coding to be helpful to my research. The article’s section on inductive coding was helpful because it explained the five steps for breaking down the process into manageable steps and a full explanation of each step in order.

27. Ulanday, M., & Crowder, E. (2011, 02 03). Behind the wins and losses: Changing the way mental health is viewed in sports . Retrieved from http://saynotostigma.com/2011/04/behind-the-wins-and-losses-changing-the-way-mental-health-is-viewed-in-sports/

This article discusses mental health issues and sports. It talks about how there needs to be a profound change in the way athletes are treated and the avoidance of stigma for mental health issues like depression, suicide—and even how physical injuries can have powerful mental health implications.


28. Ward, S. (2009). Covering suicide: Do journalists exploit tragedy? . Retrieved April 15, 2013, from http://www.journalismethics.info/ethics_in_news/suicide.html

This article discussed the ethical considerations for journalists to be aware of when covering suicide cases. Particularly, to not sensationalize or exploit the situation; stick to the verifiable and known facts, and to be sensitive to the grief that the family of the deceased person is experiencing. This was helpful to my research because by knowing the guidelines, I can then have a better way to evaluate the ways in which journalists, reporters, bloggers covered these high profile athlete suicides in their articles.

Blog Essay Class 6

Re: Shoemaker & Reese’s piece about hierarchy of influences says that “Routines in which starting times and deadlines are followed also tend to create gaps in what news is covered, according to research. It would be interesting to see how 24-7 online news has affected this.” How do you think the constant interconnectivity and need to stay apprised on the latest happenings coupled with our American desire for instant gratification fuels 24/7 news sources? It’s a common journalism anecdote—the one the author described about being in a meeting and copying/adhering to (or at the very least, following) the NYT agenda. This happens a lot. But I worry that the pitfall with this is that news just becomes recycled and monotonous, and there’s nothing beyond the tiny scope of our locale, region, city, state, town, community, state, and nation. That is why “global” news sources are important—like Al Jazeera and BBC. No news source is perfect, but we should definitely be aware of what goes on beyond the limits and confines of our own immediate community. How can we get people to be more interested in “global” news outlets like BBC and Al Jazeera? What do you think are the pros and cons associated with “global” news sources like those?

Re: Keith’s “Shifting Circles” article – It says, “among online news media outlets, for example, there is no standard staffing or process for preparing news for the Web. Even within individual newsrooms, routines have changed so often that dozens of routines for producing, editing, posting, and overseeing Web content may have been used and abandoned since the mid-1990s. That very tumult around online content production, however, suggests that a topic that has received some scrutiny deserves more.” What difference do you think it would make if online media outlets developed a standardized way of creating, editing, disseminating and updating their sites? Do you think this is desirable, feasible, etc.? If so, how do you imagine it would work? It might be a good idea because it would give us some sense of security as readers that our news sources follow some sort of protocol at least.

The anecdote about “Mr. Gates” to illustrate gatekeeping theory is still so true today. Editors have their own inherent experiences, opinions, views and biases – and even though they try to conceal or put aside those things, that doesn’t always work. After all, we saw that fact exemplified by something we read last class which said that despite NYT editor Jill Abramson being a female, men are still quoted a vast majority of the time in articles, especially about “female” issues like reproductive rights, pregnancy, contraception, abortion, etc. So she obviously has some biases and corporate influence that prevents her from publishing some things, and encourages her to publish some other things. Which leads me to my next question…. What is another way around the editor bias? Or is there even a solution to this? Wanting to know more about her as an editor (admittedly I didn’t know much), I began researching. Edward Bernays doesn’t begin any project without researching and so do I! J I found this pretty recent piece on her which I enjoyed reading – http://www.politico.com/story/2013/04/new-york-times-turbulence-90544_Page3.html. The article indicates that Abramson is uncaring and cold. On other days, Abramson seems disengaged from the newsroom. “When Jill is engaged, no one was better. She’s an incredible journalist,” one former staffer said. “But as often as not, she can be totally absent. There are days when she acts like she just doesn’t care.” I wonder how her attitude and lack of support and morale for her employees influences the content of the articles? I wonder what it would be like to work in such an environment. I am no stranger to having both good and bad editors, and it definitely makes a world of difference in terms of content, speed, accuracy, ethics, turnaround rate, and overall happiness or dissatisfaction level in the newsroom. It can influence your growth and training as a writer, too—especially if you’re relatively inexperienced. For many writers, journalism isn’t formalized in its protocol and process—it’s an exercise in heuristics. Learning habits from a good or bad editor can set up your outlook and opinions for many years to come, that’s why it’s so important to have a quality editor in your newsroom organization. What qualities do you think make up a “good” editor?

Re: Ch. 9 from the book – I found the crux of Schudson’s discussion about “who makes the news?” to be very interesting. Dr. Rodgers loves a good metaphor, and I thought the author’s metaphor about Michelangelo, David and marble to be a great analogy for expressing the power and influence journalists have—and differentiating between *real* and *perceived* influence. “It is common for social scientists who study news to speak of how journalists ‘construct the news’, ‘make news’ or ‘socially construct reality’ (p. 165). This point was a good counter to the claims made in the previous articles, especially the one by Shoemaker & Reese. Yes, there is a gatekeeper, but he (or she) is not as powerful and omniscient as we think. Referring to journalism as a tangible thing was a new concept for me, and I am sure it was for some of my classmates too. We are almost indoctrinated to view journalism as an abstract result of a particular situation—i.e., there was an earthquake and now this is a video clip/documentary/article/radio piece about that incident. It seems purely episodic to me. Schudson and Tuchman introduced a foreign concept to me in this chapter—that news can be a ‘depletable consumer product that must be made fresh daily’ (p. 165). Viewing it from that perspective made me more sympathetic toward news organizations and media outlets. They are competing like the rest of us—individually and as a group. Individual journalists are trying to get ahead, make a name for him/herself and establish social capital in the workplace. On a larger scale, the organization for which they work is also trying to do the same thing, while also competing with other rivals and corporate interests. It’s a delicate balance, and I honestly don’t think we give enough credit (or any, for that matter) to news organizations. Instead, we are so quick to villanize and blame them. Indeed, it’s also important to note the facts, that “there is no consistent support for the belief that independent news outlets offer more diverse content than those run by corporate conglomerates or that locally owned media are better for diversity than national chains” (p. 166). However, I really believe that piece of information would come as a huge shock to many people. It’s easy to criticize the media, and not so easy to think of ways to reform it. In that way, it is very similar to politics. According to the author, “it is the absence of commercial organizations, or their total domination by the state, that is the worst case scenario” (p. 166). In other words, censorship or total absence of autonomy is worse than corporate control of the media. I would agree with that. Many countries don’t enjoy the same level of “freedom” as we do (I put freedom in quotes because that’s a loaded term that means very different things to different people). But we have the First Amendment in this country—like it or not. It’s better to have a variety of news (level of quality is up for debate), but be awarded the choice to sift through information that is readily available and draw your own conclusions. Dr. Rodgers has a link on his blog to the most censored countries in the world, which is appropriate given the aforementioned topic: http://cpj.org/reports/2012/05/10-most-censored-countries.php. The country where my parents were born, Iran, ranks number four on this list. I already knew this, as I had the opportunity to interview Nobel Peace Prize winner Shirin Ebadi. In her speech, she discussed censorship and the need for democracy in Iran (picture below).


Re: the YouTube video interview with Dr. Schiller was interesting. His original background is in economics, but he shifted to communications after finding economics to be “too restrictive” in practice, teaching and how it is written. How do you think communications and economics are related? Different? I think that the corporate nature of both fields is important to be aware of. Schiller discusses this about 13 minutes into the video clip, calling it a “media monopoly.” Thus, it can be said that capitalism is not just the basis of our country’s economic system, but also infiltrates other fields such as communications and media. The interconnectivity cannot be overlooked.


–       How do you think the constant interconnectivity and need to stay apprised on the latest happenings coupled with our American desire for instant gratification fuels 24/7 news sources?

–       How can we get people to be more interested in “global” news outlets like BBC and Al Jazeera? What do you think are the pros and cons associated with “global” news sources like those?

–       What difference do you think it would make if online media outlets developed a standardized way of creating, editing, disseminating and updating their sites? Do you think this is desirable, feasible, etc.? If so, how do you imagine it would work?

–       What is another way around the editor bias? Or is there even a solution to this?

–       What qualities do you think make up a “good” editor?

–       How do you think communications and economics are related? Different?

Nicki Karimipour; nickik1989@ufl.edu

Media interests

A few media issues that interest me – 

1. How do corporate agendas and interests influence stories about health? How do we know what the funding source of a certain drug is, or that the conglomerate hospital is an ad buyer of the newspaper when it is not explicitly stated in the news article, for example? It could be hidden for agenda-setting purposes. How does this subsequently affect or even damage our trust of the media?

2. In regards to literary journalism in health stories, do these kinds of stories do more harm or good to audiences and readers? Are the types of stories that are most popular and exciting to readers always the most representative? Stories about breast cancer usually feature young women in their 30s, when the statistical likelihood of getting breast cancer at that age is very minimal. But it makes for the best story because the feature is “sexy” and has a happy ending. 

3. Why is the media not interested in stories about prevention? Typically the most impactful stories are about people who conquered a disease and overcame it, or using sensationalism or fear-based tactics to inspire health behavior change. How can we inspire more journalists to focus on prevention?