Writing In Communications

Basic Knowledge of Undergraduate Journals in Communication

I have chosen the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media as my undergraduate research journal. Common research topics within this journal range from social and mass media to various types of broadcasting. Some are within the sports field, some deal with news, and others focus on other types of broadcasting, as well as media related subjects.

I have chosen to analyze The Relationship between Traditional Mass Media and “Social Media”: Reality Television as a Model for Social Network Site Behavior by Stefanone, Lackaff, and Rosen. Below is a segment of the article from the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media:

"Although age had a strong negative relationship to the size of people’s networks and the number of photos they shared, aggregate television viewing did not. Younger people clearly have larger SNS networks, but watching television did not impact this variable. However, when the percentage of network contacts not met was considered, results suggest that television viewing was influential. After controlling for the size of people’s online networks, there was positive and significant relationship between the amount of television consumed and the likelihood that these network contacts are relative strangers. Extant research shows that people use networking sites to connect to others with whom they share an off line connection (Ellison et al., 2007). For example, students typically friend others with whom they have either shared a class, lived together, or otherwise met F2F. While this may often be the case, the results presented herein suggest that television viewing is associated with increased promiscuity in ‘‘friending’’ behavior online."

In this passage the authors begin to disagree with the original research that has been done by Ellison et al., but is also consistent with their research as well. The relationship was not necessarily negative, even though it was thought to be the case. Then the author switches their position when new factors such as relation to network connections are brought into the mix. The original hypothesis did not hold true, but there were still commonalities that seemed to influence this. They then continue to support a connection between mass media and social media by stating that during the research process strong and positive relationships were apparent. An opposing finding is then cited and explained. The author then closes the paragraph by agreeing that the finding from Ellison et al. may still be true but reinforces the findings from their own study.

Based on my analysis and the submission guidelines I expect this genre to be informative and thorough. I realize that this is a relatively new field, but believe it is beneficial to the growth of communication. The citation practices typically lead into the author’s analysis of such research with word choice that suggests their own stance on the preciously done research.

Journal Requirements
Manuscript submissions should not exceed 7500 words.
The average number of citations per article is approximately 20-25.

Analyzing Definitions

The article I have chosen to analyze for this post is titled Differences in Television Sports Reporting of Men's and Women's Athletics: EPSN SportsCenter and CNN Sports Tonight by C.A. Tuggle published in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media.

This article seems to be lacking in definitions. This suggests to me that the article is very straight forward and for a specialized audience. Since, in this case, the specialized audience is in a field where simple linguistics are used, the writing follows suit. It does not contain terms or things that need to be defined within the article because of its target audience and proposed readership. The only area I could possible see as being defined would be each hypothesis within the results section. Tuggle recaps each hypothesis before validating or dismissing the assumption. Typical word choice that precedes a definition is which states, such as, and other similar things. These seemed to fit into the more in depth portion of the article like the results, conclusion, or method section.

I did not notice any apposition in this particular article. There were no commas, dashes, or parentheses that would signal any such grammatical structure. I believe the reasoning for this coincides with the same reason the article lacks in definitions—its conversational nature. The definitions were more for the purpose of expanding on the idea if anything. This article is very understandable and does not need definitions. They do not serve much of a purpose in this piece.

Below is a paragraph to show the extremely conversational tone:
“Since Title IX was adopted, the number of women and girls participating in sports has risen at all competition levels (Himmelberg, 1992). However, media coverage of female sporting events has not expanded at the same rate. Women are underrepresented in print and broadcast media (Himmelberg, 1992). Magazines, newspapers, and television rarely cover female athletes, and women in typically "masculine" sports such as shot putting get the least coverage of all (Kane, 1989). Media therefore frame female sports as less deserving of coverage than men's competition.”

There are no terms that are extremely large, and I would expect to be able to understand this passage definitely prior to college.

Simplification of Dense Academic Articles; Abstractions and Nominalizations

Original Passages

Numerically and proportionately more males than females watch televised sports (Gantz & Wenner, 1991), but the numbers of males and females watching sports are not grossly disparate. Although sports is the only program type that attracts more men that women, 50 percent or more of the women in various industrialized countries report that they watch sports regularly (Cooper-Chen, 1994). Women comprise more than 40 percent of the viewers of games from Major League Baseball, The National Basketball Association, and the National Football League. The number of female viewers for professional boxing is nearly as high (Arrington, 1995).

The literature suggests that many women are interested in sports as participants and spectators. While there is no clear consensus regarding the presence of female journalists and its effect on increased coverage of women, it follows intuitively that such would be the case; the more female journalists, the greater the coverage of female athletics.

How female athletes are depicted by the two national programs may influence sports anchors in local markets across the country. Local sportscasters may look at what SportsCenter and Sports Tonight cover and conclude that limited coverage of female athletics is the norm. The decision by ESPN to air more NCAA women's basketball games is a step in the right direction and should lead to more coverage of that sport on highlights programs. However, it is clear there is still much room for improvement. Women are interested in sports as participants and spectators. A pragmatic approach by the two cable networks necessitates a broader understanding of the viewing desires of that portion of the audience.

Revised Passages

The number of men that watch sports is greater than the number of women (Gantz & Wenner, 1991), but not extremely unequal. Although sports is the only type of program that attracts more men than women, 50 percent or more of the women in more developed countries say that they watch sports regularly (Cooper-Chen, 1994). More than 40% of the viewers of games from Major League Baseball, The National Basketball Association, and the National Football League are women. The number of female viewers for professional boxing is nearly as high (Arrington, 1995).

According to previous writings on this topic there are a lot of women who are interested in watching and participating in sports. While there is no clear agreement about the female journalists existing and the effect it has on the coverage of women, it seems that it would naturally be the case.

The way that the two national sports programs talk about female athletes could affect the way sports anchors in smaller areas across the country talk about them too. If the larger programs limit the amount of female athletics that they cover then local sportscasters may decide that it is normal to not cover women’s sports. The decision by ESPN to air more NCAA women's basketball games is a step in the right direction and should lead to more coverage of that sport on highlights programs. There is still a lot of room for change though. Women like to watch and participate in sports. If the two networks take a practical view of their audience they may understand that the sports and genders their viewers want to watch is wide-ranging.

Function of these Nominalizations and Abstractions in the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media

For the most part there were not too many nominalizations or abstractions throughout this article. The ones that did occur were very tailored to a lingo used in broadcasting. Others were apparent specifically because this is academic writing, whereas broadcast is a very conversational style. In the first passage I chose Tuggle used more scientific words to describe the research on the numbers of viewers and participants, when basically it just said that there were more men, but not a significant amount more.
Readers gain a more professional view of the issue and it gives them credibility. This type of writing is meant for researching and publishing for experts in the field. I believe readers get easier readability from this type of writing, with less room for misinterpretation, even as experts in the field. Because sports and communication are so conversational topics and industries it is only fitting in order to establish common ground.

Comparing Styles Within Communication Journals

Article Style
I have chosen to compare The Wide World of Sports Reporting by Dana Mastro, Anita Atwell Seate, Erin Blecha, and Monica Gallegos to Gender Sports and New Media by Tang Tang and Roger Cooper. The styles of the articles are very similar. Given the field they are both very conversational articles. The nominal style of the two is consistent with the communication style of writing.

Here is a paragraph from The Wide World of Sports Reporting:
“Portrayals of women in sports coverage are both qualitatively and quantitatively different from those of their male counterparts. Women constitute a mere 5% of coverage on sports commentary shows, despite the fact that they compose 40% of sports participants. In contrast to male sports coverage (with its focus on ability, skill, strength, and the like), the emphasis in female sports news is on the athlete’s beauty, agility, grace, and body. Moreover, research finds that the language used to characterize women’s sports describes female athletes as childlike, emotional, silly, and sexual, whereas male athletes tend to be described as courageous and strong.”

Here is a paragraph from Gender Sports and New Media:
"In terms of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, although U.S. male and female athletes won an equal number of medals (53 each), researchers found that NBC gave more Olympic clock-time to men’s sports compared to the 2004 Athens Games and the 2000 Sydney Games (Billings et al., 2010). Male athletes received more comments about their strength, intelligence, and consonance compared to their female counterparts. The Olympic commentary was ‘‘filtered’’ by gender in 2008 (Angelini & Billings, 2010; Billings et al., 2010). It is also important to note that during the Beijing Games, 51.8 million unique users visited NBCOlympics.com, viewed 1.3 billion pages, and watched more than 75 million video streams (Cooper, 2008). Audiences sought Olympic content online to a degree never before seen."

Messages about the Argument
In the article by Tang and Cooper they use In addition to add support to the argument quite frequently, such as “In addition, gender inequities existed within sportscasters’ on-air dialogue” or “In addition to the sports viewing literature, a wealth of uses and gratifications and technology adoption studies provided important insights in understanding audience behavior and their adoption of new technologies.” These messages about the argument contribute to existing research. Mastro, et al. also agrees with past research by using messages about the argument like this example, “Along with gender distinctions, racial disparities also are present in sports coverage” using the term along with to show the additional information to gender differences. They also use terms such as accordingly and similarly to show their agreement.

The Discursive I
The discursive I is not used in either article.

Knowledge-Making Cues

I have analyzed Demographic Diversity on Cable: Have New Cable Channels Made a Difference in the Representation of Gender, Race, and Age? by Kubey, Robert, Shifflet, and Mark based on how it makes and maintains knowledge. The use a mainly quantitative approach to their research method; however it is still somewhat qualitative as well. The authors looked at a number of channels and then the statistics of demographics within each.
There is no use of the methodological I, and the researchers do no insert themselves in the writing, I believe this is to focus on the facts of the research rather than state any opinions on the matter. Very few agentless expressions were used, however one example would be the focus on the channels rather than who is changing them in the following sentence. "A different channel was randomly chosen to start sampling for each sampling period, with research assistants then continuing "around the dial" collecting samples according to the schedule." They use an agentless expression in this instance to place emphasis on the demographic diversity of cable channels. The purpose that they serve is to highlight what is being done, rather than who is doing it. Specifically, in this situation that random channels were chosen and not that the research assistants chose them.

Some modal expressions in the article are bolded and limiting expressions in the article are italicized below:
A review of the literature suggests that there has been some general improvement over the years in the frequency of representation of racial minorities, but limited evidence to suggest that cable channels are superior in this regard or that more cable channels have brought about the improvement. It is important to note that if it were not for channels such as Black Entertainment Television and two independent Spanish language channels, the overall proportions of Blacks and Hispanics appearing on TV in this study would have been substantially lower than their proportion in the actual population as measured by the 1990 Census. So across non-niche channels, television remains disproportionately White.

The modal expression, suggests, is used to show that their knowledge could possibly be restricted. The limiting expressions, such as some, limited, and substantially, serve a similar purpose by limiting generalized statements making them most accurate. The authors use these in their article to allow wiggle room within their statements so to speak.

Introductions and Conclusions

Intro

Cable subscribers who are regular users of television news indicated that broadcast stations were the dominant source of news across all day parts. Cable news dependent subscribers were more likely than broadcast news dependent subscribers to use cable news on a regular basis and tune to cable in a national crisis. They were younger, compared cable news more favorably to broadcast news, and placed a higher dollar value on cable news.
Broadcast news audiences have declined dramatically, mostly among cable households, while the Cable News Network (CNN) has increased its share of news viewing minutes (Baldwin, Barrett, & Bates, 1990). Along with the increases in viewership, CNN has also increased its production expenses and must pass these increases along to affiliates in the form of higher fees. This was particularly apparent recently when CNN proposed to levy special assessments to recover its cost overruns in the Persian Gulf War (Mitchell, 1991). In this economic context it is important for news providers to understand how television viewers use and perceive news services. This is a study about cable subscribers' perceptions and consumption patterns about news. Because cable subscribers receive both broadcast and cable originated television news, a comparison of perception and consumption is drawn between cable subscribers oriented toward each type.

Conclusion

CNN is (a) the choice of 40% of the respondents if limited to one channel for national and international news, (b) an important source during national crises, and (c) favorably perceived compared to the broadcast networks. However, it is not used nearly as much as the broadcast news sources in any day part, even though there are some day parts when broadcast stations do not program news shows. Maybe respondents regard news briefs in entertainment programming as satisfying their need for news. Even though the audience for cable news services is growing, broadcast news is still dominant.
Cable operators should be pleased to learn that cable dependent viewers would be willing to pay relatively high fees for the CNN services. Also, these cable dependent viewers are likely to be younger, thus making them an attractive target for advertisers who realize that news audiences are typically older (Papazian, 1989).
Many additional questions about subscribers' use of and dependency on cable news services are suggested by these results. For example, the finding that there are age differences between broadcast television news and cable news- dependent cable subscribers suggests that the use of the cable news services is changing over time. Also, perceptions of those services may also be changing. We know that when a crisis occurs, CNN substantially increases its ratings. Does this increased exposure improve the perception of CNN and if so, why does each event not ratchet up the routine daily ratings of CNN?
News viewing patterns, such as consumption across day parts and use of cable in national emergencies, would be expected to be associated with how news fits into people's lives. We need better typologies to help us understand types of news viewers. One such scheme might be composed of (a) the "regular" user who watches at a particular time as part of a routine, (b) the "casual" user who is a channel-hopper and occasionally stops on 24-hour news, (c) the user who tunes in for specific features, and (d) the weekend user.

Analysis

Features, such as modality, limiting expressions, the state of knowledge, the knowledge deficit, and high-level abstractions are reinforced and more certain and specific in the conclusion than in the introduction. Some word choices in the introduction include more favorably, dramatically, and mostly (italicized in the text). In the conclusion (also italicized in the text) were examples of these features, such as some, not used nearly as much, occasionally, many additional, likely, and typically. They also clarify the state of knowledge, by reviewing the findings, and the knowledge deficit, by posing questions.
I believe this is the case because the conclusion raps up the results where the introduction just overviews the rest of the article and its purpose before any research results have been given. There really aren't any moralizing statements, unless you consider what the cable operators should be pleased to learn in the second paragraph of the conclusion. However it does not relate to what should be done from the researching perspective.
Also, by stating that there are many additional questions, the author is using a moralizing statement to notify researchers that these are avenues for further research and they should pay attention to this in the future.

Summary of Good Academic Writing in the Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

I believe good writing is very broad in my chosen research journal. It seems that most of what I have read is very easy to read and conversational though. What applies to some other academic journals is not the case for this one. I believe this is because the field itself is conversationally based. The observations I have found about this journal through my wiki posts does seem to consistantly be good writing for the field. I have tried to parallel this style of writing in my article, while still conveying knowledge on the subject, but staying simple.

Sports Illustrated

The audience comes from all different kinds of backgrounds and educations, but one thing that they have in common is their interest in sports. The majority of the readers are male.

“Sports Illustrated is the most respected sports brand in the world. Each week, the magazine covers the people, passions and issues of numerous sports with the journalistic integrity that has made it the conscience of all sport. It is surprising, engaging and informative, and always with a point of view that puts its readers ‘in the game.’”

The writer uses a more conversational tone, but basically overviews the issues that women face in the sports industry, as well as the numbers/facts to back them up.

In “The Case For … Challenging The System” author L. Jon Wertheim overviews the book “Lean In” by Sheryl Sandberg by writing:

“Without denying the existence of a glass ceiling, Sandberg contends that impediments to gender equality include an "ambition gap." Too often, she says, women are uncomfortable with confrontation and negotiation. Too often—and in contrast to their male counterparts—their desire to be liked interferes with their aspirations for leadership roles.”

This article is more conversational, and opinionated. Not to mention recaps a book, and not research that has been done.

At one point in the article the author says “Consider this year’s Wimbeldon.” This invites the reader to connect with what they are reading, and engage in the subject.

This is the article that I chose to analyze: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1208607/index.htm

Project 2 Revision Plan

The main point I made in my article for Project 1 is that men dominate the sports industry, which makes it harder for women to enter this field of work. I summarize research that has already been done on the subject so that there is a common understanding of where women stand in the sports media. The reason I do this is to shed light on the shocking statistics/facts, as well as educate women that may pursue such a career and those already working in the industry that may have a strong impact/voice. The organization will loosely stay the same. I will adress the issue and why it matters. Then I will state the facts that research have shown. I can go over the impacts that women have made, and the differences in their journey towards such a career. At the end I will revisit the reason of why this matters as well as what can/should be done.

Women's Sports Foundation

I will be using a proposal to market a plan of action to the foundation. It will feature an organized and professional look that has a specific course of action that can be taken. The members of the Women's Sports Foundation are experts in sports related issues of many kinds such as race, gender, media, and more. They believe in equality for everyone in all aspects of sports. Specifically the Women's Sports Foundation is dedicated to advancing the lives of girls and women through sports and physical activity.

I want to persuade them to use my marketing approach to help this process become a bigger and more recognized movement. I will use my knowledge of the issue and what can be done to change the problem in order to determine the most effective strategy to help with the foundations goal.

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