Monday, 2 November 2015

Journal of Media Watch: September 2015

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77886
It’s not only ‘social’, but sourceful!

Rohini Sreekumar
Issue Editor
School of Arts & Social Sciences, Monash University, Malaysia

Let’s go a few years back. In 2003, ‘Salam Pax’ hosted a blog from Baghdad named ‘Where is Raed?’ to give accounts on the Iraq War to his friend, Raed who was in Jordan that time, about the situation in Baghdad during that period. Though the blog became popular, the authenticity of the regular posts on bombings and war proceedings in this blog was viewed with suspicion by the news world and the larger social sphere until a deliberate endeavour by The Guardian newspaper came out with a flashing report that Salam Pax is not an imaginary character, but a real person named Salam Abdulmunem, an architect by profession. This resulted to an end of all speculations regarding the blog and soon Salam Pax became the most sought out person in the media world both as a source of information and as an interpreter of Iraq war. This was one of the frost instances that world come to know the real power of a common man wielded with the power of new media. While a large majority view it as the ‘next big thing’, for a few it is already part of our routine system of work and life.  The Guardian’s ‘Mood of the Nation’ research (2014) conducted on UK citizen found that using social media makes the people happier when compared to money and family. The privilege or choice of being connected to a world outside one’s reach is the core principle that makes these social sites an immediate advantageous tool for marketing or any other online undertakings. With the rapid growth of internet and associated network technologies with a huge rise in the use of tablet and mobile phones, social media is becoming even more ubiquitous and exhilarating. The consequences of these change and evolution are influencing every aspects of human life.
As far as traditional media are concerned, online social platforms like Facebook and Twitter with its ubiquitous influence proved to be a threat to their existence. The increasing preference and participation of youth on the online social platforms was seen as a warning alarm, which is met by them by making their presence increasingly felt in the social media platforms as shares and postings. A recent New York Times’s article titled ‘Brian Williams Scandal Shows Power of Social Media’ rightly points to the fact that it is through social media that news get contested, questioned, and investigated to reveal the real news. While taking about the influences that social media make, it is the very redefinition of the concept of ‘informer’ that comes into play if we consider the 140 character word war or hash tag revolution. What we are witnessing now is a conversational news culture--a move back to the old Coffee house culture. To put it in another way, it is the laymen or public who is largely involved in the creation and the dissemination of news. This met with changes even in the craft of Journalism; online editions have snippet news, more illustrations, and options to link to social networking platforms like Facebook and Twitter. On the other hand, social networking sites are increasingly trying to gather as much as users into their bouquet. Facebook’s acquisition of Watsapp, a text messaging service is viewed by the world as a clever move to tap even the non-facebookies who regularly use internet for messaging.
Facebook has also come out with many ambitious measures and innovations to make the users hooked to its web as long as they are online. Its ‘Instant Article’ facility, author tag and control over individual news feeds are making use of possibilities that could not only provide quality news experience, but also bring back the disillusioned facebookies who abandoned it for its over-loaded news feeds and unauthenticated news feeds. Major media corporates like BBC, New York Times and The Guardian have already signed up with the ‘Instant Article’ provision that would deliver quick loading of their news articles from the Facebook page rather than linking it to their respective news website.   
While shared news and tagged photographs rule the public sphere, they are always questioned for their accuracy, authenticity and attribution. This crucial factor along with the untrained ‘prosumers’ (a discursive word coined to denote the online users who are the producers and consumers of news) pose a setback for the social media (on the other hand a merit for the traditional media).
Keeping apart all these obvious terrains of social media explosion, what makes social networking significantly popular in the academic world is its potential in redefining space, society and identity. Being ‘social’ is a comprehensive expression holding many meanings at different point of references. As social media form a major part of a Company/Institute’s reputation, marketing and social identity, their presence online is given much prominence and precision, whereby the employers’ social presence is also being scrutinized.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77888
Cultivating Connections in 140 Characters: A Case Study of Twitter Relationship Building

Wichita State University, USA

Social media use is ubiquitous in the United States. Not surprisingly, an academic debate has emerged about whether or not computer-mediated communication facilitates or hurts interpersonal relationships. This exploratory case study adds to the conversation by assessing how Twitter users in the Wichita, Kansas community view the impact of Twitter on their social lives, specifically, communication and relationships. Using a grounded theory approach and inductive thematic analysis, this paper analyzed data from a two-phase study involving key informant interviews (N=15) and six focus groups (N = 32). Three themes emerged: Twitter and professional relationships; Twitter and personal relationships, and Twitter and community. Analysis indicated that Twitter is a robust tool used to build and maintain interpersonal and community relationships that range from shallow and impersonal to deep and meaningful, depending on the desires of users, all in 140 characters or less.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77890
Capturing Trends and Identifying the Emerging Cool: A Study of Indian Bollywood Celebs on Twitter

Falguni Vasavada, Santosh K. Patra, Palak Gadhiya & Krishna Mishra
MICA, Ahmedabad

People actively participating on social networks like Facebook, Twitter and blogs are questioning the age old logic of boundaries and space. Virtual networks like twitter have given space which not only explores individual self but also connects to a mass phenomenon emerging through thought leaders, celebrities or ‘trend setters’. This study is an attempt to take the argument further and identify the emerging ‘trend’ in India through the celeb-tweets. To verify the argument empirically tweets of ten celebrities on twitter from Bollywood which include actors, choreographers, musicians, and producers were collected over a period of one month and tweet analysis was done by adopting hermeneutics as the method of data analysis. Appropriate codes were considered to address the major question of the paper on ‘social trends’ and the notion of ‘being cool’ to validate the question raised in the paper.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77892 
Liberalisation of the Malaysian Media and Politics: New media, Strategies and Contestations

Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

On 28 April 2012, ‘Bersih 3.0’, a rally calling for freer and fairer elections estimated that 250, 000 people gathered to support its cause. Government controlled newspapers the New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia accused this rally attended by 20, 000 demonstrators as a plot to destabilise and overthrow the ruling coalition through chaos and disorder. Online news portals Malaysiakini and Malaysian Insider however reported that the rally attended by 150,000 demonstrators began peacefully but ended chaotically as demonstrators, journalists and police personnel were attacked and manhandled. While the conflicting reports of Bersih 3.0 and other news reports unpublished by the state controlled media through the new media suggests political dissent and possible media liberalisation, it does not necessarily mean that press freedom is well and alive. It however marks the beginning of a larger movement in cyberspace that threatens the hegemony of the ruling coalition. This paper examines the proliferation of the new media within the political economic structure of the Malaysian society and media; selected representations and messages in the old and new media; and whether the strategies and if representations in the new media are counter hegemonic tools capable of creating space for diverse voices, dissent and transformation.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77893
Impact of Social Media on the Vanity Level of Youngsters in India

Ruchi Tewari1 & Santana Pathak2 
1Amrut Mody School of Management, Ahmedabad
2Centre for Heritage Management, Ahmedabad

This paper is an attempt to measure the impact of social media on the vanity level of youngsters in India. An experimental research was conducted on a controlled group of 40 participants with an average age of 23 years. Netemeyer’s vanity scale was administered on the participants and their vanity was measured. A month later, the participants in the research were put under controlled conditions for two hours and exposed to social media. They were instructed to log into their social media accounts and instructed to engage into activities like updating their status, uploading new photographs, reading comments and going through the number of likes which had been made on their earlier loaded statuses and photographs. Post two hours, their vanity level was measured. Data was analysed using paired sample t tests as well as confirmatory factor analysis and comparison was made along the factors of Netemeyer’s Vanity Scale pre and post the exposure to social media activity.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77894
Social Media Usage and Physical Inactivity among School Children

BANINDER  RAHI, Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi

The power of social media is virtually untameable. The advent of social media has shrunk the world to what Marshal McLuhan once termed ‘global village’. This paper has examined into the amount of time government and private school students spent on social media vis-à-vis on physical activities. It has attempted to answer the questions: (i) How much time government and private school students spend using different social media applications?, (ii) Is there any association between government and private school students regarding time spent on social media applications?, (iii) Whether they use social media applications primarily to communicate with others, and (iv) how much time, on an average, school students spend on outdoor games after school hours. For the purpose of the study, a self administered survey was conducted among five government and private schools each.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77895
Influence of Facebook in Pakistani Pedagogy

Tazeen Hussain, Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture, Karachi, Pakistan

This study grounds itself in the communication, information sharing, discussion and co-creation potential of ICTs with reference to social media-Facebook. Taking a qualitative approach, it explores the above as building blocks of new educational paradigms of learner autonomy; learner-centered education and co-creation of knowledge through discussion and collaboration, by exploring the various ways and reasons teachers use Facebook as part of pedagogy in Pakistan. It suggests that, in order to understand fully the potential of Facebook as a pedagogical tool, being egalitarian, autonomous and emancipatory, there is a need to review the ways in which learning is viewed and evaluated.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77896
Social Media and Image Management: An Analysis of Facebook Usage in Celebrity Public Relations

BHAVNEET BHATTI, Panjab University, Chandigarah

Creation and maintenance of a favourable image is an essential function of public relations and social media is emerging as an important weapon in this image management armoury. The social media environment provides an opportunity to reach out to a variety of public in a more intimate and interactive way especially in the case of celebrity image management. Social media accounts of celebrities serve as a medium to blur the boundaries between the public and private spheres of their lives and content posted on these accounts also serves as a credible source of information for mass media. Since the social media presence of celebrities plays a crucial role in their image creation. This paper is an attempt to explore the emerging trends in social media usage by celebrities. The objectives of the paper were to look at the Facebook usage of celebrities from different walks of life (including politics, sports, music, cinema and television) and analyse this usage in terms of dominant subject matter, presentation, language used, frequency and continuity. The method used was a content analysis of the Facebook accounts of celebrities for a period of one year for the theory purpose a total of 1469 Facebook posts for one year to provide an insight into social media usage in the practice of celebrity public relation and potential that lies untapped were analyzed. 

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77898
Non-Embodied Embodiment: Transgenderism, Identity and the Internet

Joe Weinberg

Online, no one can tell that you’re a dog. When in the third space of the internet, the body is left behind, allowing people to explore their own identities and to engage in identity tourism with different possible bodies. It is the representations we choose for ourselves online that allow this exploration, the icons and avatars we create that produce embodiment in online environments. Those groups that exist on the fringe of identity, or in a state where identities are in flux, such as: the transgendered community. By examining what embodiment these icons and avatars allow, we can better understand how identity works online.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i3/77900 
Romanian Public Service Television: Struggle for Existence in the Digital Era
Bianca Mitu, University of Wolverhampton, UK

The increasing use of the internet has brought new challenges for the public service television system all around the world. Despite the free access to information and the use of digital technology, the Eastern European public service television is still in a shading cone mostly because of the small scale of their broadcasting markets. This article tells the story of the Romanian public service television’s (TVR) path towards an uncertain future in the digital age. The article offers an overview of the major changes and challenges of TVR (in terms of remit, purpose, values, and objectives) since the fall of the Communist regime in 1989 and aims to address the following questions: Is public service television still relevant in the digital era? What are the present challenges and what is the future of the Romanian public service television in the digital era?
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Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Sony Jalarajan Raj
Managing Editor: Deepak Ranjan Jena

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Media Watch May 2015 Abstract

Abstract: Media Watch May 2015
Vol.6, No. 2
Impact Factors: SJIF (3.276), IIFS (0.993), ISRA (0.834)


DoI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65673
Interfaces in shaping newsroom and readership: Switching between news making and consumption in web synced platforms

Issue Editor
Amity University, Rajasthan

“Every new medium begins as a container for the old” - Marshall McLuhan

The relation between mass media and digital environment is practiced and studied over the two decades. The web-synced journalism, not only changed the storytelling, but also the reception of
the news. The user could do act upon the news making process and information sharing, which itself questions the role of the journalist in the digital age. There are various media interfaces reinvented and restructured which plays a vital role in journalist work space. The myths behind such computer communication systems and their output need to be studied which will pave the way for understanding journalism and mass media from a digital age perspective.
          Making it simple, understanding the interface in the mass media context is a collaborative body of hardware and software which connect to share information. It will be the combination of various levels of operating systems, computer languages, applications, software, hardware and other features. The popularity of social media in the making and reception of the news enables interface controlled newsrooms. From the traditional use of microphone to the latest touch and talk applications, interfaces do make a greater shift in the mass communication. It not only lay platform for the communication, but also enabling them to perform in its method. The job of a news reporter or editor becomes very perfunctory that their role is to fit the space which combined with such interfaces.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65659
Effect of Audience Personality Traits on Reality Show Watching Motives

VARSHA JAIN1 & SUBHADIP ROY21Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad, India2Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, India

The relationship between viewer personality and reality show watching has been a point of discussion among media researchers but has been rarely tested. The authors in the present study explore: (i) Reality Show Watching Motives (RSWM) of viewers, (ii) further investigates the impact of viewer personality on RSWM in a developing nation context. The authors followed mixed method approach to this end. A qualitative approach was applied to investigate consumer perceptions about reality shows and generate RSWM items. This was followed by a large scale survey to relate viewer personality to RSWM. Structural equation modelling was applied to generate findings in the quantitative phase. Five RSWM dimensions emerged from the qualitative and quantitative analysis. Consumer personality was found to have a significant impact on RSWM dimensions. However, there was variation on the effect of individual personality dimensions on individual RSWM dimensions. The study has theoretical and managerial implications.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65660

Mapping the Portrayal of Females in Contemporary Indian Advertisements


Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, India

The role of advertising as an effective vehicle of communication has long been acknowledged. It has become the important ‘part of the cultural and economic fabric of a society and continues to be a primary tool for marketing communication’ (Lane et. al., 2005). The current study examines the portrayal of women in contemporary Indian magazine and television advertisements in various product and service categories. The present study is an effort to fill the gap of limited research on gender representation in Indian context. Using content analysis, a total of 275 advertisements comprising print and television ads were examined. The result reveals the dominance of female stereotyping in Indian advertising where females were mostly depicted as a housewife, predominantly endorsing household products and mostly young female models were preferred for brand promotion by advertisers.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65662

Rural Women Psychology and Emotional Contents in Indian Television Advertisements


Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad, India

The current study examines the effect of emotional contents in television advertising on the rural

women and how they understand and react towards these advertisements. The study further leads us to the issues of cognitive behaviour of rural women after the advertisement has influenced their emotional corridor. For this study 167 women are selected from rural districts of Maharashtra and cluster sampling approach is used. 5 point Likert scale with the range from strongly disagree to strongly agree is used along with structured questionnaire. Contents of the advertisement are broken down it to defined parts like model, slogan, jingle etc for the easy understanding and correct answering from the respondents and it helps us in understanding the role played by each variable in the emotional outcome of the respondent after viewing the advertisement. This study provides the insights to the marketers and advertisers about the factors which actually influences the rural women and persuades them and further provides a direction in developing an effective communication approach towards this particular market segment.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65664

Recognizing the Politics of Visual Imagery through Transplanted Traditions in Indian Television Soap Operas

Tripura University, India

Television is known to be a powerful provoker and circulator of meanings. The attempt in this article is to read the discursive elements of female soap opera protagonists and find out if they are idealised partly as religious devotees in their whole existence. Wars of production and re-enforcement of meanings are often waged in media space. Therefore an analysis of ‘character reading’ of the soap operas broadcast in the Hindi networks will help focus analytical attention on different forms of hegemonic power that constitute the text. The objective of this article is to delve into the textual and semiotic codifications used in the characterisation of the protagonists of the select soap operas under study. These codes will help in describing the phenomenon of creating religious devotees in soap operas.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65665

What Gamification Tells Us about Web Communication


Mississippi State University, USA

The games that have become a staple on Facebook provide lessons on how to make websites and Internet marketing more successful. We highlight these points that gamers have accomplished: Provide ideological agreement, Create a community, Provide a sense of control or autonomy, Create a way for people to communicate with each other, Recognize gender differences, Provide rewards, and Convince people to commit.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65666

Fictional Depictions of Youth in School in Films Made in China and United States


Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia

This study discussed the differences between Chinese youth film and American teen film through the perspective on cultural foundation. The authors argue that Confucianism was an alternative that greatly affects the depiction of young characters and the causal relationship of morality and fate of the characters in films. The objective of such a comparison was not to advocate for either Chinese or American youth cinema in portraying young people, but to promote a better understanding of the strengths and impacts of youth cinema and youth genre. In addition, this study examined cinematic depictions of young characters portrayed in Chinese youth films and American teen films. It was argued that Chinese youth films and American youth films differ in depictions of school settings and even their purposes.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65668

Glocalisation, Cultural Identity, and the Political Economy of Indian Television


Rajiv Gandhi University of Knowledge Technologies, India

From its Delhi moorings in the late 1950’s till date, the Indian television has gone through steady evolution marked by phases of silent or radical revolution. Born with a political agenda of national reconstruction and turning out to be an ideological hegemony, its course has been redefined by absorbing transnational media participation and the dispersion of ideas in regional channels. It is to be noted that the Indian media market has shown resistance to both global as well as national cultural hegemony. While large scale glocalisation by the transnational media networks these days is the recognition that Indian market and culture cannot be radically colonised, the expansion of regional language channels later has weakened the hegemonic authority of national networks. The Indian market today is defined by the simultaneous presence of the global, the local, the regional, and the glocal media signifiers. Taken together, these significations point at a larger picture of glocalisation of market culture, especially, where the consumer agency consists of participants across space, class, gender, and generation.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65669

Political Mapping of Media in India


Kalindi College, University of Delhi, India

Every day media is interpreting the space with a new name, identity and representation. The media discourse shaped in such extent that the identity of a space is deflecting from original and existing together with new name both together as well. The constructed identity and existing identity of the region is shaped in such an extent that the space is known with a new identity apart from original social, cultural and geographical identity. How the issue of reservation, caste and corruption being fixed with a regional space and the issues found more or less everywhere same in the country. How media fixed these spaces with new identity where roles of media was inevitable. The study inhibits specific issues based news from both print and visual media and assessing viewers through it and mapping the region over it. The study based on field surveys across six capital cities (Lucknow, Patna, Ranchi, Delhi, Jaipur and Bhopal) of northern India where political fever remain found high and both media and politicians supposed to shaping and reshaping these spaces in order to reflect a mediated identity apart from traditional identity.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65670

Twittering Public Sentiments: A Predictive Analysis of Pre-Poll Twitter Popularity of Prime Ministerial Candidates for the Indian Elections 2014


Amrita Vishwa VidyaPeetham, Coimbatore, India

Twitter is a useful tool for predicting election outcomes, effectively complementing traditional opinion polling. This study undertakes a volume, sentiment and engagement analysis for predicting the popularity of Prime Ministerial candidates on Twitter as a run-up to the Indian Elections 2014. The results from a survey of 2,37,639 pre-poll tweets finds tweet volume as a significant predictor of candidate vote share, and volume and sentiments as predictors for candidate engagement levels. Higher engagement rates evolve from the horizontality of conversations about the candidate, therefore indicating a high degree of interactivity, but do not translate into a higher vote share.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i2/65672

Indian Television in the Eras of Pre-Liberalisation and Liberalisation


Jagran Lakecity University, India

India witnessed a revolution in the television communication landscape following the shift in the economic policies in 1991. This analytical study looks into the changes and additions in the functions performed by mass communication using television medium before and after the implementation of liberalization policies in India. Tables are included to provide overviews of the historical developments at different periods and to distinguish the functions performed by television communication. In addition to information, education, entertainment, correlation and mobilization functions, empowerment and need satisfaction are also accounted as functions added in the due course of mass communication progression in the transnational and digitized era.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Call for Papers

Call for Papers: Media Watch
Social Media: A virtual world where ‘social beings’ live

It won’t be preposterous to comment that we eat, sleep and live on social media. While a large majority views it as the ‘next big thing’, for a few it is already part of our routine system of work and life.  The Guardian’s ‘Mood of the Nation’ research (2014) conducted on UK citizen found that using social media makes the people happier when compared to money and family. The privilege or choice of being connected to a world outside one’s reach is the core principle that makes these social sites an immediate advantageous tool for marketing or any other online undertakings.With the rapid growth of internet and associated network technologies with a huge rise in the use of tablet and mobile phones, social media is becoming even more ubiquitous and exhilarating. The consequences of this change and evolution are influencing every aspects of human life.

Keeping apart all these obvious terrains of social media explosion, what makes social networking significantly popular in the academic world is its potential in redefining space, society and identity. Being ‘social’ is acomprehensive expression holding many meanings at different point of references. As social media form a major part of a Company/Institute’s reputation, marketing and social identity, their presence online is given much prominence and precision, whereby the employers’ social presence is also being scrutinized. 

At this juncture, Media Watch opens an opportunity for the effervescent media scholars to contribute their outlook and research findings on social media. The research topics include, but not limited to –
·         Social media activism
·         Social media in Politics
·         Stardom and Social media                                         
·         Social Communication
·         Social media and para-social relationship                
·         Virtual reality
·         Film and social media marketing                              
·         Ethics and social media
·         Social Media and Critical Thinking                            
·         Journalist on social media
·         Social media theories and its relevance                   
·         Tweets, Likes, Comments, Hashtag
·         Identity conflicts online                                             
·         Privacy and security online
·         Social network mediated communication

For detail information, please visit the journal website:

Current Issue: January 2015

Issue Editor                : Rohini Sreekumar
Editor-in- Chief          : Dr. Sony Jalarajan Raj

Send your research article submissions to:

Friday, 12 December 2014

Abstract: Media Watch January 2015
(Vol. 6, No. 1)

Impact Factor: SJIF 3.276 | IIFS 0.993 | ISRA 0.834

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55371
Sharing Fear via Facebook: A Lesson in Political Public Relations

Jan Boehmer1 & Michael B. Friedman2
1University of Miami, Florida, USA
2University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, USA

Our study compared the use of fear messages on Facebook by Barack Obama and Mitt Romney during the 2012 U.S. presidential elections. Results show that written fear messages embedded in photographs posted on Facebook by both candidates affected the degree to which those photographs were shared. More specifically, photographs containing written fear messages were shared more often than photographs not containing written fear messages. Furthermore, while the challenging candidate, Mitt Romney, used more photographs containing fear messages, the increase in shares was consistent across candidates. Implications regarding information distribution within communities, public relations practitioners specializing in political campaigning and society as a whole are discussed.
DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55376
Fake News? A Survey on Video News Releases and their Implications on Journalistic Ethics, Independence and Credibility of Broadcast News

Chandra Clark & Shuhua Zhou
University of Alabama, USA

The traditional lines between journalism and public relations are now intertwined and public relations practitioners have an influential role on the content consumers see every day in newspapers and on news broadcasts. This survey looked at video news releases and their implications about journalists’ ethics, integrity, independence and credibility. 533 participants from three different populations (average viewers, communication college students, and journalists) responded to a 54-question survey that employed two predictors (i) level of experience and (ii) years of journalism experience. The results indicated that average viewers found the use of video news releases (VNRs) more unethical than journalists and communication students, although experienced journalists believed VNR use is having an impact on journalistic independence in news. Implications are discussed.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55381
Perception of Government Public Relations Practice by the People in Sabah: A Public Opinion Survey

Mohd Hamdan bin Adnan
University Malaysia Sabah, Malaysia

This survey focuses on how the people in Sabah perceived Malaysia’s governmental public relations practice and their perception of the government based upon it. It includes how the different types of mass media and its content that they expose themselves to have influence their image of the nation administration as well as its policies and implementations. Also included are how their own experience with the various government agencies has impacted their views with regard to those authorities specifically and the government generally. Method used for this public opinion survey is the random sampling technique. Respondents selected were 600 people based on four categories. All of them were located in and around Kota Kinabalu and chosen randomly. For the interview a structured questionnaire was prepared and pilot tested on 40 respondents with ten from each category. This survey finding further revealed that the media the public chose and exposed themselves to, do impact their perception of the government and its public relations, positively or negatively, depending on its content. However, the survey found that the impact was rather moderate with about half of the respondents declaring positively and the remainder not so positive and a few negatively.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55387
Advertising and Ethnicities: A Comparative Study of Sri Lanka and Northeast India

Darshana Liyanage
University of Ruhuna, Sri Lanka 

Ethnicity has become a key interest of advertisers in diverse societies. Contrary to the popular argument that ethnic identities are threatened by the intensified influence of media and consumer culture, they have become the core sites of representation and reproduction of ethnic identities. It is arguable that in today’s (mass) mediated societies there are no ways of imagining ethnicities without the media’s influence and impact on them.  Advertising1, no longer a mere commercial activity, is an important component of popular culture and hence plays a crucial part in the social and cultural life of our times. Sri Lanka2 has long been a country of communal unrest, which culminated in a civil war. Northeast India is a region where a number of conflicting identities are in a constant battle of production and reproduction. The ways the ethnic identities are represented in advertisements in these two societies are worthy of studying in this context. When ad-makers segment a market for a particular brand, they mostly rely on ethnic identities. As a result, advertisements too become a site of reproduction of ethnic identities. This paper is intended to identify and analyze the ways of representations of ethnic identities in advertisements in Northeast India3 and Sri Lanka by a comparative reading of a sample of print and electronic advertisements.   

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55389
Community-Based Media in Promoting Identity and Culture: A Case Study in Eastern Thailand

Griffith University, Australia

This paper analyses the role of community-based media in information distribution in the Riverside community, a cultural tourism destination in Chanthaburi, Eastern Thailand. It has started to produce its own media, and to use social networks to promote itself to the nation. Exploring the role of community media produced by locals will reinforce the idea that community media have provided much more effective communication channels for local people in a community environment. By using ethnographic action research as a methodology, this research gains strength through a rich understanding of the community by following an ongoing research cycle of planning, doing, observing and reflecting. Moreover, this study reflects the idea of ‘hyperlocal’ media. With approximately one hundred households on which to focus, it is much easier for ‘hyperlocal’ to reach local people by providing local news, covering local politics and engaging people in the affairs relevant to their area.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55390
Social Media Challenges and Adoption Patterns among Public Relations Practitioners

Radhe Krishan
Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies, New Delhi, India

Social media has altered the design of modern society. It has changed the way people lived and worked. Though no profession or industry is left untouched by the communication revolution stirred by social media, yet communication professionals bore maximum impact. This paper analyzed the usage and perception of public relation (PR) professionals regarding the use of social media, particularly, Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.  The primary research questions, this paper attempted to find answers for, are: (i) Did social media transformed the modus operandi of PR practitioners?; (ii) Do PR practitioners rely on one social media tool/platform over the other?; and (iii) To find out whether social media is an aid or a burden for a PR practitioner? By attempting to answer these three questions the paper explored fresh aspects of social media with regards to public relations. For the purpose of the study a survey was conducted among PR practitioners based in Delhi and working with prominent multinational companies or PR agencies.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55391
Branding Unity: Impact of Advertisements
on Patriotism, Unity and Communal Harmony

Jyoti Raghavan
Kamala Nehru College, University of Delhi, India

Patriotism and national unity have become favorite brand positioning propositions for advertisers in India. The paper explores the reasons behind the popularity of these patriotic themes that also embrace notions of nationhood, communal harmony and national unity in commercials and public service advertisements. While these patriotic themes used to be the exclusive domain of the government media in the country, they are being taken up in a big way by private business houses in their public communication endeavors. The research study has examined six frequently telecast advertisements on Indian television networks centered upon the theme of national pride, communal harmony and national unity. While tracing the historical context of these advertisements, the paper also attempts to study their impact upon the public. The primary research for the study comprised interviews with respondents to explore the impact of these advertisements upon the public. The findings of the study show that positioning brands on the themes of national pride, unity and patriotism succeed in establishing a strong emotional connect in public minds leading to brand recall.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55393
Communication through Advocacy Advertising
for Public Health Promotion

Mahendra Kumar Padhy
Babasaheb Bhimrao Ambedkar University, India

This research work is an investigation into the reception of anti-smoking advertisements that make use of “fear appeals”. The objective of the research is to bring audience perceptions, interpretations and making sense processes of such advertising campaigns to the limelight. Instead of measuring effects or effectiveness of anti-smoking messages using shocking images, this project has at its basis the assumption of an active audience that interprets, makes sense and decodes media texts in various ways. Research methods used in this study are qualitative by nature.  Research findings show that the prospective audience champion the use of anti-smoking advertisements and see the use of fear appeals as a one-way road to drawing the audience’s attention, they nevertheless perceive these communication efforts in a highly individualized manner, resisting to advertising techniques of persuasion and showing signs of desensitization towards fear appeals. Findings show that advocacy advertising using fear appeals are always decoded within the wider media context and the identity of smokers themselves often nourished by media representations of smoking, which plays an  role in the way the audience gives different interpretations and relates to these messages.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55397
Digital Access and Inequality among Primary School Children in Rural Coimbatore

Sudha Venkataswamy
Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, India

This paper examines the dynamics of access and exclusion in children’s Internet use, in both private and public school spaces and interrogates the role of socioeconomic and demographic predictors as well as the schooling system in shaping Internet habits. More specifically, it explores the nature of Internet use by primary school children, mainly for education and information and attempts to understand the differences across and within two types of schools- a rural public school and an elite private school. Through in-depth interviews, this research investigates the level of computer and Internet literacy among the primary school children in the age group of 8-10 years and reports the differences observed among the various social dimensions. It attempts to stress the significance and need in today’s context to provide the opportunities for physical and material access so that disadvantaged children are not excluded from the digital opportunities.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55438
Social Media and the Arab Spring

M. Rabindranath & Sujay Kapil
Central University of Himachal Pradesh, India

This paper discusses the effect of social media on the occurrence of ‘Arab Spring’. In the Arab world no country could claim to be truly democratic and most were autocratic coupled with desertification (68.4 per cent of the total land area), phenomenal rise in population and scarcity of water. Moreover, about 60 per cent of the population is under 25 years and this group belonging to lower- middle class with high education, self- constructed status, wider world views and global dreams forced them to raise their voice and change the autocratic set up. But, in the absence of effective social media since the year 2000 made it possible to raise their voice unitedly through facebook, twitter and blogs culminating to the ouster of Hosne Mubarak in Egypt. The ‘top to down’ approach adopted by the Western social scientists, thus proved wrong and ‘bottom to top’ approach through social media brought the dramatic changes in Arab nations.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55398
Constructing a Comprehensive Coverage Criterion of Indian States and Union Territories News

Umesh Arya
Guru Jambheshwar University of Science & Technology, India

The study posits a twelve pronged formulation of indices to measure the over coverage and under coverage of the Indian states and union territories by newspapers on socio-economic, demographical and political aspects. Union territories (UT), mainly Delhi and Chandigarh were unjustifiably favoured on all twelve counts which clearly points out media’s biased leanings to cater to the regional aspirations and preference to the power center. Northern states were most favourably covered and the coverage reduced with increasing distance of the state from the power center i.e., the capital of India whereas north eastern states suffered severe coverage blackout. Quantitative and spatial indices were developed to see news coverage in a new perspective.

DOI: 10.15655/mw/2015/v6i1/55399
Public relations: Scope and Challenges in Digital Era

Manish Verma
National Institute of Fashion Technology, Kangra, India
With the emergence of new media in 21st century communication industry has been revolutionized. Although digital or social media provides an advantage to reach the audience in minimum time but it is critical to draft a right message for this medium. Digital media has indeed changed the way of communication for public relation practitioners around the world. Now information is disseminated much quicker through the internet and mobile phones. In this digital era, it is imperative that public relation would need to adapt to technological advancement happening around the world and utilize this advancement as tools to effectively reach its audiences and achieve the communication objectives. To achieve public relation, it has become important for a PR practitioner to adapt to these new changes. The new technologies and methods of communication have made public relations a much more versatile and effective tool. New communication technologies allow inventive ways to accomplish a public relation campaign to build stronger association and trust between businesses and target consumers.