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Murrow Political Communication Research Group The Edward R. Murrow College of Communication

Current Projects

Please take a few minutes to learn about what PolCom members are currently working on. Have Questions? Please contact us to learn more.

  • Biased Sources and Comments – all group members
    • This is the inaugural project being run by the entire research group this fall. We are conducting an experiment to examine the effects of the use of partisan cues in media outlets and in comments associated with the stories. Faculty and students will be examining a range of potential outcomes including polarized attitudes, democratic beliefs, source credibility and trust, and information seeking.
  • Competitive frames, motivated processing, ambivalence and information seeking. Murrow Faculty: Porismita Borah
    • Experiments were conducted to examine the relationships amongst competitive message framing, ambivalence, and information seeking. Currently, analysis is being conducted using a moderated mediation model to examine the role of ambivalence as a mediator.
  • Midterm Election Survey – Murrow Faculty: Jay Hmielowski & Myiah Hutchens, Murrow Students: Jackie Chan, Miles Sari
    • This survey, which is being conducted with Michael Beam of Kent State University, is designed to further our understanding of information seeking, sharing and processing. Of particular interest in this round of surveys is better understand the role of privacy concerns/content collapse in online settings, the impact of various setting on exposure to interpersonal disagreement, and the role of information sufficiency on information seeking.
  • Obama’s Transnational Presidency: Political Discourse Analysis. Murrow Faculty: Bimbisar Irom
    • The project is a qualitative analysis of President Barack Obama’s political discourse in the light of the recent ‘transnational turn’ in American Studies. The transnational turn is driven by the broad imperative to question the ideology of ‘American Exceptionalism.’ More specifically, through a qualitative analysis of Obama’s signature speeches, pronouncements, and bestselling Dreams from My Father, the project will examine how Obama’s political discourse introduces a unique transnational optics into U.S. politics (primarily through his personal and familial history) while also subscribing to a diluted version of the American exceptionalism thesis.
  • Perceived credibility of political information on Facebook: Murrow Faculty: Porismita Borah, Murrow student: Rachel Minseon Jeong
    • This experiment will examine how users perceive credibility of political information on Facebook. We are particularly interested in studying whether source cue or endorsement cue is associated with higher levels of perceived credibility.
  • Political Flaming in Comment Sections – Murrow Faculty: Myiah Hutchens & Jay Hmielowski, Murrow Students: David Silva
    • This experiment, which is being conducted with Vincent Cicchirillo of University of Texas, will examine the effects of being exposed to uncivil comments – or flames – in discussion boards. In particular they will be examining the extent to which issue salience, in-group-outgroup identification cues, and the target of the flame  impacts the effects of exposure to flaming comments.
  • Political Socialization Survey: Murrow Faculty: Erica Austin, Porismita Borah, and Bruce Pinkleton
    • A survey of young adults was conducted in the week prior to the November, 2012 United States election with Michael Beam, Kent State University. The primary purpose was to investigate the relationship of exposure to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, The Colbert Report and mainstream news media to several variables such as participants’ levels of media literacy, participants’ perception of news credibility, and moderating influences of cynicism and skepticism. Currently analysis is being conducted from this dataset.
  • Terrorism and the Communicative Prism of Humor. Murrow Faculty: Bimbisar Irom
    • Media representations of terrorists and the interplay between terrorism and its media content have become significant areas of research after the 9/11 attacks. The project is a qualitative study about how the media industry uses the specific genres of political humor and satire to represent terrorists. What are the communicative ethics that drive political humor and satire? Do such representations humanize terrorists? The project will access a variety of multimodal forms including films, political cartoons, and TV shows for a qualitative media study.
  • Use of social media in political campaigns: Murrow Faculty: Porismita Borah, Murrow student: Qian (Cathy) Yu
    • Series of content analysis and surveys to understand the role of social media in political campaigns. A content analysis was conducted in the 2012 elections. Project will continue through the 2014 and 2016 election cycle.