Weaponized memes: the case of Pepe the Frog

New article “Weaponizing Memes: The Journalistic Mediation of Visual Politicization” by Chris Peters from Roskilde University and Stuart Allan from Cardiff University develops the concept of “mimetic weaponization” for journalistic theory by focusing on the example case of Pepe the Frog, a meme widely used by alt-right. The term meme originates from Richard Dawkins, who … Continued


Visual journalists’ perceptions on impact of images

A new study “The Power of Images? Visual Journalists’ Assessment of the Impact of Imagery” by Nicole Smith Dahmen, Kaitlin C. Miller and Brent Walth, all of University of Oregon, contributes to the topic of journalistic images. The authors surveyed known visual journalists for their experiences and perceptions on images and their impact. Visual imagery … Continued


Picture: untitled by Rolands Zilvinskis, license Unsplash

Pre-established ideas shape journalists’ news selection and framing practices

The article “Maintenance of News Frames: How US, British and Russian News Made Sense of Unfolding Events in the Syrian Chemical Weapons Crisis” by Christian Baden of Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Katsiaryna Stalpouskaya of LMU Munich compares framing of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis in newspapers from three countries.  The study defines frames according … Continued



Hate Speech and the First Amendment in journalism

Should hate speech have room in public discourse in the U.S., where protections for permissible speech are broad and only immediate and clear threats fall outside the first amendment? New study “Boundaries of Hate: Ethical Implications of the Discursive Construction of Hate Speech in U.S. Opinion Journalism” by  Brett Gregory Johnson, Ryan J. Thomas and … Continued


Picture: “Truth suffers a daily death in modern day America” by Michael Carruth, license Unsplash.

US Election of 2016, whistleblowing, rumors, and ‘truth markets’

New study by Stephen E. Marmura, of St. Francis Xavier University, examines media fragmentation, political polarization and the rising mistrust toward public institutions. The 2016 Wikileaks/Russiagate scandal is a significant turning point here.  Prelude: forwarding propaganda in 2004 Mistrust toward mainstream, corporate media organizations is older than 2016. Marmura argues that 2004 and the tenuous … Continued


Picture: Texting at Night by Becca Tapert, license Unsplash

News sharing on apps is more about social ties than spreading the news

New research by Antonis Kalegoropoulos of the University of Liverpool compared news sharing habits of mobile messaging application users in four countries: US, UK, Germany, and Brazil. Employing comparative and mixed methods, the study had three questions to answer: to understand the profile of the users who shared news, the types of news they shared, … Continued


Picture: #metoo by Mihai Surdu, license Unsplash

Networks in newsrooms enable unethical behavior to persist

New study by Minette E. Drumwright of the University of Texas at Austin and Peggy H. Cunningham of Dalhousie University, uses behavioral ethics to study sexual harassment in newsrooms and unethical journalistic content produced by newsrooms. Interviews of 25 participants in Canada and United States was conducted. Journalists had varying levels of experience and positions … Continued


Picture: Cedar Fire crosses Interstate 15, October 2003, by United States Marine Corps, Wikimedia Commons

Major U.S. wildfires rarely framed as societal issues

“With findings that news framing is presenting a hazard only in terms of capital value when citizens suffer a multi-layered loss, scholars must question why certain frames are dominant and others nearly absent”, Carol Terracina-Hartman of the Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania writes in a new study. She examined 10 historic US wildfires using the concepts … Continued


Picture: Walter Lippmann, by Harris & Ewing, photographer, from the Library of Congress Collection, Wikimedia Commons

Objectivity, detachment, and Walter Lippmann

The iconic Walter Lippmann was a forceful advocate for journalistic objectivity. He had a strong belief in “detachment” as an ideal for a journalist. Julien Gorbach of the University of Hawaii at Manoa, writes about the journalist in his new study. The article explores balancing between two journalistic ideals: standing up for something, and being … Continued