UNC Hussman at the 2024 International Communication Association Conference

Four graduate students, four faculty members and various alumni will represent the UNC Hussman School of Journalism at the 74th Annual International Communication Association Conference June 20-24 in Gold Coast, Australia, and in virtual/hybrid sessions.

These students and faculty will participate in panel sessions and present authored or co-authored papers:

Friday, June 21

  • Ph.D. student Sarah Whitmarsh will present two studies, titled “Anti-Oppression and Decolonization in Transnational Advocacy Spaces” and “Using Anger Appeals to Assess Activism Intentions for Reproductive Justice” as part of a research escalator in the ICA division of Activism, Communication and Social Change. Her first study explores how the struggle for power, voice and participation is playing out in transnational advocacy spaces. The latter paper examines whether reproductive justice messages can influence cause-congruent financial and political behaviors among different audience segments.
  • Graduating Ph.D. candidate Heesoo Jang will co-present “An Assessment of Reported Biases and Harms of Large Language Models,” which investigates biases in AI systems such as, but not exclusively, ChatGPT.
  • Professor Daniel Kreiss will be a discussant at two panels, titled “What is the Relationship Between Media Capture and Democratic Backsliding?” and “What is Media Influence in 2024?”
  • Assistant Professor Xinyan (Eva) Zhao will co-present “Streaming About Disasters on TikTok: Examining Social Mediated Digital Storytelling, Public Engagement, and Emotional Responses During the 2023 Maui Wildfire” and “Analyzing Narrative Contagion through User Storytelling in Social Media Conversations: An AI-Powered Computational Approach.”

Saturday, June 22

  • Associate Professor Deb Aikat will co-chair the South Asia Communication Association hybrid partner panel “Communication and Global Human Rights: Media Research on South Asia & Its Diaspora Worldwide.”
  • Ph.D. student Emily Galper will co-present a poster based on a study titled “The Naked Truth: Young Adult Men’s Pornography Disclosures in Romantic Relationships,” which examines young adult men’s pornography disclosures to their romantic partners and the effect of such disclosures on the relationships.
  • Xinyan (Eva) Zhao will present “Analyzing Narrative Contagion through User Storytelling in Social Media Conversations: An AI-Powered Computational Approach,” which introduces the concept of “narrative contagion” to describe when a person or organization sharing a story prompts others to share their stories.

Sunday, June 23

  • Deb Aikat will present “In Media We Trust, or Do We?: Theorizing the Rise and Fall in Media Trust in the US” as part of the high-density session “Information Systems and Persuasive Effects.” His study analyzes how audiences “meld” agendas from various media sources with their own personal preferences to form a coherent picture of society.

Monday, June 24

  • Ph.D. student Daniel Johnson will present “Producer, Not Just Subsidizer: The U.S. Military as a Cultural Industry” as part of a paper session titled “Ethics and Power in Storytelling Across the Media Industries,” arguing that the U.S. Department of Defense is directly involved in cultural production, since its employees create media texts that create long-lasting cultural meaning for internal and external audiences.
  • Associate Professor Shannon McGregor will be a discussant on a panel titled “Representations of the Public in Media Coverage of Politics: Cross-National Approaches,” which considers the intersection of political journalism and public opinion.

Tuesday, June 26-27 (Post-conference at Digital Media Research Centre, Queensland University of Technology)

  • Daniel Kreiss and Shannon McGregor will be discussants at the P³: Power, Propaganda, Polarisation postconference, which brings together current and emerging conceptual and applied theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of the relationship between power, propaganda and polarization.


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