News

Communication Research Colloquium Series Hosts Dr. Arunima Krishna

By Cassidy LeakeSeptember 14th, 2021

 

Dr. Arunima Krishna, Assistant Professor of Public Relations, will be discussing public perceptions of and responses to corporate misconduct, this Thursday -- September 16th, 2021 from 3:30-4:30pm -- as part of the BU Communication Research Colloquium Series.

Dr. Krishna will be discussing the potential long-term effects of corporate misconduct allegations on a corporation, as well as on its’ internal and external publics. The lecture will address a research program intended to examine publics' multidimensional reactions to such allegations, and how corporations can mitigate these situations in a manner that limits their damage.

 

Letter from the Director: August 2, 2021

By Lindsy GoldbergAugust 2nd, 2021
Dr. Michelle Amazeen, CRC Director

A Message from the CRC Director

August 2021

As the new CRC Director, I am humbled and honored to be stepping into the role formerly held by co-Directors Dr. Mina Tsay-Vogel and Dr. James Cummings and prior to them, Dr. Michael Elasmar. Today, with people more dependent upon media than ever before, the importance of studying mediated communication has intensified. The world is fighting a viral pandemic, political extremism and polarization are on the rise, and new technologies and platforms are emerging at an unprecedented rate. This is all happening against what the World Health Organization has declared an infodemic – “deliberate attempts to disseminate wrong information to undermine the public health response and advance alternative agendas of groups or individuals.” The United States’ Surgeon General has issued a similar advisory, warning against misinformation.

After 18 months of a pandemic-driven hiatus, the CRC is rebooting and ready to provide our fellows with access to the latest biometric technology, social media listening tools, statistical software, and state-of-the art facilities. Lindsy Goldberg  joins us as our new Lab and Research Manager, helping to coordinate our lecture events, administer workshops, and provide other activities for our fellows – some of which may also be of interest to journalists, policy makers, and other visitors – as well as assist with facility and equipment rental inquiries.

First established in 1959 with Dr. Edward J. Robinson at the helm, early CRC research focused on the effects of television and comics. These were common areas of study in the growing field of mass communication research as there was great concern in the U.S. with what these new media (of the day) were doing to our youth and how these media were gratifying the needs of audiences. CRC fellows still produce research on television – in the effects tradition as well as from political economic perspectives and alternate paradigms – and on comics (the stand-up kind). But we also address emerging media technologies while identifying opportunities to improve civic engagement, media literacy, and prosocial uses of and representations in media. And given the current state of affairs, many of our fellows are also researching varying aspects of truth and misinformation.

As a new academic year begins, I welcome back our fellows as they continue to embark upon advancing theory and methods in addressing society’s communication challenges. For visitors, I invite you to look to the work of our CRC fellows for informative insights on battling misinformation and other efforts to conduct communication research for social good.

How To Fight Vaccine Misinformation

By Lindsy GoldbergJuly 30th, 2021

Story by Andrew Thurston

Just after Christmas, a Wisconsin pharmacist attempted to destroy 570 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, yanking precious vials from a storage refrigerator. According to multiple reports, he’d become convinced it could alter human DNA. It can’t. Nor, as other false rumors have claimed, will it allow the government to track you or fill your body with fetal tissue—but that hasn’t stopped vaccine misinformation from spreading online, spooking people concerned about potential side effects.

“Misinformation is more impactful than the correction” says Michelle A. Amazeen, an associate professor of mass communication.

For the past year, Amazeen and Arunima Krishna, an assistant professor of public relations, have explored the spread of vaccine misinformation and the efficacy of different efforts to halt it. Although their study started before COVID-19 tore across the United States—and their research has focused on vaccines in general—Amazeen says the coronavirus pandemic has “magnified how important the work is that we’re doing.”

Read the rest of this story on BU Today.

CRC fellow Jiaxi Wu awarded American Heart Association fellowship

By Susannah BlairJune 18th, 2020

Congratulations to Jiaxi Wu, CRC graduate fellow and rising third-year student in the Emerging Media Studies doctoral program! She has just been awarded a two-year $100,000 fellowship from the American Heart Association’s Tobacco Center for Regulatory Sciences. Dr. Traci Hong (COM) and Dr. Jessica Fetterman (Medicine) will be co-mentors and direct the core research studies funded by the fellowship: “The Appeal of Flavored Cigars on Social Media for Youths and Vulnerable Populations.”

Jiaxi will utilize a mixed-methods approach (i.e., big data analysis, survey, content analysis) to examine how flavored cigars are promoted on Instagram and other social media platforms. Research findings will be submitted to the FDA to inform the agency’s oversight of tobacco products. Jiaxi will also attend weekly seminars to develop a deeper understanding of regulatory science and policies related to tobacco prevention.

New book co-edited by CRC fellow Patrice Oppliger now available

By Susannah BlairApril 21st, 2020

"The Dark Side of Stand-Up Comedy," a new book co-edited by Patrice Oppliger (CRC fellow) and Eric Shouse, is now available for purchase.

This book focuses on the “dark side” of stand-up comedy, initially inspired by speculations surrounding the death of comedian Robin Williams. Contributors, those who study humor as well as those who perform comedy, join together to contemplate the paradoxical relationship between tragedy and comedy and expose over-generalizations about comic performers’ troubled childhoods, addictions, and mental illnesses. 
 
The book is divided into two sections. First, scholars from a variety of disciplines explore comedians’ onstage performances, their offstage lives, and the relationship between the two. The second half of the book focuses on amateur and lesser-known professional comedians who reveal the struggles they face as they attempt to hone successful comedy acts and likable comic personae. The goal of this collection is to move beyond the hackneyed stereotype of the sad clown in order to reveal how stand-up comedy can transform both personal and collective tragedies by providing catharsis through humor.
 

Purchase the e-book and hardcover here.