Faculty News

The Department of Mass Communication is engaged in a variety of projects, some of which are listed below.

48 Hours to Victory: Team UNCA Wins Best Picture in 48 Hour Film Project

Aug. 15, 2017 - For the third time, UNC Asheville’s team of faculty, students, alumni & friends, led by Mass Communication Senior Lecturer Anne Slatton, has claimed Best Picture in Asheville’s annual 48 Hour Film Project. This year’s flick, which was written, produced, filmed and edited all in the span of—you guessed it—48 hours, also brought home Best Sound Design, Best Ensemble Acting, an Audience Choice Award and Best Directing for Slatton.

Read the full article at https://news.unca.edu/features/48-hours-victory-2017.

Framing Research

Dr. Sonya DiPalma, assistant professor of mass communication, presented Toward the Greening of Nuclear Energy: A Content Analysis of Nuclear Energy Frames from 1991 to 2008 at the PRSA Educators Academy Research Session on October 16, 2010.  The educators Academy Research Session was part of the PRSA 2010 International conference in Washington, D.C. 

While framing effects studies are plentiful, studies assessing longitudinal trends in dominant framing packages and story elements for an issue appear to be less understood.  Findings indicate four significant dominant frame packages among New York Times, USA Today, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Over time, a shift towards framing nuclear energy within a sustainable frame package increased significance.  This study is part of the growing literature regarding he function of frames over time.

Research in Progress:  Image Restoration Strategies

Dr. Sonya DiPalma, assistant professor  of mass communication, will present Image Restoration Strategies Employed by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs as President Barack Obama's Job Approval Rating Declines at the 14th Annual International Public Relations Research Conference Pushing the Envelope in Public Relations Theory and Research and Advancing Practice in Miami, March 9-12. 

By comparing Gallup opinion polls charting President Obama's declining job approval ratings with press briefings by press secretary Robert Gibbs, this study seeks to expand understanding on the order in which image restoration strategies are employed and which strategies are most useful given a particular situation.  From the beginning of his presidency through the aftermath of the November 2 elections, this study will analyze the content of more than 400 press briefings. 

Cultivation Research

Drs. Mark West and Donald Diefenbach are engaged in a long-running research effort involving an investigation of the distributional properties of responses to questions concerning the effects of media violence upon the properties of  such analyses.   Their findings indicate that the effects of media violence may be greater than commonly believed, having been masked by the statistical properties of such data.

Current research under review include:  "Cultivation and Perceptions of Cigarette Smoking: Distributional Properties and Predictors of Risk Perception," Mark D. West and Donald L. Diefenbach, Under review by the Journal of Communication.