The public and legislative impact of hyperconcentrated topic news.
ABSTRACT: News has been shown to influence public perception, affect technology development, and increase public expression. We demonstrate that framing, a subjective aspect of news, appears to influence both significant public perception changes and federal legislation. We show that specific features of news, such as publishing volume, appear to influence sustained public attention, as measured by annual Google Trends data, and federal legislation. We observe that federal legislative activity is often foreshadowed by periods of high news volume and similarity between articles, which we call hyperconcentrated news periods. Last, we contribute the measures of framing density and framing polarity, which provide a quantitative assessment of news framing in a domain. We demonstrate that these measures appear to correlate substantially with the results of earlier human surveys. We note, however, that our analysis does not disprove reverse causality and does not model other confounding factors.
Project description:The frequency of legislation changes and their utility is a subject of interest and always under debate with pro and contra arguments. In the current study, the perception of students regarding medical legislation changes was analyzed. In general, no statistically significant differences were found between the sub-groups of students, thus underlining a unitary perception. The general perception is that changes in legislation are made too often. Moreover, only a small part of the analyzed group agrees on the utility of these changes. Finally, it seems that income is the main driver for students as future employees in the medical system. Also, significant differences between males and females' perceptions are emphasized, and legislation changes should take into account the primary drivers. Other issues, such as corruption, stability, and performances should be the key points in legislation changes. These results should be a challenge for all stakeholders, in particular for policymakers.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4> Following the 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, there was a dramatic increase in media coverage of extreme risk protection orders (ERPOs) and in state policy proposals for ERPO laws. This study documents the frequency of news coverage of ERPOs throughout 2018 and examines the narratives used by media outlets to describe this risk-based firearm policy. <h4>Methods</h4> Using a mixed-method descriptive design, we examine the frequency of national news media coverage of ERPO legislation in 2018, before and after the Parkland shooting, and analyze the content of news articles related to a sample of states that considered ERPO legislation after the shooting. <h4>Results</h4> We find a sharp increase in the frequency of articles related to ERPOs following the Parkland shooting and smaller increases in coverage surrounding ERPO policy proposals and other public mass shootings that year. Nearly three-quarters of articles in our content analysis mentioned the Parkland shooting. The news media often mentioned or quoted politicians compared to other stakeholders, infrequently specified uses for ERPOs (e.g., prevention of mass violence, suicide, or other violence), and rarely included evidence on effectiveness of such policies. More than one-quarter of articles mentioned a mass shooting perpetrator by name, and one-third of articles used the term “gun control.” <h4>Conclusions</h4> This study describes the emerging public discourse, as informed by media messaging and framing, on ERPOs as states continue to debate and implement these risk-based firearm violence prevention policies. <h4>Supplementary Information</h4> The online version contains supplementary material available at 10.1186/s12889-021-11909-z.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Because organ transplantation relies on public support for donation, an analysis of public discourse around organ donation is essential. We investigated the portrayal of family veto - when a family overrides the deceased person's prior legally executed wishes to donate - in Canadian news media. METHODS:Using the Canadian Newsstream database, we identified articles published in English-language newspapers addressing family veto between 2000 and 2016. Guided by the theoretical perspectives of framing of media effects, we conducted a systematic content analysis of the articles to examine how the Canadian media framed family veto. An initial in-depth analysis of the data set in which themes and patterns were captured and recorded identified coding categories, including primary framing of family veto, prevalence, reasons, ethical or legal concerns and overall tone of the article. Two coders analyzed the data set to ensure intercoder reliability. RESULTS:A total of 133 relevant articles were identified. Family veto was framed predominantly as something that should not be allowed (81 articles [60.9%]) and as a reality that is little understood outside the transplantation community (45 [33.8%]). One-quarter of the articles (32 [24.1%]) highlighted ethical principles of autonomy and justice associated with family veto. Family veto was represented as a stumbling block in the present organ donation system, with most publications (107 [80.4%]) calling for change. There were differing interpretations of organ donation legislation, with 82 articles (61.6%) erroneously stating or suggesting that existing legislation permits family veto. INTERPRETATION:Family veto in organ donation was portrayed predominantly negatively. Many publications reflected a misunderstanding of the law concerning this issue. Although the framing of family veto highlighted important ethical and legal concerns as well as practice and policy considerations, research is needed to enhance the understanding of family veto in organ donation.
Project description:Climate change poses severe economic and public health threats to societies around the world. However, little is known about how selectively emphasizing its impacts on different issues and in different locations influence public engagement in climate change mitigation. Utilizing an experimental survey with adult participants, this study investigates the effect of issue framing and distance framing on risk perception and policy support related to climate change. The impacts of political ideology, environmental value, and belief in climate science on message effect are also examined. Based on the results of ANOVA (Analysis of Variance) and OLS (Ordinary Least Squares) regression, we found that compared with the economy frame, the public health frame led to greater polarization in risk perception and policy support between liberals and conservatives, and these relationships were mediated by environmental value and belief in climate science. Similarly, distance framing also increased ideological polarization in risk perception and policy support.
Project description:In the information era, the instant and diversified broadcasting of the COVID-19 pandemic has played an important role in stabilizing the societal mental state and avoiding inter-group conflicts. The presentation of visual graphics was considered as an innovative information form and broadly utilized in news reports. However, its effects on the audiences' cognition and behaviors have received little empirical attention. The current study applied real-time and retrospective priming paradigms to examine the impacts of information framing (positive vs. negative) and form (plain text vs. pie chart) on individuals' risk perception (cognition), positive emotion (emotion), and willingness to help others (behavioral intention) during the outbreak and post-pandemic period in China. The results indicated the "amplification effect" of the innovative form of information in the real-time priming condition, which increased the effect of the information framing on cognition, emotion, and behavioral intention. However, in the retrospective priming condition, the amplification effect on cognition and emotion were weakened, while its effect on behavioral intention disappeared. In conclusion, the study found the "amplification effect" of innovative information forms. Further, the difference in the results in the real-time and retrospective priming paradigms suggested the constraint of the context of the "amplification effect," and indicated the possible deviation of the retrospective paradigm in studies about disaster-related news. This study provides empirical support for how subtle changes in information presentation influence public mental and behavioral responses during a pandemic and has important implications for media psychology and social governance.
Project description:Members of the synthetic biology community have discussed the significance of word selection when describing synthetic biology to the general public. In particular, many leaders proposed the word "create" was laden with negative connotations. We found that word choice and framing does affect public perception of synthetic biology. In a controlled experiment, participants perceived synthetic biology more negatively when "create" was used to describe the field compared to "construct" (p = 0.008). Contrary to popular opinion among synthetic biologists, however, low religiosity individuals were more influenced negatively by the framing manipulation than high religiosity people. Our results suggest that synthetic biologists directly influence public perception of their field through avoidance of the word "create".
Project description:Vaccination rates are an ongoing global concern. Many developing and developed countries have rates of vaccination below rates required for herd immunity, for differing reasons. One way in which to communicate information about vaccination to the wider public is via the use of the news media. Communication agenda-setting and framing theory generally hold that the news media sets the issues of importance to society and also tells us how we should think about those issues. Emphasis framing theory however, would suggest that positively-framed statements in the media may actually be viewed as persuasive in a coercing way, leading to resistance to the messages. Further, this theory claims that negative news media is viewed as more credible and therefore, more easily accepted. We were interested to explore the framing of news reports about vaccination and the potential effects this framing may have had on the wider public over the years 2016-2017 in both Australia and New Zealand (when changes in vaccination policy and publicity respectively were on the agenda). We undertook a content analysis of 197 articles and emphasis frame, type of message, and other variables recorded. In both Australia and New Zealand, the news media messages were predominately positively framed and yet the vaccination rates of New Zealand particularly (where no policy changes mandating vaccination took place) have been decreasing. We suggest the media emphasis on positive vaccination reporting may be having the opposite effect of engendering resistance to vaccination within those who are vaccine-hesitant.
Project description:Following the pioneering efforts of a federal Head Start program, U.S. state policymakers have rapidly expanded access to Early Care and Education (ECE) programs with strong bipartisan support. Within the past decade the enrollment of 4 year-olds has roughly doubled in state-funded preschool. Despite these public investments, the content and priorities of early childhood legislation-enacted and failed-have rarely been examined. This study integrates perspectives from public policy, political science, developmental science, and machine learning in examining state ECE bills in identifying key factors associated with legislative success. Drawing from the Early Care and Education Bill Tracking Database, we employed Latent Dirichlet Allocation (LDA), a statistical topic identification model, to examine 2,396 ECE bills across the 50 U.S. states during the 2015-2018. First, a six-topic solution demonstrated the strongest fit theoretically and empirically suggesting two meta policy priorities: 'ECE finance' and 'ECE services'. 'ECE finance' comprised three dimensions: (1) Revenues, (2) Expenditures, and (3) Fiscal Governance. 'ECE services' also included three dimensions: (1) PreK, (2) Child Care, and (3) Health and Human Services (HHS). Further, we found that bills covering a higher proportion of HHS, Fiscal Governance, or Expenditures were more likely to pass into law relative to bills focusing largely on PreK, Child Care, and Revenues. Additionally, legislative effectiveness of the bill's primary sponsor was a strong predictor of legislative success, and further moderated the relation between bill content and passage. Highly effective legislators who had previously passed five or more bills had an extremely high probability of introducing a legislation that successfully passed regardless of topic. Legislation with expenditures as policy priorities benefitted the most from having an effective legislator. We conclude with a discussion of the empirical findings within the broader context of early childhood policy literature and suggest implications for future research and policy.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Legislation is one of the most powerful weapons for improving population health and is often used by policy and decision makers. Little research exists to guide them as to whether legislation is feasible and/or will succeed. We aimed to produce a coherent and transferable evidence based framework of threats to legislative interventions to assist the decision making process and to test this through the 'case study' of legislation to ban smoking in cars carrying children.<h4>Methods</h4>We conceptualised legislative interventions as a complex social interventions and so used the realist synthesis method to systematically review the literature for evidence. 99 articles were found through searches on five electronic databases (MEDLINE, HMIC, EMBASE, PsychINFO, Social Policy and Practice) and iterative purposive searching. Our initial searches sought any studies that contained information on smoking in vehicles carrying children. Throughout the review we continued where needed to search for additional studies of any type that would conceptually contribute to helping build and/or test our framework.<h4>Results</h4>Our framework identified a series of transferable threats to public health legislation. When applied to smoking bans in vehicles; problem misidentification; public support; opposition; and enforcement issues were particularly prominent threats. Our framework enabled us to understand and explain the nature of each threat and to infer the most likely outcome if such legislation were to be proposed in a jurisdiction where no such ban existed. Specifically, the micro-environment of a vehicle can contain highly hazardous levels of second hand smoke. Public support for such legislation is high amongst smokers and non-smokers and their underlying motivations were very similar - wanting to practice the Millian principle of protecting children from harm. Evidence indicated that the tobacco industry was not likely to oppose legislation and arguments that such a law would be 'unenforceable' were unfounded.<h4>Conclusion</h4>It is possible to develop a coherent and transferable evidence based framework of the ideas and assumptions behind the threats to legislative intervention that may assist policy and decision makers to analyse and judge if legislation is feasible and/or likely to succeed.
Project description:Analyzing news media allows obesity policy researchers to understand popular conceptions about obesity, which is important for targeting health education and policies. A persistent dilemma is that investigators have to read and manually classify thousands of individual news articles to identify how obesity and obesity-related policy proposals may be described to the public in the media. A machine learning method called "automated content analysis" that permits researchers to train computers to "read" and classify massive volumes of documents was demonstrated.14,302 newspaper articles that mentioned the word "obesity" during 2011-2012 were identified. Four states that vary in obesity prevalence and policy (Alabama, California, New Jersey, and North Carolina) were examined. The reliability of an automated program to categorize the media's framing of obesity as an individual-level problem (e.g., diet) and/or an environmental-level problem (e.g., obesogenic environment) was tested.The automated program performed similarly to human coders. The proportion of articles with individual-level framing (27.7-31.0%) was higher than the proportion with neutral (18.0-22.1%) or environmental-level framing (16.0-16.4%) across all states and over the entire study period (P<0.05).A novel approach to the study of how obesity concepts are communicated and propagated in news media was demonstrated.