Propaganda Pandemics:The Use of Misinformation and Disinformation to Obfuscate Pandemics’ Impact. THE FLORIDA COMMUNICATION JOURNAL I ISSN:1050-3366.  VOLUME 50, ISSUE 2, FALL 2022

The Covid-19 pandemic is fraught with two categories of propaganda: misinformation (the dissemination of incorrect information, generally unknown as false by the messenger) and disinformation (the intentional sharing of inaccurate information often with a nefarious goal). A student survey characterized some of their pandemic information perceptions as misinformation and others as disinformation. Through this haze of uncertainty, the one thing that came into sharp focus is the proliferation of misinformation and disinformation by some mainstream media through their reporting and amplification of the social media posts of politicians, influencers, institutions, trolls, bots, and regular users. This paper compares the use of media propaganda during the epoch of the COVID-19 pandemic and the era of the Spanish Flu of 1918–1919. During the period of the Spanish Flu, media was dominated by newspapers, pamphlets, cables, signs, newsreels, and movies. COVID-19 spread during a period controlled by the internet and its incumbent social media, and online news outlets alongsidelegacy media including newspapers, magazines, films, broadcast television and radio.

Government Regulators Were Late to the Vaping Party, and American Kids Started Without Them.   BRAVERY, Vol. 4, Spring 2020.

Government regulators were late to the vaping party, and American kids started without them. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are playing catch up in regulating the marketing of vaping products and e-cigarettes. Tobacco companies often use online influencers to promote their products to youngsters around the world, and inevitably in America. The use of social media native ads (sometimes called sponsored content) is to camouflage its marketing intent. These ads resemble the surrounding content and posts. On social media, this often takes the form of influencers surreptitiously promoting products. This type of promotion skirts laws against advertising to young people and may be deceptive. 

Recognition and Perceptions of Native Advertising in Media.  The Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A Dissertation Submitted to the School of Graduate Studies and Research in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Doctor of Philosophy. Spring 2019.

The genre of native advertising is growing exponentially, and marketers predict over half of all online ads will soon be a form of this sponsored content. The growth on mobile platforms is even greater, yet there is trepidation among regulators and consumer groups concerning the transparency of native ads and their continual evolution. The addition of the use of artificial intelligence to specifically match native content to editorial is increasingly problematic. On social media platforms, influencers market to the public through their postings and in YouTube videos. This research attempted to understand if consumers recognize these ads and to gain insight into their perceptions of these ads through the examination of native ads in online news media and the popular social media platform Instagram. This research was conducted through an online experiment that queried participants’ perceptions and recognition of native advertising. This study found that the marketing of Instagram micro-influencers was better received by the study participants than major influencers. Additionally, the halo effect was only activated by the masthead of a prestigious online legacy media entity to sway participants’ perceptions of the quality of the content they read.

The Evolution of “Blackface” and Black Stereotypes in American Culture and Mass Media. Presiding/Panelist. 44th AEJMC Southeast Colloquium, Columbia, S.C. March 2019.

“G.I.F.T.S. for Corporate Communication: Cultivation, Culture, and Tolerance.” A panel presentation for the Florida Communication Association’s 88th Annual Convention, Lake Buena Vista, FL. October 20, 2018.

I Am Not a Dingo: The Evolution of Fake News and Truthiness to Satirical Exposition. Florida Communication Association 2017 Conference, Walt Disney Resort, FL. October 2017.

Parasocial Bereavement: Where do they Turn when their Soap Opera Friends Depart?  The Florida Communication Journal Volume 45, No. 1, Spring 2017

This study surveyed the depth of the Parasocial Relationships which soap opera viewers experience. This research queried the choices of the 221 respondents, and these findings reveal that some sufferers may experience Parasocial Bereavement as a result of their permanently severed parasocial relationships. Almost a quarter of the participants were males and they exhibited slightly higher parasocial attachment than women. Most respondents characterized their parasocial loss as similar to the loss of a close friend and 80% reported missing their cancelled soaps all the time even though the shows were cancelled many years ago.

From Hope and Change to Anger and Anxiety: Demagoguery and Discourse in the 2016 Primary Elections.   National Communications Conference Presentation (NCA) 

This essay deconstructs the 2016 political campaign discourse of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump through the prisms of demagoguery and polarizing propaganda theory. It finds that both candidates employ the techniques of passionate appeals, use vague, loaded terms and negative ethical persuasion that involve fear, anxiety and emotional appeals. Both rely on polarizing rhetoric to reinforce their outsider ethos and to separate themselves from a dysfunctional and abusive political mainstream. 

Social Media-Driven Propaganda: In the Crosshairs of the Black Flag.  Journal of Communications Media Studies

Most Americans became cognizant of the “Black Flag” in August of 2014 when the Islamic State filled Twitter feeds, Facebook, and YouTube channels with videos of beheadings, recruitment messages, Jihadist diatribes, and gruesome images. This article asserts that social media propaganda of the deed (SMPOTD) has altered Lasswell’s communication model since legacy media is bypassed, and there is no ability to control the messages. The model itself must evolve to represent that SMPOTD may represent both the medium and the horrific message.

Power to the People: Crowdsourcing and the Ascent of Machiavellian Ethics in Journalism. Florida Communications Conference 

The essay seeks an understanding of the value of crowdsourcing and citizen journalism as a communication tool, to evaluate the growth of its usage, and to discern the ethical implications of crowdsourcing for journalistic purposes. This paper proposes that journalism is evolving from a Rossian-based duty ethics into a form of Machiavellian consequentialism.

Gender in Business Magazines as Portrayed on the Covers of U.S. and Egyptian Business Magazines. Laurel Highlands Communications Conference, Indiana, Pa.  April 2016. Group presentation.

 The Impact of Bridging Social Capital on Select Populations Panel Presentation. Laurel Highlands Communications Conference, Indiana, Pa.  April 2015.

Social Media Propaganda Battle. Individual presentation. Laurel Highlands Communications Conference (LHCC), Indiana, Pa.  April 2015.