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Subject: AEJ 97 KingJ VC Photo coverage of candidates in Louisana, 1995
From: Elliott Parker <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:AEJMC Conference Papers <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Tue, 16 Sep 1997 12:27:34 EDT
Content-Type:TEXT/PLAIN
Parts/Attachments:
Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (691 lines)


1
 
Political Endorsements In Daily Newspapers
and Photographic Coverage of Candidates
in the 1995 Louisiana Gubernatorial Campaign
 
 
 
A Research Paper
Submitted to the Visual Communication Division
1997 AEJMC Convention
Chicago, Illinois
 
 
 
 
by John Mark King, Assistant Professor
Office Address:
221 Journalism Building
Manship School of Mass Communication
Louisiana State University
Baton Rouge, LA  70803
Home Address:
40144 Autumn's End Ave.
Prairieville, LA 70769
Office: 504/388-2216
Home: 504/622-1626
FAX:  504/388-2125
E-mail:  [log in to unmask]
 
Background
        Voters in a political campaign depend on a variety of mass media organizations
to inform them of issues, events, trends and analysis.  Traditionally, voters
have turned to newspapers to provide them with recommendations about voting
choices.  Newspapers, through their published endorsements and editorials,
sometimes give readers insight and direction about who to vote for in a
campaign.
        Editors do appear to consider the function of editorials to be serious.  A 1975
survey of 186 daily newspaper editors found that 94 percent agreed that
editorials "...should provide community leadership through stands on issues"1
and that 98 percent felt that editorials influence readers.  Eighty percent of
the national sample endorsed candidates at the state level.2
        A chairman of a major journalism education program, after conducting a
nationwide study of press coverage and editorials of one out of every four
congressional districts in the United States, concluded that newspapers in 1981
were not doing a very good job of informing voters about choices nor issues,
even though they may view editorials as having a serious function.3    Peter
Clarke noted two major criticisms, the general low quality of editorials and the
affection newspapers seem to display for incumbents.
        This affection for incumbents on the editorial page is echoed by news
        treatment in the rest of the paper to a degree that would make you blanch.
        We analyzed content of those news stories paragraph by paragraph.  There
        were between 700 and 800 news stories that we gathered from some 73
        major dailies.  Challengers to incumbents are simply invisible.4
 
        Sixty-nine percent of 194 newspaper editors in a 1972 survey identified
themselves as independents, but the author of the research also determined that
many of these editors have affinities for Republican-conservative or
Democratic-liberal positions.5
        While editors seem to be largely independent in their stated political
affiliation, publishers and their newspapers generally tend to endorse
Republicans in presidential elections and did so from 1964 until 1992, when a
majority of daily newspapers in the nation supported Clinton in that year's
election.6  In the 1996 election, Bob Dole, the Republican candidate, won the
majority of endorsements.7   In 1996, 42 percent of publishers decided
endorsements; 38 percent of endorsement decisions were made by editorial boards;
and editors made 28 percent of endorsement decisions.8  Percentages of
newspapers choosing not to endorse a candidate in presidential elections and the
numbers of readers they serve was up in the 1996 Editor and Publisher poll; 69.9
percent chose not to endorse in 1996 compared to 67 percent in 1992.9  This
represents a daily circulation of 26.2 million, up from from 22.2 million in
1992 who received no direct guidance about whom to vote for in the campaign.10
Bill Kovach, curator of the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the former
Atlanta Journal and Constitution editor, stated that these findings do much to
dispel the myth of a liberal press.  "Kovach summed up the myth as 'the
difference between the people who own the newspapers and the people who work for
them."11
        If Clarke and Kovach are right, it would be expected that political
endorsements may have some impact on how journalists cover, edit and display
news about candidates during a campaign.
Most research on newspaper endorsements, as outlined in the literature review
below, have not focused on how newspaper endorsements may affect news coverage
of political campaigns.  Rather, most studies have centered on the impact of
endorsements on voting.  One way to begin to address the relationship between
political endorsements and news coverage is to examine how newspaper
endorsements may affect how photos are edited and displayed in newspapers in the
coverage of a  campaign.
        A body of visual communication research, also outlined in the literature
review, has established that use of color, placement and the size of photos may
have a fairly strong impact on reader response to stories and photos.  Given
this body of knowledge about the impact of color, placement and size of photos
on reader responses, it is important to know if newspaper endorsements have any
impact on how campaign photos are used and displayed in newspapers.
        The central question of this research then, is whether decisions about
newspaper endorsements in campaigns, often determined by the publisher and top
editors, has a corresponding relationship with the day-today use of visual
images of the campaign and how they are displayed in the newspaper.  Managing
editors, graphics managers, page and section editors, photo editors and
photographers have some choice about the images they use on campaign stories.
Are these choices influenced by the political endorsements the newspaper makes?
One measure which might provide some evidence of this possible unbalanced visual
reporting effect is a comparison between newspaper political endorsements and
use of campaign photos in terms of photo size, placement, color and selection of
favorable or unfavorable photos of candidates for publication.  That is the
focus of this study.
 
Literature Review
        Several scholarly articles have examined how newspaper endorsements affect
voting patterns. Gregg12  found that even though many newspapers in California
claimed to be  independent, 79 percent endorsed candidates of only one party,
the Republican party, 76 percent or more of the time and that  local
endorsements were more influential on voters than state or national
endorsements. McCombs13 found that 17.5 percent of voters in a California
gubernatorial race decided to vote for candidates endorsed by newspapers after
exposure to the newspaper endorsements.  Hooper14 determined that much of the
variance on voting within parties in an Illinois legislative election was due to
newspaper endorsement.  Mason,15  researching the same election, reported that
endorsements by major newspapers in all districts on average increased votes for
the endorsed candidate one standard deviation above the mean.  Fulero16 surveyed
104 voters who had written letters to the editor and found that most voters
assigned more persuasive value to editorial endorsements on other voters than to
themselves, suggesting a social desirability effect.
        Erikson,17 researching the 1964 presidential election in 223 nothern counties
found that a Democratic endorsement from local newspapers resulted in a gain of
five percentage points on average for Kennedy.  In research on the 1980
presidential election, Hurd and Singletary18  found that about five percent of
501 voters who followed the campaign in a  newspaper were influenced to vote for
a candidate by newspaper endorsements, but that among voters who did not read
newspapers, less than one percent were influenced by endorsements.  In either
case, Hurd and Singletary concluded that endorsements were not likely to
influence the outcome of an election.
        In a study that examined the effects of multiple variables on voting, Counts19
determined that in the 1948 presidential election, the Republican candidate's
vote percentages were positively related to resident home ownership, Republican
Party registration and newspaper endorsements.  Newspaper endorsements were
found to have had no effect for the Democratic Party candidate.
        St.Dizier20 determined, in an experimental study, that newspaper endorsements
have more impact than political party affiliation when information about a
candidate is minimal.
        Two studies examined the effects of chain ownership and endorsements on voting.
In a study of endorsements from 51 California newspapers over a 10 year period,
Rystrom21 concluded that group-owned newspapers were slightly more liberal than
independent newspapers, but that endorsements from both types of newspapers had
little impact on voting.  Gaziano22 found that between 1972 and 1980,
chain-owned newspapers were homogenous in their presidential endorsements.
        Visual communication research has established several trends in reader response
attributable to various approaches to visual display in newspapers.  Color seems
to be a powerful tool for attracting reader attention.  Click and Stemple23
found, in an experiment, that newspaper pages with color photos on the front
page were rated statistically significantly higher on 15 of 20 evaluative
semantic differential scales.  The pages with color were deemed more pleasant,
valuable, interesting, fair, truthful, unbiased, responsible, exciting, fresh,
easy, neat, colorful, bold, powerful and modern than pages with black and white
photos.
        Bohle and Garcia24 tested reader reaction to color photographs in newspaper
design and found that readers' initial eye movement was almost always toward the
photo at the top of the page, whether the photo was in color or black and white.
After seeing the photo, readers were attracted to spot color the most, even if
it was at the bottom of the page.  Gilbert and Schleuder25  concluded in an
experimental study that subjects remembered color images more than black and
white images and that complex photos did not require more mental effort to
process.  These studies suggest that candidates pictured in animated color
photos may enjoy more attraction and recall than candidates pictured in black
and white.
        In his classic Eye Trac experimental research on color, Garcia26 found that
dominant photos attract readers to pages more than black and white photos.
Forty-nine percent of readers entered the front page through a dominant color
photo; 35 percent entered through a black and white lead photo.  Garcia also
found that initial attention to a photo on a newspaper page is also influenced
by the size of the photo, especially black and white photos.  The larger the
photo, the more likely it is to be processed by readers.  Finally, Garcia found
that 75 percent of photos are processed by readers, but only 25 percent of text
is processed.  This suggests that photos may have strong influences on
attraction and readership.
        McCombs, Mauro and Son27 found in a survey of 350 newspaper readers that some
of the best predictors of readership of news stories were location on the front
page of a section, local-staff sources, topic and pictures.  "News stories with
a picture have higher readership than those without a picture."28
        Wolf and Grotto29 found that animated photos aided attention to stories, but
had no effect on recall.  Even mug shots, according to a study by Lain,30 have
the ability to help readers form opinions of subjects in the news.  Wanta31
concluded in a carefully-controlled experiment that dominant photos on newspaper
pages may have an agenda-setting effect, increasing issue salience as size
increases.
        A few studies have examined election photos directly.  Moriarty and Garramone32
studied bias in newsmagazine photos during the 1984 presidential election and
concluded that more photos were published of Reagan, 124, than Mondale, 87.
Reagan also enjoyed more favorable coverage in photos than Mondale.  Photos of
Bush represented him more favorably than photos of Ferraro, but in terms of
frequency, Ferraro had twice as many published photos as Bush.  Overall, Time,
Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report did publish photos of the candidates
that differed in terms of frequency and favorable depiction.   A similar study
of the 1988 presidential election by Moriarty and Popovich33  found that the
newsmagazines tended to balance the visual coverage more than in the 1984
election.  As in the first study, coding of more favorable or less favorable
campaign photos was based on an analysis of activity, posture, arms, hands,
eyes, expression, interaction, camera angle and portrayal.
        Plaster34 used Moriarty's methodology to examine photos from the 1992
presidential election in eight elite newspapers.  Analysis of 486 campaign
photos showed no statistical difference between Clinton, Bush and Perot in terms
of frequency, size of photo, dominance of photo, position on the page or the
timing in the campaign.  However, camera angle, facial expression, arm behavior,
hand behavior, setting and interacting with others all favored Clinton.
        Williams35 conducted an experiment based on an actual campaign for mayor of the
City of Alton, Ill.  Two weeks before the election, the local newspaper ran a
story with mug shots of the five candidates.  All were pictured in suits and
ties, except for one of the front runners, whose published photo showed with him
dressed in a casual shirt and windbreaker in an informal, outdoor setting.  This
candidate ended up losing the election by one-half of one percent.  In the
experiment conducted with persons unfamiliar with the campaign, two groups of
respondents were asked to "vote" for the candidate based solely on the
photographs.  One group saw all five candidates dressed in suits and ties; the
other group saw the published photos.  The candidate who lost the election by 50
votes was raised from last place to second place by being pictured in a suit and
tie in the experiment.
        Interestingly, it was clear that most respondents, who also wrote comments
about the men based solely on their photos, assumed that the candidates all
submitted the photos themselves.  This in itself could cause readers, who may
assume that all mug shots are submitted to the paper by the candidates, to
assign some value judgment to the candidates.  In other words, readers might
think that if the guy was dumb enough to give the paper such a bad photo of
himself, why would he be a good mayor?
 
 
Hypotheses
        As the above discussion demonstrates, the relationship between political
endorsements and campaign news coverage is largely unknown.  Ten hypotheses were
developed to examine the relationship between campaign endorsements in
newspapers and photographic coverage of candidates.  Dependent variables were
size of the campaign photo in square picas, whether the photo was in color or
black and white, whether the photo was above or below the fold, whether the
photo was on the front page/section front or on an inside page and whether the
photo depicted the candidate favorably or unfavorably.
        Independent variables were whether the candidate in the photo was endorsed by
the paper in the primary election and whether the candidate in the photo was
endorsed by the paper in the general election, termed a runoff election in
Louisiana.  Each hypothesis predicts that the endorsed candidate will receive
better photographic coverage than candidates who were not endorsed in both the
primary election and the general election.
 
        H1:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be larger than photos of candidates appearing
in newspapers           which did not endorse the pictured candidate during the primary
election.
 
        H2:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to be in color than photos of
candidates appearing            in newspapers which did not endorse the pictured
candidate during the primary election.
 
        H3:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to be on the front page or on
a section front than            photos  of candidates appearing in newspapers which did
not endorse the pictured                        candidate during the primary election.
 
        H4:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to be above the fold than
photos of candidates            appearing in newspapers which did not endorse the
pictured candidate during the primary           election.
 
        H5:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to depict the endorsed
candidate favorably than                photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which
did not endorse the pictured                    candidate during the primary election.
 
        H6:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be larger than photos of candidates appearing
in newspapers           which did not endorse the pictured candidate during the runoff
election.
 
        H7:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be more likely to be in color than photos of
candidates appearing            in newspapers which did not endorse the pictured
candidate during the runoff election.
 
        H8:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be more likely to be on the front page or on a
section front than              photos  of candidates appearing in newspapers which did not
endorse the pictured                    candidate during the runoff election.
 
        H9:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be more likely to be above the fold than
photos of candidates            appearing in newspapers which did not endorse the
pictured candidate during the runoff            election.
 
        H10:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that
candidate during        the runoff election will be more likely to depict the endorsed
candidate favorably than                photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which
did not endorse the pictured                    candidate during the runoff election.
 
Method
        A content analysis of 1,075 Louisiana gubernatorial campaign photos from 24
daily newspapers in Louisiana published between Sept. 1, 1995 through Nov. 18,
1995, election day, was performed.  The unit of analysis was the published photo
containing one or more of the 18 gubernatorial candidates.  In cases where more
than one candidate was pictured in the same photo, each candidate was treated as
a separate photo.
        Items coded included the newspaper name, publication date, name of the
candidate endorsed by each paper, name of the candidate in the photo,
favorable/unfavorable depiction, front/inside, above fold/below fold, black and
white/color and size of photo in square picas.  Two coders, a graduate student
and an upper division undergraduate student majoring in mass communication at a
major AEJMC accredited institution, performed the coding.  Intercoder
reliability, based on percentage of agreement, was measured on a test of 31
campaign photos, selected from a random week of publication.  Each variable had
an intercoder reliability of 1.00 except for size, which had a .97 intercoder
reliability and favorable/unfavorable treatment, which had a .94 intercoder
reliability.  The significance level for all of the hypotheses in the study was
set at .05.
        Dependent variables were size (in square picas), color/black and white, fold
location (above/ below), placement (front page/section front or inside page) and
depiction of the candidate (favorable/unfavorable).  Depiction of the candidate
as favorable or unfavorable in photos was determined by using coding evaluation
guidelines developed by Moriarty and Garramore36 and refined by Moriarty and
Popovich37.  These guidelines measure activity, posture, arms, hands, eyes,
expression, interaction, camera angle and portrayal of candidates in photos to
arrive at a measure that is more favorable or less favorable.  For example, a
photo in which the candidate is gesturing or doing something is considered more
favorable than a photo in which a candidate has hands at the side or at rest.
        Independent variables were endorsed in primary (whether the candidate in the
photo was endorsed by the newpaper in the primary election and endorsed in
runoff (whether the candidate in the photo was endorsed by the newspaper in the
general election, termed a runoff election in Louisiana).  These variables were
constructed by matching coding of the candidate's name in the photo and coding
of which candidate was endorsed by each paper.  The result for each case was
whether the candidate pictured in the photo had been endorsed by the paper in
which the photo was published or not.
 
Results
        H1:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be larger than photos of candidates appearing
in newspapers           which did not endorse the pictured candidate during the primary
election.
 
        H1 was not supported.  As Table 1 shows, there was no statistically significant
difference between the size of photos for candidates endorsed by the newspapers
that published their photographs versus candidates who were not endorsed by the
newspapers that published their photos.  Candidates who were not endorsed were
likely to have photos of themselves published about the same size as those who
were endorsed.
 
Table 1:  T-test of mean size of photos during the primary election in square
picas
        n       Mean    Std. Dev.       Std. Error
Did not endorse 640     314.07  438.94  17.35
Did endorse     96      302.58  382.09  39
 
Note.  N = 736, mean diff. = 11.49, t= .24, p = .41
 
        H2:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to be in color than photos of
candidates appearing            in newspapers which did not endorse the pictured
candidate during the primary election.
 
        Table 2 shows no support for H2.  The difference between the percentages of
photos in color and percentages of photos in black and white did not differ
between photos of candidates who were endorsed and candidates who were not
endorsed by the newspapers publishing the photos.  In other words, a candidate
was no more likely to have his or her photo published in color if the paper
publishing the photo endorsed the candidate pictured than if the paper
publishing the photo did not endorse the candidate pictured.  A large majority
of campaign photos during the primary election, more than 80 percent, appeared
in black and white.
 
Table 2:  Chi-square test of endorsement in primary photos by color/black and
white
        Color   Black and White
Did not endorse candidate in photo      105 (16.4%)     536 (83.6%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  11 (11.5%)      85 (88.5%)
 
Note:  N= 737, Chi-Square= 1.53, df= 1, p= .11
 
        H3:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to be on the front page or on
a section front than            photos  of candidates appearing in newspapers which did
not endorse the pictured                        candidate during the primary election.
 
        H3 is not supported.  As Table 3 indicates, candidates appearing in photos who
were not endorsed by the newspapers publishing the photos were just as likely to
end up on the front page/section front or on inside pages as candidates who were
endorsed by the newspapers publishing the photos.  Overall, most campaign photos
during the primary election appeared on inside pages.
 
 
Table 3:  Chi-square test of endorsement in primary photos by placement
        Front/Section Front     Inside Pages
Did not endorse candidate in photo      262 (40.9%)     379 (59.1%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  36 (37.5%)      60 (62.5%)
 
Note:  N= 737, Chi-Square= .40, df= 1, p= .27
 
        H4:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to be above the fold than
photos of candidates            appearing in newspapers which did not endorse the
pictured candidate during the primary           election.
 
        H4 is not supported.  As Table 4 shows, whether endorsed by the newspapers
publishing the photos or not, both groups of candidates were just as likely to
have their photos appear above the fold or below the fold.  Interestingly, 74
percent of the campaign photos appeared above the fold, suggesting that editors
deem them somewhat important.  Or this could simply be a convention of
contemporary newspaper design which calls for placing the dominant image above
the fold.
 
Table 4:  Chi-square test of endorsement in primary photos by fold location
        Above Fold      Below Fold
Did not endorse candidate in photo      476 (74.3%)     165 (27.5%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  71 (74%)        25 (26%)
 
Note:  N= 737, Chi-Square= .004, df= 1, p= .48
 
        H5:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the primary election will be more likely to depict the endorsed
candidate favorably than                photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which
did not endorse the pictured                    candidate during the primary election.
 
        H5 is not supported.  Table 5 indicates that there is no significant difference
between the likelihood of being depicted favorably or unfavorably based on
whether the candidate in the published photographs were endorsed by the
newspapers publishing the photos.  Candidates who were not endorsed by the
newspapers publishing the photos were just as likely to get favorable photos as
candidates who were endorsed by the newspapers publishing the photos.  Overall,
more than 80 percent of the campaign photos depicted candidates in a favorable
way.
 
Table 5:  Chi-square test of endorsement in primary photos by depiction of
candidates
        Favorable       Unfavorable
Did not endorse candidate in photo      516 (80.5%)     125 (19.5%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  82 (85.4%)      14 (14.6%)
 
Note:  N= 737, Chi-Square= 1.32, df= 1, p= .13
 
        H6:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be larger than photos of candidates appearing
in newspapers           which did not endorse the pictured candidate during the runoff
election.
 
        H6 is not supported by the results in Table 6.  The difference in the size of
photos for the two groups is statistically significant, but the difference is
not in the predicted direction.  Candidates who appeared in photos in newspapers
which did not endorse those candidates had photos 167 square picas larger than
candidates who appeared in photos in newspapers which did endorse them.
 
Table 6:  T-test of mean size of photos during the runoff election in square
picas
        n       Mean    Std. Dev.       Std. Error
Did not endorse 271     631.38  744.11  45.2
Did endorse     67      464.36  481.71  58.85
 
Note.  N = 338, mean diff. = 167.02, t= 1.75, p = .04
 
        H7:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be more likely to be in color than photos of
candidates appearing            in newspapers which did not endorse the pictured
candidate during the runoff election.
        H7 is clearly not supported.
 
        Table 7 shows that there is absolutely no difference between the percentages of
photos run in black and white or color for either group of candidates.  Overall,
however it is interesting to note that about twice as many of the photos in the
runoff election were in color compared to the primary election.
 
Table 7:  Chi-square test of  endorsement in runoff photos by color/black and
white
        Color   Black and White
Did not endorse candidate in photo      93 (34.3%)      178 (65.7%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  23 (34.3%)      44 (65.7%)
 
Note:  N= 338, Chi-Square= .00, df= 1, p= .50
 
        H8:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be more likely to be on the front page or on a
section front than              photos  of candidates appearing in newspapers which did not
endorse the pictured                    candidate during the runoff election.
 
        H8 was supported, as is evident in Table 8.  As predicted, photos of candidates
in newspapers in which the newspapers endorsed those candidates were more likely
to be on the front page or a section front than photos of candidates not
endorsed by the newspapers which published them in the runoff election.
 
 
Table 8:  Chi-square test of endorsement in runoff photos by placement
        Front/Section Front     Inside Pages
Did not endorse candidate in photo      144 (53.1%)     127 (46.9%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  44 (65.7%)      23 (34.3%)
 
Note:  N= 338, Chi-Square= 3.42, df= 1, p= <.05
 
 
        H9:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that candidate
during          the runoff election will be more likely to be above the fold than
photos of candidates            appearing in newspapers which did not endorse the
pictured candidate during the runoff            election.
 
        H9 is not supported.  Table 9 shows no significant difference between the two
groups of candidates.  Candidates who were pictured in newspapers which did not
endorse their candidacies were just as likely to have their photographs placed
above the fold as candidates who were endorsed by the newspapers publishing the
photos.
 
Table 9:  Chi-square test of endorsement in runoff photos by fold location
        Above Fold      Below Fold
Did not endorse candidate in photo      194 (71.6%)     77 (28.4%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  53 (79.1%)      14 (20.9%)
 
Note:  N= 338, Chi-Square= 1.54, df= 1, p= .10
 
        H10:  Photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which endorsed that
candidate during        the runoff election will be more likely to depict the endorsed
candidate favorably than                photos of candidates appearing in newspapers which
did not endorse the pictured                    candidate during the runoff election.
 
        H10 is supported.  Table 10 indicates that photos running in newspapers which
endorsed the candidate pictured were more likely to show the candidate in a
favorable depiction than  photos running in newspapers which did not endorse the
candidate pictured.
 
Table 10:  Chi-square test of endorsement in runoff photos by depiction of
candidates
        Favorable       Unfavorable
Did not endorse candidate in photo      220 (81.2%)     51 (18.8%)
Did endorse candidate in photo  62 (92.5%)      5 (7.5%)
 
Note:  N= 338, Chi-Square= 5.01, df= 1, p= <.05
 
Discussion
        This study found that newspaper endorsement of candidates pictured resulted in
more placement of photos on the front page or on section fronts and more
favorable depiction than non-endorsement of candidates pictured in the runoff
election.  In other words, the candidate endorsed by the newspapers publishing
his pictures was more likely to be seen on the front page or on section fronts
and more likely to receive favorable depiction in published photos than the
candidate who was not endorsed by the newspapers publishing his pictures in the
runoff election.
        Newspaper endorsement of pictured candidates appeared to have no effect on any
of the five dependent variables in the primary election nor three of the
dependent variables in the runoff election.  In the primary election, none of
the dependent variables; including size, color/black and white, placement, fold
location nor depiction; were affected by the independent variables.  In the
general election size, color/black and white and fold location were not impacted
by the independent variables.
        Overall, it appears that decision makers at Louisiana daily newspapers made a
good effort to provide balanced visual coverage of the campaign, at least in
terms of providing endorsed candidates and non-endorsed candidates similar
visual coverage.  Evidence of unbalanced visual communication during the primary
election was not found in this study.  Small unbalanced visual communication
effects were evident in the runoff election.  A crowded field of 18 candidates
was narrowed to two for the runoff election.  The winner of the election was a
conservative republican businessman (Mike Foster).  His opponent was a liberal
African American democrat who held office as a U.S. Representative (Cleo
Fields).  Ten daily newspapers endorsed Foster.  No daily newspapers endorsed
Fields.  Fifteen of the 28 newspapers (more than half) did not endorse any
candidate in the runoff election.  Perhaps as the election intensified, editors
may have made decisions to place more photos of the endorsed candidate, Foster,
on the front page and to use more photos depicting him more favorably.  It is
difficult to say that newspaper endorsement played a big role in these
decisions.  Yet, there is some evidence that newspaper endorsement may have
impacted how photos were edited and displayed.  But, for the most part, editors
in Louisiana daily newspapers did not appear to be strongly influenced by
political newspaper endorsements in their visual coverage of the campaign.
        This study included a narrow range of independent variables purposefully.
Further research may reveal new insights into the research questions posed here.
Other variables which may have an impact on decisions made about visual
communication during a political campaign should be explored.  Other research
could also examine how non-daily newspapers might differ from daily newspapers
regarding political endorsements in newspapers and visual communication.  Since
some predicted evidence was found, a similar analysis of a presidential campaign
might prove useful to scholars, political campaign managers and journalists.
 
 
 
 
Endnotes
        1.      Earnest C. Hynds, "Editorials, Opinion Pages Still Have Vital Roles at Most
Newspapers," Journalism Quarterly 61 (1984): 634-639.
 
        2.      Earnest C. Hynds, "Editorials, Opinion Pages Still Have Vital Roles at Most
Newspapers, 636.
 
        3.      Peter Clarke, "Endorsement Editorials:  'Sense of Dismay at the Quality,'
'Crafted by an Extremely Adolescent Mind,' 'Very, Very Thin Gruel," The
Masthead, spring 1981, 36-37.
 
        4.      Peter Clarke, "Endorsement Editorials:  'Sense of Dismay at the Quality,'
'Crafted by an Extremely Adolescent Mind,' 'Very, Very Thin Gruel," 36-37.
 
        5.      Malcolm B. Parsons, "A Political Profile of Newspaper Editors," Journalism
Quarterly 54 (1976): 700-705.
 
        6.      George Garneau, "Clinton's the Choice," Editor and Publisher, 24 Oct. 1992,
9-11, 44-45.
 
        7.      Dorothy Giobbe, "Dole Wins...In Endorsements," Editor and Publisher, 26 Oct.
1996, 7-11.
 
        8.      Dorothy Giobbe, "Dole Wins...In Endorsements," 9.
 
        9.      Stacy Jones, "Declining Endorsements," Editor and Publisher, 26 Oct. 1996,
12-14.
 
        10.     Stacy Jones, "Declining Endorsements," 12.
 
        11.     Stacy Jones, "Declining Endorsements," 14.
 
        12.     James E. Greg, "Newspaper Editorial Endorsements and California Elections,
1948-1962," Journalism Quarterly 42 (1965): 532-538.
 
        13.     Maxwell McCombs, "Editorial Endorsements:  A Study of Influence,"
Journalism Quarterly 44 (1967): 545-547.
 
        14.     Michael Hooper, "Party and Newspaper Endorsement as Predictors of Voter
Choice," Journalism Quarterly 46 (1969): 302-305.
 
        15.     William M. Mason, "The Impact of Endorsements on Voting," Sociological
Methods and Research 1 (1973): 463-495.
 
        16.     Solomon Fulero, "Perceived Influence of Endorsements on Voting," Journalism
Quarterly 54 (1977): 789-791.
 
        17.     Robert S. Erikson, "The Influence of Newspaper Endorsements in Presidential
Elections:  The Case of 1964," American Journal of Political Science 20 (1976):
207-233.
 
        18.     Robert E. Hurd and Michael W. Singletary, "Newspaper Endorsement Influence
on the 1980 Presidential Election Vote," Journalism Quarterly 61 (1984):
332-338.
 
        19.     Tim Counts, "Effect of Endorsements on Presidential Vote," Journalism
Quarterly 62 (1985): 644-647.
 
        20.     Byron St.Dizier, "The Effect of Newspaper Endorsements and Party
Identification on Voting Choice,"  Journalism Quarterly 62 (1985): 589-594.
 
        21.     Kenneth Rystrom, "Apparent Impact of Endorsements by Group and Independent
Newspapers," Journalism Quarterly 64 (1987): 449-453, 532.
 
        22.     Cecilie Gaziano, "Chain Newspaper Homogeneity and Presidential
Endorsements, 1972-1988," Journalism Quarterly 66 (1989): 836-845.
 
        23.     J.W. Click and Guido H. Stemple III, "Reader Response to Front Pages with
Four-color Halftones," Journalism Quarterly 53 (1976): 736-738.
 
        24.     Robert H. Bohle and Mario R. Garcia, "Reader Response to Color Halftones
and Spot Color in Newspaper Design," Journalism Quarterly 64 (1987): 731-739.
 
        25.     Kathy Gilbert and Joan Schleuder, "Effects of Color and Complexity in Still
Photographs on Mental Effort and Memory," Journalism Quarterly 67 (1990):
749-756.
 
        26.     Mario R. Garcia and Pegie Stark, Eyes on the News (St. Petersburg, FL:  The
Poynter Institute for Media Studies).
 
        27.     Maxwell E. McCombs, John B. Mauro and Jinok Son, "Predicting Newspaper
Readership from Content Characteristics:  A Replication," Newspaper Research
Journal 10 (1988): 25-31.
 
        28.     Maxwell E. McCombs, John B. Mauro and Jinok Son, "Predicting Newspaper
Readership from Content Characteristics:  A Replication," 28.
 
        29.     Rita Wolf and Gerald L. Grotta, "Images:  A Question of Readership,"
Newspaper Research Journal 6 (1985): 30-36.
 
        30.     Laurence B. Lain and Philip J. Harwood, "Mug Shots and Reader Attitudes
Toward People in the News," Journalism Quarterly 69 (1992): 293-300;  Laurence
B. Lain, "How Readers View Mug Shots," Newspaper Research Journal 8 (1987):
43-52.
 
        31.     Wayne Wanta, "The Effects of Dominant Photographs:  An Agenda-Setting
Experiment," Journalism Quarterly 65 (1988): 107-111.
 
        32.     Sandra E. Moriarty and Gina M. Garramone, "A Study of Newsmagazine
Photographs of the 1984 Presidential Campaign," Journalism Quarterly 63 (1986):
728-735.
 
        33.     Sandra E. Moriarty and Mark N. Popovich, "Newsmagazine Visuals and the 1988
Presidential Election," Journalism Quarterly 68 (1991): 371-380.
 
        34.     Sarah W. Plaster, "An Analysis of Front Page Newspaper Photographic
Coverage of the 1992 Presidential Election Campaign" (paper presented at the
annual meeting of the AEJMC, Atlanta, GA, 1994).
 
        35.     John W. Williams, "Newspaper Mug Shots, Readers' Attitudes and an Illinois
Case Study" (paper presented at the annual meeting of the AEJMC, Atlanta, GA,
1994).
 
        36.     Sandra E. Moriarty and Gina M. Garramone, "A Study of Newsmagazine
Photographs of the 1984 Presidential Campaign," 730-731.
 
        37.     Sandra E. Moriarty and Mark N. Popovich, "Newsmagazine Visuals and the 1988
Presidential Election," 375.

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