Influence of Newspaper Images on Student Perceptions of Agricultural Issues
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In today's technological environment, there is constant competition for audience readership and viewership between various media outlets. News media provides a great deal of information to the general public through television, print, and web sources, especially in terms of agriculture. This study aimed to discover audience perceptions of two different natural disasters by examining the effects of photographic inclusion in print news articles including agricultural perceptions and content recall. Additionally, differences between self-perceived milk industry advocacy and a milk campaign story are also examined. Newspaper articles about the effects of the 2010-2011 drought in Texas and the aftermath of Tropical Storm Irene were also used. Students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Texas A&M University were surveyed in online pre and posttests. Student responses displayed a moderate relationship between photos and article content in regards to the Hurricane Irene article. A significant relationship was present between self-perceived non-advocates and their outlook on milk consumption and the dairy industry with the inclusion of photographs. There were differences seen between students who have family who work in agriculture, claim membership in an agriculture association, live on a farm or ranch, and were members of FFA as they viewed the drought article to be more positive than those who did not have these agricultural backgrounds. Furthermore, student responses show a relationship between the milk industry article in the pretest (photos included) and posttest (photos not included) by viewing the photos as positive, humorous, and shocking. This study found student perceptions of the two news articles related to the drought as well as the tropical storm to be the same regardless of photographic presence. This leads the researcher to conclude that photos had no effect on the overall perceptions of the news stories. However, students who received photographs did see a relationship between the photos associated with the flood article and the content presented in the story. This effect was not seen with the photographs of the drought story. Since the photos associated with the flood story were the original photos printed with the news story, it is probable to conclude that students properly associated photographic elements with that of the story's content.
perceptions of agriculture
perceptions of agricultural images
Dromgoole, Amy (2012). Influence of Newspaper Images on Student Perceptions of Agricultural Issues. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from