Drawing the Party Line: A Summary

It’s been interesting to research an evolving topic. The situation has evolved past the original scope of my proposal, in which I intended to cover only the most recent redistricting event, only for more redistricting conflicts to appear. Just as I thought I had figured out the 2016 redistricting, Bethune Hill v. Virginia State Board of Elections, another state district challenge on the grounds of race-based voter districts, happened months after I proposed my topic. While it’s too early to see what will happen, it’s like I’ve been given another puzzle piece for a picture of the future.

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TV Commercial Variety vs. Cost of Advertising Part 3 (Summary)

The data for commercials that employ celebrity appearances are as follows in the format of (celebrity appearance commercials)/(total commercials in sample) = (percentage of commercials that use celebrity appearances)

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TV Commercial Variety vs. Cost of Advertising Part 2

With an understanding of the methodology I would use on the samples in place, I then had to decide from where to take the samples such that it would be unlikely for a confounding variable to affect the percentage of commercials containing celebrity appearances in a way that would prevent the drawing of conclusions from the data.  The most important inclusion would be samples from programs that draw very high ratings and programs that draw low to average ratings.  The most obvious representative of the high ratings group is the most viewed television program in America every year: the Super Bowl.  I also included several games from the NBA Finals, which have significantly lower ratings than the Super Bowl but still have much higher viewership than average television programs.  Those selections were the most readily available for my research because the NBA Finals occur during the summer and the Super Bowl commercials have become a sensation in their own right such that they get posted on the Internet for posterity on web pages titled “All Super Bowl LI Commercials”.

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So who writes the SC opinions

First off, I’d like to thank the Charles Center and the Monroe Program for this amazing opportunity, as well as my advisor Professor Sasser and my family for the support and guidance they gave me throughout the process.

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Final Update for College Football Performance as Affected by Distance from Home

The moment of truth: is college football performance affected by distance from home? As far as I can tell, the answer is no.

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TV Commercial Variety vs. Cost of Advertising Part 1

Before I began collecting data on the methods that TV commercials use to appeal to viewers, I first had to decide how to categorize the types of consumer appeal such that differences between samples could be easily singled out and identified.  I eventually decided on a modification of the classic ‘logos, pathos, ethos’ categories, which classify persuasive techniques based on their appeal to logic, emotion, and trust respectively.  My initial thinking was to use those categories, and additionally a humor category, and decide which approach was intended by the advertising company to be the strongest; that strategy, however, was far too subjective to be trusted to reveal any significant differences between samples.  Therefore, I decided to modify the categories and create a hierarchy: [Read more…]

My Monroad Trip Paintings and Reflections

The following pieces are four of my favorite paintings that I created for this project and I feel that they represent a culmination of all of the work I put into this project. My first few paintings were incredibly bad, but over the course of painting more, I began to feel significantly more comfortable with the watercolors and happier with what I produced. I feel that I successfully captured the lighting in the environments I observed and in doing so have done some justice to the amazing views I witnessed.

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Who’s in the News?

For the final portion of my project, I hoped to analyze the levels of racial/ethnic diversity of people mentioned in news articles and look for a relationship between the newsroom diversity and the representativeness of their reporting. Regrettably, doing so isn’t a viable option for both procedural and substantive reasons. I quickly discovered that it’s very difficult to consistently discern the racial/ethnic identity of people in news articles with a reasonable level of confidence. The name and title usually given in an article are often insufficient. Prominent individuals can be researched further, but I had hoped to take a macro look at all mentions, especially “regular” people. Instead, I was only able to get a sense of the general penumbras of racial/ethnic representation in the media.

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Who’s Reporting the News?

In my first blog post, I shared some graphics illustrating the racial/ethnic composition of several major newspapers, some more diverse than others. What did you think looking at them? Did they seem diverse?

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Who’s Affected by the News?

In short, you. In long, everyone. The news media informs us about the world around us, but their role extends beyond the informative. The manner in which news is reported affects our perspective of it and shapes our worldview. Thus changing how we interact with our world.

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