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Title:Uncertainty in Internet-Based Cancer News
Author(s):Hurley, Ryan James
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):David Tewksbury
Department / Program:Speech Communication
Discipline:Speech Communication
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):Health Sciences, Oncology
Abstract:Uncertainty has been defined and studied in many ways; however, no universal message-level coding scheme for dimensions of uncertainty has been developed. A content analysis of 1,120 Internet-based cancer news articles was completed, in which a presence/absence scale for five theoretically derived dimensions of uncertainty (i.e., too much information, too little information, ambiguous information, complex information, and conflicting information) was developed and reliably employed. A stratified random sample of cancer news articles was retrieved from CNN.com, MSNBC.com, Google News, and Yahoo! News. Using these four websites allowed for the examination of differences between news retrieval tools because Google News and Yahoo! News represented a new approach to news dissemination called news aggregation. The final stratified sample contained stories from 28 different days, with 10 stories sampled four times daily at 6 a.m., 12 p.m., 6 p.m., and 12 a.m. Findings indicated that nearly 2/3 of Internet-based cancer news articles contained one of the five dimensions of uncertainty. Significant differences between news aggregation and non-aggregation websites were present. For example, significant differences between individual websites were found regarding the presence of uncertain cancer information. Non-aggregation news programs retrieved articles that mentioned one of the five forms of uncertainty more frequently than did news aggregation websites. Implications for uncertainty management theory and media-system dependency theory, limitations, and potential directions for future research are discussed in light of these findings.
Issue Date:2009
Type:Text
Language:English
Description:168 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/87545
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3362924
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-28
Date Deposited:2009


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