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Annus Mirabilis, Annus Horibilis: How Press Coverage of Terrorism, the Iraqi Situation, and Wall Street Scandals Affect Confidence in the Military, the Government, and Major Corporations

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Abstract:

This paper fits with this year's AAPOR conference theme of trust by examining the impact of mass media coverage on trust in the military, the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, and major companies. Trust in these institutions has recently undergone dramatic changes as seen in a set of long standing General Social Survey (GSS) confidence questions asked by a variety of polling organizations. Key reasons for the changes include press coverage of the toppling of the Taliban government in Afghanistan for the military, the handling of the war-on-terror and Saddam Hussein of Iraq for the Executive Branch, and
the collapse of Enron, their accountants, and other high-flying companies for major corporations.
The impact of coverage of these and other crucial events is assessed by predicting time trends of survey questions on the three types of confidence. The predictions will be made from 1977 to shortly before the AAPOR conference using relevant coverage in the Associated Press and the Washington Post. This quarter-century time period is chosen because both survey results and news coverage are available from the Nexis electronic database for the entire time period.
The study builds on Fan, Wyatt, and Keltner (2001, The Suicidal Messenger: How Press Reporting Affects Public Confidence in the Press, the Military, and Organized Religion, Communication Research, 26:826-852), which succeeded in predicting the same confidence questions asked of the press, the military, and organized religion for a shorter time period. For both the present study and earlier one, the press is analyzed by computer using the InfoTrend method, and the modeling is performed using the ideodynamic computation which overcomes important problems inherent to autoregressive models.

Author's Keywords:

trust, military, government, corporations, media, time trend
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Association:
Name: American Association for Public Opinion Research
URL:
http://www.aapor.org


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MLA Citation:

Mastin, Teresa., Blake, Ken., Wyatt, Robert. and Fan, David. "Annus Mirabilis, Annus Horibilis: How Press Coverage of Terrorism, the Iraqi Situation, and Wall Street Scandals Affect Confidence in the Military, the Government, and Major Corporations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Sheraton Music City, Nashville, TN, Aug 16, 2003 <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 <http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116338_index.html>

APA Citation:

Mastin, T. , Blake, K. , Wyatt, R. and Fan, D. P. , 2003-08-16 "Annus Mirabilis, Annus Horibilis: How Press Coverage of Terrorism, the Iraqi Situation, and Wall Street Scandals Affect Confidence in the Military, the Government, and Major Corporations" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for Public Opinion Research, Sheraton Music City, Nashville, TN <Not Available>. 2009-05-26 from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p116338_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: This paper fits with this year's AAPOR conference theme of trust by examining the impact of mass media coverage on trust in the military, the Executive Branch of the U.S. government, and major companies. Trust in these institutions has recently undergone dramatic changes as seen in a set of long standing General Social Survey (GSS) confidence questions asked by a variety of polling organizations. Key reasons for the changes include press coverage of the toppling of the Taliban government in Afghanistan for the military, the handling of the war-on-terror and Saddam Hussein of Iraq for the Executive Branch, and
the collapse of Enron, their accountants, and other high-flying companies for major corporations.
The impact of coverage of these and other crucial events is assessed by predicting time trends of survey questions on the three types of confidence. The predictions will be made from 1977 to shortly before the AAPOR conference using relevant coverage in the Associated Press and the Washington Post. This quarter-century time period is chosen because both survey results and news coverage are available from the Nexis electronic database for the entire time period.
The study builds on Fan, Wyatt, and Keltner (2001, The Suicidal Messenger: How Press Reporting Affects Public Confidence in the Press, the Military, and Organized Religion, Communication Research, 26:826-852), which succeeded in predicting the same confidence questions asked of the press, the military, and organized religion for a shorter time period. For both the present study and earlier one, the press is analyzed by computer using the InfoTrend method, and the modeling is performed using the ideodynamic computation which overcomes important problems inherent to autoregressive models.

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