Unveiling the agenda-building process for corporate social responsibility and the impacts of corporate communications on the process Public Deposited

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  • March 21, 2019
  • Lee, Sun Young
    • Affiliation: Hussman School of Journalism and Media
  • The four main purposes of the present study were to examine the following: 1) how the news media have discussed CSR-related issues, 2) what the main sources are for the media agenda as it relates to CSR issues, 3) how the media and sources interact to set the media agenda, and 4) what influence corporate communication efforts have on the agenda-building process. To explore these inquiries, press releases and news articles were content analyzed to represent the corporate agenda and the media agenda. As a result, a total of 7,672 press releases and 1,067 news articles were analyzed involving the 223 corporations in the study sample. For the monitoring group agenda, data from KLD, a secondary source, were used. All data were measured three times over a three-year period, from January 1, 2008, to December 31, 2010. Three research questions were developed focusing on the degree of the media's attention to CSR news, the tone of the media's CSR coverage, and the sources for the media's CSR coverage. The results showed that 21.62% (n = 230) of news articles coded covered CSR issues, that the most common tone of CSR news coverage was neutral and mixed, and that corporate sources were the most used sources for CSR news coverage. Seven groups of hypotheses were designed to test the first level and the second level of agenda building. In order to examine the relationships among the corporate agenda, the media agenda, and the monitoring group agenda, a three-wave, three-variable model was developed. The simple summary of the results is as follows: the media determined who set the CSR agenda (first-level agenda building). At the attribute level of the agenda, the monitoring group had impacts on setting the negative attribute CSR agenda (second-level agenda building), but not on tone, whereas corporations had impacts on setting the positive tone of the CSR agenda (second-level agenda building), but not on substantive attributes. The contributions to agenda-building theory and the implications for corporate communications are discussed.
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  • ... in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Ph.D. in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
  • Riffe, Daniel
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  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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