The growing technological sophistication of smartphones has transformed them from merely communication devices to essential companions that we interact with throughout the day. With people’s growing use of virtual agents and voice assistants on their smartphones, the devices are not only acting as intermediaries that connect users from different places, but also communication terminals that present and react to different combinations of social cues.

Previous research on mobile media has primarily focused on how users treat these devices as communication channels, but more recent studies have begun to concentrate on the direct interactions between users and phones. Kun Xu, University…


Fake news is on the rise. And it can be profitable. More than 100 fake news websites existed during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, with many sites making $2,500 or more a day from advertising sponsorship. But what is the risk for brands who, intentionally or unknowingly, sponsor content on those sites?

University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Telecommunication Professor Sylvia Chan-Olmsted and doctoral student Yufan “Sunny” Qin, wanted to explore if the credibility of news affected brand trust and whether factors such as product involvement, previous fake news experience or media consumption behavior might moderate possible mistrust…


The U.S. is currently moving forward with modernizing the energy grid. Part of that process involves updating the meters that track electricity use on people’s houses. Currently, most houses use old analog meters to assess electricity use. Most of these analog meters are currently being replaced with smart meter technology. These new meters have several benefits such as eliminating the need for monthly meter readings, encouraging more efficient use of power resources, and allowing for dynamic pricing where energy rates are changed based on demand.

However, there has been some public resistance to installing smart meters on people’s homes. Like…


On March 30, 2021, Telecommunication Professor and Director of Media Consumer Research Sylvia Chan-Olmsted discussed new research from her and Advertising Associate Professor Huan Chen, “Fairness in Information Access Through Culturally Competent AI Systems,” at the spring 2021 University of Florida HiPerGator Symposium.


Image “Kamala Harris” by Gage Skidmore is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

By using social media as a cultural, political mobilizing tool, Black politicians of both genders, such as voting-rights advocate Stacey Abrams, U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters, and U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, have achieved elevated engagement and influence among voters. Online movements and social justice campaigns such as #BlackLivesMatters, #OscarsSoWhite, and #SayHerName have created resistive counternarratives that challenge the dominant, mainstream media.

With the Black community making up the largest population of social media users, Twitter, specifically “Black Twitter,” has turned into an online space of interconnection within the Black community to discuss trending topics or issues.

By examining how Vice President…


After a slow start, podcast listening has exploded with more than 50% of Americans older than 12 having listened to podcasts and more than 30% having listened in the past month, according to research by Edison Research and Triton Digital.

To understand this exploding medium, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communication Telecommunication Professor Sylvia Chan-Olmsted and doctoral student Rang Wang completed the nation’s first comprehensive study on motivations and consumption of podcasts, as well as the interaction between podcasts and other audio media. …


CJC Telecommunication Lecturer Iman Zawahry was interviewed on March 3, 2021 about being a Muslim filmmaker in the U.S., the challenges of affecting social change with comedy, and mentoring aspiring artists.

Below the video is an edited transcript of that interview.

How did you develop your love of filmmaking?

Zawahry: I was raised in Panama City, Florida, which is a very small town in the panhandle and there was not much to do. So me and my friends would watch television shows and movies, all day and night, and that’s all that we did. And we started creating our…


Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in the United States. While mortality rates can be cut in half by simply ensuring that patients adhere to current screening guidelines, many people do not take appropriate steps to educate themselves and take advantage of those screening options due to a variety of factors, including a fear of cancer, embarrassment, and the stigma associated with CRC in particular, as well as a general lack of awareness about screening options.

University of Florida researchers and colleagues, led by the UF STEM Translational Communication Center, are exploring…


CJC Advertising Associate Professor Carla Fisher, a member of the UF Health Cancer Center and faculty affiliate in the Center for Arts in Medicine, was interviewed on Feb. 26, 2021 about her research on helping families and clinicians more effectively communicate about cancer.

Below the video is an edited transcript of that interview.

Much of your research is focused on family dialogue about cancer, in particular communication between mothers and daughters about breast cancer. What prompted you to focus on this area of research?

Fisher: I got interested in family communication as an area of research when I was…


COVID-19 has greatly affected cancer care. During the onset of the pandemic, clinicians and patients faced uncertainty about the safety of meeting face-to-face and continuing treatment. Protocols were altered and clinicians were thrust into using new technology to communicate with patients.

Telemedicine became standard practice, even though it was rarely used before the pandemic. Secure messaging, online communication between patients and clinicians within the electronic health record, soared almost 50% from pre-COVID-19 to the present.

With funding from the University of Florida CTSI “Rapid-Response Translational Research Projects to Address COVID-19 Pandemic,” UF College of Journalism and Communications (UFCJC) scholars Carma…

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News and notes from the College of Journalism and Communications at the University of Florida (@UF) .

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