Archive for the ‘Media Process & Effects’ Category



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“Affects of an MTV Reality Television Show”
Final Paper
Kristin Callahan, Aubrey Baldwin, Darling Phongsavanh, Sarah Claypool, Courtney Wilson, Derek Renfeld, and Brittany Kachingwe

When we started brainstorming ideas on the first day of class, our group decided that we wanted to gather opinions on something that our colleagues would find interesting and something that they would be able to take a solid stance on. According to previous research, as many as 47% of college-aged kids, 18-24, watch reality TV on a regular basis. So we chose to do our project on MTV Reality Shows and whether students at The University of Iowa would think that being on a show would have an impact on their future. We wanted to make our fellow students think about something commonplace, like reality shows, in different ways than they might have previously thought about them. Therefore, we decided to focus on how students think being on a reality show would impact their future employment prospects.
We think our research is significant for a couple main reasons. To begin with, we expect that the findings from our questionnaire will make students consider possible participation in a reality show in a different way. A student might not have previously considered how the negative portrayal of a show’s participants’ would affect their future employment prospects, but after taking our survey, and seeing the results, they might think differently. Also, we think that our questionnaire might inspire a student to see the participants on these shows in a different way. After taking our survey, a student might wonder whether the participants on reality TV shows are really as outrageous as they seem, or if they are only being portrayed that way in order to attract viewers. Our research has definitely added another spectrum of information to research that has been conducted previously.
Once our group had decided to look at how MTV reality TV shows affect University of Iowa student’s opinions on the potential future impact of being on one these shows, we set out to find out if any other research had been done on the subject. Although we were unable to find an identical study, we did find several studies and statistics on reality TV that helped us form our hypothesis and our questionnaire.
The first study we looked at, taken by MARS Survey, compared the frequency of watching reality television to age, gender and education. The study was taken in 2003 and 21,106 adults received a mail survey during the first quarter of the year. The study showed that 24.1% of the respondents said that they frequently watch reality TV shows. Both male and female aged 18-24 dominated all other ages for the amount of reality television watched with females slightly edging the males. It showed that as the respondents got older, they amount of reality television they watched decreased. From this information, we were able to predict that a high majority of our respondents would frequently watch reality TV shows because most of them would be in the 18-24 age group. In the same study, they compared frequency of watching reality television to education and household income. Of post-grads, college grads, some college, high school grads and less than high school, the study showed that it was the people with some college that tended to watch reality TV shows more often than the rest. It was with this information that we predicted that underclassman would be more willing to go on a reality TV show opposed to upperclassman and grad students because of the amount they watched and we thought they would be less conscience of future implications.
Another study we looked at taken by the Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, tried to find out what some of the salient motives were for watching reality TV. The study surveyed 157 college students aged 18-34 who all received extra credit for participating. The questions they asked had three types of measurements. The first was interpersonal to find out if the motives were inclusion or companionship based. The second was media to find out if the motives were entertainment, habit, information, social interaction, escape, pastime, or relaxation based and the third type was a reality TV specific category. On a 5-point scale the respondents were asked to indicate how much these reasons were like their own for watching reality TV. The results of the study showed that 17.82% of the respondents said they watched reality TV shows strictly for entertainment, while 12.61% said they watched it for relaxation and 10.38% said for habitual pass time.
The final study we looked at related a lot more to our topic because it showed that the negative portrayals of reality TV shows were being noticed. Parentstv.org, a website advocating responsible entertainment, conducted a three month study of over 114 hours of reality TV. During their study they documented, 1,135 instances of profanity, 495 instances of sex and 30 instances of violence, which is 14.5 instances of offensive content per hour. This study, taken in 2003, showed a 52.6% increase in offensive content since 2002. This study was significant to our research because since the amount of reality TV shows has increased significantly since 2003, including the onset of Jersey Shore, we figured that the amount of offensive content has increased as well. With more offensive content we hypothesized that students would be less likely to want to be on a reality TV show because of the fear that their potential offensive behavior would hinder their professional future.
Although over 35,000 18-24 year olds auditioned for last season’s Real World, and the fact that many of MTV’s reality TV shows rank in the top 15 most viewed reality TV shows, we held that although some students would consider going onto a MTV reality show despite the possible negative aspect, the majority would consider the negative portrayals and chose to refrain from participating in a reality TV show.
To get a good amount of responses from our questions, we decided to do a total of fifteen questions. We believed that amount of questions were not too lengthy or too short. Our questions were made up of “yes and no” questions, open ended questions, multiple choice, and quantitative choices. We wanted to experiment with different types of question forms to help us get a good result rather than plain “yes or no” questions.
The first five questions tell us demographically about the survey takers. The first question asks if you are a student at the University of Iowa. The reason we ask this is because that was our target audience. The second question asks what year they were in. This simply just categorizes them demographically into sub-groups. The third question asks about gender. The reason why we ask this is because we wanted to determine if male and females had different views on this subject or if they were just all the same. Number four asks “what year you were born in.” Before we had “how old are you” but we changed it to “what year you were born in” because some people are sensitive about telling people how old they are but for some reason they are more likely to state the year they were born in rather than their age. The age of the person or the “year” they were born in will put our survey takers in another sub-group that will determine if the younger crowd may have different views than the older crowd. Also, knowing about the age is pretty critical in this survey because later we ask if the survey taker would have the opportunity to be on the show would they? And for some episodes such as the real world, you have to be 18-24 to apply. But this varies on each TV show. For instance, for the TV show “16 and pregnant,” you obviously have to be a future teen mom to be documented on the show.
Our fifth question asks if you are an American citizen. The reason why we ask this relates to the explanation for question number four. We wanted to follow the MTV standard requirement pattern to apply for their casting calls. One of the characteristics besides age was that you had to be an American citizen.
For questions number six and seven, we wanted to clarify if they have seen the shows and how often? There will be survey takers who have not seen the show so we did not want to assume that even though it is a popular television show, not everyone has seen it. Also, the people who have not seen any reality shows before versus the people who see them on a regular basis will give us different results. Without doubt, those who have watched the shows will help us contribute more to our results.
For questions eight through twelve, these questions deal more with the survey taker’s imagination if they had a chance to be on a reality show and how it would affect their job. These questions follow through with our hypothesis and are more for the survey takers to think outside the box and more of the outcomes of being on the show if they chose to. For number eight, we ask if they were given the opportunity would they be on a reality show. The reason why we ask this is to see how many people would actually do it. With them responding “yes” means they do not care too much about their image being portrayed over the country, they have not thought about the consequences, or they are confident that they will control their behavior. For number nine, we asked if they would still be on the show if it would portray their negative side. We wanted to see if people cared about their image being portrayed. For the results, we wanted to see if males or females cared more and we figured the more mature a person is the more they will care so the age aspect played a big role in this too. This also explains question number ten and eleven. It asks how do you think being on a reality TV show would impact your future job prospects and if you would censor your behavior. We wanted to know what type of age groups feels more concerned about their future job aspects.
For question number twelve, we asked them if they were in the position to hire an employee, would they hire someone that had previously been on an MTV show. We ask this because we want to know if people would get hired if they saw how you acted on TV whether it was good or bad and we wanted the survey taker to start thinking about the consequences of being on a show whether it was good or bad.
For number thirteen and fourteen, we wanted to know what the audiences thought of the cast members of the shows. The perception of how the cast members act portrays the survey taker’s perception on being on a reality show and how it would affect them. For instance, if the person thought positively about the cast members, they are more likely to maybe want to be on the show rather than someone who thinks they are just drama queens. This person probably wouldn’t want to be on the show. This was our prediction and we developed these questions to see if it was true.
Now the last question is one of the most important questions on here because it shows the changes of how the person thought before taking this survey and after. We wanted the audience to actually think about the consequences it might take to be on a reality show and we wanted to see if it did change their decision or not from question number eight where we asked if they would be on a reality show.
After our questions were developed, we had to send them out. The sample method that we used to choose our target audience was systematic sampling. To pick out our candidates we used the University directory which has a list of all students (30,000). We gave each student a number from 1-30,000 starting with the letter A-Z. Then generated a list of 500 numbers and picked out those candidates who matched those numbers. An email was sent to all candidates that were chosen. On March 24, we only had 164 responses so what we did was resent the same emails to the same people reminding them to take the survey. We stopped taking responses on April 6, 2010, just so we had enough time to analyze our data. We ended up with 201 responses but only 199 responded to our questions. The other two was just blank or people who just opened the survey and closed it without finishing it.
Once the process in which the group would gather the data was established, a program called Zap Survey was brought into the equation. We were able to use this program – which is typically used for critiquing television and radio shows – as a result of a connection with a student organization and the Office of Student Life. The benefits taken advantage of by our group in using Zap Survey was the ability to monitor IP addresses and who responded to the survey. For when a respondent left out answers that were needed – as only two of the fifteen questions were optional -, we were able to resend the survey back to have them finish off the empty question or questions that we needed. As well, the group was able to closely monitor who had and had not finished the survey that was sent out, which made it particularly easy to resend it multiple times to those who had not responded. This was one of many great features of Zap Survey that was taken advantage of.
The other big thing that was very useful and time saving about using a well-made program such as Zap Survey is the cleanliness of the data output options. Because everyone was working with sending and resending survey to people in order to meet what we wanted for a minimum respondents number, which was around 200, having very basic output options and extensive output options of the data with just a click of a button was very beneficial. One person sent out a data spreadsheet update with just simple graphs and without any information on the actual respondents, to each member of the group every night in order to keep on top of things and reach the minimum number we were looking for. With the ease of the survey program, and the work of the group making sure surveys were resent to the original 500 people until our desired number was reached, Zap Survey came in very handy.
The more in-depth data export was an option as well, and one that the group used to get the data into SPSS. Collaboratively, we decided that using a more detailed program that was more malleable with the data and how we could look at it was the better choice over something simpler like Microsoft Excel. With Zap Survey, as stated, the data exported was very clean and easy to use, even with the detailed output option, which is what was used to get the data into SPSS. With a detailed set of data exported as an Excel document, which included some unnecessary information such as IP address, time and date the survey was taken and the respondent’s name – all important data when obtaining the responses, but was no longer needed – some of the unnecessary stuff for data analyzing and tabulation of both single variables and bi-variables could be removed. Once it was cleaned up a bit, SPSS could become part of the equation.
With another wonderful program in SPSS, the cleaned up data in Excel format could be opened in SPSS and run through a plug-in wizard, which helps the user define where variables start and what data is important. As well, the program helps the user in a huge step in changing common words in to numbers, which is necessary to use the program. Because SPSS does not recognize words without a bunch of unnecessary work, converting the single answer responses to words was very important, and important that it could be done easily. For if the group had to spend hours converting all the data by hand in order to manipulate and analyze, certainly it would have put a strain on the amount of work that could have been focused on other areas.
Once the data was altered into a numerical format in order for the program to be able to work with it, the analyzing of the data and cross tabulation calculations is rather easy with a program such as SPSS. Within a matter of a click of some buttons, members of the group could calculate any number of cross tabulations, let alone just frequency tables and single variable analysis. As well, with the check of a box, the chi-square values showing significance and the P values used to prove the significance could be found as well, making SPSS a great route to go with analyzing the data. Because a great deal of calculations could now be done in just a short amount of time, the group was able to branch off into three key categories and analyze the data focusing on the gender, year in school, etc. Not only did this make the group work easier, as each person could focus on one area and bring their results to the group, as well as present on it, but it allowed more focus to be put on more areas of the data set and results that we obtained.
One of the areas of data we decided to put a strong emphasis on is the relationship between the participant’s age and how the questions were answered. We broke the ages down into five groups: Freshmen (27 participants), sophomore (52 participants), junior (62 participants), senior (50 participants), and Graduate (6 participants). Of all the surveyed participants, 192 of them say they have seen an MTV reality show. With this we concluded that they would have an opinion on the show, making their answers a reasonable view of their feelings on the topic. In each case, the age of the survey participant was the independent variable. To determine whether the comparison was significant, we were looking for a p-value of less than .05. If the value was greater than .05, the relationship was insignificant.
When looking at age and how it affected people’s attitudes towards MTV reality shows, we were looking to find a few differences. First, we believed that people at different ages would have different focuses. Mainly, we thought the older groups, juniors, seniors, and graduates, would be more focused on finding jobs and think that being on an MTV reality show would have a negative impact. We did not expect to see a clear preference with the younger participants, sophomores and freshmen. We also expected to see a difference with the interests of the age group. MTV’s target population is mostly with teenagers and some people in their early twenties. So we thought that freshmen and sophomores would watch the shows significantly more. Finally, we wanted to see where the most differences were. We asked a variety of questions relating to the portrayal of the participants, the participants willingness to be on the shows, and the impact being on shows would have on their opportunity to get a job in the future. We hoped that if we could find significant differences in the data, this would tell us what the main differences were within age groups.
Our first comparison was between the age of the surveyor and their willingness to participate in an MTV reality show. Most of the participants, in all ages, said “no” they would not be interested in participating in an MTV reality show. The ratios were fairly similar throughout all of the age groups except juniors seemed to have a larger majority say “no.” For this situation, there was .925 which means the relationship between age and willingness to participate in an MTV reality show is highly insignificant (See Figure 1).
Another comparison we felt would be important to make was the comparison between the participants’ age and how often they watched the shows. If one age group watches this type of show more often than another, it could have an impact their opinions. Fortunately, the proportion of people who watched MTV reality shows was roughly the same across all age groups so we could be certain that this would not have an impact on the other collected data. The P-value for this data was .776, making the relationship insignificant. Also, this was important because it showed that we could not assume that the amount people watched the shows had an influence on the way they answered the questions (See Figure 2).
Next we wanted to see the difference between age and the perceived impact on obtaining a future job. There was a significant finding that the majority of the surveyed participants thought being on an MTV reality show would have a “negative” impact on their future job search. It was also very interesting to find that only 10 out of the 199 people, who answered this question, believed it would have no impact. This means that 95% of all people believed being on an MTV reality show would have some sort of impact on their search for a job. Another really interesting finding of this comparison is that the percentage of juniors, seniors and graduates who believed that being on an MTV reality show would “positively” impact their job hunt was much larger than the freshmen and sophomore percentage. We believed that the older participants would be less willing to be on the shows because of the impact it would have on their ability to get a job in the future, however, this is not the case. However, this relationship proved to be somewhat insignificant based on the P-value which equaled .155 (See Figure 3). Another comparison we wanted to make was how the different age groups believed the participants of MTV reality shows were portrayed. We asked the surveyors to rank on a scale of 1-5, one being very negatively and five being very positively. We wanted to do a scale for this question so we could have a clearer understanding of the views within each group. Over half of the surveyed in each group believed that the portrayal of MTV reality show participants was either “negative” or “very negative.” We expected that people would believe that MTV reality show participants were portrayed negatively; however, we did not know the extent. Less than 5% of everyone surveyed believed the portrayal of MTV reality show participants was at all positive. But again, there was not a significant difference in views between the age groups. In this case, the P-value was .240 which shows an insignificant relationship between the two variables (See Figure 4).
Our final comparison was with age and the person’s willingness to hire someone who had previously been on a reality show. This was our most interesting finding when comparing age groups. Freshmen were split evenly with their willingness to hire. Sophomores had a majority saying that they would not hire a previous reality show participant. Although more juniors and seniors said they would not hire a previous reality show participant, the proportion was a lot lower than the sophomore age group. What’s more is that when the graduate students were asked, majority said they would hire someone who was on an MTV reality show. Taking these numbers and comparing them to previous questions about how being on a show would affect the surveyor, perceived impact and portrayal, a large majority believed it would be extremely negative. It seems that people believe being on a show would have a negative impact on them, yet, they would be more accepting of others who had been on reality shows. If we were to conduct another survey, this would be an extremely interesting question to elaborate on to find out why people believe this. This was our most interesting find when comparing certain questions with different age groups. The p-value was .098 which makes the relationship slightly insignificant; however this was the closest to a significant relationship that our group found so this relationship could be very interesting to expand on through further research (See Figure 5).
To summarize, in most cases, there was not a significant relationship between the participant’s age and their opinions on MTV reality shows. The only areas that we could potentially expand on, perhaps with a larger range of ages, in order to find a relationship is comparisons between the participant’s age and their perceived impact on finding a future job along with a comparison of age and their willingness to hire someone who had been on a reality show. The only reason we could expand on these two topics is because although the relationship was proved insignificant, each still reported a fairly low p-value. This indicated that is we were to change parts of the survey, for example opening it up to people 15-65 years old; we might be able to find a significant relationship there. We were able to conclude that age does not have a great effect on how people perceive MTV reality show participants, however, there were other areas of our study that showed more significant findings.
Another relationship we were interested in was whether there would be a difference in responses between males and females. We thought gender might have an impact on how respondents viewed the participants of MTV reality shows and how the respondent viewed the consequences of appearing on a show. We analyzed the differences in responses between genders for five questions: How often do you watch MTV reality shows, how would you rate the portrayal of MTV show participants, would you be willing to be on an MTV reality show, how would appearing on a show impact your future job prospects, and would you be willing to hire a MTV reality show participant. Thus, our independent variable for this data analysis was gender and the dependent variables were frequency of watching MTV reality shows, rating of portrayal of participants, willingness to appear on a MTV reality show, perceived impact of appearing on a MTV reality show, and willingness to hire a MTV reality show participant.
In examining how often males and females watch MTV reality shows we found that for both genders the option of “randomly” was most popular. 65.5% of males and 75.9% of females selected this option. Among males 10.6% chose “daily,” 6.1% chose “weekly,” and 18.2% chose “not at all.” We ran a chi-square test to assess if a significant relationship between gender and how often the respondent watched MTV reality shows existed. We obtained a significance value of .001 and concluded that there is a relationship between gender and how often the respondent watches MTV reality shows (See Figure 6).
We also examined the relationship between gender and how the respondent rated the portrayal of MTV show participants. The survey contained the options “very negative,” “somewhat negatively,” “neutral,” “somewhat positively,” or “very positively.” Again, the genders had their most popular response in common (in this case the option “somewhat negatively”). The responses for both genders tended to cluster from “very negatively” to “neutral” with few responding that participants are portrayed positively. Only 4.5% of males and 6.7% of females answered that participants are portrayed either somewhat or very positively. The distribution of responses between males and females appeared very similar, and the chi-square test confirmed this. The chi-square significance value was .557, and we concluded that there was no relationship between gender and how the respondent viewed the portrayal of participants. Males and females both tended to respond that participants are portrayed somewhat negatively (See Figure 7).
In looking at gender and willingness to appear on a MTV reality show, males were more evenly split between answering “yes” and “no” than females. Among males, 48.5% responded that they would be willing to go on a MTV reality show while 51.5% said no. Among females, a much larger proportion responded that they would not be willing to appear on a show. 69.2% of females answered no while 30.8% said yes. After running a chi-square test we received a significance value of .015 and concluded that there is a relationship between gender and willingness to appear on a MTV reality show (See Figure 8).
Perhaps the most important question we asked respondents was what they thought the impact of appearing on a MTV reality show would be for their future job prospects. The survey included the options “positively,” “negatively,” and “no impact.” The option “negatively” was selected the most for both genders with 62.1% of males and 89.5% of females choosing this option. Few respondents thought appearing on a MTV reality show have no impact on job prospects and only 6.1% of males and 4.5% of females selected this option. There was a dramatic difference between males and females in the frequency of responding that appearing on a MTV reality show would positively impact job prospects. 31.8% of males thought appearing on a show would have a positive impact while only 6.1% of females chose that response. Among males the number who chose “positively” is more comparable to the number who chose “negatively” while females overwhelmingly thought appearing on a show would negatively impact job prospects. The chi-square test confirmed that there is a statistically significant relationship between gender and perceived impact on job prospects. The significance value was approximately .000. We concluded that females perceive a negative impact on job prospects at a higher rate than males (See Figure 9).
There was also a clear difference between genders in willingness to hire a MTV reality show participant. More males chose the option “yes” they would be willing to hire than “no.” Among females, in contrast, twice as many answered that they would not hire a MTV reality show participant than said yes. Among males, 57.6% were willing to hire a reality show participant and 42.4% were not. Only 30.8% of females were willing to hire while 69.2% were not. The chi-square test confirmed the existence of a statistically significant relationship, and we again obtained a significance value of .000. We concluded that females respond that they would not be willing to hire a MTV reality show participant at a higher rate than males (See Figure 10).
Our study looked at differences between the genders and how often they watch MTV reality shows, how they rated the portrayal of participants, willingness to appear on a MTV reality show, perceived impact on future job prospects, and willingness to hire someone who had appeared on an MTV reality show. We found statistically significant differences between gender and four variables: how often the respondent watches MTV reality shows, perceived impact on job prospects, willingness to appear on a MTV reality show, and willingness to hire MTV reality show participants. We concluded that females tended to watch reality TV shows more regularly than males, were less likely to be willing to appear on a MTV reality show than males, were more likely to perceive that appearing on a MTV reality show would negatively impact their future job prospects than males, and were less willing to hire former reality show participants than males.
We found it interesting that males and females rated the portrayal of MTV reality participants similarly (as very or somewhat negatively), yet males were still more willing to appear on a show and less likely to think that it would harm their job prospects. Future research should examine why males are more willing than females to appear on MTV reality shows even though they seem to share the view that participants are portrayed negatively. The gender differences in our study are certainly intriguing, and they may have broader implications. If males are less likely to perceive that appearing on a MTV reality show would negatively affect their job prospects, they may be more likely to jeopardize their career future. Researchers who study the effects of reality television should investigate the differences between males and females further and explore why the genders perceive the impact of going on a reality show differently and why males are more willing to take the risk of being portrayed negatively.

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Tim McLaughlin


019:169:002 Introductory Topics Mass Communication

Qingjiang Yao

Group Project

Individual Poll Story

Poll: UI Students Agree with Campus Smoking Ban
More than 70% of students surveyed believe the ban is fair, improves overall health
IOWA CITY, IA—Nearly two years after the University of Iowa implemented a campus-wide smoking ban, UI students say that they “strongly agree” with the ban and are well-aware of it. In a survey conducted by a group in Qingjiang Yao’s 019:169:002 Introductory Topics Mass Communication class, 210 UI students took part in an online survey from April 2 to April 28. The response rate for the survey was 21%, 50% for sampling proportion, 20574 for population and 95% for confidence interval.

One of the questions asked participants whether or not they were aware of the ban and 97% of students responded that they were indeed aware of the ban, while just 3% were unaware of the ban. Similarly, another questions asked participants whether or not they agreed with the ban.
A combination of 17% of participants said that they smoke cigarettes either once per week, twice per week, three times per week, four to six times per week, or every day. This result is contrary to a study analyzed by the group before performing their survey. In a survey done by the State of Texas, 30% of those surveyed said that they smoked in the past 30 days.

“I do not smoke, but I do know about the ban because of the signs on campus and what I see on the news,” said UI senior business major, Anna Ganske.
Asked whether or not they agree with the smoking ban, nearly three fourths of participants responded that they “strongly agree,” while approximately one fourth of participants believed the ban to be unfair. Similarly, a large majority of participants believe that the greatest benefit of the smoking ban is for health purposes. This response is supported by a different study that the group analyzed prior to conducting the UI survey. In a study conducted by the Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association and Journal of the American College of Cardiology, an average of 17% fewer heart attacks occurred in the year after the ban was implemented in American, Canadian, and European cities and in years thereafter, a 26% decrease in heart attacks.

“I think the ban is a good thing here on campus and I believe that the tremendous health benefits that go along with the ban make it necessary,” said Ganske.

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The University of Iowa smoking ban is coming to the end of its second year, and its effects are being seen around campus.

By Maggie Cunningham

It has been almost two years since the University of Iowa smoking ban went into effect, and students are recognizing its benefits.
According to a study done by UI journalism students, 70.3 percent of students surveyed “strongly agree” with the statement ‘Overall, people at the University of Iowa benefit from the smoking ban in regards to their health.’ And an additional 9.9 percent agreed.
Wes Freie, a senior, said, “I see less and less smokers around campus, and I like it. I used to smoke, but I used the ban as a way to help myself quit. As of July 1, 2010, I haven’t had a cigarette in two whole years. I feel better, and because of the ban I’m not tempted by other smokers on campus.”
Although the majority has seen the smoking ban as a successful plan thus far, there is a small group of people that do not. 11.9 percent of the people surveyed said they saw no benefits to the smoking at all.
Lisa Gariti, a sophomore, said, “I don’t think the ban has done much at all to stop the smoking. I can’t walk to class without getting stuck behind someone with a cigarette. If there was better enforcement of the ban then the benefits would probably be greater.”
Some people have not seen the benefits to the smoking, but according to a study done by the University of Iowa and the Iowa Department of Public Health people’s health is benefitting. “There has been a 24 percent decrease in Iowa hospital admissions for coronary heart disease and a decrease in admissions for heart attacks and strokes since the state restricted smoking.”
The University of Iowa smoking ban began July 1, 2008. It started as a part of the Smoke-Free Air Act, and it banned smoking in all university owned buildings, vehicles, and on university owned property.
University of Iowa alum, Nate Price said, “When I attended UI we didn’t have the smoking ban and when I go back I notice the difference. I can’t imagine the large effect this has had on people’s health. My only wish was they started when I was there.”

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Ryne George

Intro. Mass Comm.

May 6, 2010

Poll Story

2 years later – Do University of Iowa students agree with the smoking ban?

Seeing a person smoking on the University of Iowa campus is a rare sight anymore. Of course you will see the occasional rebel blowing smoke outside the library but it is not as common anymore since the smoking ban was enforced in July of 2008. A lot of time has passed since the ban started so how do the students feel about the ban? A recent survey conducted by nine University of Iowa undergraduates gives some insight on the ban.

The survey polled just over 200 U of Iowa students asking a range of questions from “Do you smoke cigarettes?” to “Do you think the smoking ban is fair?” The group who conducted the survey had figured students would agree with the ban mostly because it is a health benefit for the student population when people aren’t releasing second hand smoke in the air. On the other end of the spectrum, they were expecting smokers to disagree with the ban and thinking it was unfair.

As expected, most students, 70%, agree with the ban while 15% did not agree. Knowing this helps University of Iowa officials determine if the ban is beneficial and popular amongst everyone. Something important to look closer at is whether people view the ban as fair. Health is the main reason people are supporting this ban. With recent studies proving that smoking bans could help prevent 100,000 to 225,000 heart attacks a year, it is no surprise 70% of students like the ban. Other reasons included:

}  Avoiding a” smokey” scent when going out to the bars or restaurants.

}  The social atmosphere is more appealing without smokers around.

}  The ban could actually help make people quit smoking since they don’t have a lot of opportunities to smoke.

Other universities have smoking bans and many feel that people’s rights are being violated when the university passes a law that says a person is not allowed to do something.

25% of the people polled thought the smoking ban was unfair to smokers. While the number is relatively small, since the sample was 200, it is still relevant to look into taking certain measures to hearing proposals to make the ban fair.

At this moment, smokers can smoke at certain areas of the sidewalk that the City of Iowa City own but that is about it on campus. Should the U of I designate certain areas for smokers?

The University of Iowa has done the correct thing by banning smoking on the campus. The survey done proves this because a lot of people agree with it but should the university stop there? The U of I should have serious discussions about the smokers who are affected by this ban. If they are old enough to buy tobacco products than they should be able to smoke them in a designated area. This will make the smokers happy and keep the rest of the public away from deadly secondhand smoke.

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By: Beth Bratsos

A vast majority of University of Iowa undergraduate students think NBC handled a primetime show controversy between Conan O’Brien and Jay Leno inappropriately, according to a recent poll conducted by University of Iowa students.

After O’Brien took over The Tonight Show for seven months, NBC said it intended to move Leno back to his original primetime timeslot, bumping O’Brien’s show to after midnight. NBC bought out O’Brien’s contract and ended his 22-year relationship with the network.

The poll, conducted March 9-25, shows that 81 percent of UI students say NBC did not handle the situation appropriately. Fifty-five percent say its ratings will be affected negatively while 33 percent think there will be no effect and 12 percent think ratings will be affected positively.

Most respondents (36 percent) reported watching The Tonight Show with host Conan O’Brien two nights a week; lead entertainer is the most popular determining factor when choosing a late-night show to watch, followed by time, channel and other factors. The next popular shows where the Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Late Show with David Letterman, other shows not listed and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon respectively.

Multiple news sources cited public outcries in large support of O’Brien before he left the network on January 22. Fifty-five percent of students said the majority of people would have liked to see O’Brien in the earlier timeslot, while only 37 percent said the same of Leno, eight percent for Jimmy Fallon and one percent for other comedians.

The timeslot change was mainly attributed to pressure from affiliates and poor ratings for both shows. A majority of respondents say the conflict will not hurt O’Brien’s ratings while Leno’s ratings will suffer even more.

“Both shows needed more time to improve their ratings; the whole situation happened too fast,” said Kim Philipp, junior at the University of Iowa.

The poll, which was conducted by students in Dr. Qingjiang Yao’s Mass Media and Public Opinion Polling class, surveyed 201 students via e-mail using a probability systematic sampling method. The survey was sent to 1,549 students, making the response rate about 13 percent. the possible margin sampling error is plus or minus seven percentage points. This means that if one could talk to every student in the entire population, the actual results would differ from the findings of this poll by no more than seven percentage points simply because of sample error. Finally, p-values, which test the significance of hypotheses, are below .05 percent meaning the results of the study are more significant

University of Iowa students’ opinions on the late-night issue were studied recently after the conflict arose in January. O’Brien is joining TBS to host a late-night show expected to debut in November.

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Brittany Caplin

May 6th, 2010

70% of University of Iowa undergraduate students are unsatisfied with parking availability near their classes according to a recent survey taken on campus.

A group of students from Professor Yao’s Mass Media and Public Opinion class took a poll in April 2010 asking undergraduate Iowa students to rate their satisfaction with parking on the University of Iowa campus. The survey was sent to 1,100 students and 301 students completed the survey.

81% of respondents say that they have cars here on campus and a majority drive to school at least 4 times a week. Freshmen are less concerned with the parking situation compared to juniors and seniors. There is a significant relationship between students who had received multiple parking tickets throughout the year and being highly unsatisfied with parking. Another significant relationship was between students’ high level of dissatisfaction and if parking had ever made the student late for class. Only 3.5% of the respondents said that they were satisfied with the current parking situation.

The online survey consisted of 20 questions that asked students to rate their satisfaction with parking on campus and evaluate possible solutions to the problem. On campus was defined as the streets of Clinton, Burlington, Washington, Jefferson, Dubuque by shops and restaurants, and then any street by a major university building.

On campus parking could be a deciding factor for future students who are researching colleges. According to College Prowler, a website that surveys students about issues around their campus including parking, rates University of Iowa’s parking situation as a C on a typical grading scale of A, B, C, D, and F. College Prowler is one of the first sites that is presented on Google when searching for college comparisons and receives a lot of internet traffic.

There are currently a couple viable options for future parking on campus. One option is having a current ramp, like the one connected to the Old Capital Mall, which would be pre-paid for student use only. According to the poll, 87.3% of students agree that this would make parking more accessible and easier for students. Another option is having all meters be able to accept credit cards as payment instead of only coins. University of Iowa parking officials are currently trying to implement credit card meters and hope to have that up and running within two years.

The response rate for the survey was 27.36% and the sampling error was +/-2.6%.

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