ERIC Number: ED234386
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Newspaper Subscribers' Response to Accident Photographs: The Acceptance Level Compared to Demographics, Death Anxiety, Fear of Death, and State Anxiety.
Roche, James M.
One hundred and one subjects responded to a questionnaire examining newspaper readers' response to news photographs depicting accidents. Each questionnaire contained four different accident scene photographs, with cutline information stating that the individual in the photograph either had died or was not seriously hurt. Each photograph was accompanied by 20 questions measuring respondents' acceptance of the picture and anxiety level, and by requests for demographic information. The results showed that with three of the four photographs the respondents appeared more accepting of the "victim-lived" than of the "victim-died" photographs. The photograph judged most acceptable depicted a fireman who, in both cutlines, had rescued several people from floodwaters, giving the photograph an air of heroism. Women were less accepting of the photographs than were the men, regardless of the cutline. Socioeconomic status did not affect acceptance levels significantly. Respondents experiencing low levels of state anxiety were considerably more accepting of the publication of such photographs than those with high levels and, overall, the less educated were more accepting of the photographs than were the more educated. In most cases, respondents with high death anxiety were more accepting of the photographs. Those who had made telephone calls to a newspaper to complain about editorial content were less accepting of the publication of accident photographs. (Photographs and cutlines from the questionnaire are appended.) (HTH)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Photojournalism; Reader Response
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (66th, Corvallis, OR, August 6-9, 1983). Document taken from author's Master's Thesis at Marquette University.