Human trafficking affects millions every day, yet scarce research exists that evaluates communication efforts of human trafficking awareness organizations (HTAOs). HTAOs often use social media, and providing the right kind of information to audiences is important in moving publics into more active roles. Grunig’s situational theory suggests that high problem recognition, low constraint recognition, and high level of involvement lead to information seeking and active publics. The purpose of this study was to identify frames used in HTAOs’ YouTube videos to determine if human trafficking messages help publics become more active. A qualitative content analysis was conducted on the most popular YouTube videos from twelve HTAOs, looking specifically for frames that fit Grunig’s variables. HTAOs’ purposes for using YouTube were also analyzed and the results provided plausibility for a revised situational theory model. Discrepancies emerged between the definition and portrayal of human trafficking. Themes developed regarding the causes, consequences, and remedies of human trafficking, in addition to the portrayals of victims, perpetrators, and rescuers. HTAO public relations practitioners can use the data to revamp their human trafficking awareness campaigns, making it a point to include elements that will motivate publics to take more active roles in the organization.
|Commitee:||Ferguson, Alice, Winters, Caryn|
|School:||University of Louisiana at Lafayette|
|School Location:||United States -- Louisiana|
|Source:||MAI 57/01M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Communication, Web Studies|
|Keywords:||Framing, Grunig’s situational theory of publics, Human trafficking, Human trafficking awareness organizations, Youtube|
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