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1 THE NASA SHUTTLE PROGRAM: LOCAL AND NATIONAL NEWSPAPER CONTENT ANALYSIS By SVETLANA SHKOLYAR A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009
2 2009 Svetlana Shkolyar
3 To my parents, Fianna and Oleg Shkolyar, who alwa ys encouraged me to be the best I can be and had faith in everything I did.
4 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank m y chair, Debbie Tr eise, for being greatly supportive through my thesis-writing process and my studies in the science communication program. She was committed to answering my questions on weekends and during late nights. She also allowed me to get the most out of my experience in the pr ogram by allowing me to tailor my coursework in and out of the department to fit my unique interests. My other two committee members, Johanna Clea ry and Renee Martin-Kratzer, were also supportive and enthusiastic about the topic I chose for my thesis. They are acknowledged for seeing the potential I could achieve and helping me reach it. My parents are acknowledged, as well. I would like to thank my mom, Fianna Shkolyar, for being my moral support, pr oblem solver, and even my edito r at odd hours of the night during the writing and editing process. She has always been and will always cont inue to be that person whose support and love has gotten me through ever ything in my life. I also acknowledge my dad, Oleg Shkolyar, for always encouraging me to be whatever I desired and supporting me every step of the way.
5 TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS.............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAP TER 1 INTRODUCTION..................................................................................................................10 Importance of the Shuttle Program......................................................................................... 11 Criticisms of the Shuttle Program...........................................................................................14 Significance of Studying the Shuttle Program........................................................................15 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................16 The Columbia Accident..........................................................................................................16 Historical Background of NASA Media Coverage................................................................17 NASAs Shuttle Program Since Columbia............................................................................. 21 Current Science Communication............................................................................................22 Purpose of Science Communication....................................................................................... 24 Framing Theory................................................................................................................. .....25 Sourcing..................................................................................................................................28 Local versus National Coverage of Science News.................................................................31 Current Study..........................................................................................................................33 Research Questions............................................................................................................. ....37 3 METHODOLOGY................................................................................................................. 38 Newspaper Articles Chosen....................................................................................................39 Time Frame.............................................................................................................................40 Search Criteria................................................................................................................ ........41 Pilot Study.................................................................................................................... ..........42 Coding and Data Collection Process...................................................................................... 43 Reliability and Validity....................................................................................................... ....45 4 RESULTS...............................................................................................................................48 RQ1: Does The Coverage of the Shuttle Program Differ Between Florida Today and New York Times in Terms of Focus? ..................................................................................48
6 Columbia Details Focus.................................................................................................. 48 Policy and Funding Focus............................................................................................... 50 Mission Status Focus....................................................................................................... 52 Technical and Scientific Focus........................................................................................53 Other Focus..................................................................................................................54 RQ2: Does the Coverage of the Shuttle Program Differ Between Florida Today and New York Times in Terms of Fra mes?................................................................................54 Safety Frame....................................................................................................................54 Technical and Scientific Frame.......................................................................................56 Industry Frame.................................................................................................................57 Return to Flight Frame....................................................................................................58 Funding/Budget Frame.................................................................................................... 59 Policy Frame................................................................................................................... .60 Internal Changes Frame................................................................................................... 61 Lessons from History Frame........................................................................................... 62 Astronaut Hero Frame..................................................................................................... 63 Progress Frame................................................................................................................64 NASA in the Public Eye Frame...................................................................................65 Other Frames................................................................................................................... 65 RQ3: Does the Frequency and Type of Source Cited Differ in Florida Today and New York Times Shuttle Prog ram Coverage?............................................................................. 67 Types of Sources............................................................................................................. 67 Comparison of sources cited directly, indirectly, and both ways .................................... 74 RQ4: Are Any of the Sources More Frequently Associated with Certain Focuses in the Florida Today Shuttle Program Coverage Versus the New York Times Coverage?...........74 Florida Today ..................................................................................................................74 New York Times ...............................................................................................................75 RQ5: Are Any of the Frames more Frequently Associated with a Certain Focus in the Florida Today Shuttle Program Coverage Versus the New York Times Coverage?...........76 Florida Today ..................................................................................................................76 New York Times ...............................................................................................................77 RQ6: Are Any of the Sources More Frequently Associated with Certain Frames in the Florida Today S huttle Program Coverage Versus the New York Times Coverage?...........77 Florida Today ..................................................................................................................77 New York Times ...............................................................................................................78 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION.................................................................................... 87 Practical Implicati ons of This Study....................................................................................... 96 Conclusions.............................................................................................................................99 Limitations of This Study..................................................................................................... 100 Suggestions for Further Research......................................................................................... 101 APPENDIX A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF THE NAS A SHUTTLE PROGRAM THROUGH THE CHALLENGER ACCI DENT.............................................................................................. 104
7 B SHUTTLE LAUNCHES THE SI NCE COLUMBIA DISASTER ...................................... 106 C CODE SHEET..................................................................................................................... .107 D CODEBOOK........................................................................................................................109 LIST OF REFERENCES.............................................................................................................114 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.......................................................................................................124
8 LIST OF TABLES Table page 1-1 Comparison of the pilot study Florida Today and New York T imes frames...................... 374-1 Frequencies of shuttle program stories in Florida Today and New York Times by year.....................................................................................................................................784-2 Focus of Florida Today and New York Times coverage....................................................784-3 Frames of Florida Today and New York Times coverage..................................................794-4 Sources in Florida Today coverage. N = 587....................................................................794-5 Sources in New York Times coverage. N = 577................................................................. 804-6 Total sources in Florida Today and New York Times ........................................................804-7 Sources cited directly, in directly, and both ways in FT and NYT ......................................804-8 Florida Today source frequency per article focus............................................................. 794-9 New York Times source frequency per article focus.......................................................... 814-10 Florida Today coverage frame frequenc y per article focus...............................................824-11 New York Times coverage frame frequency per article focus............................................ 824-12 Florida Today coverage total source fr equencies per frame............................................. 834-13 New York Times coverage total source frequencies per frame.......................................... 85B-1 Shuttle launches after 2003 Columbia disaster until March 2008................................... 106
9 Abstract of Dissertation Pres ented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Arts THE NASA SHUTTLE PROGRAM: LOCAL AND NATIONAL NEWSPAPER CONTENT ANALYSIS By Svetlana Shkolyar May 2009 Chair: Debbie M. Treise Major: Mass Communication Little research had been done on the communication of NASA media coverage, especially coverage of the shuttle program. This analys is adds to the mass communication scholarly literature dealing with framing theory, sourci ng, local versus national coverage, and how the mass media shape public opinion, policy, and f unding. This study examined post-Columbia shuttle program coverage in Florida Today, a local newspaper near the NASA Kennedy Space Center community, Florida Today, versus in a national newspaper, New York Times It aimed to develop an understanding of the framing and focu ses used in shuttle program coverage through a quantitative content analysis. It explored the sources used in shuttle program coverage and investigated their frequency and range to determine the degree of their diversity and dominance. One conclusion of this study is that the medi a focused coverage largely on the Columbia accident and its aftermath, including investigat ions and recommendations for NASA to change its procedures, and not on other notable NASA developments. It is hoped that this study will prompt further studies of how space explorati on is communicated in the media and how this affects budget, policies, and pub lic support for space exploration.
10 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Colum bia shuttle exploded on February 1, 2 003 as it returned to Earth from a 16-day science mission. All seven astronauts aboard were k illed. The cause of the explosion was due to both physical and space flight programs culture reasons, according to the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB) synopsis of the disaster (Smith, 2003b, p. CRS-2). An excerpt from American Editor describes the rush to cover the disaster of the shuttle Columbia when it broke up: The Saturday morning calm ended abruptly as reporters, editors, graphic artists and photographe rs poured unbidden into newsrooms and scrambled to assignments to craft extra ed itions and expanded Sunday coverage (Smith, 2003a, p.16). Gustin & Sheehy (2003) and Smith (2003) agree that coverage of the Columbia event was successful. Particularly, these researchers claim that the ag ency investigators handled the Columbia crisis with speed, broadcasting within an hour of initial developm ents and sharing the accident coverage with the media quickly and openly. This paper will examine what coverage of the shuttle program has been like sin ce this crisis event that many researchers (i.e., Kauffman, 2005; Smith, 2003a; Gustin & Sheehy, 2003) claim change d NASA by making its PR more respectable and credible. After Columbia, the agency regained its status as one that effectively communicates crises (Martin & Boynton, 2005). As seen by the communi cation of this event to the public, NASA was determined to operate in the open, in contrast to the Challenger disaster of 1986, to make both triumphs and tragedies known to the American public (Byrnes, 1994). In general, the loss of Columbia on February 1, 2003, brought issues of space co verage into sharper focus (Clark and Illman, 2003, p. 15).
11 Subsequent research by others has contributed to in sight about one specific aforementioned space topic, the shuttle program. Martin and Boynton (2005) who analyzed major newspapers communication of the Challenger and Columbia s huttle disasters believe that shuttle program communication should examine the long-term imp act following initial crisis communication. Indeed, although research has been conducted on the communication of these two NASA crises (for another example, Sumpter & Garner, 2007) little research had been done on the communication of other NASA media c overage. This is especially true for general coverage of NASAs shuttle program. Therefore, this study aims to contribute to the research on science news by analyzing medias communication of the shuttle program. It will use content analysis to examine the frames, sources, and the focuses found in post-Co lumbia shuttle program coverage in a local newspaper near the major shuttle program opera tions facility in the U.S., the NASA Kennedy Space Center community, versus in a national newspaper. Importance of the Shuttle Program In the current Space Age, technology is advanc ing at an ever-increasing rate. Todays researchers believe that space events need to be covered effectively to accurately reflect these changes to society. Weigold (2001) argues that in an era of unprecedented technological and scientific advances, many of which have the po tential to radically change human existence, science news is important (p. 164). The media are the major source of science news and space affairs information for th e public (Goldman, 1992). There are many reasons why media need to communicate shuttle program developments effectively. Indeed, NASA econo mists Greene & Miesing (1984) sa y that the shuttle provides primary access to the incomparable frontier of outer space, offering virtually limitless potential (p. 56). Notably, the shuttle is th e first spacecraft in history that can carry large satellites to and
12 from orbit (National Aeronautics and Space Admi nistration, 2008a). It is the main access to outer space and transporter of su ch technologies as astronomical and defense satellites that are highly relevant to society. These technologies facilitate scie ntific knowledge, monitor our countrys security, create high-demand jobs, a nd produce valuable geog raphic data about our earth, among other soci etal benefits (Greene & Miesing, 1984). Thus, there are many beneficial scientific uses of the shuttle program. The original fleet of five NASA shuttles has transported many observatories, space-based telescope, and satellite laboratories that have greatly enhanced human itys knowledge about not only the universe in which we live but also about ourselves. Satelli tes launched from shuttles contribute to aerospace technology and space life science re search and development (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004). For instance, the Hubble Space Telescope has been able to look back to the early universe and greatly advance our unders tanding about it, confirming that black holes exist (Space Telescope Science Institute, n.d.). Some of the other launc hes that successfully studied space and brought back useful astronomical data included the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, which completed the most comprehensive astronomical survey of the galactic center of our Milky Way Galaxy and the Galileo Spacecraft, which explored the planet Jupiter (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2008a). Besides making many advances in astronomy, shuttle experiments have made strides in the disciplines of cardiovascular/cardi opulmonary science, neuroscience, the effects of space travel on living things, material properties in space, weightlessness, cell biology, physiology (National Aeronautics and Space Administra tion, 2008a), and even geography, among other sciences. For example, the shuttle Endeavours Radar Topography Mission, launched on January 31, 2000, made a radar map of the planet's surface about three times more detailed than 90-meter data
13 commonly available for most parts of th e world (Leary, 2000). This data, the New York Times news article explained, could be a boon to ev eryone from military planners to weekend backpackers. Leary (2000) also noted that five other space shuttle missions have flown valuable radar-mapping instruments. Similarly, another major focus of the shuttles is to transport crews to and from orbiting stations such as the International Space Stati on. This effort has benefited the 15 countries involved because it represents a quantum leap in the capability to conduct research on orbit (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007b, p. 1). As a result, scientific researchers can perform these commercial, scientific, a nd engineering research experiments without gravitational and atmospheric limitation. The shuttle program provides benefits for the na tions security, as well. For example, the U.S. Air Forces Defense Support Program (DSP) launched one of the monitoring and sensing satellites aboard the sh uttle Atlantis on Novemb er 24, 1991. These satellites monitored missile, spacecraft, and nuclear activity. DSP detected the launches of Iraqi missiles and provided timely warnings to military forces during the Persia n Gulf War from 1990 through 1991 (Space, 2000). Furthermore, NASA economists Gr eene and Miesing (1984) claim that the shuttle has farreaching implications to improve the U.S. economy and the job market. For instance, a current analysis of NASAs Florida economic activity rel eased in 2007, stated th at total earnings for contract and civil service workers at the Kennedy Space Center (KSC) were $1.1 billion in fiscal year 2007, and almost all of these wages were pa id to Brevard and other Central Florida county residents (National Aeronautics and Space Admini stration, 2007a), showing how much financial impact all NASA activities have on the Kennedy Space Center Space Coast community alone. The same report also stated, the total injection of outside mone y into Floridas economy by all
14 KSC based activities was $1.8 billio n in FY [fiscal year] 2007 (N ational Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007a, p. 14). Furthermore, 14,950 workers were employed at KSC in 2007 (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007a). The benefits of the shuttle program are clear, considering the jobs and incomes creat ed by the Kennedy Space Center for Florida. Likewise, the economic impact of NASAs shuttle operations in communities near other NASA centers is significant, as well. The NASA Marshall Space F light Center in Huntsville, Alabama plays a key role in engineering shu ttle components and thei r payloads (National Aeronautics and Space Admini stration, 2008b). The center employs over 7,200 personnel and generated more than $1.1 billion in economic imp act for Alabama in Fiscal Year 2007 (National Aeronautics and Space Administ ration, 2008b). Also, the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, another leading center in shuttle and supporting operations, employs over 16,000 workers and has a current spending budget of over $3.5 bi llion (Bay Area Houston Economic Partnership, 2008). By these figures, it is clear that many st akeholders in local NASA center communities as well as nationally, are invested in the shuttle program. Criticisms of the Shuttle Program While in the past som e researchers such as Greene and Miesing (1984) regarded the shuttle as a revolutionary technologica l facilitator, (p. 63), other researchers are currently criticizing the shuttle program as being inefficient and costly. Many argue that private space flight is more efficient than the government-funded activities of NASAs shuttle program. Forbes (2005) and other critics of NASAs shuttl e program claim that the program has been too slow in making breakthroughs as a government-funded program, and too costly, wasteful, and time-consuming for the mere four shuttles per year that it had been launching. Forbes (2 005) goes on to say that NASA is too occupied with bur eaucracy, hinders scientific innovation, and even monopolizes U.S. space activities that the private sector could carry out more successfully. Lawrence
15 Williams, vice president for international and government affairs for Space Exploration Technologies, agrees. He states that innovation and low prices can lead private industry and private entrepreneurs to change the space industry if the government would change its financially ineffective policies and assist with open competition for private space business and exploration (David, 2007). The public also agrees that space explorati on is costly. In one National Science Board (2002) study of public perceptions of scienc e and technology, 48% of those surveyed in 2001 thought spending on space exploration was excessive. This percentage was almost twice as high as the number of those who felt government was spending too much on na tional defense and at least 65% of those surveyed thought the government was not spending enough on other programs, including programs to improve health care, help senior citizens, improve education, and reduce pollution (National Science Board, 2002, p.7-15). Significance of Studying the Shuttle Program By the tim e the shuttle program is retired in 2010, it is estimated that more than $173 billion will have been spent on it (David, 2005). To date, the shuttle program has cost more than $150 billion for its 126 missions, ex cluding $100 billion worth of tr ansported Intern ational Space Station parts, and employs more than 10,000 engi neers to staff each launch (McKie, 2006). Put in these terms, the shuttles budget becomes relevant to U.S. taxpayers as stakeholders in the program.
16 CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW The Columbia Accident A brief chro nology of NASAs major events is outlined in Appendix A. Refer to it for an overview of events before the Columbia acciden t. Until 2003, all of the shuttle missions since Challengers last flight in 1986 were successful. Then, on February 1, 2003, the Columbia shuttle exploded as it returned to Earth from a 16-day science mission. All seven astronauts aboard it were killed. The CAIB was created sh ortly after the Columbia accident to investigate the causes and make recommendations for further improvements to the technical and managerial personnel. It was chaired by Adm. Herold Ge hman and released its first report on August 26, 2003 (Smith, 2003b). According to a CAIB synopsis of the disaster, the cause of the Columbia failure was due to both physical and space flight programs cultu re reasons (Smith, 2003b, p. CRS-2). Physically, there was damage to Columbia s wing caused by a piece of insulating foam that detached from it (Smith, 2003b). Smith cited other factors of the progr ams culture that played at least some role in the disaster including weakened safety regul ations, scheduling pressu res, budget constraints, and limited personnel. Six out of the 29 recommendations made by the CAIB were organizational in nature and included such changes as reorganizing the Sp ace Shuttle Integration O ffice (Smith, 2003b). In fact, in the case of both the Challenger and Columbia shuttle accidents, managers overruled technical warnings and decided to go forward with the laun ches (Smith, 2003b). This could suggest that a lack of communica tion was one probable cause of th e Columbias failure and that effective communication among mana gers and technicians is instrumental in accomplishing successful launches. Likewise, the agencys e ffective communication to the press and the public
17 is also necessary for financial, public, and gove rnment support. The next section will explore why this is true. Historical Background of NASA Media Coverage NASAs public im age has evolved over time. It has fluctuated throughout its history from the nationalistic Space Race efforts of the Cold War and moon-landing Apollo 1 era to the morale-impeding Challenger and Columbia shuttle losses. During the Cold War era, both the media and the public pressured NASA to compete with the Soviet Unions advancing space prog ram. NASA was employed by both Cold War and domestic politics and prominent media outlets such as Life magazine criticized NASA for not going to the moon faster (Greenberg, 2001 p. 281). Media coverage at that time became what historian Walter McDougall called a media riot over the launch of the first Russian satellite, Sputnik (1985, p. 145). After the 1967 Apollo 1 capsule fire, NASAs crisis communication became ineffective. The agencys public relations team did not repor t the accident in a way that maintained public trust, according to NASA communi cation expert and communication assistant professor James Kauffman (1999). During Apollo 1, the agency was criticized for trying to be in control of the accident investigation by hiring its own member s for the investigation board (Kauffman, 2005). Another flaw in the communication of the Apo llo accident, according to Kauffman (1999), was that NASA failed to utilize the three basic steps that organizations in crisis should use: respond quickly, tell the truth, and provide a constant flow of information. According to Kauffman (2001), NASAs image declined after Apollo 1 but recovered after Apollo 13. Since the Apollo program, there has been an optim istic interest in the romantic pursuit of exotic and dangerous adventure, coup led with the publics nationalistic support for the American space program (Dombrowski, 2006, p. 239).
18 The moon landing especially had great rh etorical value in romanticizing and concretizing the frontier of space (Kauff man,1994, p. 35). On the other hand, Kauffman (1994) also cites many critics w ho considered medias coverage of the early space program and the moon landings as uncritical, having poli tical motivations, and not having had an indepth analysis of the administrations arguments in favor of the space program or its rhetoric as it may have influenced congressional deba te over funding (Kauffman, 1994, p. 7). There has also been a great deal of criticism over the communication efforts surrounding the Challenger crisis two decades late r. Some claim that the Challenger event is an example of a crisis communications failure because it failed to follow a crisis communication plan after the explosion (Marshall, 1986). Other researchers say that the Challeng er disaster led to the media pressuring NASA to justify the tragedy in te rms of immediate answers and bureaucratic indictments rather than technical reasons (Broad, 1986, p. 40) Still other investigators concluded that the medias flawed coverage factor ed into the disaster, increasing the pressure to launch Challenger (Sumpter & Garner, 2007). Historian William Burrows wrote, the Challenger was lost because NASA came to believe its own propaganda. The agencys deeply impacted cultural hubris had it that technology engineering would always triumph over random disaster if certain rules were followe d (1999, p. 560). Sumpter & Garner (2007) added that the result of this was a distorted public image and reliance on media sources that would say the right things (2007, p. 457). Many researchers (e.g., Kennedy, 2005; Martin & Boynton, 2005) have conducted comparison studies between media communication of the Challenger and Columbia accidents and agree that the crisis communication after the Columbia disaster was handled better than that of the Challenger, in terms of getting informati on out to the public openly and diligently. NASA
19 developed, updated, revised, and even rehearsed a crisis plan regul arly for each shuttle flight, according to Sean OKeefe, NASA Administrator during the Columbia accident (2003). The open way NASA handled the Columbia crisis ul timately helped to maintain confidence and trust in the space agency, said Kauffman (2005, p. 273). Gustin and Sheehy (2003) claim that the agency investigators handled the Columbia crisis with speed, broadcasting within an hour of initial developments and sharing the accident co verage with the media faster and more openly than compared to its abysmal response to Challenger 17 years ea rlier (Kauffman, 2005, p. 268). According to Thomas Kunkel, president of the American Journalism Review and former dean of the University of Marylands Philip Merrill College of Journalism, the Columbia tragedy was proof positive that we have moved from the Space Age to the Media Age (2003, p. 4). He claimed that media spread news of the disaster to the public faster than technicians spread the information to NASA engineers. Also, La rry Rasky, a Boston public relations and communications consultant, believed that more effective communication after the Challenger event meant NASAs management was portrayed as being more open and honest (Jurkowitz 2003). Many comparative studies have analyzed NASAs crisis communication efforts during the agencys disasters. One such study wa s done by Martin and Boynton (2005), who conducted a crisis communication content analys is of coverage after the Columbia and Challenger disasters. They found that NASA received much more positive news coverage in four national newspapers following the Columbia disaster than it received in th e aftermath of the Challenger explosion. They also stated that NASAs inability to retain what it learned from the Apollo 1 and 13 crises may make the agencys Challenger mistakes even more egregious in the eyes of NASAs
20 stakeholders (Martin & Boynton, 2005, p. 259-60). Fu rthermore, some researchers claim that during both the Apollo 1 and Columbia accidents the media and Congress criticized NASA for appointing its own employees to investigate them in order to protect NASAs image (Kauffman, 1999). Some researchers have regarded coverage of NASA as overwhelmingly positive. Coverage that dominated the space arena in the past few decades emphasized the hero astronaut frame (Nelkin, 1995). Boot (1986) sim ilarly argued that bringing space journalists together for coverage of launc hes at the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, caused that coverage to focus on the astronauthero and new frontier explorations as the prevalent media topics. Typically, between 200 and 300 media representatives are present at launches, according to Bruce Buckingham, ne ws chief at the Kennedy Space Center (Hand, 2005). On the other hand, some have criticized as NASA as being too publicity savvy (Rutenberg, 2003, p. A.23) and P.R.hungry (Houston, 1999, p. 17). For instance, the agency maximized favorable public relations of th e Mercury mission astronauts by hiring experienced publicists and by allowing them to sign exclusive contracts with Life magazine (Sumpter & Garner, 2007). Similarly, NASA communication researcher James Kauffman says that the agency purposely scheduled launches, mission celeb ration parades, and astr onaut appearances at strategic times to influence Congress votes on its budget (Sumpter & Garner, 2007). Furthermore, Sumpter and Garner say sensati onal aspects of manned space flight, were manipulated by the space agencys pub lic relations efforts. In summary, as seen by the history of the agencys communication efforts, times of high scrutiny and pressure by the media and the public especially following shuttle disasters, can
21 affect NASAs reputation and d ecision-making abilities. Kauffm an (1999) asserts that NASA should be careful of its public image not to cause distrust among the public and media. Likewise, Greene and Miesing ( 1984) believe that to reap th e full benefits from space technology, the U.S. is to regain its industrial and marketing momentum internationally, [and] our government must take bold and effective ac tion in marketing space-s huttle opportunities (p. 59). As these researchers s how, the communication of the pr ogram clearly affects the way funding, public, and policy of the program per ceive, fund, and support the program. Effective shuttle program coverage by the media in both triu mphant and tragic events over the course of the program is crucial to ma intain moral support from the public, financial support from Congress, and credibility fr om the media (Kauffman, 1999). Many researchers have also noted that eff ective coverage of the shuttle program is necessary to maintain program f unding. For example, Neal Lane, fo rmer director of the sciencefunding agency the National Science Foundation, belie ves that without public support of science and technology, funding does not ha ppen (Cialdini, 1997). It is important to keep the public scientifically literate and intere sted in the continued success of scientific programs, according to a National Science Board (2002) study on public perceptions about scie nce and technology. That study indicated that space e xploration was one of the issues that received less support for increased spending than scientific research. NASAs Shuttle Program Since Columbia After Columbia, the financial affairs of NASA and the shuttle program were shaky. NASAs shuttle budget was decreased due to the di fficulties of maintain ing an aging shuttle technology and because other projects needed f unding, such as the International Space Station (Dombrowski, 2006).
22 Politically, the programs future in the tim e surrounding Columbia was also unstable. The nation had not fully recovered from the Sept ember 11, 2001 events and the conflicts in Iraq (Columbia, 2003). At the same time, NASA was suffering from a broken promise made back in President Nixons administration that the shuttle s would be flying more routinely and under a smaller budget (Columbia, 2003). Internally, the shuttles future was uncle ar, as well. NASA was preoccupied with privatizing the shuttle progr am (Dombrowski, 2006). Furthe rmore, in the 1990s, shuttle management became decentralized due to admi nistrative decisions, and soon NASA downsized the number of employees working for the shut tle program (Dombrowski, 2006). Based on the Columbia Accident Investigati on Board report (Dombrowski, 2006), and the communication of the Challenger Mission Management Team (Gar ner, 2006), the hierarchical nature of NASAs management, internal communication, and especially risk and safety assessment were believed to be ineffective and cont inued to be downsized. Current Science Communication Whether internally with in an agency or ex ternally to the public, effective science communication is crucial for many reasons. It can provide the public with information essential to forming opinions about public policy and a bout the costs and bene fits of governmental expenditures on science (T reise & Weigold, 2002, p. 311). Also, effective science communication is needed not only to educate the public about the world in which they live, but also to inform them about personal decisions, consumer choices, and environmental actions. Similarly, this communication inspires science ca reer choices to be generated among inspired youth (Treise & Weigold, 2002). However, in the field of science communicati on many issues exist that prevent information not only about the shuttle but also about general science events from being delivered accurately
23 and objectively. Science writers in general are rarely trained in science and their stories receive little scientific worth by non-sc ience journalists (W eigold, 2001). Both Weaver and Wilhoit (1996) and Ismach and Dennis (1978) found that onl y three percent of Amer ican journalists with college degrees majored in a math or science field. There are other current problems in science communication. Some researchers believe that often the omission of both key ideas (Weigol d, 2001) and understandable language (Treise & Weigold, 2002) prevents understanding of scientif ic ideas. Also, in their open-ended survey mailed to 850 science communicatio n writers and scholars about issues that would advance science communication, Treise a nd Weigold (2002) cite many experts who believe that the publics disinterest and lack of knowledge are other barriers to science communication. Does coverage of space-related stories in prestigious newspapers such as the New York Times reflect these communication problems? In 2003, technical comm unication researchers Clark and Illman conducted a content analysis of New York Times stories of space in the year 2000. They found that 75% of space articles appear ed in the business, commercial, national, or international sections rather th an the science sections, and we re written by correspondents of those sections. The national desk covered most of the space related stories, not the science and technology desk. According to these facts, Cl ark and Illman (2003) concluded, journalistic practices may be lagging behind the pace of change in space affairs because space coverage is scattered across topics and written by desks other than the science one (p. 31). Houston (1999) believes that in general, cu rrent space coverage is evolving to include more science developments and to emphasize the si gnificance of the science behind those events. However, Clark and Illman (2003) add, if the space beat does evolve eventually along the
24 course that Houston envisaged, however, the question of how to adequately prepare the next generation of writers about space will need to be addressed (p. 31). Purpose of Science Communication U.S. Departm ent of Energy Di rector of Communications Rick E. Borchelt (2001) wrote a research roadmap for science communication alo ng with a team of communication experts. Such studies as this one are useful, according to communication experts. Nelkin (1995), for example, believes that science-related organizations s hould collaborate with public relations and communication professionals to further media interest and media research. Borchelt and his team analyzed this evolution and current st ate of science and technology communication. His team was established by th e NASA Marshall Space Flight Centers public affairs office to research issues in science co mmunication. The team su rveyed current science communication practices of other scie ntific research institutions to be used as a model for this NASA center and other similar organizations. They found three primary purposes for science communication in an extensive study of how NASAs research is communicated. According to the team, the first purpose for science communication is informing citizens on issues important to their quali ty of life or other issues or problems. Borchelt (2001) cites reporting information to the public on resources fr om the National Park Service as an example of this purpose. Another example given by Borchelt is information released by a medical institute, such as the National Institute of Health (NIH), on the results of a current medical study about which the public should be aw are. A third example of th is purpose of communication is information released by the Department of Agriculture on the safe use of pesticides. The second purpose of science communication is to provide citizens with information to be able to formulate policy opinions. For example, according to the team, information from the Department of Energy about current energy reso urce needs or information from the Food and
25 Drug Administration about genetically modified foods would fa ll under this category. Borchelt (2001) notes that this type of communication can be persuasive, explanatory, or opinionated in its presentation. The third purpose is to provide descriptions and explanations of scientific work to enhance the level of scie ntific or biomedical literacy in th e recipient (Borchelt, 2001, p. 197). An example of this purpose is museum progr ams (Borchelt, 2001). Other examples given include the communication of agency visitor centers and the Web sites of medical and scientific agencies and societies. For this discussion, the purpose of the coverage will be defined as the focus to clarify any ambiguity. Framing Theory For an analysis of shuttle program coverage, this study employs a c ontent analysis. One aspect of this analysis will look at the way the program is framed. Framing gained popularity in the 1970s and has since been used as a theoreti cal and research approach to understand media coverage, public debate, and public policy influences (Entman, 1993). Entman (1993) defines framing as selecting aspects from a certain real ity and making them mo re salient in the culture. Crawley (2007) explains that this m eans they are more noticeable, understandable, or emotionally charged in other words, they have more cultural resonance a nd thus also have the greatest likelihood to influence in communicat ing text to promote a certain definition, treatment, or evaluation of that text (p. 324). Frames elevat e the salience of an issue by highlighting certain information and by placement and repetition (Entman, 1993). Framing is a theory that uses interdisciplin ary content analysis. It analyzes how the elements of a story are worded, headlined, source d, and structured in a sp ecific way to highlight and influence the way individuals receive the information they read in the media (Entman, 1993; Miller & Reichert, 2001).
26 In framing analyses, many researchers have found word structure, placement, and absent words all influence reader perceptions. Word placement affects the processing of information and helps to define the ultimate themes and m eanings of that text (Entman, 1993). The absence as well as the presence of specific words distin guishes specific frames (Entman, 1993; Tankard, 2001). Many researchers have examined the importa nt connection between framing and reader perceptions of framed media. Miller & Reichert (2001) define framing as an ongoing process by which ideological interpretive mechanisms are derived from competing stakeholder positions [in which the] frames are manifest in the choice and range of terms that provide the context in which issues are interpreted and discussed (p. 109). They add that framing is a way of conceptualizing the processes i nvolved in competing definiti ons (Miller & Reichert, 2001). According to Tankard (2001), headlines and selection of sources or affiliations, as well as other techniques such as figurative words and im ages, and symbols, wording, and concluding statements, all play a role in id entifying the frames of stories. Miller & Reichert (2001) further establish that policy-makers tend to implement th e viewpoint of the dominant frame presented in media and gain support for the view by shifting perspectives toward those dominant frames. Their Spiral of Opportunity pos ition argues that attempts to frame issues interact with fundamental human values in ways that affect the relative attract iveness of policy and policymakers (Miller & Reichert, 2001, p. 1089). They emphasize, framing becomes more apparent when stakeholders compete for suppor t (p. 110). Tankard (2001 ) agrees that the media can frame an issue in ways that favor a particular side without showing explicit bias (p. 96). Both Entman (1993) and Christen & Huberty (2007) agree with these claims that policymakers use news reports to gauge public opin ions to influence the development of policy.
27 A 2007 framing pilot study was conducted on the post-Columbia communication of Florida Today versus the New York Times to determine how the shuttle program was framed since Columbia (Shkolyar, 2007). In that study, the follo wing frames were found. The program policy frame discussed the future of the shuttle program in terms of the changes that would be made to it, and what effects the Columbia failu re and Congress decisions would have on it. The funding and economic future frame discussed C ongress decisions on funding changes for the shuttle program and the overall economic future of the program. The R eturn to flight frame discussed the recommendations of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board for future shuttle flights, along with NASA shuttle management, budge t, and safety changes so that the shuttle would fly again. The internal organizational change s to the agency frame included articles that addressed the post-Columbia recommendations of the CAIB to change the management structure of the shuttle program in an effort to return to flight more effectively. The program industry frame is defined by discussions of how the shuttle program impacted NASA center communities, Floridas aerospace industry, or other NASA-related industries such as contractor companies that provide outsourced support to NASA. The safety frame refers to any article dealing with the safety of mission launches, land ings, and rescheduled launches in terms of weather conditions, official decisions or documents, or other safety reasons and details or any articles expressing safety concerns, changes, or procedures. The NASA in the public eye frame refers to articles dealing with the publics percep tions of NASA. It discussed the publics reactions to the NASA shuttle program in general. Th e technical and scientific fram e discussed any scientific or technical ideas such as tank problems of the 2005 Discovery launch (Shkolyar, 2007). The pilot study analyzed a very small (N = 41) random sample of shuttle program newspapers articles in the post-Columbia time period. Nineteen articles were analyzed from the
28 New York Times and 22 were analyzed from Florida Today In this study, th e technical aspects frame was the most prominent frame, appearing in 33.3% (N = 6) of the sample New York Times articles, followed by the program policy frame, appearing in 16.7% (N = 7). The program policy frame, the most prominent in Florida Today appeared in 27.3% (N = 6) of the sample articles, followed by the NASA in the public eye fram e, appearing in 22.7% (N = 5). Miller & Reicherts (2001) idea that stakehol ders try to frame issues to affect the attractiveness of policy to policymakers seemed to be supported at leas t by that small sample since the policy frame was found relatively frequently in both papers (Table 1-1). From the small sample size of that study, two main ideas were left unanswered. It was unclear if leadership and safety changes with in NASA were being made in response to the CAIBs recommendations and expressed by NASA to the media (Shkolyar, 2007). Also, the idea that progress for shuttle program improvements were bei ng made and may have gained public support was unanswered (Shkolyar, 2007). Although a content anal ysis alone could not answer these questions, a supplemen tary survey given to shuttle employees or an analysis of official shuttle program reports might provide more insight on these areas. Sourcing Sourcing is another crucial aspect in a conten t analysis that employs framing techniques. In this discussion, sources refer to experts or official documents released by those experts who are cited as speaking in the articles, not the sources that produce the news, such as the organization under study. Many have researched the effects of sourci ng on influencing news frames. Gamson (1988) claims that sources, including industrial organi zations, strategically cu ltivate resources to influence news frames. The choice of actors pr esenting information, those who are privileged to speak in a story, and those who are mere spectators, are all indicators of central conflicts of
29 that story (Hertog & McLeod, 2001, p. 148). Sour ces have immense power to influence newsworthiness (Sumpter & Garner, 2007, p. 457). Berkowitz and TerKeurst (1999) state that since sources determine what makes news, the degree of source influen ce on policy and society depends on the nature of the community under study. Direct quotes by sources tend to have more influence on reader opinions, according to some researchers. Gibson and Zillman (1993) and (1998) reported that readers exposed to directly quoted opinions were more likely to ag ree with those opinions and give them more weight than indirect quotes. Therefore, studying direct versus indirect sources would provide useful information within a framing study. The research on sourcing during the Columb ia disaster by communication professors Sumpter and Garner (2007) highlighted many im portant aspects of NASA -related sourcing. They analyzed the content of the Washington Post Houston Chronicle and New York Times to study the sources used in Columbia reporting. They believe that news media tend to use more dependable sources, while eliminating undependabl e ones, and these dependable sources thus gain a great deal of credibili ty and power to determine newsworthiness. These sources are dependable because they tend to be affiliated w ith businesses, bureaucracies, or other social groups that subsidize the prep aration of news (Sumpter & Garner, 2007, p. 457). Their study also found that contractors who were the main builders of the shuttle, astronauts, and other investigators not affiliated with NASA or the CAIB were the least frequently used sources. They concluded that this led to an incomplete account, account, on e which deletes needed context from any explanation of how the Columbia was lost (Sumpter & Garner, 2007, p. 470). Furthermore, Sumpter and Garner (2 007) believe that the Columbia disaster in 2003 as well as the subsequent investiga tion and troubles with the two shu ttle missions afterwards raised
30 new questions about the medias ab ility to use a balanced menu of sources to fashion complete stories about complex scientific issues (p. 456). Also, in terms of shuttle program coverage, do more sources appear to be busin ess-related versus management or technical sources? The answer to these questions would have many implications for the way the program is perceived by its audiences. Many other researchers have analyzed the significance of source influence in media framing studies of scientific news. One study by Crawley (2007) analyzed the frequency of sources cited in biotechnology news. She c onducted a quantitative content analysis of agricultural biotechno logy coverage appearing in a collection of local newspapers in Northern California and Missouri between 1992 and 2004. She found that the frequency of sources cited in the news articles did not necessarily determ ine their influence in how the story is framed because a more thorough investigation of the sources direct and indirect quotes was necessary. Other researchers have examined the influence of expert scientists as sources in science coverage. For instance, in an analysis of Am erican elite press biot echnology news, Nisbet and Lewenstein (2002) claim that i ndustrial and commercial interests or scientists dominate science news. Another study of all science news, incl uding physical, biologica l, earth, and social science, between 1986 and 1987 in newspapers re presenting various Canadian regions showed that scientific (38%) and government sources ( 18.7%) were the most fr equently cited primary sources (Einsiedel, 1992). From the study, Eins iedel (1992) concluded, s cientists as sources also suggests some amount of scientists control over the media agenda (p. 100). On the other hand, Sumpter and Garner (2007) found that news sources in reporting of NASA events tended to be spokespeople (such as public information offi cers) rather than scient ists and engineers as
31 well as NASA and government officials. They claim that overall, governmentand NASAaffiliated sources told the Columbia story (Sumpter & Garner, 2007). Communication researchers have found that official and elite sources tend to dominate and influence news and frames and are favored more than other sources. Soloski (1989), who conducted a participant observati onal study of a daily local news paper staff, concluded that elected or appointed government officials made up 56.3% of the primary sources in the articles. Also, Brown, et. al. (1987), who conducted a similar study that anal yzed front-page stories of the New York Times and Washington Post reported that government officials were cited most frequently. Similarly, Miller a nd Reichert (2001) claim that elit e sources, such as government officials or scientists, influence policy because decision makers set public policy to conform to the frames that dominate debate (p. 113). Local versus National Coverage of Science News It would be useful to exam ine whether the local and national frames about post-Columbia shuttle coverage are different within a content analysis study that empl oys framing techniques. There are several reasons to beli eve that the two types of covera ge for science news may frame stories differently. Some research suggests that nati onal news is perceived to be mo re reliable than local news. For example, Christen and Huberty (2007) c onducted a survey study comparing the perceived reach, or belief that numerous others are reading, viewing, hear ing, or otherwise being exposed to similar news reports of local and national news (p. 316). They asked participants to provide their personal, political, and public opinions about local a nd national news ar ticles with both favorable and unfavorable news slants. They conc luded that participants viewed local papers as less credible sources of news. According to th e researchers, this was because participants
32 assumed that fewer people were being exposed to local articles and thus their perceived opinions of the articles reach were lower. Also, in one study of French reporting, Neve u (2002) performed a study of local versus national coverage about a group of French farmer s protest about certai n crop prices in the French press in 1998. He believes that regional news does not focus closely on the relationships between sources and journalists. Neveu states that local journalists are interdependent on each other so local press tend to report events simila rly, more cautiously, c oncisely, and objectively. Furthermore, Neveu observed that the local pre ss is more often a reflection of public opinion, using fewer statistics to back up scientif ic and medical claims than national news. On the other hand, some media researchers, su ch as Crawley (2007) claim local news has a stronger effect on social discourse, is more credible, more va ried in perspective, and is more thorough in journalistic investiga tions. Crawley (2007) compared local versus national coverage frames and sources in biotechnology news. She found that local news affects social discourse and social reality and have more tolerance for error and a certain degree of openness that allows for consideration of a variety of news topics and a range of vo ices, whereas national coverage does not stimulate a national conversation (Cra wley, 2007, p. 342). She also states that local media take more risks and offer a wider range of topic coverage and more opposing viewpoints and present news in a more diverse way. She al so noted that local media tend to include more varied sources than national elite media. Furthermore, Crawleys media framing studies suggest that many researchers have concluded that nationa l mainstream biotechnology news is framed in a rather similar, uniform way, leading one to believe that perhaps U.S. public opinion also reflects this monolithic view (Crawley, 2007, p. 340).
33 Similarly, analysis by Priest (2001) and Crawle y (2007) suggests that local media outlets capture community issues that may not always ma ke the national news agenda. For example, an agriculture story that does not receive attention from the elite national newspapers could be highly relevant for local newspa pers in places where resident farmers object to the economic concerns that a particular crop would provide advantages to farms (Priest, 2001). Neveu, Crawley, and Priest highlighted why lo cal and national news in science issues should be studied. Particularly, local and national coverage of the shuttle program is important. The shuttle programs launch site, Kennedy Space Ce nter in Brevard County, Florida, is made up of engineers, scientists, and managers of the shuttle program. Perhaps the shuttle program and its resulting media affects this community differently than it does national policymakers and congressmen who make decisions about the shuttles budget and missions. Current Study This content analysis will investigate the sim ilarities and differences in post-Columbia shuttle coverage in the local Space Coast newspaper, Florida Today, versus the national New York Times to determine whether whether Neveus ( 2002) and Crawleys (2007) claims are true for shuttle coverage. Coverage will include news articles, features, columns and editorials so that the full range of content about th e shuttle program can be analyzed. The focus of the stories were analyzed to see how they related to Borchelts (2001) previously discussed findings on the focus of science communication. Those were not specifically inclusive of all of the focus in an analysis of the medi as communication of postColumbia shuttle program. Still, the three focus that Borchelt (2001) offers encompass the many other focus of shuttle communication. For this study, his focus will be modified and referred to as the focus to fit this particular topic.
34 There is little literature on this topi c describing the focus of shuttle program communication in the media. Therefore, in order to fully assess what focus is communicated in shuttle program coverage, the focus coded in this study were derived by th e author after a pilot test coding session of 30 articles chosen at random from the sample used for this study. Those foci and their definitions follow. The first focus, to help readers understa nd and formulate shuttle program policy or funding opinions or explain the state of the shuttle program, is defined as articles dealing with a budget, law, Congressional, or ot her official political or econo mic document, idea, or policy change or description necessary for the reader to understand the policies of the NASA shuttle program. This type of article could also ex plain the state of current management, funding, policy, scheduling, and project situ ations. The focus, to report a mission status update, is defined as dealing wi th articles that strictly provide information on launches, landings, accident updates, scheduling, and scrubbed launches as the primary focus of the artic le, although most stories will contain information about shuttle missions as a secondary focus. The focus, to explain a technical or scientific idea related to the shuttle, me ans the article reported about why a foam piece fell off of the shuttle, why a launc h was scrubbed due to technical reasons, and other similar ideas dealing with scientific expl anations and engineering of shuttle components, excluding those dealing with the Columbia disaster. The focus, to explain the details or investigations of Columbia disaster refers to articles describing results of the CAIB investigation, debris findings, shuttle disaster details, or any other information related to the Columbia or its aftermath. In the pilot study, mission coverage articles were discarded (Shkolyar, 2007). However, the author felt that in this more thorough analysis articles with the focus of providing shuttle
35 mission coverage should be included It would be useful to see how much of the coverage deals with funding and policy changes or implications of the shuttle program versus reporting just launch and landing events. Along with studying the focus in this coverage studying the frames would be valuable to contribute to such a content anal ysis of a science communication topic. This study determined which dominant frames are prevalent in this co verage based on those found in the previously discussed framing pilot study. For that study, however, the sample size was too small to make valid conclusions (Shkolyar, 2007). The current study used a larger sample size of articles about post-Columbia shuttle program than the pilot study did. There were three other frames not found in the pilot study that were a dded to this studys code sheet. The progress frame refers to ar ticles about the celebration of new development or a breakthrough in the article (Nisbet and Lewenstein, 2002, p. 372) or about optimistic statements about the future and ach ievements of the shuttle program or specific flights. Also, the astronaut hero frame was added because (N elkin, 1995) and Boot (1986) found it to be prominent in their analyses of NASA coverage. Lastly, the lessons fr om history was added after the author performed a pre liminary test coding run of 30 randomly picked articles in the sample used for this study. The lessons from history frame refers to articles making references to the Apollo, Columbia, or Challenger acciden ts, the moon landings, or other NASA historical events in an effort to explain how NASA has learned from or changed its policies and procedures since those past events, or comparing the cu rrent shuttle program to past NASA events. The following source definitions were borro wed from Sumpter & Garner (2007) and slightly altered for this study. They are: News workers, including any media, production, and editing personnel; E ducational sources, including University professors or public school
36 educators who are not affiliated with NASA; Government experts, including any elected or appointed government leaders, advisers, excluding NASA employees, but including law enforcement, emergency workers; CAIB members, including any representatives of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board; Other Government investigators including nongovernmental accident investigators (current or retired); Citizens, including ordinary people. The author added the following source defini tions derived from the pilot study (Shkolyar, 2007). NASA Technical source refers to a shuttle specialist, sc ientist, engineer, researcher, or contractor affiliated with NASA. These exclud e non-NASA technical sources and sources with managerial authority. NASA sources with manage rial authority are considered NASA Official Sources; Non-NASA Technical source refers to a shuttle specialist scientist, engineer, member of a NASA committee advisory board member, or researcher NOT affiliated with NASA. NASA Official source refers to a NASA administrator (cu rrent or past) for a NASA source with leadership and administrative authority. NASA Spokesperson: refers to a spokesperson of any NASA department or organiza tion, whether technical or non-technical. Non-NASA Spokesperson: refers to a spokesperson of any NonNASA department or organization, whether technical or non-technical. Anonymous sources are those whose cred entials are not given in the article. For instance, these can be listed only as NASA employee Bob Doe. Furthermore, in this study, the frequency of direct versus indirect sources cited in post-Columbia shuttle program coverage will be examined (Codebook in Appendix D). It is useful to see whether the official sources indeed dominated the coverage, as Soloski (1989) and Brown, et. al. (1987) claim and whether such governm ent officials versus NASA are associated with certain frames, such as the polic y frame. This could be useful because such
37 sources may have the power to influence frames and thus readers perceptions of the shuttle programs policy or funding matters. Research Questions Through a content analysis that will study the fram ing, sourcing, and focus, this study aims to develop an understanding of the focus and frames used in shuttle program coverage. It also aims to explore the sources used in shuttle progr am coverage and to investigate their frequency and range and to determine the degree of thei r diversity and dominance. Thus, the following research questions will be examined: RQ1: Does the coverage of the shuttle program differ between Florida Today and New York Times in terms of focus? RQ2: Does the coverage of the shuttle program differ between Florida Today and New York Times in terms of frames? RQ3: Does the frequency and type of source cited differ in Florida Today and New York Times shuttle program coverage? RQ4: Are any of the sources more frequently associated with a certain focus in Florida Today shuttle program coverage versus the New York Times coverage? RQ5: Are any of the frames more frequently associated with a certain focus in Florida Today shuttle program coverage versus the New York Times coverage? RQ6: Are any of the sources more frequently associated with certain frames in Florida Today shuttle program coverage versus the New York Times coverage? Table 1-1. Comparison of the pilot study Fl orida Today and New York Times frames FT (%) NYT (%) Technical/scientific aspects 5 (22.7) 6 (33.3) Program policy 6 (27.3) 3 (16.7) Internal changes 0 (0.0) 3 (16.7) Return to flight 2 (9.1) 3 (16.7) Program industry 0 (0.0) 2 (11.1) NASA in the public eye 5 (22.7) 1 (5.6) Funding/economic future 4 (18.2) 0 (0.0) Total 22 (100.0) 18 (100.0)
38 CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY This study will use a qu antitative content an alysis. Content analysis was the chosen method because it facilitates the objective, sy stematic, and quantitative description of the manifest content of communication (Berels on, 1952, p. 18), and the primary goal of this study is to provide a comprehensive and objective an alysis of newspaper coverage of the shuttle program. This can be accomplished in a number of ways as long as the analysis is valid and replicable (Krippendorff, 1980). Although this study will use fram ing techniques, it should be noted that framing and framing theory mean different ideas here. In some studies, framing refers to a method for analyzing texts. In others, it refers to an ideology upon which to base a study (Hertog & McLeod, 2001). However, framing has not settled on a core theory or even a basic set of propositions, nor has a widely accepted methodol ogical approach emerged (Hertog & McLeod, 2001, p. 139). Hertog & McLeod go on to outline thei r own approach to framing as a method to study social meanings. This study will also use thei r framing technique as a research tool in this content analysis study. The content of science news is a topic that needs more up-to-date study. According to Clark and Illman (2003), the full extent of public investment in certain space-related activities is not yet adequately reflected in space affairs coverage. Th is study will c ontribute to the research of space coverage by highlighting the issues in NASAs shuttle program coverage. Although many studies have examined the crisis communication of NASAs two rare shuttle accidents (for example, Kauffman, 2005; Sumpter & Garner, 2007), little research had been done on NASAs media coverage of a program that has la unched 122 other launches successfully as of November 2008.
39 Newspaper Articles Chosen Newspapers were chosen as the m edium for th is study for four reasons. First, Blum & Knudson (1997) state that newspapers are the mo st frequently relied upon source of science knowledge for the public. Also, Re nserger (1997) claims they are the front lines of science communication in which stories appear first befo re they are seen in other forms of media. Second, newspapers were selected as the medium for this analysis because they provide one of the most efficient ways to study a mass medium (Crawley, 2007). Third, Crawley (2007) states that they are also readily available and genera lly provide consistent data, as they are often archived and indexed in computer databases. The two newspapers chosen for this study, the Orlando newspaper Florida Today and the New York Times, are available in such databases. Last, according to Florida Today assistant Metro editor Dave Berm an, the majority of online and print content for that newspaper is the same (personal communication, September, 2008). Newspaper articles were chosen as the units of analysis over other forms of mass communication for additional reasons. Crawley (2007) states they are better to analyze because, although the Internet is gaini ng more dominance in science news dissemination, its text continually changes and its archived matter is mo re incomplete than that of newspapers and broadcast news is similarly s hort-lived and difficult to explor e systematically (p. 323). Therefore, the author felt that using archived print newspaper articles was the optimal way to retrieve the sample for this study. The local newspaper, Florida Today was chosen because it is distributed throughout the city of Melbourne and Brevard County, Florida, which is th e Space Coast region of NASAs Kennedy Space Center. In fact, 90% of the 14,950 e ngineers, supervisors, contractors, control specialists, and other te chnical and management professionals employed at KSC are responsible for preparing, maintaini ng, and launching shuttles at the KS C launch site (the only NASA launch
40 site in the U.S.) live in Brevard County, Florida (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2004; National Aero nautics and Space Administration, 2007a). They make up a large portion of the readers of Florida Today. According to its Web site, Florida Today [maintains] a presence throughout the Space Coast (Florida, 2007, par. 1). The daily circulation of the newspaper is 86,349 and Sunday circulation is 110,171 in Brevard County and the adjacent Indian River County (Florida, 2007). The newspaper has two journalists who specifically cover space issues and are stationed at the Kennedy Space Center, plus another reporter dedicated to space business news, and two additional editors overseeing this coverage, according to Florida Today assistant Metro editor Dave Berman (personal communication, September, 2008). Another newspaper from a local commun ity impacted by a NASA centers shuttle operations could have been chosen, such as the Huntsville Times in Huntsville, Alabama, home of the Marshall Space Flight Center, or the Houston Chronicle in Houston, Texas, home to the Johnson Space Center. Brevard Countys Space Coas t and its official newspaper were chosen for one main reason: the Kennedy Space Center has been NASAs launch operations center for more than 45 years (National Aeronautics and Space Administration, 2007a). This makes the centers impact on the shuttle progr am and the local stakeholders of that program very clear. Time Frame The coverage tim e frame was from February 1, 2003, the date of the Columbia disaster, until the present date when sample collection be gan, April 23, 2008. This was chosen to see what the shuttle coverage was like after this milest one for the program and what dominant frame prevailed. As Clark and Illman (2003) stated previously, the Columb ia disaster 2003 brought issues of space coverage into clearer focus. Of interest is what percentage of shuttle program news coverage after the disa ster dealt with issues about the program itself and funding,
41 management, safety, and policy changes made to it, versus what percent simply reported facts about shuttle missions, launches, and landings. Search Criteria The keyword search words were NASA and s huttle program for all document text in both newspapers from February 1, 2003, to Apr il 23, 2008, the date when the sample collection began. The New York Times articles were located with th e ProQuest National Newspapers search engines New York Times (1857-Current file) option. This search yielded 171 articles. The Florida Today articles were located by using the NewsBank Americas Newspapers online search engine courtesy of the University of North Florida Library. This search yielded 798 articles. It should be noted th at these two databases produced onl y staff-generated coverage, due to copyright restrictions on wire stories. The articles used included news, editorials, opinion pieces, and features. This represented an in-depth range of coverage on the shu ttle program, not only by gatekeepers and news reporters, but also by columnists and guest writers who repres ent different voices of public opinion. Editorials were included in the search results because the author wanted to retrieve the full spectrum of stories relating to the shuttle program, even those that were written by guest columnists or other potentially subjective contributors. New York Times Book Review or New York Times Magazine articles were excluded from these results because only news articles were the unit of analysis of interest. Articles le ss than 250 words were excluded from the sample because the researcher felt these articles lack ed thorough explanation and content. Also, duplicates, and unrelated articles were eliminated from both newspaper sets. Unrelated articles were discarded based on headline relevance and the frequency of the keywords NASA and shuttle program in the article text. If s huttle program was mentioned in the text but the article was not related to the program, the articles we re discarded. Letters to the editor were also
42 excluded because reporters and editors do not writ e them and the opinions of those letters do not reflect those of the news papers. This left 142 New York Times articles and 236 Florida Today articles, all of which were coded. Pilot Study As a prelude to the current study, a pilot wa s conducted analyzing fram es and sources found in post-Columbia coverage. The pilot study an alyzed the same search criteria but with a smaller sample size. The time frame was from February, 1, 2003, until the time that study ended, November 12, 2007 (Shkolyar, 2007). The articles were located by using the New York Times ProQuest academic online database and the Google News online search engine for the Florida Today articles. The Google News engine was used because at the time, the author did not have access to another database w ith a full selection of Florida Today articles and the newspapers Web site did not have articles from past years archived. In that study, from the 72 New York Times articles and 60 Florida Today articles that matched the sear ch criteria, duplicates, articles about individual launches, opinion features, a nd articles less than 400 words (to provide a complete enough story to adequately assess the frame) were excluded. This method resulted in 22 Florida Today articles and 38 New York Times articles. Thus, the earliest New York Times article and every other one thereafter was sele cted by systematic random sampling, so that a similar number of samples for each paper could be compared. Nineteen New York Times articles and 22 Florida Today articles were coded (Shkolyar, 2007). The pilot study looked at the frames prevalen t in shuttle coverage (Shkolyar, 2007). This study revealed the following frames, discussed in detail in the section Framing Theory: program policy, NASA in the public eye, techni cal and scientific, f unding/budget, return to flight, internal change s, and the industry frame (Shkolyar, 2007). Although the sample size of the pilot study was rather small, it still provided enough information to determine most of the frames
43 used in this shuttle program coverage study. Th at study, unlike this one, did not look at launch and landing articles, however, but that category has now been added to the code sheet and codebook. This was done to provide a more thorough sample to determine what the focuses of the articles were. The progress, Astronaut hero, and lessons in history frames, not found in the pilot study, were added to this analysis. The section, Current Study and the codebook in Appendix D provides details on those three frames. Also, some additional source categories not found in Sumpter & Garner (2007) were borrowed from the pilot study (Current Study section). Coding and Data Collection Process This study used quantitative m ethods to study the frames, focus, and sources used in postColumbia shuttle program coverage. One dominant frame and focus were coded for each unit of analysis in this study, the individua l newspaper article. If the st ory had more than one frame or focus, only the most dominant one was chosen. For each article, each source was also tallied separately for being cited dire ctly, indirectly, and both ways in the same article. This content analysis employed a standard c oding sheet as a guide but information was directly entered into a Microsoft Excel spreadsh eet that replicated th e categories on the coding sheet. Entering information directly into a databa se facilitated the quantitative analysis and also reduced the potential for error and increased effici ency by eliminating the need for extensive data entry after the coding process. All categories we re designed to concisely answer the research questions. Each Excel cell data fi eld (one separate cell for each fr ame, focus, direct source, and indirect source) was totaled and the percentage fo r how frequently each data field appeared in both newspapers was calculated on Excel. The dominant frames were determined by analyzing key words, frequently appearing words, loaded words or phrases, themes, figures of speech, headlines, and sources to determine a
44 dominant frame. The overall master narrative (Hertog & Mcle od, 2001, p. 150), headlines, leads, concluding statements, and symbolic language of the text were qual itatively analyzed for dominant frames. The presence of key words and phrases were also noted and contributed to the overall frames. Illustrations or graphs of a ny kind, although helpful in framing studies, were not used in this study because they were not availabl e in the archived article s. Although articles can have more than one frame, only the dominant one in each article was studied. After coding, dominant frames were quantitatively analyzed in terms of percentages of most frequently appearing frames. Sources were also studied. Sources were counted and quantitat ively analyzed in terms of percentages. Source affiliation categories in the code sheet were adapted and modified from the previously discussed study on Columbia story source selection by Sumpter and Garner (2007). They included the following previously defined cat egories: news workers, educational experts, government experts, CAIB members, other govern ment investigators, NASA official sources, astronauts or their relatives, citizens, and a nonymous categories. Others were added by the author. The codebook includes full definitions of sources. The frequency of times each source spoke was coded in this study to analyze the influences of sources In terms of sourcing, this study will examine local versus national postColumbia shuttle coverage to analyze the previously discussed trends that Einsiedel ( 1992), Crawley (2007), and Sumpter & Garner (2007) found. Direct and indirect sources were counted. If a source was not di rectly quoted but his or her opinion was paraphrased, this was counted as an indirect quote. If sources were listed as anonymous, they were coded as such, even though their affiliation, if known, may have contributed to the results differe ntly. If a source was quoted dire ctly or indirectly more than
45 once, that source was tallied only once. If sources spoke both directly and indirectly in the same article, they were coded in the both category. Before coding the articles, the author held a preliminary test run coding session of 30 articles chosen at random using a random number generator from th e sample used for this study. From this session, the exact focus used in the code sheet and c odebook were derived and thoroughly defined. Also from this test run, an extra frame, lessons from history, was found and added to the code sheet and codebook. Articles were quantitatively coded for four descriptive categories (article number, date, newspaper, word count) and th ree content analysis categorie s (focus, frame, and source reference, which were separated by direct, in direct, and both citations frames, and focus). Appendix C includes code sheet and Appendix D includes the codebook. The focus of each story was qualitatively dete rmined by the researcher and adapted from the definitions previously discussed by Borche lt (2001) in the section Focus of Science Communication. The focus was also chosen ba sed on headlines and key words and phrases, such as concluding statements, just as the frames were chosen. The categorical data for this content analysis was entered electronically into a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet. This Excel file was given to the co-coder and explained during the training session. The codebook in Appendix D provides speci fic data entry details. Keywords and phrases used to determine frames and focus for each article coded were noted in the appropriate cells of the Excel spreadsheet to aid in the pr ocess of citing examples in the Results section. Reliability and Validity Reliability applies to the cons istency of observation of data (Lindlof and Taylor, 2002, p. 238). In th is study, reliability a pplies to the same results bei ng generated each time the coding sheet is applied to the same article. Intercoder reliability was established in this study by having
46 another mass communications graduate student code 10% of the artic les. The co-coder completed course work in mass communicati on and had a good understa nding of quantitative research methods, coding, and framing. Before coding, the co-coder was familiarized with the code sheet, codebook, and Microsoft Excel spreadsheet used to tabulate the data prior to coding. The sample of 10% of the articles was selected from a random number generator. Both coders analyzed the 10% sample independently, and afte r coding, they compared results. The coders agreed on the dominant frames and focus. The Software PRAM (Program for Reliabi lity Assessment with Multiple Coders) developed by Skymeg Software was used to anal yze the Microsoft Excel file and to determine Holsti's Coefficient of Reliability as well as th e percentage of agreement between the two coder common samples. Holsti's Coefficient of Reliability was 88.4% and the percentage of agreement was 91.9%. This is an acceptable result. Wh ile there is no standard for determining an acceptable level of agreement in intercoder reliability, a reliabili ty of greater than 85% is considered satisfactory (Kassarjia n, 1977). It is also important to note the inter-coder reliability check for categories judged to have the highest and lowest percentage of agreement. The directly quoted sourcing categories overall had th e highest intercoder relia bility. The Holsti's Coefficient of Reliability was 100% for news wo rkers; 87.8% for educational sources; 81.8% for government sources; 87.2% for CAIB members, ot her government investigator sources, and nonNASA spokespeople; 85.7% for NASA official sources; 87.5% for as tronauts or their relatives; 87.2% for NASA technical sources as we ll as anonymous sources; 88.1% for NASA spokespeople; and 87.2% for citizen sources. Conversely, the focus cat egories were found to have the lowest intercoder reliab ility. The Holsti's Coefficient of Reliability was 88.9% for the
47 policy and funding focus, 89.1% for mission focus ar ticles as well as Columbia details focus articles, and 87.5% for technical and scientific focus articles as well as the other focus articles.
48 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS Using the newspapers specified and the term s defined in Chapter 3, a total of 378 articles were examined: 236 from Florida Today (FT) and 142 from the New York Times (NYT). These articles were examined for quotes by sources, and frequently occurring keywords, headlines, leads, concluding statements, and phrases to determine frames and focus. The bulk of the sample shuttle program cove rage occurred in 2003. Coverage spiked during that year due to the Colu mbia disaster. In February 20 03 alone, there were 58 articles, which made up 15.3% of the entire sample (Tab le 4-1). Although there were nine shuttle launches between the first Return to Flight launch in 2005 and the present, November 2008, coverage dropped in 2004, steadily rose in 2005, and then dropped again in 2008 (Appendix B for shuttle launch dates). The New York Times coverage was longer than the Florida Today coverage. Most of the New York Times articles averaged between approx imately 600 and 900 words, while most Florida Today stories averaged between approxim ately 400 to 500 words in length. RQ1: Does The Coverage of the Shuttle Program Differ Between Florida Today and New York Ti mes in Terms of Focus? A total of five foci were coded for: Colu mbia details focus, policy and funding focus, mission status focus, technical and scientif ic focus, and other (Table 4-2). Columbia Details Focus The focus found m ost often in the coverage (31.5%, N = 119) invol ved providing details and information about the investig ations of the Columbia disaster. A higher percentage of articles fitting this focus appeared in the Florida Today coverage (55.5%, N = 66) versus New York Times coverage (44.5%, N = 53) (Table 4-2).
49 These articles were written primarily to inform readers about the problems before, failures during, and investigations and chan ges after the Columbia disaster. This focus included articles about budget changes as a result of the Columbia accident, recommendation and disaster details1 of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (CAIB), Columbia debris findings, and Columbia shuttle or safety changes2 as a result of the accident. The articles fitting this purpose were strictly about the Columbia event and its aftermath. An example of a post-Columbia budget change addressed how some lawmakers will use the Columbia accident as justification to boost NASAs long-stagnant budget. This article discussed several Congressmens opinions on increasing the budget for the remaining three shuttles after the $2 billion Columbia shut tle was gone (Wheeler, 2003, August 27). One example of an article discussing Co lumbia debris findings came from the New York Times sample. This article discussed the search near Fort Worth and Central Texas for a significant section of one of the space shuttles wings, includ ing the hardened leading-edge material and heat resistant tile s that are among the leading suspects in the accident that killed the crew of the Columbia (Broder, J. M., 2003, Feb. 8). The article also discussed how investigators were piecing together clues about the causes of the accident from the debris findings and from satellite photographs of the shuttl e taken before its explosion. It stated that uncertainty remained about the exact causes at that time, less than a week after the accident. 1 The CAIB, composed of 13 Air Force, safety, NASA, Fede ral Aviation Federation, space policy, and other experts, made over 30 recommendations for NASAs return to flight effort after six months of conducting thorough postColumbia safety, management, organizational, and procedural investigations. Causes of the accident, according to them, included physical ones, such as a breach in the thermal protection system that was initiated by a piece of foam hitting the fuel tank, and or ganizational causes, such as failure to assess anomalies and accepting risks without support (Excerpts, 2003, Aug. 27). 2 The CAIBs recommendations for changes included obtainin g satellite images of shuttles to monitor the debris hitting them, submitting annual reports to Congress, maintain ing consistent flight schedules, improving launch pad maintenance, and reorganizing the Sp ace Shuttle Integration Office, among other technical, organizational, and procedural changes.
50 One account of the Columbia disaster in the New York Times described how technical warnings were communicated by several engineers and officials on duty the day of the disaster. An email to officials on the morning of the disa ster from NASA engin eer Robert H. Doherty warned them about the pressure and heating issu es that might occur if a tire failure was not addressed that February morning on Columbia during its reentry: Mr. Daugherty then discussed the problems that would remain even if you could survive the heating, [of the shuttle during reentry] which included the de tonation of explosive door bolts, loss of hydraulic fluids, landing gear that would not deploy, and severe tire damage. (Schwartz and Broder, 2003, Feb. 13) One Florida Today article describing postColumbia safety changes discussed by the CAIB read: NASA is making slow progress in implementing a key safety recommendation made last year by the Columbia Accident Investiga tion Board, an advisory panel concluded Thursday. The Columbia board directed NASA to crea te a special department to take over responsibility setting and enforcing safety standards for the remaining space shuttles. (Wheeler, 2004, April 9) Policy and Funding Focus The next focus found m ost frequently, policy a nd funding, appeared in 28.8% (N = 109) of the total coverage. This was found more frequently in Florida Today coverage (69.7%, N = 76) (Table 4-2). Articles with this focus were written to he lp readers understand a nd formulate policy or funding opinions about the shuttle program, excluding the Columbia disaster. These articles dealt with some financial or political aspect n ecessary for the reader to understand the functions and procedures of the NASA shuttle program. Many of them discussed the funding and polic y issues surrounding th e retirement of the shuttle program. One example of a financial aspect from Florida Today explained the necessity
51 to approve future budgets for the program and the possible dire outcomes of not getting the funding. It began, Several lawmakers have warned President Bush in a letter that if NASA doesnt get the budget it seeks for 2007 to 2010, it would have to retire shuttle Atlantis immediately, cutting jobs and gutting the vision for space exploration. (Kridler, 2005, Dec. 16) The article went on to discuss various represen tatives and space policy analysts controversies surrounding the proposal. One was that the OM B [Office of Management and Budget] lacks knowledge of the ramifications when they make a proposal like this, [KSC area Rep. Tom] Feeney said (Kridler, 2005, Dec. 16). Another was that if the s huttle was retired, international partnerships and projects such as the Internat ional Space Station would be ruined because the shuttles are the main transport systems to the Station. Another example from the New York Times echoed this idea of job cuts during the shuttle retirement due to lack of funding and advocated an increased budget for NASA: Last week [referring to early December 2005], Re presentative Tom DeLay of Texas sent a letter cosigned by 29 fellow Republicans and 6 Democrats to the White House Office of Management and Budget asking for full NASA financing. Mr. DeLay, the former House majority leader whose district includes the Johnson Space Center, suggested that NASA might have to reti re one of its three shut tles early and lay off workers if more money was not found for the program. (Leary, 2005, Dec. 16) One example of this focus highlighting Pres ident Bushs policies for the NASAs future, what he called the vision for space exploration, was discussed in a New York Times article. The article began: Back to the moon? Push on to Mars? Visit an asteroid? At Stanford University on Tuesday, 50 space experts and advocates from the National and Aeronautics Space Administrati on, industry, academia, and advocacy groups are gathering to ask whether the United States is on the right track in its plans to reach the Moon by 2020, build a long-term lunar base there, and eventually send humans to Mars.
52 Lois Friedman, a founder of the Planetary Society, a space exploration advocacy group, said,there are new political fo rces coming in that are not wedded to the vision for space exploration put forth in 2004 by President Bush. (Schwartz and Leary, 2008, Feb. 12) This article expanded on differi ng opinions about this vision from others, including director of the Space Policy Institute at George Wa shington University, John Logsdon, and NASA administrator, Michael Griffin. Both of them were in favor of Bushs plan. Mission Status Focus The m ission status focus was the next most co mmon found in the articles. These articles were found almost as frequently as funding and policy focus articles. They appeared in 25.6% (N = 109) of the total samp le, more frequently in Florida Today coverage (73.2%, N = 71) (Table 4-2). These articles primarily provided information on specific shuttle launch schedules, launch updates, scrubbed launches, and landings. A lthough many stories mentioned information about certain shuttle missions as secondary focus. Ar ticles in this focus categ ory were predominantly about specific missions. This category excludes articles about the Columbia mission. One Florida Today article giving an update on th e 2005 Discovery mission and launch schedule began: Breakaway ice and foam insulation from an exte rnal fuel tank still could cause lethal damage, but NASA shuttle program managers deem the risk acceptable and intend to launch Discovery in mid-July, officials say. (Halvorson, 2005, June 25) The article went on to address th e daylong debris analysis and th e wide range of possibilities for almost any given scenario of problems that exist before a launch, according to two shuttle program heads, Bill Parsons and John Muratore (Halvorson, 2005, June 25). Another Florida Today article gave a status update on the February 2008 Atlantis mission. It began:
53 Shuttle Atlantis and its astronauts are scheduled to pull into the International Space Station today with a special delivery: the $1.3 billi on European Columbus science laboratory. (Halvorson, 2008, Feb. 9) This article expanded on the mission to the Station, debris dangers it faced during its flight there, and its planned return, scheduled for Feb. 18, 2005. Many other articles in this focus category discussed details about mission landings and scrubbed missions, such as the 2005 Discovery Return to Flight mission in July that wa s postponed due to sensor malfunctions. Technical and Scientific Focus Articles explaining a technical or scientific idea about the shuttle appeared only in the New York Times sam ple (4.2%, N = 16). Such articles pr ovided scientific explanations about some aspect of a shuttle component, malfunction, or this effect on fli ght phenomena. These articles also excluded technical details a bout Columbia. Those were cons idered part of the Columbia details focus. One article from the New York Times discussed how impact analysis of the 2005 Discovery mission determined that the shuttles skin is turning out to be more fragile than NASA engineers thought (Schwartz, 2005, Jan. 20). This article went into detail about reentry heating, the damage this causes, and how engine ers do not fully understand the impact of these phenomena on shuttles. Another New York Times article discussed the tail rudder problems many shuttles have experienced, procedures for their replacements and safety evaluations, and their effects on the shuttle wh ile in flight and during reentry (Leary, 2004, Mar. 23). Many articles in this focus category discusse d the debris hitting shuttles during launches and landings. For example, one discussed the difficult hunt for external fuel tank debris damage on the Discovery during its 2005 mission. The article detailed how cameras on the launch pad and planes monitoring the shuttles ascent tracked the debris hitting it during its flight (Schwartz, 2005, Jul. 27).
54 Other Focus The rem aining sample (8.7%, N = 33) dealt with articles that could not be classified into any other focus category. Such articles disc ussed various topics including Space Coast shuttle art contests as NASA 50th anni versary fundraisers (B alancia, 2008, April 1), the Hall of Fame induction of astronauts, and articl es highlighting management cha nges, such as the appointments and removals of personnel not as a result of Columbia. RQ2: Does the Coverage of the Shuttle Program Differ Between Florida Today and New York Ti mes in Terms of Frames? Although it could have been argued that some articles had multiple frames, each had one key phrase, keyword, lead, or c oncluding statement that pushed it into one dominant frame. The next discussion provides a summary of frame statistics and descrip tions for these frames: safety frame, technical and scientific3, industry, return to flight, f unding and budget, policy, internal changes, lessons from history, astronaut her o, progress, NASA in the public eye, and some notable frames found in the other category that were not specified on the coding sheet (Table 4-3). Safety Frame Overall, the safety fram e was found the most frequently (21.9%, N = 83). This frame was found predominantly in Florida Today coverage (72.3%, N = 60). Safety frame articles dealt with topics that primarily emphasized the safety issues and concerns behind a variety of shuttle program topics. These topics included launc h conditions for missions, decisions on shuttle policy, and Columbia disaster i nvestigations, among other topics. 3 It should be noted that technically and scientifically framed articles should not be confused with those that had a technical and scientific focus. Articles with that focus were primarily written to explain phenomenon, malfunctions, or procedures related to the shuttles. On the other hand, technically framed articles could have had any of the previously discussed purposes. They were about topics such as mission updates, scrubbed launches, details about the Columbia disaster, and policy deci sions that were framed technically.
55 Safety frame articles were full of keywords such as risk, hazard, and discussions about NASAs safety culture. These articles were also characterized by di scussions on the CAIBs safety investigations, mission laun ch details explaining the safety of launches, and the safety of the program. CAIB experts were freq uently cited in these articles. These articles framed safety issues in a vari ety of ways. Some discussed better-understood safety procedures that were implemented duri ng launches after the Columbia (for example, Halvorson, 2007, October 12) while others criticized the safety of the shuttle program, claiming that few shuttle safety experts have advanced degrees in safety e ngineering or safety management (Wendt, 2003, March 19). One Florida Today article discussed the planned launch of Atlantis on September 6, 2006, and the safety of the weather conditions for that mission. Wayne Hale, the shuttle program manager, said: [I]t does not make sense to fool with Mother Nature. You want to do what is safe. And when the forecast persisted in bringing the storm to the Kennedy Space Center area, we decided it would be most prudent to go back to the barn and wait it out there. (Halvorson, 2006, Aug. 30) An editorial framed this way from the New York Times was written by a NASA guest columnist who was a safety consultant encour aging NASA, Congress, and the White House to work together, first to allocate more money, then to use it wisely to make shuttles safer. He said: I testified before Congress about the safety of the space shuttle program. My remarks contained both praise and concern, and I clos ed with a warning: No danger was imminent but the risk for future missions would almost certainly increase if NASA was unable to pursue its long-term safety strategy. (Blomberg, 2003, Feb. 7) One Florida Today article that was previously discussed in the Columbia details focus fit the safety frame. It criticized the progress of NASA as being too slow in making safety changes according to the CAIBs recommendations:
56 NASA is making slow progress in implementi ng a key safety recommendation made last year by the Columbia Accident Investiga tion Board, an advisory panel concluded Thursday. The Columbia board directed NASA to crea te a special department to take over responsibility setting and enforcing safety standards for the remaining space shuttles. (Wheeler, 2004, April 9) The article also criticized the sa fety panel as not being as int imately involved in tracking and scrutinizing personnel, hardware an d organizational problems at NAS A as in the past (Wheeler, 2004, April 9). Technical and Scientific Frame The second most frequently found fram e was th e technical and scientific frame (18.5%, N = 70). It appeared more frequently in the New York Times coverage (65.7%, N = 46). Technically framed articles were full of keyw ords such as fuel tank, heat, wing, sensors, and airflow, all referring to parts, descriptions, or processe s of the shuttle. These articles were also characterized by the inclusion of mathematical, statistical, and scientific details. Many technical experts were cited in these articles, including mostly university professors who consulted for NAS A or other researchers. For example, some articles in this frame disc ussed mission details. One discussed details of the sensor repairs that were causing scr ubs of a 2005 Atlantis mission (Peterson, 2008, Jan. 23). Another Florida Today article explained the science behi nd an Atlantis missions payload: The payload goes aboard Monday. On its flight to the International Sp ace Station, Atlantis will carry a 17.5-ton truss, with a solar wing th at can generate 14 kilowatts of electricity. (Peterson, 2007, Mar. 2) One New York Times article framed this way cited a physicist and CAIB member, G. Scott Hubbard, as its main source. This article described a CAIB hearing where Hubbard discussed foam hitting the Columbia during its flight that could have caused the accident (Schwartz, 2003, Jul. 8).
57 Another New York Times technically framed article e xplained the policies about space debris which were being discu ssed by an intern ational panel: On Monday in Vienna, a panel of scientists from space agencies around the world will submit to the United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs recommendations for designing and flying space vehicl es to reduce the amount of debris they produce and cut their chances of colliding with one another. The article went on to describe the technical de tails behind the damage that space debris can cause to spacecraft: Even a one-centimeter pellet, the width of a fingertip, can destroy a sp acecraft at a typical orbital speed of 20,000 miles per hour or mo re, experts say. (Revkin, 2003, Feb. 18) One New York Times article discussed the higher th an normal heating on one side, and similar abnormal drag on one wing which many shuttles experience upon fli ght reentry. It also discussed examples of flights that experienced this very co mplex problem of fluid dynamics affecting any vehicle entering the atmosphere at several times the speed of sound (Cushman, 2003, Feb. 6). Industry Frame The industry frame appeared in 12.2% (N = 46) of the entire sample. However, 95.7% (N = 44) of the articles with that frame were from Florida Today Industry frame articles discussed how the shuttle program impacted NASA center communities, Floridas aerospace industry, or other NASA-related indu stries such as contractor co mpanies that provide outsourced support to NASA. Industry frame articles were characterized mainly by discussions of the retiring shuttle program in 2011 and its effect on NASA jobs and local in dustry, other countries space programs in comparison to that of the U. S, and Floridas competition in the aeronautics industry. Many KSC area Representatives and NASA technical employees were cited in these articles.
58 For example, one very recent Florida Today article from April 2, 2008 discussed how job cuts might affect the Kennedy Space Center community: NASA announced Tuesday that Kennedy Space Cent er could lose more than one-third of its work force as the shuttle program winds dow n. Economic analyses indicate that at least as many KSC-dependent non-space jobs up to 6,400 could also be lost in the communities around the space center. (Peterson, 2008, Apr. 2) One article discussed the states aerospace industry: Gov. Jeb Bush Tuesday signed into law a seri es of five economic development measures, including one to bolster the states aerospace industry. (Flemming, 2006, May 31) Another New York Times article discussed an investiga tion about Columbia shuttle parts manufactured by two NASA contractor companies, Boeing and Lockheed Martin. It discussed how these private companies that build and repair the nations space shuttle fleet and operate the shuttle program in tandem with NASA partic ipated in a Columbia disaster investigation about the causes of that accident which may have a significant effect on the future operation of these companies (Wong and Wayne, 2003, Feb. 3). Return to Flight Frame This fram e appeared in 8.5% (N = 32 ) of the total coverage, mostly in Florida Today (71.9%, N = 23). It concentrated on the return to flight efforts of the shuttle program. This was during the time period right afte r the Columbia shuttle tragedy occurred and for the two years afterwards when all remaining scheduled shuttle launches were cancelled for safety investigations and inspections. The next shuttle was launched in 2005. This frame captured the excitement, skepticism, and caution about NASAs e fforts to return the s huttle to the sky over the two years when it was grounded. Articles in this frame were characterized by uncertainties about the CAIBs safety and Columbia accident investigations optimistic statements about the shuttles readiness to go back to space after two years of preparations, nationalistic statemen ts about the shuttle program, and
59 statements made by astronauts on the importance and necessity of space flight. Many astronauts, CAIB investigators, and NASA officials were cited in these articles. For example, a Florida Today article framed this way disc ussed NASAs plans to launch Discovery two years after Columbia happened. Di scoverys commander, Eileen Collins, said in the concluding statement of the article, Its time for us to go fly even though repairs and safety modifications still needed to be made to th e shuttle (Halvorson and Kelly, 2005, Feb. 1). One skeptical New York Times article framed this way discussed NASA officials plans to launch in late 2004 or early 2005 and the safety and administ rative issues needing to be resolved for the return to flight to o ccur (Leary, 2004, Feb. 20). Frequently found key words and phrases in th is frame included avoiding launch fever after the Columbia accident in the Return to Flight time period and practicing caution during the subsequent flights. One ar ticle with these key phrases disc ussed the position of Wayne Hale, the shuttle program manager, on flying the shuttle safely: With so much at stake, NASA must pro ceed with extreme caution and avoid catching launch fever. (NASAs, 2006, Mar. 2) Funding/Budget Frame This fram e appeared in 5.3% (N = 20) of the entire sample but it dominated in Florida Today (95.0%, N = 19). This frame was characterized by the inclusion of financial discussions and the opinions or actions of lawmakers and NASA officials. It included information about the shuttle budget or funding polic y related to the shuttle pr ogram. Funding and budget frame articles frequently referenced Congressional bills on budget policie s, discussions of costs for safety and other post-Columbia changes, and proposed budgets for upcoming fiscal years. Many government experts were cite d in these articles. One Florida Today funding frame article
60 discussed how the shuttle program has seen little cost savings even though the remaining three orbiters have been idle since the Feb. 1 Co lumbia disaster (Wheeler, 2003, July 12). Many of these articles discussed the past, present, and future of the shuttle program budget and implications of this on the surrounding economy. One New York Times article discussed how the 2004 planned shuttle program budget suffere d after Columbia and how President Bush requested for Congress to increase spending from $3.2 billion in 2003 to $3.97 billion in 2004 (Stolberg, 2003, Feb. 4). Another discussed the cost overruns on th e shuttle program in its time of retirement and using long-term investment s to boost economic development (Action, 2008, April 16). Many others discusse d shuttle program budget increase requests for 2005, the year of the Return to Flight mission, and budget cut plans for 2010, the year of the shuttles retirement. Policy Frame This fram e appeared in 5.0% (N = 19) of the coverage, spr ead about equally between the two newspapers. Articles in this frame discussed Congressional decisions on shuttle policies, including policies dealing with the retiring shut tle program, post-Columbia policy changes, and 2008 presidential candidate plans fo r the shuttle program if elected. Policy frame articles were full of keywords such as proposal, agenda Capitol Hill, and other references to presidential commissions and Congressional hearings, decisions and documents that gave information about shuttle policies. House, Senate, and Representative members were cited frequently in these articles, especially those of the House Science Committee. One example of an article that dealt with policies about th e retiring shuttle program was from Florida Today It discussed how Brevard Count y Commissioner Chuck Nelson was supposed to meet with Congress about leade rship on space issues and discuss narrowing the five-year gap in launching spacecraft between th e retirement of the shuttle program and the beginning of the Constellation Program (Dean, 2008, Jan. 23).
61 An example of a policy frame article discussing post-Columbia issu es was addressed in another piece from Florida Today This article discussed Congress opinions on the future of the shuttle program. In it, the ch airman of one of Congress subcommittees summarized the postColumbia issues that define the policy frame: There are a lot of questions that have to be asked and thoroughly ve tted, said U.S. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., House Science Committee Chairman. Do we go forward with humans in space? Do we invest in a heavy upgrade program for the shuttle? Do we focus all our attention on a replacement vehicle? Weve got some very important policy decisions to make, he said. (Wheeler, 2003, August 27). This frame also included articles about the po licies of several 2008 presidential candidates. These articles focused on their policies for the space industry if they were elected. For example, a Florida Today editorial discussed Senator Hillary C lintons policies on space exploration. Hillary Clinton said in this ed itorial that her top scientific priorities would be enhancing American leadership in space through investment s in exploration, earth sciences, and aeronautics research (Hillary, 2007, Oct. 10). Another Florida Today editorial in this frame discussed the space policies of former New York City mayor a nd Republican candidate for president in that election, Rudy Giuliani. His ed itorial discussed his plans fo r making America a global space exploration leader in an effort to gain support from the Space Coast community for his presidential campaign (Giuliani, 2008, Jan. 26). Internal Changes Frame This fram e appeared also in 5.0% of the to tal coverage (N = 19) and dominated in the New York Times coverage (63.2%, N = 12). This frame fo cused on management changes made by the CAIB after the Columbia disaster as well as mana gerial changes within NA SA not related to the disaster. This frame also discussed changes within the agency as a result of the Columbia accident. Such articles were characterized by discussions of CAIB recommendations and
62 changes dealing with NASAs culture or organi zational procedures. Many CAIB experts were cited in these articles. One Florida Today article framed this way discusse d former shuttle program manager Ralph Roes reassignment to lead the NASA Engin eering and Safety Center at Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia despite Congress cr iticisms that he should not have been qualified after his performance during the Columb ia events (Halvorson, 2003, Nov. 15). One New York Times article discussed an administra tive change not related to the Columbia accident. It reported President Bushs nomination of Dr. Michael Griffin, physicist at Johns Hopkins Universitys Applied Physics Laboratory, for administrator of NASA (Leary, 2005, Mar. 12). Such internal changes discussed in this frame also included articles reporting about the promotion of William Parsons as the s huttle program manager at Johnson Space Center in Houston in 2003. One Florida Today article discussed post-Columbia agency procedural changes: The [Columbia Accident Invest igation B]oard has made it cl ear that serious problems in the agencys culture caused a management and communications breakdown that contributed to the accident, and that sweeping changes will be required. Those will likely include revamping a flawed problem reporting system, creating a better trend-analysis system to help engineers spot potentially deadly hazards, and strengthening independent safety oversight of engineering decisions about shu ttle flight risks. (Facing, 2003, May 15) Lessons from History Frame This fram e was found in 5.0% (N = 19) of the total coverage, mostly in the Florida Today sample (63.2%, N = 12). These articles emphasized the past advancements, mistakes, and lessons of events in NASAs history. These ev ents included the Apollo program, which put man on the moon, and the Challenger accide nt, the first shuttle disaster.
63 Articles having this frame were full of keywor ds referencing the historical importance of space exploration, such as legacy, lessons, era, and human history, and references to past flights, programs, and the people made fa mous by those programs, such as Neil Armstrong, the first astronaut to walk on the moon during the Apollo program, President John F. Kennedy, who set the policies for that program, and Sally Ri de, the teacher-astronaut who perished in the Challenger accident. Many other astronaut s were cited in these articles. One Florida Today article said [n]early 35 years after Neil Armstrongs earthshaking moon walk, president Bush is vowing to send America back there by 2015. This article also discussed how Apollos launch operations manager, Paul Donnelly, believes his generation did the right things for the space program and want s to see it happen again in the future (Breen, 2004, Jan. 29). In one article from New York Times the leader of the CAIB, Admiral Harold W. Gehman, Jr., expressed a fiscal mistake from history that he hoped the agency would not repeat: After the Apollo Program, Admiral Gehman said: NASA has had to overstate its capabilities and understate the cost of doing business. I hope that the Congress and the While House dont put them in that position again. (Glanz, 2004, Jan. 27) Another article with this frame from the New York Times discussed the problems and echoes of the bitter Challenger experience as they were apparent in the Columbia accident investigation (Sanger, 2033, Feb. 7). Astronaut Hero Frame The Astronaut Hero fram e appeared in 2.9% of the total coverage (N = 11). It was found more frequently in Florida Today (70.0%, N = 8). These articles glorified astronauts as heroes in society for their accomplishments and martyrdom, in the case of the Columbia astronauts. Astronaut Hero frame articles were full of keywords such as honor and fame, whether it referred to the fame the astronauts experienced or Hall of Fame exhibits into which they were
64 inducted. Astronauts, their families, and other people who lived in their hometowns were cited in these articles. One Florida Today article discussed the achievement s and talents of Discovery mission specialist Robert Curbeam and his successful missi on to the International Space Station to retract a solar panel: Two dozen NASA astronauts have chalked up three spacewalks during 18 different missions, but no one ever has gone into the vo id four times during a shuttle flight. Curbeam now has tallied 45 hours and 34 minutes working outside the spacecraft a total that ranks him on top 10 lists that track spacewalking records. (Halvorson, 2006, Dec. 19) Some articles acknowledged the Columbia astronauts for their martyrdom. Two New York Times hero frame article describe d the loss of astronauts due to Columbia. One reported interviews with several Houston locals abou t the loss of Columbia pilot Cmdr. William C. McCool (Bragg and Yardley, 2003, Feb. 2). Anot her article reported a similar account of another lost Columbia astronaut Lt. Col. Michael P. Anderso n, told by the residents who knew him in his hometown, Spokane, Wash ington (LeDuff, 2003, Feb. 3). Progress Frame The progress fram e appeared in 1.6% of the sample, or six articles, equally in each paper. It included articles that made optimistic statements about the advancement or improvement of the shuttle program or more gene rally, the space program. Progre ss frame articles were full of optimistic key phrases such as good news and vast progress, about th e achievements that were being made by the shuttle program. Most articles in this frame included the keyword progress in the article text. Astronauts and spokespeople were cited most frequently in such articles. Several articles that discusse d successful shuttle missions char acterized this frame. One from New York Times discussed the July 2005 mission of that shuttle. The article said, [w]hile
65 the Discovery mission must wait the turn of a fe w more pages of history, its progress is encouraging, referring to the missions successful assembly of part of the International Space Station (Wilford, 2005, Jul. 27). One from Florida Today discussed the progress of human spaceflight: The past 50 years saw the beginning of th e space race and vast progress in human spaceflight, much of that launching from Br evard County. During the next 50 years, NASA plans to send humans farther than it ever has beyond the moon and to Mars. (Lowe, 2007, Nov. 11) NASA in the Public Eye Frame The leas t frequently found frame was NASA in the public eye. That frame appeared in 0.5% of the entire sample, with one such articl e appearing in each paper. These two articles focused on the way the public views the shuttle program and cited news worker sources frequently. The two NASA in the Public Eye frame articles in the sample were very dissimilar in their content with no overlapping keywords or phr ases found. One article discussed the findings of a Gallup poll reported in Florida Today about U.S. residents opi nions on space exploration. The poll found that 74% of the part icipants believed the shuttle program should continue and that 53% believed NASAs performance today is goo d or excellent (Reed, 2005, July 11). The other, from the New York Times discussed NASA management ope nness and interaction with the media in the days following the Columbia failure. It stated: Its easier to have what seems like a strong publicity operation if everything youre doing is the stuff of high drama, which was the case earlier in the program, Mr. Wolfe [a NASA space program author] said. (Broder, 2003, Feb. 10) Other Frames The articles not fitting any predetermined frames on the coding list made up 13.5% (N = 51) of the total coverage, spread about equally between the two newspapers. Some frames that
66 were not predetermined on the coding sheet were added to provide a full understanding of the frames used in the shuttle program and are desc ribed below. These frames included the blame frame and articles that gave mission summaries. Blame frame. One of the most frequently found fram es in the coverage that was not on the predetermined coding list was the blame frame. This frame dealt with stories that faulted different parties or actions for the failure of the Columbia. These articles blamed mainly the faulty debris and risk analysis and the progr ams culture and managerial communication for the disaster. One article said the disaster was the result of a combination of physical, organizational, and historic al causes, claiming that: Too often, accident investigators blame a failure only on the last step in a complex process, when a more comprehensive understanding of that process could reveal that earlier steps might be equally or even more culpable. (Excerpts, 2003, Aug. 27) Some articles framed this way included the keyword fault tree, referring to a document that NASA engineers were constructing as part of the accident investigation analysis. A quote from one Florida Today article illustrates this: Today, however he [Ron Dittemore, shuttle program manager] backtracked again, saying that he had not ruled out the debris strike as a possible factor [for the accident]. He said NASA engineers were construc ting a fault tree with every conceivable reason for the massive and fatal failure. (Broder, 2003, Feb. 7) Another article from the New York Times that illustrates this frame faulted the leader of the shuttle program. Some lawmakers have even begun to ponde r whether OKeefe [NASA administrator] himself might deserve a share of whatever blame there is to be assigned in the aftermath of the Columbia tragedy. (Wheeler, 2003, Mar. 3) Many articles found did not fit the frames previ ously discussed because they were neutral mission summary reports. For example, one, compiled by Florida Today staff, simply gave a brief synopsis of the shuttle progr ams focus, mission launch and landing locations, and cost. It
67 went on to list each flight since 1981 in chronologi cal order and a brief description of what each achieved. Another from the New York Times was a summary of one particular mission. It discussed the Atlantis mission of 2006, listing its expected time of launch, mission duration, and focus. One from Florida Today reported some fun facts and statistics about shuttles in general (Breen, 2006, Jul. 1). RQ3: Does the Frequency and Type of Source Cited Differ in Florida Today and New Y ork Times Shuttle Program Coverage? Types of Sources The sources will be d iscussed in descending orde r of frequency found in the sample coverage. They included NASA officials, government offi cials, educational e xperts, NASA technical experts, NASA spokespeople, CAIB members, as tronauts or their relati ves, non-NASA technical experts, non-NASA spokespeople, citizens, anonymous sources, news worker sources, and other government investigators (Tab les 4-4, 4-5, 4-6 and 4-7). NASA officials. The most frequently cited source s in the total sample were NASA officials. This category made up 32.9% (N = 38 3) of the total number of cited sources in the overall coverage. They were cite d as 34.8% (N = 204) of the total Florida Today sample sources and as 31.0% (N = 179) of the total New York Times sample sources. They were cited most often directly in both newspapers ( FT: 20.8%, N = 122; NYT : 12.1%, N = 70). This group included NASA administrators or contractors with mana gerial authority. Commonly cited NASA officials in cluded NASA Administrator Mich ael Griffin, shuttle project manager Wayne Hale, and shuttle operations asso ciate administrator William Gerstenmaier. Others in this category included any NASA or NASA contractor so urce with the title manager, chief, official, or related term s. Also, retired NASA officials su ch as Apollo flight director Eugene Kantz were considered part of this category.
68 Government officials. The next most frequently cited sources in the total sample were government officials (12.0%, N = 140), cited about ha lf as frequently as NASA officials. They appeared more in Florida Today coverage (15.5%, N = 91) than in the total New York Times sample coverage (8.5%, N = 49). They were cited most often directly in the total Florida Today sample (8.5%, N = 50) and in the New York Times sample (5.2%, N = 30). This category included any elected or appointed government leaders or advisers, excluding NASA employees. These also included Congres sional and funding officials and House Science Subcommittee members. Examples of government sources that were freq uently cited included Senator Sam Brownback, Kansas Republican, and Senator John McCain, Arizona Republican, both of whom lead the senate subcommittee that oversees NASA. Also, one very heavily cited government source was Representative Sherwood Boehlert, Republican of New York and the chairman of the House Science Committee. President Bush was also cited in many Congressional hearings in many articles. Educational experts The next most frequently cited sources in the total sample were educational experts (8.7%, N = 101). They appeared more than twice as often in the New York Times sample, cited as 12.1% (N = 70) of the total New York Times sample sources and as 5.3% (N = 31) of the total Florida Today sample sources. They were cited most often directly in the total Florida Today sample (3.1%, N = 18) and in the New York Times sample (6.2%, N = 36). These were sources affiliated with a uni versity who had administration, space policy, or technical expertise. Some were directly involved with resear ch studies or investigations while others only commented on various NASA policies and t echnical phenomena. Educational experts included Paul A. Czysz, professor emeritus at Parks College of Engineering and Aviation at St. Louis University who was a consultant on the details of the
69 shuttles break up. Others, such as John M. Logsdon, director of the Space Policy Institute at George Washington University, prov ided a great deal of information in the newspaper sample on NASAs changing policies after Columbia. Simila rly, Alex Roland, history professor at Duke University, was frequently cited as a former NASA historian and cr itic of the shuttle program. NASA technical experts. Technical experts were cited about as frequently in the total sample as government officials (8.0%, N = 93). Th is source category app eared about equally in the two newspapers, cited as 7.5% (N = 44) of the total Florida Today sample sources and as 8.5% (N = 49) of the total New York Times sample sources. They were cited most often directly in both Florida Today sample (5.1%, N = 30) and in the New York Times sample (4.2%, N = 25). These sources were any engineering or other technical e xperts who worked for NASA or one of its three major contractors, Boeing, Lock heed Martin, or the United Space Alliance. These were shuttle specialists, scientists, engi neers, or NASA affiliated researchers excluding university-affiliated researchers. They included, for example, Greg Katn ik, a Kennedy Space Center engineer who performed a shuttle tile damage assessment in an investigation of shuttle safety. This group also included NASA scientists such as Donald Kessl er, former NASA senior scientist for orbital debris research. These sources were referred to as analysts, engineers, technical experts, and related titles. NASA spokespeople. This group made up 7.0% (N = 82) of the overall samples cited sources. They were cited as 9.7% (N = 56) of the total New York Times sample sources and as 4.4% (N = 26) of the total Florida Today sample sources. They were cited most often directly in the overall Florida Today sample (2.7%, N = 16) but most ofte n cited indirectly in the overall New York Times sample (5.4%, N = 31).
70 This category included spokespeople of any NASA department or organization. Frequently cited NASA spokespeople included Alla rd Beutel. These also included spokespeople of companies who contract for NASA. One su ch source was Michael Curie, spokesperson for United Space Alliance, a company that supports NASA shuttle operations. CAIB members The next most frequently cited sour ces in the total sample were members of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board (6.5%, N = 76). They appeared slightly more frequently in New York Times coverage (7.6%, N = 44) than in Florida Today coverage (5.5%, N = 32). They were cited most ofte n directly in both newspapers ( FT: 4.3%, N =25; NYT : 2.8%, N = 16). These were members of the Columbia Accide nt Investigation Board, which was assembled by NASA to investigate the Columbia disaster and make recommendations for future shuttle flights and NASA management a nd procedures. The most frequently cited members of the CAIB were Adm. Harold W. Gehman, the ch airman and a retired Navy officer; G. Scott Hubbard, NASA Ames Research Center director ; and Steven B. Wallace, Federal Aviation Administration director. It should be noted that these members all have expertise and titles that could qualify them in other source categories. However, they are pr imarily CAIB investigators in the context of the articles in which they were found and were only coded as such. These were labeled as CAIB investigator, NASA investigator involved with debris analysis, and other related titles that implied their CAIB status. Astronauts or their relatives Astronauts and their relatives were cited as frequently as CAIB members in the total sample (6.5%, N = 76). They appeared about equally in both samples, cited as 6.8% (N = 40) of the total Florida Today sample sources and as 6.2% (N = 36)
71 of the total New York Times sample sources. They were ci ted most often directly in both newspaper samples ( FT 4.4, N = 26; NYT : 4.0%, N = 23). Astronaut sources included those who had flown recently, such as Col. Steven W. Lindsey, the 2006 Discovery shuttle flight commander, and veterans such as Captain Frederick H. Hauck, who flew his first mission 20 years ago. Astronauts relatives included, for example, the father of Columbia astronaut Michael P. Anderson. He was cited in an article mourni ng the loss of his son who was killed in the Columbia disaster. Non-NASA technical experts. Non-NASA affiliated technica l experts made up 6.1% (N = 71) of the total number of cited s ources in the overall coverage. They appeared about equally in the two newspapers, cited as 6.0% (N = 35) of the total Florida Today sample sources and as 6.2% (N = 36) of the total New York Times sample sources. They were cited most often directly in both samples ( FT: 4.4%, N = 26; NYT : 4.2%, N = 24). Non-NASA technical sources included those who held technical positions for organizations that do not contra ct or consult for NASA, includi ng Boeing, Lockheed Martin, or the United Space Alliance. For instance, they in cluded such individuals as Bob Holkan of MTS Global, a management and technical services company. Another example included Richard Blomberg, an independent aerospace safety expert from the Aerospace Safety Advisory Panel. Non-NASA spokespeople This group made up 5.0% (N = 58) of the total sample coverages cited sources. This source cat egory appeared about equally in the total Florida Today sample (5.1%, N = 30) and in the total New York Times sample (4.9%, N = 28). They were cited most often directly in both newspapers ( FT: 3.1%, N = 18; NYT : 3.5%, N = 20).
72 Examples of non-NASA spokespeople includ ed Peg Hashem from Hamilton Sunstrand Space Systems, which manufactures systems for th e shuttles, and Richard Garcia from the Air Force Research Laboratory Starfi re Optical Range at Kirtland Air Force Base, which provides images of shuttle flights for safety focuses. Citizens They made up 3.4% (N = 40) of the total samples cited sources. This source category appeared more frequently in Florida Today sample (3.7%, N = 22) than in the New York Times sample (3.1%, N = 18). They were cite d most often directly in both newspapers ( FT: 3.1%, N = 18; NYT : 2.4%, N = 14). Citizens included locals from the hometowns of the Columbia victims who commented on their loss and casual observers of launches who expressed a strong interest in the space program and [Columbia] investig ation, such as Robe rt Maini, who attended a CAIB hearing (Kridler, 2003, Mar. 30). Other examples incl uded restaurant owners who threw astronaut benefits, parents of Space Coast public school st udents, and relatives of Kennedy Space Center employees. Anonymous sources They made up 2.9% (N = 34) of the total samples cited sources. This source category also appeared more frequently in the Florida Today sample (4.9%, N = 28) than in the New York Times sample (0.9%, N = 5). They were cited most often directly in both newspapers ( FT: 2.9%, N = 17; NYT : 0.7%, N = 4). Anonymous sources were those whose positions were ambiguous or not given for some reason. For example, one anonymous New York Times source was given anonymity because he said disclosure of his name would jeopardize his career (Schwartz, 2005, Jul. 31). Another expert who discussed the insulation issues on Columbia in an article about the CAIB
73 investigation was cited in the New York Times as an expert close to the investigation (Sanger, 2003, Feb. 12). News worker sources These were the second least freque ntly cited sources (0.5%, N = 6). This source category also appeared more frequently in the New York Times sample, cited as 0.9% (N = 5) of the total New York Times sample sources and as 0.2% (N = 1) of the total Florida Today sample sources. Two news workers were cited equally directly (0.3%, N = 2) and both ways (0.3%, N = 2) in the New York Times sample. News worker sources were affiliated with news organizations. Two sources in this category cited in the same artic le included CBS anchor Walter Cronkite and retired editor of Aviation and Space Technology, Robert Hotz. Cr onkite commented on the Apollo program and Hotz was part of an independent Challenger investigation and commented on NASAs use of officials in media interviews (Broder, 2003, Feb. 10). Other government investigators. This category of sources wa s the least frequently cited in the overall sample (0.3%, N = 4). This gr oup appeared twice in each newspaper and made up 0.3% ( FT: N = 2; NYT : 2) of the total sources for both news papers. They were cited directly once and both ways once in the Florida Today sample, making up 0.2% (N = 1) of the total Florida Today sample sources in each of those categories; similarly, in the New York Times sample, one was cited directly and one was cited both ways. Each made up 0.3% (N = 1) of the total cited New York Times sample sources in those categories. This category included nongovernmental accident investigators and other internal study boards. One example included the Stafford -Covey Return to Flight Task Group who investigated the launch requirements for th e July 26, 2005 Return to Flight launch of Discovery (Kelly, 2005, June 28).
74 Comparison of sources cited directly, indirectly, and both ways Overall, m ore directly cite d sources appeared in the Florida Today sample. In that paper, 62.6% (N = 367) of the total Florida Today sources cited were direc tly quoted, versus 49.1% (N = 283) in the New York Times Only 10.7% (N = 63) of the total sources in that paper were indirectly quoted. The percentage of sources that spoke both direc tly and indirectly in the same article was 26.7% (N = 157) in Florida Today (Table 4-4). For the New York Times sample, sources were also most fr equently cited directly. From the total number of sources appearing in that newspaper, directly cited ones made up 49.1% (N = 283) of the total percentage of cited sources. Indirectly cite d sources made up 19.2% (N = 111) of the total percentage of cited sources cited in the entire New York Times while those cited both ways appeared as 31.7% (N = 183) of the total percentage of cited sources for that paper (Table 4-5). Directly quoted sources appeared more than the twice as much as the percentage of indirectly quoted sources and sources that were quoted both ways combined. From all sources who spoke in the total coverage sample, direct sources made up 52.1% (N = 560). Indirectly cited sources made up 16.2% (N = 174) and s ources cited both ways made up 31.7% (N = 340) (Table 4-7). RQ4: Are Any of the Sources More Frequently Associated w ith Certain Focuses in the Florida Today Shuttle Program Coverage Versus the New York Times Coverage? Florida Today For coverage in the F lorida Today sample, NASA officials were the most frequently cited source category in each purpose category. They were cited the most in the articles with a purpose to provide information about the missions, appearing in a total of 57.6% (N = 87) of the Florida Today sample sources cited for that purpose. Similarly, they appeared as 29.3% (N =
75 51) of all of the Florida Today sources cited in the policy and funding purpose category, and as 34.1% (N = 57) of all of the Florida Today sample sources cited in the Columbia details explanation category. NASA technical sources also appeared frequently in the Columbia details focus category, and as 10.8% (N = 18) of the total Florida Today sample sources found in that category. Other frequently found sources were gove rnment officials, appearing mostly in the policy and funding focus articles. These offici als were found in 39.1% (N = 68) of the total Florida Today policy and funding focus articles. Government officials were also found frequently in Columbia mission detail articles in Florida Today (10.8%, N = 18). Two other source categories appeared to be associated with a certain focus. Astronauts or their relatives were cited as 15.2% (N = 23) of the total Florida Today sample sources in the mission focus articles. CAIB members were cited as 15.0% (N = 25) of the total Florida Today sample sources in the articles explaining Colu mbia accident details (Table 4-8). New York Times For the New York Times sam ple, NASA officials were al so the most frequently cited source category in each focus category. They were cited most frequently in the articles that had a focus to provide information about the missions appearing a total of 52.6% (N = 41) of the sources cited for that purpose. They also appear ed as 23.8% (N = 34) of all of the sources cited in the New York Times sample policy and funding category, as 28.1% (N = 72) of all of the sources cited in the Columbia details explanatio n category, and as 25.0% (N = 15) of all of the sources cited in the New York Times sample technical and scientific category. Several other source categories were associated with certain focus. Government sources were also frequently found in the policy and fundi ng articles. They were cited as 16.8% (N = 24) of all of the New York Times sample policy and funding articles. Astronauts or their relatives were cited as 17.9% (N = 14) of the total New York Times sample sources in mission articles.
76 Educational experts were cited as 16.7% (N = 10) of the total New York Times sample sources in the technical and scientific articles (Table 4-9). RQ5: Are Any of the Frames more Frequently Associated w ith a Certain Focus in the Florida Today Shuttle Program Coverage Versus the New York Times Coverage? Florida Today The Florida Today sam ples frame category that was a ssociated most frequently with a focus was the industry frame. Of the total number of policy and funding focus articles in Florida Today with that frame, 44.3% (N = 35) had this fr ame. This frame was not frequently associated with any other focus. Several other frames were most frequently a ssociated with a certain focus. About 22% (N = 16) of all Florida Today technically and scientifically framed articles fit the mission details focus category. About 12% (N = 7) of all the Florida Today articles framed that way fit the Columbia details focus category. The safety frame was most frequently associ ated with the mission details focus category, as well. That category was associated with 51.4% (N = 38) of all of the Florida Today articles with the safety frame. The Columbia details fo cus was frequently associated with the safety frame, too. Nineteen-point-ninepercent (N = 11) of all of the Florida Today articles with the safety frame fit that focus. The Return to Flight frame was associated fr equently with the Columbia details category purpose. Of the total number of articles framed that way in the Florida Today sample, 21.1% (N = 12) fit this purpose. The funding frame was associated frequently wi th the policy and funding details focus. Of the total number of articles framed that way in the Florida Today sample, 20.3% (N = 16) fit this focus (Table 4-10).
77 New York Times The New Yo rk Times samples focus category that was associated most frequently with two frames was the mission category. Of the total number of safety frame articles in the New York Times sample, 30.2% (N = 13) detailed specifics about missions. Of the total number of technical and scientific frame articles in New York Times sample, 39.5% (N = 17) fit the mission category. Another frame frequently associated with different foci was the technical and scientific frame. Of the total number of techni cal and scientific frame articles in New York Times sample, 75.0% (N = 12) described the scien tific and technical details. Sim ilarly, of the total number of technical and scientific frame articles in New York Times sample, 16.7% (N = 8) fit the Columbia details focus (Table 4-11). RQ6: Are Any of the Sources More Frequently A ssociated with Certain Frames in the Florida Today S huttle Program Coverage Versus the New York Times Coverage? Florida Today In the Florida Today sample, four source categories, educational experts, governm ent experts, non-NASA technical experts, and citizens, were most frequently associated with the industry frame. Twenty-nine percent (N = 9) of all of the educational ex perts, 39.6% (N = 36) of all of the government experts, and 37.1% (N = 13) of the non-NASA technical experts appeared in that frame. Also, 36.1% (N = 8) of all of th e citizen sources were cited in that frame. Four other source categories were frequently associated with certain frames in the local coverage. Educational sources were found freque ntly (38.7%, N = 12) in the funding and budget frame. NASA officials appeared frequently (40.2%, N = 82) in the safety frame. CAIB (Columbia Accident Investiga tion Board) members (31.3%, N = 10) and astronauts (35.0%, N = 14) were found often in the return to flight frame (Table 4-12).
78 New York Times In the national coverage sam ple, four source ca tegories were frequently associated with the technical and scientific frame. Approximately 39% (N = 27) of the total educational sources appeared in that frame. Of all the NASA official sources, 36 % (N = 65) were cited in the scientific and technical frame. About 36% (N= 13) of all of the non-NASA technical sources and 44.9% (N = 22) of all of the NASA technica l sources were cited in the technical and scientific frame. Two other frames had frequently cited sources Astronauts and their relatives were cited frequently (36.1%, N = 13) in the safety frame. Al so, of all of the citize ns cited, 50.0% (N = 9) were cited frequently in astrona ut hero frame (Table 4-13). Table 4-1. Frequencies of shuttle program stories in Florida Today and New York Times by year Year Total Coverage (%) 2003 135 (35.7) 2004 23 (6.1) 2005 49 (13.0) 2006 72 (19.0) 2007 62 (16.4) 2008 37 (9.9) Total 378 (100.0) Table 4-2. Focus of Florida Today and New York Times coverage FT (%) NYT (%) Total (%) Policy/ funding 76 (69.7) 33 (30.3) 109 (28.8) Mission 71 (73.2) 26 (26.8) 97 (25.6) Columbia details 66 (55.5) 53 (44.5) 119 (31.5) Tech./ science 0 (0.0) 16 (100.0) 16 (4.2) Other 23 (70.0) 14 (42.4) 33 (8.7) Total 236 -142 -378 (100.0)
79 Table 4-3. Frames of Florida Today and New York Times coverage FT (%) NYT (%) Total (%) Policy 10 (52.6) 9 (47.4) 19 (5.0) NASA in the public eye 1 (50.0) 1 (50.0) 2 (0.5) Technical and scientif ic 24 (34.3)46 (65.7) 70 (18.5) Funding/ budget 19 (95.0) 1 (5.0) 20 (5.3) Return to flight 23 (71.9) 9 (28.1) 32 (8.5) Internal changes 7 (36.8)12 (63.2) 19 (5.0) Industry 44 (95.7) 2 (4.3) 46 (12.2) Safety 60 (72.3)23 (27.7) 83 (21.9) Progress 3 (50.0) 3 (50.0) 6 (1.6) Astronaut hero 8 (70.0) 3 (30.0) 11 (2.9) Lessons from history 12 (63.2) 7 (36.8) 19 (5.0) Other 25 (48.1)26 (51.9) 51 (13.5) Total 236 -142 -378 (100.0) Table 4-4. Sources in Florida Today coverage. N = 587 Direct (% of N)Indirect(% of N)Both (% of N) News worker 0 (0.0)1(0.2)0 (0.0) Educational expert 18 (3.1)10(1.7)3 (0.5) Government 50 (8.5)0(0.0)41 (7.0) CAIB member 25 (4.3)0(0.0)7 (1.2) Other Gov. investigator 1 (0.2)0(0.0)1 (0.2) NASA official 122 (20.8)19(3.2)63 (10.7) Astronaut or relative 26 (4.4)6(1.0)8 (1.4) NASA technical 30 (5.1)4(0.7)10 (1.7) Non-NASA technical 26 (4.4)2(0.3)7 (1.2) NASA spokesperson 16 (2.7)8(1.4)2 (0.3) Non-NASA spokesperson 18 (3.1)4(0.7)8 (1.4) Anonymous 17 (2.9)8(1.4)4 (0.7) Citizens 18 (3.1)1(0.2)3 (0.5) Total 367 --63--157 -
80 Table 4-5. Sources in New York Times coverage. N = 577 Direct (% of N)Indirect(% of N)Both (% of N) News worker 2 (0.3)1(0.2)2 (0.3) Educational expert 36 (6.2)8(1.4)26 (4.5) Government 30 (5.2)5(0.9)14 (2.4) CAIB member 16 (2.8)5(0.9)23 (4.0) Other gov. investigator 1 (0.2)0(0.0)1 (0.2) NASA official 70 (12.1)38(6.6)71 (12.3) Astronaut or relative 23 (4.0)5(0.9)8 (1.4) NASA technical 25 (4.3)12(2.1)12 (2.1) Non-NASA technical 24 (4.2)3(0.5)9 (1.6) NASA spokesperson 18 (3.1)31(5.4)7 (1.2) Non-NASA spokesperson 20 (3.5)0(0.0)8 (1.4) Anonymous 4 (0.7)1(0.2)0 (0.0) Citizens Total 14 283 (2.4) -2 111 (0.3) -2 183 (0.3) -Table 4-6. Total sources in Florida Today and New York Times FT (%)NYT(%)Total (%) News worker 1 (0.2)5 (0.9)6 (0.5) Educational expert 31 (5.3)70(12.1)101 (8.7) Government 91 (15.5)49 (8.5)140 (12.0) CAIB member 32 (5.5)44 (7.6)76 (6.5) Other gov. investigator 2 (0.3)2 (0.3)4 (0.3) NASA official 204 (34.8)179(31.0)383 (32.9) Astronaut or relative 40 (6.8)36 (6.2)76 (6.5) NASA technical 44 (7.5)49 (8.5)93 (8.0) Non-NASA technical 35 (6.0)36(6.2)71 (6.1) NASA spokesperson 26 (4.4)56(9.7)82 (7.0) Non-NASA spokesperson 30 (5.1)28(4.9)58 (5.0) Anonymous 29 (4.9)5(0.9)34 (2.9) Citizens 22 (3.7)18(3.1)40 (3.4) Total 587 (100.0)577(100.0)1164 (100.0) Table 4-7. Sources cited directly, indirectly, and both ways in FT and NYT FT (%) NYT(%)Total(%) Direct 367 (62.6) 283(49.1)650(52.1) Indirect 63 (10.7) 111(19.2)174(16.2) Both Total 157 587 (26.7) (100.0) 183 577 (31.7) (100.0) 340 1164 (31.7) (100.0)
81 Table 4-8. Florida Today source frequency per article focus Policy/ Funding (%) Mission(%)Columbia(%) Tech/ Science (%) Other(%) News worker 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 1 (1.1) Educational expert 10 (5.7) 1 (0.7)7 (4.2)0 (0.0) 13(13.7)Government 68 (39.1) 4 (2.6)18(10.8)0 (0.0) 1 (1.1)CAIB member 6 (3.4) 0 (0.0)25(15.0)0 (0.0) 1 (1.1)Other gov. investigator 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)2(1.2)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)NASA official 51 (29.3) 87(57.6)57(34.1)0 (0.0) 9 (9.5)Astronaut or relative 0 (0.0) 23(15.2)10 (6.0)0 (0.0) 7 (7.4)NASA technical 5 (2.9) 13 (8.6)18(10.8)0 (0.0) 8 (8.4)Non-NASA tech. 20 (11.5) 4 (2.6)8 (4.8)0 (0.0) 3 (3.2)NASA spokesperson 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)1 (0.6)0 (0.0) 25(26.3)Non-NASA spokesperson 7 (4.0) 12 (7.9)11 (6.6)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)Anonymous 5 (2.9) 2 (1.3)4 (2.4)0 (0.0) 18(18.9) Citizens 2 (1.1) 5 (3.3)6 (3.6)0 (0.0) 9 (9.5)Total 174 (100.0) 151(100.0)167(100.0)0 (0.0) 95(100.0) Table 4-9. New York Times source frequency per article focus Policy/ Funding (%) Mission (%)Columbia (%) Tech/ Science (%) Other (%) News worker 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)1 (0.4)0 (0.0) 4 (9.1) Educational expert 23 (16.1) 5 (6.4)25 (9.8)10 (16.7) 7(15.9)Government 24 (16.8) 2 (2.6)21 (8.2)0 (0.0) 2 (4.5)CAIB member 5 (3.5) 0 (0.0)36(14.1)3 (3.3) 0 (0.0)Other gov. investigator 1 (0.7) 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 1 (2.3)NASA official 34 (23.8) 41(52.6)72(28.1)15 (25.0) 17(36.8)Astronaut or relative 9 (6.3) 14(17.9)4 (1.6)3 (5.0) 6(13.6)NASA technical 13 (9.1) 5 (6.4)21 (8.2)10 (16.7) 0 (0.0)Non-NASA tech. 10 (7.0) 2 (2.6)15 (5.9)4 (6.7) 5(11.4)NASA spokesperson 15 (10.5) 5 (6.4)26(10.2)10 (16.7) 0 (0.0)Non-NASA spokesperson 6 (4.2) 4 (5.1)24 (9.4)5 (8.3) 2 (4.5)Anonymous 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)2 (0.8)2 (3.3) 1 (2.3)Citizens 3 (2.1) 0 (0.0)9 (3.5)0 (0.0) 6(13.6) Total 143 (100.0) 78(100.0)256(100.0)60 (100.0) 44(100.0)
82 Table 4-10. Florida Today coverage frame freque ncy per article focus Policy/ Funding (%) Mission (%)Columbia (%) Tech/ Science (%) Other (%) Policy 5 (6.3)1 (1.4)4 (7.0)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) NASA in the pub. eye 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 1 (3.6) Tech. and scientific 1 (1.3)16(21.9)7(12.3)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) Funding/ budget 16 (20.3)0 (0.0)2 (3.5)0 (0.0) 1 (3.6) Return to flight 3 (3.8)5 (6.8)12(21.1)0 (0.0) 3 (10.7) Internal changes 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)4 (7.0)0 (0.0) 3(10.7) Industry 35 (44.3)1 (1.4)3 (5.3)0 (0.0) 5(17.9) Safety 10 (12.7)38(51.4)11 (19.3)0 (0.0) 1 (3.6) Progress 0 (0.0)2 (2.7)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) Astronaut hero 0 (0.0)2 (2.7)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 6(21.4) Lessons from history 2 (2.5)2 (2.7)7(12.3)0 (0.0) 3(10.7) Other 7 (8.9)6 (8.1)7(12.3)0 (0.0) 5(10.7) Total 79 (100.0)73(100.0)57(100.0)0 (100.0) 28 (100.0) Table 4-11. New York Times coverage frame frequency per article focus Policy/ Tech/ Funding (%)Mission (%)Columbia (%) Science (%)Other(%) Policy 5(20.0)1 (2.3)3 (6.3)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) NASA in the pub. eye 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)1 (9.1) Tech. and scientific 5(20.0)17(39.5)8(16.7)12(75.0)4(36.4) Funding/ budget 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)1 (2.1)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) Return to flight 1 (4.0)1(2.3)7(14.6)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) Internal changes 6(24.0)0 (0.0)4 (8.3)1 (6.3)1 (9.1) Industry 1 (4.0)0 (0.0)1 (2.1)1 (6.3)0 (0.0) Safety 0 (0.0)13(30.2)10(20.8)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) Progress 1 (4.0)2 (4.7)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) Astronaut hero 0 (0.0)2(4.7)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)1 (9.1) Lessons from history 3(12.0)1 (2.3)3 (6.3)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) Other 3(12.0)6(14.0)11(22.9)2 (12.5)4(36.4) Total 25(100.0)43(100.0)48(100.0)16(100.0)11100.0)
83Table 4-12. Florida Today coverage total source frequencies per frame News worker (%) Educational Expert (%) Gov. Expert (%) CAIB (%) Other Gov. investigator (%) NASA Official (%) Astronaut or Relative (%) NASA Technical (%) Policy 0 (0.0)4 (12.9)14 (15.4)2 (6.3)1 (50.0)8 (3.9)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) NASA t in the public eye 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)3 (3.3)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)1 (0.5)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) Technical/ scientific 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)3 (9.4)0 (0.0)22 (10.8)10 (25.0)8 (18.2) Funding/ budget 1 (100)12 (38.7)17 (18.7)3 (9.4)0 (0.0)2 (1.0)0 (0.0)1 (2.3) Return to flight 0 (0.0)1 (3.2)5 (5.5)10 (31.3)1 ( 50.0)26 (12.7)14 (35.0)7 (15.9) Internal changes 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)3 (3.3)2 (6.3)0 (0.0)5 (2.5)1 (2.5)0 (0.0) Industry 0 (0.0)9 (29.0)36 (39.6)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)26 (12.7)0 (0.0)11 (25.0) Safety 0 (0.0)2 (6.5)3 (3.3)5 (15.6)0 (0.0)82 (40.2)7 (17.5)11 (25.0) Progress 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)2 (1.0)1 (2.5)1 (2.3) Astronaut hero 0 (0.0)1 (3.2)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)2 (1.0)1 (2.5)2 (4.5) Lessons history 0 (0.0)1 (3.2)2 (2.2)2 (6.3)0 (0.0)11 (5.4)5 (12.5)2 (4.5) Other 0 (0.0)1 (3.2)8 (8.8)5 (15.6)0 (0.0)17 (8.3)1 (2.5)1 (2.3) Total 1 (100.0)31 (100.0)91 (100.0)32 (100. 0)2 (100.0)204 (100.0)40 (100.0)44 (100.0)
84Table 4-12. Continued Non-NASA Technical (%) Anonymous (%) NASA Spokesperson (%) Non-NASA Spokesperson (%) Citizen (%) Policy 1 (2.9)2(6.9)0(0.0)2(6.7) 0(0.0) NASA t in the public eye 0 (0.0)4(13.8)0(0.0)3(10.0) 0(0.0) Technical/ scientific 0 (0.0)2(6.9)8(30.8)3(10.0) 0(0.0) Funding/ budget 7 (20.0)6(20.7)0(0.0)4(13.3) 1(4.5) Return to flight 2 (5.7)7(24.1)2(7.7)0(0.0) 0(0.0) Internal changes 0 (0.0)0(0.0)2(7.7)0(0.0) 0(0.0) Industry 13 (37.1)0(0.0)5(19.2)3(10.0) 8(36.4) Safety 4 (11.4)0(0.0)7(26.9)2(6.7) 4(18.2) Progress 0 (0.0)0(0.0)0(0.0)5(16.7) 0(0.0) Astronaut hero 0 (0.0)0(0.0)0(0.0)1(3.3) 1(4.5) Lessons history 1 (2.9)1(3.4)1(3.8)2(6.7) 2(9.1) Other 7 (20.0)7(24.1)1(3.8)5(16.7) 6(27.3) Total 35 (100.0)29(100.0)26( 100.0)30(100.0) 22(100.0)
85Table 4-13. New York Times coverage total source frequencies per frame News worker (%) Educational Expert (%) Gov. Expert (%) CAIB (%) Other Gov. investi g ator (%) NASA Official (%) Astronaut or Relative (%) NASA Technical (%) Policy 0 (0.0) 9 (12.9)7 (14.3)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 8 (4.5)3 (8.3)0 (0.0) NASA in the pub. eye 4 (80.0) 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)1 (50.0) 2 (1.1)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)Tech./ Scientific 1 (20.0) 27 (38.6)2 (4.1)9 (20.5)0 (0.0) 65 (36.3)9 (25.0)22 (44.9)Funding/ budget 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)3 (6.1)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)Return to flight 0 (0.0) 2 (2.9)1 (2.0)4 (9.1)0 (0.0) 18 (10.1)1 (2.8)0 (0.0)Internal changes 0 (0.0) 11 (15.7)13 (26.5)2 (4.5)0 (0.0) 23 (12.8)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)Industry 0 (0.0) 2 (2.9)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 3 (6.1)Safety 0 (0.0) 7 (10.0)2 (4.1)6 (13.6)0 (0.0) 31 (17.3)13 (36.1)5 (10.2)Progress 0 (0.0) 2 (2.9)2 (4.1)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 4 (2.2)4 (11.1)0 (0.0)Astronaut hero 0 (0.0) 5 (7.1) 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) 1 (0.6)0 (0.0)1 (2.0)Lessons 0 (0.0) 3 (4.3)7 (14.3)1 (2.3)1 (50.0) 8 (4.5)1 (2.8)1 (2.0)Other 0 (0.0) 2 (2.9)12 (24.5)22 (50.0)0 (0 .0) 19 (10.6)5 (13.9)17 (34.7) Total 5 (100.0) 70 (100.0)49 (100.0)44 (100. 0)2 (100.0) 179 (100.0)36 (100.0)49 (100.0)
86Table 4-13 Continued Non-NASA Technical (%) Anonymous (%) NASA Spokesperson (%) Non-NASA Spokesperson (%) Citizen (%) Policy 2 (5.6)2 (40.0)2 (3.6)0 (0.0)0 (0.0) NASA in the pub. eye 0 (0.0)1 (20.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)Tech./ Scientific 13 (36.1)1 (20.0)13 ( 23.2)4 (14.3)3 (16.7)Funding/ budget 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)2 (7.1)0 (0.0)Return to flight 2 (5.6)0 (0.0)3 (5.4)2 (7.1)0 (0.0)Internal changes 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)5 (8.9)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)Industry 3 (8.3)0 (0.0)5 (8.9)3 (10.7)0 (0.0)Safety 3 (8.3)0 (0.0)7 (12.5)0 (0.0)0 (0.0)Progress 3 (8.3)0 (0.0)2 (3.6)1 (3.6)0 (0.0)Astronaut hero 0 (0.0)0 (0.0)1 (1.8)2 (7.1)9 (50.0)Lessons 4 (11.1)1 (20.0)0 (0.0)3 (10.7)0 (0.0)Other 6 (16.7)0 (0.0)18 (32.1)11 (39.3)6 (33.3) Total 36 (100.0)5 (100.0)56 (100.0)28 (100.0)18 (100.0)
87 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION This research investigated how a local versus national newspaper fram ed the coverage of the shuttle program. Coverage included news, feat ure, columns and editorial stories to gain a full spectrum of reporting. Studying the range of covera ge of the shuttle program in a local versus national newspaper highlights the importance of medias role as an information provider and probable agenda-setter for the general publ ic on the shuttle programs policies and developments. The first question in the study asked how the fo cus of the coverage in the two newspapers differed. The Columbia details focus coverage do minated in both newspapers. This parallels the fact that in February 2003 al one, there were 58 articles, which made up 15.3% of the entire sample (Table 4-1). This is not surprising. Purdum (2003) offered one explanation for this. After the Columbia accident, the nation was disg runtled with NASA and preoccupied with the impending crisis in Iraq, so the public only took interest in the shuttl e program when failures occurred (Purdum, 2003). Another reason why this topic dominated the cove rage deals with its newsworthiness level. Perhaps this is a result of the media setti ng the agenda for reporting NASAs events as sensationalistic, rather than concentrating on the full spectrum of stories about the shuttle programs developments and policies. The Columbia accident had elements of the human interest factor, the conflict, and the unusual circumstance, which, according to Shoemaker and Reese (1996), are some of the main elements of a story that dete rmine its overall news value. These newsworthiness factors could be why the disaster received more me dia coverage than any other shuttle program topic in th e sample studied. This may also be why a large percentage of the programs coverage was in 2003. After the di saster was old news, coverage of it and the
88 shuttle program fell, perhaps because newspapers gatekeepers felt the public no longer would be interested in coverage about the program since there was no l onger a disaster with which to link it. Another interesting finding is that the New York Times covered technical topics much more frequently than Florida Today Perhaps this is because the Space Coast community readers are already familiar with the technical aspects of the shuttle program, since many of them work at the Kennedy Space Center or for its surrounding ar ea contractor companies, while readers of a national paper are likely to have much broader backgrounds and education and be less familiar with these aspects. Thus, focusing more on e xplaining technical shuttl e program functions and phenomena would be appropriate for the national paper. Another possible reason for the dominance of the technical a nd scientific focus in the New York Times sample is that Florida Today editors may have taken out the t echnical details in the coverage. Perhaps another possibility is that Florida Today journalists may have been less skilled in science journalism than the New York Times staff. The training of science jour nalists would make an interesting supplementary investigation. The second question sought to find differences and similarities in the frames found in the local and national coverage. It is neither surprising that the safety frame was found most frequently in the overall sample nor that it dominated in the Florida Today coverage. Perhaps this is a result of the post-Columbia media surg e to report the urgency of NASA to make sure future flights would be safer, and the tragedy of the Columbia disa ster, a newsworthy human interest topic. If Crawleys (2007) claim is true, that local news has a stronger effect on social discourse, perhaps journalists highlighted safety issue more in local coverage to promote discourse, and as a result, safety changes.
89 It is also not surprising that the industry and return to flight frames dominated local coverage. These were topics of interest to the Kennedy Space Center employees, many of whom were involved with work that depended on the well-being of the aerospace industry and a safe return to flight of the shuttle. It seems that the Florida Today staff successfully put these is sues of safety, industry, and the return to flight at the t op of their agendas. Elements of drama and uncertainty in the coverage topics, such as the CAIBs safety inve stigations, how the shuttl e program would affect local industry, and return to f light developments, could have been powerful tools employed by Florida Today journalists. They may have used these sa fety, industry, and return to flight frames to keep KSC readers in suspense about how their careers would be impacted by these issues. Or, it just may be that this newspaper was reflecting the dominant headlines of the topic at the time. Perhaps a future study of the positive, negative, or neutral valence found in this coverage would shed more light onto the post-Columbia sentiments portrayed by the media, local KSC employees, and national policy and funding decision makers. One other interesting observation about the retu rn to flight frame wa s that it was not as prevalent in the coverage as it could have been. This may be true because NASA may not have improved its policies and internal structure sin ce its two previous accidents. In the section, NASAs Shuttle Program Since Columbia, se veral reasons were presented for why NASAs ineffective Internal culture, including its mana gement as well as funding structures, may have contributed to the two shuttle accidents. Some of these reas ons included the ineffective hierarchical nature of NASAs management, ineffective internal communication between managers, and ineffective risk and safety asse ssment (Garner, 2006; Dombrowski 2006). Thus,
90 if the agency had improved its internal culture, and the media covered this improvement, perhaps there would have been a higher percen tage of return to flight frame ar ticles seen in the coverage. Another finding is that several claims relate d to framing discussed previously by science communication researchers were not supported by this study. Nisbet and Lewenstein (2002) found that the progress frame is frequently found in science topics in the media. Nelkin (1995) and Boot (1986) both found that the astronaut hero frame is prominent in their analyses of NASA coverage. However, in the current study, the pr ogress frame and the astronaut hero frame were the two least frequently found fram es in the overall coverage. Similarly, Miller & Reicherts (2001) claim that stakeholders tr y to frame issues to affect the attractiveness of policy and policymakers. Ye t this also was not su pported, as seen by the infrequency of total policy frames articles found in the total covera ge. This result signifies that the shuttle program was not being covered like a science topic in the news, but more as a business issue, as seen by the total larger pe rcentage of policy fram e articles, funding frame articles, plus industry fr ame articles combined. The third question investigated whether freque ncy and types of source s cited directly and indirectly differed between the local and national coverage sample. It was found that directly cited sources dominated both types of coverage, not surprisingly. In the total sample, directly quoted sources appeared more than the percentage of indirectly quoted s ources and sources that were quoted both ways combined. This result seems to validate the analysis of Gibson and Zillman (1993) and (1998), whose studies about direct quotes being more influential were previously discussed in the section, Sourcing. The media used more directly quoted sources especially sources of power such as NASA officials and government sources to relay some of the major issues of the coverage such
91 as the safety and managerial changes after Columbia, budget uncertainties, and return to flight efforts. The most frequently cited sources in the total sample were NASA officials. This category made up a large percentage of the total number of cited s ources in the overall coverage. They were cited most often directly in both ne wspapers. Government officials were the next most frequently cited sources, al so most frequently directly quot ed in both newspapers. These results supported the claims of Soloski (1989), Brown, et. al. (1987), and Miller and Reichert (2001) about elite sources dominating news as well as those of Gibson and Zillman (1993) and (1998) about direct quotes be ing more influential. Frequently citing these sources directly had many implications. It may have increased journalists credibility of the issues and portrayed the necessity to policymak ers of continuing the shuttle program and increasing its budget. Journa lists at both newspapers could have used these sources because of the immense power they have to influence issues in the media (Sumpter & Garner, 2007, p. 457). Citing NASA officials w ho discussed CAIBs post-Columbia safety, administrative, and policy changes within NASA implies these topics were on the agendas of NASA officials and policymakers. Citing this discourse in the media was a step forward toward making these changes. Possibly, these steps were initiated in re sponse to the CAIBs recommendations. Citing these experts could imp ly that shuttle program improvements were on the agendas of policymakers, NASA officials, and the media. Perhaps citing these experts increased public support for these changes and the program. Citing them also supports the idea that the national paper may have provided strong policy coverage that in turn attracted the support from policymakers and Congress for the program since Congressional funding and policy leaders are likely to read the New York `1 Times
92 The results also support several previously discussed claims made by Sumpter & Garner (2007). First, management and government sources are dependable because they tend to be affiliated with businesses, bureaucracies, or other social groups that subsidize the preparation of news (p. 457). The results also confirm their finding that overall governmentand NASAaffiliated sources are prominent in Columbia c overage. Both source categories were found in that focus category. A final conclusion made by Sumpter & Garner and confirmed by these findings was that the lack of source representa tion from the main builders of the shuttle, astronauts, and other investigators not affiliated with NASA or the CAIB led to an incomplete account, account, one which deletes needed contex t from any explanation of how the Columbia was lost (2007, p. 470). This is true because astronauts and non-government investigators were among the least frequently cited sources in the overall coverage. Few shuttle builders were represented among the NASA and non-NASA technical experts cited. However, Sumpter and Garners (2007) claim that news sources tended to be spokespeople such as PIOs rather than scien tists and government officials was not supported by th ese results. Taking into account the total number of s ources cited, NASA spokespeople and non-NASA spokespeople were cited almost as freque ntly as NASA technical experts and non-NASA technical experts in this analysis. It is interesting that some sources were cite d more in the national coverage than in local coverage. For example, educational experts re ceived twice as much coverage in the total New York Times sample than in the total Florida Today sample. NASA spokespeople were also cited about twice as much in the total New York Times sample than in the total Florida Today sample. One reason why these sources appeared to be cited more in the New York Times sample may be because the average word count was larger for arti cles in that newspaper. Other reasons for the
93 dominance of these two source gr oups are unclear. Fu rther analysis into sourcing would be needed to make conclusions about the dominan ce of these and other source groups in the coverage. No matter what the reasons are for this the larger percentage of both of these source groups in the national coverage s eems to contradict Crawleys (2007) claim that local media tend to include more varied sources than national elite media. This is especially true since there were almost twice as many articles coded in the local sample but about twice as many educational and NASA spokespeople sources found in the national sample. It is surprising, however, that sources of t echnical expertise, in cluding educational and NASA and non-NASA technical experts, were cite d infrequently. The frequencies of these source categories were a distant third place afte r NASA officials and gover nment sources. It would have been fitting for repor ters to rely more on these te chnical and educational sources, probably more so in the national coverage, to help the general public understand the technical nuances of the launches and scie nce policies. Perhaps the lack of reliance on technical and educational sources in shuttle pr ogram coverage furthers the prev iously discussed idea that the shuttle program is not being covered like a scienc e issue in the media, but more as a business topic. The fourth question asked whether sources we re associated more frequently with any particular focus. NASA official s were cited frequently in fundi ng focus articles. Similarly, in both types of coverage, government officials appeared mostly in the policy and funding focus articles. This is logical since the media woul d have cited facts and opinions from policy and NASA experts in articles whose focus it was to explain policy and funding issues. Also, this supports the previously mentioned claims that these powerful sources increased the newsworthiness of articles. Besides the prev iously discussed news value characteristics,
94 Shoemaker and Reese (1996) also claim that pr ominence/importance, timeliness, and proximity affect newsworthiness. In this case, the media ci ted sources of power that appeared in coverage relevant to both Space Coast KSC personnel and national policymakers. These articles were written at a time when budget and post-Columbi a safety policies were being decided. Other policy articles advocated support for increased funding during the shuttle s retirement, another topic relevant at the time to KSC staff and their careers. The fifth question investigated whether frames were associated more frequently with any particular focus. Of the total number of policy and funding focus articles in Florida Today, almost half fit the industry frame. Th is again supports the idea that the Florida Today staff successfully put these issues at the top of their agendas perhaps because job cuts and other local or state-wide industry topics were impor tant to KSC shuttle program staff. The mission details focus articles and the Columb ia details focus articles in both the local and national coverage were predominantly fram ed in a technical way. Many technically and scientifically framed articles in Florida Today fit the mission details focus category. In the New York Times a slightly larger percentage of the technical and scientific details frame was associated with that fo cus. Similarly, many Florida Today and New York Times articles that were framed technically and scientifically fit the Columbia details focus. These results are expected for a technical topic near the top of the agenda of a public still curious about the details of the first shocking shuttle accident since Challenger and how subsequent launches will proceed. The sixth research question inve stigated which sources were cited more frequently in any of the frames. In the local cove rage, it is not su rprising that government sources were frequently cited in the industry frame. Government sources are considered by many communications
95 researchers (for example, Miller and Reichert 2001) to be el ite sources that dominate and influence public and policy opinions. It is logi cal that journalists woul d seek the opinions of these sources to discuss the political and soci al implications of the aerospace industry on the Space Coast community. Similarly, in the local coverage, it is logi cal that NASA official sources were cited frequently in the safety frame. NASA officials, also considered to be elite and influential sources of power, were probably sought out by journalists in safety frame stories to express the urgency, risks, and progress associated with making the sh uttle safer after the Columbia accident. They were also in the best position to express these ideas because th ey are the ones implementing and overseeing the safety efforts. It is unclear, however, why CAIB members were not cited more in this frame, as they conducted many safety i nvestigations and made many recommendations to NASA on improving its safety. In the Florida Today coverage, citizens could have been cited frequently in the industry frame because they were in the best position to comment on how the aerospace industry affects the local Space Coast community. Citizens were pr obably cited in the industry frame to capture local sentiments about the s huttles retirement and the impact of job losses on Space Coast businesses and Kennedy Space center workers. Journalists most likely sought out the expert opinions of educational sources in the funding and budget frame because many of them were spa ce policy or aerospace engineering professors who conducted academic research on such topics through their universities. They were in a good position to understand and communi cate the issues associated w ith the budget cuts and funding requests during post-Columbia policy, safety, and agency changes and during the shuttle retirement.
96 Also in the local coverage, it is reasonable that astronauts and CA IB members were found often in the return to flight fram e. No other sources than astronaut s or their relativ es could better comment on the benefits or the adventure of being in space than those who had been or had family members who had been to space. Likewi se, CAIB members were the main investigators of the agency, safety, procedural, and technical problems that caused the Columbia accident. After an intense investigation period, they made many recommendations for NASA about the preparations necessary for the shuttle to return safely to flight. It is logical for national journalists to seek out firsthand information fr om the CAIB members when relaying information to the public about the return to flight efforts taking place within the agency. The results for sources found frequently in cer tain frames in the national coverage were also not surprising. It is l ogical that both NASA and non-NASA technical sources would speak most often in the technical frame coverage. Al so, educational sources appeared in that frame frequently because they were in a favorable posi tion to provide technical expertise. As stated previously, many of them were aerospace engineer ing university professors and researchers. Some of the educational sources performed test s on shuttle systems in preparation for safety assessments and launches. Likewise, for the safety frame, it is reasonable that the opinions of astronauts and their relatives were heard often. Citing sources that had already experienced the dangers of being in space was a way to emphasize th e necessity of making future flights safer. Last, New York Times journalists cited citizens often in th e astronaut hero frame because many were locals from the astronauts hometowns w ho knew them personally and thus were able to comment on their heroism. Practical Implications of This Study This analysis adds to the m ass communicati on scholarly literature dealing with the significance of framing theory, sourcing, local ve rsus national coverage, and how the mass media
97 shape public opinion, policy, and funding. This st udy attempted to show that mass media play an important part in conveyi ng this information to national policymakers, financial decision makers, local shuttle program staff and officials, and public taxpayers an d voters, all of whom contribute to the shuttle programs policies. One important implication of the study is that it is clear that the media focused largely on coverage of the Columbia accident and its aftermath, even though th e keywords searched for this coverage were simply NASA and shuttle prog ram. The disaster dominated both local and national coverage of this topic. This is evident by the fact that the Columbia details focus was the largest focus category. Few articles in the sample discussed the general im plications of the other 122 successful NASA shuttle missions flown (as of N ovember 2008). Furthermore, the media covered the Columbia disaster more than any ot her event in the samples five-year time span, including the nine successf ul launches in that period1. Perhaps the media have yet to put the full spectrum of NASAs activities on its agenda at the time studied in this sample. Ther e are several reasons for this. One New York Times article discussed the current state of affairs in the U. S. during the post-Columbia time period that may have been diverting Americas attent ion away from the shuttle program: Washingtons attention is elsewhere, on Iraq, on Al Queda. President Bushs interests in space exploration seems well contained. In two years in office he has never spent much time on the question of Americas mission in sp ace. If that moment comes, it will happen only after Admiral Gehman [head of the Colu mbia Accident Investigation Board] has found probable cause [for the Columbia acciden t]. And that may not be anytime soon. (Sanger, 2003, Feb. 12) 1 The exception to this is the 2005 return to flight Discovery mission, wh ich received extensive coverage (for example, Halvorson, 2005, June 25; Schwartz, 2005, Jan. 20; Schwartz, 2005, Jul. 27), being the first launch in two years since a major disaster and disappointment to NASA Still, it did not receive as much coverage as the Columbia mission and its aftermath (Appendix B for a table of the missions since Columbia).
98 However, there was another notable developm ent in the shuttle program that received attention from the media since the Columbia accident. That event was NASAs announcement that it planned to retire the shuttles between 2010 and 2011 and to redesign a new crew and cargo vehicle planned for launch in 2015 as part of the new Constellation Program. As NASA marks its 50th anniversary, wrote USA Today journalist Traci Watson, space experts say NASA is adrift, its future disturbingly murky (2008, Sep. 28). She goes on to say, At Bush's direction, NASA plans to retire the shuttle in mid-2010, but there's support in Congress to keep the shuttle flying. That could cost $4 billion a year. NASA needs that money to build the new moon vehicle (Watson, 2008, Sep. 28). However, it was beyond the scope of this study to make any conclusions about the shuttles re tirement. Perhaps a future study could investigate the coverage and implications of this transition from th e shuttle to the Constellation Program. In addition, under the leadership of a new president, it will be interesting to see what happens during the transition to th e Constellation Program and how media cover it. As seen in some of the 2008 Florida Today coverage, several presidential candidates used the shuttle program to further their political campaigns among Space Coast area voters. Candidates Rudy Giuliani (Giuliani, 2008, Jan. 26) and Senator Hillary Clinton (Hillary, 2007, Oct. 10) expressed their policies for space explor ation if elected at least in the Florida Today sample studied. Probably, the space policies of presidentelect, Barack Obama, would have also been expressed in a larger coverage sample for th e year 2008. According to Watson (2008, Sep. 28), Obama expressed the goal of sending humans back to the moon and promised to increase NASA's budget. In summary, the frames, sourcing, and focus in this shuttle program coverage may affect how the public and policymakers pe rceive it. It can be argued that the media have a vital
99 responsibility to frame and report these issues in a way that will increase understanding of the shuttle program in a non-sensationali stic, accurate, balanced way. Conclusions It is hop ed that this study will prompt furt her analysis about how space exploration is communicated in the media and how this affects budget, policies, and public support for space exploration. This is especially true now, since the year 2008 marks the 50th anniversary of NASA. Additionally, with shuttle programs impending retirement in 2011, and the NASA Constellation Programs new generation spacecra ft launch in 2015, media s coverage of space events is likely to rise in the coming years due to these events. The full range of NASAs successes and scientif ic developments of the shuttle program has not yet been demonstrated in the coverage sample studied. Th is is evident by the fact that coverage of the Columbia disast er and its aftermath was the domi nant focus found in the articles in this sample. Possibly, NASA employees a nd policymakers at both the local and national levels will soon start to be impacted by the pr ogram more than ever as its retirement and transition into the Constellation Program draw near Perhaps with these developments, a broader scope of the issues involved, in cluding the science and the progress of space exploration, will be reported as these topics will gain prominence in the medias agendas. Furthermore, the growth of th e private space industry is likely to usher in a new era of science communication in the near future. Medi a will likely play a significant role in the exploration of space. The newly developing priv ate space industry is gaining popularity with such events as the Google XPrize competiti on, a privately funded spacecraft development competition, and with a growing number of private tourists expressing interest in taking vacation flights to space. According to Babidge, Cokl ey, Gordon, & Louw (2005), news, advertisements,
100 and editorial reports will provi de the initial public motivation for private space travel and tourism. Indeed, now is an exciting time for space exploration. The medias coverage of it in the midst of the shuttle programs upcoming retirement, transition to the Constellation Program, and emerging era of private sector space explorati on may advance public discourse and influence funding, policy, and public support fo r these topics. This is an optimal time to be exploring space industry coverage. Limitations of This Study While this study attem pted to provide a thorough analysis of the frames, story focus, and sources used in recent shuttl e program coverage, it is not wi thout its limitations. Some limitations were related to the way the sample was chosen. The databases in this study only archived staff-generated stories, not wire stories. Using both wireand st aff-generated stories would have been useful because it would have covered the full spectrum of shuttle program stories. Another limitation of the sample was that arti cles with less than 250 words were discarded. Those shorter stories covered mostly launches and mission details. Since shorter stories provide information faster and more concisely, many people prefer to read those to receive their news. Not studying such stories may have altered the results and conclusions of this study. Several limitations related to sourcing should also be noted. Sources such as quoted documents and Web site texts were not counted during the coding process. Perhaps taking into account official reports and Web si tes, such as those from the Am erican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which were found frequently in coverage, might have affected the sourcing results because these documents provided useful official information on policy and technical issues. Furthermore, source titles were incons istently reported. For example, John Logsdon was
101 cited as an educational expert from the George Washington Universitys Sp ace Policy Institute in some articles, a CAIB investiga tion board member in others, and cited under both tit les in others still. In that instance, sources were coded according to the only title given in each particular article. If both titles were gi ven, that source was counted under the dominant title in the context of the article. There were also several limitations to the frami ng techniques used in th is analysis. First, photos and graphics, illustrations charts were not analyzed for frames due to copyright blockages in the sample. Perhaps those techni ques would have impacted the frame analysis. Also, the author did not examine the placement of keywords, sources, or quotes within the articles, or their length or fre quency. Perhaps studying these feat ures would have impacted the judgments of the dominant frames during coding. Furthermore, perhaps not providing a list of fr ames would have allowed a wider spectrum of frames and focuses to be found. This may have resulted in a wider or di fferent range of topics to be revealed in the coverage. Suggestions for Further Research This topic lends itself to further investig ation. The study was a snapshot of existing coverage, an d lacked the ability to confirm any possible effects of medias coverage on shuttle program policy and funding. The methods of this study were to describe the trends and issues in the coverage, not to investigate how they dire ctly influenced policy, funding, or the publics perceptions. Perhaps a survey on space or s huttle program attitude s among the public or policymakers may have provided more in-d epth insight into these issues. Different techniques could also be used in a future study to see whet her those results would differ from the ones in this study. Another anal ysis could replicate the research questions asked
102 in this study using different frame categories, or maybe those found more commonly in risk, investigation, and scie nce reporting. Yet another study could examine different media coverage of the same topic. Engineering and technical magazines may have provided longer features and in-depth discussions with more graphics and technical details of the disaster. Also, they may have framed the Columbia disaster or the agency changes afterwards differently than newspapers. Still another useful study could compare magazine and newspaper coverage to see whether the focus, frames, and sources of shuttle coverage differ. Also, the shuttle program coverage in other major newspapers, such as USA Today and the Los Angeles Times would likely have been read by a similar demographic as the New York Times These are considered first-tier ne ws sources in the United States, which are read by a large population. They not only have an average daily circulation of at least one million, but also have the highest average daily circulation per issue per capita (Boykoff, 2007). These newspapers might have framed shuttle program coverage more liberally, progressively, or conservatively. Still other studies also could examine different features of the coverage. For example, coverage in other communities impacted by th e shuttle program, such as the Marshall Space Flight Center community in Huntsville, Alabama or the Johnson Space Center community in Houston, Texas, would provide useful insight into the way other local NASA communities are affected by the medias communicat ion of NASA. Investigating wh ether coverage of the shuttle or the space program has a positive, negative, or neutral valence would be useful to see whether media have portrayed both NASAs achievements a nd tragedies over its 50 years of activity in a balanced, informative way. Future research could also focus more in depth on issues surrounding each shuttle launch separately, rather than grouping all of the post Columbia
103 launches into only four foci and 11 frames. A fu ture study could also examine the differences in coverage before and after the Columbia disaster happened.
104 APPENDIX A BRIEF CHRONOLOGY OF THE NAS A SHUTTLE PROGRAM THROUGH THE CHAL LENGER ACCIDENT 1950s: On October 1, 1958, NASA was created, larg ely in response to the Soviet Unions successful space program and launch of the fi rst man-made satellite on October 4, 1957, and a second Sputnik one month later (Byrnes, 1994; Purdum, 2003). In the late 1950s and early 1960s the agen cy began to send other satellites to the Moon. The romance and intrigue of the moon, coupled with the mythology of the frontier, gave Kennedy a way of depicting a march to the moon that was both exciting and concrete, wrote Kaufmann (1994). This re presented not only President Kenendys but also Americas motivations for establishing the Apollo program to land man on the moon. This goal was also a response to the security and technology th reat of the Soviet Unions advancing technological capabilities (Purdum, 2003). 1960s: During the Apollo program of the 1960s, NASA projected an image of romanticism, stressing the ideas of expans ion and exploration in to the unknown and the heroism of the astronauts (Byrnes, 1994). The Apollo Program la nded its two missions successfully on the Moon but also had a few failures. Alan Shepard Jr. became the first American in space aboard the Mercury capsule for a 15-minute suborbital flight on May 5, 1961. Less than a year later, the successful Pr oject Mercury sent John H. Glenn Jr. into orbit on February 20, 1962, making him the first American to orbit the Earth. Following the successful Mercury and Apollo projec ts, on January 27, 1967, a fire on the Apollo 1 command module located atop a rocket on th e launch pad killed all three of its crewmembers (Martin & Boynton, 2005; Kauffman, 2005). On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin flew aboard Apollo 11 and became the first humans to land and walk on the Moon, a feat accomplished by only12 people to date. 1970s: Three years later, another accident occu rred on Apollo 13, the third manned lunarlanding mission launched on April 11, 1970 when a faulty oxygen tank exploded. The three crewmembers successfully returned to Earth in the f unctioning lunar module (Martin & Boynton, 2005). Despite the failures, Americas and NASAs determination to continue exploring space was evident. The continuing influence of the frontier mythology is perhaps nowhere more evident than in the decisi on to develop the shuttle program, wrote Kauffman (1994), capturing the sentiment of NASA and the c ountry that justified the inception of NASAs shuttle program. NASAs shuttle program was officially launched on January 5, 1972 with a main focus of transporting satellites to and from space with humans to help with repairs and the transportation process (Kauffman, 1993). A fleet of five reusable s huttles were built and flown: Columbia, Challenger, Discovery, Atlantis, and Endeavor. 1980s: The first of these shuttles not to make it back to Earth was the Challenger. Just 73 seconds after takeoff of the Challenger on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle exploded and all seven of its astronauts were killed. The cause was erosion of the seals (O-rings) between segments of the solid rocket boos ter (Smith, 2003b). Winsor (1990) cites many experts who also agree that the Challenger accident happened because of management-
105 level miscommunication (for example, Goldzwig & Dionisopoulos, 1986). The Challenger was also the first shuttle to launch the Teachers in Space program. This began as a government project on August 27, 1984. That day, President Ronald Reagan announced NASAs search for the fir st citizen passenger in the history of our space program, one of America's finesta t eacher (Teachers, 2008). Reagan stated, All of America will be reminded of the crucial role that teachers and education play in the life of our nation. I can't think of a better lesson for our children and our country (Teachers, n.d., par. 1). 1990s: After the Challenger accident, throughout the 1990s, NAS A was back to launching successful shuttle missions. The Hubble Space Telescope, the first general focus orbiting observatory, was launched on Apr il 24, 1990 aboard space shuttle Discovery. In 1993, the United States and other countries began bu ilding the International Space Station. Both contributed greatly to scient ific discoveries in astronomy and cosmology, as previously discussed.
106 APPENDIX B SHUTTLE LAUNCHES THE SI NCE COLUMBIA DISASTER Table B-1. Shuttle laun ches after 2003 Columbia disaster until March 2008. Year Shuttle Launch Date Endeavour 03.11.08 Atlantis 02.07.08 2007 Discovery 10.23.07 Endeavour 08.08.07 Atlantis 06.08.07 Discovery 12.09.06 2006 Atlantis 09.09.06 Discovery 07.04.06 2005 Discovery 07.26.05
107 APPENDIX C CODE SHEET (1) Article num ber: ____ (2) Date: __ / __/200_ (3) Newspaper: Florida Today = 1 New York Times = 2 (4) Word count: (5) Focus of article (Select only one dominant focus): __ To help readers understand and formulate shuttle program policy or funding opinions or explain the state of th e shuttle program __ To report a mission status update __ To explain the details/investig ations of Columbia disaster __ To explain a technical or sc ientific idea about the shuttle __ Other (Specify.) (5a) List key words, symbolic language, conc luding statement, or other phrases implying focus: (5b) List Headline: (5c) List Lead (if available): (6) Story frame (Select only one dominant frame): __ Program policy __ NASA in the public eye __ Technical and scientific __ Funding/ budget __ Return to flight __ Internal changes __ Industry __ Safety __ Progress __ Astronaut Hero __ Lessons from history __ Other (Specify.) (6a) List key words, symbolic language, conc luding statement, or other phrases implying frame: (6b) List Headline: (6c) List Lead (if available):
108 (7) Sources (List number found per article in each corresponding category and column). Indirectly Both Source Quoted Quoted Directl y Quoted News Worker Educational Experts Government Ex p erts CAIB Members Other Gov. Investigator NASA Official Source Astronaut or Relative NASA Technical source Non-NASA technical source NASA Spokesperson Non-NASA Spokesperson Anonymous Citizens
109 APPENDIX D CODEBOOK 1. For article num ber, refer to the reference number in the upper right hand corner written in blue for each FT article and in pink for each NYT article. 2. For date, use date on articl e in the format mm/dd/yy. 3. Input for Florida Today and for New York Times 4. Enter the number of words. If none is spec ified, use the approximation: eight words per line multiplied by the number of lines of text. Do not count the abstract in the word count. 5. For this category on the Excel file, input in the most relevant focus category and in the others. There should only be one dominant focus speci fied for each article. For 5a-5c, type what specifically leads to the conclusion of the chosen focus. The following focus explanations should be applied: To help readers understand and formulat e shuttle program policy or funding opinions or explain the st ate of the shuttle program: an article dealing with some budget or Congressional idea, policy, bill, or change necessary for the reader to understand the functions and procedures of the NASA shuttle program. This type of article could also explain the state of current management, funding, policy, scheduling, and project situations. To report a mission status update : an dealing with articles that strictly provide event information on specific shuttle launch updates, landings, launch sche dules, and scrubbed launches as the primary focus of the article, alt hough most stories will c ontain information about shuttle missions as secondary focuses. Mark this focus only if it is the PRIMARY focus. To explain a technical or scientif ic idea related to the shuttle: an article reported about why a foam piece fell off of the shuttle, why a la unch was scrubbed due to technical reasons, and other similar ideas dealing with scientific explanations of shuttle components, malfunctions, and disaster investigations. This focus excludes any articles dea ling with the malfunctions and disaster investigations of the Columbia disaster. To explain the details/investi gations of Columbia disaster: an article explaining results of the CAIB investigation, debris findings, shuttle disaster details, or any other information related to the Columbia disaster aftermath. Th e focus of these articles is to emphasize the mistakes from Columbia and causes and preventi on methods for future flights or to help the reader piece together different reasons for the Columbia accident. This also includes articles dealing with Columbia safety or manage ment changes and accident investigations. Other: the option to input if the ar ticle focus does not fit into any of the above categories. Specify the focus if it does not fit the above descriptions.
110 6. Input for the dominant frame in each article and for the other frames for that article. There should only be one dominant frame for each article even though many frames can be identified for an article in some cases. For th is analysis, frames were determined by analyzing key words, frequently appearing words, loaded words or phrases, themes, figures of speech, headlines, and sources to determine a dominant frame. For 6a-6c, type what specifically leads to the conclusion of the chosen frame. The following definitions, as discussed in that research, apply: The program policy frame : this frame discussed Congr essional decisions on shuttle policies, post-Columbia disaster po licy changes, the future of the shuttle program in terms of the policy changes, and what effects the Columbia failure or the retiring shuttle program had on Congressional or other federal decisions, or 2008 presidential candidate shuttle policies. The NASA in the public eye frame : this frame refers to articles dealing with the publics perceptions of NASA. It discussed the publics reactions to the NASA shuttle program, how it is communicated by NASAs press and manageri al representatives, and how it is seen by the public in general. Technical and scientific frame: this frame discussed any scie ntific or technical ideas. Examples include articles disc ussing Columbia debris findings or tank problems of the 2005 Discovery launch. The funding and economic future frame : this discussed Congress decisions on funding changes for the shuttle program and the overall economic future of the program. The return to flight frame : this frame concentrated on the return to flight efforts of the shuttle program. This was during the time period right after the Columbia shuttle tragedy occurred and for the two years afterwards when all remaining scheduled shuttle launches were cancelled for safety investigations and inspections. The next shu ttle was launched in 2005. This frame captured the excitement and skepticism about the shuttles return to the sky over the two years when it was grounded. The internal organizational changes frame : this frame included articles that addressed the post-Columbia recommendations of the CAIB to change the management structure of the shuttle program in an effort to return to flight more effectively. This also includes articles dealing with safely recommendations of the CAIB or other government, NASA, or investigations officials. This frame also refers to changes ma de not as a result of Columbia or CAIB events, such as general management changes in the agency. The program industry frame : this frame is defined by disc ussions of the privatization of space flight and its effects on the shuttle pr ogram and other shuttle issues impacting the aerospace industry or NASA. This frame ma y also discuss how the local Space Coast community and its industries are affected by th e shuttle program or how the shuttle program affects local jobs and job cuts, especially du ring the shuttles upcoming retirement.
111 Safety frame : this refers to any article focuse s on event descriptions and report the status of mission launches, landings, and scrubs in terms of the safely landing and launching shuttles, weather conditions supporting landing and launching decisions, and other shuttle hardware or other reasons for landing and launchi ng. It also includes any articles emphasizing any type of safety concerns, changes, or procedures of the shuttle program. The progress frame: this refers to the celebra tion of new development or breakthrough in the article (N isbet and Lewenstein, 2002, p. 372). This frame would include articles that make optim istic statements about the future and achievements of the shuttle program or specific flights. Astronaut hero frame : this frame, prominent in studies by (Nelkin, 1995) and Boot (1986), was added. This frame refers to articles expre ssing the tragic loss of a Columbia shuttle astronaut or any other astronaut in the shuttle programs hist ory. It may also express the martyrdom or other heroic qua lities of an astronaut. Lessons from history : this frame refers to articles making references to the Apollo, Columbia, or Challenger accidents, the moon land ings, or other NASA historical events in an effort to explain how NASA has learned from or changed its policies and procedures since those past events, or comparing the current shuttle prog ram to past NASA events. It includes articles that discuss advancements, mistakes, and le ssons from those historical events. Other : select this if no others apply. Specify wh at frame applies if none of the given ones match. 7. Source reference: For each artic le, input number total number of direct or indirect quotes by sources in the appropriate cell. If a source is not directly quoted but his or her opinion or a statement was paraphrased, this is defined as quo ted indirectly. If the same source speaks only directly or only indirectly more than once, c ount it only once. However, if a source speaks both directly and indirectly, c ount it in the both category. If a pa nel or team is cited, count this as only one in the corresponding categ ory cell. Choose the title th at more directly fits the discussion or focus of that sources quote. For example, if an article on the causes of the Columbia accident cites a Columb ia Accident Investigation Boar d member who is also a physics professor, only code this sour ce as a CAIB member, not an educational expert. Spokespeople for categories are not considered to be members of th ose categories. If a feature is written by the source, cite that source in th e appropriate category as well as anyone he or she cites. White House assessment report or any other document or Web site quoting text is not considered a source. For example, a NASA report said . or showed is not considered a source. Here, source definitions include: News workers : any sources affiliated with a news organization, whether print, visual, or radio and include production and editing personnel. Educational sources: any primary, secondary, or university level sources affiliated with an educational institution. They may be univers ity professors, or public school educators. These are not affiliated with NASA but may advise NASA. They can be space history professors,
112 scientists, or other academia experts qualified to comment on th e scientific, economic, policy, or managerial aspects of the shuttle program. They also include such sources as academic researchers who have researched aspects of NAS A or principals or other authorities of Space Coast schools. Government experts: any elected or appointed government leaders, or advisers, excluding NASA employees, but including law enfo rcement, emergency workers, etc., from local, state, and federal jurisdic tions. These also include Congre ssional and funding officials and House science subcommittee members. They may include members from the Economic Development Commission of Floridas Space Coast or other local or federa l funding agencies, as well. These can also be groups or people who work for the government such as Florida Tax Watch, a nonpartisan government watchdog group. CAIB sources: representatives of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board. Other Government investigators: are nongovernmental accident investigators (current or retired). Investigators mentione d after the time of the disaster ar e not considered part of this category. Investigators said is NOT considered a source. NASA official: a NASA administrator or a NASA cont ractor with managerial authority (current or past) for a NASA department with leadership and administrative authority. Michael Wetmore, who manages shuttle effort s, said that is an example. NASA technical source : a shuttle specialist, scientist, engineer, a member of a NASA committee advisory board member, or researcher affiliated with or contracting for NASA. These exclude NASA technical sources and sources with managerial authority. Sources with managerial authority are listed as NASA Official Sources. An engineer who worked on the thermal shields of the shuttle, for example, is considered part of this category. A contractor supporting shuttle program operations, such as a Boeing or Lockheed Martin employee, is considered a NASA technical sour ce because he or she is employe d by NASA. A flight director, for example, is coded as an official source, even if he or she ha s technical expertise. Non-NASA technical source: a shuttle specialist, scientist, engineer, member of a NASA committee advisory board member, or researcher NOT affiliated with NASA. These exclude technical sources and sources with ma nagerial authority. This could include an aerospace industry analyst, for example, too. Anonymous sources: those whose credentials are not given in the article. However, NASA said is not considered a source because it does not diffe rentiate between technical or managerial experts. NASA spokesperson: a spokesperson of any NASA depa rtment or organization, whether technical or non-technical. PAO and PIO personnel are spokespeople. A contractor spokesperson, such as one from a Boeing, Unite d Space Alliance, or Lockheed Martin, is considered a NASA spokesperson because contractors support NASA operations.
113 Non-NASA spokesperson: a spokesperson of any Non-NASA department or organization, whether techni cal or non-technical. Citizens: include ordinary people. They may ha ve witnessed, in person or through the media, some portion of a shuttle mission or the sear ch for debris, even if their relatives or close friends are NASA officials or te chnical experts. All other co mmon people who did have a title that fit a category above would be part of this category.
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124 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Svetlana Shkolyar was born in Kichinev, Mol dova, in 1986. She and her fa mily moved to Jacksonville, Florida, in 1991. She graduated Paxon High School for Advanced Studies with summa cum laude distinction and an Intern ational Baccalaureate Diploma in May 2004. She then attended the University of North Florida where she was in the Honors program and majored in physics. There, she was awarded the Hercules scholarship, a UNF physics scholarship, and a NASA Space Grant Consortium U ndergraduate Research Grant. At UNF, she was also a research assistant in the PICM Sens or Laboratory, a staff science writer for the campus newspaper, and president of the Society of Physics Students. After graduating with a Bachel or of Science in physics w ith interdiscip linary honors and cum laude distinction in May 2007, she attended th e University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida, where she pursued a masters degree in science communication. She also participated in two NASA Kennedy Space Center internships and a 4Frontiers, Corporation communication and technical writing remote internship. She is now a freelance contribu tor to the UK-based technology magazine for the Institution of Engineering and Technology. In her career, she hopes to work for NASA and to communicate and contribute to knowledge about the universe.