A content analysis of California Proposition 37 videos on YouTube



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California’s Proposition 37 was a ballet initiative to mandatory label products containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Although it eventually failed, it generated immense media exposure regarding GMOs and their possible regulatory, health and economic impacts. The purpose of this study was to describe the presence of videos related to Proposition 37 on the social media platform, YouTube. The research addressed how Proposition 37 videos are framed, the message appeals used to convey information about labeling GM products, and the message sensation value of each video. Collected in mid-November 2013, the researcher utilized an auto-generated channel, established by YouTube, making the population of the study 287 videos. A purposive sample was taken from the population, which resulted in 174 videos. It was determined that majority of the videos in the sample wanted the proposition to pass. Right to know and human health were the most prominent frames in the sample, present in majority of the videos. Emotional appeals were more frequently used in the sample than logical appeals. Overall, videos in the sample had a low message sensation value. Relationships and differences between variables were determined.



Content analysis, YouTube, Proposition 37, Genetically modified organisms