'Truthiness' and Second Level Agenda Setting: Satire News and Its Influence on Perceptions of Television News Credibility

Electronic News 9(2), 122-136, 2015

22 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2014 Last revised: 27 Feb 2018

Jeremy Littau

Lehigh University

Daxton "Chip" Stewart

Texas Christian University

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

This study examined the potential impact of satire news programs on perceptions of media credibility using second-level agenda-setting, showing that negative portrayals of television news on satire news shows makes salient certain negative attributes that affect viewer perceptions of credibility. A survey (n=650) found that Daily Show/Colbert Report viewers had less positive views about the credibility of television news programs. A content analysis (N=401) of four weeks of episodes of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report reflected the results of the survey, showing that television news programs, particularly those on cable, were more frequently portrayed negatively and made the target of jokes.

Keywords: media credibility, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, satire news, agenda setting

Suggested Citation

Littau, Jeremy and Stewart, Daxton "Chip", 'Truthiness' and Second Level Agenda Setting: Satire News and Its Influence on Perceptions of Television News Credibility (2015). Electronic News 9(2), 122-136, 2015. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2527054

Jeremy Littau

Lehigh University ( email )

621 Taylor Street
Bethlehem, PA 18015
United States

Daxton Stewart (Contact Author)

Texas Christian University ( email )

Fort Worth, TX 76129
United States
817-258-5911 (Phone)

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