No-spin Zones: The rise of the American cable news magazine and Bill O'Reilly

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


Over the past decade a new breed of television journalism, what I term the cable news magazine, has risen to become the highest-rated programming on the cable news networks. Despite their popular appeal, and arguable status as the definitive genre of cable news, such broadcasts receive scant academic attention. This paper analyses the most prominent of these cable magazines, The O'Reilly Factor, on Fox News. I argue that through performing belief, The Factor ore-makes the newso in a manner that lowers the threshold demanded under journalism's traditional rules of truth. Yet surprisingly, the show also adheres to, or at least lauds, many traditional tenets of the objectivity regime. What is novel, and what possibly accounts for its popularity, is the wilful intertwining of belief, journalistic involvement, and truth-claims in a brazen fashion; a dramatic departure from the cool style which epitomised twentieth-century journalism.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournalism Studies
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)832-851
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • belief
  • cable news
  • objectivity
  • The O'Reilly Factor
  • rules of truth
  • trust

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