The Truthiness Factor

Blurring Boundaries and the Shifting Status of Objectivity and Emotion in Television News

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisResearch

Abstract

This dissertation explores the 'blurring' of news styles and emergence of new forms within American television journalism over the past 25 years. It considers how the roles of emotion and 'objectivity' have been reconfigured in a climate of unprecedented technological and commercial shifts. It is unique as it investigates two innovative forms of broadcast journalism, satirical news and cable magazines, not just in terms of content, but instead drawing on the sociology of emotions to conceptualize and examine how these shows
attempt to craft an ?experience of involvement?. I perform a textual analysis that considers the presentational style and branding of The O'Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs Tonight, The Daily Show, and Colbert Report. Findings are based on a lengthy observation of each program and an in-depth examination from 2007. These analyses are situated against an examination of the CBS Evening News from 1979 and 2007. Secondary material in which key players from these programs explain the rationales behind how they craft the news is also integrated. This study finds that cable and satirical news differentiate themselves by attempting to craft a more 'involved' presentational style than network newscasts, but simultaneously adhere to many conventional journalistic 'rules of truth'. There are also indications that network news, though maintaining a fairly consistent tone, is beginning to address this issue of involvement.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationOttawa
PublisherLibrary and Archives Canada
Number of pages327
ISBN (Print)9780494520697
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes

Cite this

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title = "The Truthiness Factor: Blurring Boundaries and the Shifting Status of Objectivity and Emotion in Television News",
abstract = "This dissertation explores the 'blurring' of news styles and emergence of new forms within American television journalism over the past 25 years. It considers how the roles of emotion and 'objectivity' have been reconfigured in a climate of unprecedented technological and commercial shifts. It is unique as it investigates two innovative forms of broadcast journalism, satirical news and cable magazines, not just in terms of content, but instead drawing on the sociology of emotions to conceptualize and examine how these showsattempt to craft an ?experience of involvement?. I perform a textual analysis that considers the presentational style and branding of The O'Reilly Factor, Lou Dobbs Tonight, The Daily Show, and Colbert Report. Findings are based on a lengthy observation of each program and an in-depth examination from 2007. These analyses are situated against an examination of the CBS Evening News from 1979 and 2007. Secondary material in which key players from these programs explain the rationales behind how they craft the news is also integrated. This study finds that cable and satirical news differentiate themselves by attempting to craft a more 'involved' presentational style than network newscasts, but simultaneously adhere to many conventional journalistic 'rules of truth'. There are also indications that network news, though maintaining a fairly consistent tone, is beginning to address this issue of involvement.",
author = "Chris Peters",
year = "2009",
language = "English",
isbn = "9780494520697",
publisher = "Library and Archives Canada",

}

The Truthiness Factor : Blurring Boundaries and the Shifting Status of Objectivity and Emotion in Television News. / Peters, Chris.

Ottawa : Library and Archives Canada, 2009. 327 p.

Research output: Book/ReportDoctoral thesisResearch

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