The correspondent, the comic, and the combatant: The consequences of host style in political talk shows

Emily K. Vraga*, Stephanie Edgerly, Leticia Bode, D. Jasun Carr, Mitchell Bard, Courtney N. Johnson, Young Mie Kim, Dhavan V. Shah

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations

Abstract

Tailored within the increasingly competitive news environment, political talk shows have adopted a range of styles, heralding a rise in "combatant" and "comic" hosts to complement the conventional "correspondent." Using an experimental design to rule out self-selection biases, this study isolates the impact of host style on media judgments. In comparison to the other styles, the correspondent host increases perceptions of informational value, enhances host and program credibility, and reduces erosion of media trust, while a comic host mitigates some of the negative impact compared to a combatant host. Implications for media accountability and democratic functioning are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5-22
Number of pages18
JournalJournalism and Mass Communication Quarterly
Volume89
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2012

Keywords

  • Journalistic norms
  • Media credibility
  • Political communication
  • Political talk shows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication

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