The News Media Outlet is the Message

Hyun Jung Yun 1, Blake Farrar 1

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Abstract

At the time of its inception, “the medium is the message” by Marshall McLuhan (1964) was both prophetic and controversial. A half-century later, with innovative broadcasting technologies leading to a massive scale media market, the concept of a singular “medium” seems too broad to understand theoretical patterns of political communication. This study proposes a new phrase, “the news media outlet is the message,” and examines the differing effects of news media outlets for partly-mediated political communication. The experimental study measured changes in voters’ candidate evaluations before and after watching each of the three real-time televised debates in the 2012 American presidential election. The participants, who were randomly assigned to and viewed the debates via one of the five different news media outlets, showed a clear media channel effect on their evaluations of political candidates in partly-mediated forms of political discourse, and it confirmed that the news media outlet was indeed the message.

Keywords

news media outlets; televised presidential debates; candidate evaluation

License

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Article Type: Research Article

Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 7, Issue December 2017 - Special Issue, pp. 106-121

Published Online: 01 Dec 2017

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