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Credibility in Comedy is No Joke: A multimodal study of the credibility of, and communication campaign manifested in, the political satire program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
2018 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Research into political satire programs show that they can be informative in the same way traditional news inform citizens and that the audience trust the information told by satirists. The political satire program Last Week Tonight with John Oliver has inspired the phenomenon ‘the John Oliver Effect’ due to comedian John Oliver’s ability to influence the world of politics and beyond with his in-depth investigations in serious subjects. In the author’s previous research Last Week Tonight has been portrayed by the media as being a credible source despite being the work of a comedian. This study therefore aimed to research what it is that makes Oliver and Last Week Tonight a credible source and whether some aspects of the reporting can be seen as communication campaign. With the theory of source credibility as part of its core, this study used the method of multimodality to ascertain that the main aspect that spoke to Oliver’s credibility was his perceived trustworthiness rather that his expertise or attractiveness. Using the same method but with the theory of communication campaign as part of its core, the study also ascertained that the program in general possessed some characteristics of a communication campaign but to be completely successful an episode had to possess all characteristics of a communication campaign. Merging this with previous research would indicate that subjectivity – Oliver’s authenticity and honest opinions and feelings – play an important part in his perceived credibility.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018. , p. 71
Keywords [en]
communication campaign theory, Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, multimodality analysis, source credibility theory, subjective news
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-35501OAI: oai:DiVA.org:sh-35501DiVA, id: diva2:1214675
Subject / course
Journalism
Uppsok
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2018-06-07 Created: 2018-06-07 Last updated: 2018-07-18Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • harvard-anglia-ruskin-university
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf