Political Satire: Satirical News Affinity and its Relationship with Political Knowledge and Traditional News Media Consumption

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Binford, Matthew Thomas
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Middle Tennessee State University
In recent years there has been a growing debate about the role satirical news plays in society and whether satirical news use is responsible for increased political knowledge and participation among its audience. Survey data from both the 2010 and 2012 Pew Research Center for the People and the Press’s Biennial Media Consumption Survey is used to test this relationship along with the role satirical news plays in the consumption of more traditional news sources. Going even deeper, this study attempts to determine the extent to which individual’s use of satirical and traditional news media interact to influence political knowledge. Findings suggest that satirical news use significantly increases both overall news enjoyment and knowledge. Additionally, traditional news use seems to moderate the relationship between satirical news use and knowledge, with the relationship appearing highest, but flattest, among heavy users of traditional news and lowest, but more steeply positive, among lighter users of traditional news.
Colbert, Humor, Knowledge, News, Satire, Stewart