R. Lance Holbert and Dannagal Goldthwaite Young
A wide range of entertainment media content has been shown to influence some of our most important democratic outcomes. In addition, political communication scholarship is beginning to look at how certain entertainment-based media outlets function alongside more traditional political outlets (e.g., TV news, debates). In today's complex media environment, it is apparent that audience members do not experience entertainment media or news in complete isolation. There is hybridity across individuals, across genres, and across texts. Studying how various forms of political information work together, and how people make sense of them in tandem, is essential to understanding the broader role of media in politics. This chapter offers a plan of action designed to allow political communication researchers to engage in a theoretically grounded, systematic study of how entertainment media relates to, informs, and interacts with more traditional public affairs media within the context of politics.
The study of political entertainment media has grown exponentially in recent years (e.g., Baumgartner & Morris, 2008). Political communication scholars studying media influence historically did so solely in the context of news (e.g., Bennett & Iyengar, 2008). But more ...