Political knowledge? Well, at least I got the jokes

Posted: October 8, 2010 in Uncategorized

I watched The Daily Show of October 7 and October 8, the two show respectively talked about a divided situation in Delaware and the default of the mortgage bank.

I found both similarity and difference in my experience comparing to the majority of Xenos and Becker’s respondents. Watching The Daily Show did work for me as a news enhancer, which means I searched key words or names that I felt interesting on Google during the show. However, I didn’t read any related news during the 15-minute Google News browsing after the show. There are several possible explanations for this: a) there was no related information in Google News pages that I browsed, so I didn’t have the chance to learn more about the issues which had been discussed on The Daily Show. Cause, in Xenos and Becker’s case, the respondents were provided with a web site that contains the exact information they read/watched before, so they were probably more likely to click on the related news articles. I feel I would at least click the link if I saw some related topics on Google News, but not necessarily read the whole stories; b) as a non-U.S. reader, I tend to be more interested in news which is related to my home country. For instant, the first headline I saw on Google News was “Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo awarded Nobel Peace Prize”. Liu xiaobo is a political dissident in China, a very controversial figure. So I followed the link and I searched “Liu xiaobo” and “Nobel Prize” on Google to find more information about this news.

I feel Baum’s (2003) argument interesting and true, at least for me. I’m not a heavy consumer of political news (or in Xenos, Bercker, and Baum’s words: “low interesting”), and it is especially true for the U.S. ones, since I don’t very much familiar with names and agendas in the U.S. political system. It usually takes great motivation for me to read through an entire piece of political news because the strange names and terms in the article are killing me. But in this experience with The Daily Show, I felt less stressful, because even if I failed to gain political knowledge, at least I got the jokes. I guess this is exactly what Baum argued about, the “low transaction cost”.

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Comments
  1. luckymaggie says:

    Yes the names and political terms in the Daily Show just get me frustrated…I admit that I’m almost lost when I watch that two episodes. Based on this special condition, I think, for me at least, searching relevant information from other media is a must–if I want to know what Jon Stewart talks about. So I’d rather consider this seeking information process as a natural occurance, which is sort of consistent with Xeno and Becker’s findings. In addition, I like your analysis about people’s preferences. We all love the topics that we have interests in originally and we’d like to explore more on what we like but not what we dislike. If the political comedy can stimulate viewers’ inner interests, it will be a huge success–for serving both political and entertaining content all together!

  2. tinamomo says:

    I have to say that we have exactly the same experience for this blogpost. First, I watch the same shows as you did. Second, I didn’t click into any of the links regarding the topics on Google news. Third, I did a lot of research on Liu Xiaobo also, I spotted him on the sidebar of Google news. Apparently, there is a clear cultural divide here. I’d like to think I am not a person who is ethnocentric. But spending a year in the US, I found I am paying more and more attention to news regarding China, not the US. This experience really shows how my cultural background influences me.

  3. ltn0913 says:

    I watched the Daily Show of Octorber.7 too, the divided situation in Delaware is very amusing. I think you are right that ” I tend to be more interested in news which is related to my home country”, and I was browsing Google news I found these news can easily catch my eye. It’s very true that “not very much familiar with names and agendas in the U.S. political system” for non-US viewers like us, I think that’s the most difficult part for us to follow. But like you said, even if we failed to gain political knowledge through the Daily Show, we had fun at least.

  4. Good point: “in Xenos and Becker’s case, the respondents were provided with a web site that contains the exact information they read/watched before, so they were probably more likely to click on the related news articles.”

    I think a lot of U.S. students feel the same as you: “It usually takes great motivation for me to read through an entire piece of political news because the strange names and terms in the article are killing me.”

    This post is a good example of a post that is fairly short — and yet it covers everything I wanted to see.

  5. potenzmittel says:

    I keep listening to the news speak about getting free online grant applications so I have been
    looking around for the best site to get one.
    Thank you for your help!

  6. Very Interesting Information! Thank You For Thi Post!

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