The News Media Outlet is the Message

Hyun Jung Yun 1 * , Blake Farrar 1 *
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1 Texas State University, USA
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 7, Issue December 2017 - Special Issue, pp. 106-121.
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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.


Yun, H. J., & Farrar, B. (2017). The News Media Outlet is the Message. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 7(December 2017 - Special Issue), 106-121.