Nightly News or Nightly Jokes? News Parody as a Form of Political Communication: A Review of the Literature

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1177/14789299221100339
Published date01 May 2023
Date01 May 2023
Subject MatterState of the Art – Review Articles
https://doi.org/10.1177/14789299221100339
Political Studies Review
2023, Vol. 21(2) 390 –399
© The Author(s) 2022
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DOI: 10.1177/14789299221100339
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Nightly News or Nightly Jokes?
News Parody as a Form of
Political Communication:
A Review of the Literature
Caroline V Leicht
Abstract
News parody as a genre of political satire has become an increasingly popular form of entertainment
in the past two decades. Mirroring traditional news media in format and style has made this genre
one that receives both praise and criticism. While some see it as a chance for a wider audience
to become politically interested, others point to potentially negative effects such as increased
political cynicism. While news parody as a form of political communication has been at the center
of various studies, related research has been spread across a plethora of disciplines and sub-fields
and some limitations and gaps in the literature remain substantially unexplored. This review article
seeks to contribute to this research field by presenting a comprehensive overview of the existing
literature and proposing new directions for the study of news parody as political communication.
Keywords
political satire, political communication, news parody
Accepted: 25 April 2022
Introduction
“Fake news” is what some would call it, a source of political information is what others
might perceive it as: News parody is a genre that has sparked debates in public discourse
and academic research alike. Addressing current events in a manner not entirely unlike tra-
ditional news media, this type of political satire constitutes a unique form of political com-
munication. Prominent examples of news parody shows on television include The Daily
Show (TDS) and The Colbert Report (TCR) in the United States, the heute show in Germany,
or The Rick Mercer Report in Canada. And while its hosts and anchors perceive their con-
tent to be nothing more than entertainment, research has shown that their audiences do, in
fact, receive political information and political orientation from them, thus showing real
effects of exposure to this type of political communication (Bode and Becker, 2018).
Department: School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of
Southampton, Southampton, UK
Corresponding author:
Caroline V Leicht, Department: School of Economic, Social and Political Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences,
University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK.
Email: c.v.leicht@soton.ac.uk
1100339PSW0010.1177/14789299221100339Political Studies ReviewLeicht
review-article2022
State of the Art – Review Article

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