Campaigns and the battle for truth

Professors Danna Young, left, and Lindsay Hoffman, Communication
Professors Danna Young, left, and Lindsay Hoffman, UD Department of Communication

This interview is a very engaging and far-ranging discussion of campaign media coverage and advertising. Hoffman and Young cover topics such as humorists’ (like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert) place in the political landscape, the importance of voters watching the debates and actual candidate speeches, twitter and other new media, and campaigns’ battle to tell their own version of the truth.




Listen to the interview

Listen to Lindsay Hoffman and Danna Young (10/25/12)
28.7 MB

About our guests

Lindsay Hoffman joined the faculty of the Department of Communication at the University of Delaware in September 2007 after receiving her Ph.D. from The Ohio State University. Her recent research examines how citizens use internet technology to become engaged with politics and their communities. She also studies individual and contextual effects of media on individuals’ perceptions of public opinion; the effects of viewing The Daily Show on knowledge and participation; social capital and communication; and factors leading to public-affairs news use.

Hoffman holds a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and International Relations, and is the Research Coordinator for Politics and Technology at the Center for Political Communication. She teaches courses in political communication, politics and technology, media effects, and research methods.

Dannagal G. Young (Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2007) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication. Her research interests include political media effects, public opinion, political satire and the psychology of political humor. Her work on the role and effects of late-night comedy in the changing political environment has been published in numerous journals including Media Psychology, Political Communication, International Journal of Press/Politics, Journal of Broadcasting and Electronic Media, and Mass Media and Society. For the past decade, the main focus of her research has been the study of non-traditional forms of political information – with a specific focus on the cognitive psychology of political humor. Most recently, some of her research has focused on how the media covered the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Young is a fellow at UD’s Center for Political Communication and is also an improvisational comedian; since 1999, she has performed with the Philadelphia-based ComedySportz troupe. She teaches courses in political communication, mass communication, persuasive communication, entertainment and political communication, and media effects.

Hoffman and Young have collaborated on several projects, including a paper on how people acquire knowledge of current events from satire and research into how political humor may foster political participation. In a 2010 book chapter about research surveys, they wrote that the landscape of political communication research presents a “maddening,” ever-shifting intellectual ecology:

At each pass, we may answer one question, only to open the door to four other questions that need to be addressed. For instance, how do we differentiate political cynicism from skepticism, and how do these constructs map onto trust? When is the content in the media to which respondents attend political and when is it entertainment?

Learn more

Photo credit: Mandorichard