Centrist Language, Camouflaged Ideology: Assembled Text-Based Content on Mainstream and Ideological News Podcasts

Marcus Funk, Sam Houston State University
Burton Speakman, Kennesaw State University


Studies of podcasting and digital audio streaming have neglected text-based podcast descriptions and episode titles, the most outward-facing content on any podcast. Qualitative analysis of text-based podcast content found mainstream news podcasts assembled show and episode descriptions using traditional values of brevity, directness and objectivity. Conservative podcasts assembled their text-based content with the same values - rarely mentioning conservative ideology or affiliation directly, and often appearing indistinguishable from mainstream news podcasts. Distinctions appeared in the use of incivil or irreverent language. Findings indicate a dynamic assemblage process on a growing digital platform.