Blog #13: Researching the Mark Levin radio program
For our final project, we are working with the Mark Levin radio show as the alternative new source. Levin’s program is heavily aimed at the right side of the news spectrum, with a website splashed in red, white and blue and pictures of soaring eagles. Many of the current headlines are strong criticisms about Obama’s new budget proposal, and most other headlines seem to stay at home in the United States. Because this program is so conservative, we will most likely pin it against a more liberal mainstream news site, such as CNN radio. Both of these sites will be good tools for research.
The other types of research will be mainly qualitative in nature. I’d like to see what other news sources perhaps have to say about Mark Levin and his strong conservative opinions. The research will obviously encompass learning who owns the Mark Levin show, or if it is perhaps independent. Such a strong opinion may suggest he has private decision-making powers, or he is associated with an organization that agrees with his conservative viewpoints. Chapter 5 in the book deals with radio station ownership, which could help for researching what is behind the ownership of the Mark Levin show.
I am also curious to compare how Levin’s news agenda differs or is similar to that of the mainstream news organization. I want to see if the stories covered are similar in topic (not considering the opposing frames of the stories). Why can Mark afford to be so flamboyant in his opinions and the way he frames the news? Does he have another news organization that is a personal “enemy”?
Although radio could be considered a dying medium, there still must exist an audience for Mark Levin’s show. For the quantitative aspect of the research, I want to try and track down some demographics that will indicate what types of people are interested in his viewpoint of news. How do his listeners put his information to personal use? I also want to know whether this is their main source of news; if it is, they could be a particular profile of person that chooses to follow a narrow view. If it is not their lone source of news, I am curious what other sources do they get their news from? Is it more mainstream or alternative; liberal or conservative? Do the listeners prefer print or radio or TV news?
Overall, this should be an interesting research project. I don’t particularly follow Levin’s viewpoints, so it should get me thinking about lots of various ways to look at the way he produces his news.