Author: Jessica Staples
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of the University of Delaware in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts in Communication
Copyright 1998 Jessica Staples
All Rights Reserved
The study examined the reasons behind individual audience members’ use of call-in talk radio. It was expected that listeners of call-in talk radio would report stronger information-oriented motives and companionship motives than nonlisteners. In addition, it was predicted that listeners of call-in talk radio would report stronger endorsement of concept-oriented family communication patterns and be more argumentative than nonlisteners. Also, listeners would be more likely to perceive themselves as less mobile,
less socially active, and less interpersonally interactive than nonlisters of call-in talk radio. It was expected that call-in talk radio listeners would enjoy social experiences more than nonlisteners. Finally, it was predicted that listening to issue-oriented programs would be positively related to concept-oriented family communication patterns, where as, listening to sports talk programs would be positively related to argumentativeness. Two hypotheses were supported; listeners of call-in talk radio reported stronger informationoriented motives for listening to the radio and reported stronger argumentativeness
endorsement than nonlisteners. The study did not find support for deficit motivated assumptions of prior research. Instead, the findings suggest that radio listeners are not using this medium to fulfill a need, but rather positively, to promote an interest.
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