Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Communications Media

First Advisor

Mark J. Piwinsky

Second Advisor

James Lenze

Third Advisor

B. Gail Wilson


There are more comedy news shows today than before, and comedy news has been more trusted and popular for younger audiences since 2012. This study sought to find if framing theory was applicable to audience perceived believability and immediate recall of comedy news and hard news versions of four different news stories from the last five years. An online quasi-experiment using Qualtrics was used, where participants viewed comedy news and hard news stimuli and were tested on believability and immediate recall. Hard news was rated significantly more believable than comedy news. Contrary to the literature, there were no differences in recall based on news type. In addition, the researcher found that increased consumption of news of either type resulted in increased immediate recall, regardless of the stimulus news type.