Serious comedy: how late-night shows framed COVID-19
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During the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, late-night shows served as alternative news sources. This thesis analyzed how late-night shows used storytelling strategies to frame the pandemic as a serious issue at a time when news about the virus was often confusing and unclear. Through a textual analysis of the videos and accompanying transcripts, this research analyzed 28 episodes of six late-night shows, following a timeline of eight major COVID-related events from March, 2020 to April, 2021. The study identified 14 strategies that the late-night hosts employed to break down and frame complex news events relating to the pandemic. These findings can benefit the field of journalism by providing a different perspective and toolkit for engaging audiences.