Title

Offensive Language Spoken on Morning Radio Programs

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-2009

Publication Title

Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media

Keywords

Offensive language, morning radio programs

ISSN

0883-8151

Volume

16

Issue/No.

2

First Page

181

Last Page

199

Abstract

A content analysis examined offensive language spoken on popular morning radio programs on the five highest-rated radio stations offering live-streaming audio over the Internet in the top 10 US markets. While concerns over indecency have long existed, renewed interest in the issue of indecency on television and radio was sparked during the 2004 Super Bowl half-time show and, as evident in the 2007 firing of radio personality Don Imus, continues to be of concern today. The purpose of this study was to identify the amount and kind of offensive language spoken on-air. Overall, there were 872 instances of offensive language or 4.36 words spoken per hour. Of these, words classified as mild (words such as “hell” and “damn”) were the largest proportion (40.9%). The bulk of crude language was spoken on Rock and Popular formats. Additionally, broadcasts in the northeast part of the country contained significantly more instances of offensive language.

DOI

10.1080/19376520903277047

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