Journalism and Mass Communications
05 Jul 2019

Missing, or just Missed? Mediating Loss in the Missing Richard Simmons Podcast

This study critically examines the Missing Richard Simmons podcast to explore how producers and participants use media to define and process complex relationships with celebrity figures. Employing qualitative textual analysis, this research demonstrates how audiences mediate celebrity interactions and the potential role these relationships play within a marginalized and fragile community. This project qualitatively explores parasocial interactions to demonstrate the ways expressions of grief and loss are mediated by audiences when a celebrity “relationship” disappears. In using a podcast to rekindle a celebrity connection, this study shows the impact that podcast hosts may have on messages presented to the audience.

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