Monday, September 13, 2010

The Beginning of the End of OPRAH...

As the Associated Press reminds us, the final season of The Oprah Winfrey Show begins today.

The story hints at the effect this will have on her viewers, but as a quick search of the communication literature suggests, Oprah's impact went well beyond her audience. By just searching for scholarly articles containing "Oprah" in the Communication & Mass Media Complete database, I find 31 articles. A couple of the articles talk about the power that Oprah's endorsement of Barack Obama in the 2008 Democratic primary had on the race. Many more talk about the impact that Oprah's Book Club has had on discussions about race, cultural, and social issues.

I think all of the research that has been done and probably will be done on Oprah is really a testament to the impact that media can have on society and culture.