The term “outrage industry” is fundamental to this podcast. It comes up on basically every episode. On the podcast website, I introduce the podcast as follows: “in each episode we explore a different aspect of the outrage industry and lowering the temperature.”
It’s such a key concept that the website has a separate page defining the term “outrage industry.” I was not able to find the definitive first use of the term, but the concept of using fear or controversy to generate profit has been around for centuries, and terms like Outrage Machine, Chaos Machine, the Attention Economy have been used to describe this phenomenon in various forms of media, including print newspapers, television news, and the internet.
Tufts University professors Sarah Sobieraj and Jeffrey M. Berry spent five years examining the rise of incendiary rhetoric and indignation in political commentary. In 2014, they published that research in a book titled: “The Outrage Industry: Political Opinion Media and the New Incivility.”
I got a chance to sit down with professor Jeffrey M. Berry to catch up on what has changed (and what hasn’t changed) with the outrage industry since the book’s publication.
Jeffrey M. Berry is the Skuse professor of political science at Tufts University where he teaches courses on national politics, cities and the media.
He is the author of many award winning books and is the recipient of the Samuel Eldersveld Career Achievement Award from the American Political Science Association and the Tufts Distinguished Scholar Award. With Tufts colleagues Jim Glaser and Debbie Schildkraut, he is at work on a large-scale project on the differences between liberals and conservatives.
Jeffrey M. Berry full bio: https://facultyprofiles.tufts.edu/jeffrey-berry
The Outrage Industry publisher page (Oxford University Press): https://global.oup.com/academic/product/the-outrage-industry-9780190498467?q=berry&lang=en&cc=us