Comedic Journalism and Satire

by Gina Ginsberg

For a beat topic I chose the use of satire in journalism. The notion of the comedic journalist is a 21st century concept with names like Jon Stewart and Colbert being amongst the most well known, but there are many humorous news sources out there. Humorous reporting is a relevant topic because it is becoming more of a primary new source for some, and can be the root of hard-hitting insight comes from. People often turn to these programs as more trustworthy sources for news than mainstream outlets that feign nonpartisan affiliation and may have their sponsor corporations’ best interests in mind when deciding what to cover.

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(image courtesy of Flckr)

The news should be conscious of its role as means to inform the public in a way that is accessible and interesting. In fact, ‘Newsworthy’ stories today tend to border on the sensational focusing on sex, celebrities, and violence. If the news continues to be treated as entertainment, then people might as well be entertained and laugh at the same time.
Humor and satire can be used in reporting as a way to make stories relatable and memorable to the audience as well as engaging. Comedic journalists can get to the point, and not dance around taboo subjects or be concerned with the network’s agenda. Here a few examples of satirical and humorous journalism.

The Yes Men: Jacques Servin and Igor Vamos often impersonate people behind corporations in different ways in order to expose situations and report on important social issues.

The Onion: Satirical news source.

Stephen Colbert: Satirical spoof on conservative news and reporters, Stephen Colbert ruthlessly investigates people and stories in an all too-familiar way.

Jon Stewart: Comedian Jon Stewart has comedic news program on comedy central.

La Comay: Sassy puppet journalist until she recently stepped down was Puerto Rico’s leading gossip reporter but also obtained confessions from corrupt politicians and snagged many other telling accounts in her interviews.

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Huffington Post Article : Are comedians more trustworthy than journalists? One of the questions I will be asking this term.

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