Home > Uncategorized > Blog 8: Colbert and Stewart, are they really news?

Blog 8: Colbert and Stewart, are they really news?

I am torn on this issue whether or not The Colbert Report or The Daily Show are really news.  As we have discussed in class soft news does motivate people to seek out harder news and I think this is what Colbert and Stewart do.  I think though on another level in order to find what they are talking about funny you have to have some sort of understanding of what is going on in the world today.  Which might motivate people who think that they are funny to seek out news even more.  I find that more younger people are the general audience for Colbert and Stewart.

There is a study that was done by Mizzou’s own Jeremy Littau and  Dr. Daxton R. Stewart called, “Truthiness” and Satire News:  The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, and Television News Credibility where they examin:

The Daily Show and The Colbert Report aim a constant stream of criticism at the news media, both by presenting themselves in a television news format and by mocking the competence of journalists. This study aimed to build theory about the potential impact of satire news programs on perceptions of media credibility. A survey (n=650) found that Daily Show/Colbert Report viewers had less positive views about credibility of television news programs…showing that television news programs, particularly those on cable, were more frequently portrayed negatively and made the target of jokes. The findings build on existing channel credibility research and may also implicate second-level agenda setting theory, suggesting that less positive attributes regarding media credibility may be more salient in viewers of the satire news programs.

I think that they do make a good point in the study that people who view the show do find the media to be less credible.  I myself who watch the show find that I on a regular basis scoff at some of the comments that the Daily Show and The Colbert Report don’t even point out in the media. I ask myself “Did that anchor really just say that?” sometimes.  This is a good thing I think though and that it keeps journalists and media outlets on their toes.  I don’t think that these shows are biased.  I think that they pick on both sides for their goof ups and mishaps.  They are like SNL in a sense that no one is safe from their criticism.  One week you will hear them attacking Bill Clinton and the next is Carl Rove.

Do they promote political participation:

I think it is safe to say that they do promote political participation with the recent rally that they held.  Not only was there a rally in Washington, but there were many others around the country as well.  They clearly want their viewers to vote.

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