Home > Uncategorized > Blog8: Daily show is a by product of ‘slapdash’ cable journalism.

Blog8: Daily show is a by product of ‘slapdash’ cable journalism.

About 40 years ago, American considered ‘Walter Cronkite’ was the most trusted man in the United States. It may surprise someone, but Cronkite was a CBS night news anchor. Yes! at that time people trusted journalists. Then, what about now? Who is the most trusted news anchor in this country?

At least, for those who get their news mostly from the Internet, which is the most popular medium in these days, “John Stewart was voted most trusted news anchor” in the country according to report of On the Media. What have happened between the 40 years and why now Americans regard a comedian as the most trusted news anchor instead of hundreds of real news anchors in the news channels? In addition, because people trust John Stewart as ‘News Anchor’ could we say ‘the Daily Show’ as ‘the real news’? Then, what is real news?

They are same or different?

Tom Rosenstiel, the Director of the Project for Excellence in Journalism pointed out why ‘Stewart’ became ‘the most trusted news anchor’ in the state. “He is skeptical of what people are telling him and he shares that skepticism with the audience and that skepticism is sort of part of the bond”

And that ‘bond’ is one of the key factors to determine what is journalism or what is not journalism according to the Jay Rosen, a media scholar at NYU.

“Now, if my bond with you is “I never tell what I think, I only tell you what I know and can verify,” that is journalism. If I tell you, “I get involved in things and I show you what’s happening to me, and that’s how you learn,” that’s journalism. If I’m a partisan but I’m fair because I don’t lie to you, that’s journalism.”

Based on this perspective, we consider ‘The Daily show’ is the real news. Furthermore, I think there is no ‘fixed’ definition of news or journalism in the history. The definition of ‘news’ has always changed during the history of journalism. And Most of the case ‘people’ who read and watch the news defined what is the news. Therefore, we may say ‘The daily show’ is the real news.

However, I think it is hard to say that ‘the format of daily show or Colbert Report’ is the spirit of the times, or the future of the journalism. I believe ‘The Daily show’ is a byproduct of current commercial media’ slapdash news coverage. People didn’t choose ‘Daily show’ as their primary news source by their 100% own will, but the reason that people watching ‘Daily show’ is semi-mandatory.

Without Bill O’Reilly, ‘The Daily Show’ wouldn’t exist.

People lost their trust on ‘current news media’ and that’s why they watch ‘daily show’ as their last news options. (Sadly, I think NPR or PBS, which are doing great journalism are too bored to watch for Americans, and that is another topic that we should think about.)

Lets look at the contents of The Daily show. John Stewart satirizes ‘the messy and manipulated news coverage’ that has been done by mainstream or cable news. And as we know the most of ‘messy and manipulated’ coverage were done by Fox News. Just showing the original news coverage’s is enough making audience laugh because they are just absurd. In sum, without absurd news reporting by mainstream news media, The Daily Show wouldn’t exist. The Daily Show becomes another ‘Gate Keeper’ of mainstream news media whose roles are supposed to be information gatekeepers for citizens.

The reason people trusted ‘John Stewart’ is that they couldn’t find any other trusted news anchor in the real news channels, and the reason people watch ‘The Daily Show’ is that it is really hard to find worth to watch news channels in the cables.  People choose ‘The Daily Show’ semi-mandatory because of current news media’s poor job.

I think, in United States ‘The Daily Show’ is news. However, I don’t think ‘Daily Show’ could be considered the real news in U.K or France, which have fairly good mainstream news media in their country.

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  1. April 4, 2011 at 1:20 pm

    Good. Interesting discussion of the values of “skepticism” and “bonds” as they relate to journalism.

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