Home > Uncategorized > BLOG 8: Political Comedy/Satire

BLOG 8: Political Comedy/Satire

Political comedy and satire shows like The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report certainly convey some type of political information, but is this really political news?

Political News

If news is simply defined as the reporting of current events, maybe shows like these can be defined as news shows.  However, as a journalist I tend to believe that news should be held to higher standards than simply  commenting on current events.  Even if news is not completely objective, news sources should provide a complete, fact-based picture of a situation.  And if the news source is openly opinionated, they should still present both sides of the argument.  This is the kind of news provides audiences with comprehensive facts and information on current events, and provides them with the tools they need to become politically involved and educated citizens.


Does Comedy News Promote Political Participation?

I would argue that shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report do not promote this type of informed political participation.  Although these shows do present a very strong opinion of various current events and political figures, this type of political information is not very valuable.  Although viewers of these shows may feel that by watching these shows they become informed I think this is debatable.  The stated purpose of these shows is entertainment and they information they present is extremely biased and does not give a complete picture of events.  Based on these characteristics, I do not believe these shows promote intelligent constructive political participation.  These comedy shows may cause viewers to turn to established news sources for less biased, fact-based information.  However, if comedy shows are the only source of information for certain viewers then their political information will not be constructive to the democratic process.

So What?

The democratic process needs informed citizens to fuel political debate and hold public leaders accountable.  However, if citizens are receiving their political information from a comedy-based, non-news source then the democratic process becomes the joke that comedy shows make it out to be.

  1. April 4, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Nice job. Good closing line.

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