I believe that the availability of public media is essential to a successful and thriving community. Public media distributes important information about culture, crisis communication, city services, and community resources. All of this information is distributed through TV, radio, print media, and the internet, and plays a major part in bringing communities closer together. Without public media, communities would not be as well connected and would not work as a unified system. People would not be warned in time if there was inclement weather or a natural disaster. They would not know where to find information about their communities public leaders or new laws. People would also have a much more difficult time learning about local cultural events and entertainment which can play a large part in shaping a community and its citizens. Without public media, our world would be stuck in the dark age. Therefore, public media is one of the most important aspects of a community and a vital part of its future and growth.
Although I did not particularly enjoy collecting the community information surveys, it was not the worst thing that I’ve ever had to do for a class project. I have never done anything like this before so it was sort of a learning experience for me. No one actually LIKES taking surveys, so I was forced to learn how to convince people to do something they had no desire in doing. Being rejected numerous times only gave me more confidence in asking more and more people. Most of the people on campus were very willing to take the survey so that was not a problem.
While entering in the results of the surveys, it was interesting to see the variety of different answers, and the similarities in answers from certain age groups. I noticed that almost every young person that took the survey got most of their information from the internet. Several older individuals got most of their information from newspapers and television.
I hope I never have to make someone take another survey, or take one myself ever again, but I guess I’m glad I had the experience.
Ooohhhh The Colbert Report. Ahhhhh the The Daily Show. The Political Takeover has began. Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert (and their executives of course) have changed the way individuals receive political news as well as the audiences involved in this process.
So, IS IT POLITICAL NEWS?
Of course it is. Good Political News really has two jobs. The first is to present the facts. Of course this takes you into a WHOLE different discussion about left wing vs. right wing, political biases from network to network, or maybe even selective exposure in political awareness. The fact remains, the job of good political news is to present facts. The second job is to present sources to help the audiences do further research and form their own opinions.
Looking past the satirical approach to the news both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert do a fine job of these two jobs. And lets be honest – who doesn’t want entertaining news coverage (other than that straight faced guy three rows back with the glasses and the ascot on) – I’m just saying.
Is this presentation biased?
Of course it is. It is written and presented in a way that REGULAR people can understand and relate. (Probably wasn’t expecting that were you?) These satirical presentations are categorized as comedy to most. Comedy is an art form to where your average Joe (and Jane for the ladies) can comprehend. It is about time there is a presentation of news that doesn’t speak in the language of a specific people but in the language of people period.
These men want you to have just as much fun as they do. They want you to learn just as much as they do. If President Obama can joke with these men we can laugh – it is not un-American.
While The Daily Show and Colbert Report may not be considered political news in the traditional sense, both shows do indeed promote political action. It’s a subtle promotion, but it’s also brilliant. Since both shows cover current events within the political realm, the assumption both shows make is that their audiences are aware of these current events. If they weren’t, the jokes wouldn’t land the shows wouldn’t last. But since both Stewart and Colbert have become the representatives of how younger people gather their news, with high ratings and awards, it’s obvious that the people watching it get the jokes. And the only way for people to get the jokes (outside of the easy dick jokes both make) is to be cognizant of what’s happening in the news in the first place. Without context, the jokes wouldn’t make sense. So, in order for audiences to really enjoy The Daily Show or Colbert Report, it’s necessary to understand the goings on in terms of the news and politics for the jokes to actually punch. This is how both shows promote political action. They may not have an outright agenda, but they do encourage audiences to know what’s going on, if for nothing else, so they can laugh at the jokes.
In terms of bias, during the joint Stewart/Colbert coverage of the election results during Indecision 2008, both comedians let their guards down with the announcement of Obama’s victory in the election. This breaking of character, especially on Colbert’s part, shows the elation both had that Obama had won the presidency. Though this doesn’t necessitate Stewart or Colbert’s liberalness, it’s evident that the guy they wanted to win, who happens to be a liberal Democrat, won, and they were clearly happy about it. Like all other human beings, they have their bias. But because they’re comedians first and informers second, it’s more acceptable that their bias be shown on the air than, say, someone from CNN or the like.
Additionally, the Rally to Restore Sanity was organized in direct response to Glenn Beck’s Restoring Honor rally. While it may be unfair to claim that it was a rally by liberals for liberals, the crowd was overwhelming liberal and the jokes told were aimed toward liberal ideologies. However, more interesting than the fact that this rally was in response to an overwhelmingly conservative moment was the general confusion over what Stewart’s rally was supposed to be doing. And as others have linked in their blogs, it wasn’t until Stewart explained that the rally was a wake up call to the media to calm down that the point was made.
Though the job of Stewart and Colbert is to satirize the media (a job it typically does well), they do have their own biases. For instance, Colbert supports an increase in immigrant rights in terms of work visas (which is a relatively liberal ideology) and testified as such in Congress, albeit in a tongue-in-cheek manner.
Stewart, too, admits a liberal point of view in terms of the show’s jokes. While this doesn’t mean The Daily Show won’t criticize the Obama administration, it’s much harder to find clips of Stewart criticizing Obama than it is of him criticizing the Bush Administration. And while this may be a function of his audiences’ interests, that his critique and comedy about the Republican Party and more conservative policies resonates more than his comedy about the Democratic Party and liberal policies shows his appeal as a liberal comedian.
In short, both shows are less political news shows and more critiques of the news, which is an important function in terms of providing information to the public. Both shows do have their biases based on which jokes the audience likes to hear and how both men, when not in character, react to happenings in the public forum. Finally, they promote political action because they have to in order for people to watch and enjoy the show. It’s hard to get the jokes if one doesn’t know what the joke is referencing, so though without an outright agenda and with a large amount of subtlety, both shows promote political participation.
Now a days its hard to find someone, especially in my generation, that has not at least seen a few episodes of The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. The question is, do these shows really qualify for political news? I think that the answer is yes, but I could see how people argue that they are not. For starters both shows present news that is happening now. They do not make up the stories that they are using. After presenting a topic they of course, add some sort of comedic spin to it, which in turn makes the topic sounds less serious. I found this clip from 2008 that actually talks about where The Daily Show finds their stories and how they actually find people to interview on the show. They talk about how they do not necessarily want the show to be relevant to the world but relevant to us.
I think thats exactly what they are doing. They are taking what is relevant to them and the United States and discussing it in a light hearted manner. I think that both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report tend to get the ball rolling for young people to listen and interact with the news. These shows push the people watching them to go out and do more research. I know that when I watch one of these shows, and they discuss a topic I want to know more about, I go and find other sources that cover the issue in greater detail. On the other hand I think that some people may not consider The Daily Show and The Colbert Report political news because on these shows it is hard to find in depth detail. The second question is are these shows biased. I also believe that this answer is yes. Like any political show or network it is hard for people to leave their personal thoughts and ideas out, when discussing something like politics. I found this second clip that talks about this. It is Jon Stewart being interviewed by Bill O’Reilly. In the video they also discuss whether or not Jon Stewart understands that he has an influence over the people that watch his show.
I think that both these video represent how both The Daily Show and ,although he is not interviewed, the Colbert Report conduct their show. Both of them have a similar style and approach on how they present and interpret political information. I do think that these two shows promote political participation because as I said earlier, they may inspire the viewers to do more research and become more informed. This is also covered in the video of the Bill O’Reilly video when he is talking about Jon Stewart’s influence on his viewers.