Is satire journalism?

I love MetaFilter as much for the blogs as the comments and debate the postings create. This blog (click here) discussing ‘whether satire is journalism’ is a case in point.

Anyone who knows that satire goes back as far as the Ramesside period of ancient Egypt, is either really bloody clever or is a smug user or Google. Either way, I’m enjoying this post.

Satire isn’t journalism. It is satire isn’t it? Private Eye’s Ian Hislop calls himself a satirist, not a journalist after all, and that journal is the king of satire.

Here is the original post in case you can’t be bothered in following the link (although the original link has all the comments):

Satire has long been part of discourse, with written records going back to the Ramesside Period of Ancient Egypt, and two primary classifications of satire originate with the Roman satirists Horace and Juvenal. Other notable historic figures have also been authors of significant satire, but not always with much appreciation. News satire furthers the awkward stance with public, as the public may read satire as an outrageous truth, and be angered instead of amused. The Daily Show, and Jon Stewart in specific, ranks well in the fractured world of current news programming, and the show was noted in the New York Times as “a genuine cultural and political force” (previously), but you don’t have take their word for it. Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism studied the content of The Daily Show for an entire year (2007), providing interesting (if slightly dated) details on the show. That year included their much-viewed coverage fo the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. And in poll results published July 24, 2009, Jon Stewart was voted America’s most trusted newscaster, apparently filling the position previously held by Walter Cronkite. But is it because Stewart is one of the few journalists willing to ask the hard questions or has America been won over by “cheap laughs”?

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  • I think so. The DS is different to, for example, Bremner , Bird and Fortune as it has real news and real interviews. I’d love to see a British equivalent! Who could host it though?

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