Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Can Traditional News Outlets Use Comedy?

On Sunday, the Boston Globe ran a satirical front page, presenting news from one year in the future - if Donald Trump becomes the president of the United States.

In the bottom, left corner of the paper, it reads:

"This is Donald Trump’s America. What you read on this page is what might happen if the GOP frontrunner can put his ideas into practice, his words into action. Many Americans might find this vision appealing, but the Globe’s editorial board finds it deeply troubling."

Inside the newspaper, they have an editorial that explains why they feel a Trump presidency would not be good for the country.

But should they have used their front page to make such a statement?

The front page not only mocks a leading presidential candidate but it offers numerous other jokes: they list Kid Rock as the ambassador to Japan, they announce that Trump has won a Nobel Prize, and they say that Trump named his puppy after the wife of China's president.

Does this help shed light on the the situation? Are they making the significant interesting and relevant? Or are they taking sides when they should simply be presenting the news?

In an era when there is so much competition for readers, and readers are reluctant to absorb "boring" news, is satire acceptable from traditional news outlets? Or does this sacrifice their overall credibility?

(You can find the full front page here).


Dominic from the front who doesnt stop talking said...

If this was a tabloid than it would be 100% gold. The creativity is great with the ISIS story and deportation. I was surprised they would do this though. I don't even think puns belong in headlines let alone an entire front page which took on the form of The Onion (which is a shit website).

Nadira Goffe said...

The Globe is definitely taking sides when they should simply be presenting the news, especially considering that they stated that the Globe, as an entire organization, does not want Trump to be president (at least, not with the ideals he is campaigning with currently), which is completely taking a side and adding bias. I also don't think that mockery such as this is a good fit for a publication that isn't a weekly/daily gratuitous publication. But, what I think is interesting about this is that in this election, particularly, it seems as though publications have a hard time not picking a side when it comes to Donald Trump because they believe that picking a side is helping the US citizens come to a conclusion that they believe is not just news, but should be fact or held as truth.

Anonymous said...

While I do believe that satire in journalism can be funny and relevant, in the case of a traditional newspaper, it should not be used. It shows which political side the writer's have chosen, going against the goal of objectivity and being unbiased. In sources like The Onion, satire is funny and people know that it isn't true, and simply go on for humor. In this case, they should not have made the front page satirical; I believe it lessens their credibility.
-Owen Halsey

Blog Paywall said...

The scary part of this is, there might be readers who consider this an endorsement. The headlines might actually make Trump supporters happy. It is a dark time.