Award Date

5-2010

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Journalism and Media Studies

Department

Journalism and Media Studies

First Committee Member

Gary Larson, Chair

Second Committee Member

Stephen Bates

Third Committee Member

Paul Traudt

Graduate Faculty Representative

Julie Staggers

Number of Pages

109

Abstract

Satire news has garnered considerable critical attention, yet the question of just what mainstream journalism might take from it has yet to be asked. This study aims to clarify the normative potential of such alternative discursive approaches. Geoffrey Baym's theory of discursive integration, which argues that once distinct modes of discourse are now blending together, may help explain the relationship between humor and the mediation of current events. This study uses a discourse analysis to compare how mainstream television news outlets and The Daily Show approach truth claims, finding that journalistic credibility suffers, at least in part, from avoiding critical evaluation of events. Of the four media outlets examined here, only The Daily Show made truth the focus of its coverage. Host Jon Stewart avoids the structural biases which prevent mainstream journalism from fulfilling its social responsibilities. Three main approaches to news reporting emerge which may enhance journalistic quality and credibility: redaction, contextualization, and authorization.

Keywords

Authorization; Balanced reporting; Comedy; Contextualization; Discourse analysis; Discursive integration; Humor; Jon Stewart; Journalistic credibility; News reporting; Redaction; Reliability; Satire; The Daily Show; Truthfulness

Disciplines

Broadcast and Video Studies | Communication | Journalism Studies | Speech and Rhetorical Studies

Language

English


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