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Satire lessons

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Satire

Satire is hard

Students are funny. Students are smart. But are they smart enough to be funny with satire in a way that advances the journalistic goals of the publication? Can they do it without violating the SPJ ethical guidelines or their own publications’ ethical guidelines? Use this lesson to help students understand purpose of satire as a journalistic tool.

Satire in your publications; who is the joke really on?

Students think of themselves as smart and funny, but does that mean they can handle satire? Satire opens students up to many legal risks including libel and invasion of privacy. Use this activity to explore some of the pitfalls of using satire in your publications.

• Satire’s role in current events

According to Wyatt Mason in an online article published in the New York Times Magazine titled “My Satirical Self,” readers in the 21st century have “taken shelter in the ridiculous.” He provides an excerpt from The Onion, a satirical online news source referenced as “America’s Finest News Source,” as an example of an escape from the inescapable ridiculousness of society, politics, and other vice and follies. New literacies have helped grow the genre of satire, and as Americans turn to this genre as a source for news and entertainment, students must understand the core elements that create satire.

To go to another of the fake news categories in Tools of Truth:

• Sloppy reporting

Censorship

Deceptive news

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Contributors
Candace Perkins Bowen, MJE
cbowen@kent.edu

John Bowen, MJE
jabowen@kent.edu

Maggie Cogar, CJE
mcogar@ashland.edu

Michael Johnson
mjohn199@kent.edu

Lori Keekley, MJE
keekley@gmail.com

Jeff Kocur, CJE
jeffreykocur@gmail.com

Kristin Taylor, CJE
ktaylor1164@gmail.com

 

 

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