Today’s youth find news through fake comedy shows


Jon Stewart: stand-up satirist and The Daily Show host, news anchor, or serious film director?

Apparently all three.

Stewart will be taking a break from hosting this summer for 12 weeks to film his directorial debut, Rose Water.  The film will tell the true story of Maziar Bahari, a journalist who spent 118 days in an Iranian prison in 2009.

Before you react with hysterics, no, The Daily Show will continue on as planned.  John Oliver will take Stewart’s place during his hiatus.

For some, this means that a comedy show will continue, but for others this means that their main news source won’t be disappearing.

The Pew Research Center released a study showing that 10 percent of the audience watch the show for its news headlines, two percent for in-depth reporting, and 43 percent for entertainment, compared with 64 percent who watch CNN for news headlines.

10 percent might not seem like much, but to me it’s ten percent too much.

According to the same study, only 10 percent of 18-to-24-year-olds watching television are tuning in to the evening news on ABC, NBC and CBS combined. By comparison, 13 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds say they watch The Daily Show regularly as an information source. described The Daily Show as:

“Forget the 24 hour biased left wing news media, the best fake news show in the world will provide you with all the news you can handle. The Daily Show is a comedic view of recent news headlines and political figures through a series of satirical monologues by Jon Stewart along with segments by “correspondents” and finally interviews with guest celebrities and political figures.”

10 percent of viewers are getting their news from a “fake news show.” Does anyone else see anything wrong with this?

In 2011, networks realized that Jon Stewart beat Fox News in ratings, his biggest competition. The Daily Show averaged 2.3 million viewers, while most of the Fox News prime time and day time line up averaged only 1.85 million viewers.

The times they are a-changin’.

Today, news is on a 24/7 cycle and people are getting their news from fake comedy news shows.

It’s likely that 10 percent will rise. Media professionals will have to do more in the future to interest their audience, even if that means adding comedic elements to a newscast or story.

A decent lede will not be enough anymore.


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