The news about comedy: Young audiences, the Daily Show, and evolving notions of journalism

  • Feldman L
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Abstract

Recent survey data suggest that at the same time as young Americans are abandoning traditional news media, they are more likely to identify late-night comedy programs, particularly Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, as a destination for learning about election campaigns. In order to explore how journalists are responding to the idea of a comedy program as a news source, this article analyzes discourse about The Daily Show as it appeared in the trade and popular presses between January 1999 and March 2004. Emerging from this analysis is the way in which journalists are using The Daily Show as an occasion to reflect upon the nature of their work and the current state of their profession. For many journalists, The Daily Show has prompted recon-sideration of the once rigid distinction between news and entertainment and of the historical conventions used to enforce this distinction.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Critical incident
  • Journalism
  • Late-night comedy
  • News and entertainment
  • Stewart
  • The Daily Show
  • Young audiences

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Authors

  • Lauren Feldman

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