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Journalistic Inanity

Journalistic Inanity

What have you got to lose?

Last week we talked about air talent trying to be funny, and failing. It’s a painful experience for the listener.

This week, I’m wondering why no one has tried to do news as satire, the way Jon Stewart and The Daily Show do.

It’s not like Radio has any real journalistic credibility left. For that matter, I’m not sure Radio has any journalists left. But almost every Morning Show in America, and across the pond for that matter, heck — even in SE Asia and China the last time I was there — runs newscasts. Real newscasts, even though Radio no longer even tries to pretend it is actual news you might need to hear, you know, like new stuff, happening in your town, that isn’t in your newspaper or wasn’t on local TV last night.

So, why not make news part of the entertainment?

The irony of what’s happening to network news and newspapers is that Jon Stewart and The Daily Show are actually seen as “authoritative” by more and more people. Precisely because they use the news headlines to produce some wicked satire, they are able to say things that we’re all thinking, but no one at a real news outlet can actually voice.

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Are these guys talented? You bet, though I personally find Stewart a bit over the top. I’m not saying it’s easy. Satire is the most sophisticated and difficult form of humor, but if you want to add some compelling and topical entertainment to your station, the greatest material in the world is at your fingertips. I know four fantastic writers, really funny people, who are underemployed (meaning they would not be prohibitively expensive in this age of “no expense is too minor to slash”) and would sound great on a project like this.

If you want to talk about this, call me. I’ll help you pro bono. A freebie, just because I believe so passionately in a compelling product.

C’mon…have some courage. Be different. You might actually attract new listeners with your “news”casts, and most radio stations haven’t tried to do that in at least 20 years.

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