Comedic journalism is the distribution of newsworthy information in a more casual, joking tone than traditional.

This type of news reporting is based on facts —  but many media professionals critique the addition of a jabbing tone of voice because the news is no longer unbiased.

Comedic journalism was never meant to be anyone's sole source of political or current information. With that said, many younger people nowadays turn to news sources that are more engaging and emotional — like satirical news television shows.

Comedic journalism will never replace traditional reporting. Despite that, it has rapidly grown in popularity over the past few decades.

There is an increased number of satirical and comedic news being circulated in the forms of magazines, late-night television shows, print publications and citizen journalism online. People can't help but wonder why.

media update's Joreke Kleynhans outlines how the digital age may be what caused a boom in comedic journalism.

A few examples of comedic journalism include:

The industry started out being fairly inaccessible and, over the years, it became easier for aspiring comedic journalists to break into — naturally increasing the competition between comedic journalists.

Competition is a great catalyst for improvement and change, but that alone is not the reason for the extreme growth in the industry.


The Rise of Electronic Media

At the beginning of comedic journalism's lifetime, comedic news was only distributed in comic strips, caricatures and print publications specifically meant for satire.

Because of social media, podcasts and the Internet, there are now more ways to distribute content than could be counted on two hands. An increase in distribution methods has a direct side effect: an increase in consumption methods.

Digital media has also made room for interactive news sharing, like:

  • comments sections on social media profiles and websites
  • live video streaming on platforms like TikTok and Twitch, and
  • collaborative newsrooms with people from all across the globe.

Interactive news sharing is much more engaging and stimulating to audiences. And let's be honest: We all love sharing our opinions on the news, especially if it evokes an emotional response like laughter.

Lastly, the digital age has made it fairly easy to start creating content as a comedic journalist. Most people already own smartphones; if you have one, you have unobstructed access to:

  • a microphone
  • camera
  • editing software
  • word processing tools
  • e-mailing systems, and
  • many more tools that can be used for comedic journalism, especially the citizen reporting style!

These babies of the digital age help both production and consumption groups grow in size and help comedic journalism fill a larger portion of the media space.


The Increase in Diverse Voices

Humans have a cognitive bias that makes us subconsciously gravitate towards others who share our experiences. This is called the Affinity Bias; it means we prefer what is familiar to us, and our media consumption is no exception to this rule.

With increased accessibility to the journalism field, along with more independent creators and open-minded people, a more diverse group of voices are present in the media.

This means that more people feel their voices heard in journalism and comedic journalism and, as a result, they consume more of it.

People have also grown to crave more entertainment in the 21st century. Studies show that Dopamine addiction is now commonplace among younger generations. That constant craving for dopamine requires journalists and reporters to create more engaging bulletins, which is easily done by throwing in a humorous twist!

Simply put, comedic journalism is a supply-and-demand issue. The demand for it shot up, and so did the supply.


The Improvement of Reporting Methods

The comedic journalism industry also owes much of its recent growth to the improvement of reporting methods and the multitude of media we now have at our disposal.

With social media, users can report in real-time — a practice especially popular on X. Live videos on streaming platforms like Instagram, TikTok and Twitch are also a way for comedic journalists to constantly interact with their audiences and make their careers more successful.

AI technologies have also made it easier for journalists to report using multimedia like video, audio, text and photographs. AI extensions of existing software make video editing and creation faster, more streamlined and more professional with the click of a few buttons.


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