Talking dirty diapers

Today I finished reading Journalism 2.0: How to Survive and Thrive by Mark Briggs. I also began voraciously consuming his past blog posts. I’ve made it as far back as September 2007 as of now and, in the process, have opened many of the links provided.

I created a J-Lab user account and commented on multiple postings, but one post in particular spurred a longer thought. Here is my response to “A 12-step program for journalists,” from Oct. 1, 2007:

Mark, I agree. Journalism definitely needs better well-placed humor and humanity. Reporters and editors still need to take subjects seriously when warranted, but if news organizations want to attract younger audiences (a community to which I belong), they need to understand why people watch Jon Stewart.

Many young adults are growingly cynical when it comes to the news and politics, so the Daily Show and the Colbert Report take an angle they can identify with and find entertaining. Those programs succeed with humor, sarcasm, parody, irreverence and such. They question authority and highlight absurdities. They remove the “filter.” In all, they are fulfilling a journalistic role, all the while providing an enjoyable watching experience for the viewer.

“Infotainment” is something we as journalists need to avoid, but that doesn’t mean news should be drier than a fresh diaper. Let’s not be afraid to soil ourselves from time to time, as long as we keep our reputations clean.

Please feel free to weigh in to the discussion by commenting below.

Sidebar: I’ve also been digging into Poynter‘s Web site and surfing for other journalism pages online. Basically, I’m trying to give myself a self-taught, Internet-based intersession course during winter break. Stay tuned…

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