The Daily Show Features Michigan Daily in Fun Segment on Clickbait Journalism

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart featured The Michigan Daily in a special segment on last night’s episode in which correspondent Jordan Klepper satirically mocked the newspaper’s valiant effort to practice serious journalism in the clickbait era.

At the start of the segment, Klepper asks top staffers at the University of Michigan student paper what journalism is all about. Their earnest replies: “Well-researched. … Informative. … Journalism is the ability to tell a story in a way that empowers people.” Klepper’s take in response: “Is this what they’re teaching you here? Oh, we are so f*cked.”

Part of his proof is a sitdown interview with former Gawker editor Neetzan Zimmerman, who says with a straight face, “Nowadays, it’s not important if a story’s real. The only thing that really matters is whether people click on it.” Yowza.

The report only gets zanier and more fun from there, including a bit in which Klepper times the students reading Daily headlines and determines they are all too wordy and boring to draw readers in. That is followed by a snippet involving sex and Alzheimer’s and a separate one in which a human baby and a baby lion are pulled out of a cardboard box. Yeahhhhhhh.

As former Daily staffer extraordinaire Adam Rubenfire described the segment to me, “It was funny, and in the end you realize it’s actually a satire on digital journalism and sort of points to student journalists as the sane ones, not digital journalists.”

According to Daily editors, “We were happy to participate in the filming and providing information about our day-to-day operations and the world of college journalism. The experience was educational for the participants, and we hope those individuals at The Daily Show came away with some new information as well. In total, film crews worked in and around Ann Arbor for about 18 hours on the production day to produce a five-minute segment. We felt this process was indicative of print journalism, in that the final product readers of the Daily experience is often the result of countless hours of work by our dedicated writers, editors and staff.”


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One Response to “The Daily Show Features Michigan Daily in Fun Segment on Clickbait Journalism”
  1. “Clickbait” I was wanting a word to describe why I don’t read Yahoo News and now I have it.