I truly believe that the “fake media” such as satirical news reporting, is a main form of culture jamming in our society. These satirical news broadcasters challenge the dominant media broadcasters by focusing on current events and exposing the humorous side of the news. Culture jamming can be defined as “A form of media activism that subverts and reworks the intended meaning of existing media texts, or parodies major corporations, and their media images (O’Shaughnessy and Stradler, 2012). A good example of this is provided by such shows as The Rick Mercer Report, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report. These television shows take news stories that are distributed by other major media broadcasters, and give their own opinions of the news in the form of parodies and whimsical jokes. While these satirical forms of media are often looked upon as more for entertainment than actual knowledge, they do inform the viewer of current events to the same extent that traditional media would. Although the presentations are slightly different, the same basic facts can be gathered from both forms of media, with some added benefits to satirical news.
Satirical news in North America is usually very free from the constraints placed on other traditional forms of media. They do not fall victim to the large and powerful corporate owners that wish to express their opinions to the rest of the world, and hide information so as to not question the news being presented. Instead satirical news questions everything presented in the media and expresses a wide range of opinions, whether relevant or delusional, from which people can form their own perceptions of the world around them. Not to mention, satirical news also offers vast entertainment in the form of humor, making it even more enjoyable to watch than other forms of news.
Satirical news reporters that act as culture jammers do have a place in the public sphere as they help to counteract the media distributed by major broadcasters. O’ Shaughnessy and Stradler state, “The objectives of culture jamming often include consciousness raising (raising awareness of social and political issues) as well as using the media to criticize the media and dominant culture” (2012). Even though one may have viewed a certain news story on one form of media, they may gain a new perspective on the same story when it is viewed through a different medium. This encourages the development of personal opinions that are not tainted by a limitation of information, provided by a particular biased news source. It is for the many reasons listed above that I firmly believe that satirical news is a legitimate form of culture jamming as well as a useful addition to the public sphere.
O’Shaughnessy, M. and Stradler, J. (2012), Media and Society 5th Edition, Oxford
University Press, Australia, pp.213-214