Jon Stewart and the Future of Satirical News

On August the 6, Jon Stewart concluded his final episode of The Daily Show. Emotions ran as high as the show’s satirical genius. Stewart said farewell to the show which he had called home for sixteen years. The Daily Show has been known to provide Americans with comical deliveries of worldly news for over a decade, and Jon Stewart was the main factor in this equation until recently. Stewart won America’s hearts quickly with his combination of wit and insight. Now with Stewart officially retired, our screens are void of his comical truths; making us wonder: will satirical journalism ever be the same?
From the tragic losses of 9/11 to the recent political campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, Jon Stewart has been there on our TV screens, bringing America news in the way the people wish to hear it. Unmoved by influences from the higher-ups, Stewart delivered all his pieces with his honest though slightly lampoon opinion. As Jon Stewart once said: “I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.” His capability to understand the average American and hold on to his or her attention made Stewart the ideal newscaster for people who couldn’t stand the agenda-oriented regular news.
Studies have shown that in reality, daily viewers of these sort of comical satire news shows retain more knowledge on national and international events than viewers of any other news source. Even though this may seem simply comedic, do not assume it is all just laughs. A recent poll stated that 47% of The Daily Show are spent discussing the affairs of U.S. politics and foreign policies alone. Statistics also show that news outlets like The Daily Show act as primary sources of information on any given political campaign. Specifically, 21% of all Americans under the age of twenty-nine are believed to use The Daily Show as their primary news-source. However, because Stewart has left the show, we can see his departure as the death of satirical news and these statistics, right? Wrong. Though there will never be another Jon Stewart, The Daily Show fan base can let go of its breath: comedy in the news is anything but at a decline.
The number of satirical news stations have increased in recent years, with most stations being led by pupils or fellow colleagues of Jon Stewart himself. The void Stewart left with his retirement isn’t so deep after all. The Colbert Report, The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore, and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, are examples of some other comedy news shows that are on the rise. And more are sure to arise in the near future. Created in basically the same format as The Daily Show, rest assured that the satirical journalism that breaks the mold as it airs every day is here to stay.