Newsbiscuit is one of the youngest “publications” on our list. Not really a publication, the Newsbiscuit is an only online platform, which makes it much easier to stay afloat without a reputation like The Onion or Private Eye.
Similar to The Onion, Newsbiscuit makes a lot of news pieces about cultural and individual situations, rather than political ones like Private Eye. This is an important distinction, because it’s based out of the UK, and generally people don’t like being made fun of there!
What Newsbiscuit Writes About
Their slogan on Facebook is “News… Before it Happens.” Obviously, that’s just funny first and foremost. But then it also begs the question: How many other news outlets pretty much have their news written for the day before anything happens? How do they always seem to know so much about something 5 minutes after it happens? Immediately, you’re starting to question the resources that you’ve considered Big Media your whole life.
Currently, the big topic in the UK is “Brexit,” the decision to remove themselves from the European Union, so a lot of Newsbiscuit’s pieces are written on that. There are also newspieces like “Goth Population May Dwindle in Summer Heat – Be Warned!” and “Abnormally Large Head Saves Backpacker from Certain Death.” You get the idea. They are very similar to The Onion in this vein.
Why What They Do Matters
In this day and age, you might be thinking there isn’t much point to satire in the media since we’ve got other sources and the news is serious business. But what Newsbiscuit does really well is poke fun at the issues that keep us up at night. Take Brexit for example. This was a massive shakeup in the UK community, and a lot of people are still regretting their ill-informed decision. With the help of Newsbiscuit and other satirical publications, they feel like maybe it’s OK to laugh about it and move on.
It also pokes fun at the people who we just can’t stand, major figures like Cameron or Putin or whoever else is the man of the hour. It gives us a way to mock them intelligently, with sarcasm and wit, instead of just calling them every name in the book. There is power in satire. The other thing that sets Newsbiscuit apart is their many different topics; they even have a Science & Technology section like a “real” newspaper, along with Arts & Culture and even Sports. This is pretty groundbreaking for a small Internet publication.
Newsbiscuit also takes contributions from the public, which means that many people are actively engaged in the community. While that sounds like it may decrease the quality of the writing, the fact is that a number of people published in the newspaper are actually authors and novelists in their own right – upgrading the quality and reliability of the publication. There have been books and radio shows devoted to Newsbiscuit and its news, but nothing has stuck thus far. Potential for a podcast is currently in the works.