Why Satire is an Art Form
If you’ve ever caught yourself reading a satire article and sort of falling into its trap – even if you knew it was satirical to begin with – you know the true power that satire holds. Satire publications are also well-known for being highly journalistic in nature, even exposing information that traditional news outlets do not. They’re also known for making fun of prominent public figures, even ones that people are afraid to go after. Satiric publications just don’t even give a damn about who you are, and that’s refreshing.
In the Digital Age, it also takes a lot for a news form to stick – but satire continues to do well in both print and Internet mediums. Subscriptions stay steady for things like The Onion or Private Eye, and their online followers have reached nearly 2 million people. Their content is shared by the thousands every day, and they’re doing a thousand times better than most news sources. They are unique and refreshing, and approach topics from an entirely different perspective. People respond to that well in this day and age, when the media is owned by the same companies and the messages are all the same.
Why Some People Don’t Like Satire
Satire is an acquired taste. If you don’t have much of a taste for sarcasm, or you just don’t get it, satire can be really hard to stomach. This is why there are so many people who share satirical viral articles and say “I can’t believe this person wrote this! I can’t believe that they actually think this!” And everyone else gets really uncomfortable because we know it’s satire. Or maybe some people don’t get the high-brow, educated wit that satire involves, and to put it bluntly, they just can’t understand it.
The good news is that there are plenty of people who do get it and they are the ones who fuel the machine. Without these people, satire would be dead. The satirical community is also very, very close knit, and a lot of what is printed is contributed by the community at large rather than a small writing team.
All of this compiles to one fact: satire is an art form. It’s impossible to disregard the skill it takes to write something factual with a satirical tone – it really is. Try to write a news event and put a satirical spin on it. Try to write something funny while also still making it totally true. And also try to get people to think about an event or a person in a way that makes them laugh and also think, “Oh, wow, that hits close to home!” That’s the skill that satire provides; that’s why it’s still so popular, and that’s why it’s translated so well into the digital age.
People love making fun of each other and sharing truths online, and satire feeds directly into that. The journalist skills and the huge reach of satirical publications make them a constant through print and digital ages.