Editor

Comedy is the Most Effective News Format for Millennials

Editor’s Note: This was originally an academic paper I wrote in APA style for a class during my studies in Strategic Communications. However, it holds weight for why comedy should be taken very seriously when it comes to delivering news topics to younger generations effectively.

What is the Most Effective News Format for Millennials?

            A meme pops up in your Facebook feed.  It makes a bold claim about a presidential candidate that seems questionable.  You make your way to YouTube and a comedian cracks jokes about an opposing candidate on a satirical news show.  Are these reliable sources of information?  Is our youth a victim of “fake news”?  Growing technology use is an inevitable part of modern society.  Amidst this fact, the common spread of misinformation across the internet has caused public concern among older generations (Brandon, 2019).  The assumption that Millennials are misinformed about today’s affairs is a popular stereotype (Stein, 2013).  This is partially due to the fact that major news outlets are heavily ignored by Millennials and Generation-X viewers who turn to YouTube and Facebook for their news (American Press, 2018).

Although the platforms through which younger generations consume their information is atypical to previous generations, studies have shown that younger demographics are highly resistant to false headlines and viewers aged 18-36 who choose to watch satirical and parody comedy news shows are surprisingly much more informed than their older counterparts who mostly turn to mainstream news sources.  In exploring how younger generations retrieve their information about current events and which style they prefer, the research reveals that the comedic news format via streaming media platforms is the most effective way to communicate world affairs to Millennials.

How Younger Generations Get Their News

            Older generations are used to getting their news from major media outlets, such as CNNand FOX.  Millennials and Generation-X viewers obtain their information about current events in a non-traditional way.  Streaming platforms, such as YouTube, are the main source of news for American Millennials; a boastful 83% of participants in the study (American Press, 2015).  

Second to YouTube, in popularity among Millennials, is Facebook.  In a UK study, 72% of the Millennial participants said they got their news from Facebook (Reed, 2018).  Although there is misinformation on Facebook, it isn’t the Millennial Generation that is falling for the fake headlines. The Baby Boomer Generation shares false news seven times more than Millennials (Gebel, 2019). No matter the credibility of the sources, online platforms is the main way Millennials get their news.

Preferred News Format for Ages 18 to 36 Years

            When exploring digital platforms comparable to major media outlets that produce live broadcast news, YouTubeis used as a measuring tool.  Included in this research is the type of news programs, subscriber count, and median age demographic of viewers.  The news channel listed as having “the most YouTube subscribers” at over two million is CNN.  However, this doesn’t mean that younger viewers are tuning in. The median age for CNN viewers is 61-years-old (Berr, 2018).  It also means that Generation-X and Millennials aren’t subscribing to standard news channels on YouTube.  

The top ten most subscribed YouTube channels of 2019 were either comedic or entertaining in nature (Martindale, 2019). The Comedy CentralYouTube station, which hosts the online channel for the news satireThe Daily Show, currently has over eight million subscribers to date — four times that of CNN— and The Daily Showchannel has over five million subscribers, three million more than CNN (Comedy Central, 2019).  Satirical news channel Full Frontal with Samantha Beehas hardly seen three years since its first episode and has almost one million subscribers (Busis, 2016).  Clearly, comedy news channels have much larger followings than major news programs, but are these subscribers younger, older, or a combination of different age demographics?  

When researching the age demographics for programs in comparison to CNN’s 61-year-old median, the results are telling.  The age range accounting for the highest percentage of those who watch Comedy Central is 18-29 years (Statista, 2018). The median age for viewers of the satirical comedy show The Daily Show is 36 years old and the median age for viewers of the parody news show The Colbert Report is 33 years. Even major networks with non-comedic forms of opinion television news were similar to CNN’s age demographics.  NBC Nightly NewsThe Rachel Maddow Show, and The O’Reilly Factorhad an average viewer aged 52-54 years old (Gottfried et al., 2015).  Therefore, Millennials prefer comedic news formats over typical styles of main stream news delivery.

Are Comedy News Consumers Properly Informed?

            Comedy news shows aren’t generally considered a reliable source of unbiased and factually sound information. These shows are considered a form of entertainment (Bode, 2014). However, Generation-X and the Millennial Generation retain more information when they are being entertained (Kipnis, 2004).  The main reason The Daily Showwatchers tune in is for entertainment (Gottfried et al., 2015). The production prides itself on deviating from usual news sources by never claiming to be an actual news source, with its slogan being, “The World’s Fakest News Team” (Radio Public, 2018). Despite this, a survey conducted by the Pew Research Study reveals unexpected results.  The Daily Showfans are the most knowledgeable consumers of national and international affairs compared to supporters of all other major media outlets including primetime broadcast news, online publications, and radio.  Last on the list?  Fox Newsviewers.  They scored the lowest (Pew, 2018).

Millennials and Generation-X viewers care about what is happening in the world. Based on a study conducted by the Media Insight Project, 85% of Millennials say that keeping up with the news is “at least somewhat” important to them (Gottfried et al., 2016).  In another study, conducted by a National Annenberg Election Study, The Daily Showspectators made top of the list, once more, for correctly answering questions about Presidential candidates compared to viewers of major national news outlets (Annenberg, 2015).  Viewers of the satirical news show The John Oliver Showalso had the highest familiarity with net neutrality rules compared to major news network fans (Bode, 2014).  So, despite comedy news shows delivering their information in a non-serious – and sometimes biased – format, viewers of this style retain more knowledge about current affairs than those watching major news networks.

The Most Effective News Format for Millennials

Comedy news delivered through streaming platforms may seem like a far-fetch way to successfully deliver important world affairs to large masses of viewers, but it has proven to work.  Despite the overwhelming amount of misinformation on social media, studies have shown that Millennials are resistant to false headlines.  Their critical thinking skills have proven to be stronger than the Baby Boomer Generation, ages 55-77 years, who are much more likely to believe the misinformation being dispersed online (Gebel, 2019).  

According to subscriber rankings and median age demographics, younger generations prefer comedic styles of delivery for news compared to older generations, whom mostly consume news from major media outlets (American Press, 2015). Furthermore, despite zero claims by comedy news outlets to be a reliable source of information, studies reveal that comedy news watching Millennials are more informed on national and international affairs than their older generation counterparts (Bode, 2014).  

Since the comedic news format, distributed through online streaming platforms, has proven to be the most effective way to deliver information about world events to younger generations, there are ethical responsibilities to major media networks to adapt to the changes for how news is watched.  To keep up with the evolution of how the next generation of adults consume media, it would benefit major news outlets to utilize more comedic options for how they deliver information to younger demographics through online streaming platforms.  Otherwise, they might be facing an eventual demise as their viewers enter beyond their retirement years and the extinction of mainstream media knocks on their door.

Corporate Radar Science Now

Real Life Drive-Thru Experience Nailed With ‘McApathy’ Robot

post-image

Real Life Drive-Thru Experience Nailed With ‘McApathy’ Robot

HAMBURGLARVILLE--Fast-food companies are replacing their employees with robots. But, don’t worry – they’re programmed to provide the same level of crappy service you’re comfortable with when ordering your triple cheeseburger meal with cheese fries and a side of cheese sauce. McDonald’s fiercest competitor, McDarla’s, has already started doing this, focusing on the key ingredient of every successful chain—consistency. It won’t matter where you are, from Seattle to New York, order a number one and their robots will always give you number two.

Robots will intentionally forgot to include napkins or straws inside of your to-go orders so that the experience is authentic. (Source: Robotics and Automation News)

According to McDarla’s Chief Technology Officer, Bit Koyne, the new robots are named ‘McApathy’, and each…

Read More
Corporate Radar Science Now

Wet Protesters Riot Against Auto-Flush Toilet Sensors

post-image

Public Toilets on the Blink Dampen the Mood

An ever growing group of citizens are joining forces to take aim at the corporate toilet lobby over allegedly hazardous auto flush technology.  Many people attest that they have been unexpectedly wetted by waste water mixed with fecal matter.

Woman suffering from PTSD (Poop Transfer Surprise Disorder) after being violated.

Protesters are demanding that solutions to this nasty problem be implemented immediately. Angry rejectionists are protesting the auto sensors by leaving wet seats un-wiped and, in some severe cases, seat covers un-flushed. Law enforcement officials are at a loss for how to regulate the attacks. Many food industry and gas station employees on janitorial duty have been shocked and dismayed, following an ambush. Statistics show that severe cases of Entamaphobia, the fear…

Read More
Editor

Comedy is the Most Effective News Format for Millennials

post-image

Editor’s Note: This was originally an academic paper I wrote in APA style for a class during my studies in Strategic Communications. However, it holds weight for why comedy should be taken very seriously when it comes to delivering news topics to younger generations effectively.

What is the Most Effective News Format for Millennials?

            A meme pops up in your Facebook feed.  It makes a bold claim about a presidential candidate that seems questionable.  You make your way to YouTube and a comedian cracks jokes about an opposing candidate on a satirical news show.  Are these reliable sources of information?  Is our youth a victim of “fake news”?  Growing technology use is an inevitable part of modern society.  Amidst this fact, the common spread of misinformation across the internet has caused public concern among older generations (Brandon, 2019).  The assumption that Millennials are misinformed about today’s affairs…

Read More
Corporate Radar Political Wake Up

Political Fact-Checkers Fear Unemployment After 2020

post-image

With the emergence of Donald Trump into the political field and subsequent Presidency, a little know profession saw a surge; not only in need, but in recognition.  Political Fact Checkers were once the under-dogs, hidden behind the scenes, in basements, garages, and outhouses.  Their work was rarely quoted, and they were rarely given a bi-line.

However, once Donald Trump popped onto the scene with his over 10,000 lies, Political Fact Checkers became heroes.   They began to receive bi-lines, guest spots on news programs, and even their own offices.

So much cozier than mom’s basement!

Now as we face the 2020 elections, PFC’s are beginning to fear for their jobs.  According to a spokes-person for the Keep Us Great Fact Checkers Association (KUGFCA) a growing concern for their jobs arose after fact checking the first Democratic Political Debate. …

Read More
Science Now

How to Cure Constipation While Reaching Enlightment

post-image

Ayahuasca A Psychedelic Laxative

Every year, thousands of people travel to the Peruvian Amazon to take part in an incredible ritual. Often by firelight, Shamanic Spirit Guides offer a mental and emotional release by way of Ayahuasca. At some point in ancient human history, someone discovered that adding an MAOI inhibitor to Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), would make the user trip balls. That must have been an amazing day in the jungle. Image the surprise!

People often seek out Ayahuasca to purge or overcome mental anguish from previous trauma.  Scientific brain scans have shown that this therapy significantly decreases activity in the areas of the brain associated with trauma (AsapSCIENCE). There is also a less discussed side effect of Ayahuasca use, it makes you poop your pants. 

It all finally makes sense.
Political Wake Up

Trump Administration Gets Dirty At The G20

post-image

After days of criticism regarding the Trump Administrations “Zero Tolerance” policy towards migrants and the treatment of children in custody; the Administration has decided to take un-precedented steps in what they are calling a “show of solidarity” for these children.

In what she is calling her “final” press conference (we can only hope) Sarah Huckabee Sanders told a crowd of baffled reporters that the Trump Administration has decide not to shower or brush their teeth until all the children in DHS custody are able to shower themselves.  Sanders reported that even though the President is at the G-20 summit he is committed to this new policy and will refrain from any personal hygiene during his trip.

Forbidden
Forbidden

Speaking to the press upon his arrival at the g20 summit President Trump explained that after speaking with his…

Read More