International Perspectives on Humor in Journalism
Edited By David Swick and Richard Lance Keeble
This innovative book draws together the work of seventeen writers to show that, starting in the 1640s during the English Civil War, and continuing through to the present time, humor has indeed been an important ingredient of journalism. Countries studied include Australia, Britain, Canada, Chile and the United States. The Funniest Pages is divided into four sections: «Seriously Funny, From Past to Present,» «Unsolemn Columnists,» «This Sporting Life» and a final section, «Have Mouse, Will Laugh,» which looks at humor in online journalism. Chapters examine Joseph Addison, Richard Steele and the birth of social and political satire; Allen Ginsberg, Mad magazine, and the culture wars of the 1950s; John Clarke and the power of satire in journalism, and more.
Introduction: Journalism – So Often Funnier than Fiction
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Journalism – So Often Funnier than Fiction
DAVID SWICK AND RICHARD LANCE KEEBLE
Some unfortunate people cannot tell a joke. The journalists considered in this book, on the other hand, know how to make us laugh. Their perceptions are smart and insightful (and sometimes biting); they have a playful way with words. Charles Dickens, who is among the journalists included here, believed that his greatest ability as a writer was to make people laugh (Andrews 2013).
Funny journalists hold a trump card over mere joke tellers. Journalists are not using imagination or speculation or far-flung fancy as the source of their material; journalists deal with the ‘rhetoric of factuality’ (Keeble 2007: 9). And ‘facts’, as anyone who has been astounded by the quirks, weirdnesses and ironies of the human animal knows, are frequently funnier than fiction.
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