Mocking The News: How 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' Holds Traditional Broadcast News Accountable

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Book Chapter

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Publication Source

Media Accountability: Who Will Watch the Watchdog in the Twitter Age?


The purpose of this study is to see how Jon Stewart and his Daily Show colleagues hold traditional broadcast media accountable. This paper suggests Stewart is holding those who claim they are practicing journalism accountable to the public they claim to serve and outlines the normative implications of that accountability. There is a journalistic norm that media practitioners, and the media as a whole, should be accountable to the public. Here, accountability “refers to the process by which media are called to account for meeting their obligations” (McQuail, 1997, p. 515). However, the government cannot enforce this accountability due to privileges afforded to the press by the First Amendment. Further, while national press councils have been effective in other countries, specifically India, there is no national press council in the United States. Enforcing accountability, then, falls to journalists—along with press critics. The researchers suggest that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart holds traditional broadcast media accountable in four distinct ways.

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Place of Publication

New York, NY

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