Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Daniel Belgrad, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Margit Grieb, Ph.D.


Infotainment, Fake news, News, Media studies, Television news


The social meaning of television news has been under transformation since the successes of cable news in the final years of the previous century. In their attempts to preserve viewership and to remain relevant, traditional broadcast news outlets increasingly emulate the conventions of cable news. Instead of retaining audiences, the result has been declining news content and a continued loss of viewers. Amid these industry transformations, the concept of "journalist" continues to undergo change. This evolution of the news allows for a decidedly unique response to news programming in The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. Though advertised as a half-hour comedy show, it has established itself as a consistent re-teller and producer of news, only possible in a post-modern era of journalism after objectivity. Amid the industry's shift in priorities from objectivity and reporting to influencing, framing and re-telling the news, The Daily Show is considered as much an example of journalism as many of the shows currently in the news sphere. Although our society is currently saturated with information, this information often fails to penetrate the surface of the issues covered. Too much information is as paralytic as ignorance. Recently, attention has shifted towards a re-evaluation of television news into something that will both help the public find the information they are searching for and give them the tools to make sense of and utilize that information. This concept of journalism as tool is present in every episode of The Daily Show. The show encourages viewers to peel away the layers of mediation of traditional newscasts, to recognize substance and the lack thereof, and become active consumers of information rather than passive receptacles submersed in irrelevant information. The Daily Show proves that a news show can inform, entertain and teach audiences how to critically process television as an informational medium.