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Satirical News in Traditional Media and Online


"Satire, n. An obsolete kind of literacy composition in which the vices and follies of the author's enemies were expounded with imperfect tenderness. In this country satire never had more than a sickly and uncertain existence, for the soul of it is wit, wherein we are dolefully deficient, the humore that we mistake for it, like all humor, being tolerant and sympathetic. More-over, although Americans are 'endowed by their Creator' with an abundant vice and folly, it is not generally known that these are reprehensible qualities, wherefore the satirist is popularly regarded as a sour-spirited knave, and his every victim's out-cry for codefendents evokes a national assent."

---Ambrose Bierce, a masterful satirist "defining" satire in his seminal satirical work The Devil's Dictionary (1911).

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About this Guide

Have you ever received a link from a friend that took you to a news article that did not "feel" right? Is your TikTok "For You" page filled with news stories you just cannot believe are true? The reality, all too often, is that what looks like news is usually just a well-crafted joke.

How prolific is this really? When was the last time that you or a friend saw the headline for a news article online and said, "I thought this was from The Onion until I read it."

The organization of the Internet lends itself to the creation and distribution of exceedingly difficult to spot satirical content. This guide will provide you with information and resources to better understand satire and to identify satirical news content on the web and in social media.

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