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    How the Onion Can Save the News

    Author Photo
    By Staff

    <p>These days, the newspaper industry is like a salmon that’s just woken up from a nice nap to find itself flapping on the deck of a fishing boat, with a big hook through its lip. But one newspaper is thriving, and perhaps its business model is one that behemoths like the <i>New York Times</i> can emulate. That paper is the<i>
    <a title=”Onion” href=”http://www.theonion.com/” target=”_blank”>Onion</a>
    </i>, weekly purveyor of fake news, which has seen its print circulation grow 60 percent in the last three years.</p>
    <a title=”Greg Beato writes in the November issue of&nbsp;<I style=”mso-bidi-font-style: normal”>Reason</I>” href=”http://www.reason.com/news/show/122453.html” target=”_blank”>Greg Beato writes in the November issue of <i>Reason</i>
    </a> that newspapers can follow the<i> Onion’s</i> lead by writing stories with more energy, abandoning the curse of the he-said she-said journalistic “Double Objectivity Sludge” that clogs the pages of news dailies. “Why not adopt [the <i>Onion</i>’s] brutal frankness, the willingness to pierce orthodoxies of all political and cultural stripes, and apply these attributes to a genuinely reported daily newspaper?” he asks.</p>
    <p>This sort of non-objective journalism does have precedents. Just look at H.L. Mencken, who made his crusty opinions palatable by doling them out with a diligent mind and a sharp wit. Or what about Mark Twain? He got his start writing for the Virginia City <i>Territorial Enterprise</i>, a newspaper that reported about as many facts as the<i> Onion</i>. These writers show that maybe the news doesn’t have to be boring for it to be true. –<i>Brendan Mackie</i>
    </i>(Thanks, <a title=”Arts and Letters Daily” href=”http://www.aldaily.com/” target=”_blank”>Arts and Letters Daily</a>!)</p>

    Published on Oct 25, 2007


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