I’m really in no mood to attack unknown writers for college level news publications but considering such a website is picked up and distributed by Google News as “news,” I think it’s worth a brief mention.
A couple days ago, a young writer published a satirical piece about Governor Palin in which she claims the Governor appeared on FOX News Wednesday night to announce an opening of a taxidermy shop in Wasilla.
(Before I go any further, there is absolutely nothing wrong with taxidermists. If you’re into that kind of thing, there’s certainly demand for it across the nation. More power to you.)
However, it’s clear the writer used her platform with a publication which attaches itself to the University of Wisconsin in an effort to use satire as a means to be snarky towards a conservative woman in politics.
The problem though is that nowhere on their site do they say it’s satire. As such, I tweeted the concern about it to the University as well as The Daily Cardinal. After inquiring, I got the following responses:
So it’s now acceptable to tag “satire” as “other news?” Really?
And despite UW’s claim of not operating the website, the fact is the banner of the site’s page reads “The Daily Cardinal – University of Wisconsin-Madison.”
The subject matter within the piece is typical and certainly nothing to worry about in terms of what the Governor has proven to be able to withstand. Yet, it’s important to wonder just how many other university-inspired publications will have websites set up using the “other news” section which gets passed on to anyone with a Google web browser as “news” when it’s clearly not labeled “satire.” Who’s going to know? And are universities out there either teaching young writers that this is acceptable and/or allowing their names to be attached to websites that conduct themselves in such a way? If so, the future of journalistic standards in this nation is in for a real challenge.
I also highly doubt we’ll be seeing “other news” items on Hillary Clinton. And even if we did, I’d have similar concern.
[ Update ] by iizthatiiz (4:40pm pst)
The Daily Cardinal has now updated their article, adding a small disclaimer to the bottom of the post:
This is a piece of satirical news that is not intended to be taken as fact
While very appreciative of their clarification, can only note that The Daily Cardinal failed to employ the standard journalistic practice and inform readers that the article was amended.