Yesterday, the Minneapolis Star Tribune ran an essay from a guest columnist on the top of the front page of its Variety section. The title: “A Millennial’s perspective on the Boomerang Generation.”
The article went on to provide a perspective from the author about the “benefits” of living with her baby boomer mom. I won’t go into the whole piece–you can read it here.
As I perused the article, I couldn’t believe what I was reading. Basically, what I was reading was the tale of another entitled, clueless millennial. It was actually so bad, it was hard to believe it was true.
And, as it turns out, it wasn’t.
It was satire.
So, my question is: Should satire be a part of the daily newspaper?
I got a slew of different responses to that question on Facebook last night:
Despite the historical importance of satire in the daily paper, I tend to think it doesn’t have a place here. Not like this.
For me, the daily newspaper is a place for facts, information, news and informed opinions (from reputable sources/columnists).
I can get my fill of satire from The Onion. Or Buzzfeed. Or, any thousand other sites on the web.
What I want from my daily newspaper is straight hard news–and informed opinions.
Expectations are also a factor here. When I read the daily paper, it’s my expectation that I’m reading news or informed opinion (on the Opinion page).
When I read The Onion, I want to laugh. And I expect it to be a little crazy.
Pretty simple, right?
And, even if you do think satire belongs in the paper, there are better ways to present it. In this case, make sure the article is a clear attempt at satire. In case you’ve been living in a bubble, millennials have been taking a few hits the last few years. Entitled. Lazy. The adjectives have been many. Many articles have been written BY millennials demonstrating these behaviors (remember THIS infamous post?). So, an article like this? Not really so crazy, right? Which is why immediately took it as a true guest column. The satire wasn’t clear. For the daily newspaper, where hard news and facts rule the day, I think you need to make it a bit more clear.
And if not, put it in one of the Star Tribune blogs. Or, bury it on the web site somewhere. Don’t stick it on the front page of the Variety section (yes, I know this is the Entertainment section, but I also expect entertainment NEWS here).
Enough ranting from me. What do you think? Does satire like this belong in today’s daily newspaper?