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Journalism

  • By: Debra A. Schwartz
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Humor writing techniques have found their way into American journalism dating back as far as Benjamin Franklin's time. In journalism, the basic information conveyed in an article must be verifiable, which gives the writer some flexibility with the content, since whether something is true and accurately presented depends on one's perspective. To qualify as journalism, the content of an article, column, or report in any medium should be intended to be accurate, truthful, and verifiable. Techniques for making us laugh, such as exaggeration, minimization, and double entendres, usually begin with some truth the writer exploits for effect. Storytelling techniques found in fiction genres—novels, short stories, Westerns, romances, mysteries, and others—have found their way into journalism in genres such as columns, feature stories, and commentary. The ...

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