By Chelsey Teachout
The purpose of satire is to open up the forum for current issues. Like news publications that publish stories about current issues, should satiric publications practice their own code of ethics as well?
Recently Drake University’s Independent Newspaper released their Spring 2011 issue of their publication. In the issue an article entitled “Irresponsible Global Citizenship” quoted students of Drake organizations like College Republicans, Campus Fellowship, Society of Professional Journalists, Pi Kappa Alpha, Students for Women’s Issues, and DUiN. The quotes were manufactured by the anonymous writer “El Soph”.
For example, the article quoted the College Republicans president: “We’re committed to smaller government, so we’re heading to the country with the smallest government in the world: Somalia!”
At the risk of possible libel lawsuits this publication printed these false quotes. Shouldn’t the standards of journalism apply to this publication? Under no circumstances should a publication quote material that is false. Granted, satiric material is made to poke fun, but general audiences take quoted material seriously.
The rise of the information age has inundated communities with a wealth of information. With so much information at the fingertips of people, there is always the risk of receiving wrong information. Should satiric publications adopt stricter codes of ethics or is it okay to simply disclose that the information is fake?