In my opinion I think that satirical reporting such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart or the Rick Mercer report could be considered a mainstream form of culture jamming. Our textbook defines culture jamming as “a form of media activism that subverts and reworks the intended meaning of existing media texts or parodies major corporations, public figures and their media images” (O’shaughnessy, Stadler, Pg.213). Considering this definition it is extremely possible that these shows fall under the title of culture jamming. These shows are mostly considered to be parodies of the real news. They report the same or very similar stories as you would see on CBC news or any other legitimate news source but the difference is sources like the Daily Show and The Rick Mercer Report do it in a comedic way and usually with some sense of mockery of the other news sources or the actual story itself. As stated in the text “the objectives of culture jamming often include consciousness raising (raising awareness of social and political issues) as well as using the media to criticize the media and dominant culture”( O’shaughnessy, Stadler, pg.214). Both of these shows are well known for reporting on political matters but since they do so in a funny and entertaining way they attract a much wider variety of people as an audience and as such are able to raise consciousness of political issues to people that otherwise would not care. These shows report on important political news but do so in a way that usually involves mocking politicians and political motives which could be considered a “mode of resistance to the norms and conventions of mass culture that exposes and opposes the Medias underlying power structures and ideological messages” (O’shaughnessy, Stadler, pg.213).
Although I think most people will disagree with me I believe that this type of reporting can actually be a useful addition to the public sphere because by adding a comedic aspect to the news being reported it is able to reach more people which allows a larger portion of the population to be informed and able to discuss the important topics. This allows for a more well-rounded discussion of things like political views which could later lead to possible improvements. Although they are receiving the news in a comedic way which is usually delivered with a lot of mockery, if the audience finds it entertaining and interesting enough it might encourage them to do further research on the topic and continue to follow it and form their own opinions on the matter. This will lead to a more informed and diverse population which I would consider to be a good thing.
O’shaughnessy, Michael and Jane Stadler. Media and Society. South Melbourne: Oxford University Press. 2011