Onion editors address role of satire in media
Writers for The Onion, a popular satirical news organization, spoke on Thursday at Dice It up with the Writers of The Onion, an event hosted by USC Spectrum at Bovard Auditorium.
The Onion, which was first published in 1988 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, features online and printed articles, radio broadcasts and video news segments that cover fictional and non-fictional local, national and international events.
The event, featured Onionâs head writer, Seth Reiss, and its features editor, Joe Garden, and highlighted many of the newspaperâs humorous stories throughout its publication, including âCongress Takes Group Of Schoolchildren Hostageâ and âMichael Phelps Returns To His Tank At Sea World.â
Reiss and Garden also mocked headlines from newspapers such as the Los Angeles Times.
Reiss said one of the main reasons The Onion has continued to stay popular while other newspapers are facing financial hardship is because the organizationâs use of the Internet and social networking.
âThe Onion went online in 1996, and a large amount, around 90 percent, of our readers come from the Internet,â Reiss said. âThe fact that we have a fully functioning website and a fully functioning social media network really helps [us achieve] our success.â
ReissÂ also said one of the ways the print version of The Onion has thrived is through its franchising deals with nearly 20 cities.
âFor our print paper, weâve been doing these franchising deals, where these cities will bring us to their city, and we provide all the content, while they do all the advertising and circulation,â Reiss said.
Garden and Reiss are keeping another projects, a compilation of past and current content from The Onion, under wraps.
âWeâre currently working on a book thatâs going to be released in October that weâll be working on for the next few months,â Garden said. âWe canât really talk about it right now, but itâs going to be pretty insane.â
As for the future of The Onion, Garden said Readers should have big expectations for future publications.
âWeâre probably going to the stars, or at least another dimension,â Garden said. âWeâre actually very focused on our book right now, but after thatâs blown over, you can expect us to be more embracing of social media, focusing more on Twitter and doing more video segments online as well.â
Many of the students at the event were entertained by the content The Onion has published during its history, including Taylor Barnhill, a freshman majoring in chemical engineering.
âAll the stuff The Onion posts is so outrageous and hilarious, itâs hard to believe that people actually get offended by it,â Barnhill said.