There has been a lot of coverage in the past week about the Ig Nobel spoof awards for science. Next year the organisers at Harvard should add a category for media studies.
There is already a contender: Julia R. Fox, assistant professor of telecommunications at Indiana University. She has found that The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is just as substantive as network news coverage. (via Lost Remote)
Her paper comparing the comedy show and network coverage of the 2004 presidential election is to be published next summer by the Journal of Broadcast and Electronic Media, say the university. In it she writes:
Our findings should allay at least some of the concerns about the growing reliance on this non-traditional source of political information, as it is just as substantive as the source that Americans have relied upon for decades.
And if there was a prize for reporting this year’s Ig Nobel prizes it should probably have gone to the Guardian for telling us the physics prize was awarded for “for tackling the conundrum of why dry spaghetti breaks into more than one piece when it is bent”. Think about it!