Comedy off course : the changing faces of political satire in Flanders and the Netherlands
Today’s mediated public sphere is increasingly characterized by a proliferation of political satire formats, supported by the growing acknowledgement that humour can enact political work and contribute effectively to public debate. This doctoral dissertation explores the societal role of political satire within contemporary media landscapes in Flanders and the Netherlands by (i) examining the evolving roles and self-perceptions of professional satirists, and (ii) interrogating the evolution of satirical critique against the backdrop of shifting socio-political contexts. These questions are addressed in four empirical studies which investigate two instances of political satire in Flanders and the Netherlands—television news satire and stand-up comedy—embodied by respectively the Flemish and Dutch television news satire shows De Ideale Wereld (2013) and Zondag met Lubach (2014–2021), and Flemish stand-up comedian Michael Van Peel. Study 1 focuses on the enactment and negotiation of genre hybridity and its effect on the role conceptions of satirists. It reports on an analysis of semi-structured (11) and conversational (12) interviews with staff of the Flemish political satire show De Ideale Wereld, combined with a three-week observational period in the show’s “satirical newsroom.” Study 2 sets out to investigate the reception of political satire in the media landscape and the journalistic community over time. It reports on an analysis of the metajournalistic discourse surrounding 64 media appearances of staff and host of the Dutch political satire show Zondag met Lubach. Study 3 analyses how political satire has engaged with scientific discourse during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Here, we present a qualitative content analysis of 30 COVID-19-related segments of the Dutch political satire show Zondag met Lubach. Study 4 furthers the notion of a reimagined role for political satire in public debate through the case of Flemish stand-up comedian Michael Van Peel. It zooms in on the relationship between comedy, humour and the increasing societal awareness of social injustice and free speech. A multi-modal analysis incorporates an in-depth interview with stand-up comedian Michael Van Peel; interviews in Flemish media, columns in Flemish upmarket newspaper De Standaard, and stand-up special Welcome to the Rebellion! This dissertation contributes to broader discussions on the role of popular culture as a platform for public debate and produces insights into the nature of comedic storytelling as a valid epistemic practice.
Antwerpen : Universiteit Antwerpen, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Communication Studies , 2023
199 p.
Supervisor: Maeseele, Pieter [Supervisor]
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Sometimes fake news is more real than real news. A study of television news satire as an alternative form of journalism and a resource of public engagement.
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Publications with a UAntwerp address
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Creation 19.09.2023
Last edited 30.09.2023
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