The Onion jumps from print to performance at NAU After Hours
BY MATT HAYNIE —
“America’s Finest News Source” is coming to Northern Arizona University.
The satirical news organization The Onion will be lecturing at Prochnow Auditorium on Feb. 26, presented by SUN Entertainment. The Onion is known for their comedic parody of both real and fictional current events in traditional newspaper style.
Scott Dikkers, one of the founding editors and current Vice President of Creative Development for the publication will be speaking at the event and peeling back the layers of The Onion‘s comedy style. Dikkers kept with the witty humor The Onion is known for as he stayed in character to explain what students can expect from the lecture.
“This a presentation about The Onion and its history, what news is, and what it means to be informed in the modern world,” Dikkers said. “I think the students’ heads are going to be swimming with some mind-blowing ideas. It’s going to be a new paradigm in journalism. Before this day they were living in darkness and now they’re going to be in the pure, bright light of knowledge.”
Thega-Alem Berhe, the program coordinator with SUN Entertainment who booked the event, thought a lecture about The Onion would be both informative and entertaining for NAU students.
“I think it’s a fun way for people to learn about what is going on around the world,” Berhe said. “It’s a different approach than any typical news source, but that’s what makes it interesting.”
The Onion’s satirical articles can sometimes be so believable that people take them seriously. The most recent example was in November 2012 when the online version of China’s Communist Party newspaper, The People’s Daily, ran a story citing The Onion’s article titled “Kim Jong-Un Named The Onion‘s Sexiest Man Alive For 2012.”
“If you’re going to steal news articles, you might as well make it The Onion,” Dikkers said. “After all, The Onion is the only news organization you can trust.”
While people taking The Onion‘s articles seriously can be problematic, journalism professor Annette McGivney said the publication offers clever parody while at the same time creating awareness about the dangers of being gullible when it comes to misinformation.
“People shouldn’t believe everything they read,” McGivney said. “They should be more discerning. It’s their own fault if they take an article from The Onion seriously.”
McGivney also said The Onion brings humor to a profession that is often reporting on serious, sometimes grim news.
“News organizations take themselves too seriously,” McGivney said. “The Onion helps to force people not to do that.”
The Onion Lecture & Debate tickets are available at Central Ticketing Office and are free for NAU students with ID. Both ticket and ID are required for entry. The event will be at Prochnow Auditorium and begins at 7 p.m.