'The Daily Show' Tries to Save Campus News with Viral Headlines

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The Michigan Daily is one of the only daily newspapers left in its state, standing tall after local publications like Ann Arbor News went online-only. That in and of itself is an impressive feat. But how can a daily print product compete with the ever-evolving and speedy web?

That's what Jordan Klepper and The Daily Show team sought to discover on last night's show. Talking to student editors at the Daily, Klepper learned that journalism schools are still teaching the traditional tenets of reporting. Whisper's editor in chief, Neetzan Zimmerman, said that was useless in today's journalistic world.

"Unless you're learning how to craft the perfect story for the viral web, you're probably not getting much out of that education," Zimmerman said.

The emphasis now, Klepper reported, was on clicks, and traditional Daily headlines like "Acclaimed indie filmmaker donates work to university archives" just won't hold up. So Klepper enlisted Zimmerman to help come up with new headlines and angles. Some ideas for viral content: pictures of a baby dressed as a doctor, a baby lion, and a woman with exposed sideboob.

The results were predictably disastrous. As one student perfectly summed it up, "This is shit."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.