Is the Next Jon Stewart at UMD?

by Liam Farrell

For students behind the anchor desk in the basement of Tawes Hall this spring, the model for news in the 21st century is less the stern anchor behind the desk than the standup comic behind the microphone.

As journalism idols like Walter Cronkite give way to Samantha Bee, a new course is letting students inject some laughs into their news delivery by producing satirical pilots à la Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” and HBO’s “Last Week Tonight With John Oliver.”

The course, taught by Tom Bettag, a former executive producer for “ABC News Nightline with Ted Koppel,” is part of an effort at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism to explore new avenues for practicing the craft.

“The evening news is such a tired form,” Bettag says. “[Students] have seen it since they were born, and it’s all so canned and so hyped, it turns them off.”

Read the entire story on the TERP Magazine website.