The New Yorker said The Onion is “arguably the most popular humor periodical in world history.”
The Washington Post said it “makes its readers teary-eyed with laugher.”
It has won 10 Webby Awards, the Thurber Prize for American Humor and its six books have topped the New York Times’ Bestseller List for weeks on end.
Yet when The Northerner distributes a special edition of this particular publication as a paid advertisement, it is met with something that can only be referred to as pseudo-activism. In actuality, it was more of a sophomoric prank better reserved for the high school hallways.
In an act of petty vandalism, a clever individual wrote offensive questions (such as “Why is The Northerner sponsoring this sexist shit?”) on copies of our Dec. 1 insert of The Onion’s print edition and slipped them back into newsstands to reflect his or her opinion.
But attacking a newsstand to get your point across isn’t going to do much good. It’s kind of like throwing a brick through your living room window because you don’t like what’s on TV.
Of all the letters to the editor received this week, the only one to directly address the issue of The Onion was complimentary in nature. Though the response is welcomed with great thanks, it’s fairly unimportant when it comes to tackling issues with the media. The Northerner constantly strives to create an interactive environment for open exchange between the media and the readers – that’s a key to creating balanced coverage.
Here are some good starting points to establishing a dialog with The Northerner. The Viewpoints page is an opportunity for readers and the editorial staff to interact. Any reader is afforded the opportunity to write letters to the paper and call these issues to attention. We’ve published many of them which the culprit may have read if he or she wasn’t busy vandalizing newsstands.
Also, The Northerner is always hiring staff writers willing to address these issues through thorough and developed stories, not hastily scrawled obscenities. Journalists don’t always cover just campus events. Nor should a concerned student just cover a newsstand with a sheet of paper.