Scott Dikkers talk at Marquette University

Before the talk, do some research on Scott Dikkers. What is one surprising fact you learned about him? Does this help you provide context for his talk?

A surprising fact that I learned about Scott is that he was integral in bringing “The Onion” from a small, unknown college humor publication to an internationally respected comedy brand. This context helped me to put myself in his shoes as a college student interested in comedy.

Pay attention to the scene as Scott talks during his lecture. What do you notice? Take a photo and include it in your post as well.

I noticed that Scott was standing in the middle of the stage his entire lecture and used humor to keep the audience consistently engaged in his speech. I felt like I was in a conversation not being talked at or down upon.

Write down something Scott says and fact check it. Is he right? Wrong? Somewhere in between?

Scott mentioned that the “Beijing Times” ran a satirical story that “The Onion” had put out on Congress moving locations as a real story. I fact checked this and it is indeed true that the story was published!

Summarize in a paragraph the point of the talk.

Scott put a large emphasis on the cognitive bias that we have as human beings. This means that we gravitate towards stories that confirm our own worldviews or as Scott put it, “we love lies.”Not ever getting the whole truth is our fault as readers because its in our nature to want to hear lies that will make us feel better about the world that we live in and since this is in demand journalist are told to supply these stories. The only hope to improve our media and lives in general is to be vigilant when consuming media and continue to remind ourselves that this bias exists.

Now write a headline that summarizes the talk.

Founder of “The Onion” emphasizes danger of cognitive bias when consuming media during talk at Marquette University.

At the end of his talk, find someone at the event that you don’t already know and ask them what stood out to them the most. Include their full name and major or profession.

Claire Mcdonald is a senior Public Relations major. She said that Scott talking about how fake news is not satire stood out to her the most.

What did this teach you about media writing?

I learned that a key thing to remember when writing satire is that it is not fake news. Rather, the point of satire is to relate a truth in a way that is humorous because what makes satire funny is the underlying truth.

What was most useful to you about this experience?

There were multiple reasons that this experience was useful. One of which is learning to understand the relation between what is written and how that being published benefits not only the media outlet that puts it out but our democracy in general. Additionally, the story about the writers Cal and Ben struck me because it highlights how you can be the most likeable person in the room but how it is important to maintain a level of professionalism to advance in the business.

Anything else to add?

“Tell them what needs to be done and leave them alone” this stuck with me as a method Scott uses as a boss. I think this is a critical way to be as a person with any sort of position of power so that the people working below you will take personal interest in their own success.

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