We have the perfect #muckedup planned for this year’s April Fools’ Day. Every year, the public falls for a prank put on by a news organization, but this phenomenon isn’t limited to this single day a year. Parodies have had a place in journalism since 1835, when Richard A. Locke first managed to increase the sales of The Sun when he published a series of six articles now known as the Great Moon Hoax. That effort to pull the wool over the eyes of readership was considerably more deliberate, but ever since then, we’ve had The Great Wall of China hoax of 1899, The Guardian’s professed goal of becoming a Twitter-only publication and a host of others. At the same time, however, the public has become drawn to publications and programs that are willing to embrace parody and satire, while still espousing news (think The Daily Show, Buzzfeed and The Onion). How does humor still manage to convey a message that resonates so strongly with the public, despite taking such a comedic stance on current events?
Because this week’s #muckedup Tuesday falls on April Fools’ Day, we thought it would be apropos to tackle questions concerning the issue of parody journalism. This week, we are fortunate to be joined by Joanna Borns, a Buzzfeed staff writer who is no stranger to parody and humor. The author of such fantastically farcical listicles as What Arbitrary Thing Are You? and Life In Your Twenties vs. Life As A Fetus, Borns has also contributed work to other comedy web sites in addition to working for Popular Mechanics, Esquire and the game show Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. She has also studied at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre (co-founded by Amy Poehler, where numerous comedic actors got their start), so you know she knows comedy. Don’t miss this week’s #muckedup tweetchat, on April 1 (of course), 5 p.m. PST/8 p.m. EST, because we’re going to have a lot of fun.