How Jon Stewart Changed the Face of News


Today is a sad day. It marks the first of many that we’ll be without “The Daily Show” with Jon Stewart.

Last night’s finale, as well as the public’s immense sadness following it, reminds us how critical Stewart was in changing the media landscape as we knew it before he joined the show in 1999.

Now full disclosure: I was 11 years old at that time. However, it’s undeniable that Stewart played a significant role in evolving consumer perceptions of not only politicians, but of media too.

This concept was evident in a 2014 study that found Americans were more likely to trust “The Daily Show” over MSNBC. And this was within a group of viewers, in which almost half (45%) held a college degree or higher, which meant he wasn’t appealing solely to a common denominator.jon-stewart-esquire

Pew Research also reported that 12% of Americans cited The Daily Show as a place they got their news, which was on par with USA Today (12%) and just behind Huffington Post (13%).

So why did he capture our hearts and minds?

In closing, I think we can all agree that Jon Stewart became a household name in comedic news. Will there be others like him? Sure. But it’ll be interesting to see if any of them cause such an impact on our news consumption like he did.

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