ANYWHERE-- Just yesterday, web technicians and various analysts at a reputable Think Tank published a study pertaining to the number of 'satire' websites around the internet.
It's up for debate on whether the study devoted enough attention to the subject of the 'quality' of the satire found across the web.
The study is not available in print, but readers of this magazine can find it at www.*******.com.
"The decision to publish the study online and not in print was purely a function of accessibility, and keeping up with today's technology...," said a senior fellow at the think tank. "...Nothing to do with cost-effectiveness or lack of readership."
The small section of the study which analyzed the content quality of the sites placed The Onion at the top of the charts.
"It's really all about the writing," said an unnamed Onion editor. "We've been in the business for quite a while. We have established and experienced writers and editors. We don't just hire anybody off the streets."
After the short interview, this columnist (yours truly) may--or may not have--asked said editor for some tips about this very publication. As expected, the advice I received was quite poignant:
"Don't speak in third person," advised the editor. "But don't feel afraid to preface to your readers the fact that you're about to give them the 'jist' of the study's findings."
The long-and-short/nuts&bolts of the redundant study basically said that the number of satire sites has increased with time, and that quality varies widely.
There was no correlation between the quality of the websites' content and their submission policies. Even off the record, think tank analysts withheld comments regarding the subjectivity of what constitutes 'quality satire', and who ultimately made those final calls in the end.
"Some sites openly accepted submissions, but most did not," said Jane Doe, Intern at the think tank. "And ironically the ones closed to submissions were very direct about it."
The Spoof! was noted for having one of the most open submission policies.
Editors have not yet been reached for comment, but an unnamed writer was quoted at length as saying:
"Yeah, you'd be surprised how decent and humorous the material is around here. Funny stuff,man. Funny... ...It's what I love to do and I like the fact that the site receives a reasonable amount of 'web hits'. But I'd never go so far as to call competing sites 'elitist', or claim that they're 'missing out' on my abilities."
The study did not delve into the often convoluted area of copyright, or the policies of individual websites across the spectrum.
"The whole reason I'm here is to be exposed to readers," offered The Spoof! writer. "There's more where That came from," he added.
The think tank has taken a marginal amount of flack from an unspecified number of satire sites. Thoughts on whether the criticism was serious or not varied among the think tank fellows, as well as its female employees.
"We were looking at this as empirically as possible," Doe remarked. "We deal with serious policy here, and that includes meta-analysis of all forms of media."
"Any blow-back the think tank received certainly didn't come from us," quipped the unnamed Onion editor. "I don't know about those other sites, but our writers, editors, and readers are sophisticated enough to understand satire and sarcasm when they see it."
Our interview was cut short by his PR meeting before he could comment on my further inquiries about 'sardonicism' and 'self-deprecation', to say nothing of my desired follow-up about whether sardonicism is even a real word.
The previously quoted senior fellow at the think tank did not follow up with me regarding whether Doe was a paid or unpaid intern, nor if in the future there were any planned studies about the effect of the study's findings on readers across the globe.
"Hey if I wanna get paid maybe I'll come work for your magazine!" joked The Spoof! writer.