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Crosscurrents

WEB EXTRA: "Puncture their pomposity" – Satire, terrorism and free speech

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Under CC license from Flickr user Thierry Chervel.
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A demonstration in Berlin, Germany in response to the killings at French magazine Charlie Hebdo.

KALW's Ben Trefny talks with UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism Dean Ed Wasserman about how terrorist attacks on media, the use of satire, and free speech.

ED WASSERMAN: There's a big difference between satirizing people in power, the people who are in authority, the elite, which is to puncture their pomposity and pointing out their foibles, and pointing out that after all they're human like everybody else, and going after their pretentions. When you're pointing the satire upward in the social ladder, it's very different from when you're pointing the satire downward to the out groups. Then it feels very much like bullying.

Click the audio player above to listen to the complete interview.

Ben handles daily operations in the news department, overseeing the editorial and sound engineering teams, delivering daily newscasts, producing the nightly news and culture show Crosscurrents, and supervising special projects including KALW's Audio Academy training program.