15 Tips to Write Current Events Satire

Current Events Satire: Satire is the art of bringing attention to a particular problem.

Fault or issue by blending criticism with humor.

Current events are a prime target of satire because most people who write or perform satire are trying to raise awareness as well as entertain.

Modern satire about current events can be found on television shows.

Such as Saturday Night Live and The Daily Show or found in publications.

Such as The Onion and political cartoons in The New Yorker.

But satire has a long, rich history in literature as well.

Knowing current events, knowing your audience.

And researching all angles of the current event will help you write quality satire.

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Current Events Satire
Current Events Satire http://hamiltoncs.org/lit328/uncategorized/pocho-com

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Current Events Satire

1. Stay up to date on current events.

 In order to write satire about current events, you will need to understand the major issues of the day.
Read newspapers, blogs and websites that chronicle the news of the day and offer commentary.

Watch television as well, especially news stations such as CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and CNBC.

  • Developments in current events change and evolve quickly, and with the instant online access, your audience will know the news as it happens.
  • The more knowledge you have about current events, the easier it will be to identify topics to write about.

Current Events Satire

2. Identify what you care about.

Your topic should stem from something that you have a personal interest in.
As you read or watch current events, notice anything that you do not like, that makes you angry, that you believe is wrong, or that you would like to change.

These are the topics that you should write about.

  • Also look for inconsistencies, hypocrisy, cover-ups, or inappropriate words or actions as a potential topic.
  • For example, a candidate may claim that security is their top priority, but fail to securely protect their own data. That inconsistency could be a topic for a satirical writing.
  • Your interest is necessary because you will be researching, thinking and writing about the current event. If you do not have strong feelings about your topic, it will be very difficult for you to write about it.
  • Choose a current event that is visible and well known. This will make it easier for you to connect with your audience. If you use a current event that people are unaware of, they will have a hard time understanding the satire because they will have no idea what you are talking about. However, keep in mind that if the current event is too well known, then other people might have already satirized it.

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Current Events Satire

3. Research the current event.

In order for you to write about a current event, you must have a thorough understanding of the event.

Have a critical approach as you do your research.

You want to understand all aspects of an issue and the different viewpoints of the event.

  • For example, if you plan to write about a case that is up before the Supreme Court, you would research the history of the case, the defendant and the plaintiff’s point of view, similar cases and precedents, the general public’s perception of the case, etc.
  • Never take the current event at face value. Always dig deeper.

Current Events Satire

4. Read other people’s satire.

 Satire is a unique style of writing and requires a different way of thinking.

Reading satire can help you grasp a better understanding for your own writing.

 Try reading the works of some notable satirical authors, such as Swift and Voltaire.

Critique the writings that you read by asking yourself some of the following questions:

  • What is the satire about?
  • Who is the intended audience?
  • What are the author’s motives?
  • What additional ways could you satirize this topic?
  • Is the satire warranted?

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Current Events Satire

5. Learn about different satirical techniques.

In literature, art, film, and other mediums.

There are different techniques that people use to create a satirical effect.

Some of the most frequently used satirical techniques include:

  • Exaggeration. Representing something or someone to a degree that is so far beyond reality that it is ridiculous.
  • Parody. Imitating the style or techniques of a person, place, or thing to make fun of it.
  • Incongruity. Presenting something or someone that is absurd in relation to its surroundings.
  • Reversal. Presenting things in the reverse order of how they normally happen.

Current Events Satire

6. Know your audience.

Satire is only funny if your audience thinks that it is funny.

Find out the intended audience of your work before you begin to write.

What resonates with college students will not resonate with elderly retirees.

  • If you are planning to submit your work to a particular publication, ask the editor about the target audience of the publication. You should also read some back issues to familiarize yourself with the publication.
  • If you are not sure who the audience is, try to write in a more general tone. However, keep in mind that someone is always likely to be alienated by a piece of satirical writing. This is because writing satire requires you to take it aside.

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Current Events Satire

7. Write with your goal in mind.

You are using satire to make a point about the current event.

Your entire essay is structured around this point.

Your goal might be to raise awareness for an issue or improve upon a problem.

If you are not clear about your motivation for writing.

Your writing will seem all over the place and will be difficult for your readers to understand.

  • Help the audience to consider problems they might not have been aware of by poking fun at those problems or addressing the terrible solutions that are currently in place.
  • Inspire your readers to act. There should not be a specific call to action in your writing, but using your words and humor to encourage people to change the way they think or act is part of the well-written satire.
  • Always support your opinions with facts. This will help your readers to see the point you are making.

Current Events Satire

8. Incorporate humor.

Satire should be fun and make the reader laugh.
The combination of humor and critique is what makes satirical writing unique.

Think about things that are relatable to your intended audience and that pull from knowledge about your current event. 

  • Ask yourself, what do the readers need to know to understand the joke that I am making?
  • The title of your article can be sarcastic and funny as well.
  • There are many different satirical devices to choose from when writing satire. Choose the one that create the most humorous piece of writing.

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Current Events Satire

9. Use irony.

 Irony is a technique commonly used when writing satire.

When using irony you would show some inconsistency between what is said and what is really meant, what is expected to happen and what actually happens, or what is meant and what people understand.

  • An example of irony would be someone getting rich and never working a day in their life.
  • Another example of irony is telling a person that you love his or her shoes when in reality you think the shoes are terrible. You and your audience are aware that you do not like the shoes, but the person wearing the shoes actually thinks that you were giving a compliment.

Current Events Satire

10. Exaggerate to make a point.

Taking something out of its normal context to show how ridiculous or absurd it is can be used to make your point as well. It should be obvious to the audience that you are exaggerating. Exaggeration is even more effective if you keep a serious tone throughout your writing and do not use any joking language.

  • For example, Jonathan Swift wrote a satirical writing about the famine in Ireland in the 1700s. His solution to the famine was for poor people to sell their babies to the rich people so the rich people could eat and the poor people would have money. Eating children is obviously a ridiculous solution to a famine and would not solve the root problem.
  • This exaggeration highlighted how badly the government treated poor people and the negative lens that rich people viewed the poor people in the country.

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Current Events Satire

11. Understand libel.

 If you are publishing your work, you may be concerned about possible legal ramifications for what you are writing. Satire makes fun of and mocks people, institutions, and businesses. It is inevitable that people may find your work offensive or harmful and pursue legal action.

  • Writers in the United States are protected by the constitutional right to free speech. However this is not a guarantee in other countries. Be aware of the laws and regulations when you are writing outside of the United States.
  • The victim must prove that your writing was an act of malice.
  • South Park is a good example of a satirical show that is aware of the possibility of committing libel in its episodes.

Current Events Satire

12. Make it clear that it your writing is satirical.

It should be clear to the audience that you are not writing actual news and reporting facts. Your use of exaggeration, humor and over-the-top language will indicate that you are writing satire. You could also include a disclaimer with your writing to avoid any legal action.

  • Consider using fictional names or names that are close to the real names of people instead of using real names.
  • Publishing your satirical piece close to the time of the current event will also be helpful. This way the event is still on people’s minds.

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Current Events Satire

13. Use good taste.

 There is a fine line between being funny and being offensive. It is expected that your writing will rub some people the wrong way, but you to do want to write things that are in poor taste. Do not purposely inflame religious, racial or social tensions.

  • For example, it is more acceptable to write satire about a group that you are a member of. If you are a working mother, it may be more acceptable for you to write about the problems with maternity leave than a single man with no children.
  • It may be helpful to have someone that you trust read your writing before you share it with a larger audience.

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Current Events Satire

14. More tips

  • Use your imagination and creativity when you write. Your unique perspective and sense of humor will make your writing more interesting.
  • Always proofread and edit your work.


  • Remember that satire can be dangerous if interpreted in a negative way. Consider the Belgian cartoon that depicted the Muslim prophet Mohammed in an offensive way. Some militant Muslims reacted violently. While that reaction is unacceptable, many people believe it could have been avoided if the satirical cartoon had approached the subject in a different way.

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