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Satirical news shines a light on political and economic crises

20 November 2017
Creators of satirical news site in discussion with The Chaser

The makers of Venezuela's explosively successful satirical news site, El Chigüire Bipolar, will join The Chaser's Julian Morrow to discuss the politics of satire on Tuesday 28 November at the University of Sydney.

 

Since ‘fake news’ entered the zeitgeist, everyone from publishers and governments to Facebook and citizens have been grappling with how to stamp out the problem.

But could fake news be the way into real stories and in fact help generate a discussion around the threat posed by ‘alternative facts’?

The makers of Venezuela’s explosively successful satirical news site, El Chigüire Bipolar, will join The Chaser’s Julian Morrow to discuss the politics of satire on Tuesday 28 November at the University of Sydney.

El Chigüire was the brainchild of three friends, Elio Casale, Oswaldo Graziani and Juan Andrés Ravell, who saw an opportunity to use satire to expose the harsh realities Venezuelans face every day. With food shortages, widespread hunger and limited access to medicine, many citizens have demonstrated their frustrations with the government during protests in recent months.

Satire or comedy on its own won’t bring back democracy in Venezuela. But it can start a conversation about the solutions.
Oswaldo Graziani

The site isn’t all fun and games. Every post on El Chigüire Bipolar has a link to an independent serious digital news source, connecting a highly engaged audience to stories absent from the mainstream media, which is largely state-owned.

Co-founder of The Chaser and alumnus of the University Julian Morrow said, “El Chigüire Bipolar use fake news not just to entertain but also as an antidote to state propaganda, by connecting Venezuelans, particularly young people, to independent reporting about the military regime. At The Chaser, we just used fake news to avoid getting a real job.”

El Chigüire Bipolar were awarded the prestigious Václav Havel Prize for the Creative Dissident 2017, in recognition of their outstanding commitment to honestly covering the news, earlier this year. 

According to Garry Kasparov, secretary of the Human Rights Foundation, "Their combination of humour, coupled with honest uncompromising analysis demonstrate the great power of satire when criticising authoritarian regimes."

Following this event, the University of Sydney is also a proud partner of the 2017 Chaser Lecture, to be delivered by El Chigüire Bipolar on the 30 November at the MacLaurin Hall

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