Four days before Valentine's day last February, my heart was broken.
Now before you offer me condolences (possibly in the form of cookies) know that I'm definitely not the only one in mourning.
On Feb. 10, 2015, Jon Stewart made an announcement that he would be resigning from The Daily Show sometime this year.
Okay, maybe I do have a little bit of a flair for the dramatic, it's not like he's dead. But, this announcement was not only shocking, but also genuinely upsetting. It feels like the end of an era, and I'm scared for a world without Jon Stewart in it. Where will I get my news? Who else is going to call out Fox News? Where else can I get so many bad puns?
Okay, okay, I know that "All good things come to an end" and blah, blah, insert cliché and cliché, but I never really imagined that Jon Stewart's time on The Daily Show would end. I kind of put it in a box in my mind with The Simpsons, frozen pizza and American Idol, as one of the things that would always be there.
But, unlike American Idol and frozen pizza, Jon Stewart doesn't seem like he's hit his expiration date. This is more than a typical television star departure because Jon Stewart is more than just a TV show host. He's been called the most trusted man in America. He's an icon, kind of like Walter Cronkite -- if Walter Cronkite dropped f-bombs and had absolutely no filter.
I'm certainly going to miss Jon Stewart as an entertainer. However, this also got me thinking about the real impact he's made on people, particularly young people. What does the departure of Jon Stewart mean for college kid's news consumption?
If you ask a young person what's going on in the world, you can never be sure what kind of answer you're going to get. But, back in day the answer to that question would be pretty universal. If you read your local newspaper -- which pretty much everyone did -- you'd all have similar answers. This is mostly because the options to consume information back then were limited to a few sources.
The way we access and consume information is evolving. We've got more information than we know what to do with. No longer are we limited to an hour of nightly news or the black and white pages of your local paper.
Our generation, particularly, consumes media less conventionally than their predecessors. While mom and dad might have more options these days than their parents, they're still likely to get information from traditional sources. Junior, on the other hand, is likely getting his news a little differently.
Our generation consumes news everywhere. Sure, we might be spending an unhealthy amount of time on our smartphones and our laptops, but no matter what site you are wasting your time on, news is going to find you.
You don't even have to visit traditional news sites. Whether it's Twitter, articles popping up on Facebook, Tumblr or just recommended articles popping up on the side of any given web page, young people get media from many different sources.
Do you like The Daily Show? A college kid, who is a fan, probably doesn't watch nightly news, but he likely has time for a 30-minute episode. He'll also follow them on Twitter and Facebook, getting news from status updates and watching the video clips they post.
If The Daily Show isn't really your cup of tea -- don't fret. There are hundreds of news sources from which to choose, and this diversity gives the audience a chance to get news where they want it, instead of relying on a sparingly few sources. More options means more competition, which means a better product is necessary in order to be successful.
And one of the very best in delivering news to our demographic -- at least in my opinion -- is Jon Stewart. His brilliance comes with his ability to make the same news that everyone else is doing, enjoyable to watch. Creating a program that is both informative and entertaining is clearly an elusive formula.
Jon Stewart's appeal to the young people of this country cannot be understated. I've always liked to keep myself informed, but I've never loved it until I came across The Daily Show. According to the Pew Research Center, 74 percent of viewers are between the ages of 18 to 34.
Although The Daily Show and Jon Stewart are parting ways, we aren't really losing either of them.
Who will replace Stewart?
No one knows, but there is definitely a well-qualified pool to pick from, including some of The Daily Show's current correspondents. But regardless,The Daily Show will go on.
And, so will Jon Stewart.
Stewart provided a refreshingly entertaining, informative and ultimately invaluable program that enlightened young people across America, and will be truly missed.
But change is inevitable, and to wherever Jon's future endeavors take him, I expect great things and look forward with what is to come.
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