I’m a journalism student and as such I’ve written my fair share of articles. From op-eds to features, to listicles to reviews, I’ve written all different kinds of pieces. This semester, though, I started writing something a bit funnier– I started satire.
During the summer, I applied to join The Bunion, Boston University’s satire news publication. Now satire has always been a thing that interested me, I’ve been a fan of The Onion for a long time and about a year ago I found out about The Hard Times and Hard Drive, who make fun of punk music and video game scenes respectively. I was bit by the satire bug last year and when I saw The Bunion was looking for staff writers, I submitted my application almost immediately. I say almost immediately because there was a very important part of the application I was having a hard time with: the article submission.
I had to write an article to finish my application. Luckily, I zeroed in on what I was gonna write about pretty quickly. At the beginning of the summer, I got a notification on Facebook about a post somebody made on the Official Boston University Class of 2020 group. I hadn’t checked the Class of 2020 Facebook group since my Freshman year, so I clicked on the notification and browsed the group to see what my fellow rising juniors were up to. As I found out, the group had become a wasteland. Nobody had posted anything on the group in a long time, I guess like me a lot of people had forgotten about it. Essentially the Facebook group was now a ghost town, people were still in the group but nobody posted anything. I thought this might be something funny to write about so I took it and ran with it.
Choosing a topic to write about was easy, the hard part was actually writing it. At first I wrote the article with the idea of the Facebook group being a literal ghost town, a remnant from the Wild Wild West, and there was a sheriff of sorts that would protect the group from any new posts. I worked on it for a couple of days until I finally gave up on making it work. The whole cowboy-sheriff thing proved to be too complicated, since I realized I knew absolutely nothing about cowboys. I scrapped the whole thing. I settled on just writing down my raw thoughts and put a sort of journalistic spin on it. That was easier, but it really wasn’t funny. It kinda just read as a rant that didn’t really go anywhere, but I guess the editors liked it enough to have me join the team.
I got a chance to rework the article a couple weeks ago. After going to writer meetings, talking to fellow Bunion Staff Writers, and getting to write pieces of satire on other topics, I finally got what it took to make my first article work. The first thing I did was pretty much erase most of it. A lot of what I wrote down just didn’t work, or only I found funny. I then made my target more specific and I gave it actual jokes. I basically reworked the whole thing.
It felt nice working on my first article again; it was almost as if I had come full circle. In the short time I’ve been with The Bunion, I’ve really learned a lot. If you’re interested in reading my articles and other articles made by even funnier people, check them out over at thebunionpaper.com
P.S. Here’s a link to my reworked first article: https://thebunionpaper.com/student-makes-post-on-bu-facebook-group-as-if-anybody-is-gonna-look-at-it