February 1, 2024

The Onion

For three and a half decades, The Onion has amused, enthralled and enraged. It has endured a pandemic, several corporate takeovers and a host of editorial upheavals, but despite the changes, its irreverent mission remains intact. The satirical newspaper-turned-website is the go-to source for fake news long before that became a thing. Its wry social commentary, such as "No way to prevent this, says nation where this regularly happens" - published after every mass shooting - is unmatched in the industry. When news breaks, it's not uncommon to hear someone say, "That sounds like an Onion headline!"

Amid the flurry of online news sources and the growing popularity of late-night hosts like Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, The Onion remains one of America's most trusted news sites. Founded in 1988 by two college students in Madison, Wisconsin, the site began as a local newspaper and eventually expanded to national distribution. Its 1999 book, Our Dumb Century, was a No 1 New York Times bestseller.

Each day, some 13 writers and other staff consider about 100 potential headlines. They're voted on and if one is chosen, the writer then writes the accompanying article. The editorial team is based in Chicago, where The Onion shares space with other G/O Media properties including sports website Deadspin and food site The Takeout.

One of the challenges for The Onion is striking a balance between being current and keeping its edge. Founder Scott Dikkers said the goal is to make people think twice about their beliefs. He believes that the world needs more satire because it has become so politicized and so angry.


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