Celebrities in Headliners

February 12, 2010

“Kim Kardashian Isn’t Engaged to Reggie Bush!”

“An Exclusive Interview: Angelina Jolie from Haiti.”

Not to completely bash news corporations and media conglomerates, but honestly are these really headlining pieces? The world of celebrities and entertainment has seemed to become more of a common feature within news outlets, not to mention a concern for many journalism and communication focused people. This has brought about many questions that mainly come down to the inquiry of why entertainment has been published as news.

News, defined as the presentation (to the public) of important current issues and happenings, has been evolving to fit a new audience, one that seems to be reinterpreting the idea and possibly value of journalism.

Within Robert McChesney’s book, The Political Economy of Media: enduring issues, emerging dilemmas, he states that the faults or defects within the news system existence primarily because of the for-profit mind-set. By providing the public with entertainment, they will gain readership and in turn stay afloat financially. However, while discussing this topic with my media issues group, there was one point that stood out.

Although the media is slightly straying from their traditional mission of providing the public with what we need to know, they are not the only ones to blame for the substitute of hard-hitting and investigative news with entertainment. To carry some of this burden of blame is actually today’s audience that has become the driving force behind the appearance of celebrity-centered articles outside of the entertainment sections.

Why does the public demand such coverage? Patrick Butler of the Collegiate Times asks the same question and determined that a 24 hour and 7 day a week schedule has actually diluted the news by trying to fill spaces with less substantial stories. He also claimed that money talks, which helped to form stations that try to give us what we want to hear above anything else.

I do feel that as consumers for this industry, we have found that entertainment is just more fun in comparison to the more realistic, complex and sometimes horrifying news that is presented to us today. I mean who wouldn’t want to view something entertaining or happy rather than depressing? At the same time, we’ve got to know that this preference is affecting the coverage of news and the younger part of our generation that may not fully be able to establish what is actually news. In case you were wondering…celebrities in headlines such as “Brad Pitt Trims his Beard” in my opinion is not news.

Although the solution to this issue has not fully been found, I wonder if there is a possibility of just making the news more interesting or packaging it in a more entertaining fashion to keep the audience both entertained and informed.

We’ve seen Jon Stewart and his Comedy Central program, The Daily Show, gaining quite a following due to a more sarcastic and intellectual twist on current events, so maybe this is something to take note of. Instead of celebrities becoming headlining news, let’s just repackage the facts so they are presented differently. It’s worth a try, I think.

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5 Responses to “Celebrities in Headliners”

  1. jonathanchoi said

    So if we dilute/repackage the news to make it more interesting, how long would that last? I think the question of not necessarily how to make it look but how to make it last. Then again, maybe not…just saying.

  2. Good summery of why we can’t just blame the media for the sorry state of what passes as “news.” Consumers are also to blame. Many may not even think there is a problem in journalism since they’re so focused on just entertainment.
    Maybe the culture will change, but journalism can help by presenting the news in a more engaging format, as you said. Our generation has been weened on multimedia, but serious news is rarely presented in such a format. No wonder then that the public as a whole is ill-informed.

  3. Do you ever write about Elvis impersonators in your blog?

  4. I really liked your blog, especially this stuff

  5. There is evidently a lot for me to study outside of my books. Thanks for the wonderful read,

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