Don’t fret over Paris Hilton’s coverage
Right when it seemed as if the ongoing coverage of the Hilton heiress’ jail time would never end, all the commotion seems to have finally boiled down to a simmer – at least for the time being.
For those who feel that she and the other handful of celebrities who get blanket coverage are not worthy of the attention are probably relieved that things have quieted down. But there are even more people who are eagerly anticipating the next big thing to happen in the world of the rich and famous.
Considering all the backlash media outlets have received for running reports on the adventures of superstars, no one would ever know that many people actually enjoy hearing about their continuous escapades.
Many of the big names in journalism like Dan Rather have publicly condemned excess celebrity journalism, saying, "Television news has been dumbed down and tarted up." While others like Pete Hamill and Bob Steele have compared it to a "virus" and "a crisis point in U.S. journalism."
While the media coverage on celebrities in the U.S. has dramatically increased, particularly within the last couple of years, it is by no means a threat or taking the place of real news, as many critics of celebrity journalism have claimed.
Those who are bothered by the increasing popularity of celebrities and their impact on the media are more so upset by the fact that people would rather hear about Brangelina or Lindsay Lohan than the latest bill that has been proposed in the Senate.
Just because people pay more attention to the celebrity drama that is given coverage during news broadcasts does not mean that it is replacing real news.
The so-called real news, like the immigration debate, the war in Iraq, healthcare and global warming are all topics that are still very heavily covered by the media.
Although topics such as these are very important, they are complicated issues that add on to the personal problems the average person already has.
Celebrity journalism may not be as important, but it offers a good chuckle, and it is always a great conversation starter.
There’s no harm in that.
The media is simply giving people the information that they want to know about. Instead of complaining, critics of celebrity journalism should use the news coverage of celebrities as a way to draw more people into media outlets in order to hear about what they believe is important.
Maybe America is a little obsessed with celebrities, but would people really pay any more attention to our presidents’ new strategy to keep troops in Iraq if information on superstars were not as readily available?
In reality, people would still find other reasons not to pay attention to the real issues in the world, anyway.
Hawkins, a communication junior, can be reached via [email protected]