Growth of Celebrity News “I guess journalists could argue that celebrity coverage is smart business. Further, I will stipulate that, by extension, competitive pressures provide a plausible justification for celebrity coverage — if I don't do it my competitor will and that will be to my disadvantage” -Jay T. Harris, newspaper publisher
Rise of the Infotainment Era Mergers in broadcast companies Rupert Murdoch bought 20th Century Fox 1989 Sony bought Columbia TriStar Time Inc. merged with Warner Communications 1995 Disney bought Capital Cities/ABC 1995 Viacom merged with CBS 1999 Reduced number of corporations controlling both production and delivery of media content internationally. By 2006 <10 corps (mostly U.S.-based) owned a large section of world’s media industries.
Rise of the Infotainment Era •More Hollywood-generated entertainment launched over news networks. • News stations hold greater degree of trustworthiness and therefore more influential on audience. • TV news has potential to create transnational popular audiences, unlike print news. •News part of corporate strategy and ad medium for infotainment conglomerates.
Rise of the Infotainment Era Social and political barriers to media development are hard to overcome b/c of people’s deep seated beliefs about important news. “It is also true that the public must eat what the media supply, even if the menu amounts to Twinkies, bon-bons and offal. It’s a chicken-and-egg question: Does society define news or does news define society? Do the media condition reality or reflect it?” -David J. Krajicek
Push v. Pull Celebrity news • Push model: Company pushes the content of product toward audience. • Traditional news outlets • Pull model: Customer ‘pulls’ content or product towards themselves, because they are interested in learning more about it. • Celebrity bloggers: Perez Hilton etc • TMZ • E! Entertainment
Methods of the Push model • Celebrity news when it’s newsworthy. • NYT: • Arts section: Minimal celebrity gossip, more reviews • Wall Street Journal : • Celebrity news only incorporated in “Speakeasy” blog • Differentiates between news and celebrities
Celebrity News as News ABC News ABCNews.com-Breaking news, politics, online news, world news, feature stories, celebrity interviews and more. Fox News
Alternatives? • Foreign news similar to U.S. due to mergers. • Makes money for news industry so other countries have adopted U.S. model. • People have learned to love and accept celebrity gossip as newsworthy.
Why Do We See Celebrities in the News? • Necessary? • Younger generation’s exposure to so much celebrity news. “I guess journalists could argue that celebrity coverage is smart business. Further, I will stipulate that, by extension, competitive pressures provide a plausible justification for celebrity coverage — if I don't do it my competitor will and that will be to my disadvantage.” -Jay T. Harris, newspaper publisher • Celebrity news then serves to bring people together socially and give people an escape from mainstream media.