Discussion1. What does arts and entertainment news cover?2. Where do you find arts and entertainment coverage?3. How does it compare with general news coverage?
Arts and entertainment covers CULTURE!This type of news is focused on what society is interested in,including music, movies/films, books, television, theater, and art anddesign. It also concerns itself with the people involved in all of theseelements of culture, typically called artists, public figures, orcelebrities.
High Culture vs. Low CultureEntertainment coverage typically focuses on what is called “low culture,”more commonly known as popular culture. Popular Culture Cultural activities or commercial products reflecting, suited to, or aimed at the tastes of the general masses of people. Arts coverage tends to focus more on “high culture”, which is the opposite of popular culture. It is typically considered more elitist because it is assumed that less people are interested.
Arts and Entertainment has a “place” on all major news websites… CNN Washington Post Fox News ABC CBS
Discussion: Focus on High Culture or Pop Culture? (CBS)
Did you notice?• Focus on celebrities: popular culture• “Buy two and half men mug”: advertisements for popular culture• See arrow: One of the only examples of high culture, an upcoming performance at the Kennedy Center, has to be sponsored?
On CNN’s entertainment homepage, there are several examples of how popular culture is emphasized.
An Exception to the Rule: New York TimesMost news websites introduce arts and entertainment news as“entertainment” on their home page, as we saw on the slidediscussing placement. Even in looking at how the New York Timesintroduces arts and entertainment news on their home page (seenleft), it is clear that this organization takes a more serious stance onthis type of coverage.
Lorne Manly (seen on the left), the entertainment editor of The New York Timesanswered viewers’ questions about entertainment coverage. One questionfocused on how this news organization balances coverage of high culture andlow culture, and Manly’s answer gave a key example on the difference betweenhow this news organization covers pop culture in comparison to how tabloidscover it.
Dwindling Coverage of High ArtsDespite the fact that interest in high arts has not diminished, the amount of coverage ofhigh art has significantly decreased over the years.Doug McLennan, editor of the online arts news service ArtsJournal.com: “Dance coveragein most newspapers is very, very small, yet the number of participants worldwide isincreasing. There are 250,000 choruses in the U.S., but you wouldn’t know it by readingmost American newspapers.”In an article in The Seattle Times: “From 1992 to 1997, King Countys population grew 5.5percent - and the audience attending nonprofit cultural events grew 28 percent. Totalattendance in 1997, the last year tallied by the King County Corporate Council for theArts, was more than for the Seahawks, Mariners and Sonics combined. That doesntinclude commercial enterprises like galleries, rock concerts and Broadway shows.”Why?Since interest is clearly not the problem, what is causing this lack of high arts coverage?
Consumerism“The arts criticism in most national magazines, in nearly all newspapers around the country,and even in the arts weeklies has become shorter in length and lighter in tone — where ithas survived at all — and the concerns of much of the critical writing published both in printand online have grown progressively commercial: What to watch? What to buy? Is themovie worth the cost of admission? Is the book worth the cover price?”Alisa Solomon, the director of the Arts and Culture program at the Columbia UniversityGraduate School of Journalism, essentially said the problem is “the idea that anythingthat’s worthwhile pay for itself. In an environment where there’s disdain for expertise, andwhere intelligent conversation about a topic is considered elitist and thereforeoppressive, critics look not only dispensable, but somehow evil or wrong. Our attitudestoward the arts have been framed within this notion that they have to have some kind ofutilitarian or commercial value, and were losing our ability to talk about them in otherterms." Source
News vs. Entertainment“News content tends to be studied apart from entertainment content. Yet, the linebetween the two forms is increasingly blurred.” -Rebecca Ann Lind and David L. Rarick in the Journal of Mass Media Ethics Source: Mass Communication and Society
Newsworthiness and Demand• “[N]ews about the war in Iraq rests firmly at the top, and…a diversity of news material is important to audiences…news media have a responsibility to provide audiences not only with what they need, but what they want” (627).• What do audiences want? A spectrum of news that includes everything from politics to celebrity gossip. Arts and entertainment coverage provides a relief from more serious news topics.
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