Victoria Beckham: 36 secondsLarry King Live, discussing the Spice Girls. He is normally known for covering more hard-hitting news stories. Victoria Beckham is talking seriously about the reunion, and how the girls have matured. Is this really breaking news? Hard hitting?Anna Nicole Death: 35 secondsThey had to report on her sudden death; however it is interesting to look at the ticker and see that the terrorist alert has been elevated…etc. More pressing issues are not being covered due to Anna Nicole Smith’s death. This raises questions about budgeting the news, and how news organization have to try to seek a balance.Paris Hilton: 50 secondsHilton was firstly mentioned in McCain’s campaign. Secondly, her rebuttal, made for purely entertainment purposes, was re-broadcast on a major news network. Should this have just stayed on the Internet? OR is network news trying to bridge the gap and appeal to a different audience?
Here are a few examples of some online news outlets. The highlighted portions show the prominence of celebrity news coverage under the “U.S. News” section.Tiger.
TigerElton John claims “Jesus was gay” (under the “more news” tab)
Tiger feature – right under Pakistan news.
American Idol, Tiger at the Masters, David Beckham
Idol top 12, latest star sightings gallery.The Associated Press has even addressed growth in celebrity issues in the news. In 2008, the AP decided to increase its coverage of celebrity and entertainment by hiring 21 employees to work in three major cities: LA, NY, and London.
A study done by Thomas Patterson of Harvard University found that “soft” news stories, which includes celebrity news, have increased from 35 percent of stories to 50 percent of stories, from 1980 to 2001. Dean Baquet (Managing editor of the LA TIMES): "I'm not convinced there is more celebrity coverage as I am convinced there are a lot more celebrities."
Pew Research center statistics.Who is to blame? Is it the news media? Our demand for celebrity stories? Young people? The general public? “Nearly half of those under age 30 say it’s the public’s appetite for scandal news that spurs the amount of coverage, 31 percent say news organization are to blame.”
SAY: 12 percent of the American public said that the story was the one they were following more than any other.
During the Anna Nicole Smith saga, the mainstream media outlets neglected to inform the public that Al Qaeda had been building operatives in Pakistan that were steadily growing (Herbert, para. 7). Rather, the public was inundated with the news from the Anna Nicole melodrama. The Walter Reed Story: Walter Reed Army Medical Center: Soldiers at Walter Reed told not to speak to the media. Not allowed to say anything about the Middle East.Only CNN gave prominence to the Walter Reed story.
Although celebrity news seems to be everywhere in the news media, there has been some resistance by the people who are considered to be the messengers of the news (i.e. anchors, reporters…etc). This occurred February 9, 2007. He said later, “I wrote it on a whim… I realized I was watching three cable news networks doing some combination (of stories) on a bald singer leaving rehab for a second time and a dead former Playmate whose body is being argued over. I've got a world to cover . . . (and) if I thought for a moment that Nightly News was somehow depriving a yearning nation of these twin tragedies, I would rethink that decision.”
Mika Brzezinski (MSNBC): Resists Paris Hilton jail time running as the lead story.Play 31 seconds of this. Jack Cafferty (CNN): REFUSES to read LOHAN DUI STORY!
Celebrity News Coverage<br />“The boundaries between news and entertainment, and between public affairs and pop culture, have become difficult if not impossible to discern.”<br />-Geoffrey Baym<br />
Is Celebrity News Getting <br />More Coverage?<br />
What is News?<br />“Information about recent and important events; "they awaited news of the outcome.”<br />-www.wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn<br />“Material reported in a newspaper or news periodical or on a newscast; matter that is newsworthy.”<br />-Merriam-Webster<br />
Where is Celebrity News?<br />Victoria Beckham on Larry King http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62dKyJ4SE4E&feature=related<br />• Anna Nicole Smith dead death died News Report http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAEZFtIAvo8<br />• Paris Hilton For President Obama John McCain http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yzb9R9NVEtU<br />
Taking Priority? Two sides.<br />Thomas Patterson of Harvard University: Soft news stories have increased over time.<br />Dean Baquet of the LA Times: More celebrities means more coverage. <br />
Who is to blame?<br /> 87 percent of the public says celebrity scandals receive too much news coverage.<br />54 percent of people who say celebrity news is over-covered believe that news organizations are to blame for giving attention to such coverage. <br /> Young people blame the public more than the news media. <br /> <br />
Paris Hilton’s Jail Time:<br />- 4 percent of the national news was devoted to that coverage. <br />-12 percent of the American public said that the story was the one they were following more than any other. <br />- In the week that Paris was released and then sent back to jail, that was the #3 story on cable television. <br />
Anna Nicole Smith’s death: <br />24 percent of all coverage was devoted to the story <br />Media references on March 2:<br /> Fox News: 10 references to the Walter Reed story 121 references to Anna Nicole Smith<br /> MSNBC: 84 references to the Walter Reed story 96 to Anna Nicole Smith<br /> CNN: 53 references to the Walter Reed story 40 references to Anna Nicole Smith<br />
Brian Williams Resistance<br />“Viewer warning: There will be no mention of Britney Spears' baldness or rehab in tonight's broadcast, nor will there be any mention of Anna Nicole's 'body possession' hearing” <br />