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Topic: The media increasingly features too much coverage of celebrities while ignoring important news stories
Continuously, vital national and world news stories are overshadowed by the latest celebrity scandal. This has been seen on numerous accounts. The news has become almost a popularity contest in the aspect that whoever is more famous at that given moment will steal the spotlight. I believe quite strongly that the media ignores important news stories and prioritizes celebrity news.
One example of this includes the death of musician John Lennon. Instead of focusing on the recent “threat of a Soviet invasion of Poland and negotiations to win the freedom of the American hostages in Iran” in 1980 they focused primarily on the loss of John Lennon (Rogers, 2010, Paragraph 6). Despite the crisis at hand with Poland and Iran, even journalist and news anchor, Walter Cronkite began his evening cast with “The death of a man who sang and played the guitar overshadows the news from Poland, Iran, and Washington tonight,” demonstrating this point further (Rogers, 2010, Paragraph 7).
Another example is the death of pop icon, Michael Jackson. Jackson’s death turned us away from multiple news stories due to the longevity of the star’s death news coverage (Marks, 2009, Paragraph 1-2). During the weeks that followed many news stories were covered up including Iran’s “monumental” election. More voters turned out in hopes that a “more moderate leader” would be elected. However, it was quite obvious the election was rigged due to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad winning when thousands began protesting after his win (Marks, 2009, Paragraph 2-4). But we did not hear of this uproar in the Middle East. Nor did we hear about a Yemeni jet crashing killing 152 people and leaving only one survivor, a 14 year old girl (June 2009 Current Events, Paragraph 9). And we didn’t even really hear about three New Jersey mayors and 41 other people being arrested for “money-laundering and corruption charges” (July 2009 Current Events, Paragraph 5). Even just trying to find events that occurred during the Michael Jackson death span was hard to do without almost every page during June of 2009 coming up “Michael Jackson Dead at 50.”
When it comes down to it, the media covering celebrity news more than significant news is just preposterous. How are we supposed to know what is going on in our own country and other countries around the world when Lindsey Lohan is caught with drugs or Mel Gibson is threatening his ex-wife? If we saved all our celebrity news for those programs designated to celebrities we wouldn’t have this problem. We would have CNN, MSNBC, etc. specifically for our much needed news and those who are hungry for celebrity gossip can fill their desire at the designated celebrity gossip programming time. In order to solve this problem we must acknowledge the problem at hand and separate the news to specific programming.
“July 2009 Current Events.” Infoplease. Family Education Network, 2010. Web. 1 Nov.
“June 2009 Current Events.” Infoplease. Family Education Network, 2010. Web. 3 Nov.
Marks, Haley. “Future of Democracy in Iran Lost to Media Thriller.” The Review. N.p., 3
Sept. 2009. Web. 1 Nov. 2010. <http://www.udreview.com/editorial/future-of-democracy-in-iran-lost-to-a-media-thriller-1.349733>.
Rogers, Tony. “Complaints About News Coverage of Michael Jackson’s Death Miss
Sight of What News Is.” About.com. New York Times Company, 2010. Web. 3
Nov. 2010. <http://journalism.about.com/b/2009/07/07/those-who-complain-