Monday, November 15, 2010

Should Journos Give People What They Want?

IT WAS REVEALED that USA Today has 27 reporters covering the entertainment industry.

They only have five covering Congress.

Is there anything wrong with that? Are they simply recognizing the fact that people want entertainment information? Or should they be devoting more staff to "serious" news?

By the way, does Bristol Palin count as a celebrity?

19 comments:

Brandon Baker said...

I hadn't realized there was a difference between Congress and the entertainment industry.

Anonymous said...

Wow . That's absolutely ridiculous. Trust and Believe I am very much an entertainment news junky .. HOWEVER I believe that there are other things the news could be reporting on other things than the entertainment business.

- Taisje Claiborne

Alexis Wright-Whitley said...

I do not think that there is particularly anything wrong with that. If I still get Congressional news, I guess I'm good. Nice comment by the way Brandon.

Kayla said...

The coverage should be equal, if anything. However, readers are much more likely to read a story about Bristol Palin, than they are about Congress.

Tony said...

it is the journalists responsibility to make the people care about the important issues like congress. From this data it is clear they are neglecting their duty

Matthew Ransom said...

While our government, ideally, should hold more interest than our entertainment industry, one must consider the size of it all.

National government gives us the Senate, House, President, et cetera. Anything smaller, barring a scandal, wouldn't be reported in USA Today.

The entertainment industry is wildly diverse, and all of it is interesting. It wouldn't be so bold a claim to suggest that every commenter here can name more actors, singers, and celebrity personalities than presidents and congressmen. That is not a failure of mass media, but a natural reflection of how much content can be squeezed out of our culture. There's just more to report.

Tracy L. Kirkendall said...

USA Today can do whatever it wants. I think having 27 reporters for the entertainment industry reflects the newspaper's format. They are national, not local by any means. It's not logical to covers state senators when that news pertains only to it's state citizens. National news is easily covered by a few reporters. Besides, USA Today wants to sell papers to get more advertising dollars. What sells more papers, Lindsay Lohan's greatest escapade from rehab or legislation for the improvement of the country? You decide.

Lauren Haber said...

I do not see anything wrong with USA Today having more media coverage in entertainment than the government. Because they apparently write about people like Bristol Palin, who I could care less about, I just personally would not want to work for that particular publication.

jeanette vega said...

I believe there should be an equal amount of coverage EVERYWHERE. If there are 8 covering entertainment, there should be eight covering congress. Even though humans have a tendancy to be drawn towards entertainment and the entertainment industry, these news companies have to stop thinking so much like businessmen. Something needs to change, and someones got to give, because the journalism industry is in trouble.

Paki said...

I can't stand all this celebrity garbage. I can't say I would watch anything related to politics, but I will admit that stuff at least deserves to be on the news. I especially can't stand those magazines with the pictures of celebrities eating and shopping "just like regular people!"

I also wrote a very short story related to this sort of thing as well check it out

http://standbyignorance.blogspot.com/2010/07/reality-tv.html

Nicole Patouhas said...

USA Today is in the business of selling newspapers. They have to be in order to survive. If entertainment news is what people want, then that is what they have to provide them with. As long, as they do this with integrity, and keep the remainder of us informed on the issues that actually have the ability to affect our lives in a real way..i.e. hard news, then it has to be ok.
As far as whether or not Bristol Palin qualifies as a "star", as suggested by her appearance on this seasons "Dancing With the Stars", in the sense that most of us are used to; I would have to say definitely not. But then again, how about Audrina Patridge, The "Situation", Kate Gosselin,and a slew of others? It seems that in today's society becoming a celebrity can almost be equated with winning the lottery, you know that entire "right place, right time" thing. Just look at how many of these reality stars got their big breaks. The vast majority of these people are not talented vocalists, musicians, actors, or even particularly attractive. I guess you could argue that perhaps they are entertaining to watch and follow in gossip magazines, but I'd bet that if you took a survey around campus, many people that you asked may feel that their own friends are just as entertaining as these reality stars, and the vast majority are actually working hard trying to get an education. I don't begrudge reality stars their fame. Like I said; its like they won the lottery. Who would begrudge anyone that? I do, however, hope that one day Americans will finally begin to look up to those who really do make great contributions to society, and just not to those who exploit themselves for celebrity.

Kaitlyn Sutton said...

Like we have discussed in class many times over; journalism is a business. USA Today is in the business to sell newspapers and honestly, in our society today, celebrity news sells. It is merely the idea of entertainment over enlightenment. The media ecosystem over the past few decades has definitely succumbed to the entertainment aspect of news.

Alison Curran said...

Entertainment is everywhere and this is what most people pay attention to. These businesses are recognizing what the people like and they are giving them what they like. The more stories they print that people are interested in the wider audience they will attract.

Bristol is not a celebrity. She is the daughter of the woman who was running for vice-president and that is all. The only reason people still know her name after her mom lost the election was because she was pregnant during the campaign. Other than that people would have no idea who this girl is!

Hanae Yanai said...

I am not an American citizen so I have not read USA today but as I learned in the class, USA Today is the one of the big newspapers in the US. The newspaper should be a newspaper. I think USA Today have so many things to write, instead of entertainments.

Kelly Offner said...

I think it's interesting that USA Today is the topic of debate seeing that in class we learned what and why the newspaper reports what it does: for higher circulation numbers.
It's painful to realize this, especially because I am a journalism student.
But the public needs to realize the message they're giving to the media when they choose fluff over serious news.
I enjoy entertainment "news" once in a while, but 27 reporters=rediculous.
Bristol Palin is not a celebrity, but I guess she counts as "entertaining" if you're in the demographic of people who enjoy Dancing With the "Stars".

my bottom line: I thought it was the PR reps./politicans/big corporations that thrive on distracting "we the People" from the truth, not journalists?

Charlotte Jacobson said...

It's unfortunate that this is what has become of our generation; that more people will read about pointless celebrity articles, rather than what is occurring in their country. But, as you always say Geo, journalism is a business, and if the publications have to cater to what the readers want in order to sell- then that's what must happen.

And no, Bristol Palin shouldn't be considered a celebrity. Her mother is a politician. And she had a baby, which she now uses to promote abstinence. How this makes her a celebrity, I'll really never know.

Nicole Riley said...

1: LOL @ Brandon
2: Since "journalism is a business" the reporters need to focus on what people want to make money. It is not smart that people are obsessed with celebrities, but it is how it is.
3: Sadly, Bristol is a celebrity. Sadly, people voted for her more than the Situation on DWTS.

Cassandra D'Amelio said...

There needs to be much more coverage of the important issues and less on the irrelevant. Talking about issues that do not effect the world are distracting masses from real world issues. There are tons of issues the media could cover throughout the world. Most people will never know half of the things going on around the world we live in, it is preventing journalists from abiding by their first principle- to present the truth. The media focuses on irrelevant matters that keep people ignorant to the real world. Instead of focusing on important world issues (like the war our troops are fighting, which is currently one of if not the longest American war) we focus on why more people are voting for the worst dancer on 'Dancing with the Stars'. Similar to how the majority prefers to remain ignorant on real issues, the majority of the people who are voting do not care who the best dancer is, despite it being a contest to choose the best dancer. The other contestants do not have a mother who recently convinced a large percentage of the country to actually want her in power. Its not a big mystery to why she is winning. Real journalists should focus on real issues. If they are not covering it because some of the information is bland, a good journalist will find a way to present the information in an interesting and comprehensive light.

Giulia Valtieri said...

Sadly she is considered a celebrity, but that doesn't mean people care. There should be equal amounts of reporters devoted to each sector and type of news, just as the Equal Time Rule makes coverage of politicians balanced.