Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Should Private Lives Be Public Fodder?

FORMER PENNSYLVANIA GOVERNOR Ed Rendell and his wife, US Appellate court judge Midge Rendell, have separated.

Is that news? Front page news, above the fold?

For years, rumors of infidelity have swirled around the former governor, who served two terms as mayor of Philadelphia. Should those rumors be brought to light as word of the Rendell split spreads?

Should the media report the rumors?

Are the private lives of public officials (or former public officials) newsworthy?

Is this a distraction from news that impacts the citizens of Pennsylvania, like the pending budget cuts that are about to be announced (because of the budget cuts, your tuition may skyrocket)?

Or is this information that people need and want?


Gabrielle Nichols said...

I think that this is "news" better resigned to the likes of People magazine and the gossip pages. Or perezhilton.com. Putting this on the front page makes me question the Inquirer, a paper I generally read and like. Whose lives does this piece of "news" affect besides them, their family and their lawyers? No one's. There are so many other things happening that much more directly affect the people of Philadelphia that should be placed in such a visible spot.

Aaron Stevens said...

You took the words right of my keyboard...and another point is does it even affect their careers? Ed did alot for the city of Philadelphia though his last few years seemed less thought out (putting it nicely). What about the deficit, tuition, crime (what happened with recent mob round up, that had to affect Pennsylvania)I mean come on!

crystal nyman said...

When looking at the guidelines relating to the newsworthiness criteria, I suppose it could be considered news to people of Philadelphia because generally people take INTEREST to DRAMA and gossip, however I do not think that a story about the mayors relationships and rumored infidelities are appropriate to display in the Philadelphia Inquirer, and surely not the front page. There are more important issues that are related to the upcoming events and decisions of the Mayor that need to be mentioned because they effect the people; his relationship doesn't. I find it annoying to see a respectable newspaper displaying itself as an entertainment magazine.

Anonymous said...

Like Crystal said, when we look at what qualifies news, this story has proximity and human interest. Obviously this is a story that many people in not only Philadelphi, but the state of Pennsylvania would be interested in reading about, because Rendell had such an impact during his time in office. People also crave drama and rumors and gossip, things that this story certainly has.

However, I am not interested and don't want to read about it. I would like to read about what else in going on in Philly and possibly read up on the conditions in Egypt, but I can't when ever headline on the Inquirer's website is about the divorce. It's aggravating to say the least.

- Payne Schroeder (J1111)

Chalie Robinson said...

I do not believe that this qualifies as news, that should be on the front cover of two Philadelphia newspapers. This divorce does not directly effect either Ed Rendell or his ex-wife's career. This topic should not belong as a major piece in a newspaper. This only diverts the people from missing actual newsworthy events. People in Philadelphia deserve to hear real news that truly effects their lives. This divorce doesn't seriously matter to most people in Philadelphia and should not be in our newspapers.

Richard Molinaro said...

I can't blame the Inquierer or Daily News cause based on our society today, this is the news that people want.

As for this situation, I don't believe athletes or actors/actresses personal lives are any of our business. But as for politicians, I think we have more right of a right to know more about them. We elect these people to represent us and run the places we live and we have a right to know who is representing us in office.

Although, Gov, Rendell is no longer in office so I don't think this is front page news worthy as much as it would've been last year

Sarah D'Agostino said...

Private lives of influential people are generally always public fodder. Although issues like these tend to get spiraled out of control in the media, human interest makes it news. The truth is that people want to know: did Ed really cheat? What's the "real" story, Midge? As an important figure of society, publicity-even in private affairs-is inevitable.

Sarah Mariano said...

I don't think so. I think the private life and the work life are two different things. But, for people who put themselves out in the spot light, they knew what they were getting into. For example, you see pictures of movie starts and singers on the cover of almost everything talking about who is pregnant or who is hooking up. Personally, I don't care what they do on their down time, just like I'm sure they don't care what I do with mine.

billydelion75 said...

This is a big point of contention for me. I believe that everyone should have the right to some privacy in their life. If you are a public figure than you may have a little less privacy but still there are some issues that even they have a right to keep to themselves. That's just me.

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