Thursday, October 9, 2014

Can The Journalist Be a Beauty Queen?

A Tennessee news reporter competed in the Miss Tennessee USA 2015 pageant last weekend.

Does that undermine her ability to be a serious journalist? Is it acceptable for her to pursue her own interests in such a public way?


Maryvic Perez said...

Funny ! I always wondered this!!! due to the fact that ever since little I have wanted to be Mrs. America (lol silly). I always wondered how the two professions would clash. To come up with the answer, I always pictured myself in the crowd, what would I think if I saw Barbara Bermudo (Univision, hispanic news show) posing in a bathing suit, trying to be pretty. My perspective of her would drastically change. The thought would always be in the back of my mind even when she is trying to be serious. Personally, It would set a difference, a vast separation, a distraction, between the viewers and her job as a reporter of information. Journalists are supposed to be the face, they represent, theyre supposed to be professional. Her devotion is to the people, and unfortunately we judge. If shes willing to give up news for the pageant life, then yes sure, otherwise, it looks bad.

Anthony Caro said...

I think that participating in a beauty pageant does undermine Kelly Strayer's ability to be taken seriously as a journalist. Although pageants are judged on more than just a woman's looks, many viewers are only watching the program in order to gawk at the women. By participating in the pageant, Kelly is associating herself with the stereotype of the dumb pageant girl who gets by on her looks, whether that assumption is true or false. It is acceptable for her to pursue her interests in a public way like this, but she has to accept the fact that she might face negative consequences as a result.

Hannah McComsey said...

I believe that it is possible for a journalist (female or male) to pursue interests in a beauty pageant and still be seen as reliable in the profession of journalism. Just because someone participates in a beauty pageant does not mean that they are automatically superficial and unintellectual, although I am aware that this stigma exists among many people in regards to beauty pageants. I think that Kayla Strayer’s case proves that beauty queens can have a professional career and that journalists are able to pursue their personal interests outside of their jobs. During an interview for 6 News Strayer mentioned that many of the women that she competed alongside were successful in professional business careers, which further dissipated the stigma that pageant women are only beautiful faces. By competing in pageants, journalists can have an inside look into the pageant scene, providing information that can be useful for them in their professional careers, such as the ability to speak in front of many people as opposed to in front of a camera.

One thing that struck me as odd however was that when Kayla Strayer was introduced for her interview on 6 News she was introduced “beautiful,” as opposed to any other adjective, perpetuating the stigma that beauty pageants are still seen as events for people that our society deems as beautiful.

Thuy Van Dao said...

Parsonally, I think there is nothing wrong with pursuing different dreams in the same time. If she wants to be in a beauty pageant, that's her right. And being a journalist is actually her advantage. It shows that she has more than just a pretty face. She is also smart, and she has a good academic base. That's what all beauty contest is seeking for. So it's a big chance that she is going to win. And it won't undermine her ability to be a serious journalist. Her work life may change a little bit, but as long as she is still interested in working in journalism industry, she will be fine. In fact, she will create some impacts to public, I mean, "smart,pretty, and famous women" is a trend now, right? People like to see a successful woman, and they will pay more attention to her and her articles. For example, Emma Watson just used her influent to drag people's attention to women's right. She wants to be both an actress and an activist. And the whole world support her I think.

Faissal Darwish said...

I do not believe that the news reporter, Kayla Strayer, should be taken less seriously as a journalist just for participating in a beauty pageant.

Correspondingly, when informing the public about current world affairs, a journalist's job is to do so in an objective manner. However, Strayer was not presenting information about current world issues - she was presenting information about herself. Therefore, she could, and should, be as subjective as she pleases without any of her opinions undermining her ability to be an objective news reporter.

Also, it is definitely acceptable for her to pursue her interests in a public way as being a journalist shouldn't mean abandoning personal desires. If Strayer were interested in exercising, she may do so in a gym or a park. If she were interested in swimming, she might go to the beach or a pool. Such places are also considered "public"; the only difference between them and the stage is the presence of a camera.

Anonymous said...

I think this is a similar situation to when journalists bring personal stories into the media. Its not always black and white to what is right and what is not. However, a person should have the ability to participate in interests outside of journalism but a person needs to be aware of how they are going to be looked at when they are broadcasting the news the day after.
I don't see a problem with a news reporter being in a beauty contest.
-Lizzy McNeill
Journalism and Society T&TH @11

Dan O'Neill said...

Does that undermine her ability to be a serious journalist? The general idea about journalists is that they since they usually write, or report about most things around them, that means they are constantly on the job. Much like a cop, or a firefighter, or any type of law-maker, journalists are considered to be people that aren't totally normal, everyday human beings, because they are constantly searching far and wide for the next best possible story to report on and possibly make their name with. This isn't at all true because, like the people in the other professions I just mentioned, journalists are humans too and have their own wants, needs, and pleasures.

Another example to use would be someone like Cecily Tynan, the weather-woman for 6ABC who, when she's not reporting on whether or not it's going to be cold in the next five or so days, competes in charity events like marathons, or runs. She's a journalist who also happens to be a person and is willing to do whatever she wants, so long so as she's not working.

So, I guess with that said, then yeah, it's acceptable for a journalist to compete in public events, so long so as they aren't reporting on it. If they are, then not only is it unacceptable, but considered a conflict of interest, whether or not he/she actually wins the competition.