Monday, January 12, 2015

Can Tay Tay Control The News?

Taylor Swift apparently stalked her fans on social media (or her staffers did) and then sent the fans gifts that appear, in this video at least, to be specifically and thoughtfully chosen for those individuals.

Is this news?

Is this video a piece of journalism?

Right now, all of my traditional journalism friends are scoffing at me. But think about what we have in this video: there is a documented presentation of the events as they unfolded, and the story is about one of the most famous celebrities on the planet. The video has received 15 million views since it was posted on December 31.

In the age of the Internet, when people get their information from a gazillion different places (TV, radio, print, online, etc), can anyone really define what is or isn't journalism?

4 comments:

Anh Nguyen said...

Taylor is marketing herself because she knows she's newsworthy. To me this is just a successful advertising video. She can't be called "a journalist"!

Delia Franchi said...

I'd say in this situation, yes, Taylor swift is a journalist! A journalist is a person who collects, writes or distributes news or other current information. Taylor is doing just that, she is distributing news/current information to her fans! Taylor is extremely newsworthy.

Devon Winterbottom said...

I believe there is a fine line on whether or not Taylor is journalist. She is a music artist essentially, and yes she is distributing news and current information to her fans, but I don't believe that journalism is her intention. Although if you really want to consider her as a journalist, I believe this is a really great example of nitche journalism.

Iman S said...

The only reason I don't think this is journalism is because it elides some of the rules and ethics intrinsic to journalism, i.e. Swift doesn't interview and talk to a large group of people that may be involved in this stint, and she is not independent of the subject portrayed in the video. She is an integral actor to this piece of media. Ergo, Swift's video is more of a PR stunt--even if it is sincere, for I do believe it's sincere in its gratuitousness and self-aggrandizement. But equivocating it to journalism is not only a stretch, but a disservice to citizen journalism vis-a-vis social media wherein people report on the event they're observing rather than making themselves the subject of the story.