Arment Dietrich

Is the Media Only Reporting Gossip?

By: Arment Dietrich | February 21, 2007 | 

I don’t want to blame the media, because I certainly am as guilty as the next person, but don’t you think that when you turn on a news channel to catch up on current events you might hear about, oh, I don’t know, the recent merge between XM and Sirius radio, the 2008 presidential elections, or an update on the current war in Iraq?

But every time I turn on the television, reporters are discussing who is getting custody of Anna Nicole Smith’s baby or Britney Spears shaving the only glamorous thing left on her body.

Why are reality TV and Hollywood even more interesting now than where we stand as a nation?

Is our society fed up with hearing about crimes in our communities and turning a blind eye?  Or are we, as a culture, attempting to make our lives seem better by taking pleasure in the misfortune of others?

I know I’m ready to turn on my favorite news station and hear actual news without being interrupted by a news flash announcing that Paris Hilton is suing over yet another scandalous video tape.

Although, it is amusing that my 85-year-old grandmother can hold a five minute conversation about Lindsay Lohan going into rehab.

  • Cherri

    You’re right. I’ve often wondered the same thing. I think it somehow makes us feel more righteous that the rich and famous have such problems. Problems that we only know about becasue they ARE rich and famous. I mean, who’s going to care if I shave MY head? (Other than my husband – and he may not even notice – depends on the day.) And poor Anna Nicole. I never cared for her much while she was alive, but come on! No one deserves this kind of treatment after death – bury the poor woman for goodness sake, and get back to minding your own boring existences!

  • Arment Dietrich

    What do you think, as PR professionals, we can do about this?

  • Alex

    PR pros are the problem here. Iraq doesn’t have a PR rep, but you can be sure that Britney Spears, LiLo and Howard K. Stern do. But we can’t push for a new national news agenda. I think the same questions will arise if cable news (the worst offenders of the celeb worship, I think) focuses again not on important issues like the war or healthcare, but on product placement. It’s a cultural thing, not a newsroom thing. The best PR folks can do is to slowly shift focus away from influencers and back to real people.

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