Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Britney Domination

Imagine the surprise of author Jake Halpern when he was invited by CNN to discuss his book on America’s deleterious obsession with celebrities, “Fame Junkies,” only to be told he had been bumped:

It was certainly a delightful irony when, upon my arrival, I was told that my segment had been canceled due to breaking news...Britney Spears just lost custody of her kids.

The article “Bumped for Britney” published by the Colombia Journalism Review noted that according to Halpern, in 2004, network news gave five times more coverage to Martha Stewart than Darfur. While networks may get ratings spikes by flooding the Britney zone one has to think, “Enough already.”

Producers and reporters must inform and educate on issues of public relevance, especially since the public’s interest tend to follow news coverage. It’s time to remember as viewers we are not only consumers, but citizens as well.

The celebritization of news media is due partly to the need to drive viewers to consume advertisers’ products and services in an attempt to increase the value of their own advertising space. News media has become too involved in the advertising game and too worried about their bottom dollar. News and stopped being news and journalist have shifted into this celebriality where Britney is suddenly more important than the war in Iraq.

No comments: