Has celebrity news begun to crowd out legitimate news? Are editors working with a new definition of news that allows more celebrity content into our newspapers and other media? How do Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton find their way to our front pages?
One of the latest headlines in the Los Angles Times proves that Lindsay Lohan is one of the most trivial news subjects. “Judge rejects jail time for Lohan, orders her to stay in rehab” is one of the many headlines dedicated to Lohan and her reckless behavior. Is it really necessary to announce every arrest, rehab registration, or probation violation? While her stories may be considered human interest, what makes her court verdicts breaking news?
This fixation on celebrity journalism is beyond saturation and news value has reached a crisis point. Celebrities’ fame increases due to journalist encouraging reckless behavior not because there is a story that needs to be told to the people.
Youtube video from CNN (Cable News Network): Lindsay Lohan goes back to jail, no bail yet its’s announced as a surprise:
The beginning of celebrity journalism is often tied back to Watergate. An investigation involving national celebrity, President Richard Nixon, unraveled a web of political spying, sabotage, bribery and the illegal use of campaign funds. The investigative reporting by Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward of the Washington Post lasted until Nixon’s resignation. Yet this type of celebrity journalism was more than justified or seen as human interest because Nixon was the president of the country.
Celebrity journalism and the exaggerated saturation will continue until readers realize what they consider news worthy. So next time Lindsay Lohan is breaking news, one should ask: “Is Lohan a national figure worthy of national coverage or has celebrity journalism gone too far?”