Should the media focus less on celebrity news?

Over the past decade, celebrity news has become more widespread. With the rise of TikTok, Instagram, and other social media, more little-known stars and some formerly unknown individuals have become overnight sensations and household names. News stations such as CNN, Fox News, and others are using a lot of their time and resources to update their viewers on the lives of these celebrities.

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While some may say that this is good for younger people looking to achieve their dreams of becoming “stars,” that celebrity news is overtaking traditional news in importance is concerning. A study done by the Pew Research Center shows that 40% of the public believes celebrity news is given too much attention. This is because while celebrity news can be entertaining, amusing, and even somewhat relevant, most of what is distributed is plain gossip.

There are quite a few differences between gossip and actual news. According to the Dictionary, “News is newly received and noteworthy information, especially about recent and important information.” Journalists, whose job is to provide news, use seven elements to determine newsworthiness: “impact, timeliness, proximity, human interest, conflict, bizarreness, and celebrity.” Thus, news events cover various topics and events meant to inform viewers of the ongoings of the world and help them live their daily lives.

Why is a celebrity considered newsworthy? It all began with gossip columns, which were first introduced when the printing press and mass printing came around. During the 18th century, the first actual spread of gossip was seen widely throughout Europe. As demonstrated in the series Bridgerton, gossip within newspapers, magazines, and pamphlets was a common way to update regular individuals on the lives of politicians and other “famous” individuals. Since then, gossip has evolved into what it is today: a way for ordinary people to update themselves on the lives of people they look up to or view as famous.

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Everyone has their own belief about what they think should be on the news. While some say that important political topics, global issues, and updates on America’s status are very newsworthy, others believe that more attention should be placed on information that helps them live their daily lives.

No matter what you think should be covered on the news, it can be universally agreed upon that the news should inform its viewers and educate them on current events. Even though an argument can be made that focusing on celebrities can bring new topics and information to light, it is safe to say that celebrity news should not be the primary focus of mainstream and more prominent news channels.

Elan Amienyi is a sophomore member of The Quill. This is his first published piece.