By Rebecca Fox
Throughout my day a couple weeks ago, I have been on different social media sites and one story seems to be all over the place. With the constant tweeting, posting, sharing, and CNN app updates, one would think it would a serious event in our country.
No. Not at all. The story that I found consistently at the top of most news outlets was pop star Justin Beiber getting a DUI while drag racing in Miami.
My critique is that media assumes what readers would be most interesting, and while news is a “horse-race” type strategy, there were so many more important stories that were happening around that the world, topics and events that actually impacted our everyday lives. Today, media is only concerned about their site getting the most ‘hits’ and competing with what seems most interesting by assuming the interests of all readers, and a majority of the time, this assumption surrounds celebrity culture.
I went on BBC’s site with the hopes of expecting to see some different things that have been showing up on my CNN app update, but was extremely disappointed to find the Justin Beiber story, complete with visual media, such as two different video clips. At the top, I spot Justin Beiber’s mug shot blown up. Below it has the brief details of the story but mostly highlighting Beiber’s run ins with the police prior to this incident.
Is this really newsworthy?
When did news outlets become so obsessed with pop culture? The only two stories that were above this story were the developments in Ukraine as well as North Korea trying to contact Seoul. This got me thinking of what BBC chose not to focus on. Even compared to the other pieces, Beiber’s article featured even more videos at the bottom of the article, featuring videos of his arrest, him leaving the bar and of him in court. Instead of showing bigger issues for other stories through visuals, BBC posted photos of Beiber’s Lamborghini.
So yes, my first opinion is on Justin Beiber, but it goes further than that. It shows how news networks reach within and assume what viewers want to see the most and get the most visual resources for that story, placing it above more impacting ones worldwide.
Do stories like this one belong on the top section of news outlets? My question to you is why do multiple media outlets assume that these stories engrossed in celebrity culture are audiences’ interests? How can we try to change this?