Two major topics made headlines in the last few weeks: the conflict in Syria, and Miley Cyrus’s escapades.
Meanwhile, between the former Hannah Montana star’s now-infamous VMA performance and the nakedness in her latest music video, “Wrecking Ball,” Miley is big news, too. In fact, Miley is bigger news. According to New York Magazine’s The Cut, “Americans viewed twelve times as many pages about Miley Cyrus as they did about Syria.”
Why is Miley making bigger news than Syria? And who is to blame?
It’s not necessarily the media at fault. Yes, news sources have the responsibility to report the truth and inform citizens. Critics might argue that publishing news about twerking rather than impending war is irresponsible — the media should push content about Syria because it is a more important topic. However, the same study cited in The Cut’s article states that for every one story published about Miley, there were 2.4 stories covering Syria. So news sources are writing about Syria — the public just doesn’t care.
Perhaps, then, the public itself is at fault for its own ignorance to international news. Understandably so: A tweet featuring a provocative photo of the “We Can’t Stop” singer is going to attract more clicks than a headline littered with political jargon. So the question is this: Should citizens hold themselves to a higher standard for what news they choose to consumer on an individual level?
For now, we can just settle it by saying Miley Cyrus is to blame. Maybe she’ll decide her fans have seen enough of her (literally), so the public can focus on more important news.