Media Coverage: Syria vs. Miley Cyrus

Two major topics made headlines in the last few weeks: the conflict in Syria, and Miley Cyrus’s escapades.

From Congress’ vote on U.S. military action in Syria to the constant updates on Syria’s chemical weaponry, there’s plenty of important, international news of which all citizens should be aware.

Miley vs. Syria

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.


2 responses to “Media Coverage: Syria vs. Miley Cyrus

  1. I think this is really interesting. Maybe the media just isn’t covering the Syria conflict in a way that makes it interesting and important to the public–which I think is a part of their job. There are also “news” organizations that are not actually broadcasting the news.

  2. Hilary Abrahamson

    I’m not sure if anyone is to blame. It doesn’t surprise me at all that the general public is more interested in a VMAs performance than major political news. A huge reason that celebrities are so popular is because they distract us from our every day lives and all of the horrible things that happen in the world.

    I think that making political articles more readable might help. Articles about Miley Cyrus are littered with jokes and step-by-step interpretations of what happened. The crisis in Syria is represented in the media by serious news stories and lengthy blocks of text. Not to mention that a lot of people don’t understand what has happened that led up to everything in Syria.

    I also can’t blame journalists for writing about what people want to read, and I can’t blame Miley for doing something so stupid, because look how much attention it got her.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s