Do News Sources Have Too Much Celebrity Coverage?

By Erin Menardi

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By now you’ve probably seen or at least heard of Kim Kardashian’s latest self-promotion ploy: her “Break The Internet” spread in Paper Magazine. People across the globe have wasted no time making fun of the photoshoot, comparing her derriere to centaurs, peaches, and even glazed donuts. Other celebrities, like Chelsea Handler, have taken the opportunity to criticize Kardashian’s obviously Photoshopped waistline. My personal favorite is Buzzfeed’s response to the controversial photos:

While body image is only part of the issue, a larger part is the fact that news corporations have endlessly promoted the photos since their release. CNN, The Washington Post, and USA Today have all dedicated valuable time and effort for coverage of the topic. Not surprisingly, many of the stories and comments have painted Kardashian as narcissistic and classless, which begs the question–Why do reputable news outlets continue to address celebrity gossip and promotion agendas? Can news organizations get by with only reporting stories with true national and global relevance?

According to Pew Research Center, 87% of Americans blame the media for too much celebrity coverage. With certain stations like E!Online and People revolving their content around these celebrities, it seems logical that the more serious companies can afford to lose their celebrity gossip columns. But, as USA Today Life Editor Alison Maxwell says, “It’s the news outlet’s job to report on what people are talking about and acknowledge what’s buzzing in the world of celebrities.”

So what do you think? Is the responsibility of news outlets to cover which celebrity’s nudes are on the Internet today? Is there too much celebrity coverage? Can news outlets begin focusing away from these celebrity scandals without severe backlash from the public?

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8 responses to “Do News Sources Have Too Much Celebrity Coverage?

  1. It’s really interesting you found that 87 percent of Americans blame the media for too much celebrity coverage. I would think most people would rather skim a racy article about Kim Kardashian than lengthly, hard-hitting one about something like Ebola and global politics. My argument is that newspapers have to stay in business by appealing to a wide audience. And if the people want butt photos, it makes sense to give them the butt photos.

  2. I for one would not argue at all if serious publications didn’t publish stories about celebrity scandals or antics, but I do think that these stories are covered because, like Lauren said, they need to stay in business. On the other hand, I think certain newspapers also have a niche audience and a standard to live up to, and you want to know the level of writing and reporting you’re getting when you pick up the Washington Post as opposed to your local newspaper.

  3. I don’t remember the last time I went to USA Today to read about celebrity gossip, and I don’t think I ever will. I always stick to E! or People, and I think I speak for most people when I say that. Hard news reporting outlets should stick to facts not regarding celebrity news, and stick to serious topics. Sure people want to know all about Kim K’s butt, but I dont think they will get upset if USA today or CNN never cover the topic. I think these type of things get more blown out of proportion when covered by so many various outlets, and certain ones should stick to celebrity gossip in order to Izanami that.

  4. I think most news outlets cover way too much celebrity gossip and drama. I understand that they want to cover what people are talking about, but I have a hard time believing there isn’t more pressing news that could be covered instead. E! News and a whole group of celebrity magazines exist for the purpose of getting people the scoop on celebrities. Maybe if serious news organizations stopped reporting on people like Kim Kardashian celebrities wouldn’t play such a huge role in our everyday news.

  5. In my opinion, I think celebrity gossip sites should stick to celebrity gossip, and news sites should try to stick to more relevant news stories. I understand that everyone wants to jump onto the biggest news headlines, but it gets to be a lot when every media outlet is posting about the same thing. I know I got sick of seeing Kim everywhere, and I’m sure I’m not the only one. But, I also know that news sources need to make money, and if this will bring readers, then maybe a news site can do a story or two–just not too many butt stories, please.

  6. As a fan of E! News and People I think they a specific industry and niche that caters to this type of news, and that is something that more serious and large news companies should keep in mind. Yes, I understand that they publish those types of stories to bring in more readers and I totally get that, but I think if they want to write more celebrity stories they should stay pretty basic. Cover award shows, do some Q&A’s, but don’t cover the nudes online; that is a topic that TMZ and US Weekly covers.

  7. I personally think that celebrity gossip can be more interesting than hard news. It does get overwhelming when every news source is covering the same topic, and some with different facts. That is when I question what is really true and what is not. I do believe that hard news is still very important and needs to be covered. I don’t think it is the news outlets responsibility to cover nudes, I feel that they cover everything and anything that happens and that is not always necessary.

  8. I HATE celebrity gossip with a passion. I think that her personal decision to bare all is her choice and by writing about it endorses her behavior. I’d much rather read about interesting people and interesting cultures, learning something, than reading about how “Stars: They’re Just Like Us” and they carry their groceries.

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