1st of all I am very upset with blogger because it's not cooperating at all... and my blog list no longer tells me when/what you posted... so I am trying out this whole google reader thing, but I miss being on your actual page. For now, though, it will work. Anyway, I was thinking and I decided that from now on when I have nothing else to say... I'm going to post something I've written before. I was on the school paper last year (I was actually part of the staff that launched it) and so I have a few things saved that I wrote that are actually applicable (like something other than school events that would mean nothing unless you actually went to the high school I did! ha) So today, I'm starting this new tradition... we'll see how long it will last, because I don't know if I really have an abundance of things written or not. Anyway, today we are starting with something I am very proud of and rightfully so. This essay was written for my college, and it earned me a $5000 scholarship! The prompt was the effect that media has on society, and I decided to make it about the impact of celebrity coverage in the media. I wrote this in one day, then had a couple teachers look at it for me, and sent it in the same day! So enjoy...
Do you know what Britney Spears has been doing lately? Did you know Angelina Jolie is pregnant again? How about the latest rumor about Jennifer Aniston and John Mayer?
More than likely, 9 out of 10 people will be able to repeat this information before they can tell you the latest developments on the war in Iraq.
The sad truth is that in today’s society, it is almost inevitable that most people who keep up with news will be aware of the latest celebrity happenings. With the latest technology and Websites like perezhilton.com and TMZ.com are getting millions of hits a day, it is clearly evident that today’s society is obsessed with media coverage of celebrities. The message the media is sending by covering celebrity happenings is these events are the most important events in society, and young people are taking this message to heart, resulting in potentially dangerous consequences.
In 2007, when Anna Nicole Smith died suddenly, it was the number one story on almost every news station. According to Thinkprogress.org, NBC’s Nightly News devoted 14 seconds to Iraq compared to 3 minutes and 13 seconds to Anna Nicole. CNN referenced Anna Nicole 522 percent more frequently than it did Iraq. MSNBC was even worse — 708 percent more references to Anna Nicole than Iraq. Events such as the sixth downing of a U.S. helicopter in the past three weeks, allegations that a deputy Iraqi health minister was aiding a Shiite militia in its attacks against U.S. troops, and the death of four Marines- all key events in the war on Iraq- were ignored, or given extremely minimal coverage.
The message the media is sending by prioritizing a celebrity event over the war in Iraq is that the death of Anna Nicole Smith matters more than soldiers dying for their country.
The almost nonstop coverage of celebrities in the media affects young people greatly by setting negative examples. Drug and alcohol abuse seem to be prevalent themes. More and more celebrities have allegedly used drugs such as cocaine, marijuana, and heroin- all of which can be extremely dangerous. Celebrities getting busted for DUI or being reported as drunk at night clubs seem to be so common people are not even surprised anymore.
Eating disorders are also becoming more frequent among young people because of the constant, obsessive coverage of celebrities. Adolescents are being taught that the images of celebrities and models in magazines are what “normal” men and women look like. Actually, the images they are comparing themselves to are the results of airbrushing, professional make-up artists, and who knows what else! The media is also portraying the idea through the coverage of celebrities that being “fat” is unacceptable and ugly.
The media’s judgment of celebrity coverage is endangering the future of our country. If the media is too busy focusing on celebrity happenings, our country will become a bunch of uneducated, celebrity junkies. Is this what we want for the future?
**Note** I feel the need to add that I am in love with celebrity gossip... so this essay is somewhat hypocritical.. its just that for research purposes it was in my benefit to take the con side as opposed to pro....