New Plan

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....

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Jen E said...

Just wanted to share that I am typing this comment through the google reader plug-in I was telling you about, so I got to look at your lovely layout, and get to comment all within ONE tab (or window or whatever you use) Seriously, if you use FireFox, I will hook you up, okay? I don't want you all sad and missing lame technology. You can truly have your cake and eat it, too, mkay? Stick with me. :)

That said,

1) I loved this post and your idea - I might impliment it one day with some of my old articles from my college paper - maybe - haha

2) If you have time, you should consider working at your college's paper - it was one of the best things I ever did and you obviously already have an interest in journalism - it's also another great way to meet new people who either work for the paper or are being covered by the paper for something. I loved it.

3) I wish I could say celebrity gossip didn't interest me, but at least I can say that my favorite celebrity gossip is usually about stuff that kind of matters - what charities they are involved in, what politicians they are supporting and why. Also I think the writer in me, is just a bit fascinated in the stories behind the stories we see in the movies and tv shows they act in, and the blurbs we read about online, etc. Stories fascinate me. Period.

And the real news? It's so depressing sometimes, so boring and so real. I do read the headlines from GoodNews.Org I think is their website, but they charge money to read the whole article which I can't afford right now... I also subscribe to MomLogic.com which provides a great mix of celeb gossip, parenting advice and the real news, which is usually the exact news I would have wanted to know about. I used to read other online news sources but found that MomLogic had the stuff I wanted to read also...

Wow this comment is getting long - I'll go now - haha

Monica said...

Thanks so much for coming over to my blog!

Very good post here, thought provoking...

Morning By Morning said...

Great Post! Some of those facts are crazy & Eating disorders are a serious issue.However~ I totally LOVE celebrity gossip too!!!

Dana said...

This was relaly well written. I liked it. I am not so involved in celebrity gossip that I watch the shows or read the magazines, but since a lot of them are put in front of me everyday I do read the covers sometimes. Mostly I just shake my head and wonder why they think these people are any different than the rest of us (aside from the money of course).
I probably could NOT tell you what's going on in Iraq, but I rarely watch even the local news anymore, it's all the same sad stuff. I usually watch more financial stuff.

Carol said...

Some very good writing there honey!

My blog list stopped updating randomly, I was not happy. But I removed it and went back to the old style boring old list and am now best friends with google reader.

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