Are Journalist’s today focusing too much on “entertainment” stories?

In his article, Learning to Love the New Media, James Fallows states; “that the media will fail too much of what really matters, as they are drawn toward the sparkle of entertainment and away from the depressing realities of the statehouse, the African capital, the urban school system, and the corporate office when corners are being cut” (100). Today’s journalists and media conglomerates focus more on ratings than reporting what’s important or even what’s accurate and truthful.

It seems there are now more entertainment news shows than ever before, most of these shows focus on either celebrity gossip, such as Entertainment Tonight, or shows that spread political propaganda, which is pretty much any show on Fox News. Jaron Lanier, author of Digital Maoism, stated “We have created a technology that has wonderful potential, but that enormously increases our ability to lie to ourselves and forget it is a lie” (101). We as viewers watch these news shows and read the tabloids and tell ourselves that what we are watching is important and that we need to know this information, when in most cases it’s just for pure entertainment. Even local news stations seem to be showing more entertainment based stories, local dramas that will draw viewers in; local crimes or court stories, or even when celebrities are visiting the city.

The fact that everyone is so connected in this day and age also contributes to the news that is being reported; with 24 hour news cycles, journalists need to have stories to fill in all the spots. Chances are that these “entertainment” stories are not going to be going away anytime soon and will only get worse; it’s up to us as the viewers to weed out what is news and what isn’t.

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