Why is entertainment so popular?

In our first class the professor showed a clip that related to what is happening to newspapers all over the country.  It demonstrated how the news consumed by U.S. citizens is becoming dominated by the entertainment industry.  When Anna Nicole Smith died her death got more coverage in the news then any international story of all countries combined.  When Michael died it plastered the front page of every paper.  If a celebrity is caught up in a major scandal it is all people can talk about.

What I want to know is when did we become a country that cares more about a porn star and possible child molester than what is happening not only across the globe but in our own country?  We live in a time when entertainment means everything.  From music and movies, to sports and tv, our lives are dominated by the entertainment industry, but does that mean that newspapers should just give into the masses and feed us all of this meaningless information?

To my first question I would have to say we have been slowly evolving to embrace this trend of entertaining news.  Over the years there has been more and more emphasis on entertainment news as newspapers shy away from harder news, claiming it is not what the people want.  But isn’t it the job of newspapers to not only give us what we want but also tell us what we need to know.  It is a sad day for journalism when people would rather read about which celebrity is doing what than what our leaders are deciding for us.

Journalists are supposed to play the role of watchdog,  but what happens when all they are watching is entertainment.

I am not saying that all journalism is dominated by this trend, in fact I think there is still a lot of good journalism being produced out there.  However, if we know people would rather read about the latest celebrity gossip than who died in Albany this week, does it help to continue to flush the system with entertainment news?

This question looks at the importance of the influence of the media on our lives.  With this new information age we are in people are constantly being bombarded with news from the web, tv, and even traditional paper sources.  With so much information being thrown at us people are only going to look at what they want to read and not necessarily what they should.  In the case of the trend for entertainment news this means people are more informed about what Brittney Spears is doing than what are Senators deciding in Congress.

So we  must look at this trend of entertainment news and ask ourselves…what are we giving up to be so entertained?

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