America fascinated with celebrities

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Picture credited to Ok! Magazine

Many Americans today care more about the lives of celebrities in Hollywood than global issues affecting people all over the world.

When major things happen in the news, you can bet that people will be talking about it. It will appear on social media, links will be shared, and conversations will be started. However, with the younger generation, what’s considered “newsworthy” has changed. Young people are no longer talking about what is happening in Syria or environmental crises in Canada. This generation is more interested in what is happening to stars like Justin Bieber and Amanda Bynes.

“These days, Americans and cultures around the world never get bored of dishing on celebrity mayhem and may even prefer it to pondering more pressing matters,” CNN Reporter Phil Rosenbaum said in his article, Celebrities misbehave. Why do we care?

What Social Media Says:

Social media reflects this truth as well. Stars like Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga generate roughly 49.9 million and 41 million followers respectively, while CNN only has 11.9 followers, and NBC has only a bleak 486,378.

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Justin Bieber’s twitter page

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NBC’s twitter page

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A poll taken by http://www.poynter.org

With nearly one in ten American adults using Twitter as their main news source, according to a poll taken by journalism.org, the question of what Americans consider to be news comes to mind. If they are not regularly following news sites, then what “news” are these twitter-using Americans consuming?

Why Does It Matter?

In an article for Southern News, a student who was interviewed commented, “Celebrity news is more like just gossip. People like to hear it to escape the reality of the news in the world around them.”

While following the mental breakdown of Lindsay Lohan may be more entertaining than learning about the status of a bill in the senate, the fact remains that the first is something that has no effect on the American people, while the second does. The life of Lindsay Lohan may be more interesting, but the American people need to start paying attention to things that actually matter so that they can have a say in how they live their lives.

Kate Niestrom

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One Response to America fascinated with celebrities

  1. schmikat says:

    Your topic seems interesting. It’s strange to think about how news has changed and what we hold as newsworthy. You’re right: our focus, for the younger population, has changed to the whereabouts of Justin Bieber over what is happening in the middle east or Russia. Social Media, such as Twitter, is geared towards the interaction of an audience. I would predict that Justin Bieber would have more followers than NBC News… but not by millions.

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