In recent surveys, nearly 40% of Americans say that celebrity news is more heavily reported than the actual news. And they’re not alone. People of all ages are in agreement that the media pays too much attention to Hollywood gossip and stories about famous people. In fact, one-in-ten Americans says that the news media has given too much coverage to the Iraq war, while 5% say the same about politics or the presidential campaign.
The film industry is one of the most popular areas of the media, and most people are interested in finding out about the latest happenings around their favorite actors and actresses. Celebrity news websites are an excellent resource for news about famous people, as they collect and report information about various celebrities. These sites are much more likely to attract readers than news about any other subject. That’s the main reason why news websites focus more on celebrity news than they do on actual news.
This shift in media focus from actual news to celebrity news has its consequences for sound policy. People’s perception of society is based on how often they read certain news sources, which can be bad for public policy. Similarly, news about crime and scandal is often reported more than actual news. This creates a climate for bad public policy decisions. So what are the implications of this phenomenon? We’ll explore these issues and more in part 2 of this series.