Is there no escaping the celebrity news?

Last weekend saw the first Bank holiday of the summer and had everything one can expect from arguably the busiest of the year including a heat wave, Dublin senior footballers making their way to a Leinster Semi Final and bucket loads of celebrity gossip and news. I can imagine there were very few people who would dispute the phenomenal weather the weekend brought, or the win Dublin took over Laois (non-Dublin supporters obviously might!) but the most talked about news was undoubtedly in regards to Britain’s Got Talent, Cheryl Cole getting dropped from X Factor USA or Ryan Giggs infidelity that just won’t go away!

It got me thinking about pop culture, particularly the celebrity gossip and how it’s next to impossible to escape from. Fair enough if you want to see who is rigged to win the endless competitive reality shows or Cheryl Cole in tears over her apparent endless misfortunes there are options available to the consumer in the form of magazines like Heat or Now and tabloid newspapers like the Sun or the Mirror. Is it possible to pick up a newspaper these days and not see a front page headline regarding cheating footballers and distraught celebrities?

Take the Financial Times, a daily broadsheet international business newspaper with a weekly weekend edition, with readers said to be of a more ‘educated’ calibre. FT online states that over 1.3 million people in 140 countries count on the paper to keep them informed about global business, economics and politics. Just over a week ago, Lady Gaga graced the cover of not only the FT Weekend Magazine, but also the actual broadsheet cover, creating some controversy as to whether it was in sync with usual FT content. The Sunday Business Post at the weekend had an interesting article in regards to the Financial Times having an op-ed piece about Cheryl Cole’s career woes in it’s actual newspaper the previous Tuesday. Describing it as ‘surprising’, the Sunday Business Post went on to point out the increase in tabloid-style celebrity stories into the broadsheet paper.

The Financial Times is certainly not the first broadsheet newspaper to show continuing interest in celebrity news. The Guardian archive has over 1,000 articles citing Cheryl Cole, mostly filed under the category of ‘‘culture’’. Last week, the second-most read story on the online Guardian website was about ‘funny women existing in films’. During X Factor mania last year, the Irish Times dedicated a large section of the Saturday review to the show and it’s contestants, judges and ratings. More recently, an article about Irish model-turned-presenter Glenda Gilson possibly facing jail time appeared in close proximity to the continuing and total job loss in Ireland to date. Whatever spin or opinions the paper had on the ‘celeb’ based topic, it was still coverage that may or may not have fit into the newspaper.

So, with that being said, do the idea of articles on the ‘celebrity world’ really have a place in broadsheet newspapers? When the devoted FT or Guardian reader purchases their daily newspaper they are expecting purely business, financial and political world news and when celebrity news appears in amongst this is there appears to be no escape. Perhaps the readers of broadsheets have a genuine interest in Lady Gaga’s career, where it’s headed and where Cheryl Cole’s is not. So it makes me wonder is there no escape from the world of showbiz gossip or is the celeb news a nice distraction from all the business, economy and politics?

Posted by Carlene

2 Responses to “Is there no escaping the celebrity news?”
  1. Neasa says:

    Interesting debating point. I’m a big fan of culture, pop or otherwise, so don’t find it offensive to see it in the broadsheet pages, though I can imagine others might do. I can see their point if the serious newspapers are covering things like Cheryl Cole’s fall from grace which has no reprecussions beyond her own career.

    Lady GaGa on the other hand I would see as a very different matter. If you’re interested in business, you absolutely need to be up to speed on what Lady GaGa is doing. She should be of interest to anyone who is interested in the future of the entertainment business, the future of marketing, the future of media and the future of political influence.

  2. Bryan says:

    Yeah, I believe Lady Gaga is not much of a surprise to be seen in a business magazine. I mean, check out how she’s making the money nowadays. I bet she also has her own marketing strategies.

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