News tainted by tabloids


We live in a culture that is obsessed with celebrities.

Everywhere we turn, we are constantly being bombarded with celebrity news. Because of this, we know less about real news, news that affects us daily and educates us.

If you were to ask the average person about world events or the elections in Afghanistan, my guess would be that most people wouldn’t have a clue.

But if you were to ask about Lindsay Lohan or Britney Spears, many people would jump at the opportunity to tell you the latest gossip.

I find this disgusting and utterly sad.

This phenomenon – that people want to know more about celebrities than about our own government, the environment or even our own country – is the bane of society.

Even though it has become acceptable, as networks have realized that celebrity news sells, it should not be okay to know more about Brangelina than Robert Mugabe.

In a media landscape where news is pushed aside for the sensationalism of celebrity gossip, the essence of journalism is lost.

We were once able to turn to channels like CNN and get information about the world we live in, but now it seems like all we get are stories about celebrities – as if they were breaking news.

Even Anderson Cooper hosts a show on CNN that dedicates time to covering entertainment.

Not only are celebrities being reported on in the news, they also have a significant impact on it.

Oprah was an enormous force behind the Barack Obama presidential campaign; she showed up to major events and was vocal about her support for him – the publicity she garnered reached millions of people due to the popularity of her show and star power.

At times it even seems that in order to get the average person to support an important cause, a celebrity has to be part of it.

Leonardo Dicaprio made a documentary on global warming called 11th Hour.
He drew attention to the issue of our deteriorating environment; the same goes for Al Gore and An Inconvenient Truth.   

We have to ask ourselves: why are we so obsessed with celebrities and the messages they offer?

There is something wrong when we turn to famous entertainers for information.
There has to be a clear distinction between fact-based news that has an impact on our lives and celebrity-based news, or soon it will be impossible to distinguish the two, and we will forget which one actually matters.

Serving the Waterloo campus, The Cord seeks to provide students with relevant, up to date stories. We’re always interested in having more volunteer writers, photographers and graphic designers.