Silly J.Biebs, CNN is for Important News…
So, I know that this post is going to completely deviate from the theme or form of the majority of the posts on this blog, which seem to basically take local or other current events and compare them to what we are learning about various political thinkers…but please bear with me. Actually, my original intention was to find some current issue or piece of news and somehow correlate it to our recent readings, which is why I was at cnn.com. I was merrily browsing through articles trying to find something semi-interesting when a title caught my attention: “Justin Bieber’s Troubled Diplomacy in Israel”.
My initial reaction was: “Umm, what? What the heck is Justin Bieber doing in Israel.” I then realized that he must be performing a concert there (which I later found out, he is—April 14th, in case anyone plans on making an impromptu trip up to Israel) and he must have been bombarded by paparazzi, which must have made him really upset, yada yada yada. I opened up the article, and I wasn’t too far off. Apparently he is very upset because he has been having “a difficult time in Israel”, and because the fans don’t seem to be appreciating his attempt to learn about and experience a different culture, or something like that.
Now, my problem is not with the content of this article – I could honestly care less how Justin Bieber feels when he goes to a foreign country. My issue is the fact that this kind of “news” is being presented cnn.com. More specifically, it is presented under the “Global Public Square” section, which is defined as including “insights and explanations” about “global issues”. This section is headed by Fareed Zakaria, who is a noted journalist for TIME and CNN. My problem is that such prestigious news sources are succumbing to such shallow news reports. I apologize if anyone is offended by my describing it as “shallow” – I don’t have anything against J. Biebs, but as I said earlier, I am not really jumping out of my seat to learn about his feelings. I am just bothered that a great news source like CNN feels the need to present such articles in the same line as more important articles dealing with Gadhafi or instability in Saudi Arabia.
Recently in my Comm 101 class, we had a guest lecturer by the name of Anthony Collings. He is a higher-level lecturer in the Department of Comm. Studies here at the university, who is also a former CNN, Newsweek, Associated Press, and Wall Street Journal reporter and correspondent. So I am going to go ahead and say that he knows what he is talking about and trust him when he says that there are such things as slow news days. I mean, it’s understandable. Something dramatic can’t be occurring every single day. Mr. Collings said that when CNN was developing (he was a CNN reporter since its birth in 1980), they understood that they would not be able to be able to fill 24 hours with hard news, 7 days a week. So, they decided to include celebrity news to help fill the gaps.
Now, I completely understand the need to fill slow news days with more “non-newsy” reports. I think it is great that cnn.com includes sections on Health, Money, and Living, for example, because they have to do with helping society. The articles obviously don’t deal with important news, but they do include information that can help better society. I don’t really think news about Justin Bieber’s feelings will have that same effect…actually maybe it would for 7-year old girls, but I highly doubt it would for CNN’s average follower.
I am not putting down celebrity news because, I mean, I’m a college girl. I love celebrity gossip. But when I want news on Justin Bieber (not that I would, but hypothetically), I would go to Perez Hilton’s website, or the E! website, or TMZ.com. My first choice would NOT be to go to cnn.com. I relate CNN to more hard-hitting, ground-breaking, world-changing news and was just disappointed to see it putting Justin Bieber in that category.