Celebrity obsession: Is it really news?


The story of Justin Bieber’s DUI arrest was a news and entertainment media frenzy.

From newspapers to magazines, TV shows to social media, it was impossible not to be bombarded with information regarding the scandal. Why is it that the story of a teenage boy being arrested in Miami is front page news for days? How has our concept of “journalism” and “news” come to focus on what many see to be an unimportant event?

These questions have a simple answer. Bieber’s story was such big news because of the size of his following—millions and millions of tween girls. As one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, his every move is documented and analyzed, providing whoever writes about it with a plethora of internet hits or TV views.

However, does every young girl in America being in love with Bieber constitute America’s most prolific and respected news organizations to dedicate so much of their time and effort to covering the story of his arrest?

Perhaps incidents like these are a sign of changing times, of our society as a wholes’ obsession with social media and through that, celebrities. Twitter has more than 230 million active users, with 100 million of them logging in every day. The accessibility of Twitter allows many users easy access into what used to be the private world of celebrities.

Thanks to social media outlets like Twitter, it is becoming increasingly common for people to become celebrity obsessed, particularly in the case of Justin Bieber. With almost 50 million Twitter followers who are quick to defend him — in the case of his arrest — or target his potential girlfriends—actress Selena Gomez received death threats as did model Cailin Russo — Bieber’s followers are an enthusiastic bunch.

Through our obsession with social media, we are cultivating a society that is obsessed with celebrities and “celebrity news”. This category used to stand on it’s own, differentiated from regular news. Perhaps now the two are merging. Perhaps, for better or for worse, we are redefining what is truly considered “news.”

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