Too much emphasis on celebrities
By Paul J. Gough
Aug 3, 2007
NEW YORK -- Americans say the media is to blame for the saturation of celebrity coverage on TV, a new survey finds.
The Pew Research Center for People & the Press said Thursday that 87% of respondents said celebrity scandals get way too much ink and airtime. Only 8% think the media gets the balance between celebrity and serious news right, while 2% told the surveyors that there wasn't enough celebrity scandal coverage.
There's been no shortage of scandals to report on in 2007, from the death of Anna Nicole Smith and the subsequent custody battle over her infant daughter to the jail saga of heiress Paris Hilton. Despite the ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a presidential campaign already under way, celebrity stories oftentimes have taken over the news. Pew found that 24% of all news was devoted to Smith at the time of her death, while 12% of all Americans said in early June that Hilton's incarceration was their most-followed news story of the week.
The survey found that cable news is most to blame for the ongoing celebrity coverage, with 34% of respondents saying cable news had the most celebrity coverage, followed by network TV news (27%), Internet news sites (15%) and newspapers (8%).