News reporting is traditionally a way to spread the word about a current event or situation. However, the standard of “news” seems to be changing. With the circulation of tabloids, such as US Weekly, constantly growing, is journalism taking a turn for the worse?
Tabloids make their money by writing stories that sensationalize and, more than likely embarrass those who are in the spotlight. Are these stories considered real journalism? Or are these stories merely damaging the image professional journalists work so hard to build? Last year, film maker Chris Atkins, did a documentary on fabricated celebrity stories. How much of America believed these published stories?
A basic element of journalism is accuracy. Citizens look to journalists to provide them with accurate, newsworthy information. Printing these stories may be entertaining, but it is also giving journalists a bad name.
Politicians especially seem to be a target of ridicule. Alaskan governor, Sarah Palin, has been a subject of this ridicule for years. “News” of her false pregnancy and marital affair dominated the news scene in 2008.
While it is expected to tabloids to run trashy articles on celebrities, it is quie another for professional news companies to do the same. Many Americans can easily recall the Obama “mom jeans” scandal. Many weren’t shocked to find tabloids poking fun at the nation’s president, but CNN also did a story about it, having a stylist comment on Obama’s attire. How did the story turn from covering an event to bashing the president’s choice in pants? Is that really a story? Or just a way to insult the nation’s leader?
Where is the line between reporting news and just plain disrespect? Has journalism really come to dissecting the president’s wardrobe, of all things? Many aspiring journalists, myself included, hope not.