Blog #2

How The Media Treated Whitney Houston’s Death

My first essay is based upon the death of singer, actress, model, and producer Whitney Houston. However, I wanted to write a separate blog about the topic. When she died in February 2012, the media had a field day(s) with it, as they do whenever a celebrity or public figure passes away. When Whitney was alive, it was no secret that she had her ups and downs, her struggles and triumphs, especially when it came to substance abuse. Throughout her life and career, the media (specifically the mediums of newspaper, magazines, and television news) continuously felt the need to report about her troubles more so than they did the positive aspects of her life, enforcing the concept of Yellow Journalism; journalism that is based upon sensationalism and crude exaggeration.

The reason for this type of reporting and this type of journalism was to satisfy the public’s desire and pleasures to these kinds of news. The newspapers and magazines knew that they would sell more copies if news like Whitney Houston’s struggles and subsequent death were featured inside. The television news stations knew that they would most likely receive the highest ratings if they featured a story on her. Which brings me to my question of: is society’s (especially in countries like the United States) main concern are for stories based on the trials and tribulations of celebrities and public figures more than stories that could be considered important such as violence in our local neighborhoods or the government?

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3 thoughts on “Blog #2

  1. I agree with you, I feel that reports and journalism is to satisfy the peoples desire of celebrity news and what makes it sad is that people are so caught up in reporting celebrity news that they forget about whats really going on in the world. I also feel that certain journalists manipulate certain truths to get more ratings. I believe that society main concern is to produce news based on the life of celebrities and public figures. I say this because society today would know more about a celebrity life rather than current events that goes on in the world. individuals in society today are more concerned with celebrities life rather than what is affecting their life. For example : people know more about the Kardashians rather than the presidential election. Society today is more concerned about money and what the people want to know instead of what they need to know.

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  2. Mass media will always report what they think will appeal to the public regardless of the damage it may cause the person being reported on. Personally, I felt the same way you feel in regards to the portrayal of the life of Michael Jackson. For the later part of his days, he was always criticized about his attire and was called “wacko Jacko.” To my surprise, when he passed the same mediums (tv channels, newspaper) reported he was the best of all times.By no means am I saying the different mediums are only report negative things. However, a lot of the things they report can be damaging to one’s character. To answer you question, I don’t think the media necessarily agree that reporting about celebrities trials and tribulations but us readers are the ones who reads/watches the materials giving them higher ratings on celebrity gossip, therefore thats what they report on. Remember, they are in competition with each other so whatever stories that can tell to increase ratings, thy will do it. The only way news about celebrities can become irrelevant is if we stop indulging in the provided gossip every time a medium publishes something.

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  3. Whitney Houston’s death was tragic and we saw a star that accomplished so much in her life end tragically. There was more negativity in response to Whitney’s death from what I saw, notably people bringing up her past drug issues and volatile relationship with bobby brown. For my first essay I chose a different topic but I too was going to write about how the media covered Robin Williams’s death. Like Whitney the news surrounding his passing was filled with praise of the joy he brought to many households and to different generations but also scandal and hurtful articles regarded his struggles with drugs and mental illness.
    You’re absolutely right; the public loves to read about that nasty secrets that often deter from the illuminating individuals they once were. Although they are celebrities’ people often forget that they are humans just like us, but when it comes to selling magazines that doesn’t matter unfortunately. The death of Robin Williams affected me on such a deep personal level, because he helped me get through many of the darkest times in my life because of his talent and ability to touch people. He was our funny “uncle”. It’s unfair that even in death people can never rest peacefully.
    I don’t think it’s there main concern but my own personal opinion as to why stories of celebrities can per capita violence in neighborhoods is the distinction between reality and fantasy. Music, movies, art in all forms is a way of escape from the troubles and such going on in your life. That’s why we consume so much of it, that’s why we mourn the loss of these individuals that we don’t know as if they were our family and take insult when they are attacked. The world stood still when 9/11 happened, you can recall exactly and remember where you were at that exact moment the towers were hit. I believe the same can be applied to when a popular public figure was found dead, at least I can recall the exact moment and time and place I heard about the passing of specific figures. I don’t think it’s a competition though, crime and governmental issues are covered daily on the news and news papers – thus I don’t think its society’s main concern when a public figure dies, but it does change the tide of what is covered everyday, but its society’s concern for a substantial amount of time.

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