The first and foremost task of a journalist, according to the journalists’ code of ethics, is to provide the public with facts. Facts are meant to be true. Hence, “gossip” does not necessarily fit into the definition of truth. However, celebrity gossip in newspapers that were essentially created only for news on current events – makes a great deal of money for the newspapers. This is because celebrity gossip is easier to digest for more people than are current events discussing terrorism and more terrorism. As a matter of fact, news on current events may also be far from the truth at times.
Journalists reports on the sayings of many people. The people whose words are reported may or may not be truthful. In this way, the news coverage of celebrity gossip is similar to the news coverage of current events. After all, gossip is only made up of the reports of people – reports that may or may not be true. The Star Magazine is an example of a publication that is solely based on celebrity gossip. On the other hand, US Weekly includes both current events and entertainment news. It has been reported that publications such as the Star Magazine, People, and Life&Style Weekly, have helped rescue the fortunes of print journalism.
News on current events was getting boring for many. Therefore, publications such as US Weekly also began to report on celebrities’ deeds and words. This change increased the sales of US Weekly from hundreds of thousands to millions in number. Of course, print publications focused on celebrity gossip are not forcing consumers for purchases and subscriptions. Regardless of their catchy headlines, they could never “force” DOUBLE CONSCIOUSNESS OF CELEBRITY GOSSIP consumers.
Instead, countless consumers are delighted to buy headlines such as “Brad’s New Girl. ” These consumers include young people in addition to women – the kinds of news consumers that do not show much interest in current affairs anyway. It is more important for young people and women to know the basics of current affairs. These consumers are not the kind to want to delve into current affairs day after day. Serious consumers of current affairs news are a different lot altogether. These people are politicians, businessmen, and retired individuals most of the time.
Moreover, any decent survey may very well show that these readers of current affairs news are mostly grownup men. Although journalists are straying from the truth by reporting on celebrity gossip, seeing that gossip is not necessarily true, theirs is a double consciousness whereby they follow their code of ethics only half way. The double consciousness of celebrity gossip is also apparent given that gossip is not always true, and the journalist’s task was first and foremost to report the truth and nothing but the truth. Even so, today’s media finds it necessary to increase its sales and revenues. Money making is in fashion.
The media cannot stay behind. Furthermore, the competition between print publications, television, and the Internet is intense in our day. The Internet and television are, in fact, prompter at reporting news, whether the news concerns current affairs or only entertainment. Losing its profits to the television and the media, the print publications had to begin celebrity gossip as a source of revenue. Besides, it has been reported already that the print publications are already regaining the lost profits, and also making a lot more money on celebrity gossip. This is, of course, regardless of a consideration of double consciousness.