Why are people getting sports news from websites like TMZ.com? I watch Sportscenter just about every day, and every day for the past week the the same clip of Tom Brady walking down the street in a protective boot on his foot, courtesy of the paparazzi conglomerate TMZ. With the public's rabid demand for celebrity gossip and fast information we now combine freelance 'journalism' with respected, established news sources. The Brady link is from CNN.com, but it is originally from TMZ.com. How does the idolatry of celebrity clash with the demand for real news. In this very isolated case, wouldn't it be useful to get video of Tom Brady working out or practicing, rather than walking flowers to his girlfriend? As I write this, I am almost positive, without even checking, that within the headline list on the front page of many prominent internet news sites is a link to the latest on the death of Heath Ledger. Yes, he was nominated for an Academy Award, and some people think hes a real dreamboat, but how can that trump the much more real problems such as an impending recession, approaching presidential election, ongoing war overseas, crime rates in major cities, African strife, or any other real problems. It might be the public themselves to blame, as they would rather receive softer news rather than the reality.
Last year, a reluctant domino effect ensued with Anna Nicole Smith died as headlines and TV news promos were shalacked with the latest about her death and the status of her baby. Yes she was a celebrity, but did that warrant the attention it drew? Reality television and tabloid shows are more prevalent than ever, as are blogs and online chatter, so where is the progress being made? There are more eyes with things to say and platforms to say them in than every before, and I'm not sure if it's good or bad, yet.