The Camera, the Reporter, the News Room, AND YOU (or not)


After reading the comic stip by John Campbell, a reader can understand that it is referring to Michael Jackson or another pop culture star (as it states in the sentence following the comic).

While reading this comic, I immediately thought of the most recent death of Senator Kennedy. As you read the comic, specifically the fourth square, you know that someone is going to be on the television or in the newspaper stating that Sen. Kennedy was a great person and accomplished many goals in his life. This may be all true, and most likely is, but we must understand that if this event would not have occurred, then we would have never heard from this individual.

Now as we continue to read, the comic states that "someone will read from Wikipedia." So, I browsed Wikipedia and found the Wikipedia webpage devoted to Senator Kennedy. The key word in this specific comic square is the word "edited." At the top of the page, on Wikipedia, it states that the "information will be changing rapidly due to his recent death." This seems to relate with exactly what the comic is saying.

The second to last comic square talks about a "crowd gathering" and this can be seen, in relation to Sen. Kennedy, by looking on his tribute website. This may not be an actual crowd of people, but it is a virtual crowd that is already giving tributes to Sen. Kennedy.

And finally, the last comic square states "what a story" (Campbell) which sums it all up and this applies to any event. The sadness of Senator Kennedy passing can be called a "great story" because of the great impact that he and his family had on our nation throughout his life.

So, why am I talking about the comic strip and the passing of Senator Kennedy? Well, this is because of how the media takes one person's death and puts it on everyone's mind (front row center). Would you agree that the news should respect the family and their thoughts on having his picture and information shared and talked about all over the world. It is good for us to hear about him, if we don't know much, but the news seems to always go over board when someone famous dies.

If it wasn't for famous people, then the news would be even shorter in length. We always, almost everyday, read about a famous person or someone in government, but we don't always seem to hear about the older lady down the street who saved an abandoned animal.

So, is the news bias in what they report?

What is so different from a famous person that dies or a normal citizen?

Click here for the course web page devoted to Campbell.


It's true that the news is biased in what they report. Over and over, the actions of celebrities take up a good portion of the news, and, to borrow your example, the old lady down the street who saves the kitten from the fire is basically ignored. Of courrse, this is also because the general population feels some sort of connection to those who are famous; people feel they know them because they know *about* them. Right or wrong (though, undeniably strange) as that is, the news sees that and takes advantage of it.

Nicely said! I think that the news, as you stated, likes to take advantage of the opportunity they have when it comes to reporting on celebrities.

I wonder just why that is.

People seem to justify their answers when it comes to knowing the celebrities in person by saying I have lived through there entire career. Take Michael Jackson's career of being a pop culture star and how many people cried over his death and said they knew him so well. Did they really or did they just know his music?

It is amazing how when we study the news in detail we then begin to find the advantages that the news take control of.

Thanks for the comment!

I thought it was interesting that you wrote about Sen. Kennedy and you really did so much research! I didn't know that Wikipedia actually changed and updated like that.

The newspaper is biased in that it really only talks about "important" people, people that have been the center of controversy or the public before. The more controversy or minutes of fame, the longer the article.

Derek I thought you did a great job with this blog and all the background information you provided. It was a good step by step example of what the cartoon may have been trying to portray. I think Ted Kennedy was a good example to pick because even though he probably would be considered "famous", many people would know nothing about him because of a possible lack of interest in politics or their failure to keep up with the news in general. With people like this, the news tries to make big stories out of something that maybe isn't so big. Also, as with the cartoon, they try to provide a lot of researched at the last minute information.

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Derek Tickle published on August 26, 2009 4:56 PM.

Terror and Sickness - Topics of Dismay was the previous entry in this blog.

How much of the news is really news? is the next entry in this blog.

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