In the first part of our series looking at celebrity culture, n2k investigates the relationship between the press, the stars and us.
In part 1 we ask, why are we so fascinated with celebrities and why does the press go to such lengths to report about them?
You can’t seem to open a newspaper or magazine without seeing an image of a celebrity out and about. The press respond to public demand and, it sounds crazy but people seem to be more interested in Amy Winehouse’s late night trip to the shops than what’s actually going on in the world.
Rightly or wrongly, the paparazzi make a lot of money on reporting on celebrities. They claim that they are responding to the public’s appetite for gossip and that the paparazzi and the public feed off each other.
Getting the story
However some high profile celebs such as Amy Winehouse are persistently hounded by the media. In these cases does the press go too far? Could our own appetite for gossip mean that the press will go to any lengths to get the story? Is this fair on the celebrities themselves?
The Britney Spears media circus reportedly makes millions for newspapers, magazines, and even internet search engines. Did you know she’s consistently the most searched for star on the net.
Fact or fiction?
Can we really believe everything the papers say? Reporters are often accused of making things up. In addition, members of the public who come forward and claim to have a juicy story about a star are actually making it up.
Even if the truth is eventually reported, false stories and rumours can sometimes ruin someone’s reputation.
Why do we care?
Celebs seem to lead such interesting lives, so it is understandable we want to know more about them.
Evolutionary scientists have said it is natural for humans to look up to individuals who receive attention because they have succeeded in a society. In prehistoric times, this would have meant respecting good hunters and elders. Today’s equivalents are our celebs, whose fame and fortune we aspire to.
However there are those that go too far and develop what scientists have dubbed “Celebrity Worship Syndrome”.
Recently, an obsessed Britney fan posted a YouTube video defending the star and asking everyone to “leave Britney alone!” He has since gone on to become a star himself, with a reality TV show in the pipeline.
We wanted to know how you felt about celebs and the press. In our current n2k vote we have been asking what you guys think about the Britney Spears media circus. A caring 30 per cent of you said leave her alone, while 34 per cent thought that she needed help. There are other people to worry about in the equation though, and 23 per cent of you showed concern for Britney’s kids.
Do you think we should leave celebrities alone? Do celebs bore you? Have your say in n2k’s debate.