Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Sleezy Journalism

Heather Oard

Tabloid journalism is a style of journalism that tends to emphasize topics such as sensational crime stories, astrology, gossip columns about the personal lives of celebrities and sports stars, and junk food news.

Celebrities learn to be on guard most of the time and on red alert in certain circumstances. It takes a sixth sense to be able to out think a paparazzi or reporter dressed as a service or delivery person. It is well known too, that celebrities who badmouth tabloids or name names are punished for their indiscretions.

Tabloids spin their stories in the most malicious ways to do the most damage.  I cannot imagine being a part of something like that.  They try ruining some of the sweetest people.  We all make mistakes. None of us are perfect.  I was just talking to some colleagues about tabloids and how I cannot stand reading them.  We got on the topic of Princess Diana and how inconsiderate and nasty the tabloids were to her.  I don’t think I will ever understand why people are out to destroy others. 

I was really interested in knowing more about Princess Diana’s encounters with the paparazzi, so I did some research.  Some of the information I came across made me angry and some was inevitable to come out.  It’s just crazy to think of the lengths that some go to get “dirt” on people.

Tabloids went so far as to rent a submarine at a cost of $16,000 in order to get a shot of Diana lounging on the beach with a new love interest after her divorce from Charles and her divorce from the royal family.  She was considered the most photographed woman in the world during the 15 years she was prominent on the world stage.

Princess Diana’s life was scrutinized at every turn and marked by salacious stories in the British tabloids. The tabloids reported her every move and at any given time there were 14 to 20 reporters tailing her, something she, as a private person, was unaccustomed to. She complained to the queen who set up a meeting with the tabloid editors where they were asked to exercise some discretion and restraint.  To no surprise, nothing changed.

Diana was painted as unstable, dull, ditsy, depressed, and crazy by the British tabloid media. The tabloids exposed Diana’s postpartum depression, a serious and common illness among new mothers. They portrayed her as mentally ill and unstable. She finally spoke frankly about it because she thought it might help others who were struggling with similar issues and to know their princess was flawed and shared a “commoner’s” illness. The tabloid press continued to portray her as unstable and misguided even as she championed the causes of children and an end to landmines as a viable strategy for war and conflict.

Diana learned to trade stories for coverage of her favorite charitable and humanitarian work. The efficacy of this kind of relationship with the press is something most celebrities question. Many claim their personal lives belong to themselves while their contributions to art and culture belong to the public.

Here is a link to a video that really hits home. Can you imagine living the life she had?  Never having any privacy, not being able to go out and just relax, let alone having to think about all the problems in your life and people basically trying to ruin your name.  I cannot imagine.  My heart aches for all she had to deal with.

1 comment:

  1. Heather,

    I tend to look at tabloid journalism much like I do Facebook, it’s fun to read, but as far as believing any of it, no. I mean if I believed any of it then I would know that they found Bigfoot and his entire family a very LONG time ago. I would also take another look at some of my friends just to make sure none of them are any kin to the vampire hillbillies running amok around here.
    The sad thing is that some people believe everything they read or hear. As long as people with very little resemblance to a life keep paying for it, you’ll be able to read about real life Martian babies at the grocery store checkout line.

    T.L. Schilling