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Liveblog Debate: Should the media stop covering celebrity news?

DigitalJournal.com’s Liveblog Debate wondered about the news value of reporting on celebrities. Should journalists cover celeb news at all? Do you think this kind of entertainment news is important? Read the liveblog transcript.

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When the media covers celebrities, some people decry it as “fluff” and insignificant reporting, while others gobble up the tabloids in droves. Reporting on A-listers has always been common practice for journalists, and we’ve all seen the glut of celebrity news following Michael Jackson’s death.

But some outlets are trying to limit the celeb coverage they publish. Earlier this year, Newsweek announced a new editorial direction: Kathleen Deveneny, the assistant managing editor, said, “One thing you’ll find less of: celebrity news. Our research told us you didn’t want it, which is a relief since we were doing it only because we thought we had to.”

Interesting, considering Newsweek then published stories on Stephen Colbert, Oprah and Michael Jackson.

Critics point out reporting on celebrities may squeeze out valuable stories from a broadcast or newspaper. Telling us about the latest rapper beef or what Entourage star is mouthing off doesn’t offer the public any social good, they claim.

Supporters of celeb news can simply point to PerezHilton.com and say, “10.5 million readers every month can’t be wrong.” The top-ranking magazines by circulation are often tabloid magazines such as Us Weekly.

Actors and singers are part of our lives, whether we admit it or not, they say. Shouldn’t news affecting celebrities be included in our daily media diet? Today, we want to hear what you think about this issue. Do you think celeb news shouldn’t be covered at all in newspapers, radio and TV broadcasts and on news sites? Or do you want news on celebrities to remain part of daily coverage?

The liveblog is now over, but hover over the widget below to replay it in full and find out what people had to say.

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