There is news, then there is celebrity gossip being proposed as news.
In a recent survey done for the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF), a majority of Canadians say the media promote such celebrity gossip simply as “click-bait” to earn advertising revenues.
In the survey Canadians say they prefer news over celebrity items, and they blame the media for “sensationalism”.
Natalie Turvey is the executive director of the CJF.Listen
The survey was done by the well-known research/polling firm Ipsos and asked questions of over one thousand Canadians representing a cross section of Canadian society.
The survey found that 63 percent of Canadians thought that what celebrities do in their lives is not “real” news but simply a ploy to get people to click on websites and thus generate advertising revenue.
The survey also said 80% of Canadians regularly follow domestic news, 72% international news, 41% business news, and only 35% regularly follow stories on celebrities, stars, and entertainment.
When asked if media coverage of celebrities is “real” news or merely sensationalized “click-bait” to get people to go to media sites reporting on it or to buy their publications/magazines, 63% said it was click bait, 9% responded that it was news, and 27% thought it was a bit of both.
On the question of whether it was celebrities and agents who initiated sensationalized “click bait” to get themselves or clients coverage, or whether it was the media who do sensationalized stories to drive people to the website to earn advertising money, most Canadians blamed the media (68%) while 32% though it was the stars and publicists.
Natalie Turvey says however there is a benefit to having Canadian-based entertainment and gossip media, in that Canadians get to learn about their own performers, actors, singers, directors etc. who had previously been overshadowed by coverage from the US of American celebrities.
She also notes the survey seems to indicate that Canadians do largely prefer “real” news.
Ms Turvey says the not-for profit CJF regularly commissions such surveys to take the pulse of Canadians when it comes to issues on journalism