Back in the day journalism on politicians was about what that politician could offer to the nation and not what he was doing outside of office. Journalism has devalued a politician’s true purpose and has flipped it into portraying politicians as political celebrities. Journalism has shifted in the 21st century from news to gossip and should stop deviating from political news. Take for example our current President Obama; he’s portrayed everywhere doing things with other celebrities such as Jay-Z, John Legend, Beyoncé, etc. It feels that whenever someone turns on the TV, instead of seeing what our president is doing to make our country better, we are blasted with the president’s personal life.
Rather than hearing actual news from “News Channels” it seems they tell us everything but the news. In “When Does Gossip Become News,” Tony Case writes, "A funny thing happened on the way to the newsroom, the news is not being reported." This adds to the idea of how journalism has shifted more to a media spectrum. When the media allows gossip to be shown instead of news, the true meaning of news gets re-invented into the ideal that gossip is news! Does the public really need to be aware that President Obama has decided to get a new dog? Somehow that has turned into something the public must be informed of. Rather than exposing this type of miscellaneous information on so called “News” channels, why not save this for the gossip shows and save the political news for the political analyst?
Some may argue that the press has the right to report anything under the 1st amendment. Now it’s not to say that they don’t have that freedom, but why is this type of “news” being shown on political news channels? Yes, news channels have the right to show whatever they may please, but at the same time one must realize what is appropriate for each aspect. Just like a firefighter and a police officer are both emergency respondents, a firefighter wouldn’t respond to a shoot off. News channels need to realize why their audience is choosing to watch their specific channel. If one wanted to get the insight on the presidents’ latest vacation why not look at People magazine instead? Journalists owe the public a level of respect of their interest. Rather than drifting from actual news journalist should try and make actual headlines about politician’s duties.
It seems that journalism has now turned from reporting news to the audience, into reporting entertainment to the audience. It has a lot to do with how today’s generations’ values have shifted. David Greenberg says in “Sex and the Married Politician” when speaking about John F. Kennedy and his sex scandal, “Reporters weren't covering up for Kennedy so much as they were abiding by their era's social and professional codes, which regarded politicians' personal lives as privileged realms.” Back then someone’s personal life was considered private and for a reporter to go and intrude that privacy was unethical. Once the media decided to focus on stories such as Nixon’s Watergate scandal, was when politicians weren’t only just politicians, but they now had become people too. Suddenly, a politician’s personal life was as interesting as his political policies. This relates back to how society has changed. People will rather hear a dramatic story of how the Vice President was caught cheating than what his foreign policies are.
One may argue that politicians are people too thus making what they do outside of office important as well. Also, that a politician should be a good person overall, not just good at their political duties. To an extent this is true. Now think of it this way who would you rather get surgery done by, a very kind inexperienced surgeon or a