The Problem With Entertainment News

Have you noticed the most recent news today? Have you noticed how much of the important news and issues facing society today are pushed more and more onto the “back burner?” This is because more and more the media is focused on the entertainment industries, rather than “real news.” That’s both the blessing and the curse for entertainment news today, it becomes good for the entertainment industry and bad for the REAL news industry.

What the major problem with focusing on nothing but entertainment-related “news” is, is the fact that our society is not keeping itself informed about the major issues and current events in our society when they are constantly bombarded with nothing but entertainment industry “news.” The complacency with which most have ALLOWED this to occur is the saddest part of this, because the average person no longer cares about major issues or world events.

And what’s even worse is that what television, magazines and internet sources are calling entertainment news today is no longer even “real” news, but merely like a constantly running gossip column. When the highlight of a news piece is what someone bought at a convenience store, what color their hair is today, or whether or not they and their significant other is having problems- that’s not news, it’s merely gossip.

Not to mention, whenever celebrities are constantly followed around by money-hungry gossip magazine photographers or constantly speculated upon by numerous different persons in the media, their privacy and basic human rights are trampled on. All for the sake of so-called “news.”

The average person doesn’t get their face splashed all over the media anytime they buy a gallon of milk, a box of condoms or get a speeding ticket- is it right to force that upon celebrities just because they’re famous and call it “news?” That is the biggest part of the problem with entertainment news today, things that aren’t really newsworthy are being reported and discussed as if they were.

What one needs to do, if they’re fed up with the lack of newsworthy reporting in the media is to complain to the media companies, newspapers and magazines about the lack of quality news that is being put out by the media companies. If enough people take the initiative and make a stand and demand better news and reporting, then the media will change to give people what they want.

If people don’t demand change, and stay complacent about the condition of the the news and reporting processes, then entertainment news today will stay as it is, and the media will continue to report on non-newsworthy items such as who ate what for breakfast, how much someone’s ridiculously large diamond ring cost, and who got a speeding ticket the night before.

Online Entertainment News

Old as they may be, the magazines and periodicals you browse through in your dentist’s waiting room or at the hair dresser are endlessly fascinating, especially the celebrity photos, news articles and entertainment issues. If you love following the stars, political giants, and the lives of the rich and famous, then getting the latest celebrity news is also as easy now as going on line. No subscriptions are even necessary.

Numerous internet, entertainment, and celebrity gossip websites feature astoundingly interesting photographs of your favorite people. News stories revealing their lives, loves and illicit behaviors make each famous character come to life and sometimes the pictures really do speak louder than words. Each publication has its specialties and its own editorial personality. And all the fun stuff is reflected in imagery, story presentation and the interactive nature of the website with viewers, users, and advertisers.

But it’s the photographs of the famous and the infamous in candid, unguarded moments that are the secrets to holding our rapt attention. Online entertainment news agencies have brought the evil paparazzi back into the limelight – surrounded by myth and perhaps unduly maligned.

The Mythical Paparazzi

What would we do without them?
Some of the most exciting features on celebrity entertainment news sites are the pictures taken by paparazzi photographers. The reputation of these perceived annoying invaders is well known and they have even been called mosquitoes because they can be so annoying. But it should be remembered that when we are enjoying the published stories and the great paparazzi photos of the people we find so fascinating in film, television, and news, we are actually enjoying the results of the hard work of the paparazzi. And many of the legends and myths about them can be dispelled.

Who are they really?
Paparazzi is an Italian term used to refer to photojournalists who specialize in candid photographs of celebrities, politicians and other prominent people. They are really skilled and imaginative picture takers who tend to be independent contractors, unaffiliated with mainstream media organizations. Given their more innovative natures and technical abilities, the paparazzi should really be considered free lance photographers. They not only supply their work to various publications and the media, but they are attached to celebrity internet sites or online news agencies.

Are they lawbreakers who are hated by the rich and famous?
Freelance photographers as a group are law abiding citizens and they are only permitted by the First Amendment to snap pictures of public figures as long as they (the celebs) are in public places. And if you think from all the vitriol that photo journalists are hated by their subjects, that’s not entirely true either. Most celebrities understand that fantastic photos will keep them viewed in magazines and entertainment web sites. Many actually welcome and even invite the exposure.

Do the paparazzi really hang out in trees?

It’s easier for a photographer to trace celebrities’ schedules and either beat them to their events or wait outside their favorite coffee spots or gyms. But, even if the paparazzo does not climb a tree, the job is still not an easy one due to hours and hours of waiting around on sore feet in either freezing cold or the hot sun to get just the right angle or to meet a prominent person who may never show up.

Do they make a lot of money?

If the subject of the news articles is involved in a big scandal or the photographer gets a great shot of a celebrity doing something really extraordinary, there might be a higher value to the pictures. Every paparazzo dreams of such a scenario. A posed shot is not the goal. The ultimate challenge for the photographer is to catch the famed in normal movements like walking down a street or drinking coffee, giving a child a piggy-back ride, or holding hands with a loved one. There is more compensation for outstanding candid camera shots than for anything posed.

Are they all uneducated degenerates?
It may come as a surprise but most paparazzi are actually college graduates, former photo journalists, business owners, school teachers, and even doctors. They are drawn to the field because of their fascination with human interest stories and the resulting combination of creative photography with expert reporting – tantamount to the perfect storm that results in truly artistic journalism.

An Interview With Entertainment News Leader Colin Drummond

Colin Drummond, the former Producer of TMZ Celebrity News is a leader in the entertainment industry with extensive experience in film production, prominent business connections and a penchant and knack for capturing the everyday actions of fascinating people in the public eye. Drummond is now CEO and founder of a recently launched entertainment news agency dedicated to distributing photographs, video and humanistic news stories about politicians, and celebrities in the Washington, DC arena and worldwide.

Who makes the headlines and how does an entertainment news agency provide up-to-the-minute exclusive video and photos of headlining politicians, celebrities and public officials? Dorothy Dutch asked probing questions of Colin Drummond to get to the heart of the paparazzi phenomena. For those of us who unabashedly enjoy flipping through celebrity photo stories on line or off, it can be even more satisfying if we understand the world of the candid camera.

This interview session is aimed at the journalists who give us our daily doses of unethical behavior, celebrity photos, gossip, news articles, and entertainment news even before prime time entertainment shows enter our living rooms. Drummond’s answers offer a surprising eye view of a world behind the candid cameras of the paparazzi.

Dorothy Dutch: Are paparazzi also writers or mainly just photographers?

Colin Drummond: Most are photographers or former photographers who go on to start their own agencies. They work at a day rate (standard pay for a day). This is known as freelancing. It’s better for them because they still own their images or videos. Most paparazzi are freelance photographers who work for agencies who sell their photos and the agency takes a cut. A good agency has a strong sales team and can get photos on T.V. shows, magazines, billboards, and even inside movie marketing material.

DD: What qualifications must a paparazzo have?

CD: A pap has to have workable camera equipment, knowledge of celebrities, know how to take photos, and be able to ask great questions. For equipment they need plenty of camera gear, a fast SLR camera, a few good lens, (very costly) and a HD Video camera.

DD: Can anyone do it?

CD: Yes and No. Anyone can get lucky and capture a great picture by being in the right place at the right time, but doing it day after day requires hard work and dedication to your craft. DD: The paparazzi are perceived as “pests” to be avoided because they will do anything to get a picture. Are they that bad?

CD: Not really. Those who have been in the business for awhile have good relationships with all the celebrities. They usually know how close they can get to someone or who they need to use their long lens on.

DD: Is it true that they will literally provoke a subject into anger in order to get a more candid, unflattering shot and if not, why do you think the paparazzi are so disliked that fights break out?

CD: No. Fights are usually initiated by overzealous bodyguards or hangers on who really don’t understand the business and think they are helping the stars out. There have been times when bodyguards have even been fired for getting too aggressive

DD: What stars and famous people have you photographed who actually enjoy working with the paparazzi?

CD: Hands down, Tom Cruise, Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Hugh Jackman, Larry King.

DD: Which celebrities do you know who want to avoid them?

CD: Gwenyth Paltrow, Scarlett Johanson, Cameron Diaz, Jennifer Aniston, Cher, Barbara Streisand DD: Do politicians on the Washington scene resist photographers?

CD: No, at first politicos didn’t understand the paparazzi game in DC, but now they realize they are public figures and since technology has evolved they should try to use it to their advantage.

DD: Is it different following high level political figures than it is to photograph film and television stars?

CD: Yes, they often look at you as if to ask, “Why are you taking my photo on the streets? I’m no celebrity.” But these days all politicians know they have to be visual to appeal to the younger market and to represent their districts. Some are even flattered that their constituents are seeing them in magazines.

DD: If an agency covers a geographic area like Washington, DC, do the paparazzi follow the celebs and politicians as they leave town or go out of the country?

CD: Not necessarily, but if a politician has a great (hot) story, you can bet that he or she will be tailed. The freelance photographer will pay for his or her own transportation, but if working with an agency, the agency will pay airfare, food and lodging.

DD: Are paparazzi invited to any major events or do they just have to wait around outside until all the celebrities enter or emerge?

CD: Some moonlight and shoot red carpet events, but the real hard core photographers don’t like these functions because they are controlled situations and the photos aren’t worth as much as candid street photos.

DD: I have also heard that they do not care about the laws restricting photographs of celebs to public places. They are willing to pay the fines in order to get great shots. Is this generally the case?

CD: This is not usually true because most know that magazines will not buy photos of celebrities in restricted areas. Agencies also prefer to keep their names in good graces with the celebrities and their public relations people, so agencies will not jeopardize that standing.

DD: Can you tell me about a personal experience you have had with a celeb that you will never forget?

Once I was working on Paul McCartney during his huge divorce scandal. As five other paparazzi where waiting outside his house in NYC Paul just walked out and none of the other five saw him leave. I followed him for about a block and then he stopped and posed for me, thinking those where the photos I wanted. I let him walk through Manhattan without photographing him and he went to have dinner. I just waited outside, and then when he came back outside, he said he had given me the photos so why was I still following him. I said, “Sir Paul, I am not taking anymore photos of you out of respect, but I am working on an assignment for a newspaper in London and they want to know everything you do today”. He started laughing and asked me what newspaper it was, and I told him it was The Daily Mail and he laughed again.

DD: Is there competition from the general public (with all the digital cameras) who are submitting great shots to various publications?

CD: Of course, but the difference is, the general public does not consistently know when or have the patience to take the really great shot. Sometimes you have to let the celebrity do something which the public is waiting to see. For example, a new couple who is rumored to be dating but they keep denying it and the general public sees them in the streets out an about. But, the best photo of them would be taken if the photographer knows to wait until they hold hands, or even kiss. Big Money Shot!

DD: Do you have a staff of writers to incorporate the news with the celebrity photos?

CD: Yes we have a few writers, and try to team up our writers within their strengths. One might love music and will write on all the musical artists. Another might love female fashions and would get that story, but most of all everyone is celebrity and political news clued.a

The Changing Face of Entertainment News

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Whether it’s the latest album reviews or news about the big budget films that are about to hit the cinemas, the landscape of entertainment news throughout the industry changed irrevocably in the advent of the 21st century. Though the initial foundations for the massive shift were originally put in place from the mid to latter 1990s, the full effects of the shift have only started to hit fully throughout the 2000s. Now, in the teens of a whole new millennium the move is almost complete, bringing news and reviews on demand and online.

Throughout the 1900s, entertainment news was largely the domain of print publications. Magazines and newspapers have been featuring the latest and greatest from the industry since before the First World War. However, it was the 50s and 60s that saw them come into their own, probably spurred on by the materialisation of in-home entertainment with the growth of television availability and the rock and roll explosion.

Magazines like NME and Melody Maker had phenomenal readership figures in their early years and newspapers like the Sun in the United Kingdom achieved much of their success from covering the more glamorous side of life. However, as the home computer took hold in the latter stages of the 19th century, a new form of entertainment news provider started to materialise. The internet became a phenomenon overnight in the mid to late 90s and as more and more people logged on, more and more people found their news from online sources.

Throughout the course of the dot.com boom and bust, websites sprang up at a ferocious pace to deliver the latest entertainment news to the masses. Quickly following these early innovators once the online phenomenon gained a little more stability, the original providers also set up sites to deliver their news and to promote their “for sale” offline productions. However, it didn’t take long for the masses themselves to realise that they could easily become the bastions of all things entertainment. Throughout the 2000s they simply set up their own blog or e-zine and started to log the news, web style. With millions live, everyone is talking about their favourite movies, albums and computer games from their very own site, interlinking to the more influential, bigger news sites, as well as the online, user generated encyclopaedic catacombs of Wikipedia.

The area of biggest growth in the online entertainment news world is the growth of video content. People no longer have to go to the cinema to see the latest film trailer or wait for radio shows to listen to the latest album reviews, they can watch them whenever they want, months and even years in advance of a release thanks to the might of the likes of You Tube. With more video content than Saddam Hussein’s eldest son, You Tube is the internet’s largest video content distributor. Entertainment news, reviews and info has always been a big part of online video content, however, the likelihood is that it will grow into something even more significant over the course of the 21st century.

The most recent addition to entertainment news delivery is the massive impact of social media. Together, people connected online can change the world, so something as simple as entertainment news was an early win for the social socialites. Whether it’s used to promote other online content like trailers, music releases or celebrity gossip, or literally just kids in their room tweeting about their latest favourite album, social media is one of the first places to hear the most up to date entertainment news.

As the 21st century gathers pace, the online provision of entertainment news is creeping ever more firmly onto the toes of the old media concepts. When people want to know what’s happening they no longer wait for the morning paper, let alone next week’s magazine, they just go online and find it themselves.