The Miley Debacle

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Miley Cyrus has littered every major news outlet for a few weeks now. After Cyrus’ controversial performance at this year’s VMAs, many headlines questioned whether or not the pressures of Hollywood have affected Cyrus.

However, media has been soaking her up; every website has been relishing in the number of views they receive from Miley.

Journalism never has, and never will be about gaining views. Journalism is a way to inform the public and make major issues of the day known.

Miley is neither. The Onion recently posted an article entitled, “Let Me Explain Why Miley Cyrus’ VMA Performance Was Our Top Story This Morning.” Miley Cyrus was the top story on CNN.com. CNN is one of the largest news companies in the world that is relied on to report the news story of the day.  

Putting petty news such as Miley front and center is the reason modern media is criticized. Journalism receives a lot of heat and by posting stories that should be reserved for an entertainment magazine, it is asking for criticism.

Journalism is about bringing news to the public to better their understanding of the world around them. In the article, the author writes, “In fact, putting that story front and center was actually doing, if anything, a disservice to the public. And come to think of it, probably a disservice to the hundreds of thousands of people dying in Syria, those suffering from the current unrest in Egypt, or, hell, even people who just wanted to read about the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.”

Miley Cyrus has cast her shadow over important issues that the world is facing.

Unfortunately, journalism has become a contest of viewers. Who can get the most to tune in? Who can get the most clicks on their website?

By making journalism a contest, the current media has become not a rush for important news, but a rush for the most outrageous story to drive viewers to the site.

In the age of technology we have ever advanced the contest of being the best. Because of the internet and social media, journalists have been able to better reach their audiences.

Technology enhances our speed and outreach as journalist. The nature of the market makes us create unimportant stories like Miley Cyrus to help numbers.

Too much, nowadays, relies on numbers and how ‘well’ journalists are doing.

The reality of the matter is that ‘well’ is not measured by these so-called numbers and revenue goals. ‘Well’ in the journalism world is based on the impact that the story had on the world.

An excellent story in journalism is one that makes unaware people aware.

The Onion’s story simply highlights the biggest flaw in journalism: too many people are concerned about numbers rather than good journalism.

It is important that we remember as journalists it is not our job to please, but to inform.

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