On Shooting Britney

I’ve always been uncomfortable with the way media high priests, and some lower ones, use Britney Spears coverage as a stand-in for all that’s wrong with journalism. Certainly the fact that she has remained Yahoo’s most popular search term for six of the last seven years speaks to the fact that her travails speak to something, for better or worse, in our society. David Samuels’ April Atlantic Monthly cover story on Britney Spears is a serious, if at times over-wrought, exploration of what Britney coverage says about the state of journalism gernerally and the “industiral phase of paparazzi production” in particular. (On the other hand, Ankush calls it “a rather dull story about a writer sitting next to photographers whose job it is to stalk celebrities.”)

(T)he 24/7 Britney-­Paris­Nicole­Lindsay­Lohan­ Maybe­Did­Coke­Brad­and­ An­gel­ina­Save­the­World­OneChild­ata­Time­Brad­and­ Jen­Ben­and­Jen­Poor­Katie­ Holmes­Married­ Tom CruiseWho­Is­an­Alien Celebrity Reality Show, was a distinctive new kind of participatory media experience… Online communities became gladiatorial forums where pseudonymous participants sallied forth to trade insults and shred the toilet-paper-thin reputations built by studio publicists and New York magazine editors.

3 thoughts on “On Shooting Britney

  1. I was also underwhelmed with the article. That said, I’m sure their news stand sales will be up 50% thanks to the cover photo.

  2. You should have seen last night’s episode of South Park. As always – they managed to take an issue (the media bitz’s around Spears) and take it to such an extreme that they show the stupidity of society – without blaming any one group in particular: That’s how life works – its a confluence of circumstances that has created the nonstop spears watch.

  3. Couldn’t agree with you more. If mainstream media grabs clicks from Perez Hilton or TMZ, it could only be good for reporters in the long run.

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