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.