by / February 7th, 2008 /

Tabloid Hell

Tabloid Hell

For those operating in the world of tabloid journalism, the last few weeks in the world of music have been manna from heaven. Seldom have so many pop stars slide into the world of disaster at the same time – from Amy and her drug dabbling, Cheryl and her errant husband (pop and football – result) and Britney and, well, everything. It’s been a field day of salacious headlines, sneaky videos, paparazzi pics and bullshit moralising from editors who condemn on one hand while counting watching their readership figures tick over. Should we care? Surely this is just the pop publicity machine getting its just desserts?

Well possibly, but the basic human angle aside – and the shots of Spears slumped desolately on the kerb are heartbreaking, pure and simple – so what if it is just only -pop music’? Pop has been what has made music so essential for fifty years now, has been the lifeblood of the art form. Yes it can be disposable, manufactured and often rubbish but at its best it is beautiful, inspiring and timeless.

Take a step back and everything merges into one anyway – the Beatles, the Stones, Sex Pistols, Human League, Blur, Spice Girls and Arctic Monkeys; all just a (pop) band. If ‘Umbrella‘, ‘Call The Shots‘, ‘Wannabe‘ and the rest haven’t made your life better then you’re either a liar, a fool or a Pitchfork reader.

Music matters and it deserves better than to be relegated to nothing more than cheap titillation and a way to sell papers and magazines. Luckily the Irish media don’t really have any proper pop stars to get excited about (one of today’s papers has a front page story about some girl off –You’re A Star‘ and her “club catfight”) but it doesn’t stop them jumping on the bandwagon with the international stars.

You can write about this kind of music without checking your brain cells in at the door and the readers can demonstrate that they are capable of thinking about things in a different way. It’s up to all of us to make stand.

  • Joe

    Good point but some media circles in Ireland are itching to move to this kind of society. Look at Expose on TV3 and the coverage Katy French’s death received.
    It’s a circle that wont stop – people will buy the tabloids and gossip magazines regardless of what’s in them and media circles will continue to use this as justification for harassing artists or even attention seeking flavour-of-the-month ‘celebrities’.
    It’s lazy journalism, easy to do – point the camera at someone in distress, write of their ‘hell’ and include a quote from a ‘close friend’.
    The thing is that the people who subscribe to this form of media do so almost out of habit, and the media dictate to these people what is worthy of their attention.

    I say ‘these media’ but in all honesty we’re all the same. Those of us who, for example, read music media are told about prominent new artists and are impressed to give them our time. Granted, this is more subjective, and we make our own minds up as to what we do or do not like but the fact that we even give the touted acts consideration just shows the power of music media. It’s not so different in terms of influence, just in morality.