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People to People

March 1, 2010

In Inside Reporting by Tim Harrower, Harrower lists components of an event that would make the story newsworthy. One of the most important aspects of a story is prominence.  If a well-known individual is involved in the story, not only is the story newsworthy, but also that person’s name should be included in the lead in order to attract readers.

While it is no surprise that the public is infatuated with celebrity, the focus on fame develops a superficial society. Also, a scandal is considered more significant if a celebrity is involved. In my own opinion, this attraction only glorifies shameful behavior and tragedy.  The Tiger Woods scandal would not have received as much coverage had Woods been an average man living in America. The Michael Phelps incident in respect to marijuana would not have made national news had Phelps been a simple college student. While such reports cause these celebrities to fall in the public’s mind, these actions still earn attention, giving them more appeal.

Also, in addition to Harrower’s emphasis on including prominent people in a story, he also stressed the importance of including “real people” in the newspaper. He says, “Smart reporters find ways to get ordinary folks into their stories” (109).  These two pieces of advice seem contradictory, but it seems the main emphasis is to focus on people not events.  Simply put, people care about people.

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