1
Intimately intertwined in the most
public way

Celebrity and journalism
P. David Marshall
How does the profiling of celebrities transform news?
What is the relationship between celebrity and the contemporary public sphere?
How much of a newspaper is now devoted to journalism that focuses on celebrities?
Can you see evidence of news coverage that has become similar to celebrity and entertainment coverage?
How does the celebrity system fit into the spectrum of information production that moves from promotion, publicity and public relations into the discourses of journalism?

Although the celebrity and journalism have been twinned for most of the past 200 years, their intertwining has regularly betrayed the less noble side of journalistic practice. Both journalism and celebrity articulate a changing public sphere and a different constitution of engagement and significance by any nation's citizenry. That transformation of significance has been linked to the emergence of democratic polities and political debate; the transformation has also been aligned with the emergence of an elaborate entertainment industry and the panoply of information that fuels its cultural forms. This chapter investigates the way that journalism and celebrity intersect and how their alliance has produced very specific forms of presentation and writing practices that have become not only standard in the features section of newspapers but populate the organization of information throughout the news.

To begin this investigation, it must be understood that celebrity-inspired journalism has become so routinized in papers that its origins are no longer easily identifiable. For example, a 13 May 2004 New York Times article (Bumiller 2004) on Donald Rumsfeld, the Secretary of Defence in President Bush's administration was designed as a 'profile' of the man during a particularly vigorous scandal over abuse and atrocities committed by

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