Disclaimer: Originally published in September 2018. It is being republished since it still remains an interesting topic till today.

FlippED is An ED Original Style wherein two bloggers come together to share their opposing or orthogonal perspectives on an interesting subject.

We’re back with FlippED! In our latest edition, we talk about whether it is correct or necessary for newspapers to carry tabloid-y pieces on the personal lives of celebrities or not.

Blogger Tanmay Mehra’s perspective

 “News cannot be limited to one singular type. Janhavi Kapoor repeating outfits is also news.”

Tabloids have long been a part of mainstream news media coverage. People’s interest in this elusive and mysterious club of celebrities has spawned one of the most profitable arm of the news media business.

People often complain that these pieces are not news and are slowly taking over the already limited space on newspapers and on TVs.

What they fail to recognise is that a majority of people are much more likely to click and stay on a piece about Deepika Padukone’s wardrobe malfunction than an analysis of economic policies.

In this world where media companies are facing a crunch in revenue, Tabloid-ish reporting is a quick and easy way to make money. And why shouldn’t they? At the end of the day, it is a company, beholden to its employees to whom it is supposed to pay money.

Additionally, there is a large population, mainly the youth, which craves a different type of content than the earlier generations. Crisp, snackable, and juicy is what is in demand. And tabloid-esque reporting provides that.

This ensures that this chunk of the population can be directed to actual, real news, via the snacky content it craves. This type of hook-and-bait marketing is ultimately beneficial even if it means that it leads to eminent outlets reporting more on Bollywood feuds more than international disputes.

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Blogger Samyuktha Nair’s perspective

“To many people who don’t even follow popular culture, these details are silly and irrelevant.”

Very often, when I open the pages of a mainstream newspaper reporting mainstream news, I come across a little column- more brightly coloured and formatted than the rest of the paper- shrieking the doings of various starlets.

Upcoming films are rarely written about in these little gossip columns- they mainly deal with deconstructing the outfits worn by these celebrities, and who-is-whose’s arm candy.

As a reader, I find this quite irritating, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

First of all, it’s quite out of place- one minute you’re reading about politics and international news, and the next, you find out that XYZ and Whats-his-name are getting a divorce after two years of marriage. It’s quite jarring to the tone of the newspaper, and interrupts the flow of the other articles.

Secondly, I don’t feel that the personal lives of celebrities ought to become national news. Or at least, the outfits they wear when they step out are certainly not what I want to read about first thing in the morning. To many people who don’t even follow popular culture, these details are silly and irrelevant.

I feel that newspapers should buck up and not use these silly tactics to draw in more readers. I’m not going to take names, but the respectability and reliability of a newspaper goes down when they include frivolous stories into their pages.

As it is, there are enough blogs by jobless people that discuss celebrity gossip, so why should we be subjected to it all over again when we are in pursuit of some ACTUAL news?

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: IndiaTimes.com, Indian Male Feminist Blog, Wikipedia

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