ONLINE NEWS READERS MORE CONCERNED ABOUT CELEBRITIES THAN POLITICS – As someone who writes the news on a daily basis the revelation that celebrity activity is more important that politicians comes as little surprise; but it is deeply disturbing.
A recent study by the University of Bristol has looked into our browsing habits on the major online news websites and have discovered that the British public no longer really care about what our politicians are up to; but are far more interested in celebrities and in particular the scandals they are involved in.
You can say what you like but in my view it shows how sick and shallow the British public have become. Has the nation really become nothing more than ‘peeping toms’ on the lives of the rich and famous? Is this the underlying reason that Britain is broken and where our politicians can now get away with almost anything?
Yesterday I ran an article asking whether the British public feel that HRH Katie is getting a little too much press attention regarding her pregnancy. From the hundreds of articles the tabloids have printed it feels like HRH Katie is the first woman ever to have been pregnant and with the Daily Mail running an article with the headline ‘Too Posh to Push’ I thought things had simply gone too far and therefore posed the question; “Are we really that interested?”
I honestly feel there are more important issues going on around the world other than the pregnancy of Her Royal Highness but according to the study it would appear not.
When it comes to the real important issues such as politics or the economy the majority of the British public has little or no interest and yet splash crimes, scandals or a celebrity misdemeanor on the front page and BINGO people will lap it up.
One of the hottest debates going on right now is centered the on blocking of pornography so that our children are not subjected to it during the online activities.
Do the British people care? Let’s put it this way, if you put up news on the eradication of child pornography online or an article on the escapades of Kim Kardashian then Kim’s article will get ten times more readers.
When it comes to online news sites Meebal.com is just small fry; well to be honest it’s the bacteria on the pond lining; but that’s understandable as its only 6 months old and we are working on building our readership. However, the big players, such as the BBC or the Daily Mail carefully analyze readership data so that they know what stories to lead with.
Nine times out of ten they will always lead with a disaster, providing one exists; if a disaster is not available then it’s either crime or a high profile celebrity scandal.
Politics and the economy; well let’s just say that the British have more interest in the colour of Kim Kardashian’s underwear rather than what has a true impact on their daily lives.
The questions I want answering is why? Has the British public lost all sense of reality and have we become so shallow that are our perceived insignificant lives no longer have any purpose other than gossip?
While, as the editor of Meebal.com, I try to give balance across number topics, I am guilty of focusing on politics and the economy because these two elements have such a huge impact on our lives. I have never yet published an article on Kim Kardashian and in fact I know nothing about the woman and have no real desire to do so.
I am not going to say that Meebal.com will never publish such articles and if I find people who want to write about such material then I’ll be happy for them to write; but it’s simply not my bag.
I decided this morning to look at our log files and find out what people are reading on Meebal.com. Don’t worry the files only show the number of times any particular article was viewed and does not reveal who the reader was.
Again, we’ve run a few different articles and I have run a couple on celebrities; although I would point out writing about some rich idiot with a pet monkey who is little more than a petulant child is not really the type of news I relish. However of all the articles we’ve ran it does turn out that these shallow and inconsequential articles far out perform articles of national importance.
The question now is; ‘Have I been wasting my time?’ What I always wanted to do was to report the news in an open and honest way in the hope of opening people’s eyes to the real issues. We have a highly corruption and incompetent Government and after reading this study I now know why.
The British people have simply given up. They would much rather turn a blind eye to what the politicians are doing with their money and immerse themselves in a fantasy would of celebrity scandal or the misfortunes of others. Does it really get any sicker than that?
I’m not going to fold; I’ll keep on writing on mostly the important issues because from the growing readership it is apparent that the UK is not yet saturated with brain-dead scandal junkies; there are still many who feel that the important issues really do need looking closely at in order to make effective change.
It’s a scary thought but I wonder if Paris Hilton ran for Prime Minister how many British voters would attempt to elect her; maybe that’s fuel for another article.
What’s your honest opinion of the Press in the UK? Do you think Meebal.com is any good or is it just unintelligent tosh? Give your honest answers in the comments below.