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Josiah Morgan
Josiah Morgan


When asked about which issues, if any, get too much attention from the news media, fully 40% of the public cites celebrity news. That is more than three times the number citing any other subject. About one-in-ten Americans (12%) say the news media has devoted too much attention to the Iraq war, while 5% each mention politics generally, the presidential campaign or crime and violence.



There is far less agreement among the public about which stories get too little attention from the news media. One-in-ten Americans say the media does not pay enough attention to good things that are happening in the country, including positive outcomes and good deeds done by average citizens. Comparable numbers say the news media devotes too little attention to the Iraq war (9%), including good news about Iraq, and to healthcare (8%).

Women are more likely than men to say good news is undercovered (13% vs. 6%). In addition, more Republicans than Democrats believe the news media focuses too little on positive news stories (16% vs. 7%).

Democrats and Republicans also have differing perspectives on other types of stories that get too little attention from the media. More Republicans than Democrats cite immigration as an issue getting too little news media attention. By contrast, more Democrats than Republicans point to the environment and poverty, as issues that get less attention from the news media.

In the news, the situation in Iraq and the 2008 presidential campaign were the dominant stories last week. More than a quarter of the national newshole was devoted to these stories, and roughly a third of the public listed one of these two stories as their most closely followed.

LIMBONG: From the slap heard round the world to Ye's antisemitism to the Harry and Meghan documentary, celeb business felt like our business. And for a lot of us, it felt a lot more like news. Constance Grady writes about culture for Vox.

LIMBONG: Of course, the business of hot goss (ph) is not new. Celebrity gossip has been around since there were celebrities, growing in popularity throughout the 20th century. In the 1940s and '50s, columnist Hedda Hopper and Louella Parsons scoured scandal and personal news items from the rich and famous, becoming as famous as their subjects.

LOUELLA PARSONS: Hello to all of you from New York. Well, here I am in the big town, but with movie news from both Hollywood and New York. My first exclusive - the Frank Sinatras are expecting another baby in late May. Well, this ought to put an end to those silly rumors that Nancy and Frank are separating.

LIMBONG: The popularity of gossip has expanded across media platforms pretty much as fast as they are invented. NPR's TV critic Eric Deggans says that it's not a surprise that gossip has always been popular and why celebrity stories find their way into mainstream news.

ERIC DEGGANS, BYLINE: We're in a news environment where it's really hard to get people's attention. And I think, you know, these stories about celebrities draw a lot of page views. They draw big audiences. They draw high viewership. You know, that's also a really strong motivator to find a way to talk about these stories because you know they're going to pop with the audience. And we can't lose sight of the fact that that's the reason why, you know, gossip is such a big business.

Similarly, if you're talking about Will Smith, you know, again, at the heart of the story of what happened after he slapped Chris Rock at the Oscars is, how does a major celebrity like that - how do you make somebody like that pay a price for doing something that was so terrible in front of the world? And how much is enough? And when that person decides they want to reenter the mainstream of entertainment, what does it say that they are essentially able to do that? And that's a lot of questions about how we regard issues of assault and celebrity and power. Those are all real substantive questions.

DEGGANS: The traditional definition of gossipy news coverage would be news coverage about well-known people that is about their personal lives and not so much about whatever they do officially as famous people. So gossip is, you know, how is Kanye West treating Kim Kardashian now that they're divorcing? Non-gossip is, you know, what happens to Kanye's brand now that he's said all these antisemitic things publicly? And I think the challenge for ethical journalists is to come to these stories and figure out news-based reasons to pursue them. And frankly, I don't think it's that hard.

GRADY: But I think perhaps moving away from sort of around-the-clock coverage, first of Trump and then of the coronavirus pandemic, sort of opened up a space in news coverage for something that was maybe a little less traumatic to talk about. And so in that vacuum, you can kind of get stories, like the Good Morning America anchors are having an affair, that are not really that meaningful. Like, they're adults. It does not matter. But there's this sort of pleasure and joy and fun-ness (ph) in sort of just gossiping about this kind of trivial story. And that's able to take up more space in this year in a way that I think was kind of a relief for a lot of people.

LIMBONG: OK, so maybe celebrity gossip is a welcome respite during a stressful news cycle. But what does this blurred line - you know, between celebrity news and news news - tell us about the current media environment?

GRADY: People have to cover something in the news. And I think that right now there's a desire to be talking about a few things that are more frivolous, which is not to say that all gossip is frivolous because some of the big celebrity gossip stories this year have been parts of larger cultural stories that are more upsetting and speak to some cultural regressions that are worth unpacking.

GRADY: It's interesting. I think that for gossip industries, this is a good thing in a lot of ways, because if a mainstream news outlet is covering a story, that is going to be driving interest in it. And a mainstream news outlet is unlikely to be doing quite the same sort of reporting on these stories that a gossip-centric site is going to have. Those sites are going to be sourced in different ways. They're going to be considering different parts of the story more worthy of coverage. So if a mainstream site is covering the slap or the Depp-Heard trial in detail, that just suggests that there's going to be more and more interest in the story, which will drive more people to the gossip sites.

GRADY: I think certainly there's an incentive for gossip sites to lean into their more salacious sides if the mainstream news outlets are covering things in a more straightforward way. That's something that we can see a little bit right now in coverage of the Meghan Markle-Prince Harry Netflix documentary. There will be sort of straightforward, you know, reviews and news hits from mainstream outlets. And then from tabloids, you get things like the columnist who said that he thought Meghan Markle should be stripped naked and paraded down the street while people shouted shame at her - right? - this sort of very tawdry, salacious...

GRADY: That's a really good question. It does seem as though there is a lot of confusion in the news-reading public between what kind of outlets are reputable and what are not. That's something that people complain about a lot on Facebook, where their interface will sort of take away the visual branding from various sites. So that's - something from a random little gossip website will look the same on your newsfeed as an article from The New York Times that's been heavily vetted and fact-checked.

Looking to wind down with a little celebrity news and gossip? We've got you covered! If after a long day in class, all you need is a skim of the latest headlines, grab your headphones and get ready. Comedians and news junkies alike are doing all the heavy lifting, making it easier than ever to stay in the know. From celebrity convos to the best binge-worthy Netflix recaps and only the juiciest reality tea, it's all available on your favorite podcast apps.

Looking to wind down with a little celebrity news and gossip? We've got you covered! If after a long day in class, all you need is a skim of the latest headlines, grab your headphones and get ready. Comedians and news junkies alike are doing all the heavy lifting, making it easier than ever to stay in the know. From celebrity convos to the best binge-worthy Netflix recaps and only the juiciest reality tea, it's all available on your favorite podcast apps.\nWhether you love to keep up with the Kardashians or you just need your daily download of the major headlines of the day, these shows are sure to satiate your pop culture cravings! \n","id":46609696,"type":"gallery","photo_source":"Image Source: Unsplash \/ Siddharth Bhogra","permalink":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/daily-pop-culture-podcasts-46609696","canonical":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/daily-pop-culture-podcasts-46609696","share_text":"Tune Into These Podcasts For the Latest Celebrity News and Trends","use_tall_image":false,"omit_from_countdown":false,"caption_num":false,"slide_tags":"Podcasts","is_cover":true},"image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/kCSrIz0uFS8xEFbjutm6WBnsf4w\/fit-in\/1024x1024\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/5ed52aab62a1f06c_PS_Daily_Podcasts\/i\/Morning-Toast.png","share_image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/G4BgX4u9ttWqi7nBmPX1OpZaSfI\/fit-in\/2048xorig\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/5ed52aab62a1f06c_PS_Daily_Podcasts\/i\/Morning-Toast.png","title":"The Morning Toast","intro_text":false,"body":"If you're a fan of Girl With No Job or Jackie O on Instagram, you'll love them together live on The Morning Toast! Jackie and Claudia Oshry are the sisters we all wish we could gab about the latest headlines with over coffee every morning. They're funny and always on top of the latest happenings. What better way to start (or recap) your day? \nThe show streams live weekdays at 10:30 a.m. ET on Facebook and YouTube. 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Erica Mandy gives the latest headlines in everything from entertainment to business and tech. If it's trending on Twitter, it's being covered by Erica \u2014 all in under 10 minutes! \nListen to The NewsWorthy here.\n","id":46609818,"type":"image","photo_source":"Image Source: the NewsWorthy","permalink":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/photo-gallery\/46609696\/image\/46609818\/NewsWorthy","canonical":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/daily-pop-culture-podcasts-46609696","share_text":"The NewsWorthy","use_tall_image":false,"omit_from_countdown":false,"caption_num":false,"slide_tags":"Podcasts","image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/-ucdgVB8P9TriQIdzAgnD0BaWds\/fit-in\/1024x1024\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/94f970c0ba1f06ee_Daily_Dish\/i\/Daily-Dish.jpeg","share_image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/4wsl6BbStI0aTbV4eN9jigymZjY\/fit-in\/2048xorig\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/94f970c0ba1f06ee_Daily_Dish\/i\/Daily-Dish.jpeg","title":"The Daily Dish","intro_text":false,"body":"If you're more of a reality-TV fan, The Daily Dish is here to bring you the latest news, usually with some of your beloved Bravo stars in-studio. Megan Segura and Erik J. Mac recap some of your favorite reality shows, interview cast members, and always serve the freshest tea throughout the week. \nListen to The Daily Dish here. \n","id":46609820,"type":"image","photo_source":"Image Source: The Daily Dish","permalink":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/photo-gallery\/46609696\/image\/46609820\/Daily-Dish","canonical":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/daily-pop-culture-podcasts-46609696","share_text":"The Daily Dish","use_tall_image":false,"omit_from_countdown":false,"caption_num":false,"slide_tags":"Podcasts","image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/xOLQ3Ox7xSWgaPDAUQpcRIbdR1o\/fit-in\/1024x1024\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/fbad6eede0be5729_IMG_8422\/i\/Reality-Checked-News-Feuds.jpg","share_image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/4zAztZ8BCTPzAcEezAb1ZO5e5oc\/fit-in\/2048xorig\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/fbad6eede0be5729_IMG_8422\/i\/Reality-Checked-News-Feuds.jpg","title":"Reality Checked: News & Feuds","intro_text":false,"body":"Reality-lovers, rejoice! If you love the very funny Amy Phillips, you'll love listening to her news recaps. Don't worry about missing her radio show on SiriusXM, because you can always catch the juiciest highlights on demand. Phillips's wit is now available for your binging pleasure any time of day.\nListen to Reality Checked: News & Feuds here.\n","id":46609821,"type":"image","photo_source":"Image Source: Reality Checked: News & Feuds","permalink":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/photo-gallery\/46609696\/image\/46609821\/Reality-Checked-News-Feuds","canonical":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/daily-pop-culture-podcasts-46609696","share_text":"Reality Checked: News & Feuds","use_tall_image":false,"omit_from_countdown":false,"caption_num":false,"slide_tags":"Podcasts","image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/Ttks7ozid_B2cQWtiAGnfcPkLJE\/fit-in\/1024x1024\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/d30f45ffc3c7f2ab_npr_pchh_podcasttile_sq-80072c7c8dbd762e3efb24127ddc7a823715a4e0\/i\/Pop-Culture-Happy-Hour.jpg","share_image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/6siDjdJkBDcp0cVIxfvLJrMOvtM\/fit-in\/2048xorig\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/11\/997\/n\/43379767\/d30f45ffc3c7f2ab_npr_pchh_podcasttile_sq-80072c7c8dbd762e3efb24127ddc7a823715a4e0\/i\/Pop-Culture-Happy-Hour.jpg","title":"Pop Culture Happy Hour","intro_text":false,"body":"If you want more of a well-rounded pop culture update, have no fear, NPR is here! Pop Culture Happy Hour is a panelist roundtable, offering up a combo of TV\/film news, top-charting music news, and even events (like the 2019 MTV VMAs). \nListen to Pop Culture Happy Hour here.\n","id":46609817,"type":"image","photo_source":"Image Source: Pop Culture Happy Hour","permalink":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/photo-gallery\/46609696\/image\/46609817\/Pop-Culture-Happy-Hour","canonical":"https:\/\/\/entertainment\/daily-pop-culture-podcasts-46609696","share_text":"Pop Culture Happy Hour","use_tall_image":false,"omit_from_countdown":false,"caption_num":false,"slide_tags":"Podcasts","image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/fcwV746dkQAnOVzgBw_dEaPNp-Y\/fit-in\/1024x1024\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/17\/712\/n\/43379767\/58f8ebb65d81048e3f2d40.60006869_GettyImages-1130878148\/i\/Joe-Rogan-Experience.jpg","share_image":"https:\/\/\/files\/thumbor\/Wh36LmE5yz0Af_WdGqpOUIMRkZw\/fit-in\/2048xorig\/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-\/2019\/09\/17\/712\/n\/43379767\/58f8ebb65d81048e3f2d40.60006869_GettyImages-1130878148\/i\/Joe-Rogan-Experience.jpg","title":"The Joe Rogan Experience","intro_text":false,"body":"Joe Rogan is one of the leading podcasters in the game right now. This one requires a little more listening time, as his episodes can last up to three hours. However, his shows pack a lot of content! He interviews the biggest names in culture (from Elon Musk to Bernie Sanders to Whitney Cummings), picking their brains on everything happening in the world right now. No topic (or guest) is off limits.\n\nListen to The Joe Rogan Experience here.\n","id":46609815,"type":"image","photo_source":"Image Source: Getty \/ Michael S. 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Not only does it deliver the most pressing stories, but it also gives you a little context as to why they are relevant (and important) for you to know without wasting time. All of the episodes are under 15 minutes. \nListen


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