As I unwillingly admitted in my last blog post and you all found out, I am a self-confessed media junkie. What can I say? I live for the gossip broadcast on my favourite television programs and cringe when the details are far less gory than I hoped. But it is my favourite television program (at this point in time) which does this the best. Queue the mocking voices of Harvey, Charles and the rest of the team at TMZ Live. I’ve left you a little treat below to demonstrate why I love it so.
The public sphere, “a domain of our social life where such a thing as public opinion can be formed” (Habermas, 1997:105) consequently influences the day to day decisions we make. It is this mediated public sphere which shapes individuals much like myself, and thus it is being criticised by academics for essentially being too trivialised, commercial, too heavily dependant on spectacle, fragmented and moreover the central cause for social apathy.
TMZ Live crucially contributes to a large amount of debate within the mediated public sphere, causing controversy and imparting the personal opinions of the hosts on the viewers. Each segment is designed to create discussion amongst the viewers of the program, and even provides an opportunity for said viewers to express their opinions through means of social networking sites like Twitter and Skype. It is this kind of news reporting or gossip reciting which can be deemed to create uncaring citizens, and I can vouch for this as I myself am getting sick of all the news reports on bad boy Justin Bieber. When does the news stop being news?
TMZ Live‘s trivial approach to the rich and famous lifestyle moreover influences its capacity to inform. While I find the humorous approach to Kim Kardashian’s extraordinary mishap — she was attacked by a baby elephant — all the more entertaining, some may argue that reporting on stories like these with such a high degree of spectacle reflect poorly on society and furthermore on the mediated public sphere
Despite my endearing love for this television program, I can note the significance it has in my life and the life of others. It surely does contribute to an array of debatable topics within the mediated sphere.
But can we all now laugh eternally at Kim K being attacked by the aforementioned baby elephant?
Please note that I do not intend to offend fans of any celebrities I have discussed.
– Alan McKee, Introduction to the Public Sphere, Cambridge University Press, 2005.
– BCM110 Lecture and Tutorial Notes, 1 April 2014.