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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Tuesday, September 26, 2023

Media coverage of critical events overshadowed by trivialities

Some celebrities are great people. They’re brave, they stand up for what they believe in and they use their status to help those who can’t help themselves. Unfortunately, we are rarely given a glimpse into this side of Hollywood because media publications are so incredibly focused on eye-catching headliners and trash news. I will admit that I do love some good celebrity gossip, but it’s really sad that we can’t look past the gossip sometimes and just tell a great story.

Most recently, two specific stories show just how shallow the media can be. A few weeks ago, Heidi Klum, noted Victoria’s Secret Angel and beauty queen, saved the lives of her son and his nanny from a riptide current that nearly dragged them out to sea and drowned them. Valiant acts like this by non-celebrities are praised all over local news stations and plastered on the front of papers with headlines that express the true bravery of the person. However, because Heidi Klum is her stunning self, some media outlets almost negated her heroism in favor of commentary on her bathing suit slightly sliding off and exposing her breast while she was dragging her son’s drowning nanny out of the ocean. Popular publications like New York Magazine and DailyMotion boasted headlines that completely undermined Heidi’s heroism in favor of her suit slip. Why is it necessary to even mention that Heidi was so-called “exposed?”

The fact that this would probably have been the headline regardless of the gender of the celebrity speaks volumes about what the media really cares about. The focus of the articles should have been Heidi’s bravery, not her breasts. This isn’t just a problem in magazines, it’s a problem in society. However, it really stands out in cases like these when I see headlines like “Heidi Klum Flashes Nipple Rescuing Nanny!” Was that really necessary? I think not.

Another instance of this showed up in USA Today. Alan Gendreau, a former kicker for Middle Tennessee State, is looking for another shot at the NFL after a rough senior year prevented him from being signed in 2012. While the article itself praises Gendreau and focuses on his athletics, the headline reads “Openly gay kicker aims for NFL.” While I think it is absolutely wonderful there will possibly be an openly gay NFL player in the future, I also think it’s absolutely unnecessary to bring up this fact if it’s not going to be expanded upon in the article. If an article’s subject is sports, it should have a headline to match. Headlines like these are misleading and feel like they’re only written to catch someone’s attention. If USA Today had instead focused this article on the struggles of being gay in professional sports, I think it could have been a great article that sent a really important message. Unfortunately, the fact that Gendreau is gay is only used as a zing-phrase and is almost stigmatized because of its lack of follow up. It is a huge deal that this is a possibility, but instead it’s being turned into an advertising fad.

It’s becoming harder and harder to focus on the news and trust headlines when major publications practically make a joke of extremely serious situations. It’s time to focus on what matters—people helping others. Celebrities becoming symbols of hope and strength is extremely common and the media could easily embrace that fact and attract more readers with truthful stories focusing on important topics versus the negation of extremely significant details.

What do you think of the media’s triviality? Please send all feedback to

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