Thursday, August 24, 2006

The frivolity of lifestyle and youth pages

This post written by Sarah of was a bit old (the date was July 10 to be exact), but I think her points raise a very important question: Do we really need the frivolity we get in our newspapers, especially in the lifestyle and youth sections?

"I like my celebrities, quasi-celebrities, and plain social climbers fine. I just don’t like them proliferating in newspapers writing columns and pieces," Sarah began. "As they so often prove, they have nothing to write about, and they bring in the reputation of said newspaper into serious dispute. But newspapers are already bringing themselves down anyway, so what’s a little more mud?"

After mentioning some celebrity columnists, she continued:

"So I might have to give a pass to celebrities about their writing style. It’s not their original calling, yada yada yada. And some of them do write decently. It’s just not something I’d put regularly in a newspaper section.

"But Youngblood? 2Bu? Young Star? C’mon, people. You’re the true Conyoscenti."

She ended by saying: "Nobody dares to write anything aside from the status quo anymore. So we can all just expect pieces on pets, the hazards of commuting, the college experience, and the opposite sex. Now that’s not bad in itself, but compared to the greatness of its predecessors, it’s wanting."

Read the whole post here.

The triviality and shallowness of some sections of the broadsheets have not escaped the notice of the PJR Reports. I wrote something similar in the August-September 2003 issue (then still known as the Philippine Journalism Review), focusing more on the popular society or lifestyle pages. That was the time when the Philippine Daily Inquirer hired society columnist Maurice Arcache, prompting Inquirer founder Eugenia "Eggie" Apostol (who is by the way this year's Ramon Magsaysay Awardee for Journalism, Literature & Creative Communication Arts) to criticize the paper's decision and insisted that the paper take out her name from the staff box.

The lifestyle pages, I wrote, "are coming back with a vengeance and are gobbling up more and more newspaper space."

"Sure the press still likes to banner political scandals and controversies involving violence, money, and sex," I continued, "but the abundance of columnists and stories talking about the rich, powerful, and the famous indicate the increasing importance of the society pages to newspaper publishes and/or editors." In case you want to read the full article, the title of my article was "The Society Page: Weddings, Birthdays and Other Earth-Shaking Events."

Are we seeing a similar trend in the other sections, especially the youth pages?


little light said...

i think the ability to string words and make them sound nice isn't enough qualification for anyone to write for a national broadsheet. there has to be substance, above all, and discipline. ang mahal kaya ng papel na ginagamit sa newspaper (although i don't exactly know how much). some articles seem to fit better as blog entries. i am not saying that we have to talk about politics all the time. i believe it is possible to have substance even if one is writing about the mundane.

p.s. sana mag-comment naman ang iba. ayoko na mag-isa dito. :(

bryant said...

@ little light

very well said.

some people ata think I'm posting too much heavy stuff here. kaya ayaw mag-comment, nyehehehe.

luthien said...

mahirap magsalita. hehe. taga-dyaryo din ako. masasabi ko lang wala kaming column ni KC concepcion. bwahahaha.

nga pala, how can i pay and have my copies of PJR reports delivered to my address? di na ako npa eh (no permanent address).

bryant said...

@ luthien

hehe. no comment ba muna? hehe. sige na nga.

email mo sa akin ( ung contact and address details mo. bigay ko sa subscription officer namin.

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