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Paris Hilton and Other "Non-News" Coverage Irks Prof. Jeff McCall '76: South Bend Tribune

September 24, 2007

may 2006 fox mccall.jpgSeptember 24, 2007, Greencastle, Ind. - "This summer, watching the wall-to-wall 'news' coverage of Paris Hilton's jail escapades, one question nagged at Jeffrey McCall," begins a column in Indiana's South Bend Tribune. "And it wasn't the 'Should Paris go free?' or 'Is the socialite being treated fairly?' or any of the other deep, philosophical dilemmas offered up by the talking heads on 24-hour cable news channels. No, McCall, a media studies professor at DePauw University in Greencastle, Ind., wondered about the message such widespread coverage of non-news was sending."

McCall Book Viewer Discretion.jpgAlesia I. Redding writes that the professor "also was curious about the G8 summit, a computer glitch that delayed flights on the East Coast and other real news stories that 'all Paris, all the time' had relegated to the back burner."

"I'm concerned that so much coverage of celebrities sends the message that this is the most important thing we have to tell you," Dr. McCall tells the newspaper.

The increased time alloted to celebrity news is one of the issues McCall explores in his book, Viewer Discretion Advised: Taking Control of Mass Media Influences."The title pretty much sums up McCall's beliefs about a partial remedy for the current state of affairs,": notes Redding. "McCall thinks that an educated, more discerning person is a more powerful one who uses that power to help influence news coverage and programming.'

Read the complete article at the Tribune's Web site.

A 1976 graduate of DePauw, Jeff McCall has been quoted in more than 80 newspapers and appeared on network television programs such as FOX News' O'Reilly Factor. He was also cited in a weekend column in the Union of Grass Valley, California. Access it via this previous story.

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