'Is Winona Ryder News?' Dallas Morning News Asks Prof. Jeff McCall '76

'Is Winona Ryder News?' Dallas Morning News Asks Prof. Jeff McCall '76

November 8, 2002

November 8, 2002, Greencastle, Ind. - A story in today's Dallas Morning News, which examines the media's fascination with celebrity trials such as the Winona Ryder shoplifting case, includes analysis from a DePauw University media watcher. "The day after a landmark election that saw Republicans take control of Congress, there was one story that TV's cable-news commentators couldn't stop talking about," writes Tom Maurstad. "The guilty verdict in a shoplifting trial... 'The question you have to ask is 'Why?' Why have the news media gone so far overboard on a story about a nonviolent crime and a mid-level celebrity?' says Jeffrey McCall, a communications professor at DePauw University in Indiana," notes the article entitled, "Reality-as-entertainment feeds frenzy to cover celebrity scandals: Why Winona?"

Dr. McCall, who is a 1976 graduate of DePauw, also tells the Morning News, "From a pure news definition, [the Ryder trial] doesn't rate very high. But it's easy to cover, there's plenty of dramatic storytelling possibilities, and it attracts viewers. I think it's a good illustration of the warped news judgment dictating a lot of what gets covered these days."

You can read the story in its entirety at the newspaper's Web site by clicking here.

Source: Dallas Morning News