The news media’s priorities

The radio program Marketplace reports on the absurdly high level of media attention devoted to the royal wedding.

CNN will have a 125 journalists on the ground. Fox is sending 50. NBC’s broadcasting the “Today” show from London. Even Al Jazeera’s on it. There are reports the networks are spending up to $10 million each to cover the event. And that’s in a year when shrinking news budgets have also been squeezed by the natural disaster in Japan and uprisings in the Middle East.

CNN is sending 125 journalists? It struck me that since the newsworthiness of this highly scripted event is essentially zero, the media might have been well-advised to have pool coverage, where one outfit televises it and everyone uses the same feed.

But what do I know.


  1. says

    Aside from the inability of the media to focus on anything that does insult my intelligence and values, lauding big fancy weddings is a scourge on society. I am getting married in a few weeks and even though I started off wanting a small, simple wedding not bound by tradition or other people’s wishes, I still initially spent much of my time feeling like I was making some sort of sacrifice or disappointing people for not having things like a photographer, catering staff, a fancy dress, a multi-tiered craftfully decorated cake, dj, etc. Even with only 50 people and skimping on everything (The groom is wearing an old suit from years ago and I am wearing a prom dress, we are serving Aladdins, etc.), it will still be over $2,000! I now say to the Wedding Industrial Complex and the societal pressure put on women especially, “Enough is ENOUGH!”. I initially doubted, but now believe the average wedding costs over $20,000. This is not about perfection, the pinnacle of bliss, being a princess, or “your only chance to do it right.” It’s a celebration of love and community, family and friends, and just having a good time. Not some kind of theatrical production. Even women who don’t want to be bridzillas are made to feel like they should be from their peers, websites, magazines and families. It disgusts me. I recommend the following-
    One Perfect Day
    2,000 Wedding

  2. Karen says

    I also started off wanting a really simple, non-traditional wedding but the more talking and planning that I did, the more I got pressured into the traditional. My mom thought it was so cool that we were “doing things your own way!” but then she repeatedly tried to pressure me into wearing a veil.

    The people that have the $20,000+ weddings hardly get to enjoy them because they have to pose for so many pictures and talk briefly with so many people. They also undoubtedly spent the 3 months salary on the ring and that plus the wedding cost could have gone to so many other uses.

  3. says

    Good point. If a bride has 4 hours to talk with 150 guests (which she doesn’t with all the dances and cake cutting, etc.) that’s only 1.6 minutes per person. We are giving SD cards to people as gifts for taking pictures and uploading them to our computer before they leave (or give them a postage paid envelope to send back a CD.) More realistic photos anyway. I am not a celebrity with perfect skin, and my marriage will not be perfect. My parents don’t care what we do. The groom’s are a bit more traditional, but he doesn’t tell them much, so there is little opportunity to pressure me. We are suprising them with a Charles Darwin themed ceremony and jewelry and a “Unity Volcano”. We are fortunate to both have easy-going, respectful families.Lastly, the consumerism is also pushed with the registry. We have one, but we made sure to include many charities and to highlight them. In lieu of favors a donation will be made to Lamda Legal. If they have a problem with gay marriage, hopefully they’ll keep it to themselves. Maybe I have a problem with meat at people’s weddings.

  4. says


    First of all, congratulations and best wishes on your upcoming wedding!

    My daughter got married last September and she and her husband wanted a very small and quiet wedding attended by just their immediate families and a couple of their close friends, for a total of less than 20 people.

    It was a simple affair that I found very moving.

  5. Scott says

    I used to work at a large downtown hotel that hosted a lot of weddings, and I was always amazed at how much people spent on them, but I was more amazed, or maybe bemused, by how the weddings didn’t seem to reflect the couple’s personalities. For example, many couples have their pictures taken in front of the art museum. Do they actually go to museum frequently enough that it has significance for them? I doubt it. For the British royals, elegance and extravagance is part of who they are (for better or worse), so it’s understandable. But an accountant from Cleveland?

  6. says

    Media often focus on wrong things just because they have to earn money. We just can decide which programme to watch and thus try to influence what media will serve us to see.

  7. says

    I completely agree with your comments and I hate the way the media promotes expensive weddings as the norm. Such an expense is better used as a deposit on a house, rather than simply providing 100 people with a free meal.

    Yes it is a special day and should be special but does it have to be so expensive? I had a small wedding with an intimate number of guests and had a wonderful day. There was more focus on this select number of people rather than giving brief attention to many guests, some of which never even speak to the wedding couple!!!!

  8. says

    I think it is a sign of how disconnected our nation and world is becoming. We care more about a royal wedding than seeing issues with our economy, the environment and the corruption of our moral fabric.

    The media shows us how deluded we are becoming. “The Royal Wedding” and shows with “Snooki” are more important than our future and the growth of mankind.

    The next generation is really starting to show it too.

  9. says

    Michael – I totally agree with you The world has way to many issues going on for people to be spending there time talking about Snooki or how the cast of Jersey Shore got kicked out of Italy. This isn’t international news.

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