By Ayesha Shahid
Fame, glitz and glamour are the buzzwords in today’s world. An average person’s mind is so conditioned and sensitized to these notions that he/she almost aspires to be a part of this world. Money talks, as the saying goes, I have observed that one in seven people, aged between 18 and 35 , in my surroundings are more likely to boast about their latest purchases, flashy cars, exotic holidays or designer goods to illustrate how well they’re doing rather than telling people directly about their property and financial status.
Our print and electronic media reinforce this preoccupation with glamour as it is the elite class, politicians, celebrities and stars who adorn most of the content of both newspapers’ and TV programs and this is what we term as page 3 culture. The term originates from colourful daily newspaper supplements appearing usually on the third page that features cocktail parties of celebrities and the nouveau riche. Today the attractive supplements are like a collage of celebrity news, gossip, party pictures, movie chit chat and stories on subjects such as life styles.
Page 3 has taken the form of a phenomena because of the elemnt of sensationalism in it. It gives a superficial view of the ‘ hunky dory’ lives of these people, exxagertaing the trifles and frivolities . An average person fails to realize the hypocrisy, superficiality and shallowness that often lies underneath it. It reminds me of the mock epic poem ‘ Rape of the Lock’ by Alexander Pope that underscores the ridiculousness of a society in which values have lost all proportion, and where the trivial is handled with the gravity. The society on display is one that fails to distinguish between things that matter and things that do not.
... them to make bad decisions. Instead of shunning a celebrity, people should use them as an example of what ... one on this Earth is perfect, not even celebrities. People go through many challenges in life that cause ... with it. But no matter what mistake a celebrity makes, people still love them and envy the life they ... life, they dream of being on the front pages of magazines or live on TV. They dream ...
If we try to look a little deeper, we’ll observe that the characters who appear on these pages are mostly businessmen and their resentful wives, social workers with dysfunctional families, politicians and their lofty talks, friends that backbite each other, desensitized celebrities, drug addicts, homosexuals whose facial features are reduced to telegraphic dots and so on. This comprises of a glittery group for whom a party is not a party unless champagne shows up and the cameras start flashing. For the page 3 audience, the only news is who is who, who is wearing what and who is kissing who.
During my quest for the page 3 culture, I came across a truth and that is the inter dependence of media and society. One needs the content and the other coverage. I found out that the youth occupies the majority of the readership of such supplements. They buy the newspapers and magazines just for the sake of such ‘hip hop’ news. According to a member of this group, everyone wants to be in it but nobody wants to admit it. She further says that it is the innate need for gossip and to be famous that stimulates us to go for such gatherings and be a part of it. According to Mateen Amin, a Law student “There’s enough of war, blood and crime and what we have in our newspapers. I think it’s human nature to laugh at other people’s follies, to read who goofed up, who threw up.” In my opinion this need for tittle-tattle and the curiosity to look inside the lives of people whom we admire or hate is driving the runaway growth of page 3.
It is important to realize that the sensationalized news might temporarily stir the emotions of average audience but in the long run it opens the doors to frustration and depression. What media is portraying has the least connection with the reality and where the rest of the society is. It is an absolutely waste of space to feature airhead celebrities who jostle for attention alone. They are just invited to these parties; they are not contributing anything to society. I, including myself, have found people ridiculing the crowd on page 3: “You know, this designer is a gay” “He or she, we don’t know” are the comments associated with these pages. We witness a world on page 3 that is surreal, where friendships are capricious, relationships are based on convenience and people are living lives on double standards. The term responsible media seems to have lost its relevance in times dominated by materialism, leading to monopoly of Page 3 culture. Indeed, it appears to be a daunting task to make newspapers be in the union with problems plaguing the ordinary people .Let it turn out to be a guide and source of light for huge section of humanity struggling hard to have a voice of their own. (816 words)
1. Introduction A newspaper is usually a daily or weekly publication which have lasted news about some events or information of special or general interest. The world is now changing gradually and globalization has become a trend. People have to be more open to access to new information and lasted news in order to keep up with the world. Hence, it is important for the newspaper publishers to ...