Entertainment journalism as a resource for public connection: A qualitative study of digital news audiences

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Entertainment journalism has long been a marginal object of academic inquiry due to its reputation as a trivial distraction from public affairs journalism, yet this view has since been challenged by scholars who emphasize its substantive role in political discourse. Although previous research has disputed the idea that entertainment news helps audiences forge connections with public issues, the present study renews this line of inquiry at a time when this journalism has increasingly become a driver of political reporting and opinion, particularly in tandem with activism efforts addressing the media representation of marginalized identity groups as well as celebrity-fueled public advocacy. In-depth interviews are used to illuminate the interpretive processes of US audience members who engage online with this news, outlining how it is used as a resource for navigating the politics of media representation, for making political meanings from celebrity culture, and for fulminating right-wing backlash to cultural institutions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1242-1257
Number of pages16
JournalMedia, Culture and Society
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2023


  • Hollywood
  • cancel culture
  • celebrity news
  • cultural journalism
  • digital news
  • diversity and representation
  • entertainment journalism
  • news audiences


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