I was reading an article this morning about actress Eva Longoria smacking the Sydney Morning Herald upside it’s head for a reporters shotty journalism. The back story is that Longoria just signed a significant deal to be the #celebrity spokesperson for an eyewear chain called SpecSavers.
As part of the scope of work, Longoria would share her story about needing glasses to read via social + traditional media. What transpired next is exactly why all the good journalist are dead. Unlike days past where journalistic integrity mattered and in the world of the 24/7 news cycle, if you print it or blog it or post it, it must be true, this story was fabricated to generate traffic to the paper’s website I would assume. Fact checkers have gone the way of the T-Rex! Extinct!
The death of local papers and the industry that used to pride itself on always getting it right, now has the montra of just get it. To hell if the story is true! The irony of just how piss poor the media has become and how the world has flip flopped. Journalistic outliers such as TMZ and the National Enquirer have more credibility and score more factually correct stories than traditional news media who are just looking to break their own “Watergate” story, even if it doesn’t exist.
Its sad, its pathetic and it has been coming for a long time. Thebusiness of journalism always had a muck-racker mentality, a history of exploitation, headlines that insight passion and emotions. Papers like the NY Post and Daily News have made millions in creating back cover stories that evoke emotion both good and bad. But that is more marketing than bad journalism.
The internet is to blame candidly. The death of local papers and thousands of journalist’s jobs highlights the need for people who take pride indeveloping facts and telling stories and have the vehicles to ply their craft. There are so few watch dogs anymore protecting the public from corporate and political abuses.
As Celebrity Spokesperson Eva Longoria has so aptly shown, when the media gets it wrong, its time toslap back and hard! Yes, her multi-million endorsement was at risk, but more importantly she needed to protect her reputation. The journalist that inexcusably wrote the article that created such a firestorm ought to have known better. But one thing is true, Ms. Longoria took the writer behind the woodshed and slapped some sense into them. This was and is a teachable moment for the media. But it is also a very valuable lesson for corporations and their agencies buying celebrity talent as spokespeople. If authenticity is required, you better have the goods!
In this case, Ms. Longoria has released several images dating back 5+ years ago of her wearing glasses. Well done to her, the company that hired her, SpecSaver and the agency handling the talent buy.