ARE ENTERTAINMENT, POLITICAL JOURNALISM ALIKE?

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By: Eddie Borges

Some Hollywood Editors Say, ‘Yes’



(Hollywood Reporter) ‘Covering politics and entertainment is very much
alike,’ said Cable Neuhaus, Los Angeles bureau chief for Entertainment
Weekly magazine. ‘People in this industry and in the political
firmament are not to be trusted.’



Neuhaus made his remarks earlier this week during a panel discussion
about entertainment journalism at the University of Southern
California. The panel agreed that covering the entertainment industry
was like reporting on a small town.



‘No other industry has two daily papers,’ said Neuhaus, in reference to
The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. ‘They spend their days beating each
other’s brains out. When they come out with a major story, you know
that it’s true.’



Brown added: ‘(The trade dailies) chronicle the business, the dialogue
of Hollywood. A lot of it is BS, but I need to hear it. I need to read
the dialogue.’



The panelists agreed that one of the main differences between
entertainment journalism and reporting on other industries or subjects
is the kind of people covered. ‘Most people don’t have handlers,’
Neuhaus said.



Time magazine Los Angeles Bureau Chief Cathy Booth and Corie Brown,
entertainment business editor for the Los Angeles Times, both said
publicists often play the weeklies against each other in their efforts
to control clients’ coverage.



Panelists also agreed that entertainment publicists had considerably
more power than their counterparts in politics. ‘The president has an
obligation to give an interview to even the smallest publications,’
Neuhaus said.



John Horn, senior editor of Premiere magazine, chimed in: ‘Celebrities
can deny you an interview for as long as they want.’



The panel was sponsored by USC’s Annenberg School for Communications,
the American Business Press, and The Hollywood Reporter.



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(c) Copyright 2000, Editor & Publisher

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