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15 Minutes of Fame
July 29, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

I am looking for information on how people feel, like and want (or not) to be interviewed by TV, radio or newspaper reporters.

I keep thinking about the COPS/Jerry Springer phenomenon where people would take any opportunity to be famous just a little even if it meant them showing themselves at their worst.

I'm not talking about that, per se, but I am looking for anything that looks at how the average person (i.e. man/woman on the street) interacts with the media, whether approached by a reporter or if they approach one. Do they in general seek or avoid the chance to be publicized and why?

Internet searches return results about how people feel about job interviews or how people passively consuming news feel about it. I'm not talking about either of those. I want to know about how people actively engage with reporters. Studies, articles, opinions, anything. Thanks.
posted by CollectiveMind to Media & Arts (4 answers total)
 
Opinion:
I think American culture holds up fame as A Good Thing in the same way it holds up wealth as A Good Thing. The truth is they both have their good points and bad points. But people who hsvr not spent a lot of time really thinking about it seem to jump at publicity the way Americans buy lottery tickets. I think they are looking for validation and they think exposure to more people will get them more validation when the reality is they aren't being validated by the people they know as is and are likely to get more invalidation.

Of course, I have also read that two thirds of lottery winners are bankrupt within five years. Yet, lots of people still buy lottery tickets and fantasize that all their problems will be over if they can just win the lottery. So I imagine fantasies of fame is the ego version of this mentality.
posted by Michele in California at 7:37 AM on July 29, 2012


I've been in this situation and both sought out certain publicity and avoided other publicity. I'm not sure if you're interested in anecdotes...?
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:42 AM on July 29, 2012


I have a feeling that context plays a large part in whether a person wants to be interviewed/interact with press or not. Are they trying to raise awareness? Enjoying some event? Dealing with a tragedy? Have they done (or allegedly done) something that the press is interested in reporting? I'd guess that people in the first two situations would be more likely to interact with reporters than the latter. Personality and desire (or lack thereof) for attention makes a difference too, I'm sure.
posted by wiskunde at 10:59 AM on July 29, 2012


Do they in general seek or avoid the chance to be publicized and why?


Some people do--for example, the ubiquitous Greg Packer. When you're out with a news crew, looking for man-on -the-streets, any warm body who looks like a good talker and isn't demonstratively crazy is a gift from the heavens. Same for print reporters at public events, etc. Packer's good at catching the eye, being friendly but not too much so, and he's obviously great at whipping up good quotes.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:37 AM on July 29, 2012


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