Monday, May 17, 2010

Media more likely to cover infidelity

Infidelity has become a commodity — a story to be covered if its victims are famous enough.

When Charlie Wheeler arrived in Springfield in the 1970s as a statehouse reporter for the Chicago Sun-Times, “hanky panky” was around — but it wasn’t in the papers.

Wheeler, now the director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at the University of Illinois Springfield, said media outlets’ priorities have shifted and what wouldn’t have caught the attention of a news reporter 30 years ago may be a front-page story today.

“Back when I began as a reporter, there were supermarket tabloids that would follow the amateur escapades of celebrities — but it was rock musicians and actors and not so much political figures,” Wheeler said. “The sort of working premise was as long as what someone is doing on their private time does not interfere with their ability to do a public job, it’s really no one’s business but his or hers.”

Wheeler's comments were featured in a May 16, 2010, article in The State Journal-Register.

Download a PDF of the article