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Media stars then & now

Posted by: | February 2, 2016 | No Comment |

A media star is someone who is well known due to his or her regular appearances in the mass media. They are someone who engages with their audience while having some sort of influence and authoritative standpoint. When we think of media stars, we think of popular radio talk show hosts, television hosts, news reporters, and so forth. With the rise of technology and the growth of the millennial generation, our world has become more familiar with social media stars. Before we begin exploring the future of journalism and the rise of social media stars, it’s important to acknowledge a few of the most influential media stars of our time.



Oprah Winfrey is a talk show host, television producer, philanthropist and a film actress. Her international talk show, The Oprah Winfrey Show, took place from 1986 to 2011. According to biography.com, her show was broadcasted on 120 channels with an audience of 10 million people. As her televised presence became an essential routine for those watching at home, Winfrey made her ‘media star’ status one that not many would ever forget. The famous line, “Everyone gets a car!” Winfrey always made sure to inspire each and everyone of her viewers.



The media stars of NBC’s The Tonight Show created a legendary nightly window frame for millions of viewers at home. From Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Jay Leno and to Jimmy Fallon, these television hosts created and revolutionized the idea of a nightly talk show. Without the presence and comedic humor of each of these narrators, the night show would not have received the attention and success on the level that it has been given. According to biography.com, the show not only leads the late-night ratings but Leno also won the Emmy Award for his performance as the host during his career. The specific type of achievement proves how influential a media star can become to the public.

While media stars and their presence continue to dominate the mass media, it is important to look at the rise of social media stars. An article in The Huffington Post titled, “Are These ‘Rising Stars’ the Future of Journalism? Yes- Yes. They Are” by Craig Kanalley, he writes, “If there’s one thing I can tell you definitively about the future of journalism, it’s that young people of the present will be the leaders of that future.” The social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, and YouTube have become an addictive trend that has created six figure careers as well as a chance at fame for many young adults and teenagers.

According to the Washington Post, the article titled, “YouTube at 10: How an online video site ate the pop culture machine” by Caitlin Dewey breaks down the celebrated success story of Justin Bieber. Bieber can thank YouTube for his A-list celebrity status and multi-million dollar career. The co-founder of YouTube, Chad Hurley stated, “That’s what we’re all about, and we’re the ultimate reality TV.” When Bieber’s mother uploaded his local singing competition back when he was only twelve years old, the YouTube video has now received over 7.3 million views.

There are hundreds of other social media stars that have created quite the buzz just through a single video, picture or post. To name a few: Jenna Marbles, Tyler Oakley, Cameron Dallas, Nash Grier, and King Bach. There is even a ‘Social Media Stars Bracket’ that has been designed to show how successful each of these individuals have become and where they may be headed. Take a look- http://www.billboard.com/social-media-star/.

under: Comm 455, social media
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