The Significance of Leisure Journalism ‹ Pepperdine Graphic

Broadcast journalist alum Kristin Vartan sums up the 2021 Oscars on 23abc in an Instagram roll on April 26th. According to Vartan, entertainment journalism brings people’s relationships with the people they see on screen. Photo courtesy of @kristinvartan

There are many unique sub-areas in journalism, but only one includes live coverage from a red carpet surrounded by stars: entertainment journalism.

Entertainment journalism encompasses coverage of the entertainment industry, the lives of celebrities, and reviews of various art forms. Entertainment journalist and Pepperdine alumna Gabby Gonta (2018) said although some people look down on the types of stories she writes, they can be just as important as typical news.

“There are so many times that the entertainment world intersects with these more important issues like sexual assault, as we’ve seen with this Me too Movement that was so powerful and that fueled real change, ”said Gonta, a former Graphic employee. “Among the fluff that some people think is entertainment news, there are really important stories that need to be told.”

After graduating from Pepperdine, Gonta earned a masters degree in entertainment journalism from University of Southern California. She now works as a full-time entertainment journalist Shared news, an entertainment newscast on YouTube.

“As an entertainment journalist, our job is essentially to bridge the gap between the glitz and glamor of Hollywood for the average person,” said Gonta.

Alum Gabby Gonta poses for a selfie in front of her microphone in an Instagram post from Jan. 15. Gonta said the entertainment world overlaps with important topics in the world. Photo courtesy @gabbygonta

Entertainment journalists can interview creatives and find out what matters in their work. Kristin Vartan, a Pepperdine alumna (2018) and former employee of Graphic, said she often does this in her own work. After completing the same degree as Gonta at the University of Southern California, Vartan now works as a broadcast journalist for 23ABC News in Bakersfield, California. While she mostly focuses on local news, she can sometimes cover topics related to entertainment and says that she loves to work in the field.

“Entertainment journalism is one story within a story,” said Vartan. “They essentially convey what the author, the actor or the musician put on a page or a screen, and your job is to live up to that story, but also to set your own taste and match it with the style and Way you write, turn the story. “

In addition to stereotypical entertainment journalists reporting on red carpets or celebrity news, critics of film, television and music are also entertainment journalists, according to Gonta. People like famous film critics Roger Ebert and Anthony Fantano, a music critic who publishes reviews on Youtube For over 2 million subscribers, they’re as many entertainment journalists as any interviewer on the red carpet.

“There are a million movies, a million TV shows, so much music out there, and there just isn’t enough time to go through it all,” said Gonta. “The person who has this job is basically saying, ‘This is worth your time and it is not. ‘So critics and music critics, that kind of entertainment journalist, have a very important role to play. “

In entertainment journalism, there are a variety of niches that reporters can focus on. Gonta has created her own niche in coverage of reality television news, specifically “The bachelor” on ABC. She said she started it in her bedroom during quarantine because she needed to do something.

“I had watched ‘The Bachelor’ for many years and one day I realized that I wanted to start my own show on entertainment news. I thought to myself, ‘What subject am I an expert on and what can I talk about during this? Do you show my personality too? ‘”Said Gonta.

In the Shared News, Gonta reports on current events from popular reality TV shows such as “The Bachelor”.Dance with the stars” and “Keeping up with the Kardashians. “For every show, Gonta said she had to research the history, which usually involves figuring out what TV shows are being renewed, what music is being released, or what people in Bachelor Nation are doing. She then writes a script and records video segments before posting the final 10-30 minute video.

Entertainment journalists do their research not only while writing their stories, but also before interviews or major events. Vartan had the opportunity to report on 2020 American music awards and interviewed country singers Dan and Shaywho won three prizes that evening.

“I always like to ask [the] Questions that nobody else asks because I dug, ”said Vartan. “When you’re into entertainment, whether you’re a musician or an actor, that’s what you do. You really study the sound or you study the character to the core because you become the character or you interpret the music and I want to do the same. “

Entertainment journalists give the public a chance to get to know their favorite stars by reading stories and watching interviews about them.

“You get to know them as a real person, so it’s just a way to connect with people on another level,” said Vartan. “We bring people to relationships with the people they see on screen.”


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Contact Addison Whiten on Twitter: @addisonwhiten or email:

Email to Kayla Kahrl:

Addison Whiten
Entertainment industry
Entertainment journalism
gabby gonta
Kayla Kahrl
Kristin Varton
Pepperdine graphic media
Special edition
Special edition spring 2021