The annual Teen Choice Awards aired this past Sunday on Fox, and just like every year prior, this year’s installment saw some new categories and new faces. With the constant surges of new talent that emerge every year, what else is there to expect? I will admit that when I scanned over the categories and the subsequent nominees, I furrowed my eyebrows at the names that I wasn’t familiar with. But just because I didn’t know who some (or most) of these people are, that shouldn’t take away from the fact that these people were obviously talented enough to be nominated for that coveted surfboard. The day after the TCA’s aired, E! News published this article highlighting (or shading) this year’s TCA nominees, and the internet was having none of it.
Being a writer myself, I will give the author of the article the benefit of the doubt – The intention of the would-be BuzzFeed-esque story was (probably) not meant to put down the current generation of media consuming adolescents. There were points in the article that had the potential to actually be humorous and relatable, but as I read through each bullet point, I found myself cringing at the tone that the author used, to the point where I almost felt a sense of guilt relating to such negatively worded prose. What was supposed to be a witty and engaging article turned into a bitter and hostile cry for attention. It almost seemed as if the writer was shaming the present generation of teenagers for admiring the people they do, just because the people that they consider to be “famous” doesn’t match those of previous generations. Be that as it may, does that mean that members of the Peter Pan generation have the right to put down those of present and future generations? It’s one thing to question who these new talented individuals are, and it’s another to question their talent and relevance. The moment people start shaming others for looking up to the people they do and for their interests is when things start to become problematic, and that’s exactly what the E! News reporter did.
If you frequent my blog on a regular basis, it’s no secret that I am a huge supporter of online content creators and various YouTube personalities. It’s also no secret that not everyone who is a follower of “mainstream” entertainment will understand the appeal of YouTube and its content. But I think the fact that an entire Teen Choice Award category dedicated to online entertainment was created should speak to the talent that exists outside of television and film. After reading the article published by E! News, it’s obvious that the writer did little (if any) research on the talent that was nominated for the Teen Choice Awards this year, resulting in ignorance and an uproar of upset fans.
Once the nonsensical article was published, supporters of online content creators, otherwise dubbed “Team Internet,” took to social media outlets, mainly Twitter, to set the record straight about those nominated for a Teen Choice Award. This backlash was further responded to with even more distasteful tweets by the E! News Twitter account – again, most likely with the intention of being funny, coming across vitriolic. The vast following that online media has built should now be recognized all too well, given the attention that was given to the ill-fated E! News article that was published earlier this week. Without content creators like Tyler Oakley and Joey Graceffa tweeting the article and their responses, it would not have received the attention that it did. So in a way, both parties, internet content creators and E! News, benefited from this entire snafu.
So to those who are currently pursuing a career in any type of journalism, namely the writer of the less-than-decent E! News story, I have a few words of wisdom for you:
- Know who your audience is, both opposing and supporting parties.
- Do your research. In the world of journalism, ignorance is NOT bliss.
- Tone is everything.
- Never underestimate the underdog.
And with that, I leave you with some flawless responses to the E! News article from various online personalities. Note the number of Favorites and Retweets each tweet from VERIFIED Twitter users got (How’s THAT for “Irrelevant”) :
And then there was this perfect string of tweets by Korey Kuhl: