‘Zoella hasn’t really written a book, she’s written a cheque’: Mainstream media representations of YouTube celebrities

DELLER, Ruth A. and MURPHY, Kathryn (2019). ‘Zoella hasn’t really written a book, she’s written a cheque’: Mainstream media representations of YouTube celebrities. European journal of cultural studies.

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Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/136754941...
Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549419861638


In this article, we present a thematic analysis of broadcast and print media representations of YouTube celebrity. Youth-oriented media have capitalised on the phenomenon, placing vloggers alongside actors and pop stars. However, in much adult-oriented mainstream media, YouTubers are presented as fraudulent, inauthentic, opportunist and talentless, making money from doing nothing. Key themes recur in coverage, including YouTubers’ presumed lack of talent and expertise, the alleged dangers they present and the argument that they are not ‘really famous’. YouTubers’ claims to fame are thus simultaneously legitimised by giving them coverage and delegitimised within said coverage, echoing media treatment of other ‘amateur’ celebrities such as reality stars and citizen journalists. We argue that the response to YouTubers in more traditional media outlets demonstrates recognition of their visibility and appeal to a younger audience, while also signifying apprehension towards a phenomenon that potentially threatens both the existence of traditional media forms, and the influence of traditional media professionals.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 2002 Cultural Studies; 1504 Commercial Services; 2001 Communication And Media Studies; Communication & Media Studies
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1177/1367549419861638
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2019 11:42
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 01:48
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/23569

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