1. Complete the text with the words below.
harassed interest investigative journalists laws
libel paparazzi scandal tabloid
The pop star invited 1……………………….. from several newspapers to discuss the stories about him in the 2……………………….. press. The star denied taking drugs and sued the papers for 3……………………….. . He also complained of being repeatedly 4……………………….. by the 5……………………….. outside his house since publication of the stories. Furthermore, he said that privacy 6……………………….. needed to be strengthened for all celebrities. However, the judge ruled that the tabloid’s story was 7……………………….. journalism rather than just a celebrity 8……………………….., and therefore it was in the public 9……………………….. .
1 journalists 2 tabloid 3 libel 4 harassed 5 paparazzi
6 laws 7 investigative 8 scandal 9 interest
When you listen, pay attention to what words each speaker uses to express his/her attitude. Words with a similar meaning may have different connotations.
2. Read the Listening Strategy. Then listen to five dialogues and choose the word the second speaker uses.
1 The second speaker describes the new person she met as shy / bad-mannered.
2 The second speaker says that the singer’s costume was creative / colourful.
3 The second speaker describes the footballer as being shrewd / judgemental.
4 The second speaker thinks the politician is open-minded / single-minded.
5 The second speaker says that newspapers offer us propaganda / information.
1 bad-mannered 2 creative 3 judgemental
4 open-minded 5 propaganda
Man Hey, did you enjoy the party? Who was there? Tell me all about it!
Woman It was good fun, except that I met Rosie’s new boyfriend. He didn’t say much. I thought he seemed bad mannered.
Girl 1 Did you see the outfit that Rihanna was wearing at the Music Awards? Rather bright, wasn’t it?
Girl 2 I did see it. I thought it was great, actually. Very creative, just like her personality.
Boy 1 I wish that footballer would keep his views to himself. He’s always got too much to say about the other players.
Boy 2 Yes, he’s a bit too judgemental in interviews. It’s fine to have opinions, but he goes too far, doesn’t he?
Man Listen to this. The Education Minister is now saying that teachers deserve a pay rise. That’s a complete change of opinion!
Woman I’m glad to hear it. He’s been listening to public opinion, obviously. It’s not often that you get an open minded politician.
Woman 1 I’m so tired of the tabloid news. It’s very one sided. They just repeat the government’s views.
Woman 2 I know. The news just seems like propaganda these days, doesn’t it?
3. For each speaker, choose the correct attitude (a-c). Use your answers to exercise 2 to help you. Listen again and check.
1 The second speaker was …….. when she met her friend’s new partner.
a unimpressed b bored c enthusiastic
2 The second speaker …….. the singer’s outfit.
a disapproves of b disbelieves c admires
3 The second speaker is …….. when talking about the footballer.
a disapproving b unimpressed c uninterested
4 The second speaker is …….. in her attitude to the politician.
a critical b approving c disbelieving
5 The second speaker is …….. with tabloid news.
a disappointed b surprised c impressed
1 a 2 c 3 a 4 b 5 a
See exercise 2.
4. Say these lines from the dialogues. Try to express the attitude in brackets.
1 Hey, did you enjoy the party? Who was there? Tell me all about it! (enthusiastic)
2 Did you see the outfit that Rihanna was wearing at the Music Awards? Rather bright, wasn’t it? (critical)
3 I wish that footballer would keep his views to himself. He’s always got too much to say about the other players. (annoyed)
4 The Education Minister is now saying that teachers deserve a pay rise. That’s a complete change of opinion! (surprised)
5 I’m so tired of the tabloid news. It’s very one-sided. (weary)
your own answers
5. Listen and match speakers 1-4 with sentences A-E. There is one extra sentence.
A The speaker is angry about the lack of accuracy in news reporting.
B The speaker is critical of people’s lack of interest in improving society.
C The speaker admits to an interest in celebrity gossip.
D The speaker feels that news about celebrities is unrealistic.
E The speaker feels that news reporting is pessimistic.
1 E 2 B 3 D 4 C
Who reads the news these days, anyway? No-one reads newspapers anymore, especially not people of my age. For one thing, they’re far too long. Who has time to read all of that information? And who pays attention to the news? It’s always so depressing. All the news that is reported is bad news. Why do they do that? Why not have a bit of balance? I think that’s why gossip columnists have taken over from serious journalists. Newspapers and magazines try and find out lots of gossip and scandal about celebrities in order to attract people’s attention, and they hope that this will make people buy their newspapers. That’s just a waste of everybody’s time in my view.
I wish people would pay more attention to what’s happening in the world and make more effort to change the things they don’t like. There’s so little interest, especially with young people my age. It really upsets me. If we don’t take the time to shout about what will make the world a better place, then who will? That’s why I think celebrities could have a useful role to play in today’s society. Instead of complaining about press intrusion and moaning that they’re always in the media spotlight, why don’t they use the press attention for a good cause and encourage their fans to copy them? Personally, I think it should be a duty of all rich, famous people to do something good for others less fortunate than themselves.
I just don’t get the whole celebrity thing. Why are people interested in the fake lives of other people? Because that’s what they are – fake. I can’t help laughing when I see photos in magazines of all the perfect celebrities who have been photographed in their perfect houses with their perfect partners. They stand in the middle of their living rooms dressed as if they were about to go out to the Oscars with their arm round their husband or wife, saying what a perfect relationship they have. Then, two months later, you hear that they’ve split up! Hilarious.
What’s wrong with a bit of gossip and people-watching? Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said ‘There is only one thing in life worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about’? People have been interested in other people’s lives since the beginning of time. Human interest stories are just that – stories that are interesting to all of us humans. People always want to talk about themselves – what they do, what they think, what they’ve got. Celebrities are no different. I look through magazines in the hairdresser’s or dentist’s waiting room like every other person there. Those papers and magazines are there because people look at them. And anybody who says they don’t pick one up is not being entirely honest!
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