Om Kändisjournalistik

Sammanfattning: The thesis approaches the research question of how journalistic practices facilitate the construction of celebrity status. Theoretically, celebrity is conceptualised as a particularly fluid form of social status based on mediatized attention and engagement. Journalism is studied as an invitation to shareexperiences, organised through media logics and narrative structures. The empirical cases studied in the thesis are two multifaceted Swedish celebrities: The singer, dancer, actor and host Måns Zelmerlöw and the equally multi-faceted painter, designer, author, actor, singer, and glamour model CarolinaGynning. The study follows their individual careers, as they represent two archetypes of celebrities: the potentialist and the craftsman respectively. These types were constructed based on Richard Sennett’s work on capitalism in late modernity. The thesis investigates how journalists build inviting narratives forthe audience and thereby facilitate parasocial relationships in the process. The study finds that the distinguishing features of the genre of celebrity journalism come from the genre’s function to both report about and construct celebrities. The genre defines its own reality by employing a distinct melodramaticstyle, mixing strong emotions and a strict journalistic reporting style, borrowing stylistic elements from both hard and soft news. The journalistic reporting tends to focus its stories on how celebrities approach and overcome obstacles. It further shows how journalists employ the melodramatic genre conventions when presenting the media event to make them into engaging rallying points by portraying it through the eyes of the celebrity. The event becomes a challenge to conquer for the celebrity. Further on, by investigating how each journalistic text acts as a mediated micro-interaction between the celebrity and the audience, the thesis shows how the different texts link each other into an ongoingmeta-narrative that locks the celebrity and audience into a parasocial relationship. Finally, the study shows how mediatized arenas influence the career logics of celebrities by offering different opportunitites for celebrity performance and journalistic portrayals. In conclusion, the thesis argues that celebrification is the by-product of journalistic practices in which celebrities manage their emotions in order to facilitate engagement for individuals and the contexts they appear in. By portraying them as extraordinary actors with a desire to accomplish and overcome obstacles to fulfill a dramatic conflict, journalists create an appealing and engaging narrative, inviting the audience to engage and participatein the mediated everyday lives of celebrities.