I didn’t really know what I was going to write about today. Day 2 of CMW has since come and gone and I’m feeling really, really tired, especially because I have to go and work for 6.5 hours at 11 a.m. And then more shows at night.
But anyways, yesterday in my journalism and the arts class we had a guest, and he turned out to be quite interesting. His name is Shinan Govani. He’s the society columnist for the National Post. He reports, essentially, on people, usually celebrities or almost-celebrities.
He doesn’t like to call himself a gossip columnist, which shows that he has a bit of a different handle on things than some other celebrity news outlets. Rather than give some kind of lecture, we instead asked him a whole series of questions, some of which he gave some interesting answers to.
It’s good to know that he’s good at what he does, and therefore he doesn’t get too starstruck. With complete cool he told us once about how he was at a restaurant in Morocco and ended up sitting at a table next to Jennifer Aniston. His back was to her, though, so he ended up writing a society column from the point of view of someone with his back to her.
He also got the invitation to attend, as a journalist, the most exclusive Oscar party, put on by Vanity Fair. Apparently there were only seven journalists from around the world allowed in there, and he was the only Canadian. I completely believed him when he called it something akin to the Twilight Zone, where the ratio of civilian to celebrity was something like 1 to 40.
Unsurprisingly, one of the things Govani wants most is to be able to spend time watching television and not having to go to parties every single night, or to several parties in one night. I imagine going out to parties for a living sounds like a dream job to some, but I think even to the most party-positive person, it could wear down after a while. Govani’s been doing this for ten years, by the way.
Celebrity gossip has really never been something I’ve been interested in. When I pass by the weeklies like Us or People or any of those others, I roll my eyes as I read headlines like “CELEBRITIES WITHOUT MAKEUP” or “JEN’S HEARTBROKEN.” There’s a certain pedestal that celebrities are put on that somehow makes it okay for people to report on their every move. I wonder how many people think about what it would be like if the situation were reversed and they were the celebrity. I know there are some people who would probably love to be on TV and in magazines and newspapers. I’m obviously not quite one of those people.
But despite my having little time to deal with who’s dating who and who’s doing what, I do respect that Govani is really a professional and knows who’s he’s writing for, how to make them happy, but also how to keep his own life in order as he strives to “pound the pavement” and find scoops before other gossip columns do.