I got a text that Cristiano Ronaldo was in Dubrovnik around 11 pm on Saturday, just as I was ready to drift off. My football knowledge is poor, I know most of the guys from the Croatian team and I know – Ronaldo. I mean, who doesn’t? Still, I didn’t feel the excitement, just an urge to fall asleep. On the other hand, I know that there were others who will be more than excited to click that sort of news and share it across the globe so I crawled out my bed, took my laptop and started typing. Not a masterpiece, I’d say. In the morning I saw that I even got his name wrong – I wrote Christiano. Oh well…
That was it for me, since I was free on Easter and Easter Monday, but while I was enjoying all the glorious food made by my mother, I couldn’t help it – my mind went to all of my colleagues who – instead of egg hunting – needed to go Ronaldo hunting. Cristiano (hey, I learned his name!) turned into Grinch, but he was stealing Easter, not Christmas. Especially for the journalists.
Vultures, you’d say. Doing their job, I’d say. The world has changed, people have changed, journalism has changed. Just a couple of years ago nobody would bother with a celebrity walking around the Old City. Locals were especially proud of that; they didn’t care if some ‘big names’ walked in front of them. They would proudly raise up their chin and – ignore them.
But now, in that social media rules all, when almost everybody shares where are they going and what are they doing, it seems that the interest in celebrities has increased too. Where they’ve stayed, how much money they’ve spent, what was on their plate – every detail counts. Just like every click counts.
And, to be honest, the most clicked news are those that don’t take much effort, such as sharing an Instagram photo from Georgina, who is, as I discovered this weekend – Ronaldo’s girlfriend. Even though I wasn’t working, I felt the urge to browse through her Instagram profile searching for clues that she’s in Dubrovnik. Not a kind of investigative journalism I was imagining to do while I was at college.
‘’Oh, I couldn’t sleep without reading this’’, ‘’Stupid journalists’’, ‘’Stupid article, what’s the point’’ – are just some of the comments that can be seen on that kind of articles. Ronaldo wasn’t an exception. Well, I can’t speak in the name of my colleagues, but I can speak for myself – sometimes I wonder the same.
I always say – if you don't like what media are posting these days, don't click it! You already knew it: clicks are making our world go around. It's hard to describe the sadness when I see that something that I worked really hard on, researched it, talked with people – is less read than a five-sentence article about some Influencer sharing her booty photo from Dubrovnik. Disappointing.
Cristiano Ronaldo coming to Dubrovnik during Easter holidays was great news worth publishing – all the rest was too much. But, even when I am writing this, clicks are coming… Nobody cares what happened on Easter morning in the Old City. Traditional egg painting? Vocal group singing? It doesn't matter… It seems that it's more important to know that Georgina was whitening her teeth on the balcony of one of the most expensive villas in Dubrovnik. At least it seems that way nowadays.