Mikayla McLean is a sophomore at Blue Springs High School.

Turn on the television, open up your homepage, or flip through a magazine, and you will be assaulted by an onslaught of celebrity gossip. In the billion-dollar industry that is news management, millions are devoted to capturing and reporting every nuance of celebrity lives.

Why is so much of our news coverage spent on this? And at what point must we, as a society, put an end to it?

I think it’s important to understand that the media report what the public shows that it likes. Ergo, if the public shows that it prefers hearing about the latest “Brangelina” twist than it does about African warfare, then that’s what the media will put out. And only by breaking the vicious cycle between the media and its public can we bring much-needed attention to real world issues.

It’s easy to blame the media for the celebrity surplus, and it certainly plays an important role in the problem. But we have to recognize our own role as well. Every time we click on an article or buy a newspaper that glorifies celebrities, we tell the media that the market for gossip is strong and true, and continue the cycle. We keep ourselves ignorant of the world around us and media distractions serve as the blinders.

So how do we stop this? How do we bring the public eye away from the glamour and aim it on the events that need our attention?

I’m don’t think we can. Not entirely, anyway.

As with anything else, only in a utopian society can we completely eradicate harmful influences. But by choosing not to feed into the media infatuation, by choosing not to fill your screen with celebrity babble, perhaps we could turn the tide away from this unnecessary business and bring our focus to the matter of understanding the world we live in and connecting to the people who share it.