Journalism is greatly affected by perception which individuals and general public have on a journalist. According to Weingarten, both journalism as a career and journalist as an individual may be ruined or built depending on brand (par.9).
Weingarten points out such factors like branding and self promotion as integral considerations when building a robust career in journalism. This essay examines journalism career of Piers Morgan in relation to brand and self promotion.
Piers Morgan’s background
Piers Morgan is a renowned reporter and a television talk show host whose fame has spread among CNN viewers all over the world and in most American television lovers. He was born on 30 March 1965. He has brilliant education background. He did his VI form in Lewes Priory School and later joined Harlow College where he studied journalism (Mumford 98).
After college education, he embarked on a brief career where he worked with a marketplace organization that deals with reinsurance and insurance called Lloyd’s of London. Seeking to achieve his career goal, he left Lloyd’s of London to work as a news reporter with a news paper group called Surrey and South London Newspaper Group in 1985 (Harper & Cecil 4).
In this company, he worked for three years and gained more experience as a reporter doing several bits of news such as the Streatham and Tooting News as well as the South London News. His exceptional ability to anchor news attracted editors from other media houses and in 1989 he became an editor of Bizzare Column with the Sun Newspaper (Harper & Cecil 4). He worked as an editor for The Sun for five years.
Piers Morgan career must have had its onset while working under the editorship of Kelvin McKenzie who took him from South London Newspaper Group to do a business column the Bizzare. This became his entry point into national media. He worked for The Sun from 1989-94 (Mumford 98).
At the aged of 28, full of ambition and talent, he received an appointment by Rupert Murdoch in 1994 to work as an editor with The News of the World. This was an achievement since at that time in Britain, he was considered as the youngest editor (Harper & Cecil 4). In addition, the 50 years of newspaper editorship in Britain ranked him as the youngest newspaper editor.
In 1995, having left The Sun out of his own will, he joined the British tabloid newspaper group known as the Daily mirror to work as an editor for nine consecutive yeas amidst sharp criticisms of his editorial contents that characterized his work in early 1996 and his brand as an arrogant editor (Harold 1).
His career with the mirror faced huge setbacks involving competition from rival tabloids like Daily Star and The Sun, finance issues and breaching of code of conduct. However, during his editorship with the Mirror, he was able to win many journalistic awards from his articles. For instance in 2002, covering 9/11 attacks won him the prestigious British Press Awards (Mumford 98).
In 2004, the Mirror fired him. There were several issues that surrounded him while working with the mirror, such as the story on The Daily Telegraph by Suzzy Jagger Of Viglen Company shares that he bought. Besides, he was known to breach Code of Conduct regarding journalism such as the one regarding finances.
It is imperative to note that his controversial departure pushed him to be more creative and innovative. Earlier on in his career, he had proven his ability to do television shows such as The Importance of Being Famous, a BBC documentary series presented in 2003. He launched into television shows in 2004.
He has hosted and co-hosted several TV shows and talk shows such as Piers Morgan Life Stories, Tabloid Tales, BBC interview shows among others. In the recent years, Piers Morgan’s television career has diversified and grown (Mumford 98). His shows have grown popular among many viewers around the globe. He did British’s Got Talent show with Simon Cowell as co-judge, American Idol and America’s Got talent (Harold 1).
His shows as judge spread in the years 2007 and 2008. He signed deals with ITV1 where he did chat shows and America has got talent (Harper & Cecil 4). Additionally, in 2008 he won an award in The Apprentice show.
In the same year he begun his series under BBC Scotland producers called The dark Side of Fame, did a show giving his life story called Piers Morgan Life Stories in 2009, and in 2010 replaced Larry King of the CNN (Mumford 98). Today, he does the Piers Morgan Tonight.
He continues to write columns and articles online for the CNN.com, write columns for Sunday newspaper of The Mail and continues with his TV series of America’s Got talent (Harper & Cecil 4).
Typical subjects Piers Morgan covers
In his career trajectory, Piers Morgan has covered diverse topics some of which have lacked concern for prominent people, have exhibited his thrusting style and have been invasive (Harper & Cecil 4).
Today, his shows cover wide range of topics such as relationships, politics, issues regarding glee, gun control and violence, his career and life and so on. He also conducts shows where he interviews prominent individuals on national issues, modern affairs, development matters and world issues (Mumford 98).
In his career, Piers Morgan’s brand has attracted varying opinions from different quarters. To begin with, his replacement of Larry king has been seen by many as an extremely poor choice. In their opinion, they draw their dislike of Piers Morgan from the way he handles people or make remarks in his shows (Harold 1).
For instance, he is branded as an individual who disregards celebrities seen in his open rude remarks to Ian Hislop in 2007, banning Madonna from is shows in 2010, arguments with Alan Sugar on twitter in 2010 and so on (Mumford 98). The opinion of public has been that he can not match Larry King.
They think that CNN made a wrong and poor choice to have him as a replacement for Larry King. Moreover, some brand him as proud man. On the other hand, some public opinions favor him. There are those individuals who like him for his shows such as Piers Morgan Tonight and America’s got Talent (Harold 1). Some think he is too English and funny despite being so arrogant.
How Piers Morgan Brands himself
It is important to determine how this journalist brands himself. Throughout his career, Piers Morgan has branded himself as a sensational and objective journalist. He has exhibited a negative outlook on most things. For instance, when he was working as an editor for News of the World, his lack of concern, thrusting style and invasive ways depicted him as sensational (Mumford 98).
He has received sharp criticism from several quarters. Even though he is seen as objective in doing his duties, whatever he says brands him as arrogant. For instance, his argument with Michael Owen of Manchester United as quoted below:
Piers: Many congrats to @themichaelowen on your new United contract. You’ve made a poor lonely bench very happy. Piers: You lazy git RT @themichaelowen Prefer playing less often in a top team than every game in a poor team. Piers: @themichaelowen 1) It helps ratings on my shows 2) It’s funny winding up overpaid, underworked footballers like you (Forum football par. 1-5).
Forum football. Michael Owen Vs Piers Morgan. Jun. 01, 2011. Jun. 28, 2011. Web.
Harold, Zack. “W.Va. man proves he has talent: Logan resident sings Sinatra tune and wows judges, audience on ‘America’s Got Talent’.” Charleston Daily Mail Jun. 25, 2011. Jun. 28, 2011. Web.
Harper, Tom & Cecil, Nicholas. “Revealed: celebrities at centre of Giggs naming storm on Twitter: Law chief warns famous four could face damages for outing footballer [Edition 2].” Evening Standard Jun. 25, 2011. Jun. 28, 2011. Web.
Mumford, Gwilym. “The guide: Infomania: fact-checking the famous: Piers Morgan.” The Guardian Jun. 25, 2011. Jun. 28, 2011. Web.
Weingarten, Gene. Lifestyle. Gene Weingarten: How “branding” is ruining journalism. Jun.7, 2011. Web. <https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/magazine/2011/06/07/AGBegthH_story.html?utm_term=.d3e38cd15da3>