Telum talks to… Tubagus Guritno, Editor-in-Chief, TabloidBintang.com

Telum talks to… Tubagus Guritno, Editor-in-Chief, TabloidBintang.com

This week Telum caught up with the Editor-in-Chief of TabloidBintang.com, Tubagus Guritno about the entertainment industry in Indonesia and the impact of celebrity vloggers on its newsroom.

Can you share with us how the editorial team of TabloidBintang.com works?
Every day, we publish 50 articles. We get inspiration from celebrations or holidays, such as Kartini Day and Ramadan. Other than that, we cover issues that are unpredictable, for example celebrity divorces. From such events, we can develop the articles so we will talk about their profile, education, and many more. Articles that are published by TabloidBintang.com are not only informative, but also entertaining.

Editors work using a roster system, meanwhile reporters are usually assigned to cover a certain celebrity. For example, if there is someone covering Presenter Ruben Onsu, no other reporter should cover him because it is redundant. This is to make the reporter have an in-depth knowledge about the celebrity.

Can you give us examples of news stories TabloidBintang.com would not cover?
We do not cover news related to racism, religious discrimination, sexuality, alcoholic beverages, and tobacco. If there is a racism or religious discrimination issue in the showbiz industry, the article will be about what we should do facing the same hardship.

What does TabloidBintang.com think of celebrities that are now vlogging?
It helps our job, but there is also a problem. Back in the days, when a celebrity wanted to say something, they would share it with the press. But these days, celebrities only want to talk to other celebrities, and they will publish their videos on YouTube. Once it’s up, then we can write articles. It has become harder for media outlets to get exclusive interviews with celebrities.

How does the newsroom work, one year into the pandemic?
We come to the office every Tuesday to evaluate our work and plan the week ahead. On other days, we still work from home. For covering events like celebrity weddings, we rely on YouTube because there is no direct access to cover them. 

Before COVID-19, celebrities would come to our studios to be interviewed and we would publish exclusive materials, as well as social media content. But this is long gone since they would only want to be interviewed by television stations, which provide them with free testing.

The thing with online events is we may not catch their body language and sometimes multiple events take place at the same time. We used to be able to doorstep celebrities until we get the information we needed. At the start of the pandemic, so many press conferences would start around the same time we had to prioritise which one to cover. But now, we use multiple gadgets to attend multiple press conferences at the same time.

What are some of the things that communications professionals need to note when interacting with journalists? 
Press releases should not contain ‘’hard selling’’ information. This will only work for sales departments. They can host press conferences around 4pm to 5pm so journalists can kill time while waiting to break fast. They can also send break fast dishes so that the togetherness can still be felt, which is a nice gesture.

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