With more and more reporters being laid off, more and more newspapers and media outlets rely on the wires for their stories thanks to media consolidation.

Have no fear though! The Associated Press (AP) is on it!

An internal memorandum from The A.P.’s Los Angeles bureau dictating coverage of the troubled pop star was published by several media blogs on Tuesday, prompting some punch lines at the news service’s expense.

“Now and for the foreseeable future, virtually everything involving Britney is a big deal,” Frank Baker, the Los Angeles assistant bureau chief, wrote on Tuesday morning, three days after Ms. Spears was released from the hospital where she had been admitted in the wake of a custody dispute.

“Boy, that qualifies as an understatement,” Tirdad Derakhshani, a Philadelphia Inquirer writer remarked in the online column SideShow. On Romenesko, a popular online media site owned by the Poynter Institute, a commenter added, “Not a good day for journalism as a discipline.”

And why you might ask is the AP moving in this direction?

…the renewed interest in Ms. Spears comes as The Associated Press is putting new emphasis on entertainment coverage. Mr. Ferrara said the news service’s clients — more than 1,500 daily papers and thousands of other media outlets — were yearning for more photos and videos of celebrities…Last week The Associated Press announced a new position, director for entertainment content, to direct its multimedia efforts. Mr. Ferrara said The A.P. planned to add 22 positions to expand entertainment coverage, mainly in Los Angeles, New York and London, in the coming year. Some staff members will be moved from other areas to fill the jobs.”

That’s right! Have no fear! While government and corporate scandals run amok, and voting machine breakdown once again damaging our electoral process is on the horizon, we’ll have Britney for days!

Whew. I feel SO much better now. I’m so thankful I’ll be in the know about what’s really happening in the world…aren’t you?

To be honest, this isn’t news to me. This shift has been long in the making, so the AP’s move is only further amplifying what has become of the news industry. So what should we do about it? For those who want to tap mainstream media, we need to get smarter and more sophisticated in how we think about telling stories in today’s entertainment age. We need to tap into our resources to engage people through entertainment, not solely for entertainment’s sake, but as a platform for smart, funny, challenging and provocative stories because we do live in a day and age where the AP will be putting it’s resources towards entertainment. We’d be smart to take stock to challenge this move, while at the same time leveraging this knowledge to our benefit as much as possible as we think about reaching people.