An interesting complaint from an unnamed caller about the topic that was occupying the central content module at the top of KansasCity.com for much of this morning:

"Why are you giving this big space to the Oscars? It's just the movie industry patting itself on the back. It's PR, not news."

I have to say I'm with her completely on this one -- but I acknowledge readily that we're both out of step with the mainstream, too.

What are the Oscars exactly? They are awards given by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which describes itself as "an honorary membership organization whose ranks now include more than 6,000 artists and professionals." So in other words, it's a trade association awards ceremony, with results decided by a vote of its members.

As such, your opinions on whether it's newsworthy or not will depend on how much you care about creative artists giving awards to themselves, basically. The New York Times' first public editor Daniel Okrent wrote a famous (and famously cranky) column expressing his disapproval of The Times' coverage of the Tonys in 2004. Much of what he wrote also applies here.

But I certainly respect those readers who enjoy Hollywood movies and want to read about them. There is a special section about the awards planned for tomorrow, in fact.