Monday, June 29, 2009

Go go gadget webcrawler!

Coworker "marveling" at the speed at which I reported on Michael Jackson

So, you might have heard that was the first to report the news that Jacko has shuffled off the mortal coil. It was fascinating to me to watch how the news spread around various news sources. I heard the news while flipping through the TV channels while the dogs were outside. E! broke into some show I was momentarily engrossed in (I think it was 1001 Biggest Celebrity Divorces or some other such dreck that you can watch for 2 minutes at a time) to say that Jacko was dead. Huh...I toddled over to the "Real News" stations and they had started to report he was in the hospital.

Back upstairs to my computer to see what I can find. Indeed TMZ is reporting the death, but no one else is saying anything except that he's been rushed to the hospital. Over the next hour, I watched as MSN, CNN, Yahoo! News, TMZ, the Drudge Report, E!Online and finally the LA Times reported the news. For a few minutes, Yahoo! had a headline saying MJ was dead, and then in the article quoted TMZ as reporting it.

It was REALLY weird to see which sites updated every 2-3 minutes and how. When the LA Times called it, all the stations started reporting it as more of a fact. Meanwhile, I was engaged on IM with my friend who gave me the title of this post. Did TMZ actually know that MJ had died or were they taking a pretty even bet that they'd get all sorts of kudos for being right? Later that day, reports were surfacing about Jeff Goldblum and Harrison Ford being dead...what's news these days?

I'm glad that over the weekend I renewed my acquaintance with the pre-severely effed up Michael Jackson. The one that was a unassailable genius. I never really realized he was the first black artist on MTV. You know, the channel he helped DEFINE? I had no idea that getting him on there was a struggle. All jokes aside, it would have never occurred to me that Michael Jackson was "black" in that sense...I thought he was MTV as much as Duran Duran, Madonna and The Police.

Anyway, food for thought. As tiring as I think the coverage of the death is, I really am looking at it from a cultural perspective. It's not Princess Diana's death, it's not Elvis or John Lennon dying. Is that good? Bad? Who knows.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same thing with Di's death. We bought all the newspapers in London that day, and one of them had their front page of her still in hospital, alive - they had gone to press earlier than the other papers.