Monday, June 29, 2009

How much is TOO MUCH?

Does the date August 16, 1977 ring a bell? Think. Now think really hard...

It may be a distant memory, tucked away on a shelf or in a closet somewhere at home, along with a collection of other memorabilia. Unless you're an Elivs Presley fan. He died many years ago, but his death is an example of how the mainstream media has evolved over the decades.

Read on...

Celebrity coverage. It's my topic in blogs today, only because a notable number of celebrities have died over the past week. The number is notable, however most of the coverage has been focused on the King of Pop. Michael Jackson's death has dominated the airwaves since his death last week. Since that day, entire newscasts have been dedicated to M.J. (to his life and legacy). He was an important man to pop culture. An icon. That, no one can deny. I'm just wondering if anything else is going on in the world right now? I wouldn't know. My fellow journalists have been drowning in what seems like endless interest in Jackson's death.

It did not surprise me however, to see the national news obsessively filling air time with anything Michael Jackson. It is what I expected. After years in the business, I have come to learn many things about what journalism is today. I learned about what it was in University.

What it was...and what it is. Don't think it'll ever go back to the way it was. That statement doesn't not reflect my feelings about what journalism is today. Just an observation.

August 16, 1977. If the date isn't etched in your memory, it may be because of the way it was covered by the media more than 30 years ago. When the King of Rock 'n'Roll passed away, it didn't make the lead on the the CBS Evening News, most likely because whoever was in charge of coverage at the time didn't deem it newsworthy. Not worthy, but NEWSworthy. The head of CBS News at that time was Richard Salant.

His explanation? "Our job is not to respond to public taste."

It begs the question, how much is TOO much when it comes to celebrity coverage?


Anonymous said...

The public is fascinated with celebrity (I know I am), so when something happens to a prominent person, whether it's death or just something unfortunate (like the governor of South Carolina's affair, for instance), the public's frenzy is fed by the media, to excess. I'm afraid we'll be hearing about the fate of Michael Jackson's estate for months, overshadowing his achievements as an artist. Sadly.

Jesse Stay said...

August 16, 1977 is 2 days after I was born :-) It was probably my first day at home.

CoyoteDKM said...

I have been following the Iran news very closely, and this Micheal Jackson thing is merely an annoyance. All the coverage of it just drives more and more people to internet sources like twitter for their news, and that news is not as reliable. The only major news station still reporting regularly on Iran is the BBC, but most of what they report comes from twitter. So my opinion? Jackson isn't all that important. I felt worse when Mays died.

Anonymous said...

This is too much! The coverage is ridiculous. I can't seem to find actual "news" anymore. I wonder what the new week will bring and will it revert back to the negative MJ press that had been the norm before his death?