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.
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?