By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

Credit where it isn’t due

An odd assessment by the Chicago Tribune:

Gossip site TMZ.com, owned by Time Warner, was out in front with Jackson news and digital-era pipelines spread the word, as has happened before with other major celebrity news stories. But it was old media stalwarts that did the heavy lifting, with giants such as The Associated Press and the Web site of the L.A. Times, sister paper of the Chicago Tribune, reporting the fastest, most credible information on the emergency call for paramedics and ultimately his death.

In other words, TMZ broke the story. Got it? (Channeling Chris Krewson.)

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6 Comments

  1. jvwalt

    Trib: "Jackson Dies; We're Not Irrelevant!" Reminds me of how CNN and FOX were running headlines at the bottom of the screen saying "CNN Confirms Michael Jackson Dead" and "FOX confirms…" Nice of them to put their network ahead of the actual news. (I can understand the "confirms" qualifier if there is still some doubt about the news, but this was during the 7 p.m. hour, when the story was everywhere.)

  2. MeTheSheeple

    Heavy lifting meaning they brought the credibility, right?Except for this: "By the time the Los Angeles Times got credit for confirming the pop star's death, "RIP Michael Jackson" was already at the top of the Twitter trends list."So the general public — or at least the general Twitter crowd — didn't care a whit about whether the LA Times had endorsed TMZ's claims. TMZ had more than enough credibility on its own, it would seem, and the newspapers had effectively nothing else to add in the eyes of Twitter users.So just which heavies were the LA Times lifting?

  3. meamoeba

    when tmz or twitter afficianadoes have breaking stories about something relevant, then call me. for now, i'll gladly give them credit for telling the world of the death of a bizarre celebrity.

  4. Amused

    So who had the news that he actually died first, TMZ or the Reuters/AP/L.A.Times who were credited by networks with the first credible word? When did they have the news he actually died — before or after he was pronounced? Did TMZ use sourcing when it announced the death? Are we going to be reduced using as sources to people inside sending an unconfirmed twitter (cf. Kevin McHale fired).As Roxy used to say "get it first but get it right"The trend that really ought to be watched is the edit wars on wikipedia where apparently internet know-it-alls couldn't agree on what constitutes proper sourcing.

  5. Mr Punch

    Not clearcut — is this a case of breaking the news, or just calling the death? At one point the MSM story was, approximately, "Jackson is being taken to the hospital, CPR has failed, and he's not breathing." Obviously, if that was true, he was dead; but they weren't about to say it without confirmation.

  6. Mike

    Amused: What proof do you have that TMZ didn't have proper sourcing? TMZ does get it first, and get it right, on every breaking piece of celebrity news over the past couple years.

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