June 26, 2009

The New News Cycle

We are officially overwhelmed with content. It’s everywhere. Blogs, podcasts, news, media, books, pamphlets, it’s being created faster than we can consume it.

The movement in the last couple of weeks on Twitter with regards to the Iranian election has been inspiring.

The Power of We?

The people do have the power. Will any of it change the horrific situation over there? Hopefully. But if not, it will change the next one. We must believe that we can change things as a group.

Thursday 5:10pm

I checked email and in came a series blasts from the various news agencies all reporting that Michael Jackson had suffered a heart attack.

Tune It In

My immediate reaction was to post something on Twitter. No phone call to any of my other media friends, I didn’t turn on the radio or television, I didn’t first visit a website, I tweeted it.

Reports were flying around faster than the speed of 110wpm and an hour had passed. Checking sites, tweeting, reading tweets, checking sites and the confirmation came through that Jackson had passed away.

The Scramble Was On

There were the rumor mongers, the unconfirmed reports, the confirmed reports, the recanted posts, the tweets about the cause of death, the unconfirmed confirmations – it was mayhem.

Twitter servers were vibrating from the pressure. News sites were crashing from the traffic. Traditional media outlets were scrambling to get things on the air.

...Then There Were Three

Earlier this week, television icon Ed McMahon passed away. Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in the same day. And with channels like Twitter, Facebook and FriendFeeed and others, the reaction was instantaneous.

We live in a tabloid laden quick to the mic/cam/site world. In the quest to scoop, many don’t bother to check for the truth. Hence the Harrison Ford and Jeff Goldlbum rumors that followed Jackson’s passing.

Is There A New News Cycle?

Is journalism no longer about fact checking and respect? Are the rules out the window while most hide behind the thinly veiled “public’s right to know”?

Some claim social media channels aren't reliable journalism. Well while the Twitter stream was searching for real information, TMZ was quick to get the scoop on the news of MJ's death before CNN and NBC while Entertainment Tonight had a picture of him on the stretcher on the way to the hospital on their website.

In a day of two famous deaths, a President's health care town hall, the Iranian election story and the money crunch; perhaps we're all just a little too tightly pressed against the glass.

Our thoughts go out to the friends and families of
Ms. Fawcett, Mr. McMahon and Mr. Jackson.


Ed McMahon: 03.06.23 - 06.23.09.
Farrah Fawcett: 02.02.47 - 06.25.09.
Michael Jackson: 08.29.58 - 06.25.09

@knealemann
knealemann at gmail dot com

Helping you better utilize all media.
How to make it, use it and profit from it.

photo credit: michaeljackson.com

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