Michael Jackson’s passing will no doubt be one of the biggest news stories of 2009. Of course no story is complete with out some type of controversy or drama which as a communications professionals you end up getting involved and possible putting out a fire. The news first broke on TMZ.com, the gossip media company owned by AOL and includes the website TMZ.com and a TV show. Since that time Harvey Levin and crew are puffing their chest at the fact that they were the first to break the story and many publications have given them credit for being the first to report the story.
I recall my Blackberry was going off every 2 minutes during the hour of question, first with “Did you hear Michael Jackson was rushed to the hospital”, then confirmed reports of “Michael Jackson is dead.” Every possible media outlet was rushing to catch their piece of the story, but no one could catch up and be the first to break the story as TMZ did. For weeks following they’ve had endless coverage on further speculation into what happened and what will be the future of his children and estate. Anderson Cooper and other news professionals covered the same story from different angles and everyone from Debbie Rowe (the mother of Michael’s children) to Michael Jackson’s garbage man (not really but they did any possible who had anything to do with his has had their 30-second of camera time) and of course as time moves along they can provide deeper analysis on the story.
This of course raises a question in my mind, what is more important to you as a public relations professional?[ad]