Jackson News Breaks all Records

AOL wrote: “Today was a seminal moment in Internet history. We’ve never seen anything like it in terms of scope or depth.”

[image:blog_post:13848]The news of Michael Jackson’s trauma was instantaneous, moving so fast, that many people weren’t sure where the news was coming from, or what condition the pop star was in. One thing was clear, though, Jackson’s death is admittedly the largest single event ever to hit the internet. The global expanse was amazing, eliciting instant responses from heads of state like former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who said: “We lost a hero of the world.”

The surprise that news of the death of the self-proclaimed King of Pop could be felt so worldwide isn’t surprising, as he was recently listed as the 6th most well-known person in the world. What what was surprising, though, was how fast the news spread and how it triggered so much activity that the internet wobbled from the heavy traffic.[image:blog_post:13849]

The Los Angeles Times reports that Twitter received 5000 tweets a minute at the peak of the flurry. From Facebook to Yahoo Instant Messaging, the story was told not by a television or radio “Breaking News” interrupt, but by the person next door, across the street and around the world.

We have truly evolved fully into the age of the Internet News Era when “traditional” news sources have a need to hold back their information until they can confirm the facts, yet the news fills the air from every area of the internet.

As an Associated Press (AP) report said: “It was a where-were-you moment in a digital age: Michael Jackson’s death was not learned from a fatherly TV news anchor. Instead, the news first spread online.”

How many of us can remember hearing about Lennon’s murder, the Kennedys’ shootings or the space shuttle Columbia explosion from traditional radio or TV news alerts?

Breaking News stories used to be covered by traditional media, many elitist types of news-gathering people who gave you the opinion that theirs was the only news worth watching, and they gave it to you in short 2-minute news clips before they uttered the classic line: “In other news…”

From reports we’ve read, most people turned away from the traditional news sources this time, because they wanted more, not less, news of this tragedy, which marks a real beginning of You News, what you want, when you want it, where you want it delivered.

We are all now on the same playing field. As video producers, we can send images to the masses just as quickly as the mainstream media, often even faster, via Facebook, Twitter and other You TV sources. These are interesting times we live in.

Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O'Rourke
Jennifer O’Rourke is an Emmy award-winning videographer & editor.

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