Friday, June 26, 2009

The Media Controls the Importance of the News

I posted this on the AP English blog ( But I decided that I should post it on my blog too because its amazing how fast our news travels, even when its seriously not that life-changing. Bloggers across the U.S. and even in other countries, such as in Switzerland, knew what happened in the 24 hours after he passed. It's just amazing, left me in awe of how much power our media has.

When I was sitting in the dentist office and watching TV, I saw glimpses of Michael Jackson on TV but I brushed it off because I never really cared about him anyways. After coming home from today's dentist appointment, my mom who had just dropped me off at home, called and told me brother that Michael Jackson had just died. I was taken back at that moment, but not as shocked as how I was as I watching the news of his death take up hours of screen time on various channels. After I received the news from my mom, I got a bunch of text messages and IMs informing me of the same thing. Then I logged onto myspace and facebook, and "MICHAEL JACKSON DIED!" was in numerous people's status boxes. I was shocked at how quickly the news of his death spread to everyone. The news had taken over the television, internet through myspace, facebook, AIM, and phones through calls and text messages.
Why is the news of a celebrities death spreading lightening fast while more global news gets only a snippet here and there, if even? This seems to be a classic example of how cultural media has taken over news media. The lines between the two have been blurred so that people had hardly tell what is truly more important than the other. Thus it just appears that whatever has more screen time is more important than the news that does not have as much screen time. If this were actually true, that would mean Michael Jackson's death, Lindsay Lohan's relapses, the Transformers opening, and Megan Fox's ugly thumbs are all more important than the genocide in Darfur or Iran. It is even apparent as I am writing this post, I can't even think of the same number of pieces of global news as I can for celebrity gossip. I don't know as much about global news as I do about what's going on in each celebrity's life (with the help of MTV, the E! new channel, and those various reality shows that show viewers what each celebrity lives like), all because that is just what gets more air time.

*EDIT* I was just on Twitter and saw that one of the fashion bloggers I read posted this

justice. heard thriller blasting from a car. RIP
about 5 hours ago from txt
damnit. thriller. somebody should dance to it in memory of him.
about 6 hours ago from web

shoot. RIP farrah fawcett. DONT DIE MICHAEL JACKSON
about 8 hours ago from web

She knew that he was in the hospital and on the verge of dying right as she tweeted (sorry for the twitter language) that. Then 2 hours later, he died and she tweeted that too. For one, I'm amazed as how much people twitter a day, and second, I was amazed at how she continued to update her twitter with news of Michael Jackson's condition as she found out the news. Just wow.

1 comment:

  1. i know what you mean. it's just crazy how twitter, facebook, aim and so on and so forth have changed how news permeates us and how we communicate. the news was really saddening. i was in lab when it happened and was so confused.

    anyway, i wanted to stop by and say hi to a fellow chictopian and thanks for stopping by my blog. cheers. x.