TMZ: People know we broke the Michael Jackson story

How mainstream media dealt with a tabloid site’s scoop


 

TMZ reported pop singer Michael Jackson’s death at 2:44 p.m., barely 15 minutes after the fact. CNN waited until hearing the news from the coroner, at 4:25 p.m., and only then reported the death, uneasy about citing TMZ, which many view as a salacious source of gossip, not news. It’s an odd conclusion, notes the LA Times, which reported Jackson’s death at 2:51 p.m. “The irony is that CNN is, like TMZ, owned by Time Warner. But Fox News and MSNBC also struggled with the sourcing issue,” write Scott Collins and Greg Braxton. Harvey Levin, a lawyer and the managing editor of TMZ, isn’t surprised mainstream news organizations wouldn’t cite–or even credit–his outlet. “‘That’s typical,’ Levin said during a phone interview when asked about rivals’ hesitation to credit the site. ‘No matter what they say, people know we broke the story. That’s how competitors handle it. There’s no issue about our credibility.'” Levin goes on to tell the LA Times: “We were getting calls from everyone under the sun, established news operations, asking, ‘Are you sure?’ That’s such an odd question. We would not have published it if it were not true.”

Los Angeles Times


 
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TMZ: People know we broke the Michael Jackson story

  1. so what if TMZ broke the story! TMZ is gossip, not news. News = independent verification from multiple sources. Who cares if have to wait 2hours for that verification. Best quote from above "We would not have published it if it were not true." Sure but how do you know it is true, a TMZ employee reading a post on twitter from someone who's sister works at the hospital and heard that he died? Get real!

  2. I fully agree with tim. Big deal that a cheap and sleazy organization that likes to mock and revel in the misery of others has some paparazzi camped out at Neverland. Hardly Bernstein and Woodward is it?

  3. What is it with you people? Give credit where credit is due! TMZ DID break the story and had "independent verification from multiple sources." I happened to be on Twitter when the first announcement of MJ rushed to hospital came in and read the original, brief report, then subsequent updates, on the TMZ site, one I'd not visited before. "Cheap and sleazy organization" or not, TMZ broke the story and other media outlets should be acknowledging that.

  4. The reason other media outlets were not reporting the source was due to the fact the source was cheap and sleazy and unreliable as a credible source. What does TMZ want credit for? Having an army of paparazzi?

  5. The reason other media outlets were not reporting the source was due to the fact the source was cheap and sleazy and unreliable as a credible source. What does TMZ want credit for? Having an army of paparazzi?

    By the way, that is a really beautiful name, Chrystal Ocean.

  6. What TMZ (along with the scores of bloggers – good, bad and ugly included) have shown is that the MSM is hopelessly out dated on how they approach news, reporting and information. Admittedly bloggers have the luxury of being able to focus on a couple of issues and become experts at them (such as the way bloggers put Human Rights Commissions on the ropes about their practices) that MSM don't have, but then the MSM is always touting how well-trained their journalists and reports are and how their editors are experienced and well-rounded. Instead the MSM have to curry favour with politicians (such as with The Obama where they hang on every word he says as the only truth to be reported) and bureaucrats to get the story and that will never work because you can lose favour just as well as getting it with those groups (who are really just using the MSM)

  7. well put it this way if u lot wanna try and argue about who got there first and who never, let me have my comment, ive never visited this site before and have to be honest if tmz have loads of paparatzi then good for them, they got the news first and they published it minute by minute with updates, well done to tmz for keeping us informed of this marvelous ledgend micheal jackson, but please remember this wonderful man is dead lets not fuss about who got there first hes not a trophy hes a genuine entertainer that thousands loved in fact sorry millions loved, and the thing is, the news was sad whoever it came from its nice to be updated and tmz was first but lets no even go there lets just say that yes tmz was first but michaels news was sad news the man has gone let him go in peace, thanks (gavin oliver)