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‘Jackass’ tweet raises question of on and off-the-record

September 16th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Online Journalism

Kanye West has apologised (at least four times) to Taylor Swift for interrupting her acceptance speech at the MTV VMAs to tell the crowd that Beyoncé should have got it, while ABC News has apologised for one its reporters tweeting about an ‘off-the-record portion’ of an interview between another television network and President Obama.

Too late really: the audio is out there thanks to TMZ and the tweet sent by Terry Moran had already done the rounds:

“Pres. Obama just called Kanye West a ‘jackass’ for his outburst at VMAs when Taylor Swift won. Now THAT’S presidential.”

Yes, hold the front page of the website (and they are) Barack Obama called Kanye West a jackass.

Politico reports an apology made by an ABC spokesperson:

“In the process of reporting on remarks by President Obama that were made during a CNBC interview, ABC News employees prematurely tweeted a portion of those remarks that turned out to be from an off-the-record portion of the interview.

“This was done before our editorial process had been completed. That was wrong. We apologise to the White House and CNBC and are taking steps to ensure that it will not happen again.”

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Trust 2.0 – reports of MJ’s death are not greatly exaggerated

It was fascinating to watch the Michael Jackson rumours hit Twitter late last night (BST) and the mixed reaction to the initial TMZ.com report. An AOL/Telepictures Productions entertainment news site and renowned for having its finger on the pulse, but not quite big or well-known enough to risk the re-tweet or the MSM endorsement? Should we trust it, should we not? The links and telling tweets are reproduced here:

TMZ.com breaks news of the death first:

“We’ve just learned Michael Jackson has died. He was 50.”

mj2

Many journalists were playing it safe, even with their own personal tweets. Even the ‘semi-journalists’:

Then… a few comments about the weird news culture we live in. Compare the way you heard about Princess Diana to this, for example. This from Meg Pickard, the Guardian’s head of social media development:

But were people being unduly cautious? Ashley Norris – of Shiny Media fame – offered this:

The Sun (by an unnamed ‘online reporter but it has now been updated and by-lined) and the Metro (by a by-lined reporter but the link is now dead) – and others too no doubt – tentatively go with ‘reportedly dead.’ And actually attributed TMZ. Then, phew, a mainstream media source finally gives us likely sources to cling onto. The LA Times.

latimes

Around 23.35 BST (22.35 GMT):The BBC goes for it on TV. In its special breaking television news report on BBC1 after BBC Question Time, and before This Week, they say that Jackson is reported to be dead: citing the LA Times as the main source, then TMZ.com, and then add that the Associated Press is also reporting the death.

Now everyone’s sure that he is dead. The Guardian gets this wonderfully comprehensive tribute article up very quickly (23.26 BST).

TMZ were the winners of the night with publicity all round. Check out the quote from Alan Citron, founding manager for TMZ but who now works for Buzz Media in an email to Beet TV last night:

“TMZ has drifted into a lot of juvenile satire lately, but Harvey’s [Levin, managing editor of TMZ] still the best when it comes to serious celebrity news reporting. It’s highly likely that TMZ will own this story.”

This lovely tweet from @PJButta says it all:

More views on TMZ and trust on Twitter.

As for the print? According to Paul McNally,

One more link-to-print here: the Guardian’s newspaper front page slideshow (presumably a later edition for the Sun).

What have we left out? Leave links and comments below, if you’ve got anything to add.

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Beet TV: TMZ using live web video streaming for celeb snooping – even in court!

June 18th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Mobile

The US celebrity tabloid ‘news’ TV show and website TMZ has started using mobile phone technology to live stream video of celebrity goings-on.

And it’s all a great success Alan Citron, general manager of TMZ tells Beet TV.

And the real crowd pullers?

A courthouse appearance by Hulk Hogan’s son and a two hour stream of a car park where Britany was expected to arrive.

‘Hypnotic effect’ of the car park kept viewers interested says Citron.

Glam – this celeb business.

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