Michael Jackson and Pre-media


Yes I know what you are thinking; the link between Michael Jackson and the World of Pre-media is not an obvious one. However, the events of the past few days really highlighted the vast change in the way news is communicated to the masses – and I believe that this has a knock on effect on Pre-media.

First of all I should clearly state that I was as shocked as anyone at the news of the ‘King of Pop’s’ sad demise. He was never to my taste, but clearly he had a global following and his status in ‘pop music’ (again not my taste) was undeniable – despite no decent records for years and an undeniable er, “fall from grace” shall we say, he was still popular. Anyway I digress and I wish to point out that this is not in any way an attack on the one-gloved wonder.

After his heart attack, it is rumoured that the ambulance driver ‘Twittered’ the dramatic events whist driving Jackson to the hospital. Whether this is true I don’t know, but it is true that the online community seemed to spread this news incredibly fast. The upshot was that the public got to hear this stunning news just as quickly, if not before, the major news agencies.  As the story started to gather pace, the online community fuelled momentum and at one point Google shut down as the amount of people ‘Googling’ MJ went through the roof – Google thought that it was experiencing a cyber attack and temporarily closed its service.

 Again, I am sure that you are wondering what this has to do with Pre-media. OK, here it comes – when I sat on the train the next morning it struck me that the particular newspaper I was reading had been somewhat caught out as it could only show one brief and sketchy front page story revealing the news – just the one solitary page! It made me realise that, as most of the world dived online to get the very latest, newspapers were being shown up as too slow to react in time and get this major event into a printable format.

It made me wonder; in the news hungry, tech savvy society that we have become, is there really a future for our old friend the newspaper in its current paper format? We have a brand new generation who are growing up on on the web and wouldn’t even touch a newspaper. So do newspapers’ Pre-media supply chains need to adapt in order to feed some kind of alternative output channel. 

The times they are a changing. Shamone!


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